Y’all wanna hear one thing loopy? I’ve been penning this weekly pop column for 5 complete years now. It looks like simply yesterday that I printed the inaugural installment explaining why The Week In Pop can be a superb addition to the Stereogum portfolio. As we strategy the precipice of 2019, I’m pretty sure I used to be proper. Neither the music nor the writing in regards to the music has all the time been top-shelf, however my, have the highs been excessive.

Talking of: It’s time as soon as once more to run down the easiest pop songs of the yr. Earlier than we do that collectively, let me specify my parameters for inclusion. Principally, like The Week In Pop as a franchise, this record focuses on mainstream pop — music that guidelines the streaming, gross sales, and radio charts that feed into Billboard’s Sizzling 100, and music that goals for that sort of ubiquity — however in follow I outline it nonetheless I need. So if I wish to put media darlings Kacey Musgraves and the 1975 on right here alongside the celebrities that truly dominated pop in 2018, you higher imagine I’ll (and did). If a rap music soared close to the highest of the charts regardless of being ignored by prime 40 radio, it’s eligible too. And in case your favourite “indie” pop striver is lacking, it’s probably as a result of they suck however extra possible as a result of I’ve determined they exist in some musical galaxy separate from the one I’m documenting in my private yearbook of 2018 hits.

See more: Top popular musics 2018

Now that that’s settled, let’s start the countdown. Thanks as all the time for studying and for one more nice yr of dialogue, and I’ll see you all again right here in January for the State Of Pop Tackle.

40. Shawn Mendes & Zedd – “Misplaced In Japan”

It’s not loopy that one of the best John Mayer music in years got here from certainly one of Mayer’s most trustworthy disciples, however it’s loopy that I get pleasure from it a lot.

39. Dangerous Bunny – “Mia” (Feat. Drake)

Dangerous Bunny launched plenty of good Latin lure songs this yr, however there’s just one on which he obtained Drake to sing lithely in what seems like fluent Spanish.

38. Christina Aguilera – “Speed up” (Feat. Ty Dolla $ign & 2 Chainz)

A ramshackle home beat that seems like Kanye stripped it for components, an unusually raspy Ty Dolla $ign, a usually recreation 2 Chainz in boilerplate visitor verse mode? I notice it’s a multitude, however what an excellent mess it’s.

37. Halsey – “With out Me”

Though Halsey’s public persona might be A Lot, she is not-so-quietly turning into probably the most persistently pleasant singles artists within the recreation. She excels at this kind of hypermodern trap-inflected neon pop, however when you’ve heard “Alone” and “Strangers” and “100 Letters” you realize she excels at so much.

36. Bruno Mars & Cardi B – “Finesse”

Consider it or not, the Cardi-infused remix that made this music successful got here out this yr.

35. Ne-Yo – “Good Man”

I can’t resolve which is extra outrageous: R&B’s perennially underrated gentleman-in-residence sampling D’Angelo’s timeless “Untitled (How Does It Really feel)” with out faceplanting or the world utterly ignoring his feat.

34. Troye Sivan – “My My My!”

What most ’80s throwbacks don’t perceive is {that a} mere historic reenactment is nugatory with out the unbridled feeling that surges by “My My My!” When a music is that this charged with ardour, aesthetics change into an afterthought.

33. Jessie Reyez – “Apple Juice”

I liked mainly each music Jessie Reyez dropped this yr, however particularly this raspy, string-laden love letter to the “broken-home child” who nonetheless drives her loopy in spite of everything these years.

32. Janelle Monáe – “I Like That”

Essentially the most susceptible music on Soiled Pc is the one which diverged farthest from the idea, a trap-soul sluggish drift on which she recollects painful childhood reminiscences of rejection and relishes her present loopy/horny/cool standing.

31. Twenty One Pilots – “My Blood”

Hooks on falsetto hooks over an impeccably funky rolling bassline, with inspirational lyrics and effervescent ’80s fizz as well. Think about the swimming pools of saliva that might be forming underneath critics’ mouths if this music was by the 1975.

30. Mariah Carey – “GTFO”

When you don’t like this beautiful train in heartbroken R&B balladry… enable me to point out you the door.

29. Clear Bandit – “Solo” (Feat. Demi Lovato)

It takes actual ability to make such apparent digital manipulation really feel like essentially the most pure factor on the earth.

28. Lauren Jauregui – “Expectations”

Tight guitar stabs, scathing undercurrents, and an total refusal to go overboard flip this Fifth Concord alum’s debut solo single right into a masterclass in pressure and launch.

27. Migos – “Stir Fry”

The perfect Migos music to emerge throughout this yr of Migos overload was outsourced to Beyoncé and Jay-Z (scroll down), and the second greatest one was a beat Pharrell cooked up for T.I. a decade in the past warmed up within the microwave and seasoned with spicy triplets. “Stir Fry” will get a slight increase in these rankings as a result of I treasure the footage of my toddler daughters dancing to it at a marriage. Life is unusual.

26. 5 Seconds Of Summer time – “Youngblood”

The previous pop-punk pinups chargeable for the timeless hook “She appears so good standing there in my American Attire underwear” emerge from their chrysalis, anthem-slinging talents intact, to foist fist-pumping grownup up to date fare upon an unsuspecting world.

25. Ariana Grande – “God Is A Lady”

What’s one of the best a part of this feminist trap-pop ode to miraculous intercourse: the sinfully catchy melody, the subtly irresistible beat, or the resounding gospel choir that is available in on the finish to hammer residence the metaphor?

24. Drake – “In My Emotions”

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Everybody who jumped out of a shifting automotive for the #InMyFeelingsChallenge was far more dedicated to a bit than Drake is to any of the ladies he name-checked right here. Good music although.

23. James Bay – “Wild Love”

You may need missed this one. Even I forgot that I big-upped James Bay’s Electrical Mild final spring, however I stand by my description that it’s like if the 1975 constructed their aesthetic out of previous The O.C. soundtracks as an alternative of cocaine-encrusted ’80s CDs. The hard-rocking “Wasted On Every Different” and the Strokes-worshipping “Pink Lemonade” are at the least pretty much as good because the post-Bon Iver new wave gospel ballad “Wild Love,” however “Wild Love” is the one that truly suits on a listing of pop songs, so.

22. Charlie Puth – “Boy”


21. Charli XCX & Troye Sivan – “1999”

With final December’s Pop 2, Charli XCX charted the longer term. Her hottest contribution to this yr was a celebration of the previous that bested competing nostalgia bait from Anne-Marie and Lauren Alaina.

20. The Carters – “Apeshit”

Nothing says 2018 like Beyoncé and Jay-Z bolstering their newest lavish celebration of wealth and standing with a lure beat and Migos ad-libs.

19. Drake – “Good For What”

When an excessive amount of seems to be simply sufficient.

18. Kim Petras – “Coronary heart To Break”

No person is hitting the excessive notes like Kim Petras lately.

17. Kacey Musgraves – “Excessive Horse”

Regardless of Golden Hour’s pronounced pop tendencies, the one music on the album that might have made sense on prime 40 radio was a rustic disco kiss-off that’ll make you wish to trot.

16. Charli XCX – “Focus”

Let’s get again to what I used to be saying about Charli XCX charting the way forward for pop. The double A-side single that gave us this and “No Angel” wasn’t as audaciously forward-thinking as Pop 2, however it certain did sound forward of its time.

15. The 1975 – “Sincerity Is Scary”

14. The 1975 – “It’s Not Dwelling (If It’s Not With You)”

Other than the wildly formidable interconnected movies, I like how these two songs personal their brazen corniness with such confidence. Like, “Sincery Is Scary” is mainly an Ed Sheeran music with a gospel choir and Probability The Rapper’s horn part, and “It’s Not Dwelling (If It’s Not With You)” is a model of ’80s grownup up to date ultracheese that even the bravest revisionist nostalgists dare not try. But right here’s Matty Healy promoting each with such panache that I’m consuming out of his hand. It’s doable that I’ll look again on this era of my life with such deep remorse, and but I hold mainlining these 1975 singles. What sorcery is that this?

13. Ariana Grande – “Breathin’”

Certainly one of Ariana Grande’s extra underrated achievements this yr was flipping the panic assaults that haunted her post-Manchester into radio gold.

12. Silk Metropolis & Dua Lipa – “Electrical energy”

The Calvin Harris team-up “One Kiss” was Dua Lipa’s greatest hit of 2018, however her most interesting dance-floor collab this yr was an ecstatic plunge into ’90s home music alongside Diplo and Mark Ronson.

11. Travis Scott – “Sicko Mode” (Feat. Drake)

I’ve seen “Sicko Mode,” the yr’s longest and weirdest #1 single, in comparison with each “Band On The Run” and “Tom Sawyer” this month. It’s a kind of multi-part prog epics that appears too unwieldy to be successful till it worms its manner into your consciousness and you may now not keep in mind when it gave the impression of something however instant-classic pop music.

10. The Weeknd & Kendrick Lamar – “Pray For Me”

9. Kendrick Lamar & SZA – “All The Stars”

The Black Panther soundtrack was so a lot better than it needed to be. What may have been a bland company tie-in as an alternative introduced unfathomable riches: nice rap posse cuts like “King’s Lifeless” and “X” and “Paramedic!” Woozy R&B jams like “The Methods” and “I Am” and the dancehall-tinged “Seasons.” Grooves match for each a sluggish grind (“Bloody Waters”) and a disco inferno (“Redemption”). Experimental oddities like “Black Panther” and “Opps” that by some means gave the impression of essentially the most pure superhero blockbuster music ever. Better of all, it had full-fledged anthems “All The Stars” and “Pray For Me,” songs humongous and cinematic sufficient to stay as much as a movie that felt like a real Pop Tradition Second.

8. Ella Mai – “Boo’d Up”

An upstart British singer and the artist previously often known as DJ Mustard channeled vibes from Kanye’s “Large Brother” and Jay and Bey’s “Half II (On The Run)” right into a retro R&B swoon, swapped out the celeb mythology for a common story of head-over-heels infatuation, and had the entire world deep in our emotions.

7. BlocBoy JB – “Look Alive” (Feat. Drake)

Folks speak so much about how BlocBoy JB managed to not be outshined by Drake right here, however with all due credit score to the inventor of the Shoot dance, my first takeaway from “Look Alive” is that it’s one of the best Drake music in Drake’s most dominant yr. My second takeaway is “Tay Keith, fuck these n****s up!!!”

6. Cardi B, Dangerous Bunny, & J Balvin – “I Like It”

As quickly because the beat dropped, it was clear this bilingual Nuyorican membership crusher can be the music of the summer season.

5. Put up Malone – “Psycho” (Feat. Ty Dolla $ign)

This dazed float down the river of desires represents Put up Malone’s world-conquering sing-song post-hip-hop at its greatest — narcotic, amniotic, and not likely psychotic within the slightest. Bonus factors for giving the legendary Ty Dolla $ign his first #1 hit.

4. Zedd, Maren Morris, & Gray – “The Center”

Often the company machine spits out an M.O.R. masterpiece on the extent of this catchy, punchy delight, a music that proves formulaic pop doesn’t should be rubbish. Maren Morris’ efficiency is simply colossal; with every passing “Child!” you possibly can hear her voice threatening to interrupt underneath the burden of a lot energy.

3. Girl Gaga & Bradley Cooper – “Shallow”

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The scene in A Star Is Born when Girl Gaga and Bradley Cooper’s characters carry out this collectively for the primary time is a respectable spine-tingler. It really works so nicely partially due to Gaga’s awestruck efficiency, however it wouldn’t work in any respect if the music fell flat. As a substitute, “Shallow” is a note-perfect basic rock ballad, from that mournful violin that creeps in when Gaga asks “Aren’t you drained tryin’ to fill that void?” to the way in which all the pieces swells up round her when she launches into the oft-memed “AHHHHHHH HAA AHHHHAHHHHH!”

2. The 1975 – “Love It If We Made It”

The primary strains are “We’re fucking in a automotive, taking pictures heroin/ Saying controversial issues only for the hell of it,” and it simply will get extra outrageous from there. By the point they burst out of the bridge with a quote from Donald Trump’s “seize her by the pussy” tape, they’ve obtained you feeling the complete weight of our fashionable dystopia. It’s uncommon to witness a band so shamelessly striving for transcendence and succeeding. Thanks the 1975, very cool!

1. Ariana Grande – “No Tears Left To Cry”

“Bear in mind when i used to be like hey i’ve no tears left to cry and the universe was like HAAAAAAAAA bitch u thought.” So tweeted Ariana Grande a few month in the past, nonetheless reeling from the demise of an ex, the tip of a hasty engagement, and all the general public scrutiny that accompanied her bumpy but triumphant 2018.

When Grande launched “No Tears Left To Cry” again in April, the concept was that the turbulence was behind her now. She’d bounced again from the 2017 bombing at her Manchester enviornment present and, unbeknownst to the general public on the time, was shifting on from a relationship she described as “poisonous” to at least one that exemplified full-blown pet love. Given the music’s title and the tragic circumstances that knowledgeable it, many people assumed Grande would introduce her new album cycle with a ballad — like Kesha had with “Praying” within the midst of her authorized battle with Dr. Luke — earlier than shifting on to the bops. As a substitute, she glided in on a brisk UK storage beat and introduced her readiness to maneuver on.

By the point Sweetener dropped in August, the narrative of Ariana Grande the joyful resilient conquerer was solidified. However any pretense of a storybook ending evaporated in September when her ex-boyfriend Mac Miller died of an overdose. Issues went additional awry for Ari in October when she broke up with fiancé Pete Davidson, who’d had a heart-eyed interlude named after him on Sweetener. The tears continued to circulate.

Grande responded to those newest struggles with “thank u, subsequent” — a superb music, a profitable music, a traditionally important music. There may be an argument to be made that “thank u, subsequent,” with its tabloid-baiting, meme-inspiring lyrics and hyper-referential music video, is pop’s defining music this yr. If you wish to consider pop by way of cultural anthropology or celebrity-driven narrative, certain. Possibly. However by way of musical achievement and the sheer exhilaration that accompanies an ideal pop single, “No Tears Left To Cry” towers over not simply “thank u, subsequent” however all of 2018.

Grande and writer-producer Max Martin, who teamed up for my favourite pop songs of 2014 and 2016, have executed it once more right here. Martin, the defining producer of recent pop, appears to save lots of his greatest work for Grande lately. Grande reciprocates. As pure and free as she sounds over Pharrell’s quirky cartoon pops and squiggles, she’s a superhero diva when whisked away by certainly one of Martin’s immaculate Swedish euphoria machines.

Maybe this impression is knowledgeable by Dave Meyers’ Inception-inspired music video, however this music particularly felt like gracefully hovering by four-dimensional house. Regardless of utilizing principally basic components, “No Tears Left To Cry” resembled the longer term, or possibly only a fantasy — some superb imagined second when each tear would possibly really be wiped away for good. For now, we are able to’t be in that frame of mind on a regular basis. Grande’s music acknowledged that, and her yr proved it. What this sonic pick-me-up each argued and demonstrated is that when your life is shattered, you possibly can put it again collectively once more. To doc such invigoration is efficacious; to produce it’s priceless.


Meek Mill is not only free, he’s again on prime of the world. With 229,000 equal album items and 42,000 in gross sales, Championships debuts atop the Billboard 200. It’s his second #1 album following 2015’s Goals Price Extra Than Cash. In keeping with Billboard, Championships loved the ninth greatest streaming week of 2018, with 235.4 million on-demand audio streams of its tracks.

Lil Child is in at #2 with 88,000 items for Avenue Gossip, his best-charting album but forward of Tougher Than Ever (#3) and the Gunna collab Drip Tougher (#4), each from this yr. After 6ix9ine’s Dummy Boy at #3 comes the #4 debut of A Transient Inquiry Into On-line Relationships by the 1975. The album earned 66,000 items and 48,000 in gross sales, making it the bestselling album of the week.

Folling Michael Bublé’s Christmas at #5 is the #6 debut of Ski Masks The Stoop God’s Stokeley with 51,000 items and 5,000 gross sales. And rounding out the highest 10 are the A Star Is Born soundtrack, Travis Scott’s Astroworld, the Bohemian Rhapsody soundtrack, and Pentatonix’s Christmas Is Right here!

Over on the Sizzling 100, Ariana Grande’s “thank u, subsequent” returns to #1 for a fourth nonconsecutive week as anticipated. That’s largely on the strenth of 93.8 million monitor streams, which surpasses Taylor Swift’s 84.5 million-stream week for “Look What You Made Me Do” to change into the largest weekly whole by a feminine artist. In keeping with Billboard it’s the seventh greatest streaming week of all-time. Right here’s the highest 10:

116.1 million, “In My Emotions,” Drake, July 28, 2018 106.2 million, “In My Emotions,” Drake, Aug. 4, 2018 103.1 million, “Harlem Shake,” Baauer, March 2, 2013 101.7 million, “God’s Plan,” Drake, March 3, 2018 97.6 million, “Harlem Shake,” Baauer, March 9, 2013 95.4 million, “In My Emotions,” Drake, Aug. 11, 2018 93.8 million, “Thank U, Subsequent,” Ariana Grande, Dec. 15, 2018 92.8 million, “God’s Plan,” Drake, March 10, 2018 92.7 million, “In My Emotions,” Drake, Aug. 18, 2018 84.5 million, “Look What You Made Me Do,” Taylor Swift, Sept. 16, 2017

“Thank u, subsequent” additionally turns into the longest main #1 hit by a lady with no accompanying artists since Adele’s 10-week chief “Howdy” in 2015. Final week’s #1, Travis Scott’s “Sicko Mode,” slides again to #2 regardless of gaining in gross sales, streaming, and airplay. Rising to a brand new #3 peak is Halsey’s “With out Me,” which bumps Marshmello and Bastille’s “Happier” right down to #4. Panic! At The Disco’s “Excessive Hopes” holds at its #5 peak.

Former rivals Meek Mill and Drake’s “Going Dangerous” debuts at #6, certainly one of 15 songs from Meek’s Championships album to land on the Sizzling 100 this week. It’s Meek’s first prime 10 hit and Drake’s thirty third(!), extending his document for many amongst solo males. It additionally extends Drake’s document for many prime 10s in a single yr to 13 — and that doesn’t even embody “Sicko Mode,” on which he’s closely featured regardless of the shortage of an official credit score. Meek’s earlier excessive level was 2015’s “All Eyes On You” that includes Chris Brown and Nicki Minaj, which topped out at #21.

Mariah Carey’s 1994 basic “All I Need For Christmas Is You” all the time enjoys a surge in streaming across the holidays, however this yr it’s doing particularly nicely: The music has risen to #7, a brand new chart peak, besting its #9 excessive level from a yr in the past. The remainder of the highest 10: Kodak Black, Travis Scott, and Offset’s “Zeze” at #8, Lil Child and Gunna’s “Drip Too Laborious” at #9, and Sheck Wes’ “Mo Bamba” at #10.


  • Right here’s a snippet of Ariana Grande’s “Think about,” out tonight. [Twitter]
  • Spice Ladies’ Mel B was hospitalized for accidents together with damaged ribs and a “severed”(!) proper hand. [TMZ]
  • Demi Lovato was Google’s most-searched for particular person within the US this yr, beating Meghan Markle and Brett Kavanaugh. [Daily Mail]
  • Maggie Rogers lined Taylor Swift’s “Tim McGraw” for her Spotify Single. [Twitter]
  • Cardi B appeared in court docket on Friday the place a choose ordered she should not contact the victims of a battle she was concerned in at a Queens strip membership. [ABC7]
  • Eminem will get stabbed by Jessie Reyez in his new video for “Good Man.” [YouTube]
  • BTS gained Time’s readers’ ballot for Particular person Of The 12 months. [HuffPo]
  • Florida Georgia Line’s fourth album, Can’t Say I Ain’t Nation, is out 2/15 through Large Machine. [Rolling Stone]
  • Zayn launched one other new music, “There You Are,” from his new album out tonight. [YouTube]
  • Avril Lavigne shared a video for “Inform Me It’s Over,” a brand new music from Head Above Water, out in February. [YouTube]
  • Hailee Steinfeld carried out her Bumblebee monitor “Again To Life” on The Voice. [YouTube]
  • Usher and Zaytoven launched a video for “Peace Signal.” [YouTube]
  • Marshmello and Bastille carried out their hit “Happier” on The Ellen DeGeneres Present. [Ellen]
  • Katy Perry previewed her new music, “Immortal Flame,” for the sport Remaining Fantasy Courageous Exvius. [YouTube]
  • Ciara and Future are feuding over custody of their son. [TMZ]
  • Trippie Redd dropped off the Travis Scott tour. [TMZ]
  • Robin Thicke is again with a brand new music, “Testimony. [YouTube]
  • A person posing as Dierks Bentley scammed a lady out of $160K over Twitter. [Herald]
  • Right here’s uncommon glimpse at what is outwardly a large owl tattooed on Drake’s chest. [Urban Islandz]


Me after me eat cookie: https://t.co/hLyensxQX8

— Cookie Monster (@MeCookieMonster) December 11, 2018

thank u, nest

— Large Chicken (@BigBird) December 11, 2018

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