Finally! The blog you have all been waiting for! What ridiculous music have I been listening to for the past 10 months? You are about to find out. For those of you not familiar with the concept, my latest 25 mix is the place where I put the catchiest, rockingest, songs that have caught my ear most recently so that I can listen to them one billion times until I can’t stand them anymore. When a new song gets added to the bottom of the list, the oldest song gets bumped off. Actually, that sounds kind of gruesome. Let’s just say that the oldest song gets sent to an assisted living facility. Yeah, that sounds much better.
Last May, which was when I had previously updated you as to the list, I had finally figured out that “Brighter Than the Sun,” by Colbie Callait, was that earworm that I had been searching for. Now that song is gone, and we have a whole new playlist to review, so let’s get started.
1) Price Tag, by Jessie J. (featuring B.O.B.)
This got onto the list because it was Edward’s favorite song at the time. He had just turned two, and was still dealing with his speech delay, but he would ask for this song by yelling ” MONEY! MONEY! MONEY!” at the top of his lungs. He asked for it so many times, I just put it on the list.
2) What Makes You Beautiful, by One Direction
Okay, before you say anything, I had no idea that they were a cheesy boy band when I first heard this song and put it on my playlist. I had just heard it a few times on the radio, had never heard of 1D, as their tweeny-bopper fans call them, and just thought it was a catchy tune. Although I suppose with lyrics like “The way that you flip your hair gets me overwhelmed,” should have tipped me off. All right, all right, I will accept full guilt and shame for this one.
3) I Love It, by Icona Pop
This has the privilege of being the most skipped song on the playlist, not because I don’t love it, because I really do, but because, even with my generally questionable parental musical decisions, I will not let my kids hear this one. It is full of yuck-o potty language (that I secretly enjoy shouting along to with the windows rolled down, but don’t tell my kids).
4) The Only Place, by Best Coast
Every time I listen to this song, which touts California as the best and only place to live, I want to change all of the lyrics to be about Vermont instead. I mean, California is okay, but I would never want to live there. Too sunny. Ugh. So when I sing along, I change the words to “We’ve got the mountains, got the lake, our maple syrups’s never fake! This is the only place for meeeeeee!”
5) Run, by Flo Rida (featuring RedFoo)
To be honest, this song is not that good. I mean, it is catchy and thumpy and all, but really I was just sad that “Party Rock Anthem” had left the playlist and I was looking for a replacement. And this is almost the same song, just not quite as good, and so every time I hear it I end up slightly dissatisfied. It’s like eating at Donut Connection when you really want Dunkin’ Donuts. And great. Now I want donuts.
6) Good Time, by Owl City (featuring Carly Rae Jepsen)
This song is the definition of a mindless pop earworm, and thus is perfect for the list. Basically the lyrics are just “Oh oh oh oh oh, it’s always a good time,” over and over again, but dang if I didn’t crank it up last summer and blast it with the top down. It really was a good time, for my ears if not my brain.
7) Starships, by Pentatonix
Here’s an interesting possible future blog topic: what are the features of a really great a cappella arangement? How can you recognize one when you hear it? One thing that a great arrangement can do is to take a song that you previously hated, like, for instance, Starships by Nicki Minaj, and make it so awesome that you listen to it on repeat for weeks on end. This is just such an arrangement. And if I ever hear the original version on the radio, I am forced to projectile vomit and smash the radio with a hammer, because it is so horrible compared to the Pentatonix version. Luckily that has not happened while I’ve been driving.
8) Love You Long Time, by Pentatonix
I quite enjoyed the Pentatonix album when it came out, and I really wanted to put one of their originals onto the playlist, but I liked them all pretty much equally. I cannot recall how I eventually came to choose this one over the others, but there must have been a reason. Anyway, this is a good song.
9) Brokenhearted, by Karmin
My wife and I have a slight disagreement over this song. I feel that the maximum number of times one should be allowed to say “Cheerio” in any given song is two, whereas my wife feels like that number should be more along the lines of infinity. Of course we both dance all over the living room to this song, but only one of us is slightly annoyed by the third “Cheerio” onward.
10) Do Not Push, by Pomplamoose
If you have not heard this incredible mash-up of the two biggest hits of last year, do yourself a favor and listen now. And the video is pretty compelling as well. And then, if you are all sad at the end of the video, like my kids were, you can watch the sequel to this video here, and watch the band beat up bad guys to Danny Elfman’s Batman theme!
11) She’s So Mean, by Matchbox 20
Oh Matchbox 20, I thought I could trust you to be all kid friendly and vanilla-ish, but then you go and stick the s-word into the middle of your catchy tune. I did let the kids listen to this one sometimes, but every time they sang that one line I would turn the volume way down so it would sound like “You better get your ____ together,” thus becoming what I hate: a censor. Stupid moral high ground, I can never find you.
12) Lights, by Ellie Goulding
This one was a no-brainer. We have had many living room dance parties to this song.
13) Here We Go, by Dispatch
When I was cooking for burger nights last summer, they tended to play a lot of Dispatch music, and I had almost forgotten about them, but when the songs came on I remembered that they were awesome, so I downloaded their albums and added them to the mix. Also, it turns out my boss at burger night used to be a full on groupie for the band and followed them around and stuff, which I guess is why we heard so much of the music all summer, but that’s another story…
14) Some Nights, by Fun.
I love choral pop music. I loved it when Queen did it, and I love it when Fun. does it. No, I don’t know why they added a period to their band name, and yes, I agree, it is kind of stupid and annoying, even though the internet tells me it was done because some Swedish band is already named Fun without a period, but the point it, this song is amazing. The. end.
15) Running From Love (in a Bear Suit), from Phineas and Ferb
There are too many reasons to list in such a short space as to why “Phineas and Ferb” is possibly the greatest cartoon ever, but one of them has to be the songs. Not only are they hilarious, but they are actually clever, catchy, and basically just plain good songs. This is one of the favorites at our house, although I am also really into “When You Levitate” at the moment.
16) Gangnam Style, by Psy
I am not lying when I tell you that this song has saved my sanity on numerous occasions. At any given time, I can make my children stop fighting, stop whining, or stop breaking something, just by putting it on. After only one second of it being played, they are both laughing and smiling and dancing around the room like crazy people, no matter how previously angry or tired or grumpy they just were. Ruby was not being ironic at all when she called it the greatest song ever written, and I am not lying when I tell you that, as far as I am concerned, this song can stay on the playlist until they are both in college.
17) My Oh My, by Tristan Prettyman
This song makes me feel funkbluesier just by listening to it, and that’s a good thing. It’s gotten under my skin indeed.
18) Catch My Breath, by Kelly Clarkson
Oh Kelly Clarkson, why can’t I quit you? You seem like someone whose music I would not like. You are from American Idol. All of your song titles sound cheesy to me at first. And yet I love all of your songs. So even though this song sounds a little bit like a voice lesson to me (now take a catch breath, and….let it go…), I will play it constantly.
19) When Can I See You Again, by Owl City
If you don’t know this by now, I really like Owl City quite a bit, but the funny thing is, my favorite Owl City tracks are generally not from his albums. I mean, Fireflies was fine, sure, but my absolute favorite song of his is a one-off single called “Hot Air Balloon,” and my second favorite is probably “To the Sky,” from that Owls of Ga’Hool movie. This track here I heard for the first time rolling over the credits at the end of “Wreck-It Ralph” and went home immediately to download it. Another instant dance party.
20) What I Am, by will.i.am
Maybe this is where Fun. got their extra period… But I digress. This song is from Sesame Street, and while I often enjoy songs from Sesame Street, I don’t often put them on my personal playlists. This one is different. This one my wife and I put on in the car when the kids are at my mother’s. It’s that good.
21) Gang of Rhythm, by Walk Off the Earth
Hands down my favorite song right now. I wish I had written it. It says what I want to say about music, universal connection, and rocking out and being awesome. Another one with a great video, so check it out if you haven’t.
22) Let Me Tell Ya, by U.K. Jones
They Might Be Giants posted a link to this song on their Facebook page, and called it the origin of glam rock. I had never heard it before, but it sure sounded like something I liked! Having grown up listening to oldies with my parents (or “music” as they called it), this felt like an amazing archeological musical discovery. A “new” oldie! At least to me.
23) I Knew You Were Trouble, by Walk Off the Earth
Another great a cappella arrangement, not by Pentatonix this time, but by normally instrumented Walk Off the Earth. Is it better than the Taylor Swift version? I guess that depends on if you like Taylor Swift or not, but just know that it is an amazing version.
24) You’re On Fire, by They Might Be Giants
This is the first track from the new Nanobots album, and I can’t stop listening to it. If I had to pick out some themes in the work of They Might Be Giants, one of them might the literal cliché. They take a common phrase or idiom, and then sing about it as if it were literal. They have a song called “Climbing the Walls,” in which climbing walls is someone’s new job. They sing about “Your Own Worst Enemy” as if it were another person. And in this song, they tell someone that they’re on fire, because they are. Due to their combustible head. Obviously.
25) Lost My Mind, by They Might Be Giants
And for more of the same, my other favorite track off the new album is another literal cliché. The singer literally does not know where his mind is, and when he ponders what his mind might be doing with lyrics like “Wandering the Earth, separated at birth, terrorizing villagers with intelligent remarks,” I find myself sucked in and wondering what clever thing they are going to sing next.
I may add a few more tracks from the TMBG album to the list. I do enjoy “Call You Mom” and “Stone Cold Coup D’Etat” quite a bit, but that would bump Jessie J. off the mix and I needed to get this iteration of the list committed to internet posterity before that happened. But not to worry! In another ten months or so, once “Lost My Mind” is unceremoniously bounced from the top of the stack, I will update you on all the latest songs, and you can see at that time what I decided to add! And now, for some reason, I feel like I need to go find a donut…