Billboard Top 20 – Is it all shit?

ZBalance got me thinking. In a recent comment thread, he lamented that he hated top 20 radio, but was concerned his kids wouldn’t.

I find that the older get, the more stuff I like. But top 20? My first thought was, “hell, no”, but I figured I’d better check. So I headed over to Billboard Top 100 and had a look-see.

There was nothing in the top 10 I liked, which satisfied the music snob in me. It’s almost entirely R&B, which is not really my thing. But I continued on and, damnit, I found stuff I didn’t hate:

12. Rihanna – Don’t Stop The Music
Standard club hit, and to be honest, I’ve always liked good house music and club hits. Henry Rollins described industrial dance as house music done right. Obviously I prefer industrial, but I know catchy when I hear it.

13. OneRepublic – Stop And Stare
14. Timbaland Featuring OneRepublic – Apologize
OneRepublic is what I call “Smallville music”. Smallville uses a lot of catchy pop music and has even released two albums. Much of it is stuff I hadn’t heard before, and some of it blows up later. I’m not the only one who has been paying attention; KryptonSite has taken the time to list everything played on Smallville, by season.

OneRepublic, however, has the dubious distinction of being on the most commercialized Smallville episode ever. The entire episode was a commercial for Stride gum and OneRepublic itself – to the point where OneRepublic is shown giving multiple concerts in an abandoned Stride gum factory. I think it was a pretty shameful day for everyone involved.

15. Alicia Keys – No One
After just explaining how I’m not into R&B, I find myself liking this track. What can I say? It grabs you with a solid beat and fantastic vocals.

16. Lupe Fiasco Featuring Matthew Santos – Superstar
This is lush, slickly produced hip hop along the lines of Kanye and Jay-Z, and I do enjoy some of their stuff. Superstar doesn’t quite reach that level, but does have a great hook.

There you have it. I actually like 25% of the top 20. This was certainly a surprise to me. All I can say in my defense was that I did not like the track from “Webbie, Lil’ Phat & Lil’ Boosie”. I cannot tell you how relieved I am to write that.

However, something still isn’t settled. ZB thinks he’s old because he doesn’t like modern music. I understand this; I distinctly remember thinking that if I liked modern music when I aged, it would mean I was still cool. Now, though, it feels like I only appreciate this stuff because I’m getting old. Perhaps it’s time to remind myself that even in my younger days, I could go from Ministry to George Michael without skipping a beat.

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