Ian Streeter ‘20, Social Media Manager
One of the things that inevitably comes with each year’s end are lists. The best movies of the year, the top workout routines, or the hottest new trends: whether they be based on personal preference or objective popularity, it is undeniable that if you keep up with any major online publication or are even just a casual Internet user, you will see at least one end-of-year list. Of particular interest, though, are music-related year-end lists.
The most publicized year-end music list for 2019 was the Spotify Wrapped personal playlist. For users that use the music streaming service Spotify, at the end of every year the app compiles the user’s 100 most played songs of the year, as well as additional information about what their most-listened-to artists and genres were. For 2019, many Spotify users expressed particular shock at the fact that the genre “pop rap” was their most played since, while pop rap is a real genre, it is merely a subgenre; in addition, Spotify has never classified pop rap in these lists in the past. Many Twitter memes were made about this genre in the wake of the release of these lists in early December. In addition, Apple Music, the other most popular streaming service in existence, provides similar lists for every user at the end of the year.
Another similarly-structured year-end music list comes courtesy of the magazine Billboard, which compiles year-end versions of their Hot 100 songs and Billboard 200 albums that measure the most popular songs and albums in the United States and Canada every week. These charts are compiled by taking the data used in every weekly chart from mid-November of the previous year to the same time period in the current year and adding all of it up to produce a definitive list of the 100 most popular songs and 200 most popular albums of the year. The #1 song of the year according to Billboard is “Old Town Road” by Lil Nas X featuring Billy Ray Cyrus, which broke the record for most weeks at #1 of any song in Hot 100 chart history at 19 weeks, beating the record previously held by a tie between Mariah Carey and Boyz II Men’s “One Sweet Day” and “Despacito” by Luis Fonsi featuring Daddy Yankee and Justin Bieber, both of which clocked in with 16 weeks at the top spot. The #1 album of the year was WHEN WE ALL FALL ASLEEP, WHERE DO WE GO? by Billie Eilish.
Year-end music lists that measure objective popularity or frequency of individual listening are not the only kind that popped up this year, however. Many online critics and publications posted lists of what, in their personal opinion, are the best songs and albums of 2019, including Pitchfork, Anthony Fantano of the YouTube channel The Needle Drop, and the aforementioned Billboard.
All in all, the wide variety of music lists released at the end of the year are very informative for those who want to keep up with the musical landscape of the modern day, and they are also helpful for listeners to reflect on their habits when it comes to music.
Photo courtesy of Billboard.com