Is it just me, or has pop music been getting really ambitious lately?
I’ve always been a hardcore underground music fan. Until the last couple of years, the only contemporary top 40 music I was ever loved was The Spice Girls. I’ve always been proud of that. Sure, I can get down to pop music at parties and clubs—I’m not one of those asshole music snobs. I definitely have some Britney Spears and Madonna lyrics memorized.
Still, you wouldn’t hear me playing any of their albums alone in my room.
This past couple of years in pop music, however, have really made me reanalyze myself. My taste in strictly-underground music has always been who I am. But lately, I’ve been choosing to blast the likes of Billie Eilish or Lizzo from my Bluetooth speakers instead of spinning an old punk vinyl on my record player.
Who am I anymore? Am I turning into a sellout and going mainstream or did pop music really step up their game this year? Didn’t pop music used to be cool music like Elvis or The Rolling Stones back in the day? Maybe it’s possible that pop music is starting to be cool again? Or maybe I’m just turning into a square.
If you’re in the same boat, let’s go through this strange transitional period in musical character together. Below are recent pop albums that really got me questioning myself. Take a listen and let me know if I’m just a loser or if I’m onto something with this pop-music-in-2019 thing.
GIRLI, Odd One Out
This album is my go-to at the gym or to scream along to when I need to get some anger out.
GIRLI, “Deal With It”
Lizzo, Cuz I Love You
The most epic post-breakup album for any badass who needs a lift after a mistake of a relationship that’s got you all torn up.
Lizzo, “Truth Hurts”
Billie Eilish, When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?
Never have I heard such a young top 40 artist get so dark and be unafraid to share their most inner emotions.
Billie Eilish, “Bad Guy”
Ariana Grande, Thank U, Next
Say what you want about the pop star, this is the female-empowering album we all really needed in pop.
Ariana Grande, “7 Rings”
Janelle Monáe, Dirty Computer
This is the female version of Prince and it’s absolutely beautiful.
Janelle Monáe, “Make Me Feel”
Tierra Whack, Whack World
You have to watch the whole 15-minute video project that goes along with this album of short songs—it’s epic.
A Visual And Auditory Project by Tierra Whack
Miya Folick, Premonitions
I cannot help but cry-singalong to every one of these extremely relatable and catchy songs.
Miya Folick, “Stop Talking”
KIDDO ft. Decco single “Drunk and I Miss You
If you’ve ever regretted drunk-texting an ex, this song knows exactly how you feel.
Kiddo (ft. Decco), “Drunk and I Miss You”
Childish Gambino, single “This Is America”
Awaken, My Love! was already a great album, but this single was absolutely life-changing. So catchy and so politically fueled and righteous—the anthem to a new generation of freedom fighters.
Childish Gambino, “This Is America”