Why DJ Earworm’s ‘United State of Pop 2011’ mashup mix goes BOOM — in a bad way

He’s back. DJ Earworm, who has famously released a USOP (“United State of Pop”) mega-mashup mix of the year’s top 25 Billboard hits for the past four years, has released his epic 2011 mashup, titled “World Go Boom.” And it really does go boom — in a bad way.

First of all, I give credit to him for trying — the timeliness of the mix is a lot of pressure on a DJ (he basically has the last three weeks of December to really put it together or else it’d be 2012 and no one would care about 2011 anymore). Plus, the task is heavy. His USOP mixes 25 completely different Top 40 songs into a 5-minute song with accompanying music video — it’s hard to represent 25 songs in such a short amount of time, and it’s especially difficult considering the source material ranges from pop, rock, dance, hip-hop, R&B, and soul music, all at different tempos.

But while the first mix in 2008 had the element of surprise to it (I instantly loved it), criticizing Earworm’s mixes gets easier each year. This year’s mix is much more listenable than 2010’s “Don’t Stop The Pop,” but it fails to live up to what the mix’s goal is — to mix the year’s top songs into one mega mashup that resembles the year in music. DJ Earworm himself admits that he ignored Billboard’s actual top 25 songs of 2011 list (he cut Bruno Mars’ “Just The Way You Are” and Chris Brown’s “Look At Me Now,” for example) but the real problem is this: His mix doesn’t sound very much like the year in music 2011. There’s a lot of Katy Perry and Rihanna, sure, but Adele is barely included and she’s easily the #1 artist of the year (her two singles sold more than 8 million copes in the U.S. alone). I didn’t even notice a few of the songs Earworm claimed to include, either, like Jeremih’s “Down On Me” and Black Eyed Peas’ “Just Can’t Get Enough.”

Here’s the list of songs he included in this year’s mix, released Christmas Day 2011, and you tell me if you really hear all of them:

Adele – Rolling In The Deep
Adele – Someone Like You
Black Eyed Peas – Just Can’t Get Enough
Bruno Mars – Grenade
Bruno Mars – The Lazy Song
Britney Spears – Till The World Ends
Cee Lo Green – F* You
Enrique Iglesias – Tonight (I’m Lovin’ You)
Foster the People – Pumped Up Kicks
Jennifer Lopez – On The Floor
Jeremih feat. 50 Cent – Down On Me
Katy Perry – Firework
Katy Perry – E.T.
Katy Perry – Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)
Lady Gaga – Born This Way
LMFAO – Party Rock Anthem
LMFAO – Sexy and I Know It
Lupe Fiasco – The Show Goes On
Maroon 5 – Moves Like Jagger
Nicki Minaj – Super Bass
OneRepublic – Good Life
Pink – Raise Your Glass
Pitbull – Give Me Everything
Rihanna – S&M
Rihanna – We Found Love

Instead, all I hear is a fun dance beat with a lot of “Boom boom” that would’ve been better suited for a year when Black Eyed Peas’ “Boom Boom Pow” came out. There’s some fun snippets of 2011’s most popular songs, sure, but I think Earworm’s biting off more than he can chew with each subsequent year-end mix and should consider trying something new. After all, I’ve listened to the song once — and I don’t feel any desire to hear it a second time.

Click here to download the United State of Pop 2011 (World Go Boom) mashup mix mp3 from DJ Earworm and analyze it yourself. Feel free to disagree.

DJ Earworm’s “United State Of Pop 2010”

DJ Earworm’s annual mix of the Top 25 Billboard songs of the year is out for 2010, here’s his “United State Of Pop 2010 (Don’t Stop The Pop)” mix:

I’m disappointed in this year’s mix, but maybe I should be more disappointed in America for making these songs the Top 25 on the Billboard charts. There was surely much better music this year, but in fact these were the Top 25 of 2010: Continue reading

With ‘Speak Now,’ Taylor Swift becomes just the 7th artist in the last 10 years to sell one million albums in first week of its release

Taylor Swift - Speak Now (Big Machine Records)

Taylor Swift’s second album Speak Now has sold 1,047,000 copies in its first week, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

No other album sold even 100,000 copies this past week, as major labels avoided releasing other artists’ albums in the same week.  Is that a testament to Taylor Swift’s talent?  Or is she still enjoying a blissful combination of timing and good PR?  It’s no secret that her awards and chart success didn’t start coming in until after Kanye West famously stole her moment at the VMAs.

It’ll be interesting to see what happens when Kanye’s next album My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy comes out, scheduled to be released November 22nd.  However, even before public backlash started for his now most infamous ego-trip, Kanye never sold one million copies of any of his albums in its first week.

In fact, in the last 10 years, only Taylor Swift and six other artists have accomplished that feat:

  • NSync: Celebrity – released July 24, 2001 (1.8 million copies sold its first week)
  • Eminem: The Eminem Show – released June 4, 2002 (1.3 million copies sold its first week)
  • Norah Jones: Feels Like Home – released Feb 10, 2004 (1 million copies sold its first week)
  • Usher: Confessions – released Mar 23, 2004 (1.1 million copies sold its first week)
  • 50 Cent: The Massacre – released Mar 3, 2005 (1.1 million copies sold its first week)
  • Lil’ Wayne: Tha Carter III – released June 10, 2008 (1 million copies sold its first week)

Obviously, album sales have been hurt by the Napster revolution and the growing availability of illegal music online.  But just how difficult has it become to successful move one million units in an album’s first week?

Well, not even Shania Twain’s Up! in 2002 or Outkast’s Speakerboxx/The Love Below in 2003 had first week sales of one million copies, though both have sold over 15 million copies since their release.

Is there hope for album sales to ever get back to where they once were?  Probably not.  But if someone like Taylor Swift can still sell a million albums in one week, then there could be hope for the music industry yet.

>> MTV: Taylor Swift tops Billboard 200 charts with Speak Now
>> EW: Taylor Swift leads the Billboard 200 album charts with a million records sold
>> WSJ: Taylor Swift’s ‘Speak Now’ sells one million copies in first week