Listening To Popular Songs For The First Time

I like to think I know a little bit about a lot of things. However, when it comes to popular songs of today, I am…I am…I am trying to avoid the “fish out of water” analogy, so give me a minute to think of something weird.

Got one.

When it comes to popular songs of today, I am toothpaste without a tube, nor toothbrush, to hold me. I’m just sitting there in the sink like a blob, waiting for someone to direct water at me and wash me down the drain because I don’t belong there.

Bam. Nailed it.

So, in an attempt to broaden my musical horizons and stay hip-hop with the kids, I thought I’d look at the Billboard Hot 100 Songs list, listen to the Top 10, and provide my remarkable insights.

Note: I’ve never heard any of these songs before right now. Seatbelts, everyone.

1. Old Town Road – Lil Nas X Ft. Billy Ray Cyrus

I don’t know who Lil Nas X is, but that’s definitely a unique stage name. Did he get it from an incomplete Wheel of Fortune puzzle? I’ll give you a second to process that.

I know who Billy Ray Cyrus is – he was the dad on Hannah Montana.

This song is a rap-country hybrid about their desire to ride a horse until they can’t anymore. I’m assuming the horse has a curfew? Or maybe it’s not allowed in a drive-thru and that’s when they get off?

Songs about animals can go one of two ways. It’s either an arena anthem like, Eye of The Tiger, or it’s an internet joke like, What Does The Fox Say? This song falls somewhere in between and I’m quite indifferent about it.

Would I listen again? NO.

2. Wow. – Post Malone

If you’re a real fan of me and my writing, you know exactly what I’m going to say first.

Post Malone? Is that like Pre-Madonna?

There, I said it. Happy?

Bold move putting the period in the title. Punctuation says a lot in the modern world, especially when you put a period after a single word. If you receive “Wow.” or “Ok.” or “Fine.” in a text from someone, you’ve messed up really badly.

I have no clue what this song is about, but I hear with my little ear a Dikembe Mutumbo and Dak Prescott reference, so I guess he likes sports.

Would I listen again? NO.

3. Sunflower (Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse) – Post Malone, Swae Lee 

I saw Spider-Man 2 in theatres and owned a Spider-Man computer game. I got stuck at one part where I had chased Doc Ock into the vault of a bank and he put a wall between us. I couldn’t figure out how to unlock it and even asked my mom to call the video game developers to find out.

She didn’t because that was a ridiculous request. I finally figured out.

Oh, as for this song – it does nothing for me. Tulips are nicer than sunflowers.

Would I listen again? NO.

4. 7 Rings – Ariana Grande

Is that how many times the phone rings before it goes to voicemail?

Like the three songs above it, this is also less then three minutes long. Is this where we’re at as a society? No songs over three minutes?

We truly are the Word Count Generation.

Alright, Ms. Grande knows exactly what she’s doing with this song. Every line is something that can be tweeted out, or used in an Instagram caption. Every single line. She knows her audience and is aware that they’ll market the song for her.

<Insert insightful post about how song lyrics create a sub-culture within the culture, that eventually outgrows itself and becomes the culture>

I think this song is about having a lot of money and being able to get anything, which is very relatable to the millions of people who will tweet the lyrics.

Would I listen again? NO.

5. Sucker – Jonas Brothers

I like that their first song back after a long hiatus is littered with a bunch of rhyming words right off the start. It’s as if they forgot how to write a song, so they eased themselves into it by rhyming ‘together’, ‘weather’, ‘feather’ and ‘December’.

I don’t blame them. I do the same thing with my poems.

This song also clocked in at just under three minutes, but it felt like they sang the chorus for seven.

Would I listen again? Maybe in the year 3000. WEREN’T EXPECTING THAT JOKE, WERE YOU?

Alright, moving on.

6. Without Me – Halsey

This song is almost four minutes long, so that explains why it didn’t crack the top five.

I like Halsey – which is to say I listen to two of her songs. To make this interactive, you can try and guess which ones they are in the comments below.

This isn’t a bad song, but it’s probably most enjoyed when paired with a break-up, power outage, a box of cereal, or only one sock on your foot.

Would I listen again? (Lowercase) No.

7. Dancing With A Stranger – Sam Smith, Normani

Not wanting to stray too far from the sidewalk, this song is back under the three minute time limit.

As far as I can tell, this song is about two people who don’t want to be alone, but they can’t be with each other, so they go out and dance with strangers while thinking about each other.

In other words, this is the lyrical adaptation of Episode 3 of every season of Bachelor in Paradise.

Would I listen again? (Lowercase) No.

8. Talk – Khalid

This guy just wants to talk, but is an over-texter and doesn’t know when to listen, so he’s just going to dance in a colourful box like it’s a Saturday Night Live musical parody.

I’ll be honest, I thought this was going to be DJ Khaled and didn’t realize there was another guy named Khalid. It’s all in the spelling, I suppose.

Anyways, I had a “Communication is a major key” line set up, but I can’t use it now.

Would I listen again? NO.

9. Bad Guy – Billie Eilish 

Why do I get the sense that “Billie Eyelash” is a meme somewhere on the internet?

Have you ever seen the movie, The Stupids? Tom Arnold is in it. Don’t ask me why, but the beginning of this music video is making me think of that movie.

You know the scene in The Shining where the little boy rides around the hotel on his tricycle? If you put this song over top of that visual, it’ll create the same creepy effect as intended.

This song made me reference two movies. That’s not normal.

Would I listen again? NO.

10.  Middle Child – J. Cole

I was wrong to think this was going to be a nice wholesome song about how he learned lessons from his older sibling that he could then teach to his younger sibling.

Would I listen again? NO.

And that’s it.

What we’ve learned here today, boys and girls, is that taste in music is not like taste in food. You can’t just add salt and make every song taste good in your ear.

Maybe I’ll do this post again with my Top 10 most listened to songs, so I can provide vague references to songs I actually enjoy.

How many of these songs do you like?

I really don’t want the comments section to be full of “Music was better back in the day” rants, so surprise me with something else.

Twitter: @CappyTalks

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34 Responses to Listening To Popular Songs For The First Time

  1. micqu says:

    Hm… Maybe it depends on the genre of music really. I don’t like any of the songs you mentioned. Ariana Grande is completely overrated – in my opinion. And I am an old white woman, what do I know?
    Okay, I took a moment to look at the top pop songs on Spotify. There was only one song I can listen – chlorine by twenty-one pilots. And I never considered it pop music. So, I come to the conclusion that modern pop is not for me. And there I thought I was open-minded when it comes to music.
    For me, a song needs to grab my attention – the melody, the lyrics, something catchy… And then it is not about genre anymore – it’s just about personal preference.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Paul says:

      Yeah I always say “I’ll listen to anything” because it’s easier than saying “I listen to a bunch of different types of songs” but it’s not really true. I won’t listen to anything. None of these songs held my interest at all. Sounds like we’re in the same boat.


  2. V Donovan says:

    I used to know every song on popular radio stations. Then a couple years ago, something changed, and now, this post is very relatable to me, except I haven’t listened to it even heard of some of those songs. And like you, I probably wouldn’t voluntarily listen to them again either. These songs are a product of their time, and it’s too bad that right now, our time is failing in the music department.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Paul says:

      What confuses me is that songs like these are praised so much and the artists receive awards and people are all “This is the best album ever” and then I put my ears to it and I don’t understand the hype whatsoever. I just wonder, 25 years from now, how many of these songs are still in circulation.


      • V Donovan says:

        I very much agree!
        I don’t think a lot of it will stand the test of time, though, because there’s so much of it to be accessed nowadays. YouTube, Spotify, SoundCloud…you can find and consume so much so easily that songs don’t last as long because the next new song can arrive at any moment. I worry about what music will be like in 25 years though. Have we peaked?

        Liked by 1 person

      • Paul says:

        I don’t know if we’ve peaked, or if people just can’t tolerate songs that are over 4 minutes and have lyrics that are understandable, which is what makes these Top 10 songs popular while the rest are just out there for us to find on our own.


  3. Two posts about music in my inbox back to back? What a morning!

    Out of all ten of those songs, I’ve heard of three of them and listened to one. So I guess I’m kind of in the same boat as with you the music lol

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Little Rants says:

    NOT surprised that you won’t listen to Billie “Eyelash” BUT I’m sad you won’t listen to Without Me by Halsey all over again. Sigh. Okay now try Bebe Rexha’s Last Hurrah.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Authoress51 says:

    Don’t think I have heard those. May just pass them up, now. Thanks for the morning laughter.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Bex says:

    The only reason I’ve heard of some of these songs is because I read a similar post to this last week and looked them up. I didn’t care for any of them then and I don’t now. I will say though that the new song T Swift released is… well not the song so much as the music video is fun.

    I would much rather read and possibly listen to your list of Top 10.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Paul says:

      Taylor Swift always seems to have music videos that get people talking. They’re so packed with a million different things.

      I’ll see what I can do about a Top 10 list of songs I like.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Becky Turner says:

    The Lil Nas X song is growing on me, weirdly enough. I didn’t realize that Sunflower was from the Spiderman movie. And I’m obsessed with Khalid’s other popular song, Better.

    You sound like an old man in this post. But I expect nothing less from you.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Paul says:

      I did find myself saying “Old town road” in my head today but I don’t think that means it’s growing on me. I hope.

      Hahahaha halfway through writing this post I realized I sounded like such an old man, but I accept it. Thanks for pointing it out though.

      Liked by 2 people

  8. peckapalooza says:

    I don’t listen to modern music. I have never heard any of these songs. But I can almost guarantee I would hate all of them. And I would probably angrily turn off my radio if I heard them come on for, I assume, the 14,000,605th time.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. rebbit7 says:

    Maybe it’s because I’m getting older, but I’m not really into many songs these days. I only keep up-to-date on popular ones on the YouTube trending page. I’m not a huge fan of Sam Smith, but I do like “Dancing with a Stranger.” I agree that Ariana Grande’s overrated, and I like maybe one song from her. Perhaps it’s just age which changes us!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Paul says:

      I think age has something to do with it. We all grew up listening to a certain style/genre of music and it seems as time has progressed the style has changed and maybe we’re not as receptive to it. Whereas young people have grown up with this music and it’s the norm for them.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. 40andfeelinit says:

    I thought about this today, how the young love today’s music because it’s “theirs”. The older you/we get the more it’s not “our” music. We tend to reject it if it’s not “ours” or “the way it was”. But we loved new music in our day. We were ready to embrace and devour any style. I don’t know what changes for us as we age… Do we get close minded? I don’t get into many of today’s songs either, but I don’t hold it against anyone. I just listen to what makes me happy. Which is what all people of all ages should do.😃 Except no one should be listening to Arianna Grande because her songs are shit.☝🏻

    I kid, I kid!!! 😆😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Paul says:

      I feel like we’re always psychologically stuck with liking the things we grew up with, and so when anything new enters the picture, we immediately compare it to the things we already like and see if it’ll fit in with our archive or likes. And if it doesn’t, we reject it.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. LOL… the last thing you wrote .. all I’m gonna say is why would you subject your ears to this? 😉 the sacrifices you make for a good post 🙂 hats off to you good Sir!

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Pingback: 10 Songs I’ve Heard A Lot | The Captain's Speech

  13. Dutch Lion says:

    All of those songs are crap. Modern music sucks ass. I AM an old man and I confirm. You sound old and that’s a compliment. It means you’re mature, wise, and fine with telling the truth. Nice work Paul.


    Liked by 1 person

  14. Squid says:

    Nobody else has ever heard of that movie but Carrie and I and our dad used to watch it all the time bc it was on Demand. We aDORED it. Still do. 😍
    Anyway, Old Town Road? You NAILED it. Right in between anthem and torture. 👌
    When I listened to Sunflower at first, I didn’t like it. But after the movie, which made me bawl my eyes out, I loved it and it still gets happily stuck in my head. (Not sure if that means the song is happy or I am…) But your opinion is fine. 🤗
    The rest I either haven’t listened to and thus will trust you on, or I’ve listened to and agree with you. 👌

    Liked by 1 person

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