AdamJeffson’s Pursuit of Pop Perfection 2018 (Or, if you like, the Rolling Pop Thread)

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#1

Apologies to LastDino, as I have nicked your thread idea.

Few things more joyful than a truly great pop track or album. But I’ve arguably not found anything that matches the likes of yer Melodrama or Lemonade from previous years. So let’s share our favourite pop tracks and (preferably) albums to try and figure out the cream of 2018.

For me the closest has been Rae Morris’s Someone Like You, which has had the most bangers and the least filler, but it’s arguably still an 8 or 9 rather than a solid gold 10 for me, Clive.

Lykke Li’s So Sad, So Sexy has also been brilliant, though quite downbeat and dark for a pop album.

Let’s Eat Grandma have had some glorious pop bangers on the new album, but overall are probably more indie than pop. Same with Confidence Man.

Been plenty of disappointments and car crashes from many of 2018’s great white hopes too. Ariana’s New one sounds crushingly dull. Troye Sivan never comes remotely close to matching certified banger My, My, My on Bloom. Fortunately everyone seems to have stopped taking about that Kali Uchis album.

So, what’s your best pop song or album of 2018, DiS?

Also feel free to wax lyrical about pop in the past. Had Super Trouper on this morning. Discovering that ABBA were actually a shit-hot albums band too has been a highlight of my year.

(First post will inevitably be Radiohead or Kali Uchis)


#2

What’s yer problem with Kali Uchis, Adam?

Dirty Computer is the best pop album for me this year.

Also this came out last year but I saw them live the other day and they were a delight


#3

Finally!

I actually quite enjoyed Sweetener but haven’t put a lot of time in to it. Thought Bloom was good on first listen, though agree there isn’t anything as good on there as My My My which is up there with the best songs of the year.


#4

Replying so I’ll be reminded to reply later when I’m home


#5

Fuck, Janelle! How did I forget that one? Not my favourite pop album of the year, nor my fave Monae album, but it still mostly bangs and should have been included.

Screwed is some magnificent cheesy pop goodness.

She came to my work earlier this year. Didn’t have the courage to ask for an autograph


#6

That 2018 bangers thread has a load of good ones in it - does US Girls count as pop? I’ve basically had Pearly Gates stuck in my head all week, and I couldn’t tell you the difference between this and a Kylie Minogue song produced by Darkchild.


#7

giphy

I considered posting it or MAH but wasn’t sure what the consensus was on its pop credentials. Totally fair game in my book and one of the best albums of the year


#8

M.A.H. sounds like a lost ABBA classic to me, especially live


#9

That is a hot take but one I can get behind entirely!


#10

Janelle for me, but been really enjoying Sigrid

Also quite like BØRNS’ album from earlier this year, enough so in fact for me to walk out midway through La Dispute’s set (who I love) to watch him last week:


#11

I like that Sigirid track on first listen, the Børns one might take a few more goes…


#12

yeah, I wouldn’t call his stuff banging, really, but it’s really grown on me, more as an album than individually.

Sigrid’s brilliant though, I think my favourite track of hers was from last year, so here’s an a-Capella version of one from this year:


#13

Massive fan of Sigrid, just perfect formula for pop music imo


#14

The best pop album you won’t hear all year (because she’s Australian) is Jack River — Sugar Mountain. Absolutely love it.

Some choice tracks:

Confess

Limo Song

Fool’s Gold

Another Australian artist I have to mention is Amy Shark, though she’s been mentioned in another thread, so maybe not as unknown. Adore is one of her big hits, but the one I really like is Mess Her Up:

Adore

Mess Her Up


#15

Thanks for the share - will try to listen to this today!

There was another Aussie who released a decent pop album at the beginning of the year - think it was Sarah Blasko’s Depth of Field?


#16

Never really got into Sarah Blasko. Didn’t get into her early stuff (never really thought of it as pop) and so never paid attention to what she did afterwards.

Generally, for me pop is all about production. It’s the producer’s genre. Singer-songwriters have no place in it, unless they are in fact singer-producers (like Jack River); and any kind of songwriting that hints at traditional forms (esp. folk!) is a no go. Studio gimmickry is a must. Traditional instruments, such as acoustic guitar and piano, should be used springily. For me.

Great vocals are utterly essential, of course, but the song needs to stand on its own musically speaking, have a strong backbone, for it to count as good pop (in my book). That’s why I wasn’t as enthusiastic (above) about Amy Shark as I was about Jack River.

Restrictive, I know. But I like what I like. And I’m only saying all this because I’m keen to hear what other people are looking for (or thinking about) when it comes to pop perfection.


#17

I like this. Will look into her stuff.


#18

Ooooof, not only did I forget Janelle, but also Kacey Musgraves, who’s provided us with a number of gems this year. Manages to navigate that fine line between pop and country without being totally embarrassing a la early Taylor. The album isn’t quite a classic but is packed with great pop songs, these 3 especially


#19

i stuck ‘confess’ into a “listen to this” playlist when you posted this and only just got around to listening to it.
WHAT A TUNE. thank you!


#20

New Jeppers EP inbound, allegedly