TYF Rates the Hot 100: Week of July 26, 2016


Since 1958, the Billboard Hot 100 has been the definitive chart gauging the biggest singles in the United States, with particular attention paid to the top 40 positions. Top 40 is so ingrained in music culture that an entire radio format and music market sprung up around it. Even in the age of streaming and YouTube, this top 40 still serves its purpose as the list of the most popular songs in the country.

Last year, The Young Folks ran a feature titled The Young Folks vs. The Top 40, which we had hoped would become a regular feature but we weren’t able to get around to doing a second installment until this summer.

For this new installment we asked several of The Young Folks music writers to comment about the songs that are currently in the Top 40 and grade them. The writers this time out are Gabrielle Bondi, Ryan Gibbs, Camille Espiritu, Bri Lockhart, Brooke Pawling Stennett, Jon Winkler, Ashley Bulayo, Amber Mack, Brittany Menjivar and Cristina Moreano. The blurbs inside include a mix of analysis and snark – if you’re familiar with the wonderful website The Singles Jukebox, you should have a gist of the concept.

The Top 40 we reviewed is from the Hot 100 published at Billboard.com on July 26 2016 and dated August 6 (as that is when it will be published in their magazine).

1. Sia feat. Sean Paul – “Cheap Thrills”

Brooke Pawling Stennett: We all could’ve done without Sean Paul’s contribution, but this Sia track is so great–lyrically and musically — that you could stick anyone on the beat and it’ll be a masterpiece. A-

Ryan Gibbs: This is probably the most “pop” that Sia has ever gotten. Even hits like “Chandelier” had an air of artiness that betrayed her past as a member of acid jazz group Zero 7 and her pre-fame career as an indie pop singer. I’m not saying this is a bad thing: Sia does tropical pop well, and her lyrics are excellent. Great to see Sean Paul back as well. It’s been too long since he was in the spotlight and he’s as great as he always has been. A-


Camille Espiritu: I missed Sia. I love her music and she’s a very talented singer-songwriter. I’m happy that she’s back in the airwaves, period. But after I heard this song a number of times, I slowly started to like it less and less. It’s a fun song to sway to but it isn’t my favorite Sia song. C+

Jon Winkler: It makes total sense that Rihanna supposedly turned this song down, because it hints so hard at her aura. The tropical-style drum beats and slow burn beat aren’t Sia usual forte, but she makes it work. And c’mon, Sean Paul with a no. 1 hit in 2016? We have reached nirvana. B

2. Drake feat. WizKid & Kyla – “One Dance”

Ryan Gibbs: Drake has wanted a solo number one single his entire career, ever since “Best I Ever Had” topped out at #2. So it’s a damn shame that he finally made it with “One Dance”, the rare song of his that has zero personality. The song really has nothing to it. If anything, its 10 week reign at #1 is a good signifier of how boring and dreary most of this summer’s big hits are. Summer songs should be fun and lively, and instead we have stuff like this. It almost makes me miss the Black Eyed Peas. C-

Gabrielle Bondi: Despite not being all that memorable, it’s not a bad Drake song. I enjoy the buoyant beat and croony wistful lyrics, but it’s far from his best work. C+


Bri Lockhart: While Drake’s music isn’t necessarily my thing, I usually find it inoffensive. Something about the melody of “One Dance” irks me–as does Kyla’s voice. Bring back the reign of “Hotline Bling,” please. C

Brooke Pawling Stennett: I really dig this track by Drake. It was in my Top 5 of the Mid Year Lists on TYF, and continues to be a fun, catchy beat that is blowing up radio airwaves. It’s fun to croon along to in the car and in social settings. It may not be Drake’s best work, but it does the job. B+

Ashley Bulayo: Does it have lyrics that are meaningful? No. Is it catchy to the point I don’t care what I look like while I’m dancing in my car? Yes. B-

Camille Espiritu: The song is catchy but it isn’t one of my favorite Drake songs. I like his music, even though he isn’t one of my favorite artists, but this song was a little of a let down. But I’ll admit it, I’ll still sing along or dance in my car if the song comes on the radio. C+


Jon Winkler: Too damn short!! There needs to be some kind of extended dance mix of this, because the beat is great. Drake’s never sounded so relaxed in his horny loneliness. Sure the lyrics are nothing but sensitive-rap gibberish, but it’s impossible not to groove to this B+

3. Calvin Harris feat. Rihanna – “This is What You Came For”

Ashley Bulayo: There’s not many lyrics in this song but it’s so damn catchy. How can you not dance to this when it’s on? A-

Gabrielle Bondi: I’m not one to be too easily enamored by Calvin Harris songs. This one, however, is pure ear candy to me. Nowhere near as jubilant as “We Found Love,” this is still a solid summer track with basic lyrics (sorry, Taylor, I mean Nils) and Rihanna’s top-notch vocals. B

Bri Lockhart: The verses of this entry in last week’s Taylor Swift drama are pretty and show off the softer side of Rihanna’s powerful vocals. The only drawback is that these verses build to a repetitive, annoying chorus. B-

Camille Espiritu: The beat! Calvin Harris definitely knows his way around the turntables. But the lyrics are in the back burner. I’m not a huge fan of Rihanna and her music but her voice pairs well with the beat and the pace of the song. They go hand-in-hand pretty well. B

Jon Winkler: *snnoooooooooore* C-

Cristina Moreano: The song starts promising, but the chorus sets the track flat for me. Keep trying Mr. Harris. C

4. Justin Timberlake – “Can’t Stop the Feeling!”

Ashley Bulayo: This song is slowly becoming my new “Happy” by Pharrell. It was amazing the first few weeks but now I hear it too much. B+

Gabrielle Bondi: This is a cute song, but this is not the JT I love. “Can’t Stop the Feeling” is catchy and fun, yet feels so manufactured and hollow. It doesn’t come close to grabbing me like Justin’s past pop-y fare. C-

Bri Lockhart: This overly cheery song brings to mind memories of “Sunshine Day” by the Brady Bunch and “Pocketful of Sunshine” by Natasha Bedingfield. Which is to say, overly cheery and a bit too in your face. C-

Brooke Pawling Stennett: It’s cute, it’s fun, and like Ashley pointed out, its eerily reminiscent to “Happy”. It lost its catchiness early on. C+

Camille Espiritu: I was very fortunate to see Justin perform this song live and it was definitely fun to watch the crowd moving and dancing along. His artistry and lyrics are top notch, but this song (maybe because it was for a movie?) wasn’t my all-time favorite Justin Timberlake songs. But it makes me happy every time I hear it and is my favorite summer track of this year. B+

Amber Mack: It’s a fantastic happy summer song that makes me dance and groove but I hope it doesn’t turn into another “Happy”. B+

Jon Winkler: I’ll admit, this one didn’t win me over right from the get go. It just felt a bit too half-assed coming from the man who made the sprawling masterpiece that was The 20/20 Experience. But I let the groove get in and the song’s upbeat nature is impossible to deny. When JT hits those high notes on the chorus, you can tell he legitimately enjoys singing this song and doing this for a living. Nice to have another major pop star record music that has nothing to do with the animated movie it was made for, and maybe this’ll segue into a brand new solo album? Please JT, pop music sucks without you A-

5. The Chainsmokers feat. Daya – “Don’t Let Me Down”

Gabrielle Bondi: “Don’t Let Me Down” is one of those mindless songs of summer that makes no impact whatsoever. D

Brooke Pawling Stennett: I have thoroughly enjoyed the rising of the featured singer, Daya, and this song holds a really cool place in my musical library for being exciting during a time where pop on the radio was starting to get really boring. B+

Ryan Gibbs: When “Selfie” came out, I wrote the Chainsmokers off as a novelty one hit wonder. After that trainwreck, I thought there was no way this act was ever going to have another hit. And yet, they did. “Don’t Let Me Down” is much better than “Selfie”, but that’s saying that it’s good or memorable. Nothing at all stands out about it and it leaves no impression. D

Ashley Bulayo: Y’all let me down but I’m glad Daya’s voice makes up for it! C+

Jon Winkler: Wait, this isn’t Sia? And it’s by those guys that made “#Selfie”? Hell to the no C-

6. Twenty One Pilots – “Ride”

Ashley Bulayo: This song made me change my mind about Twenty One Pilots and give their album a shot. I like what I hear! A-

Ryan Gibbs: I don’t like Twenty One Pilots and I hate cod reggae, so this one didn’t go over well for me.  Really disliked this. D-

Cristina Moreano: I just needed to hear this song once to like it. Not a big fan of Twenty One Pilots, but this mix of reggae with a little pop works for me. A.

7. Rihanna – “Needed Me”

Gabrielle Bondi: As one of the few that really digs Rihanna’s new album, I’m glad to see a brash and sultry anthem like Needed Me getting some charts love. A-

8. Kent Jones – “Don’t Mind”

Ashley Bulayo: Pretty sure this is like the “Panda” song and not many people really know what he’s saying… But it’s that kind of song you just can’t get out of your head. B

9. Desiigner – “Panda”

Ashley Bulayo: But, real talk. Does anyone know what he’s really saying other than “Panda”? I give you a C-

Ryan Gibbs: If you’re going to have a song without a hook or a chorus, then you need to work especially hard to make it stand out in any way. Desiigner technically succeeded in the short term, because this is a former number one single, but I don’t know if this has any staying power. I mean, I haven’t heard “Harlem Shake” in nearly two years and that made number one too. His mumbly delivery doesn’t really sell me on him as a rapper, either. C-

Jon Winkler: Okay, I’ll be the lame mainstream white guy again and say that I don’t get Desiigner’s appeal at all. Of all the recent Future clones, Desiigner may be the one that’s the hardest to decipher lyrically. What’s the point of “Panda”? Is he flexing, threatening haters, or just rambling? At least someone like Post Malone makes clear what the hell he’s talking about. While the beat is fine and Kanye made a major improvement on it, Desiigner will probably flame out by year’s end. C

10. Adele – “Send My Love (To Your New Lover)”

Gabrielle Bondi: One of my favorite tracks from 25, Send My Love is a fun, catchy pure-pop song. Adele dials it back a smidge with this feel good ballad, which is a welcome change from some of her past singles. A

Bri Lockhart: When most people think of Adele, they think of her powerful love ballads. “Send My Love (To Your New Lover)” is another one that’ll show people that Adele isn’t a one-note performer, that she can go for more upbeat songs. The chorus of this one gets to be annoyingly repetitive, but I give her credit for trying a slightly new sound on her latest record. B-

11. Katy Perry – “Rise”

Camille Espiritu: I am so in love with this song. Rise embodies empowerment, confidence and strength. A message that I can definitely get behind on. Usually Katy Perry’s songs are upbeat and fast paced, but this track has a gradual build throughout and I really enjoy it. Looking forward to hear what the rest of her album sounds like. A

Cristina Moreano: There is not a better way to start the Olympics this year than listening to a song filled with a message of inspiration and motivation for all athletes. Way to go Katy! A

12. P!nk – “Just Like Fire”

Gabrielle Bondi: Why do I like this song? Kind of like Timberlake’s “Can’t Stop This Feeling,” this song feels manufactured and bland. I think it’s my longing for some old P!nk that has me occasionally listening to this new track. C-

Bri Lockhart: Unfortunately, Lite FM has ruined P!nk for all of eternity for me. She’s still awesome, but I don’t like listening to her music–it all kind of runs together in a tangle of vague optimism. Case in point. C

Camille Espiritu: P!nk’s music usually contains lyrics of empowerment, individuality and embracing your unique qualities. I’m happy to report that, even though the song was for a Disney movie, P!nk still stayed true to herself and her music. She got to embody the world of Alice Through the Looking Glass while bring the punk rock star that she is. B

13. Fifth Harmony feat. Ty Dolla Sign – “Work from Home”


Bri Lockhart: As someone who used to find Fifth Harmony wholly unimpressive as a girl group, I’m still surprised at how much I love “Work from Home.” The lyrics are ridiculous and don’t always make the most sense, but the innuendo is hilarious, whether that’s intentional or not. Out of the two songs on this chart that have a chorus mainly comprised of repeating the word “work,” I prefer this one. A-

Camille Espiritu: I’ll admit, I really liked this song. The members of Fifth Harmony carry confidence and swag that you can immediately hear on this track. Though they’re confidence is on point, I liked their older music much better. Their older music showed off their harmonies (no pun intended) and their individual vocal range. You don’t get that in this track. B

Jon Winkler: *beat to “Work From Home” plays in background* this song is dumb, dumb, dumb, dumb, dumb, dumb, dumb C-

14. Meghan Trainor – “Me Too”

Ashley Bulayo: I give her props for being very confident. B

Cristina Moreano: Good track with a catchy chorus, but I kind of miss the doo-wop style of her last album. B

15. Florida Georgia Line – “H.O.L.Y.”

Ashley Bulayo: Man, I still don’t know how I feel about this song. It’s just… Not my cup of tea but then again, I won’t say I normally go crazy for FGL songs. B-

Ryan Gibbs: A milquetoast adult contemporary ballad that’s only distinguishing feature is that it’s from these bro-country dudes. Even when they’re being sensitive, they don’t bother turning off the T-Pain autotune machine. Grating. D

16. Mike Posner – “I Took a Pill in Ibiza”

Ashley Bulayo: I was obsessed with this song when I heard it on his EP before it got remixed like crazy. C-

Gabrielle Bondi: The remix takes a sensitive acoustic song and makes it sound like everything else on the radio. D

Bri Lockhart: This is one of those songs that I completely expected to hate, but ended up loving upon first listen. As someone who doesn’t love slower tracks, I actually prefer the remix, but my exposure to that automatically put the original slower track into my good graces. A-

Ryan Gibbs: Todd in the Shadows made a good point a few months ago on how refreshing it is to hear a song like this. I can’t think of very many songs about feeling like you’re a washed up one-hit wonder at 27 years old. I don’t like the mopey original, but the remix is fine enough. Kind of wish it was a little darker to reflect the mood of the lyrics, though. B

Camille Espiritu: I don’t like the remix and I don’t think it does the song justice because you can’t hear the lyrics that are buried in the beat. It wasn’t until I saw Mike Posner perform this song on Ellen that I changed my opinions about this song completely. If you listen to the live version, the addition of the saxophone is a really nice pairing to the beat. But the real star is the lyrics. Mike Posner is really vulnerable in this song and his lyrics brings to light true honesty about his life in the limelight. Clearly, I can go on and on about the song so I’ll end it with this- A.

Brittany Menjivar: There’s fantastic irony in the fact that a lyrically pensive confessional song about a “singer who already blew his shot” ended up being the single that launched Mike Posner back into the spotlight. I don’t find the dissonance between the song’s message and the sound of the remix bothersome; in my opinion, the electronic instrumentation only adds to the wistful feel of the original.  A

17. Britney Spears feat. G-Easy – “Make Me”

Cristina Moreano: Britney Spears is back with a softer beat, balancing a little R&B with mellow pop. G-Eazy is definitely a good complement to Spears voice. Not bad. B

Camille Espiritu: I was pretty hesitant about the track before listening to it because Britney Spears and G-Eazy sound like an unusual duo, but I was pleasantly surprised. I could have done without so many layers in the beat, just so Britney’s vocals and the lyrics could have been shown off more. But I thought that G-Eazy complimented the song well and the beat building up towards the end of his verse added to the song’s fluidity. B

18. Drake – “Controlla”

Ashley Bulayo: Always rely on Drake on making the songs that you could easily request in bars. C+

Jon Winkler: Damn, R&B Drake strikes at my heart again. “Controlla” may suffer from Drake using the Caribbean sound a bit too freely here, but he makes it work as he confesses his soul of being lonely and wanting to truly love again. Go ahead and get another beachside lap-dance Drizzy, tears dry on their own buddy A-

19. DJ Khaled feat. Drake – “For Free”

Ashley Bulayo: TBH, I didn’t even know this was DJ Khaled’s song. But I don’t hate it! B

Jon Winkler: This one’s fine, Drake has a fine flow here and the beat is solid. But another rapper upping the vibe of the song would’ve helped, whereas it all feels like a brief pit stop onto something bigger B

20. Drake feat. Rihanna “Too Good”

Ashley Bulayo: Last night, I came into a realization that this song is actually not that bad. B+

Jon Winkler: Whereas most of Views put me to sleep, this new single actually has a great story to it. Drake is a solid storyteller when it comes to romances and when they end, and this one has very vivid detail to it about a man realizing he can’t stand the woman he’s with but feels undoubtedly intoxicated by her. I’m honestly amazed this is a single, but then I realized Rihanna is on it and she sounds great and she and Drake are actually dating so the public is hyping this song for the eventual messy crash of their relationship, which they’ll slurp up like cereal. Great song though B+

21. Shawn Mendes – “Treat You Better”

Ashley Bulayo: I think it’s nice to have a song replace “Stitches” on the radio. I respect Shawn Mendes so much. He has some pretty good music, IMO. A-

Brittany Menjivar: It sounds way too similar to “Stitches” for my taste. C

22. Twenty One Pilots – “Heathens”

Ashley Bulayo: LOVE THIS SONG. This got me all excited for Suicide Squad! This song alone got me interested in hearing the whole soundtrack. A

23. Rihanna feat. Drake – “Work”

Gabrielle Bondi: Another certifiable hit for Rihanna, Work is a chill fusion of electronic and hip-hop. Smooth, upbeat and fun. A

Bri Lockhart: Rihanna can be hit or miss for me, and sadly this one is a miss. That monotonous chorus distracts from the more interesting verses, and I just can’t get past that. C-

Jon Winkler: I saw Trevor Noah do stand-up recently and he opened by pondering the writing process of this song, specifically how it probably wasn’t the hardest thing to do (“work work work work work”). While this isn’t one of RiRi’s most memorable songs, the beat is solid and it’s sexy as hell. It gets annoying on repeated listens, but it doesn’t take away from RiRi being one of pop’s most sexually enticing singers today C+

24. Ariana Grande – “Into You”

Ashley Bulayo: I’m liking Ariana’s chill vibe way more than her first album when she sang about a piano. I’m serious. Her sound and confidence has really kicked it up a notch over the years. A-

Amber Mack: We’ve heard Ariana’s sound became more confident with a splash of sassy but this song is a hit and definitely a club tune. Plus haven’t you seen the music video? A+

25. Flume feat. Kai – “Never Be Like You”

Ashley Bulayo: Yeah, nah. I can’t get sick of this song as much as I want to. But, Flume does need another song to get on the Top 40 list already. A-

Jon Winkler: Damn, this Flume guy is onto something fierce. The thumping beat work of this one is stellar, leaving just enough room for Kai’s strong vocals to cut through. While there may not be a great buildup and climax to the song, it makes for an impressive departure for current dance-pop. Side note; check the Disclosure remix of this song, hits you like a mother B+

26. Lukas Graham – “7 Years”

Gabrielle Bondi: I feel like every few years we get the same pop song like this, one that chronicles the passage of time. For me, this doesn’t do much to stand out from the rest. C+

Ryan Gibbs: An incredibly boring, try-hard song with grating lyrics. I didn’t know we needed another Simply Red. D-

Jon Winkler: *Monday Night RAW chants* BOOOOORING! BOOOOORING! BOOOORING D

27. Charlie Puth feat. Selena Gomez – “We Don’t Talk Anymore”

Ashley Bulayo: As much as it is super catchy, it’s actually pretty relevant in so many people’s lives. Props to you two, Charlie and Selena! A

Jon Winkler: So we didn’t ask for Pat Boone in 2016, but we sure got him in the form of Charlie Puth. While most of Puth’s output has ranged from tolerably cute (“One Call Away”) to insultingly stupid (“Marvin Gaye”), this is an interesting pick. The Spanish guitar picking that drives the song is a nice touch, if only screaming for actual drums instead of annoying electronics. This is the way Puth should sound: lonesome, desperate and quiet. It makes the listener sympathize with him and feel what he’s saying. Same goes for Selena, who isn’t believable in the slightest when she’s trying to be a diva (“Same Old Love”). There’s a solid narrative of a lost love in here and the duo pull it off nicely. So the lesson here for Puth: try harder B

28. Fifth Harmony feat. Fetty Wap – “Flex”

Brooke Pawling Stennett: The vibe of this song is so good it’ll make you forget about “Work From Home,” and let yourself be entranced by the sultry rhythm that Fifth Harmony is cranking out at top speed as of late. Definitely a favorite on their album, “7/27.” A+

29. Twenty One Pilots – “Stressed Out”

Ryan Gibbs: The rise of Twenty One Pilots as one of the biggest rock groups in the country is perplexing, particularly because their breakthrough was this crummy song. Tyler Joseph’s singing is bad enough to just come of as strange and the song is a black hole of charismaD

Jon Winkler: As an early twenty-something missing the simpler times of my youth, I think I can relate to the lyrics of “Stressed Out” alot, and that’s rare to say in regards to pop hits. Which is all the more reason that I feel bad to hate this song. It’s just so…damn….flat. Nothing about it garners my interest, excitement, or praise. The beat just plops along and Tyler Joseph has so little charisma and drive. So sad C

30. DJ Khaled feat. Jay-Z and Future – “I Got the Keys”

Ryan Gibbs: It’s been a decade since he first started having hits, and I still don’t know what DJ Khaled even does on his songs other than yell “we the best.” He’s not listed as the producer on this song, for starters. The song its self is pretty ho hum. Jay-Z sounds good at least. Arguably much more of a Jay-Z and Future song than a DJ Khaled one. C

Jon Winkler: So I’m currently writing my review of Khaled’s newest album, Major Key, which I’m only doing on the merits of this song alone. I guess Lemonade shook up something fierce in Jay Z because THE RULER’S BACK. This is the most alive Hov’s sounded in years and while it’s not lyrically deep or anything thing, Jay’s talking nothing but boss talk and sounds like the baddest man on the planet (that 808 Mafia beat doesn’t hurt either). But when Khaled himself screams “I GOT THE KEYS TO MORE SUCCESS,” it’s damn hard to disagree. Major Key alert B+

31. Beyonce – “Sorry”

Gabrielle Bondi: If there was any song from Lemonade that would chart, it would be “Sorry.” A standout and clearly unapologetic track, it’s not as easily as consumable as most of the pop fare that invades our senses daily, but it’s undoubtedly the best song on this chart. A++++++++++

Camille Espiritu: After watching Lemonade, this was my immediate favorite. It is an in your face unapologetic track that I can definitely get behind on. It defines what Beyonce and her music is all about; she will stand by her music and who she is and won’t apologize for anything. Bow down! A

32. James Bay – “Let It Go”

Bri Lockhart: This song is still a thing?! Quintessential–and typical–singer-songwriter regret. C-

Ryan Gibbs: I don’t like this dude’s voice, I don’t like his lyrics and I especially don’t like his dumb hat. Boring ‘n’ snoozy like a Sam Smith ballad. D-

Camille Espiritu: What was once my favorite song is now my least favorite James Bay song. But before I stopped liking it, I really loved the lyrics. It really captured what it felt like to stop loving someone. The resentment that eats up inside of you and how you don’t recognize your reflection anymore, it’s those visuals that spoke to me. C

Amber Mack: James Bay is literal bae. I heard this song when it was free on iTunes back in 2014 and immediately fell in love with it. The lyrics, the sound, everything was amazing. I just wish it didn’t get played out as much and make me not like it as much as I did. B+

Jon Winkler: Is it weird that the original version of the song is probably the least heard version of this song? All you hear on the radio is the version with the drum beat, and it’s actually better. I feel bad for James Bay, you think he resents drums for damning his song as being less important than what’s one the radio? Don’t hate drums James, hate pop radio. C

33. Future feat. The Weeknd – “Low Life”

Jon Winkler: Officially confirms my suspicion that Future is not a likeable human being and a rather boring rapper. He’ll never apologize for cheating on women (Ciara traded up, thankfully) and has no respect for anyone (let alone himself). He’s got a fine flow, but the lyrics are nothing to rap along with. However, the song is saved by Canada’s own Weeknd, who actually uses his legitimate singing voice to beat Future in the “sounding cool” department. C+

34. D.R.A.M. feat. Lil Yachty – “Broccoli”

Ryan Gibbs: I’m not particularly sure what to make of the chart debut for hyped rapper Lil Yachty. Despite the goofy video, I’m not thrilled with some of the lyrical choices (Columbine? Really?) or Lil Yachty’s delivery. DRAM feels like a guest on his own song. C-

35. Gnash feat. Olivia O’Brien – “I Hate U I Love You”

Ashley Bulayo: I hate how much I love this song. B+

36. Ariana Grande – “Dangerous Woman”

Gabrielle Bondi: Like most of Ariana Grande’s hits, “Dangerous Woman” sultry sound grew on me over time. It showcases her impressive vocals in a new way. B+

Camille Espiritu: Don’t let the baby face fool you, this girl can definitely hit those notes. But I also feel a bit of a disconnect between her and her attempt at trying to be sexy. I commend her talents though and enjoy her music regardless. I’m just happy this track wasn’t as fast pace or packed with a lot of techno beat like her past music. B

Jon Winkler: The best James Bond theme to come out of the year, Ariana’s smoothest track to date is something I didn’t expect. It’s not one of her all time best, but the sexual aching of her singing and the slow burn of the instruments are something to enjoy. It’s a step in the right direction B

37. Justin Beiber – “Love Yourself”

Gabrielle Bondi: Say what you will about Justin, but this stripped down diss track somehow always sounds sweet to me. B+

Ryan Gibbs: I think tropical house is a much better look for grown-up Justin Bieber than this castaway from Ed Sheeran’s discard pile. D

Jon Winkler: While this isn’t exactly the happiest song to jam to, it is nice to see Bieber shift things around and try to be a discount Ed Sheeran. Wait, Sheeran sings background vocals on this?! HA! B-

38. Flo Rida – “My House”

Ashley Bulayo: Why? C

Camille Espiritu: I can’t stand this song. But I guess I can see why people will like it. It’s catchy, the track is perfect for any college party or summer backyard fun. But I don’t care much for it no matter how many chances I try to like it. D

Jon Winkler: You suck, Flo Rida. You just plain suck and no one cares. Stop ruining my summer F

39. DNCE – “Cake by the Ocean”

Gabrielle Bondi: This song is pure nonsense and I love every catchy second of it. B+

Bri Lockhart: The beginning of the song has enough potential that I’d be curious to hear what else DNCE has to offer. Plus, the story behind the song is pretty great. However, at this point, I would consider pay someone if it meant I would never have to hear that awful chorus again. D

Ryan Gibbs: I went from thinking this was merely perfectly adequate to actually liking it quite a bit. A bit of funky dance-punk in the top 40 is never a bad thing, but I never expected it from a Jonas. B

Camille Espiritu: The song is catchy and growing up as a huge Jonas Brothers fan, I’m just happy that Joe finally caught his solo break that he’s been wanting. In general, the band members have an interesting, quirky mix about them that you don’t see as often anymore and I like that. Their music brings some sexy edge to the pop industry without being all up on your face about it. “Cake by the Ocean” was the perfect track from their album that not only had all of the elements to be on the Hot 100, but it also helped the band get their name out there and start off strong. B

Brittany Menjivar: This is what pop should be. Irresistibly fun, creative both lyrically and musically, this is the comeback Joe Jonas needed and deserved. B+

Amber Mack: Catchy summer 2016 tune and the fact that it was the outcome  oh MI’s communication makes it even better. B+

Jon Winkler: If this is the closest thing we’ll ever get to a proper sequel to the wonder of “Uptown Funk,” I’ll happily take it. Joe Jonas and co. using real instruments (in 2016?! shocker!!) to create a great guitar lick and a helluva bounce. Even Jonas sounds legit as a cocky womanizer with some of the strangest and least-subtle sexual innuendo I’ve heard in a long time (which is even funnier when you see it played at the Kids Choice Awards, which I did). Whoever DNCE is and whatever they’re going for, I’ll happily take another slice A

Cristina Moreano: I think we can all agree this is THE anthem of this summer, right? Crazy lyrics and and extremely catchy beat! B

40. Kiiara – “Gold”

Ashley Bulayo: This song was my introduction to Kiiara and I’m liking what I hear so far. It certainly fits in with the direction music seems to be going nowadays. B+


These are the songs that have left the the Top 40 since last week’s chart. In parenthesis is their last chart position before they dropped out.

41. Nick Jonas feat. Tove Lo – “Close” (#31 last week)

Gabrielle Bondi: When I was on my Nick Jonas kick last year, I might have had a more favorable reaction to this song. It’s not bad, but I find this duet to be a bit more on the boring side. You never quite feel the chemistry between the two singers, no matter how “close” they get. B-

43. Ruth B – “Lost Boy” (#27 last week)

Ashley Bulayo: I’m biased because I’m a huge fan of Peter Pan but the song has a good message! A-

Camille Espiritu: I actually loved this song before it went on the radio (not to sound all hipster or anything). So when I heard it for the first time on the radio waves, I was so happy because I’m a huge Disney fan- but more specifically, I’m a huge Peter Pan fan. Totally bias towards this song? Yes. But are the lyrics also poetically done and well sung? Double yes. A-

46. Fat Joe, Remy Ma and Jay Z feat. French Montana and Infrared – “All the Way Up” (#38 last week)

Ryan Gibbs: Remy Ma’s verse is the only really memorable thing about this very crowded song. Surprisingly, it’s her first ever Top 40 appearance. Otherwise, not much to recommend. D+

49. Zara Larsson and MNEK – Never Forget You (#40 last week)

Brooke Pawling Stennett: I still dig this track no matter how overplayed it’s become. Zara Larsson’s voice is magic, and the unique tone of MNEK fits so unexpectedly well that I almost got whiplash trying to keep up with the vocal runs these artists were tuning out. A-

Amber Mack: Once again a fantastic song becomes victim to the radio scene. Amazing vocals (some that I will never achieve) and powerful runs make this song what it is. Zara Larson and MNEK are a force to be reckoned with with this one. A-

Jon Winkler: Boy oh boy let me tell you how much I love….”Where Are U Now,” which is exactly what “Never Forget You” is except they got a cutest Barbie doll and a discount-The Weeknd to sing it. But like “Where Are U Now,” the beat drop in the chorus is pure heaven. If pop music is just clones of other pop music, at least they’re cloning the right stuff B-


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