Listen to the Year in Pop in 5 Minutes

Slate's Culture Blog
Dec. 26 2011 2:33 PM

Listen to the Year in Pop in 5 Minutes

1324927515555

Still from the video for Rihanna's "We Found Love," as seen in "United State of Pop 2011."

With a musical landscape as fragmented as ours has become in 2011, it's easy to miss even some of the most ubiquitous hits. That’s why every year now I look forward to DJ Earworm’s all-embracing mashup of the year on the charts—his annual “United State of Pop.”

So what does pop sound like circa 2011? A big part of what makes the Earworm mashup great—the 2011 edition was posted last night—is that you get relatively little editorializing. Sure, in this you’ll hear a little of what our favorite critics have been anatomizing over at Slate’s Music Club, and you'll pick up on some of the trends Slate’s critics and others have pointed out throughout the year. (These 25 hits don’t highlight the return of the sax solo, but towards the end they do pay tribute to The Year of the Whistle.)

But mostly you hear a lot of the silly common ground (let’s not say lowest common denominator) that best brings us together. If we’re looking back at 2011, perhaps it’s okay if the sounds that most united us add up to little more than this: “Boom.”


For the Music Club’s picks for 2011’s greatest songs, head over to our Spotify playlist.
To look back at 2011 in film, don’t miss “The Best Year-in-Movies Montage Ever?

Forrest Wickman is a Slate staff writer. 

TODAY IN SLATE

Medical Examiner

Here’s Where We Stand With Ebola

Even experienced international disaster responders are shocked at how bad it’s gotten.

Why Are Lighter-Skinned Latinos and Asians More Likely to Vote Republican?

A Woman Who Escaped the Extreme Babymaking Christian Fundamentalism of Quiverfull

The XX Factor
Sept. 22 2014 12:29 PM A Woman Who Escaped the Extreme Babymaking Christian Fundamentalism of Quiverfull

Subprime Loans Are Back

And believe it or not, that’s a good thing.

It Is Very Stupid to Compare Hope Solo to Ray Rice

Building a Better Workplace

In Defense of HR

Startups and small businesses shouldn’t skip over a human resources department.

How Ted Cruz and Scott Brown Misunderstand What It Means to Be an American Citizen

Divestment Is Fine but Mostly Symbolic. There’s a Better Way for Universities to Fight Climate Change.

  News & Politics
Politics
Sept. 22 2014 6:30 PM What Does It Mean to Be an American? Ted Cruz and Scott Brown think it’s about ideology. It’s really about culture.
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 22 2014 5:38 PM Apple Won't Shut Down Beats Music After All (But Will Probably Rename It)
  Life
Outward
Sept. 22 2014 4:45 PM Why Can’t the Census Count Gay Couples Accurately?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 22 2014 7:43 PM Emma Watson Threatened With Nude Photo Leak for Speaking Out About Women's Equality
  Slate Plus
Slate Plus
Sept. 22 2014 1:52 PM Tell Us What You Think About Slate Plus Help us improve our new membership program.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 22 2014 9:17 PM Trent Reznor’s Gone Girl Soundtrack Sounds Like an Eerie, Innovative Success
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 22 2014 6:27 PM Should We All Be Learning How to Type in Virtual Reality?
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Sept. 22 2014 4:34 PM Here’s Where We Stand With Ebola Even experienced international disaster responders are shocked at how bad it’s gotten.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.