Every year, DJ Earworm releases a mega-mashup of the top 25 pop songs of the last 12 months, and every year I approach it with disdain and consternation, only to be completely pleased with the end results. Mashups are generally the worst genre of music in existence, especially in the '10s, because they tend to exhibit a complete lack of imagination and nearly every mashupable concept has been exercised, poorly, in hamfisted quintuplicate, on Soundcloud.
But DJ Earworm has an ear for warmth—his "mashups" often end up sounding like extremely well-blended DJ sets—and while he's likely doing well for himself with the End of Year project, it will be interesting to see what he can do as a producer, too. (He told Billboard that he's headed to New York at the top of the year to "work on some original material which I'm super excited about.")
That said: sweet cupcakes, we had to put up with some bullshit this year. His 2014 mashup, which dropped today, is a painful amalgam of the best and worst of the landscape, Meghan Trainor's insufferable "All About That Bass" jostling Jeremih's infectious "Don't Tell Em," and three too many Iggy Azalea songs to put up with (the "Black Widow" beat gets prime placement). Taken as a full complete song, the sound of 2014 was very much about lovelorn longing and sweet-but-safe assertions of self; also, lots of dudes were sad about something. "You can do what you wanna doooooo/you already know," a bridge DJ Earworm made by smooshing together Maroon 5 and Charli XCX, works as a pretty diagnostic statement on a song that prominently features a white Australian woman rapping in an over-exaggerated Southern "blaccent" and a white Canadian band playing sanitized dub reggae. (And, to a degree that offends my sensibilities considerably less, Sam Smith on Brit R&B via the Black church.) Cool, cool. Whatever. I think I'm the only person in this office who likes "Bang Bang." Here's to 2015.