Welcome to Phantomonium
After the clusterfuck of a year that was 2018, I had low expectations in the beginning of the year because of it. At the end of the year, it started showing some improvement since artists like 6ix9ine and XXXTentacion were losing their chart success and the invasion of the returning Christmas songs. That being said, the week I will review the top 20 is February 16, 2019. Before we start, let me explain the tiers. for you.
Shit Tier- Songs that I can’t stand with a passion
Bad Tier – Songs that are utterly useless with at least one redeeming quality
Meh Tier- Songs that aren’t bad, but aren’t good either and they’re just mediocre
Decent Tier- Songs that I like, but something I wouldn’t listen to very often
Good Tier- Songs that I love, but contains a few flaws that prevents it from being outstanding
Great Tier- Songs that I love and keep playing it on repeat every day
Also,I want to point out that this is just my opinion, and if you disagree with these songs, that is perfectly fine, just do so in a respectful manner. And I will start from Shit tier to Great tier. Let’s begin.
20. Girls Like You by Maroon 5 ft Cardi B
You’ve have got to be kidding me. Never would I thought that a song being incredibly boring would piss me off as much as this song. Why is that? Is because of Maroon 5, or Adam Levine and nobodies still making soulless pop? Is it the production? Yeah, it just a screechy acoustic guitar loop with a drowsy synth line and trap elements, but that’s not the problem? Is it Cardi B’s out-of-place verse? Nah. The real reason why I hate this song so much is because it just won’t DIE. This song has been in the top 10 for 33 weeks, tying Ed Sheeran’ Shape of You back in 2017. Shit, I thought after the backlash of their terrible Super Bowl performance, this song will mercifully start flopping, but no, we decide to let it stay. Maroon 5, please do us a favor and GO AWAY.
19. 7 Rings by Ariana Grande
This is going to be hard to talk about because I actually like Ariana Grande. She reminds of early Mariah Carey and she’s one of my favorite pop artists of the 2010s. But I’ll say this, this is the one of the worst songs Ariana has ever made and that includes Focus, Everyday with Future and Put Your Hearts Up, a song where she describes as “the worst moment of her life.” Look it up if you don’t believe me. And if you’re thinking why I said that, I’m let me explain why. The beat is just a run of the mills trap beat that I heard for the past 2 years. Ariana Grande has no presence as a rapper, flexing about her riches, while her flows is copied from Princess Nokia to 2 Chainz and even Soulja Boy, her interpolation of the Sound of Music in her verses, but hey its used properly, compared to Gwen Stefani’s atrocious Wind It Up back in 2007. Then again this isn’t even the worst song on the album, which is break up with your girlfriend, i’m bored. And if that song becomes a hit, wait till I make a particular list in December. It’s such a shame, Grande wasted her talents on this miserable track because she can do much better than this.
18. Money by Cardi B
Well this is awkward. As someone who likes Cardi B, her collaboration with Chance the Rapper should’ve been the next single to her album. But instead, we got this boring slug of a song that was featured in the deluxe edition. This beat is consisted of limp piano notes and a trap heavy bass that doesn’t go well with each other. Cardi’s personality is dead in the song due to the limp beat and the song is just about her love for you guess it, money. The worst part of this is the chipmunk vocals in the hook that repeats money over and over. Overall, waste of potential. Next.
17. ZEZE by Kodak Black ft Travis Scott and Offset
Why does Kodak Black still has a career? After finding out that he’s a scumbag in real life, there was no need for this shithead to still have a career. His flow sucks, his voice is nasally grating and his bars are utter trash. But I will admit that this is his “best” song and that’s only because of the production. The production is filled trap hi-hats, percussion, and synths that makes it stand out. The performers aren’t really good in this. Travis Scott is the best performer in here, but he’s underwhelming in the chorus, Offset completely phoning it in and Kodak Black ruining this song with his annoying voice. Terrible song with a wasted beat.
16. Thotiana by Blueface
How the hell did this happen? For those who don’t know, this is West Coast rapper Blueface and he sucks. For starters, he likes to rap off-beat and that is all you need to know about him. He broke through early this year with Thotiana. What a lovely title and I’m getting RELLIKISS vibes from that title. The beat is generic as all hell. And outside of him rapping off-beat and his stupid ass dance, this song is nothing special. While this song is just bad, there’s other songs that are straight up terrible, so this just barely got lucky.
Meh Tier (2/5)
15. Without Me by Halsey
Remember G-Eazy and Halsey’s relationship back in 2017-18? Also, did you care? No, seriously did you actually care? Well they broke up and Halsey released this single Without Me and it’s mediocre as hell. For starters, the production is weak with the trap percussion, flat synth line and the fake hand claps on the hook. Halsey sounds melodramatic as all hell, whining over a past nonexistent relationship with Gerald. And I’m baffled that the fact that it reach no.1 with no appeal whatsoever. This isn’t bad, but I don’t care for this and I’m hoping G-Eazy responds to this.
14. Going Bad by Meek Mill ft Drake
This collaboration should’ve never happened. After their pointless beef back in 2015, where Drake destroyed Meek with Back to Back( which is a phenomenal song), Meek’s career was supposedly destroyed. Until 2019 where we decide to give Meek Mill his first top 10 hit with Aubrey Graham and it’s boring. The production is the only good thing with the glossy synth that mixes well with the trap beat. But the performers are giving me little to work with. Drake is being his usual self and Meek referencing Back to Back, not a good idea, considering that song “ended” your career and his riches, again. Again, not bad but this should’ve never happened.
13. Drip Too Hard by Lil Baby and Gunna
I can’t believe that we gave Young Thug’s embarrassing proteges a career. Lil Baby is known for his godawful collaboration with Drake, Yes Indeed. Wait until I make my worst list for 2018. And Gunna is flavorless and he reminds me of NAV, who also is dull and uninteresting. But I’ll say this, this is the best song these two has ever made and it’s from their terrible Drip Harder album. The production is pretty decent, the rappers are solid, despite some bad lines
“I’m from Atlanta where young niggas run shit
I know they hatin’ on me, but I don’t read comments”
“Drip too hard, don’t stand too close
You gon’ fuck around and drown off this wave”
“I feel like a child, I got boogers in the face”
Yeah, because of those lines, it knocked it down to the Meh tier. Almost liked it though.
12. MIA by Bad Bunny ft Drake
One question that pops into my head about this song is, why is Drake speaking and who allowed it? To be fair, he is the best part of this song because his Spanish is on point and sounds like he wanna be in a song for once. Bad Bunny sounds dead on this song and this song is just about how their girls are only theirs and not anyone else. Also, if you like this song, don’t translate the lyrics. Especially the second verse. Other than that, the production is fine enough.
Decent Tier (3/5)
11. Happier by Marshmello and Bastille
Never would’ve thought I would see Bastille back on the Hot 100, especially in a electronica pop song. They made Pompeii back in 2013, which age perfectly well back in 2014. After their big comeback, I was happy that they might get another hit and this is just OK. The content is pretty simple: it’s about a guy breaking up with his girl because he feels it would make her happier. The execution does work, but I wanna see it from the girl’s perspective as well. Dan Smith’s vocals doesn’t fit in this kind of song because his voice is too powerful and gruff. The production is just a few piano notes and drums, and Marshmello contributing to that underwhelming drop with the overpowered synths. And the fact that it reached no.2 behind 7 Rings due to Fortnite also caused this to fall to the Decent tier. This song is alright and I wanted to like this as much as I do, but it doesn’t have that much replay value for me. Sorry
10. Thank U, Next by Ariana Grande
So, last week Ariana released her 5th studio album, thank u, next and it was fine. There were some songs that I like, but doesn’t have that much replay value for me. But after all these years reaching to the top, I’m happy that she finally earned her first no.1 smash hit. And I’m really feeling as I should. The production also sounds nice with the twinkly beat and Ariana giving a heartfelt performance. If I have to nitpick, it would be the execution. It’s a reflection to her relationships with her past exes, which includes Big Sean, Pete Davidson and the late Mac Miller and moving on from it, which is a mature thing to do. But, it sounds more passive aggressive than sincere and the phrase thank u, next isn’t really something you say to your exes. But other than that, I’m glad that Ariana got her first no.1 hit from this instead of 7 Rings. I’m waiting for ghostin to be the next single, though.
9. High Hopes by Panic! at the Disco
This song, along with I Like Me Better by Lauv, were the most overhated songs of 2018 and I don’t really get why. I Like Me Better has a good premise but a underwhelming drop, but I still like it. While, I see that people find this to be incredibly loud, I find this to be bombastic. The production sounds good in the verses, but in the chorus, the percussion doesn’t work with the mood it’s going for and the horns creates this energy you never see before, but then again, it’s meant to be that way because it’s about having high hopes and showing optimism. Brenden Urie sells one hell of a performance, which makes it great for me. And the fact that he’s the only member of Panic at the Disco and still sounding great, proves that “they” should’ve stick around more, unlike Maroon 5.
Good Tier (4/5)
8. Wow by Post Malone
This song is just stupid and silly at the same time. Post Malone is bragging about how no one really care for him before he got famous and they’re all jealous and baffled at his success. This reminds me of his hit Congratulations. While that song was decent, I prefer this. This beat sounds relaxed and Post doesn’t sound bad here. The only problem I have with this is that it needs an extra verse and one final chorus because this feels way too short and unfinished.
7. Sicko Mode by Travis Scott ft Drake
When I first heard this song in August, I didn’t care for it. Travis was barely trying, too many samples in the mix and Drake saying random bullshit that his fans will eat up because its Drake. As the year went on, I couldn’t stop returning to it. The 3 beat switches made this song a lot more interesting, Travis Scott sounding really good, Swae Lee being interesting, despite only saying 2 words. Drake was easily the highlight of this song. His hook was memorable and it verse was good, but I’m sick of him mentioning how he took that L from that Pusha T back in June. Overall, this song is really good, when you see the appeal of it. And if I hear someone compares this to Bohemian Rhapsody, I might hurt someone.
6. A Lot by 21 Savage ft J. Cole
This is the best song 21 Savage has made, hands down. The beat is dark, but the vocal sample sounds great. 21 having the best performance he has ever made in a song. The chorus is a bit repetitive, but sets the mood of what’s it going for. J. Cole was easily the best part of the song, with really good wordplay. But then he says this about 6ix9ine
“Pray for Tekashi, they want him to rot
I picture him inside a cell on a cot
’Flectin’ on how he made it to the top
Wondering if it was worth it or not”
Look, I get that J. Cole is trying to say that was the negative things 6ix9ine did that got him popular was worth it or not and how it negatively affect himself, but no. Just no. That motherfucker doesn’t need any of my prayers. He deserves to rot in prison. Aside from the 6ix9ine line, this song is really good and I hope that 21 doesn’t face deportation after being arrested by ICE for being British and not applying for his VISA, but he was going through a process for applying for a VISA, which is just fucked up.
5. Middle Child by J. Cole
I’m honestly baffled that J. Cole has a hit in the top 5. Normally, he would get big off album bombs, but this might ending up being a hit. The production is really good with the trap beat and the infectious horns that can’t get out your head for days. J. Cole sounding really good, except for the chorus in which he uses Auto-Tune for some reason. This song is about J. Cole considering himself to be in the middle of old school and new school hip hop. Normally I wouldn’t like this, but J. Cole sold it with so much passion that it became believable. I’m really hoping that this gain enough points for the Year-End of 2019.
Great Tier (5/5)
4. Eastside by Benny Blanco, Halsey, and Khalid
This is basically the 2018 version of Closer. Do I need to say more? The production gives off a nostalgic vibe with the acoustic guitars, basic percussion and the shimmering synths. I’m just shocked that producer Benny Blanco decides to put his name in this, since he’s been making massive hits since the early 2010s and he wants to put this in now. Ok then. But back to the song, this is just past lovers reminiscing about their relationship and the performers sold this well. Halsey gave her best performance, since she’s isn’t being melodramatic for once and Khalid is being Khalid, he haven’t sounded bad ever since. Speaking of Khalid,
3. Better by Khalid
The more I hear Khalid, the more I love him. Every song he made I love and have this much replay value for me. He has the cool, calm, and collected vibe that I can dig into like Snoop Dogg. And this song is no exception. The beat is chill with the piano notes, trap skitters and a voice box in the final chorus and the outro. This isn’t one of his better songs( no pun intended), but it gets me in a relaxed place whenever I need to.
2. Sunflower by Post Malone and Swae Lee
This is the best song that either artist has made. The beat sounds nice with the guitars, synths and drums that contains a warm atmosphere to it. This song gives me a warm, relaxed feeling. This song came from Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, a really great movie you all should watch. It presents the character of protagonist Miles Morales and his struggle of being in his parents’ shadow and create a path of his own. While Swae Lee represents the fun side and a bit cocky side of the character, Post Malone represents the wistful side of Miles, showing regret and how he has this lack of self-control. This song is a heartbreaking masterpiece that deserved to be number 1.
1. Bury A Friend by Billie Eilish
You all should’ve saw this one coming. In fact, this song is the main reason why I wanted to review this top 20 ranking. Billie Eilish always reminded me of The Weekend. Dark atmospheric production, incredibly talented, and deserving to be popular. And this song is no exception. Heavy bass, shimmering synths and a gothic, minimalistic beat that keeps me invested. This song is about a deep conversation between her and a monster underneath her bed. Then it’s revealed that the monster is herself and feels that she’s her own worst enemy. Billie sells this performance exceptionally well, making me believe that she is her worst enemy. This song is phenomenal and I hope this song sticks, and Billie Eilish should continue to go through this path so I can continue supporting her.
So that was my Winter Ranking and the score is 56/100, meaning that this is above average and we’re starting 2019 off to a great start. Let’s just hope this continues in the spring.
Thank you for coming. And if you have thoughts about this song, leave it in the comments.
This is Phantomonium going back into the darkness.