It was a bad year for mashups, if those are your thing. It’s also a bad year as a follow up to my statements about said musical genre – after a good defense of them, they disappointed this year. Let’s get into this trainwreck.
Okay, so first things first: there are two notable absences – Daniel Kim never made Pop Danthology 2016, and Mashup-Germany either didn’t team up with Panos T or didn’t release a mashup this year. For their sake, I hope it was the latter (the one with their name and mashup name [Top of the Pops] was awful).
Which means the field was pretty open, and nobody really took advantage of it. It was also somewhat of a down year for pop music, but they could have made one of the best mashups of all time out of the rap talent this year – J. Cole, Chance, Kanye, Young Thug, Gambino, Death Grips all released albums, as did Frank Ocean and Beyonce. If there was a year to skip the “pop” part, it was this one.
Anyways, let’s get into the actual countdown:
5. Andy Wu – Musicland 2016
This is not a bad mashup, but it’s not a breakthrough, truly shining one either. Once the music kicks in around the :30 mark, it has the dynamics of a good mashup – it moves you, it uses good songs, and it’s somewhat seamless in the transitions between songs. One thing you’ll notice in end of the year mashups – they include songs from 2015 – in this case, Taylor Swift (and Hideaway).
Wu is the only one to use Coldplay this predominantly, which takes away from his ranking. I also dislike a lot of the vocalists he’s chosen to use this year, which is also a minus. But this is a good mashup in a year when there weren’t enough of them.
4. T10Mo – Hits of 2016
The breakthrough artist of the year, I actually hadn’t heard of T10Mo until this year as I searched for mashups. It’s far better than Musicland, partly because it starts earlier. T10Mo, whoever they are, also uses far better vocalists. It’s also a better beat underneath, and there’s more Beyonce. Both of those add to this score.
Plus, I prefer Mashups where it includes a song tracker, which is located on the bottom screen. The briefer interruptions of songs also helps, because while it doesn’t allow for a coherent thought in the mashup, to an extent, this is a mashup, there shouldn’t be a ton of coherent thought, it should be a lot of dance music. And T10Mo allows my favorite electronic artist, Galantis, to actually speak. Points.
3. Robin Skouteris – Pop Love 5
Here’s the thing about me and Robin Skouteris: both his mashups in 2014 and 2015 are some of my favorites. So when this one kind of disappointed me, I was surprised. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still one of the better mashups of the year, but I think Skouteris could have done a lot better this year.
He uses Beyonce the most out of anyone, but there’s not enough meat to his bone. That’s fine with T10Mo, they’re not contending for the number one spot. I expect Skouteris to do that, and while video quality tops the list – it’s Panos T’s contribution to this year – the actual mashup is long and without enough to say. Which also is a contradiction, because it’s also far to busy.
2. DJ Earworm – United State of Pop 2016
The shortest entry in the list, it’s very close to the best. Earworm works within a certain number of songs, presenting the case that less songs is more. I think that may be true, especially the way Earworm is able to use them. United State of Pop is one of the most consistently excellent mashup series, and so the fact Earworm was able to continue this should be unsurprising.
But, again, it’s 2016. Nothing’s been good. Except Earworm and the next guy: 1. Isosine –
1. Isosine – Nonstop Pop 2016
Isosine is the top, and he’s also proving that shorter’s better. Him and Earworm are 10 minutes together, while #3, Skouteris, is 13 minutes. Those 10 are far more valuable. Isosine, I’ve mentioned before, is one of my favorite artists period, so his topping the list this year is unsurprising, but it’s also because of the quality of his work this year.
I like the extended mix from Isosine over Earworm, because both of their first three minutes are the same quality, but because of another good three minutes, Isosine wins it. If you want a recap of the year in pop, turn to Isosine (and Earworm).