The Hit Songs of December 2021

While we didn’t do a full episode on the new music in December, I figured I’d still look at the charts and rank the best of what charted in the month. Which wasn’t much new music, there were a lot of Christmas tracks re-entering and we skip those.

  1. SZA – I Hate U -A classic soul sound accentuated by SZA’s honey vocals, but the beauty of the music sugarcoats the fury of the lyrics.
  2. Juice WRLD & SUGA – Girl of My Dreams – There’s a lot of interesting concepts going on in this cut, but it doesn’t feel disjointed or scrambled because of that. 
  3. Chloe – Have Mercy – A slow burning sexual anthem with excellent vocals.
  4. Adele – To Be Loved – Adele and some piano chords. That’s all it needs to be good. 
  5. Adele – My Little Love – Soulful love song to her son, while confessing the insecurities of every parent. I love you, but I’m terrified I might accidentally kill you/send you to therapy for your entire adult life. 
  6. Juice WRLD – Burn – I like the dark, spacey, multi-layered production. Feels like a complete contradiction to the weight of Juice’s lyrics. 
  7. Adele – Oh My God – feels like a throwback to the alt-pop of like 8 years ago or so. I like that sound but the track on the whole doesn’t do anything special for me. 
  8. Adele – Can I Get It – simple and upbeat, but something just feels a little… flat. I can’t put my finger on it though. 
  9. Adele – I Drink Wine – I know this is getting all the rave reviews, but I feel like it’s really just a pedestrian self-reflective/motivational song
  10. Kodak Black – Super Gremlin – Relatable lyrics about a lost friendship but nothing much else here to separate it from a thousand other trap tracks. The really lazy beat doesn’t help its case. 
  11. GAYLE – abcdefu – not an awful break up/fuck you song but the first line of the chorus is so cringe that it brings the rest of the song down with it. Possibly the dumbest three seconds in pop of the year.
  12. Oliver Tree – Life Goes On – As unpleasant as the toxic relationship it described.
  13. Lil Durk ft. Morgan Wallen – Broadway Girls – The release rivalry/race/future lawsuit over this song is more interesting than the track itself. The hick hop (ugh) track gets the trap treatment and it’s… well, not much. I mean, I nothing this song. It’s not bad from a production standpoint, but it’s not particularly good either. I just can’t find many feelings on this one besides: bleh. 

The Hit Songs of the Summer

It occurred to me that I have been derelict on getting my full rankings of the charting single out this summer, which is no good because how else are we supposed to name a song of the summer? Let’s remedy that now that we’re officially into autumn.


  1. Roddy Ricch – Late at Night
  2. BTS – Butter
  3. Olivial Rodrigo – brutal
  4. Riton X Nightcrawlers ft. Mufasa & Hypeman
  5. Sofia Carson – Fool’s Gold
  6. Megan Thee Stallion – Thot Shit
  7. Bad Bunny – Yonaguni
  8. Polo G & Lil Wayne – GANG GANG
  9. Jackson Wang – LMLY
  10. DJ Khalid ft. Post Malone, DaBaby, Lil Baby and Megan Thee Stallion
  11. Olivia Rodrigo – hope ur ok
  12. Polo G ft. Lil Durk & The Kid LAROI
  13. Migos – Avalanhe
  14. Anitta – Girl From Rio
  15. Olivia Rodrigo – traitor
  16. Doja Cat – Need To Know
  17. Olivia Rodrigo – favorite crime
  18. Migos ft. Drake – Having Our Way
  19. Olivia Rodrigo – 1 step forward, 3 steps back
  20. Olivia Rodrigo – enough for you
  21. Olivia Rodrigo – jealousy, jealousy
  22. Olivia Rodrigo – happier
  23. Dierk Bentley – Gone
  24. Marshmello and the Jonas Brothers – Leave Before You Love Me
  25. AJ Mitchell – STOP
  26. Chris Young and Kane Brown – Famous Friends
  27. Nessa Barrett ft. jxdn – la di die


  1. Dua Lipa – Love Again
  2. Doja Cat & The Weeknd – You Right
  3. Tyler, the Creator ft. Lil Uzi Vert & Pharrell Williams
  4. Tate McRaw and Khalid – working
  5. BTS – Permission to Dance
  6. Rauv Alejandro – Todo de Ti
  7. Tyler, the Creator ft Youngboy Never Broke Again & Ty Dolla Sign – WUSYANAME
  8. Normani ft. Cardi B – Wild Side
  9. Billie Eilish – NDA
  10. Maneskin – Beggin’
  11. Coldplay – Higher Power
  12. Dan + Shay – Glad You Exist
  13. Bella Porarch – Build A Bitch
  14. Jason Aldean – Blame It On You
  15. Doja Cat – Ain’t Shit
  16. Cheat Codes – Lean On Me
  17. BIA ft. Nicki Minaj – WHOLE LOTTA MONEY
  18. DaBaby – Ball if I Want To
  19. The Kid LAROI ft. Justin Bieber – STAY
  21. Ed Sheeran – Bad Habits
  22. Cole Swindell – Single Saturday Night
  23. Post Malone – Motley Crew
  24. Walker Hayes – Fancy Like
  25. Chase Rice ft. Florida Georgia Line – Drinkin’ Beer, Talkin’ God, Amen
  26. Aaron Lewis – Am I The Only One
  1. Billie Eilish – Happier Than Ever
  2. The Weeknd – Take My Breath
  3. Silk Sonic – Skate
  4. Lizzo ft. Cardi B – Rumors
  5. Kane Brown ft. Blackbear – Memory
  6. Pop Smoke ft. Dua Lipa – Demeanor
  7. Tones and I – Cloudy Day
  8. Tai Verdes – A-O-K
  9. Lainey Wilson – Things A Man Oughta Know
  11. Aventura ft. Bad Bunny – Volvi
  12. Jason Aldean and Carrie Underwood – If I Didn’t Love You
  13. Camilla Cabello – Don’t Go Yet
  14. Farruko – Pepas
  15. Lil Nas X ft. Jack Harlow – INDUSTRY BABY
  16. Luke Bryan – Waves
  17. Bazzi – I Like That
  18. WizKid ft. Justin Bieber and Tems – Essence
  19. Maroon 5 – Lost
And after all of that I am calling the song of the summer, which totally doesn’t line up with my rankings at the time but after hearing it a bunch the song for summer 2021 is…

Silk Sonic – Skate

You cannot deny this feel good jam. It should have risen a lot higher up the charts because this song is just too fun to be relegated to just the second single off the Silk Sonic record.

The Hit Songs of May 2021

Ed. Note: I just realized that this month never got posted and it’s possible this post is incomplete. My apologies for the lateness, and for the next one…

Last month was pretty above average compared to the last few months. You’ll see a lot of J. Cole here because his entire The Off Season record charted the week it came out. So I think the best way to describe it would be: alright. Cole is at his technical best, and the songs all sound good, but there’s no real radio single here. All the tracks fell into the same decent to good area on my scale. A good listen but I dunno how often I’ll be revisiting it.

  1. Billie Eilish – Your Power

A heavy, minimalistic folksy ballad, the track is a sledgehammer blow against the powerful who punch down instead of up. And it is jarring and impactful with that simple production, letting Billie’s lyrics and wispy vocals with a touch of reverb just bounce around your head.

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The Hit Songs of April 2021

If I thought March was a middle of the road month on the charts, man, was I in for a surprise just 30 days later. There were fewer new entries to the charts and I think it’s safe to say that its a month right in the middle. Nothing amazing, nothing so terrible that I wrote a page-long, obscenity-laden rant about it.

15. Mooski – Track Star

I can’t get past the mess that is the production here. There are like nine ideas being fleshed out all at once and none of them work together. I think the tempo changes several times, not to mention the fact that Mooski doesn’t bother sticking to any of them. Just a muddle of blah.

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The Hit Songs of March 2021

You know how in several months in the past when the FKA has gotten together to do our monthly wrap-ups and the album guys are like “this month was a lot of meh” and I have been able to come back with “well actually, the charts gave us a lot of interesting stuff”? Yeah, that’s not how March went. There was some great stuff to hold it up, but the Hot 100 spent most of the month in the morass of mediocrity.

1 – Silk Sonic – Leave the Door Open

Silk is right, good gawd. This song is a love letter to 70’s soul and R&B in all of the best ways, without any of the notes that are best left in the 70’s (see: The Floaters, Float On). Musically it is just tight. You will sit and listen and pick out the artists that influenced each bit of the track. The backing vocals just envelope you in sound, drawing you into the strings, drums and lead vocals. If this is the lead single, I cannot wait to hear the full record.

2 – Drake ft. Rick Ross – Lemon Pepper Freestyle

Is there another pair in the game that guarantee a sick track when they get together? Gold Roses, Money in the Grave, Free Spirit and now Lemon Pepper Freestyle. I’ve seen many fans say this is Drake’s best verse ever and it’s definitely up there. The sample grew on me fast and went from annoying to ethereal over just two spins.

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The Hit Songs of February 2021

Another month on the charts that seemed to be running on fumes.

14. The Kid LAROI – Without You

Another break up song on this month’s list, LAROI comes off as a Justin Bieber clone that likes to curse. But at its core, this is an emo break up song in its most generic form. The song feels like it can’t get out of first gear until about 2 minutes in and there is finally more than an acoustic guitar and a whiny rapper. But even when some drums are finally added, the emotion just isn’t there. It’s a very bad sign when you’re singing a heart-wrenching break up song and it hits with the same emotion of Radio 4’s shipping forecast. The newsreader’s falsetto might be more impressive.

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The Hit Songs of January 2021

It’s a new year and hopefully, we’ll get some new trends on the charts. However we start a new year pretty much the same way we ended the last one: with a lot of meh. There’s was a decent amount of good and really not too much bad. But there were a large band of tracks that debuted on the charts this month that were extremely medium. But there was a lot of them so let’s get to it, worst to first.

24. Ritt Momney – Put Your Records On

White indie rapper covers a pop song. Hmmm, haven’t heard that one. You couldn’t have heard the first verse of this one either since it sounds like someone singing in the shower. It feels more like an Ableton Live demo. Every vocal has multiple filters, the tempo gets played with. It really comes off as a dare track. Let’s see how many features we can cram into one cover song. Great exercise for producers, shit idea for a single that gets released to the public. But it’s apparently a huge hit in the Philippines, so what do I know?

23. All Time Low ft. blackbear – Monsters

Four or five years ago, this is a Fall Out Boy track. My songs know who to emulate in the dark…

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The Hit Songs of November 2020

Well this was a much calmer month, thankfully. It feels like the pop charts slowed down a bit for the holidays. Just a quick note for this list next month: the only Christmas songs that will hit this list next month will be brand new ones. So I’m not reviewing All I Want For Christmas Is You. Unless we do some list or pod about Christmas songs. Then all bets are off. Whelp, here we go, crap first then scroll down for the good stuff.

13 – Morgan Wallen – More Than My Hometown
There’s an example of country done right towards the top of the list. This is country done… well, I’d say wrong but this is just what the genre is now. The production’s the easy part. It’s a cookie cutter country track. There’s a steel guitar in there, there’s a Telecaster set to maximum twang and an even, if not boring drum track. Now let’s get to the worst part: lyrics. I can’t roll my eyes harder at the thesis of this song: oh, I love you more than all of these great big things in this great big world, but I can’t love you more than this one stoplight holler in the backwoods of bumfuck, wherever. So enjoy life, girl, where people drive electric cars and fancy apps deliver you food and you don’t have to walk to the back of the property to take a shit. Songs like this are the reason the genre has picked up the reputation it has over the last two decades.

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The Hit Songs of October 2020

Man, the top 40 was weird this month. Songs popped up then plummeted. 21 Savage’s entire album charted one week, then all but disappeared as everyone moved on to something else. Fleetwood Mac’s “Dreams” recharted 40 years after being released thanks to a TikTok video. (I didn’t include it in this month’s rankings but that song’s a solid 87-90. I really like the whole Rumours in general.) Oh, and country actually had a taste of pop success this month, so all around a busy month on the charts. What that does mean is we got a lot of tracks to sift through, so hold on to your butts. (throws the main breaker). Note: There’s a ton here so a lower ranking doesn’t necessarily mean a song’s bad. In fact, if you want to get right past the bad and meh, jump down to like #20.

31. Justin Bieber and benny blanco – Lonely
Another “woah is me, fame is so hard” anthem from the Biebs. I thought “I’ll Show You” was bad enough. I usually find strength in tracks where artists express their struggles with mental health. It can help those who are struggling to find something in pop culture that they can relate to, knowing that they are not alone in the struggle. But fuck is this just whiney. It sounds more like the slurred wailing of the drunk cryer in the group. It’s hard to feel anything for you when your expressions of self-loathing come off as nothing more than a cry for attention instead of help. There is a difference. The minor keyed Fender Rhoads backing track just amplifies this feeling that the emotions are disingenuous. I’m not saying the kid doesn’t have mental health issues and I wouldn’t dream of berating him if that were the case, but there’s nothing on this track that feels like a genuine examination of his heart. And seriously, what the fuck is that warble on the hook?

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