I always look forward the arrival of December because it not only means holiday parties and bells a jinglin’, but the end of the year also signals the inevitable megamix productions featuring the biggest hits of the last 12 months. This year brings the added bonus of looking back not only the year, but the decade as well—- let the battle of the mashups begin!
The last few years have been a bit of a disappointment for me as personal fave Daniel Kim “retired” in 2017 and DJ Earworm’s productions have become increasingly too “highbrow” for the instant sugar rush I expect from these type of year in review mixes. Soooo, I was lowkey a bit geeked to learn that Daniel Kim has re-emerged (sorta) and both he and DJ Earworm decided to tackle the last ten years of pop music—- my hopes were high!
First up was Kim’s mix as I love his past “Pop Danthology” mashups and I figured his break from producing them would’ve recharged his batteries. Unfortunately, Kim’s admitted waning interest in creating these mixes coupled with his attempt to avoid getting copyright flags on YouTube resulted in a too brief and ultimately underwhelming Danthology wherein the music video mashup approach of the past was ditched in favor of a clip featuring Kim and his wife lip-syncing his 2010s entry. It’s a move that has definitely left some of his fans disappointed but Daniel has defended his decision stating that he is personally satisfied with his choice, so the rest of us will have to simply deal!
My expectations for DJ Earworm were lower as his approach to these mixes for the last few years isn’t to feature recognizable elements from each song, but rather to create a cohesive “new” song that tells a story through its patchwork lyrics. It’s an impressive feat, but I prefer mixes that utilize a track’s best known moments so that it takes the guess work out of figuring out what’s included in the quick, drive-by nature of these medleys. Earworm’s decade mix is also maddeningly brief, but the accompanying visual has a slight upper hand over Kim’s because the clip features the original music videos which strengthens the nostalgia factor.
While neither of my former faves hit a homerun, I do appreciate their efforts as creating these mixes is a huge undertaking. Stay tuned to this space over the next few weeks to see if I discover a mashup production that does give the last year or decade its due pop props!
** UPDATE **
After dropping a decade mashup a few weeks ago, DJ Earworm has blessed us with a new mix focusing on past hits of the year. As expected, he crafts a “new” song with scraps of lyrics from Billboard’s top hits of the year that cleverly employs a “run/walk away” theme. The songs being used are a bit more recognizable than previous mixes, but adjusting the speed/pitch of most of the tracks still makes it difficult to identify them without the aid of the video as a cheat sheet. Check it out below…
** UPDATE (PART 2) **
Robin Skouteris’ year end mashup mixes have, for me, filled the void left by Pop Danthology and DJ Earworm and he does not disappoint this year. Employing a “2019 vs the decade” theme, Skouteris throws in songs that are obviously personal faves and not necessarily the year’s biggest hits (Madonna? Years & Years? Adam Lambert?) but these are minor quibbles for a mix that is so well done and pulls off the almost of creating a mix truly represents a decade of pop hits… bravo!
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