Reactions to My 2017 Predictions

I had completely forgotten that I had done a 2017 predictions in music post at the start of the year. A Raven Symoné-esque gaze into the future, it was not. Upon reflection, some of the themes I had expected to come true have, while others, just like my diminishing annual promise to get in shape, have not.

Let’s recap, shall we?

“Sombre vibes and alternative sounds to the front”

‘Pure pop is over’, I declared, with the blow of a whistle and precise waving of arms like a referee in a boxing ring. I had said that in light of a post-Brexit Britain and Trump-reigned America, music was going to reflect the harsher socio and political climate. This was clearly written before I learned about “woke”, a widespread sun-blotting ‘movement’, fortified through social media, and peaking at its glossiest, most marketable zenith when Katy Perry hopped out with ‘Chained to The Rhythm‘ and Kendal Jenner with a Pepsi commercial she’d rather forget.

Grime and hip hop have certainly charted healthily in 2017 – any broadsheet would tell you that. This year saw Stormzy become the first ever grime artist to score a #1 album to a chorus of critical acclaim and screaming fans at sold out shows. We’d all soon stan Stefflon Don if ‘Hurtin’ Me’ or her feature on Jax Jones and Demi Lovato‘s bossy ‘Instruction’ haven’t already put her on your radar.

In the same gaze where I had pointed out artists such as Ray BLK would prosper, this year saw heads turned by the likes of alt-R&B dreamcatchers like Kelela, SZA, Sampha and Kehlani.

To say that the heartbeat of pure pop dimmed this year would be a reach, even for someone as naturally over-dramatic as me. The party raged on. The blood cells of eager-to-please Western pop fused with the viral sensation of its infectious, rhythmic Spanish cousins and out came cross-polinations of artists growing in different nurseries of major label divisions across the world, spawning global hits such as ‘Despacito‘ (Puerto Ricans Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee with Canadian Justin Bieber), ‘Reggaeton Lento‘ (Miami-founded CNCO with Britain’s pride Little Mix), ‘Mi Gente’ (Colombian J Balvin and French Willy William with Texas’ most prolific hot sauce carrier, Beyoncé).

Stan Twitter gurgled over Dua LipaRita Ora and Camila Cabello in the same breath as Taylor Swift and Little Mix. And whether you were checking for it or not, we’ve had a record number of solo One Direction records flood the market. 2017 is to the solo 1D harvest what 1999 was for the Spice Girls. Marinade on that fact.

“Nostalgic re-issues of classic 90s albums on vinyl will be a thing”

According to the Official Charts Company’s October publishing of the 40 biggest selling vinyl albums of 2017 so far… this was not what I had in mind. I am seeing Ed Sheeran, Radiohead, Amy Winehouse, Beatles, David Bowie, Fleetwood Mac, even Rag ‘N’ Bone Man. There’s a still lot of nostalgia, alright, but not the kind I’m here for. Dondé está Shania Twain “Come On Over”, Alanis Morissette “Jagged Little Pill”, Janet Jackson “The Velvet Rope”, Spice Girls “Spice”, Madonna “The Immaculate Collection” etc. etc.? If you are a hipster vinyl hound, find yourself a pop friend this Christmas and gift them a legendary 90s album of their liking this season. If you want to be a true friend – the kind of friend they sing about in the Golden Girls theme tune – I have seen Lisa Scott-Lee‘s ‘Lately’ and Nicole Scherzinger’s scrapped ‘Puakenikeni’ lying unclaimed in a bargain crate out in East London somewhere. You are welcome.

Speaking of pop nostalgia, take a huge fucking bow Team Steps and Bananarama for staging absolutely solid gold comebacks this year. Especially you, Steps. New music in 2017 that was on brand, on point and on the top of the bloody iTunes charts.

“Expect unexpected collaborations”

Well, that’s a fucking given. I was not exactly the Book of Revelations now, was I? This was a pointless prediction. A piece of recycled oxygen. Like the breath you just exhaled while you were diving deep into your car boot to fetch an oversized Ikea bag for your shopping.

I wasn’t completely off the mark here though. One certainly did not see the returned popularity of Spanglish pop. Not since Ricky Martin‘s hip-twisting World Cup anthem ‘The Cup of Life’ have we seen such unity of the two languages on a global spread – thanks to the aforementioned rather exciting and unexpected collaborations.

Where I was expecting more vibrant gumbos a la Cambridge classical-electronic band Clean Bandit meets Jamaican dancehall sire Sean Paul and karate-chopping Essex pop newbie Anne-Marie, it seems like what works is sticking with your peers. Calvin Harris grouped artists on the same eye-level of success for ‘Feels’ – Pharrell Williams, Katy Perry and Big Sean. Similarly, DJ Khaled drafted Justin Bieber and Rihanna for the respective hits. It just makes good commercial sense. So until there is a verifiable market for a Chainsmokers featuring Shirley BasseyLindsey Stirling and Mr Eazi collab, then I will just stay put.

At some point over the next couple of weeks I will be sharing my fave tracks of 2017 and my predictions for the state of pop in 2018. Now if that isn’t something to look forward to, I don’t know what is.

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Feed Limmy: Top 30 Songs of 2015

This has been a tradition since the land before time and Snapchat. While I’ve taken a long break from pop music blogging (the commentary still very much lives on in Twitter), I’m usually tempted to come back to this increasingly unfamiliar Wordpress interface every year and rank, hyperlink and embed my personal favourite tracks of the last 12 months. This year for the first time, I will be blogging with emojis. #downwiththekids

I imagine it’d be nice to scroll back through the passage of time one day to see that once upon a time, Carly Rae Jepsen overtook Robyn as the gays’ new queen of Bubbling Under pop. Once upon a time, Halsey was the flavour of the moment. Popstar of the Future Troye Sivan made an album (how traditional!). They sent troops to Syria but couldn’t extract a record from MKS. Nobody has time for the games Rihanna‘s playing anymore. And two unfuckwithable singer-songwriters in their 20s called Adele and Taylor Swift scrapped everyone’s life force with their massive-selling, Spotify-shunning, numerically titled albums. And where you were when you heard Zayn had left 1D?

Never mind. Here are 30 songs that I really, really liked this year.

Spoiler alert: At some point you might say, this list is really crap. Why isn’t Lana on here? 

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Little Mix ‘Salute’

‘Salute’ is the champion track fans have been nagging Little Mix to release ever since their second album of the same name landed.

Little Mix Salute Single Version

The girls go one step further and draft a whole new single mix that adds more emphasis on the original stomping R&B beat.

Stylistically, ‘Salute’ fits the clique of Little Mix’s uptempos. You can hear the late 90s or early millennium pop/R&B persuasion, and the girls’ signature vocal harmonies are never far from the focal point. What’s new about this particular single is the girls’ assertive delivery.

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Feed Limmy Top Songs of 2013: Little Mix ‘Move’

“Don’t you know a girl like a boy who moves?”

Little Mix Move

The all-important first single for Little Mix’s new album was always going to be make or break. After successfully letting the world in on their brand of harmony-driven pop, what’s next?

Will they simply replicate the sound of their global hit ‘Wings’ or dare they push for something a little different? We know it’s a fine line between maintaining a consistent sound and doing something fresh, and ‘Move’ is the perfect example of one that walks the tightrope well.

Everything that made ‘Move’ appear to be an odd choice for a first single is what justifies its place: the rhythmic tongue-clicking, the beat that takes its time to build up, the way the first chorus discreetly slides in without you even knowing, and the fact that it’s a ridiculously infectious dance song without being of the ‘dance genre’ variety the mainstream audience expects.

Just like it was when ‘Wings’ and ‘How You Doin’?’ dropped, ‘Move’ sounds like nothing that is on the charts at the moment. By taking this risk and watching it pay off, Little Mix continues to strengthen their reputation as reliable purveyors of pop that step outside the norm.

Feed Limmy Songs of 2012: #10 – #1

People often step to me and say, ‘Limmy, it must be so hard deciding your Top 10 songs of the year. I mean, gurl, you listen to so much shit.’ I then pat their head gently with all the love and sagely kindness of Yoda and say, ‘A Top 10 song you will know, when you hear’.

Top 10 Songs of 2012

And usually that’s not just with one listen. It’s with multiple listens – over and over – everywhere you go. You start making up situations in your daily life so you can mention the song to a friend or quote its lyrics on Twitter. You sneak it into mixtapes for friends and in multiple playlists. You get really fucking upset when people rubbish it or clearly haven’t watched the video for it even though you’ve posted it on their Facebook wall, like, a thousand times this week.

So having said that, my Top 10 songs of 2012 are actually pretty obvious to people who know me. Unlike the albums of the year countdown where there were a few outer-pop forays, this countdown is a no-brainer.

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Feed Limmy Albums of 2012: #30 – #21

The basic reality about 2012 for pop music is that there hasn’t been that many really good albums this year. But before you check me for grasping at 20 or so very short straws, I’m gonna say that this Top 30 is actually the best indication of the variety of music I have really enjoyed this year.

FEEDLIMMY TOP 30 ALBUMS OF 2012

Even though pop continues to dominate a good deal of my aural persuasion, the last 12 months have left me thirsty for different kind of beats, different styles and characters.

Getting my ass on Spotify and discovering new artists I normally wouldn’t have come across has been really instrumental in broadening my tastes, which was kinda a little mission of mine when I put the blog on hiatus a few months ago.

Well. Now that I’ve cleared the room of all One Direction and Calvin Harris fans. Let’s go check out my Top 30 albums of 2012, starting from #30 to #21 this week:

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Chart Feed – 12.11.12

I left y’all scratching at the post a little last week because I took my ass on a little vacaycay to Brisbane.

Chart Feed

Bitch, you should’ve seen me lounging on the beach in an island that was practically deserted on a Monday arvo. I was having a Mariah moment frolicking in the sand, trying to look cute for my Instagram photos. But hey, I am back now and here comes your chart feed – which might cover some things I didn’t get to touch on last week.

This has been a good week for Robbie Williams who scored his first simulatenous UK #1 album-and-single action in 11 years. Elsewhere, the following chart showboaters can’t complain either: Taylor SwiftCalvin Harris, Little Mix, Of Monsters and Men, The Wanted, and to a certain extent, Christina Aguilera. SAY!

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