“We Don’t Talk About Bruno” Didn’t Get to No. 1 Just Because It’s Catchy

Its historic success is less about the song’s greatness than about how the chart works. In 2021, the Billboard Hot 100 was topped by an array of bespoke popular song forms: power-torch balladry (“Drivers License,” “All Too Well”), bubbly ’80s-style synthpop (“Save Your Tears,” “Stay”), Chicago drill–slash–New Orleans bounce (“Up”), flamenco-inflected hip-pop (“Montero”), classic pop-punk (“Good [...] Read more

Why Olivia Rodrigo’s “Good 4 U” Is Rock’s First Hot 100 No. 1 in Years

The versatile Disney star might be the dying genre’s best hope. Tweet Share Comment Tweet Share Comment When Olivia Rodrigo made her much-anticipated appearance on Saturday Night Live two weekends ago, the focus was, overwhelmingly, on the first song she performed, “Drivers License.” Over the winter, that out-of-nowhere chart-topping debut had instantly made her a [...] Read more