“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