“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

Music Club 2021: Emo is back, with a zillennial-tinged vengeance.

In Slate’s annual Music Club, Slate critic Carl Wilson emails about the year in music with fellow critics — featuring New York Times contributor Lindsay Zoladz, freelance writer Briana Younger, NPR music critic Ann Powers, Glitter Up the Dark author Sasha Geffen, Pitchfork contributing editor Jenn Pelly, WXNP Nashville editorial director Jewly Hight, Penguin Books author Julianne [...] Read more