Alt Rock Blog
Top 5 2014 MashupsDecember 31st, 2014 by Keaton Fletcher
It’s become a year-end tradition, almost as sacred as the ball drop and Facebook year review posts. Year in review mashup songs have become a highly anticipated part of the the music scene in December. For those of you who are unfamiliar with this beautiful musical gift, a year in review mashup takes some of the top songs in the past year, pulls them together into a club-ready, nostalgia-inducing jam. DJ Earworm has been the main producer of the mashup, starting in 2007. Ever since, his, and others’, mashups have become a great way to look back on all the songs that were highly overplayed on the radio, but in a fun new way. 2014 has been a crazy year for music. Known as the year of the booty, this year saw quite a few break out artists, a few albums dropped in the middle of the night without any warning, and some top-notch albums from some of the heavy hitters in the game. For your convenience, I went to YouTube to find out what the Top 5 viewed 2014 mashups are.
5) Dance to the Pop (2014), by MBMMIXES16, has over 300 thousand views since its release on December 5th for an average of about 11,500 views a day. The run time for this mashup is just about 8.5 minutes and features 33 songs. This mashup features a heavy bass leading to a very strong dance vibe, making the title very appropriate. There are some very clear transitions in the mashup where the vibe completely changes, and though they might be a bit jarring, they work. The worst transition is definitely between “All About That Bass” and “Me and My Broken Heart.” That said, the transitions are incredibly useful for keeping this mashup interesting, over its long playtime. Props to the video for mashing the music videos up in a way that works with the music, not just to clue the listener into who is primarily featured at that moment. The best parts of this mashup are the first and last minutes. It’s worth the listen.
4) Best of 2014, by IM5, has over 210 thousand views since its release on December 17th for an average of about 15,000 views per day. This mashup is pretty unique in that it is a cover, not just a DJ created compilation of original songs. So that’s pretty cool. It is, however, done by relatively new-ish boyband IM5. I, personally, like boybands, but this is Altrocklive, so I understand that this might not be your cup of tea. The song has a run time of just under four minutes and, by my calculations, features 29 songs. The transitions are very seamless in this mashup, but that of course could be due to the nature of a boy band cover. The instrumentals behind the voices are powerful but fun, as are the vocals. These guys are very clearly talented, and enjoy what they’re doing. Unlike other year-end mashups, this one only ever has 2 songs at once, again, probably due to the nature of covers. I don’t have a favorite part of this other than the covers of “Shake it Off” and “Pompeii.” Check it out for sure.
3) PopLove3 (2014), by Robin Skouteris has just over 500 thousand views since its release on December 8th for an average of about 22,000 views per day. The song lasts for 11.5 minutes and features 55 songs. Starting out much slower, this mashup promises to be different and kind of lame, but then…epic pick up. This mash-up also has a futuristic fun voice over that walks you through the beginning of the video. The video starts with the definition of a mashup which is cute, and features the music videos as well as some original shots which is pretty cool, and sort of represents what this mix is. The mix seems to really be its own creation, not just a mashup. Skouteris uses the top songs from this year to showcase some sick dance beats and a heavy beat, not the otherway around. Also, being the longest mashup on this list, it includes some more obscure hits, which is refreshing for people who are sick of hearing “Animals,” “Chandelier,” “Shake it Off,” “Bang Bang,” “Happy,” and “All About That Bass.” It is actually the only mashup on this list that includes 5 Seconds of Summer, Avril Lavigne, LMFAO, and Conschita Wurst. It also has a whole section devoted to the booty songs, which is honestly what I was expecting all of these mashups to be. It’s long, but it’s worth it. Definitely a good shower song.
2)Pop Danthology 2014, by Daniel Kim has over 5 million views since its release on December 15th for an average of 217,000 views per day. The song has a run time of about six minutes, and features 66 songs, which is absolutely crazy to me. It’s the only mashup to include “Blank Space”, “Uptown Funk,” “Steal My Girl,” and music by other epic DJs such as Tiesto and Zedd. The video also has a nice shout-out to the Ice Bucket Challenge. The mashup also does a great job of carrying themes across sections, using the acoustics for one song as the background for the vocals of a handful of other songs and additional bass. He also includes links to how and why he makes these videos at the end of the mashup, which, for a music and psychology geek like me, is awesome. Pop Danthology has been one of the most anticipated mashups for the past few years and for good reason. Daniel Kim knows exactly how to bring tiny pieces of so many songs together to create a cohesive story that not only makes you think “Oh yeah, I remember that one” but also “Hmm, that sounds familiar, but I can’t remember how the rest of it goes, outside this song.” A heavy hitting song from the first note to the last, and an absolute must listen.
1) DJ Earworm’s United States of Pop 2014 (Do What You Wanna Do). The classic is king in this game, with over 10.5 MILLION views since its release on December 3 for an average of 375,000 views per day. Like most of DJ Earworm’s songs, this one ramps up from slow to moderately dancy. It is a four minute masterpiece. Like Pop Danthology, United States of Pop does a great job of seamlessly connecting sections through the use of acoustics from each song as a backdrop. This song heavily draws from only a handful of songs, 25 to be exact. In particular, “Shake it Off,” “Fancy,” “Black Widow,” and “Talk Dirty.” This song is more of an intensive look into some of the most recognizable hits, and is less of a year in review mashup as a unique song that happens to be made completely of other songs. It can easily slide into any playlist without taking over, since it’s about the length of a normal song.
I honestly like each of these mashups for their uniqueness, despite them all relying very heavily on “Shake it Off” (hopefully you like T-Swift in the first place). The only one you could maybe do without listening to is number 5, unless you’re seriously averse to boy bands in which case, you should probably skip number 4 too. Either way, it’s been a great year for music and the booty. I can’t wait to see what 2015 has in store.