Billboard mag has recently published staff picks for the 50 best songs of 2017 so far, and there are a number of main or featured Canadian artist entries within. Editors point out that whenever music consumption seemed to be lagging, “the pop machine reverted to a tried-and-true formula established as a sure shot back in ’16: just throw Justin Bieber on it.” The list contains a variety of genres but is limited in terms of languages: there is no C-Pop, J-Pop, or K-Pop, and the only European language represented is Spanish. Yes, the republic is behind the rest of the world when it comes to that.
In order to find the Canucks, you have to scroll down to about the mid-way point. Japandroids‘ indie-rock “North East South West” “with frosty guitars” makes #26. Carly Rae Jepsen‘s “flawlessly constructed” “Cut to the Feeling” is in at #23. Zedd and Alessia Cara “Stay” with the Ontarian’s “booming vocals” makes #18. At #12 is “I’m the One” which features several artists including Justin Bieber, “brilliantly taking the lead on the wavy chorus”. The Weeknd‘s “I Feel It Coming” makes the Top 10 (#9), Billboard describing it as a “sultry, slinking disco-funk jam”. The “Despacito” remix which features The Biebs gets bronze at #3. The magazine points out it is the first Spanish language No. 1 on the Hot 100 since “Macarena” in 1996. This one doesn’t come with a signature dance move however. “Passionfruit” by Drake gets silver at #2, described as a “hip-swisher, as catchy and cookout-ready as anything he’s done”.
Ranked at #1 is Calvin Harris’ “Slide” featuring the heavily autotuned vocals of Frank Ocean and Migos.
Observations? Well, for one, it is interesting that Katy Perry’s dance-pop song “Chained to the Rhythm” at #40 has been all over the radio while Carly Rae Jepsen’s dance-pop “Cut to the Feeling” at #23 has disappointingly not been. Not that a nod towards Japandroids is unwarranted (far from it), but we do wonder how many Canadian indie rock bands Billboard staff is aware of. As we listen to so many Bieber features, the Spanish one was the final straw: amidst his playing the Pitbull role, we miss his making his own music.
You can view the entire Top 50 here.