Like the swallows habitually returning to Mission San Juan Capistrano, the annual “United State Of Pop” mashup from San Francisco’s Jordan “DJ Earworm” Roseman has become a beloved annual tradition in some circles. Each year, Roseman takes little snippets of the 50 most popular songs from the previous 12 months and artfully smooshes them together into an ear-pleasing, five-minute audio collage. The latest model is called “United State Of Pop 2015 (50 Shades Of Pop),” and, as always, the mashup is an opportunity to take stock of a year in music and reflect upon the voices that dominated the pop scene over the last 365 days. The fact that they blend together so easily could be attributable either to Roseman’s impeccable skills or to the overall homogeneity of popular music in the new millennium. Perhaps someone will have to do a “United State Of Pop 1983” or “United State Of Pop 1966” to see if songs from the pre-Pro Tools era are so effortlessly and convincingly conflated.
All of the usual suspects are audible in “United State Of Pop 2015.” Biebs? Here. RiRi? Also here. Tay Tay? Present and accounted for. Drizzy? Of course. Duh. But there are some newer faces, voices, and hairdos here, too, among them Fetty Wap and The Weeknd.
In a way, the greatest gift of a DJ Earworm mashup is that it takes all the songs people are sick to death of and makes something palatable out of them, even that god-awful Maroon 5 thing that seemed to be playing in every mall and every waiting room in America. But now, here it is, born anew in “United State Of Pop 2015 (50 Shades Of Pop)” along with 49 other overplayed pop tunes. Musical miracles can still happen.