Gather ’round the yule log, everyone: it’s the end of the year, and that means it’s time to open our annual present from DJ Earworm, a.k.a. Jordan Roseman. For the past seven straight Decembers now, Roseman has released his United States Of Pop mashup, a sort of musical embodiment of What We Listened To This Calendar Year. It’s made up of the top 25 pop hits of the year, threading together the disparate styles, themes, and melodies into a remarkably cohesive (and addictive) whole.
For his eighth release, there’s a noticeable shift in pace. All the usual suspects are here—Taylor, Nicki, Katy—joined by 2014 newbies like Meghan Trainor, Iggy Azalea, and Jessie J. However, as Roseman himself tells Billboard, there’s definitely a slower, more deliberate vibe to this year’s compilation. “The thing that has been most notable in the past two or three years is the decline of EDM,” he notes. “And this year, ‘Timber,’ which was popular in January, is the only popular dance track I’m dealing with. It’s definitely down-tempo, so you have to decide, how is this going to go? How am I going to maintain the energy levels while being true to the sound of the year?”
He needn’t have worried. Leaning into the new mood (as evidenced by downtempo ballad “Say Something” being a fundamental element), DJ Earworm has risen to the challenge, delivering a mashup every bit as clever and catchy as last year’s. This latest is called “Do What You Wanna Do,” and at least for the next hour straight, what we wanna do is play this over and over.