Year-End Mania is the Key’s annual survey of the things below the surface that made 2016 incredible. Today, Key contributor K. Ross Hoffman imagines a world where these songs ruled the charts.
Sometimes reality just utterly fails to live up to even the most modest standards of reasonableness. 2016 was one of those times. Or, actually, many of those times. Fortunately, we music critics have a long-standing tradition of inventing alternate realities. Granted, it’s mostly limited to the realm of the pop charts, which all things considered represented some of 2016’s lesser transgressions. (Hey, the Chainsmokers’ “Closer” was only the #1 song in the country for a mere quarter of the year – it could have been worse!) But just in case you feel like dreaming up a nicer, happier parallel universe version of 2016, you might as well have a re-tooled mainstream cultural soundtrack to go along with it. Here are a few of the massively successful, inescapable smash hits of 2016… in my dreams. Continue reading →