Some person (whose awful job it is to work directly for Billboard and write about made-up trends regarding micromovements in the digital tea leaves that move the contemporary pop charts backward and fro) dissected the fact that neither Taylor Swift nor another female artist are currently topping the charts, despite the fact that this was the case for the previous 19 weeks. And, wait, since it's by some fate of mathematics a new year, that must mean that it's no longer the year of women in pop but totally bro-down time, alriiiiiiight. All dudes everywhere just flexed their muscles in the mirror and mumbled "Give us that chart back!" Then their girlfriends asked what it is they said, and they replied, "Nothing."
"Uptown Funk" - Mark Ronson featuring Bruno Mars (RCA)
WHAT TO THINK ABOUT IT IF YOU'RE YOUNG: This song is exciting, banging and it's cool (for anyone who's under the age of 22, and thus never heard any actual funk or disco music).
WHAT TO THINK ABOUT IT IF YOU'RE NOT: Don't pop a heart-attack pill yet, friend. You've heard far worse songs, so don't sweat this one. It's no Gap Band or Fatback, but both Ronson (who produced that Amy Winehouse record you liked) and Mars (yes, he played on one of the Super Bowls) have obvious talent.
"Blank Space" - Taylor Swift (Big Machine)
WHAT TO THINK ABOUT IT IF YOU'RE YOUNG: First off, how long has this song been in the charts, 300 years? Secondly the lyrics are skewed. Starbucks lovers think she's insane? Really. I get that this is supposed to be a satirical take on how everyone cares about Swift's relationships, but that's the best reference she can muster? My mom doesn't even go to Starbucks anymore.
WHAT TO THINK IF YOU'RE NOT: Old dudes love to talk about how impressed they are by the '80s-influenced production, the tight beats, and especially the songcraft of this "pop princess" who's finally embraced pure pop. If this is you, please stop embarrassing yourself. It's creepy.
"Take Me To Church" - Hozier (Rubyworks)
WHAT TO THINK IF YOU'RE YOUNG: You don't know anyone who really likes this corny shit, do you? Oh, wait, that's the one with the video and it's all cinematic and is against gay-bashing, or Bible-burning, or something? You can't say you don't like the anti-gay-bashing song. So, it's OK, yes. Not sure who actually bought the record of this, though.
WHAT TO THINK IF YOU'RE NOT: There always has to be a popular song that's serious and real, where a man sings deep, like Cher or Pearl Jam, about something sad. And then since it's the 2010s, there have to be fake folksy anthemic Mumford elements in it, because fuck your ears forever. But yeah, you can't hate it either, because it's against gay-bashing.
"Thinking Out Loud" - Ed Sheeran (Asylum)
WHAT TO THINK IF YOU'RE YOUNG: You might wonder if sending this romantic little acoustic-driven pop song to the boy or girl that you like will be a romantic thing to do – like a link to it, in a text? Dude says he's going to be loving the girl until she's 70, and not 17, like you originally heard it, so maybe lay off.
WHAT TO THINK IF YOU'RE NOT: Did this asshat really say, "Will your mouth still remember the taste of my love"? Ewwwwww. There are Mentors lyrics that aren't as disgusting as that. Who is this? Is this one of John Mayer's children? I didn't realize they'd grown up so quickly.