Music

We Reviewed Each Song In The Hottest 100 In Under 50 Words

"Confidence: No, it's the children who are wrong."

Hottest 100 2018 Review

In this fast-paced, digital-dripping era, we know you probably don’t have the inclination to dedicate an entire Sunday to listening to radio — a format so archaic you can’t even watch it on Netflix.

Although the Hottest 100 is the world’s most popular music poll, it’s still a huge commitment to listen to the whole countdown. Do you know how many songs 100 is? It’s in the hundreds!

So, we plan to treat your time as the valuable, non-renewable commodity it is, which is why we have reviewed every song from last weekend’s Hottest 100 countdown in a sentence or two. If you like the sound of any of these songs, put triple j on and who knows, maybe you’ll hear that exact song, and have the wherewithal to tape it.

Here we go.


1. Ocean Alley — ‘Confidence’

No, it’s the children who are wrong.

2. FISHER — ‘Losing It’

This song charting so high is the best evidence yet that kids shouldn’t take drugs.

3. Travis Scott — ‘SICKO MODE’ (ft. Drake)

Probably the only song in the entire countdown to reference both Jamba Juice and Clueless star Stacey Dash. We’ll see though.

4. Childish Gambino — ‘This Is America’

Look, it’s Troy from Community, dancing, singing. I wonder what he is up to these…OH DEAR GOD WHAT!

5. Amy Shark — ‘I Said Hi’

I love a good kiss off song, even if I can’t help but hear that ‘Bad Day’ song every time this plays.

6. Dean Lewis — ‘Be Alright’

If this didn’t play during the emotional apex of at least one Australian drama last year then our country has failed Dean Lewis.

7. Mallrat — ‘Groceries’

The agony of being stuck behind someone openly flouting the eight-items-or-less aisle, finally captured in song form.

8. Billie Eilish — ‘When The Party’s Over’

I still can’t get used to anyone born after the year 2000 not being a futuristic pod baby raised by a cyborg.

9. Ruby Fields — ‘Dinosaurs’

Ruby Fields saying she used to love dinosaurs when she was a kid, suggests she hates them now, which is a bold position to take in a post Jurassic World society.

10. Ocean Alley — ‘Knees’

All Ocean Alley songs sound like having underwater sex.

11. Skegss — ‘Up In The Clouds’

Forget The Beatles or The Velvet Underground, Green Day spawned more imitators than both those bands put together.

12. The Wombats — ‘Turn’

Do Aussies love The Wombats because they are named after one of our native animals, or are The Wombats named after one of our native animals because Aussies love them?

13. A$AP Rocky — ‘Praise The Lord (Da Shine)’ (ft. Skepta)

Hip-hop artists love the lord; he is their favourite.

14. Wafia — ‘I’m Good’

Surely that’s for others to judge, Wafia.

15. Hayden James — ‘Just Friends’ (ft. Boy Matthews)

The name Boy Matthews makes me think about Corey Matthews from Boy Meets World, so I love this song.

16. Ocean Alley — ‘Baby Come Back’ (Triple J Like A Version 2018)

The comments section under the YouTube video for this is next level champagne comedy.

17. Billie Eilish — ‘Lovely’ (ft. Khalid)

Sometimes a song is named ‘Lovely’ and it’s just lovely, and there’s no further discourse needed.

18. Hockey Dad — ‘Join The Club’

Illawarra Leagues Club? Already a member, mate.

19. Broods — ‘Peach’

The latest hit from the fertile genre known as Lordecore.

20. KIAN — ‘Waiting’

This dude wrote this song when he was 14, which is better than that thing you did at 14, unless you happen to be Daniel Johns or one of those Stranger Things kids.

21. The Rubens — ‘Never Ever’ (ft. Sarah Aarons)

A few questions that I need to know.

22. RÜFÜS DU SOL — ‘Underwater’

This dude seems pretty casual for someone who claims to be stuck underwater.

23. RÜFÜS DU SOL — ‘Treat You Better’

Alright, who was the one RÜFÜS DU SOL fan who didn’t vote for both songs?

24. Hilltop Hoods — ‘Leave Me Lonely’

If you want to feel either very old or very young, depending on how you view the world, consider that Hilltop Hoods have been a hip-hop crew for a quarter of a century now.

25. Thundamentals — ‘I Miss You’

Leave Me Lonely? I Miss You? Geez when did Aussie hip-hop become so emo?

26. Vera Blue — ‘All The Pretty Girls’

Wasn’t this the title of a Drew Barrymore film? If not, it should have been.

27. Post Malone & Swae Lee — ‘Sunflower’

If you’re not yet charmed by Post Malone’s complete lack of pretence and arrogance, Google the video of him doing the Hot Wings challenge.

28. Kendrick Lamar & SZA — ‘All The Stars’

From #1 to #28 in one calendar year, it’s all over for Kendrick, assuming the Hottest 100 is the metric all American hip hop artists use to measure their career trajectory.

29. Peking Duk — ‘Fire’

Google ‘Tracks and Snatch’.

30. Cub Sport — ‘Sometimes’

Cub Sport actually once got a cease and desist from the Scouts Association, which is akin to having your morality questioned by George Pell.

31. Alison Wonderland — ‘Church’

“You better treat me like church” is a great empowering line, but don’t most people just fidget and check their phones during church?

32. The Rubens — ‘God Forgot’

What’s the deal with all the religious imagery in this year’s countdown?

33. Post Malone — ‘Better Now’

The lyric “I seen you with your other dude, he seemed like he was pretty cool” displays a level of graciousness and confidence that no man has actually ever achieved.

34. King Princess — ‘1950’

Never has the line ‘for you’ sounded more like ‘fuck you’ (Sidenote: This is my favourite song on the chart, for what it’s worth).

35. Mac Miller — ‘Ladders’

It’s tragic what happened to Mac Miller, and there’s absolutely no joke to be made here.

36. Amy Shark — ‘All Loved Up’

This song seems to play on Home and Away every time a couple is all loved up, so I guess the messaging is effective.

37. Ziggy Alberts — ‘Love Me Now’

Given both Bowie and Bob Marley’s continued popularity, I’m surprised that half the population isn’t named Ziggy by now.

38. G Flip — ‘About You’

It’s always amazing when you see an artist like G Flip who makes home-produced beat-driven music then she hops on a drum kit and destroys and you go, “Oh, she can do that too.”

39. Ball Park Music — ‘The Perfect Life Does Not Exist’

I can’t tell if this title is aspirational or the opposite?

40. Drake — ‘Nice For What’

The reason Drake is the biggest artist of the last decade is because he is the only one who can write a line like ‘Gotta hit the club, gotta make that ass jump’ and women are all like, ‘Isn’t he so romantic?’

41. DMA’s — ‘In The Air’

I love these guys but I hate the errant apostrophe in their name more.

42. Ziggy Alberts — ‘Laps Around The Sun’

If you Google this dude, he looks exactly the way you’re imagining him at the moment.

43. Drake — ‘God’s Plan’

Original Degrassi had The Zit Remedy; Degrassi: Next Generation had Drake. Only time will tell who the musical history books favour.

44. Hilltop Hoods — ‘Clark Griswold’ (ft. Adrian Eagle)

Nice to see these guys have grown out of using flute samples.

45. Bring Me The Horizon — ‘MANTRA’

There is an eight-bit cover of this song online, which sounds like Sonic The Hedgehog in the middle of a glitch.

46. Billie Eilish — ‘You Should See Me In A Crown’

I’m pretty sure you can chart the rise of professional, self-actualised teenagers with the introduction of the alcopop tax.

47. DZ Deathrays — ‘Like People’

Solid advice.

48. San Cisco — ‘When I Dream’

This jangly gem is so Australia-in-the-80s, it should be wearing zinc cream and a Hypercolor tee and playing fetch with Bouncer from Neighbours.

49. Angie McMahon — ‘Missing Me’

This was one of the best songs of 2018, but do not set your metronome to this rhythm track.

50. RÜFÜS DU SOL — ‘No Place’

I think this is what Daniel Johns and Luke Steele were aiming for.

51. Baker Boy — ‘Mr La Di Da Di’

Baker Boy just won Young Australian Of The Year, after which Tim Freedman honoured him by inserting the chorus of this tune into that Whitlams song about masturbating in Marrickville.

52. Khalid — ‘Better’

Plenty of things probably feel better than this, actually.

53. Vance Joy — ‘We’re Going Home’

At this very moment, there is a mother at a toy store somewhere whisper-yelling this threat through clenched teeth at a misbehaving kid.

54. Vance Joy — ‘Saturday Sun’

I assume this song was commissioned for the next season of Bondi Rescue.

55. Peking Duk — ‘Wasted’
Nah.

56. Halsey — ‘Without Me’

The Eminem classic, with completely different music, lyrics and melody.

57. The Presets — ‘Martini’

This is the perfect soundtrack for the types of events where you’re likely to be handed a martini.

58. BENE — ‘Soaked’

Why hasn’t ‘soaked’ been adopted as a term for being very drunk? Seems like it would have been by now.

59. Meg Mac — ‘Give Me My Name Back’

Why hasn’t anyone done a mash-up with this and ‘What’s My Name’ by Snoop Dogg?

60. DMA’s — ‘The End’

I think this is another Cher cover.

61. Hockey Dad — ‘I Wanna Be Everybody’

Imagine if Soccer Mom and Hockey Dad had a kid.

62) G Flip — ‘Killing My Time’

A slight lyrical change and she could sell this to a popular brand of calamine calamine calamine lotion and retire at 21.

63) BROCKHAMPTON — ‘BOOGIE’

Luckily, these guys are even better now they’ve kicked the sex offender out of the group, which wasn’t always guaranteed.

64) Middle Kids — ‘Mistake’

This sounds like the inside of a sunflower.

65. Methyl Ethel — ‘Scream Whole’

Methyl Ethel make beautiful arty music but with that band name they really should be pumping through ACDC covers at Hornsby RSL.

66. Flight Facilities — ‘Need You’ (ft. NÏKA)

Sounds like the music from a PlayStation One racing game soundtrack — this is a compliment.

67. Anderson .Paak — ‘Tints’ (ft. Kendrick Lamar)

Kendrick Lamar has it in his contract that he gets to say ‘bitch’ in every song he puts out, and you bitches can’t do shit about it.

68. benny blanco — ‘Eastside’ (ft. Halsey, Khalid)

Oh great, just as the 2pac/Biggie westside/eastside rivalry died down, here’s Benny Blanco stirring shit up again.

69. The Wombats — ‘Cheetah Tongue’

Is the Chris Martin-esque falsetto a new thing for these guys? I dig it.

70. Mallrat — ‘UFO’ (ft. Allday)

The most Drake song on the countdown, and that includes the two Drake songs on the countdown.

71. Skegss — ‘Smogged Out’

Skateboarding is not a crime, and you’re not my real dad.

72. Nothing But Thieves — ‘What Can I Do If The Fire Goes Out’ (Triple J Like a Version 2018)

Not just a clever band name.

73. Hockey Dad — ‘Sweet Release’

I’m a sucker for any song that hangs off one lazy riff and Lou Reed talk-singing.

74. King Princess — ‘Pussy Is God’

Who am I to disagree?

75. Kira Puru — ‘Molotov’

Songs That Sound Like They Should Be On A ‘Pretty Little Thing’ Commercial.

76. Polish Club — ‘Clarity’

The hook from this song is a dead ringer for Jagged Edge’s ‘Let’s Get Married’ and now you’ve heard this you will never unhear it.

77. CHVRCHES — ‘Miracle’

The religious theme of this countdown continues.

78. Hayden James — ‘Better Together’ (ft. Running Touch)

“Where you go, I’ll go, I’m waiting for you” is a line that can sit anywhere on the romantic/stalkerish spectrum depending on the circumstances.

79. Thelma Plum — ‘Clumsy Love’

If you have to say, “Tell me I’m the only one”, you already know you’re not.

80. Mark Ronson — ‘Nothing Breaks Like A Heart’ (ft. Miley Cyrus)

It’s about time that Miley Cyrus cracked the Hottest 100 — she is more indie than a limited-edition seven-inch these days.

81. Jack River — ‘Ballroom’

A song that addresses the perils of men wearing tight jeans.

82. Florence + The Machine — ‘Hunger’

If you like your histrionic wailing to be extremely pitchy, this is the gal for you.

83. BROCKHAMPTON — ‘1999 WILDFIRE’

Back in my day, 1999 was futuristic, not retrospective.

84. Tash Sultana — ‘Cigarettes’

I can’t hear a single loop pedal.

85. Anderson .Paak — ‘Bubblin’’

It’s a shame this guy is often derided as a Kendrick knockoff, because his albums are all really hooky and inventive. Still, he really does sound like him.

86. Lime Cordiale — ‘Dirt Cheap’

There is a world of difference between the meanings of “I love you whole” and “I love you, ho” but boy if you mishear it, you really mishear it, and keep mishearing it.

87. Ruel — ‘Younger’

Ruel is the next Bieber, but without the monkeys and bucket-pissing: you read it here first.

88. WAAX — ‘Labrador’

I have a feeling that Courtney Love would really like this band if she heard them — or she’d really hate them, it’s always a line-call with her.

89. Ruel — ‘Dazed & Confused’

Stealing the title of one of Led Zeppelin’s most famous songs is a power move that only the very young can get away with. Props.

90. Post Malone — ‘Psycho’ (ft. Ty Dolla $ign)

Do diamonds actually come by the boatload?

91. A$AP Rocky — ‘Sundress’

The ABC dictates that at least one Tame Impala tune needs to make the Hottest 100 each year, so during a period when they didn’t release music, this sample provided a neat loophole.

92. Thundamentals — ‘Everybody But You’

The ‘No Homers’ club.

93. Trophy Eyes — ‘You Can Count On Me’

God Gave Rock and Roll To You for a fresh new generation.

94. The Amity Affliction — ‘Ivy (Doomsday)’

Coldplay in the streets, Linkin Park between the sheets.

95. Arctic Monkeys — ‘Four Out Of Five’

80 percent is still a distinction.

96. Odette — ‘Take It To The Heart’

Hard to argue against the logistics of a song where the percussion is mainly finger clicks and handclaps.

97. DMA’s — ‘Do I Need You Now?’

This song could have slotted nicely onto the Spice Girls ‘Forever album, and this is certainly not an insult.

98. Kanye West — ‘Ghost Town’

I don’t actually think if you put your hand on a stove it would bleed, therefore I dispute the science in this song, and it should have been disqualified.

99. YUNGBLUD — ‘Polygraph Eyes’

Arctic Monkeys made a dense Bowie-esque album so Yungblud jumped in like, “you’re not using this anymore, innit, do you mind?”

100. Ocean Alley — ‘Happy Sad’

In 1999, Powderfinger had #1 and #100 on the Hottest 100, which means of course that these guys are the new Powderfinger.

Nathan Jolly is a freelance music and culture writer based in Sydney. Follow them on Twitter.