Ranking Spotify playlists
Claire Rafford | Monday, October 29, 2018
Any Spotify user has been there. Sick of listening to the same four songs on repeat, we venture over to the “Browse” tab to select a new playlist with a catchy name and artsy cover photo. These mixes can seem like a blessing in the face of a musical rut. Still, with so many options, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the sheer volume of tunes that we have at our fingertips. So, because of both procrastination and desperation to think of a column topic, I followed approximately 35 playlists created by Spotify and attempted to rank the most memorable.
7. “Teen Party”
Barely relevant enough to be ranked, “Teen Party” earns its No. 7 spot due to the fact that I want a space to rant about it. The myriad of problems with this playlist begin with the fact that Ross Lynch, one of the least significant names in pop music, is the featured artist, and the issues just grow from there. The songs are trite and overplayed, and despite the fact that it claims to be a “Halloween-themed” playlist, Bobby Pickett’s “Monster Mash” does not make a single appearance. In my book, that is unforgivable.
6. “Chillin’ on a Dirt Road”
Country isn’t my favorite genre, but this collection happens to include every single country song that I’ve ever liked, such as catchy, sound-of-summer hits from Sam Hunt, Thomas Rhett and Zac Brown Band. Points are deducted, however, because Mason Ramsey (Walmart yodeling kid) is on here. Enough said.
5. “This is: ‘Hamilton’”
In my research for this column, I followed approximately 15 of my favorite artists who have “This Is” playlists, and “This is: ‘Hamilton’” came out on top. Not only does it include the acclaimed hip-hop soundtrack of the musical, but also the “Hamilton Mixtape” and some of Lin Manuel Miranda’s best “Hamildrops.” Aptly named, the playlist includes the show’s album, as well as the remixes inspired by the original art, demonstrating what “Hamilton” truly is and means to modern culture.
4. “This is: Aretha Franklin”
Fine, I take back my earlier comment. Aretha’s best is too good not to include. I don’t really have much to say about this one except that it’s almost as perfect as Aretha herself. A combination of her most iconic songs, most notably “Respect” and “Think,” and more obscure ones, like her cover of “Let it Be” by The Beatles, it is a feminist power mix for the ages.
3. “Songs to Sing in the Car”
Perhaps the most precisely titled playlist on this list, “Songs to Sing in the Car” evokes the carefree, upbeat feeling of driving with music blasting on the radio. In addition to classic feel-good tunes, the playlist includes a myriad of songs about driving, such as “Life is a Highway,” “Take Me Home, Country Roads” and “Drive My Car.” Spotify was dedicated to the theme here, and I appreciate it.
2. “All Out ’60s”
Similar to the “This Is” series, Spotify created “All Out” playlists for every decade since the 1950s. I listened to all of them, and I am pleased to report that the bright beats of 1960s hits came out on top. This compilation includes the best of the era, with classics from The Beach Boys, The Beatles, Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder and more. I hardly skipped any songs while listening, which is a testament to the quality of the music.
1. “Have a Great Day!”
There was no chance that this playlist wouldn’t be ranked No. 1 when I started this venture. Though mostly throwbacks from the likes of ABBA, Paul Simon and more, this mix also includes some more recent upbeat tunes from Andy Grammer, fun. and others. If you start your day with this playlist, you’re practically guaranteed to indeed have a great day.
The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.