Apart from, you know, all the financial catastrophes, 2008 wasn't a terrible year. We grew financially poor but politically hopefulunless you were Rod Blagojevich or Ted Stevens, in which case federal authorities contended that pretty much the opposite was true. We weathered recessions, bailouts, Ponzi schemes and pirates; gawked at political sex scandals and bribery; and watched Britney inch her way back toward normalcy as Amy Winehouse continued her freefall into madness. As the calendar turns, this wild year's definitive soundtrack was unveiled by the awesomely named DJ Earworm, whose second annual United State of Pop video, "Viva La Pop," mashes up Billboard's Top 25 singles of the year.
"Viva La Pop" feels like paging through a photo albumthere are sultry snapshots of all the songs that provided the backbeat to this year's strange events. The video cycles through this scrapbook so quickly that there isn't time to dwell on any of the tunes, which range from Rihanna to Chris Brown to Madonna. But it works, because as MTV's now-defunct TRL learned long ago, pop songs are best consumed as catchy snippets. The tear-streaked rhythm is provided by Coldplay's syrupy "Vida La Vida"a choice Earworm said he made because 2008's hit-makers were "less macho than in previous years."
He chose well. The mashup combines the best come-hither moments from these chart-topping videos: there's Katy Perry's ode to experimentation, T-Pain's hallway dance set, and a lot of Chris Martin's weird British whiteboy moves. According to Earworm, 2008 was a soaring anthem marked by violins, great emotion, rain-soaked sadness, flash, determination, and sex. A lot of sex. In the club, like a lollipop, with Mariah Careybasically, whatever you like. 2008, you will be missed.