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    • By Skinny Legend
      In some ways, 2008 was pretty similiar to 2018. A shock candidate had just entered the White House, bypassing Hillary Clinton who people thought was a sure thing. The worldwide economy was still at breaking point, there were still tensions in the Middle East, and global warming was still hugely under-recognised. Betty White was still popular, and O.J. Simpson was still headed straight for priosn.
      But in other ways, 2008 was a completely different time from the one we're now living in. Politically, things were much more liberal - we had Barrack Obama in office instead of Donald Trump - and musically, we were still exploring the genres of folk and rock concurrent with the R&B revival taking place. Trap wasn't even a thing, and Cardi B was swinging on a pole somewhere without a dollar to her name.
      In this list, we'll be looking at fifteen of the biggest songs of ten years ago. Some of them are probably still played at whatever New Year's Eve countdown you listen to, but others will definitely be forgotten gems. Check them out below and let us know what you think in the comments!
      15. Natasha Bedingfield - Pocketful of Sunshine
      I'd always assumed that 'Pocketful of Sunshine' only became a hit in 2010 after it was memorably featured in Easy A; but it turns out the song actually first found it's success back in 2008, when it charted at #5 on the Billboard Hot 100. As Easy A's Olive remarks, 'Pocketful of Sunshine' really is the "worst song ever", but like most of the singer-songwriter style songs released in 2008 it's also incredibly catchy. Prepare for this to  be stuck in your head for the next week.
      14. Jazon Mraz - I'm Yours
      Speaking of annoying singer-songwriter songs, let's take a look back at the breakthrough single from one hit wonder Jason Mraz. Along with Colbie Caillat's 'Bubbly', 'I'm Yours' led the charge for summery, acoustic pop songs to offset the overproduced dance pop on the radio, and it found huge success among the "middle aged women who post Minion memes" crowd. Even though it only hit #6 on the Hot 100, it stayed on the charts for an insane 76 weeks, becoming the longest charting song at the time; and it now holds the honour of being the tenth best-selling digital song of all time in the US. It's easy to understand why, but that doesn't make the song any better.
      13. Jordin Sparks & Chris Brown - No Air
      Remember when people still admitted to listening to Chris Brown songs instead of playing them in their wireless headphones in dark alleys and dead-end streets? 2008 was definitely Brown's year, and he found success not only as a solo artist with 'Kiss Kiss', 'With You' and 'Forever' (all of which have to be strong contenders for the most annoying song ever - this is becoming a trend, 2008), but also with his duet with American Idol alum Jordin Sparks. The song is bang on trend for the year, featuring the same R&B beat which had blown up in 2007 and the icy synths that Timbaland had been pushing for the past few seasons.
      12. Mariah Carey - Touch My Body
      It might be unfair to refer to Mariah Carey as the female Chris Brown, but it's obvious her star has fallen quite a bit in the decade since she released 'Touch My Body'. Back then, MiMi was praised for her frank take on sexuality and her funny self-parodies - such as in the video above, where she seduces her Wi-Fi installation man - but now it seems that she's criticised for trying too hard to be sexy and taking herself way too seriously. Mariah could definitely learn something from the success she back in 2008.
      11. T.I. - Whatever You Like
      'Whatever You Like' is actually the name of two T.I. songs - one Nicole Scherzinger attempt he featured on which was a huge flop, and one solo effort which blew up internationally and effectively launched his career. 'Whatever You Like' was the song of the summer back in 2008, and went on to be the sixteenth most successful song of the decade. It's stood up relatively well over the years, although we have to say that our personal favourite version of the song is Anya Marina's chilled out cover.
      10. P!nk - So What
      Although R&B and hip-hop was huge back in 2008, the power-pop vibe mastered by stars like Kelly Clarkson and Hilary Duff was still grasping on to it's last moments in the sun. Case in point: 'So What', which was the first single from P!nk's Funhouse album, and which marked a huge return to the US charts for the singer after she failed to sell in the country during her I'm Not Dead era. It's sad given that 'So What' is actually incredibly trashy and a shameless cash grab compared to that previous album, with some of the laziest songwriting including lines like, "So what/I'm still a rockstar/I've got my rock moves/And I don't need you tonight". That said, the song is still a P!nk and Max Martin collaboration, which means that it's as super catchy and feelgood as you'd expect from the team that brought you 'U + Ur Hand'.
      9. Flo Rida - Low (Feat. T-Pain)
      There was a time back in 2008 when you couldn't turn on any radio station, visit any shopping mall, or tune into any episode of whatever trashy MTV reality show you were trying to watch without having to endure yet another spin of Flo Rida's 'Low'. Rida has vanished into obscurity in the last few years, but up until then he had a penchant for writing incredibly catchy songs, and 'Low' is no exception. Bolstered by a placement in Step Up 2: The Streets (yes, it was that long ago), 'Low' was such a huge hit when it was released that it went on to become the highest selling single of the 2000s decade. If only someone could explain what "apple bottom jeans" actually are.
      8. Rihanna - Disturbia
      Rihanna was telling us she was a "good girl gone bad" from the time 'Umbrella' was first released, but it wasn't until 'Disturbia' dropped that we actually believed her. 'Disturbia' follows in the footsteps of 'Thriller' in presenting an image of mental anguish, paranoia and anxiety which is nevertheless surprisingly fun to dance to - and in a weird coincidence, it was even penned by future ex-boyfriend Chris Brown, who clearly had is own issues with mental anguish. With one of the catchiest executions of "bum bum be dum" ever created, 'Disturbia' also happens to have one of the best music videos Rih's ever released, featuring tarantulas, wolves and S&M eyepatches. It's a total classic that still makes our Halloween playlists to this day.
      7. Madonna - 4 Minutes (Feat. Justin Timberlake)
      Madonna is one of the few artists who's probably had a hit no matter how many decades back you go, but back in 2008 it had been a while since she'd released a true chart topper. Everything changed with '4 Minutes', a Justin Timberlake and Timbaland collaboration which launched her back into the public's consciousness. Featuring a call and response chorus and some vague lyrics about the apocalypse perfect for the increased talk of global warming, the song was the perfect way to bring Madge into the future. We just wish she'd been able to be as successful with any of her singles since then.
      6. Sara Bareilles - Love Song
      Following in the trend of Bedingfield and Mraz is Sara Bareilles's 'Love Song', a laidback folky bop which made the perfect easy listening for 2008. The story behind the song is that Bareilles was becoming frustrated with her label's refusal to release her music, so she wrote an archetypal "love song" dedicated to her executives in a passive aggressive attempt to impress them. Regardless of the feud, it seems that both parties won in the end because 'Love Song' ended up spending 19 weeks in the top ten and becoming one of the biggest hits of 2008.
      5. Timbaland - Apologize (Feat. OneRepublic)
      'Apologize' was actually first released as the first single from OneRepublic's debut album Dreaming Out Loud, but when it failed to make waves the band hit up Timbaland for a remix (and an impressive name check) to blow up the radio. The only real thing Timbo added was a much-parodied line of "eh eh, eh eh" background vocals, but that didn't stop the public from eating the new version of the song up - it stayed in the top ten for twenty five weeks which made it the longest song to hang in there so long since 1999.
      4. Alicia Keys - No One
      Alicia Keys' 'No One' is probably the quintessential song of 2008, combining the Timbaland style of R&B, the OneRepublic style of acoustic rock and the Jordin Sparks brand of irritation into one fusion of a track. The fact that everyone in the world thought they could hit the high notes that Alicia masters just made matters worse. Nevertheless, 'No One' became the most listened-to song on US radio in 2008 with over three billion listeners, while also becoming one of the best-selling singles of all time.
      3. Katy Perry - I Kissed A Girl
      It's weird to think that just ten years ago nobody knew who Katy Perry was, and that the world's first introduction to the heretofore Christian pop star was a song all about flirting with bisexuality (something we're sure she'd be too "woke" to do now). 'I Kissed A Girl' has to be one of the most manipulative, disingenuous and trashy songs ever written, but thanks to the stylings of super producer Dr. Luke (there's another sentence that just wouldn't be written in 2018) it managed to become a hit anyway, topping the charts for seven weeks in a row. If nothing else, it launched the career of Perry (who, after all, brought us 'Teenage Dream') and it added to the conversation surrounding LGBTQ rights, so it can't be all bad.
      2. Leona Lewis - Bleeding Love
      If you've ever had a break up, you'll be all too intimately familiar with this song and the precise playthrough during which your tub of ice cream begins to run out. 'Bleeding Love' is the quintessential heartbreak song - heartfelt and wrenching, and with a climactic note which no one can actually hit during karaoke but which everyone tries to. There's clearly a lot of sad people in the world, too, because the song hit #1 in 35 countries. Sadly, it's a success Leona has never quite been able to match - while the follow up 'Better In Time' was moderately well received, every single since has been a flop, at least outside of her home country of the UK.
      1. Coldplay - Viva La Vida
      Before Coldplay was being unnecessarily bashed for their Super Bowl Half Time Show performance in 2016, they actually enjoyed a successful career which largely climaxed with the release of 2007's Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends. The titular single from the album was 'Viva La Vida', a rousing, grandiose statement of glorious intent for the rest of the album which never fails to put a smile on people's faces or a tear in their eye. With references to love, death and war, 'Viva La Vida' really has it all, and it succeeded not just as a onetime popular single but as an enduring testament to the band's legacy.
      What was your favourite song of 2008? Let us know in the comments! And for a trip down memory lane, check out the ten biggest hits of 2007 here.
    • By Skinny Legend
      When it comes to pop music, most of us have set ideas of what we want to hear. Pop music in 2017 is constantly changing, and that necessitates a song which will either hit right in the middle of whatever trend is whirlwinding through the genre at any given moment, or one that will set the zeitgeist for what we can expect for the next few months in terms of production. Pop music is designed to give the illusion of edginess and freshness, even while it not-so-secretly borrows all of it's creativity from genres long-established.
      When it comes to Christmas songs, however, the rules are different. The festive season is really the one time of year when people are happy to embrace "cheese" in all it's glory - and we ain't talking about gouda. Our favourite Christmas songs are rife with references to tradition, family, an incredibly pure definition of love and overused holiday symbolism. The production, too, generally plays much safer, often choosing to throw back to retro Motown sounds, with brass sections, choirs and sleigh bells all coming out to play. Pop may play the role of the leather jacket in music's wardrobe all year round, evoking a stylish and rebellious spirit; but Christmas is that one cosy sweater you've had for years that always brings back memories of sitting by the fire and drinking hot cocoa.
      In this list, we'll be compiling the ten best "hot cocoa" Christmas songs which have yet to slide into the monotony of carol status. Whether you're sitting alone watching Love, Actually on Christmas day or trying to get your boss tipsy at the work Christmas party, just one listen of these songs is bound to get you in the festive spirit and ready for the big day. Check out our choices below!
      10. Sia - Candy Cane Lane
      Sia may not be the immediate choice for a Christmas album, but the more you think about it the more well-suited she seems to spreading holiday goodness. Sia in 2017 seems to churn out pop hits like butter, often to the expense of meaningful lyrics or unique production; but that kind of breezy, generic pop tune is exactly what's needed at Christmastime, where people are loathe to think about anything more serious than what kind of wreath they should get. 'Candy Cane Lane' is the most vapid, silly and childish song on the whole album - but we can't even be mad when the chorus is this catchy and fun.
      9. Gwen Stefani - Under The Christmas Lights
      Thanks to some pretty poor promotion (we still don't have a music video for the lead single which was released in September), and a bad choice of single in the form of the Blake Shelton assisted 'You Make It Feel Like Christmas', Gwen Stefani's Christmas album has pretty much flown under the radar this year. And while I can't say I'm sad about that fact (the album is overall pretty meh), it does mean that a lot of people are missing out on 'Under The Christmas Lights', which is, as the kids would say, "a bop". Evoking the doo-wop tones of The Ronettes, Stefani puts in her purest performance in years as she sings an ode to holiday love. You can almost forget for a minute that she's singing about Shelton.
      8. Leona Lewis - One More Sleep
      Leona Lewis left her longtime record label Syco last year over differences of opinion in where her career should go; but if 'One More Sleep' is any indication, Lewis should definitely have stuck around if only to keep belting out Christmas hits. Not only was the track Lewis's most successful in years, charting in the UK every holiday season since it's been released; but it's also one of the most well constructed Christmas song ever, thanks to a smart little "12 Days of Christmas" countdown during the chorus. Lewis's voice is perfectly suited to this kind of song, and we can see why Simon Cowell wanted her to go Motown so badly.
      7. Eartha Kitt - Santa Baby
      'Santa Baby' has become a go to for any female singer releasing a Christmas album (Madonna, Kylie Minogue and The Pussycat Dolls have all contributed versions), but few can match the seductive elegance of Eartha Kitt's original version. Kitt's black sexuality was pretty radical back in it's day, but looking at it now her version is much more seductive than it is slutty, and her quiet, deliberate intonation makes the song a surprisingly easy listen considering that the whole thing is about Kitt asking her sugar daddy for a car. Moreover, it's just nice to have a Christmas song which isn't directed towards young kids and which isn't afraid to land someone on the naughty list.
      6. Mariah Carey - Oh Santa!
      It's definitely not the best known of Mariah's Christmas output, but 'Oh Santa!' is pretty much everything you'd ever want in a Christmas song. Released on her second album, the aptly titled Merry Christmas II You, the song was clearly meant to mimic the success of 'All I Want For Christmas Is You'; and even though it didn't quite get there, the chorus is just as catchy as that iconic track's ever was. If you haven't heard of it yet, think of the song as the festive version of 'Hey Ya' - it has the same call and response pre-chorus, as well as some doo-wopy background vocals and of course a gorgeous whistle tone straight from 80s Mariah. Just prepare to have it in your head a week later.
      5. Kylie Minogue - Every Day's Like Christmas
      Most of our favourite Christmas songs evoke the 60s "Wall of Sound" production made famous by Phil Spector in the 60s; but for a more modern, quasi-90s attempt, look no further than Kylie Minogue's 'Every Day's Like Christmas'. A cool electro-pop ballad, the song is more "ice queen" than "roaring fire", but it's tender enough to pull some heartstrings regardless. The song was originally worked on by the powerhouse of Coldplay's Chris Martin and Stargate; but for a more 80s take on the song, check out the Stock Aitken Waterman remix, which marks the first time Kylie has worked with the production trio in 25 years.
      4. Judy Garland - Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas
      Many have covered 'Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas', the song first written for Judy Garland's character in the charming Meet Me In St. Louis. But none can quite match the emotional strains that Garland manages to pull off in her performance of the song, which comes at a vital point in the film as her character tries to sooth her sister after news that the whole family will be moving towns in the new year. In the world of boppy, poppy Christmas music which aims to improve people's moods over the festive period, 'Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas' still stands out as a song for those of us who are lonely on the big day, whether because of heartbreak, death or distance - and no one knows more about that than Garland.
      3. Kelly Clarkson - Underneath The Tree
      I'm ready to call it: Kelly Clarkson's 'Underneath The Tree' is the most underrated Christmas song ever. The lead single from her Christmas album Wrapped in Red (which, incidentally, is probably the most underrated Christmas album ever), the song was at one point predicted to become just as legendary as a certain Mariah Carey classic; but it languished around the bottom of the charts before dropping out, never to be heard of again. It's a shame, because producer Jesse Shatkin nailed the Wall of Sound vibe, and Clarkson herself nailed those girl group vocals. Moreover, we have to give major kudos to any song which brings the much-missed saxophone solo back to pop music.
      2. Darlene Love - Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)
      We've brought up the Wall of Sound numerous times during this article, but at the risk of sounding repetitive, I'll bring it up just once more - this time in reference to Darlene Love's 'Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)', which is one of the original songs to utilise it and one of the best. 'Christmas' is ostensibly about a forelorn lover wishing for their partner to come home, but Love sings it with such passion that it's hard to feel anything but joyful listening to it. Love's version is still one of the best, but for a more modern take on the classic check out Mariah Carey's R&B-infused take or Gossip Girl star Leighton Meester's surprisingly good rock-tinged version.
      1. Mariah Carey - All I Want For Christmas Is You
      And here we are at the #1 spot! Is anyone really surprised? Given how overplayed and well-loved it is, Mariah Carey's 'All I Want For Christmas Is You' is basically a running joke at this point - but in our opinion, the hype around the song is well deserved. From the iconic opening strains of the music box to Mariah's shameless rhyme about reindeers "clicking" to that final, glorious whistle note, the song is chock full of legendary moments that are bound to bring a smile to even the Grinch's face. It's one of the few Christmas songs that can truly be listened to year round, as well as the only one which I never get sick of hearing in every department store ever. Let's just try and forget that the Justin Bieber remix ever existed, okay?
      What iconic Christmas songs are we missing from our list? Let us know in the comments down below!
    • By Tweener
      The legendary Mariah Carey and Jennifer Lopez cover Paper Magazine's Special Las Vegas Edition this month.
      Las Vegas is known for hiring A-list artists to do residencies in particular hotels. If one decides to go to Las Vegas, they can pick from such artists as Mariah Carey, Jennifer Lopez, Britney Spears, Celine Dion and more.
      Except for Mariah and JLo, there are also covers with Ricky Martin and Backstreet Boys (but who really cares about them ).
      Read Mariah's article below:

      And here's J. Lo's article:

      Check out these amazing photoshoots the divas did for the magazine!
      Mariah:
      Jennifer:
      Even though I love them both, I have to admit that J. Lo's photoshoot is much better. It could be an album photoshoot because this is truly amazing! 
      What do you think?

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At first it seems odd that mceyedol has only made 438 posts on PHF given how huge a part of the forum culture they are; but when you look at the standard of their posts, you see that they're definitely going for a quality over quantity technique. mceyedol has been with us for two years and throughout their time here they've always shown nothing but kindness, humility and humour in their posts, and we're absolutely overjoyed that they've decided to stick around! Enjoy your special month boo!

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