There's something about DJ Earworms' year-end mixes that's a little maudlin—having the most expressive moments of the year's popular music sandwiched together is an intense experience. But this year feels a bit different and mostly just a little bit more sad. Maybe it's just because Adele's "Hello" sets the tone by being the first song sampled, but even the snippets of the year's happier selections seem depressing—Fetty Wap chirping "and I ain't never letting go" immediately recalls Titanic, instead of summer parties.
Compare it to Earworm's first one in 2009, where every artist of the year was saying to "put your hands up" and "dance." This year, the common threads seem to be that every singer was making you grand promises so that you'll stay forever, apologizing with broad well wishes, and asking you to love them at all costs. Let's hope 2016 is a little less dramatic and a little more fun.