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THAT Was a Hit?!?: 2013 Edition

We shake our heads in wonder at two big pop hits of 2013: Ylvis's "The Fox" and Florida Georgia Line's "Cruise."

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Ylvis' 'The Fox (What Does The Fox Say?)' was one of the year's biggest international hits thanks to an infectious YouTube video. Ylvis' "The Fox (What Does The Fox Say?)" was one of the year's biggest international hits thanks to an infectious YouTube video. (Grandpeople/Simon & Schuster)

Generally, we wait about 15-20 years to look back at a particular top-charting pop song and wonderingly ask "That Was a Hit?!?" But sometimes it's possible to know immediately when a song has become an unlikely success -- and also know that it probably won't stand the test of time. Today, we talk with two Soundcheck regulars, Mario Correa of Entertainment Weekly on Sirius XM and Chris Molanphy, critic and pop-chart analyst who writes for outlets like NPR Music, Slate, and Pitchfork, and discuss the songs of 2013 that they think deserve the TWAH?!? treatment. 

Mario's Pick: Ylvis, "The Fox (What Does The Fox Say?)"

They're two brothers -- they're Norwegian -- and they're comedians, actually. The way that this song started was as a joke. These guys had the third season of their show coming up in Norway, and they thought, hey wouldn't it be funny if we came up with this bit where we tried to become pop stars in America?... But we're such idiots that we create this terrible song and we can't become pop stars because all we can sing about is "The Fox." But it didn't quite work out that way. 

 

Chris's Pick: Florida Georgia Line, "Cruise" (and the resulting Nelly remix) 

This song had the unusual distinction of crossing over from the country charts to the top five of the Hot 100.... It did so through a very unusual means, which was a hip hop remix featuring the rapper Nelly. To be fair, Nelly has gone down this route before. He had a hit about ten years ago with Tim McGraw called "Over and Over," which was a country/hip-hop hybrid.... I actually thought that was a pretty terrific song. "Cruise" is another animal entirely. An actual country hit that they then grafted a Nelly rap onto... it gets airlifted into the middle of the song. 

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