♦★♦ bops, basically ★♦★ | finished, basically

Are you Team ♦Black Diamonds♦ or Team ★Blue Stars★?

  • Total voters
Losing those, my only two Black Diamonds 10s remaining is obviously a disaster. Particularly "I Will Never Let You Down", which was in discussion for my 11. It is a bit of a Popjustice legend song at this point. It's always gotten almost universal support from day one, but when the song shows up in a rate it never can quite seem to get to the very top. "Don't Call Me Up" was one of the few random Mabel songs I knew before the rate that I had been playing for ages. Easy 10. The "New Rules" comparisons are very apt. Thinking "Anywhere" is even close to being better than either of these greats is a nightmare scenario.
Ddd guess some of us weren't around when songs became PJLegends and it shows.
Glad that my low scores seem to have been kicked out before the pointy end of the rate, or do I still have one or two lurking in there?

Last edited:
Both would be fantastic winners, and I can say it was definitely a very close race, but I'd prefer Sacrifice to take it as it'd make for a pretty unexpected (but very deserved) win. That said, Lush Life has somehow never won a rate before, so at least whichever one wins team Blue Stats will be represented in the next Winners' Rate. Same goes for team Black Stars as well actually, as none of the songs in the top 5 have won a rate before.


ZARA 1/5

11 (2) @Trouble in Paradise @Laurence
| 10 (12) @DJHazey @WowWowWowWow @CorgiCorgiCorgi @soratami @Solenciennes @saviodxl @louciano @daninternational @MilesAngel @unnameable @Sprockrooster @Epic Chocolat | 9.5 (2) @sfmartin @Music Is Life & Death
6 (2) @berserkboi @Ana Raquel | 7 (3) @Daniel_O @Conan @JakobVision22

#2 - #1 - #1 - #2 - #3 - #4

As you can tell, "Lush Life" was always in the mix to not only win Team Blues Stars, but win the entire rate, holding the top spot for a quite a while in the middle of voting. It is also the first song to reach that illustrious 9-point average. With the people voting with different tastes and there being several different artists that could divide those people's interests, it's no surprise we didn't end up with alot of songs above 9.00. Most of those 6s and 7s you see above came in the second half of voting and insured Black Diamonds would reign supreme.

We all know how big of a hit "Lush Life" was for Zara. Of course, as you can imagine, it cae out of one of those infamous 'writers camps' in Sweden. Zara explained in an interview what happened at this one:
"A writing camp works like this: A lot of people - producers, writers, top liners—they come in. Let's say 25 people, 30 people. We have a studio complex in Stockholm, so we've got a lot of studios. We just put a little group in every room. That's the way we do it. By the end of the week, we all play the songs for each other. 'Lush Life' was really the only song that stood out that I was like, 'Whoa. What is this?' It just had a really nice vibe to it, and I love it so much. We were approaching summer, and it's a very good summer song." The joke has always been that Zara and her team squeezed every last drop they could out of the single, with it seemingly being a thing for 10 years. The results speak for themselves after getting remix releases, three videos, along with an album appearance two years after the single release. In that time, it blew past 1 billion Spotify streams and stands as one of the largest streams totals ever to this day. It charted in pretty much every country and even though it only had a few #1's (#3 in the UK and #75 in the U.S.) if you add up the Platinum certifications in the world you'd find she'd have over 50 and a couple Diamonds as well. That includes 10x Platinum in Sweden and 3x Platinum in the UK. It stands as the #63 charting song in UK's Decade Chart of 2010-2019. Needless to say, there's enough hardware and history with this pop behemoth that it was only a matter of time until it paid dividends in a Popjustice rate.

@berserkboi (6) “I remember this song! I disliked it at the time, it is meh now!”

@Maki (8.5) "This was absolutely unavoidable at the radio, I don't even know how to properly score it. Not one of my faves but it's fun and summer, also brings some nostalgia so I'll be generous. "

@Dynamo (9) "Probably one of the better tropical house-esque songs here in the list honestly."

@BubblegumBoy (9) "I swear Zara must be sick of this song, the number of times she performed it over new material dd"

@unnameable (10) "Probably the high watermark of her career."

@Sprockrooster (10) "Probably my fave song from Zara after This One's For You - that would have been a serious 11-contender."

@Solenciennes (10) "I’m being fair and not subtracting points for how overbearing this song has become with its umpteen releases and being wheeled out for the cutting of any ribbon. Lush Life is a towering, bouncy megalith of the tropical house-electropop fusion era of the mid-2010s. A time when every other hit song squeaked, steel drummed or whistled. Although the rest of the era delivered other hits for her, I do wonder sometimes if Zara’s career has teetered on being totally smothered by this song, it would be nice if she could avoid drawing attention to Lush Life for a couple of years and hopefully land a successful album era to cement herself a bit more."

@louciano (10) “Infectiously fun, breezy summery bop. Can’t see how anyone would rate this any lower than a 10 to be honest!”

@daninternational (10) "timeless modern classic, not many songs can smash this slowly/many times and still stay fresh throughout"

@WowWowWowWow (10) "It is very exasperating to look at the chart positions for Lush Life on Wikipedia and see (partial list) 4, 4, 2, 6, 7, 4, 6, 4, 2, 2, 1, 3 and then it gets to the USA and: 75. As if I needed another reason to hate this place"

@saviodxl (10) "The perfect summer track doesn't exi… "

@Trouble in Paradise (11) "in trying to define the difference between a bop and other up tempo songs, I think I’d use Lush Life as the perfect example of a bop. Right off the bat the ear worm is going and the beat is rolling and the chorus does not quit!”

@Laurence (11) "I played this most for any song in the rate and made me fall in love with her, what a song"

Which means our runner-up...



BEBE 2/5

11 (4) @louciano @Isobel @Sprockrooster @VertigoStick
| 10 (9) @DJHazey @WowWowWowWow @CorgiCorgiCorgi @soratami @BubblegumBoy @Aester @spaceship @Conan @Laurence | 9.5 @MilesAngel
5 @Solenciennes | 7 @saviodxl

#3 - #9 - #6 - #4 - #5 - #5

Even though our little engine that could never really challenged "Lush Life" that hard for the Team Blue Stars title, it was never in doubt for a Top 5 spot. Now I say that first part only because "Sacrifice" never held the team lead, but the final margin: 1.5 points! So, imagine another world where @Solenciennes gave this a 7 and we'd have a different winner here! I love both of these songs pretty much equally, but it would've been cool to have a surprise winner like "Sacrifice" and a song I have a more recent love affair with. However, I always assumed from day one that the top spot would end up like it did. The 'little engine' that could wasn't just in how it was perceived compared to "Lush Life" as far as leaderboard results, the two songs were also oceans apart in the commercial success category. The only certification received was a Gold in Poland of all countries, with a single #1 from Hungary, no chart placement in the UK, and only appearances on the secondary Billboard Charts. I think Bebe herself would only see this as a victory, going toe-to-toe with some of the world's best bops from the past decade+ and coming up roses like this.

@Solenciennes (5) "Hadn’t heard this before and it’s a robust effort, definitely hearing an attempt to fit into the musical landscape and maybe sneak a radio hit below the radar, can’t blame a girl for trying."

@daninternational (7.25) "A new one, it's a good fit to the rate theme I guess"

@berserkboi (7.5) “Bebe is the epitome of Pas Pour Moi so far sadly! This is the best one so far though!”

@Inland Empire (8) "#JusticeForMaisie"

@Maki (8.5) "Clearly not one of the most original songs but a very well-crafted one for sure."

@Dynamo (8.5) "This Is her Chromatica moment, and honey I’m LIVING for it!"

@Laurence (10) "Woof"

@WowWowWowWow (10) "It pops very much the hell off"

@louciano (11) “This is absolutely huge. The euphoric feeling hits just right, and it sounds a bit like it could be a sister to Girls Aloud’s Memory of You, which is extremely high praise.”

@Sprockrooster (11) "I never understand why Bebe got this PJ hatred. I still feel like Crazy should have been an Albanian ESC entry and it is their loss it wasn't the case. That said I am living in a parallel universe where Crazy slayed the world and everybody adored Bebe. I never thought she would top it. And than this utter megabop came to snatch my heart and earning plays - claiming a year's end top 10. In fairness I forgot the song a bit this past year and listening to it now still proves it's power and freshness. I guess Crazy has been dethroned."




11s GIVEN | Eight
| Thirty Three
| @MilesAngel (10.2), @saviodxl (9.75), @DJHazey (9.6), @Laurence (9.6)
| @VertigoStick (6.4), @Trouble in Paradise (6.95), @Daniel_O (7.1)


11s GIVEN | Five
| Twenty Nine
| @louciano (9.9), @DJHazey (9.8), @soratami (9.6)
| @Solenciennes (5.0), @Trouble in Paradise (5.6), @daninternational (6.2)

(thus far)

AVA | 8.425
ZARA | 8.356
MABEL | 7.889
BEBE | 7.844

KIESZA | 7.739
SELENA | 7.648
DAYA and INNA | 7.616
ANITTA | 7.356
For a second I thought Zara was the runner-up ff

I rated both "Sacrifice" and "Lush Luck" with the same score (8.5), so I don't feel strongly about either but I was rooting for the former as some type of dark horse winner (and after listening to them the back to back, it is a better song). Still shook it managed to go so far.

"Lush Luck" has been solidified as a shopping center bop for me because I literally heard it everywhere at the time. It sounds like summer and is a laidback tune but I don't find myself ever returning to it. And Zara's vocals don't sounds too great on it, as if she has a cold or something. Makes sense something sugary won in a PJ rate... poor edgy bops always suffer. I don't mind "Lush Luck" winning this section, though there were much better songs.

Anyway, I'm glad these two are out now because I'm left with two 9.75s and an 11 (which should definitely win this) - what an excellent top 3!

Also I think this is definite proof @Solenciennes is the rate villain dd
You should've just thrown their votes out teebs.