BSBB Round 3: Nicki Minaj, "Anaconda" vs. Charli XCX, "Boom Clap"
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Best Song Bracket Battle: View the Matchups | Critics and Rules

Anaconda

Nicki Minaj

Boom Clap

Charli XCX



DENISE WARNER: “Anaconda” waxes poetic about big butts. “Boom Clap” is a somewhat more sentimental take on falling in love. I’m going with sentiment on this one.
My Vote: “Boom Clap”

MAURA JOHNSTON: In their ideal form, pop songs encapsulate their central theses both sonically and lyrically, and Charli XCX's solo coming-out party accomplishes exactly that. It's besotted yet confident, its lush backing track serving as a pile of confetti for Charli to romp around in while she marvels at the way one person can right her ship. The "Baby Got Back"-powered "Anaconda" can fire up a party, and Nicki Minaj's feisty ode to rear ends was certainly on trend in The Year Of Our Butt, but "Boom Clap" is the sound of a smoldering heart.
My Vote: “Boom Clap”

ERIKA RAMIREZ: “Anaconda” makes me twerk my non-existent booty without shame. That’s all I need.
My Vote: "Anaconda"

NICK WILLIAMS: I choose "Boom Clap" because it sort of came out of nowhere -- I don’t even think Charli thought it was going to be as big a success as it was, and her sophomore album’s delayed release proved her label didn’t, either. The song also continued to showcase how adept she is at writing pop hooks that also have a lyrical integrity to them -- the track’s opening line was one of my favorite lyrics of the year with ‘you’re picture perfect blue, sunbathing under moon.’
My Vote: “Boom Clap”

JOE LYNCH: Nicki Minaj's "Anaconda" was a hilarious reworking of a classic hip-hop track, while Charli XCX's contribution to The Fault In Our Stars soundtrack was one of the year’s most earnest, joyful pop delights. Quick thought: combine these two songs and you get "Boom Fap."
My Vote: “Boom Clap”

KRISTEN YOONSOO KIM: Arguably, “Anaconda” is the winner here solely based on how iconic it is. The album cover alone has inspired everything from bucket hats to shower curtains, but the parodies, covers and memes — not to mention the Sir Mix-A-Lot sample and the “my anaconda don’t” catchphrase -— are just some of the reasons why the Nicki Minaj track has made 2014 the most booty-ful year ever. But since we’re here to talk about which song is actually better, I’d have to give it up to Charli XCX’s “Boom Clap.” If you ever had doubts about the girl’s ability to slay outside of guest verses (Iggy Azalea’s “Fancy”; Icona Pop’s “I Love It”), please do yourself a favor and listen to “Boom Clap” stat. It’s a clear winner.
My Vote: “Boom Clap”

JEM ASWAD: I was already fed up with obnoxious butt anthems and insipid hooks before “Anaconda” dropped, and while it has its moments, it’s no match for my favorite pop song of the year: “Boom Clap” is undeniable, with a gorgeously lilting chorus, a thumping hook and all kinds of sneaky little hooks lurking beneath the surface.
My Vote: “Boom Clap”

JAMIESON COX: If we’re talking meme-ability and visual impact, “Anaconda” is my pick in a heartbeat. But here’s the thing: it’s a pretty bad song! There’s no tension or resolution, little in the way of melody, nothing in the beat that’s compelling. It’s completely reliant on the force of Nicki’s charisma — which is considerable, no doubt — and people’s fond (or not) memories of “Baby Got Back.” And then there’s “Boom Clap,” the finest work yet from one of the world’s best young songwriters; in terms of musical merit, it’s pretty much the exact opposite. This is an easy call for me.
My Vote: “Boom Clap”

ALEX GALE: With its confluence of girl power and booty worship, “Anaconda” neatly embodies two of 2014’s biggest music trends. But it will still always be a novelty track, one that remakes another novelty track. As a result it loses points to “Boom Clap,” which effortlessly toes the line between bubblegum pop and alt-cool, and formally announced Charli as one of the most exciting breakouts of the year.
My Vote: “Boom Clap”

ERNEST BAKER: Charli XCX is no longer just the girl on "Fancy" and "I Love It." "Boom Clap" has made it apparent that she'll have many more hits in her career. However, for now, Nicki Minaj has the advantage. I don't think that anybody wanted to love "Anaconda" when it first came out, with its silly lyrics and dated sample, but it's too fun to deny.
My Vote: “Anaconda”

JASON LIPSHUTZ: One afternoon last July, I was over my parents’ house in South Jersey in my childhood bedroom; the window was open, and two houses down there were a group of tweens running around in the backyard, giggling and shouting and singing along to… Charli XCX’s “Boom Clap.” I was really surprised! At that point, “Boom Clap” wasn’t a big hit at all. Then I started wondering, how did these little boys and girls know the words to “Boom Clap”? Had they heard it on the radio? Maybe they snuck into the PG-13-rated The Fault In Our Stars? Were they diehard Charli XCX fans, sneaking onto their parents’ computers to extol the virtues of 2013’s True Romance in the comments sections of various music blogs? At some point, I stopped wondering/caring and happily concluded, “Wow, ‘Boom Clap’ is going to be a hit!”
My Vote: “Boom Clap”


OVERALL WINNER: “Boom Clap”

Best Song Bracket Battle: View the Matchups | Critics and Rules