Deconstructing My 2021 Spotify Wrapped

December is full of “end of year” wrap-ups and none are as highly anticipated or scrutinized as the Spotify Wrapped. I love peeking at what my much cooler friends are listening to. But what I really love is the yearly affirmation that I listen to terrible music.

My 2021’s Spotify Wrapped does not disappoint. Let’s dig into this musical mess.

Oh boy… Avril Lavigne’s Hello Kitty as my opening credit theme is the cringe I was expecting from this. I would like to acknowledge the clear issues with the song, mainly the music video, which have all been well documented on the internet. And the video is very problematic. But the song… we’ll discuss more in a second.

My “final battle” being Misery Business by Paramore is spot on and right in line with my basic millennial profile. The choice of Pure by The Lightning Seeds for “kiss” song is an older and more obscure hit from a UK band circa 1989.

I was surprised by this number on two fronts. 1. I thought my total listen time would have been higher, and 2. I would have though more people would have listened to more minutes than I have. The big takeaway here for me is that I definitely do not have a daily commute anymore.

Let’s talk about “Hello Kitty” some more. The song though is pure pop bliss if you don’t listen to the words too hard. Avril also wasn’t the right artist for this song. If a popular girl group were to take this and make a few adjustments, and a less appropriative and stereotypical music video, it would be number one. I will not be taking any further questions on this.

Looking at the rest of the list, I can definitely see the influence TikTok has had on my musical choices this year with “Don’t Lose Your Head” and “Savage Love” making high appearances on the list. Strong showing of a 2010 throwback as well in “The Mother We Share”.

I don’t know much about music theory, but I think there’s some similarity in the repetition of musical hooks in these songs. If you know anything about this, leave a comment below.

It’s safe to assume that this slide is 100% because of my gym playlist. I’m not sure how “Hello Kitty” figures into the equation.

I love how Punk has made an appearance on the top genres. Not sure what, if anything, would indicate punk music thus far… although I did shout along to the Ramones in the car a few times this year

Rob Paulsen is the voice of our childhoods (re: Kiwi is a super basic millennial). He is the voice of Yakko from Animaniacs, Pinky from Pinky and the Brain, an OG Ninja Turtle… and a billion others. He has a very old and defunct podcast that I occasionally will put on and listen to him interview other voice actors.

Otherwise, most of my podcast listening is done through Youtube or Apple Podcasts.

I’m very pleased to see the Six Cast Recording as my number one “artist” this year. A Broadway musical about the six wives of Henry the 8th done as a pop music reality dating show? Hell yeah!

2021 was Britney’s year, and I know I’m not alone in having her in my top 5. Same with Taylor, although I’m a little more surprised by that one since I’m not a huge fan. Backstreet Boys are always close to my heart. And I guarantee Avril is only there because of fucking “Hello Kitty”.

In conclusion, I realize I like pure sugary pop music and I see nothing wrong with that. But, if you’d like to get a fuller picture of the songs that aren’t represented on these slides but still played a major part of my year, dive into the playlist below.

The Target Christmas Cat Tree Tradition

I got Baby Cat in 2017 and like any anxious new mother I joined a bunch of Facebook groups to be told I was doing everything wrong all the time. But, I did find out about these Target Wonderland Cat Houses. Naturally I had to have one for my precious little baboo. It has ended up being one of my favorite Christmas traditions. The second year in, I started recording the building process as a fun memory. It’s become a whole thing.

Since I’m feeling nostalgic, I thought I’d take us on a trip down memory lane and share all 5 years of the Baby Cat Christmas House.

Christmas 2017 – The First Christmas

There’s no video or photos from the building of this cat house because I didn’t know it would become a thing. A lot of photos are also lost from that era currently because of a computer crash. I do have this photo though, to show that this was Baby Cat’s “crinkly paper” era.

Please note the cat on the couch watching Youtube Birds (probably)

Christmas 2018 – The First Video

I picked the single story house this year and decided to document it. If I remember correctly, this was during/after a particularly challenging patch in my life and I was clinging to Christmas as a return to “normalcy”. I also had no idea how to actually speed up videos so this one clocks in at a whopping two and half minutes. It’s fine if you skip to the end.

Christmas 2019 – The Best Video

This was a good year and I had learned some tricks on making time lapses. I applaud my choice of music for this one as well. I don’t know… I just really like this one

Christmas 2020 – The Pandemic Christmas

It’s safe to say we all struggled in 2020. I don’t think I uploaded this at the time, which is a shame because I think this was my favorite themed house.

Christmas 2021 – The Christmas Train From Hell

This brings us to the present. This year I went with the big boy of all the picks from Target; the Cat Train. I will never do it again. The second layer was ridiculously difficult to put together and that cat seems meh overall about it. The video is cute though.

Here’s to kicking off the Christmas season! What are some of your favorite traditions?