Ain’t nuthin’ but a heartache: the best of Max Martin

ABBA adapted for Diane Warren ends and loving it. The most prodigious songwriter of his generation is capitalism incarnate: the possibilities of verse-chorus-verse, wrung for pathos the more anonymous the singer. It will turn out eventually that Max Martin is my generation’s Holland-Dozier-Holland, with Britney Spears as their Diana Ross. Although he’s lost his knack for slow ones, no act outside Babyface and Rodney Jerkins surpassed “Quit Playing Games” or “I Want it That Way,” the ballads for which anyone remembers Backstreet Boys and their white suits and sandals. Unlike Babyface and Timbaland, there he is, still coughing out kid movie themes for Justin Timberlake.

1. Britney Spears – …Baby One More Time
2. Kelly Clarkson – Since U Been Gone
3. N Sync – Bye Bye Bye
4. Taylor Swift – Blank Space
5. Robyn – Show Me Love
6. Backstreet Boys – Quit Playing Games (with My Heart)
7. Kesha – Blow
8. Britney Spears – Till the World Ends
9. P!nk – U + Ur Hand
10. Backstreet Boys – I Want It That Way
11. Ace of Base – Beautiful Life
12. N Sync – I Want You Back
13. The Weeknd – Can’t Feel My Face
14. Adam Lambert – Whataya Want from Me
15. Britney Spears – Oops!… I Did It Again
16. Usher – DJ Got Us Fallin’ In Love
17. Ariana Grande – Dangerous Woman
18. Taylor Swift – Wildest Dreams
20. Justin Timberlake – Can’t Stop the Feeling!
21. Katy Perry – Teenage Dream
22. Backstreet Boys – As Long as You Love Me
23. The Veronicas – 4ever
24. Britney Spears – Inside Out
25. Robyn – Time Machine

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