The search for the ever-elusive “bop” is difficult. Playlists and streaming-service recommendations can only do so much. They often leave a lingering question: Are these songs really good, or are they just new?
Enter Bop Shop, a hand-picked selection of songs from the MTV News team. This weekly collection doesn’t discriminate by genre and can include anything — it’s a snapshot of what’s on our minds and what sounds good. We’ll keep it fresh with the latest music, but expect a few oldies (but goodies) every once in a while, too. Get ready: The Bop Shop is now open for business.
Taylor Swift: “Anti-Hero”
Taylor Swift’s tenth studio album, Midnights, arrived very early this morning, and after one listen to the chorus of the lead single, “Anti-Hero,” I ran to bust down the doors of our beloved Bop Shop. The naysayers will be happy to see that Swift is finally admitting she is the problem, but be careful — you just might relate to the lyrics. The singer-songwriter admits what we all have thought about ourselves at one time or another when she declares, “I should not be left to my own devices / They come with prices and vices / I end up in crisis.” The oscillating dance melody makes it impossible not to get on board, even if the lyrical story here is about kicking yourself while the catchy kick-drum beat perseveres in the background. And nothing will hook you more than the way she sings, “It must be exhausting always rooting for the anti-hero.” Trust me, it is. —Alissa Godwin
Blink-182 have us on the edge of our seats with not just a new single but also the return of Tom DeLonge as the pop-punk band’s co-lead vocalist. After all, he’s a punk kid at heart. On their new song, “Edging,” DeLonge seems to acknowledge how his past departures in 2005 and again in 2015 had a bleak effect on the band’s fan base. “No way, no, I leave them broken-hearted / Oh no, look at thе mess we started / Oh no, I lеad the broken hearts this way,” he sings in his iconic nasal vocals alongside Mark Hoppus. Now that DeLonge has reunited with his mates, they will embark on a new massive world tour in 2023 and 2024. So whatcha say? Wanna play? —Athena Serrano
Le Sserafim: “Antifragile”
K-pop goes reggaeton with Le Sserafim’s “Antifragile,” an edgy, high-concept mid-tempo single with a chorus bound to get stuck in your head. Leaning into themes of power and strength (both mental and physical), the K-pop rookies use their first comeback as an avenue to express their thoughts regarding pressure, jealousy, and competition, and the ways in which they combat those negative emotions. Accompanied by a high-energy, Y2K-fashion inspired music video, the group displays their agility as a team through their already-viral choreography, especially highlighting the infamous “muscle cat” move. Though there is much comparison between the multiple fourth-generation girl groups who’ve debuted recently, Le Sserafim have worked hard to carve their own lane and push forward while still retaining their essence as a group that has always been, and will continue to be, fearless. —Sarina Bhutani
Miko Marks: “This Time”
Watch Miko Marks transform from traditional country star to down-to-earth dame in this sing-along soulful tune. Emotional yet unapologetic, she is ready to move on from an excruciating heartbreak. In her video, she shakes down the white stereotype that dominates country music, shooing away her irksome assistants and stripping herself from the dowdy getup and straight-haired wig. In the end, she embraces herself, her personal style and her will to carry on caring for herself without a partner. In the words of the great Gloria Gaynor, she will survive! —Gwyn Cutler
Lil Uzi Vert: “Just Wanna Rock”
Its title suggests a rap-rock song, but Lil Uzi Vert’s “Just Wanna Rock” instead opts for a smoldering, two-minute wash of synths and pulsating bass. This one’s all anticipation and buildup for a massive drop that never comes. That makes it potent as hell — and Uzi knows it. “Just Wanna Rock” will go absolutely nuts at their live show. —Patrick Hosken
Taylor Swift: “You’re On Your Own Kid”
Since the beginning of time, Taylor Swift has reserved Track 5 on her albums for the most emotionally candid tunes, and her latest record Midnights is no exception. What starts off as a thumping and atmospheric love song (“I hear it in your voice, you’re smoking with your boys / I touch my phone as if it’s your face”) suddenly turns into a coming-of-age tale with its decisive and sobering refrain: “You’re on your own, kid / You always have been.” Its production remains understated and folky until a decidedly Jack Antonoff-sounding instrumental break, with some Melodrama-reminiscent metallic sounds, ignites a fire within our impassioned narrator. The bridge is a Reader’s Digest version of Swift’s career thus far — from her battle with body image, to lost friends, and a back catalog she’s had to fight for artistic control of — though her veiled lyricism, which never strays into saccharine, will ring true for anyone who’s ever had to grow up. — Carson Mlnarik
Jmani spins a classic tale of sex, money and drugs, but also a kind of love as enticing as it is addictive. It’s the mystifying stare from across the club when the lights dim and the thrum of the room pulls you in, but it’s a slow burn — playing coy builds the tension. The element that’s got me hooked is the meticulous attention put on the percussion. The drums not only amplify the lyrics but give them a reverberant and arousing energy where resisting is futile. Try Not To Dance Challenge: Expert Mode. —Gwyn Cutler
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to crack the code of our species’ deficiency, though Gaidaa is here to guide us — we need universal mindfulness. Everyone is a moving part to unlock more intel to help the human race further along, yet our detachment and independence from each other leaves no room for care or progress. It’s not the sole responsibility of wordsmiths like Gaidaa to foster this, in fact it’s incredibly draining for them, so appreciate the empathy they offer and pass it on: “Nothings like the feeling of a roar / There’s a tenderness / An honest helplessness / To tend to those who never felt before.” —Gwyn Cutler