Grading the Top 10 Songs in … ADULT ROCK!

1. Serena Ryder, “Stompa”

Serena Ryder is a Canadian folk-rocker whose “Stompa” has gone viral after it was featured on Grey’s Anatomy, that great incubator of the modern-day coffee shop folk genre. She just won a Juno for Adult Alternative album of the year, and probably gets mistaken for Feist a lot.

Grade: A

Best YouTube Comment: “I thought this was the james bond song by adele, turns out its just awesome” —yaimthatguy


2. Phillip Phillips, “Gone, Gone, Gone”

Phillip Phillips, I refuse to take you seriously until you get a less blatantly ridiculous name, so basically never. I am sorry about your kidney stones.

Grade: C-

Best YouTube Comment: “he kinda look like the governor from the walking dead” —KhmerH20


3. Mumford & Sons, “Lover of the Light”

You know what makes Mumford & Sons infinitely more tolerable? Shots of Idris Elba making soft-boiled eggs and putting on a shirt.

Grade: B+

Best YouTube Comment: “I can’t believe all these comments and still nobody gets it … he IS the deer, going to the field to watch the sun come up, almost gets hit by the car, and stops right b4 the cliff and flashes to the deer stopping. a lover of the light.” —chaoticfateqew


4. Imagine Dragons, “Demons”


Grade: F

Best YouTube Comment: “my demons hide. not matt damon duhh lol” —AngeloJamesMordini


5. Family of the Year, “Hero”

Bread? Is that you? You sound a little moldy.

Grade: D

Best YouTube Comment: “this song is like trying to not be part of 1 group of friends but friends with everybody it inspired me and inspired many spirits.” —JohnTruman


6. Fitz and the Tantrums, “Out of My League”

It was only a matter of time until somebody other than the Killers actively emulated the high-tech new-romantic sound of ABC. Tell me, tell me, how to be (how to be) a millionaaaaaaaaaaire. ABC is the superior group — apologies to Fitz, who calls his band “soul-influenced indie pop.” This gets an F, for Fitz. I’ve seen the future. I can’t afford it!

Grade: F

Best YouTube Comment: “the song is cool idk about the guys hair” —SaharaAngeles


7. Of Monsters and Men, “Mountain Sound”

Bonnaroo is gonna be TIGHT THIS YEAR. No, really, it is. These folkster jokers are from Iceland, proving this lite-folk trend knows no particular nation but suspenders. David Crosby easily smokes everyone on this chart.

Grade: C

Best YouTube Comment: “this video makes me wanna respect woman … she looks covered and modest” —Faisdragon

8. Walk Off the Earth, “Red Hands”

OK, I am so sick of these group-sung choruses and the general twee preciousness associated with this scene. Damn you, Arcade Fire, for making every Canadian multi-instrumentalist start one of these roving inspirational music troupes. Also what patois is that long-haired dude singing in? Is that Rusted Root language? What’s with the dust-drums? This is why Dylan went electric.

Grade: C+

Best YouTube Comment: “beard man be jamming on the xylophone” —sticksofdoom123


9. The Lumineers, “Stubborn Love”


Grade: A-

Best YouTube Comment: “I was at a TEA Party event and this song came on the PA and there were probably 75 people singing along with this song. Even some old people. It was awesome. Say what you want about TEA Party folks, they sure have good taste in songs……….Keep yer head up!!!!” —MrSweethamburg


10. The Mowgli’s, “San Francisco”

Why is the band’s name possessive??? I hate vests.

Grade: D

Best YouTube Comment: “Still can’t stop watching it. DAY 5 —ears begin to bleed but i LOVE IT” —CassilNicholson

Filed Under: Grading the Charts, Music, Phillip Phillips

Molly Lambert is a staff writer for Grantland.

Archive @ mollylambert