What made for a successful pop song in the year 2010?  This chart showing the most commonly used words in Billboard’s Top 25 Songs of the year provides a glimpse into the repetition and lyrical themes found in the top pop songs of the year.  One syllable exclamations such as “yeah” and “oh” are common, and most seem to derive on some form of either the theme of dancing or falling in love.

“United State of Pop 2010 (Don’t Stop the Pop),” a recent mashup of the Top 25 hits of 2010 by DJ Earworm seemingly reveals similarities between music’s biggest hits of the year.  Lyrics and instrumentals from songs ranging from everyone from Lady GaGa to Lady Antebellum flow together as if they were molded from the same type of pop DNA.

It seems like there must be some perfect formula for achieving a smash hit — after all, the majority of the songs in the top 25 were produced and written by a small handful of music experts.  If anyone knows the perfect  formula for Top 40 pop, it’s producer Dr. Luke.  The American pop doctor produced nearly every hit to come out of trashy pop divas Ke$ha (“TiK ToK,” “Your Love is My Drug,” “We R Who We R”) and Katy Perry (“California Gurls,” “Teenage Dream”), as well as Taio Cruz’s “Dynamite.”  Many even pointed out the similarities between “TiK ToK” and “California Gurls” earlier this year, as demonstrated in the song below.  However, Luke denied any formula for a hit in an interview with New York earlier this year, saying, ““A hit song is the right song, with the right artist, at the right time.”

Likewise, breakout singer-songwriter Bruno Mars had a huge influence on pop this year as the voice behind B.o.B.’s “Nothing on You,” Travie McCoy’s “Billionaire” as well as his own solo hit “Just the Way You Are.”  In an Idolator interview, Mars claimed, “You never know what’s going to be a hit. You just cross your fingers.”

And maybe Luke and Mars are right: there is no successful formula for a pop song.  Even in an era of seemingly commercialized pop music industry, maybe the key to a number one hit is a little bit of talent and a whole lot of luck.