Tuesday, August 5, 2014

The WORST Songs of the Past 34 Years

Thirty-four years of music has provided the public with an array of intended groove, vocal and instrumental pleasure. These songs are not qualified to be considered as erratic vocal patterns due to their levels of suck.
Behold; the double digit countdown of the most egregious offenses in music of the past 34 years (Or since the 1980s if arithmetics made you sleepy.)

NOTE: If most of the songs mentioned seem to be from the same decade, it just ended up that way. I tried hard to keep it from the 80s, 90s and 00s and even a little from the 10s...but the list ended up that way.

30. "Forget Me Nots" by Patrice Rushen - Sadly, this is her most successful song. However, due to the fact that the song has not aged well and that her vocals are way too subdued makes this a case of pity more than outright "KILL IT WITH FIRE!" reactions that the rest of the songs on this list.

29. "Sexercize" by Kylie Minogue - One of the earliest indicators of this Kiss Me Once promotional single being an audible displeasure is the title. Once the song plays, the displeasure starts immediately as Auto-Tune or some God awful vocal emissions are made by the usually decent Minogue. Instrumental wise, this must be what the sounds of Skrillex or a Daft Punk robot taking a dump is. The fact this song was written out at all is stunning. Video wise, this makes "Satisfaction" by Benny Benassi look like "Bubbly" by Colbie Caillat.

28. "Come & Get It" by Selena Gomez - When roughly 90% of the song is an annoying hook and the other 10% is terribly sung "lyrics" with an instrumental that sounds languid and more limp than linguine, nothing good can come from the song. Add in the inane music video, and the icing has been spread on a urinal cake of a song.

27. "Blurred Lines" by Robin Thicke ft. Pharrell & T.I. - If there were ever a reason to abolish the Song of the Summer, look no further than the 2013 earworm song that ruled the entire summer solstice. Filled with shaky production value from an otherwise exceptional producer, Pharrell [not counting the suit from the Estate of Marvin Gaye for ripping off a song of his] falsettos of a wannabe Justin Timberlake, less than quality rapping from T.I. [who before "Blurred Lines" was one of the better Southern Rap artists of the time] and add in the video being shameless vide-ho [video-ho] fodder and a recipe for disaster was at hand. Also, the song had this lyric which justified accusations that this song endorsed rape, date rape, sexual assault etc...

"Baby, can you breathe? I got this from Jamaica.
It always works for me..."

26. "Price Tag" by Jessie J ft. B.o.B - B.o.B. was dragged into doing a song for songwriter turned singer Jessie J (The one that wrote "Party in the U.S.A." for Miley Cyrus). Off of her debut effort Who You Are, "Price Tag" was a song that attempted to combat commercialized nature in society. The problem? This song's chorus is counter-intuitive to what Jessie J was trying to do; make herself famous as a pop singer. Also, the video's serving of TECHNICOLOR Horseshit at the Swear Ball Extravaganza and Jessie J's singing of this is just atrocious.

25. "Airplanes" by B.o.B ft. Hayley Williams - This was a song that simply would not die. An otherwise bland "follow your dreams"/bildungsroman bullshit of a song, it's ruined by a chorus more poorly written than Ryan Lochte's name on his SATs. "Can we pretend that Airplanes in the night sky, are like shooting stars? I could really use a wish right now; wish right now; wish right now." is flat out one of the worst choruses in Popular Music.

24. "Physical" by Olivia Newton-John - 1980s cheese? Check. Failed sex appeal grab? Check. Limited vocals beyond redemption? Check. Aerobics outfits being used due to possible cheap bastard video producers? Check, check, check. This song suffers from Showgirls syndrome; having admiration in an ironic [but not hipster] like fashion and having fans because it royally sucks.

23. "Jessie" by Joshua Kadison - The 90s had some of the more diverse pop music and some of the more groundbreaking in retrospective lists music ever. This song is nowhere near those spheres. Brooding male pop vocals are tough to pull off in terms of captivation; "Jessie" fails in terms of the "brooding" sounding like a generic version of Chris Isaak vocals and being so sappy it makes "Sailing" by Christopher Cross sound like "Dr. Feelgood" by Motley Crue.

22. "LA Song (Out of This Town)" by Beth Hart - *yawns* ooooooh; a female "rawker" chick trying to be deep and indicating life in a small town where dreams die and Los Angeles behind the glitz and glamour suck out loud. Neat; we so need more of that -_- It serves as no surprise that this was the only song of hers to chart anywhere near the Hot 100 and that success for her is more elusive than Mariah Carey's list of better album names.

21. "Wind it Up" by Gwen Stefani ft. Pharrell - Normally, this would be the spot where "Hollaback Girl" would be read for filth but Pharrell's production value was used properly and saved it from being here. "Wind it Up" is what happened when Pharrell didn't outright slap Stefani in the face for wanting any sample of The Sound of Music anywhere near a pop song. Let alone, a song with all the vocal charm and lyrical genius of a drunk spring breaker with a Rubik's Cube (Also, it should be punishable by death for putting the J-Pop like posse of Love. Angel. Music. Baby in cheap blonde wigs.)

20. "My Humps" by the Black Eyed Peas - The sins of will.i.am began to rack up with this song from the Peas' album Monkey Business. Despite the song allowing Fergie to exist a little more, it's a horribly written song and yes; this song had writers. Apart from the song title being uttered way too many times, the rest of the lyrics are just brands of jeans and Fergie playing a gold-digger.

19. "Work Bitch" by Britney Spears - The lead single from Spears' most recent album Britney Jean amazingly went to #12 on the Hot 100. Why is this bad? This shit is whack is fuck. An instrumental that sounds like a poor ripoff of a fighting game soundtrack midi file? Check. Lyrics that even Helen Keller wouldn't sing out loud? [when a rhyme is forced like "hoawt body" & "Mawz-uh-raw-tee" and "Boo-gawdy" "bee-key-nee", check.] Add in tacky video work before a stan of hers put himself in her video with cell phone footage and this recipe for disaster is ready for the fire.

18. "We Built This City" by Starship - Logistically, this is Rolling Stone magazine's pick as the worst song of the 1980s. I agree, though one song comes later in the list that I can never stomach. For now, we'll focus on the bullshit that is this song. With lyrical pyrite such as "marconi plays the mamba", an instrumental not fit for a montage moment in the most Z-list 80s movies and cheese oozing to where movie popcorn and gas station nachos feel insulted to have it poured on; this song is simply terrible, Grace Slick presence be damned.

17. All Demi Lovato songs; especially "Skycraper" and "Heart Attack" - There are many more songs to have been chosen when this one comes up, but these two are the worst she's released in her career. "Skyscraper" is maudlin, histrionic, poorly vocalized and has a video playing off the admittedly tired as hell "Desert Angel Coutreness" trope. "Heart Attack" is tacky, melodramatic, horrifically sung and has a video playing off of the really recycled concept of "Paint is Emotion" trope. So much lurid pop, so little time.

16. "Cotton Eyed Joe" by Rednex - A song by a Swedish act of House and Country influences...or possibly Sweden gaining revenge for all of the Volvo digs the U.S. has ever made. Either way, irritating instrumentals mixed with a garish music video is the double whammy that amazingly had some level of success in U.S. markets.

15. "Bang Bang" by Jessie J ft. Ariana Grande & Nicki Minaj - A recent release from Jessie J that dragged Ariana Grande and featured Nicki Minaj into this irritating mess. Despite Ariana having done no wrong herself, she suffers from guilt by association. Jessie J and Minaj on the other hand suffer from Moulin Rouge tackiness laden delivery and terrible rapping "respectively". Add in a cliched 60s/70s instrumental that sounds like a rough draft of an Agent Cody Banks theme song and eerily early praise from TheBacklot contributing editor Ed Kennedy...

"Jessie J‘s new song 'Bang Bang' featuring Ariana Grande and Nicki Minaj has dropped and it’s pretty awesome...I can totally see this in every drag show you see for the next six months, and the bump and grind nature will make it a favorite of go-go boys as well, especially once a few top DJs get their hands on it."
- Ed Kennedy, http://www.thebacklot.com/meme-bryan-singer-michael-egan-pat-robertson-public-sex-meghan-mccain-sarah-palin/07/2014/

...and all hope is lost if a song that terrible cannot be read for filth on any other website.

14. "Big Hoops (Bigger the Better)" by Nelly Furtado - This is how not to usher in a new era of artist. Though Interscope Records could be blamed for this due to lack of promotion of this song and its album Spirit Indestructible, Furtado must take righteous hits for a song like this. The song is intended to be one of these "OMG! I need a GURLS NIGHT OUT!" songs. One problem: this track would give more people agoraphobia if played anywhere near them. Weak production value, Furtado's vocals at their most inaudible and a song whose hook is about earrings is a recipe for a flop.

13. "Super Bass" & "Stupid Hoe" by Nicki Minaj - The sins of Nicki Minaj are numerous in terms of female acts in popular culture. The two best instances of this are some of the worst rap songs a female rapper has ever recorded. "Super Bass" is an earworm song that's the result of female rappers of the past falling way out of the spotlight. Also, the song is straight up atrocious. "Stupid Hoe" is a poorly made diss track against Lil' Kim. Add in highlighters on acid like visuals and the stripper pole cage from Shakira's "She Wolf" video and the fact that the "chorus" is simply philistine cooing of "You a Stupid Hoe", and these two songs are proof that female Hip-Hop/Rap is on the verge of being permanently "Kevorkian'd".

12. "Roar" by Katy Perry - Katy Perry: the List of Prom Themes that Gained Sentience. Even with the fluke exceptions of "Hot 'N Cold" and "Firework", Perry has committed some pop music sins. None more so egregious than the lead single from her most recent effort, Prism. A lyric video for the song in emoji, a video that makes Dora the Explorer's adventures look like a Jane Goodall piece by comparison and some of the worst singing in Perry's career (Believe me when I indicate that that was saying something.) Aside from accusations of beat-jacking "Brave" by Sara Bareilles, "Roar" suffers from the amount of overexposure it had on top of the flaws of the song.

11. "Whip My Hair" by Willow Smith - Children are not exempt from criticism. The debut single from Will Smith's daughter and a novelty song at best? I can live with that much. What I refuse to do is infantilize an act in the music industry just because of how young she is; especially when a song this awful is put to the side because it's not "culturally kosher" to criticize children. Apart from an annoying hook, sorely underdeveloped singing and a really bad music video [giving Kidz Bop aesthete and everything] and this is proof that some kids need hobbies [or a coloring book].

10. "Give Me All Your Luvin'" by Madonna ft. Nicki Minaj & M.I.A. - When Madonna songs miss, they miss hard. Case in point, the lead single for Madge's most recent effort MDNA. Released to pimp her album and tour and something Stephen Colbert calls the Superb Owl, "Give Me All Your Luvin'" is inexcusably horrible for these reasons: First off, "Luvin'" was something barely given in the 70s during the halcyon of the sexual revolution. Second, the instrumental is the weakest faux 60s bullshit her producer team had made for her. Third, Nicki Minaj has more lines in this song than M.I.A. and that is just wrong. On top of that, a shitty music video in cheap ass Superb Owl inspired football gear and cheerleading bullshit made this one of the worst musical and visual experiences I've ever had.

9. "We R Who We R" by Ke$ha - Considering this is Ke$ha, believe me when I show restraint by picking her worst song and keeping it singular. Some of the most unforgivable lyrics have been spouted from this song; case in point:

“And yes of course we does; we runnin’ this town just like a club; and no you don’t wanna mess with us; got Jesus on my necklace-ace-ace”

Add in the fact that this is another fakakta song of hers to feature auto-tune, the music video being stupid and this song being nothing more than fourth tier level "self confidence anthem" and that recipe for disaster has been published.

8. "Fancy" by Iggy Azalea ft. Charli XCX - This is the worst female rap song in existence...not by Nicki Minaj. It's still really terrible for these reasons: First, the "rapper" in question being a model turned twerk obsessed poser with no rap ability whatsoever. Second, the horrendous guest vocals of Charli XCX who ends up sounding like a petulant child playing a game but calling everyone a cheater. Add in the overrated acclaim for her music video of the song; if you base no creativity of your own, "remake" Clueless and apparently the internet will fucking love you.

7. "I Love It" by Icona Pop ft. Charli XCX - Mindless pop music is nothing new, but goddamn is this song horridly mindless. The only known lyrics of this song include "I'm a 90s bitch", "I don't care!", "I love it!" and "I crash my car into a bridge..." If not for the fact 6 songs ahead of it are worse than this, this song would easily be considered the worst of the past 10-20 years. [Also, Charli XCX needs to stop being a thing already.]

6. "Bette Davis Eyes" by Kim Carnes - This happens to have been in the same decade of release as "We Built This City" and this song is just as pitiful but is in leagues much worse in my eyes. There is a difference between rasp and what was actually emitted from Kim Carnes back then. Rasp is supposed to be the female vocal equivalent of gravelly vocals in men; think Janis Joplin conveying all sorts of messed up shit with rasp and grit. Kim Carnes is an example of vocal fry or being unable to sing or speak properly due to the voice being shot to hell. Sadly, no one had the heart to tell her (And she had the delusion to think she was amazing.) and instead the only hit she ever had became her last.

5. "4 Minutes" by Madonna ft. Justin Timberlake & Timbaland - The second worst lead single of Madge's career. Released as the lead single for Hard Candy, this was intended to follow up the success of "Hung Up" from Confessions on a Dance Floor. Do not let the chart placement of #3 on the Hot 100 fool you; this song is awful. Terrible production value from an otherwise great producer in Timbaland, Justin Timberlake giving corny lyrics the time of day and some of Madonna's most excruciatingly languid singing in her career compose of this lump of coal of a song. Also, the music video is among one of the dumbest ever made; Madge and JT escape a deteriorating world around them and then end up watching dancers on top of cars and treadmills were there too ("Auntie Em! Please rescue me from that horrible dream!" Me to someone in Dorothy voice reacting to a stupid music video.)

4. "American Life" by Madonna - Though "4 Minutes" was horrendous, "American Life" is God-awful trash that she did nothing to prevent from release. For the album of the same name, this single was released but contained a very unfortunate rap section at the hand of her producer at the time, Mirwais Ahmadza├», insisted she do and this is what we were punished with...

"I'm drinking a Soy latte 
 I get a double shot-tay 
 It goes right through my bod-day 
 And you know I'm satisfied,
 I drive my Mini cooper 
 And I'm feeling super-duper 
 Yo they tell I'm a trooper 
 And you know I'm satisfied 
 I do yoga and pilates 
 And the room is full of hotties 
 So I'm checking out the bodies 
 And you know I'm satisfied"

"I'd like to express my extreme point of view 
 I'm not Christian and I'm not a Jew 
 I'm just living out the American dream 
 And I just realized that nothing is what it seems."

The worst part of this is that this was supposed to serve as the theme to the album; calling out materialism and trying to be deep...O_O Instead, this served as a reminder that when Madonna songs miss, they miss hard.

3. "Wrecking Ball" & "We Can't Stop" by Miley Cyrus - Like Iggy Azalea was going to be the only twerk obsessed poser on this list. These two songs represent the worst way a music act tries a new image and supposedly a new sound. "Wrecking Ball" as a song is a misguided attempt at self-expression post breakup. Vocally, this warrants more goat-like accusations than Shakira had ever gotten. The music video was a misguided attempt at artistic integrity and tasteful nudity. What it ended up being was her licking a sledgehammer and riding an actual wrecking ball naked. Because those things clearly say "My relationship was tumultuous and now I'm free." -_- "We Can't Stop" is a song relying on poorly executed shock value of trying ecstasy and bragging about all of the illicit substances you ingest now that you're all "edgy". Also, the production was awful, the singing worse and the music video was just repugnant.

2. "Baby" by Justin Bieber ft. Ludacris - Easily, the worst song of the new millennium. The "Biebs" is also easily the worst male vocalist of the past 10 years. Yet "Baby" manages to drag Ludacris and almost taint his name with a song this juvenile in production, videography and vocally. Someday when he hits puberty and his amygdala no longer acts as his only main cranial function, he'll realize the error of his [or his management's] ways and may finally go away.

Dishonorable Mentions
Some restraint needed to be shown when selection for this list was being made. The following songs are still terrible but narrowly missed the Top 30...

"Viva La Vida" by Coldplay
"Work" by Iggy Azalea
"#thatPOWER" by will.i.am ft. Justin Bieber
"Scream & Shout" by will.i.am ft. Britney Spears
"The Time (Dirty Bit)" by the Black Eyed Peas
"Not Myself Tonight" by Christina Aguilera
"Chandelier" by Sia
"Girls Are More Fun" by Ray Parker Jr.
"Pumps and A Bump" by MC Hammer
"Wiggle" by Jason Derulo ft. Snoop Dogg
"Take Your Mama" by Scissor Sisters
"Apologize", "Counting Stars" and "Stop and Stare" by OneRepublic
"RUDE!" by Magic
"Toy Soldier" by Martika
"Bleeding Love" by Leona Lewis
Any country song made in 2013-2014 known in its form as "Bro Country"

Now for the Worst Song of the Past 34 Years...

1. "Don't Stop Believin'" by Journey - This song epitomizes tackiness and undeserved accolades throughout the years. Steve Perry has been called one of the greatest vocalists of all time. I couldn't disagree more; strained vocals over one of the worst musical accompaniments in the past 34 years. That instrumental reeks of movie montage horseshit. This song just makes me think of bad things all the time, just like the other tracks mentioned on this list.

***UPDATE: Apart from adding the Martika and the Leona Lewis songs, I'd like to take the time to point out another awful song that despite missing the list is simply horrible on many accounts.***

Super Happy Family Wish Show Dishonorable Mention:

"Shark In the Water" by VV Brown - Sometimes in popular music, recording acts like to draw inspiration and/or establish grooves based on the 40s, 50s and 60s. VV Brown's known song is the wrong way of doing such a thing. Despite piqued curiosity of the instrumental, the singing is barely audible; lyricism is below sub-par quality ["Baby there's a shark in the water; I saw them barking at the moon."]; and the video is just bad. Well at least one of them is; the one that doesn't totally suck is the one that featured the current at the time of release cast of the Canadian teen drama, Degrassi. The other one? Walking around on a sunny day, looking like she tried too hard to be cool. Yeesh; this song and video are horrendously bad.

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