You saw the best, now you’ll see the worst. I know I heavily praised 2011 as a good year for pop music, but there was still a lot of shitty music that I had to deal with. The hardest part of making my best of list was putting the songs in order. The hardest part of making this list was narrowing it down to just ten. I can safely say that the research for this list was absolutely painful! (The things I do for my readers.) I provided video links to the songs so that those of you who don’t listen to the radio can get an idea of what I’m talking about, but don’t say I didn’t warn you if you actually decide to watch them. Same as the last week, the only criteria for this list is that they have to come from Billboard’s year end list. This is to prove that these songs aren’t just horrible, but insanely popular. Gird your loins ladies and gentlemen, we’re going in! This is the Top 10 Worst Hit Songs of 2011 (in my opinion)!
10. “You and I” by Lady Gaga
Last week, I mentioned that Lady Gaga has a tendency to try way too hard. But this song convinced me that the only thing worse than Gaga trying too hard is Gaga not trying hard enough. First thing’s first, I have to commend Gaga for stepping out of her own box and trying something new, but the experimentation kind of fails on her part. Apparently this was her attempt at making a rock and roll song supposedly inspired by Bruce Springsteen and Queen, but it just ends up sounding like a bad Shania Twain outtake, which is ironic when you consider the song was produced by Mutt Lange. What hurts even more is that they got Brian May, one of the greatest guitar players alive, to play one of the lamest, most nondescript solos I have ever heard in my life. It’s just disappointing when a song has all the tools that dictate it should work, only for the whole thing to just fall on its ass. This is also not helped by the fact that the video has absolutely nothing to do with the song, looking like a bunch of extras from a Japanese torture flick stumbled on the set of Secondhand Lions. So yeah, the song is boring, the video sucks, and it’s just one big disappointment. Next!
9. “Tonight Tonight” by Hot Chelle Rae
I as much as anyone else wish that that rock still had a more prevalent presence in mainstream music, especially since the 2000s will forever be thought of as the era of Nickelback! (grimace) But believe it or not, there are worse rock bands out there, but every once in a while something from the generic rock trash heap like Hinder or Simple Plan will crawl from the slime and have a breakthrough hit. Enter Hot Chelle Rae, a group of pretty boys who have all the raw, sexual charisma of the Jonas Brothers. For one, this song can’t even get me to bob my head, let alone rock out. Two, their inept, flaccid attempt at humor has no premise or punchline. Three, from the sound of it, they wouldn’t know how to have a good time or throw a decent party if they were the disciples of George Clinton and Andrew WK. The party in this song sounds more like a five year old’s birthday party, which would be the only demographic this song would appeal to if they knew who Zack Galifianakis was. It’s hard to tell if they seriously think they’re good but too stupid to realize how much they suck, or if they’re well aware of how much they suck and decided to rub it in our faces. It’s generic, it’s lame, it’s contemptible, it sucks.
8. “What the Hell” by Avril Lavigne
I never liked Avril Lavigne. She’s obnoxious, her voice is beyond obnoxious, and every time someone refers to her as “punk”, Sid Vicious and GG Allin make several 360 degree rotations in their graves. Four years have passed since the inescapable abomination that is “Girlfriend”, and not a peep had been heard from her since then. For a while I thought the world was through with her, but then “What the Hell” came along, a song that magnifies all her worse traits. If I had to pick just one thing about this song that drives me off the deep end, it would have to be the sheer arrogance. “All my life I’ve been good” my ass! Since when were you ever perceived as the “good girl”? Everyone knows how much of a bitch you are Avril, you’re not fooling anyone. And the video does nothing to remedy this. Why is she suddenly acting like Ke$ha? Why are there so many product placements? WHY DID SHE CRASH A TAXI INTO SOMEONE’S CAR!?!?! Not to mention the poor lyrics, the lousy three chord instrumentation, and a voice that sounds like a ship hull being scraped by jagged rocks. Screw this song!
7. “The Time (Dirty Bit)” by The Black Eyed Peas
I remember being into the Black Eyed Peas back in the day. I bought Monkey Business when I was 13, and enjoyed a good chunk of the songs on there. But even then, I deemed “My Humps” as one of the most mind bogglingly stupid songs I’ve ever heard in my life upon first listen. Even though most of their songs are terrible, I can still name a few that I enjoy, even when they became overly commercialized parodies of themselves. “The Time (Dirty Bit)” marked a major downturn in their career, as the album it came off of quickly tanked, and they thoroughly embarrassed themselves in front of millions of people at last year’s Super Bowl halftime show. So does this song deserve to be their omen of backlash? Of course it does! Everything about it screams desperation. The limp, high pitch beat, the fact they ripped the chorus from an that song from Dirty Dancing, the oversaturation of auto-tune, the fact they actually rhymed “swagger” with “Jagger”, and don’t even get me started on the highly symbolic and self prophesying video. I’m embarrassed to have been a Black Eyed Peas fan, and now I don’t have to look back.
6. “Jar of Hearts” by Christina Perri
This… song… is… so… god… damn… BOOOOOOOOORRRRIIIIIIINNNNNNG! One modern trend in music that I adore is the return of the female singer-songwriter. Sara Bareilles, Regina Spektor, Kate Miller Heidke, Robyn, Feist, I adore them all. But the one thing that separates them from today’s subject is that they have a wide array of emotions besides just being pissed. “Jar of Hearts” makes me think of what would happen if Beyonce rewrote Rihanna’s “Unfaithful”. The beat is slow as a glacier, and the lyrics don’t really convey the mood she’s setting here. I heard this song, along with the rest of the album it came off of, was inspired by Christina Perri’s divorce (that’s what you get when you marry at 19), so I can understand that it’s coming from a personal place. My problem with it is that because her music is so dull and lifeless, it just makes her sound cold and bitter, and I can’t relate to that. So in conclusion, not only does this song bore me to tears, but it fails its attempt at anger just makes her sound soulless.
5. “Look at Me Now” by Chris Brown, feat. Busta Rhymes and Lil Wayne
I used to know a girl back in high school who was absolutely obsessed with Chris Brown. Since we graduated before the assault and we haven’t seen each other since, I’m not sure if her opinion has changed, but I think even a fangirl like her would have to shake her head at that. But even before the incident he always came across as an arrogant prick, and all the music he released during his “comeback” did nothing to dispel that notion. While this isn’t the most offensive song “Breezy” has released, it’s still pretty terrible. He tries too hard to get across a fairly simple message, and just sounds offensive as a result. And it’s hard for me to take it seriously when he rhymes dick with dick four times in a row. His attempt at rapping is really contrived and half-assed, since he seems to think fast rapping equals good rapping. Speaking of fast rappers, Busta Rhymes’ verse is the only saving grace of this song despite not belonging on there at all, and would’ve saved this song if Lil Wayne’s verse didn’t bring it to a screeching halt. Then there’s this whiny, wharbly beat which just makes me feel seasick. This song is just another milestone in Chris Brown’s ever shortening road to irrelevance, and quite frankly, I’ll be glad when he’s gone for good just like he should’ve been two years ago.
4. “Blow” by Ke$ha
Speaking of roads to irrelevance, Ke$ha’s seems to be coming to an end a lot sooner than I thought. I still have a hard time adjusting to that fact that Ke$ha, the musical equivalent of the drunk girl at the party, has maintained such a level of popularity. But I think that has more to do with her listeners than Ke$ha herself. When I heard “Tik Tok” for the first time, I thought she’d be a one hit wonder, but lo and behold, that album spawned four singles. Her follow-up was considered a disappointment since people seemed to have finally sobered up and got sick of her slurred, sing talk style. It was a toss-up between this and “We R Who We R”, and while I hate that song with a passion that’s usually reserved for cockroaches and bureaucrats, at least it didn’t make me feel dirty by the end like “Blow” did. Now this isn’t really as gross or insulting to my intelligence as her other stuff, but that’s not giving the song any credit. The beat is irritating, there’s no hook and the lyrics are stupid, but I don’t really expect much less from her. Now a lot of people have called Ke$ha a cheap Lady Gaga clone, but this music video completely disproves that theory. Lady Gaga may have some weird videos, but I don’t think she’d be so stupid as to make a video that has James Van Der Beek and Ke$ha playing laser tag at a dinner party full of unicorns that bleed rainbows… I couldn’t make that up if I wanted to.
3. “6 Foot 7 Foot” by Lil Wayne
A few years ago, Lil Wayne was the most inescapable musical act in the world, and not being a fan of his was the hardest thing to be in 2008, especially for me back in high school, where thinking Lil Wayne was anything less than the greatest rapper who ever lived was considered a crime against humanity. Nevertheless, I never backed down from my intolerance of him. I hated “Mrs. Officer”, I hated “A Milli”, and I hated almost every guest verse he did, which he has way too many to count. But over time the overexposure started to die down and I was able to stand him in smaller doses, but that doesn’t mean I like him. For one, his voice keeps cracking like he’s going through puberty in the middle of the song. Then we have what is probably one of the most obnoxious beats that samples what sounds like a little kid going “banana banana” in your ear for hours, accompanied by a bass that will give you a migraine. It’s so loud and intrusive that it’s the only thing I can focus on, which is why I couldn’t make out any of the lyrics without looking them up. Again, not so surprising considering the beat was made byBangladesh, one of the worst producers working today. Thankfully I’ve been doing a good job at avoiding him when necessary, and this song reminds me to count my blessings, since things can always get worse.
2. “Sexy and I Know It” by LMFAO
Some of you are probably surprised that “Party Rock Anthem” isn’t on here. Well the reason for that is because I don’t really mind it. Sure, it’s not a masterpiece by any means, but once you get used to it, it’s pretty harmless and isn’t guilty of anything that offensive. It’s nowhere near as bad as people make it out to be, it just needs some time to grow on you. Besides, if you listen to the rest of LMFAO’s hits, you’ll know that PRA is hands down their best song. “Sexy and I Know It”, on the other hand, goes beyond the thresholds of just plain bad, and actively assaults your intelligence. I know there are stupid songs out there, but none this unapologetically aggressive about it. This is the musical equivalent of someone jiggling their dicks in your face. Literally! And this is not helped by the fact that the video is one of the unsexiest things I’ve ever had the displeasure of seeing. If I was a woman, this video would make me want to be a lesbian. I hate to say it, but Ron Jeremy has been in more dignified things than that! So I know what you’re thinking: that sounds pretty awful, what could possibly be worse?
- “Tonight I’m Fucking You” by Enrique Iglesias
My first reaction to this song was complete and utter denial. If this was a video review, this would be the part where I’d be crying in a fetal position in the bathtub. Everything about this song is beyond incomprehensible. Why does Enrique Iglesias still have a career? Why did this go to number 1 so quickly while Cee Lo Green’s “Fuck You” had to claw its way up to get noticed? Why is there a number one song that makes the singer sound like a god damn rapist? If I, or anyone else for that matter, ever went up to a girl and said “Tonight, I’m fucking you”, I wouldn’t get laid, I’d get sprayed with Mace until my eyes dissolved! This probably wouldn’t be so bad when you consider that this is coming from Enrique Iglesias, the guy who used to be sold as the romance novel Latin lover. Now he has all the sexual subtlety of Akon. Actually, come to think of it, even though most of Akon’s music is some of the most awfully misogynistic crap I’ve ever heard, but at least I’ve never heard any song of his where he forces himself on a woman like Enrique is doing. I should wrap this up before I pop a blood vessel. This is basically one of the most worthless, offensive, unlistenable, and all around worst songs I’ve heard. I’ve heard songs by brokeNCYDE that I like more! It’s that bad.
Well there’s my list. Now please excuse me while I go take a scalding hot shower for two hours!