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Your lipstick stains / On the front lobe of my left side brains
December 22, 2010 3:32 PM   Subscribe

And just think: When your shitty kid marries someone you violently disapprove of 20 years from now, this song -- with its references to blowjobs and songs that were ground into the ground before the kid was a twinkle in your eye -- will serve as the couple's first dance. As you watch your offspring and new in-law twirl around the dance floor, you will reach for a glass of Champagne Loko (President Kid Rock won't try to ban the stuff until he's up for re-election in 2032) and wonder how everything went so, so wrong.

The Village Voice presents the 20 Worst Songs of 2010.

Here's the list, though the reasoning behind each is worth making the jump.

20. Far East Movement featuring Ryan Tedder, "Rocketeer"
19. Ringo Starr featuring Joss Stone, "Who's Your Daddy?"
18. Godsmack, "Cryin' Like A Bitch!!"
17. Trade Martin, "We've Got To Stop The Mosque At Ground Zero"
16. Lil Wayne, "Paradice"
15. Susan Boyle, "Hallelujah"
14. Liz Phair, "Bollywood"
13. Christina Aguilera, "The Beautiful People (From Burlesque)"
12. Jackyl Featuring DMC, "Just Like A Negro"
11. NeverShoutNever, "cheatercheaterbestfriendeater"
10. Die Antwoord, "Orinoco Ninja Flow (Wedding DJ's Remix)"
9. Santana featuring Scott Stapp, "Fortunate Son"
8. Ludacris featuring Nicki Minaj, "My Chick Bad"
7. Aaron Lewis featuring George Jones, Charlie Daniels, and Chris Young, "Country Boy"
6. Salem, "Trap Door"
5. Artists for Haiti, "We Are The World 25 For Haiti"
4. Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, "Don't Pull Me Over"
3. Cast of Glee, "Loser"
2. Bret Michaels, "What I Got"
1. Train, "Hey, Soul Sister"
posted by Lutoslawski (169 comments total) 16 users marked this as a favorite

 
And I haven't heard a single one. But I am praying like hell that number 15 is a cover of some old hymn, not what I think it might be...
posted by Jimbob at 3:37 PM on December 22, 2010


Far East Movement - So Fly like a Cheese Stick
posted by msbutah at 3:40 PM on December 22, 2010 [5 favorites]


My lawn...get off it!
posted by wuwei at 3:42 PM on December 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


Jimbob: You've heard #1, I guarantee it. It's all over the place. I'm pretty sure they made more money licensing that to [i]every single advertiser in the universe[/i] than on any old iTunes download total.
posted by thanotopsis at 3:44 PM on December 22, 2010


The snark, it is strong in this one.
posted by gimonca at 3:44 PM on December 22, 2010 [6 favorites]


If you don't like pop music, or you've never heard of most of this shit, perhaps you'd prefer the Voice's super-classy 2010 in NSFW Photos.
posted by box at 3:44 PM on December 22, 2010 [8 favorites]


Smash Mouth was a band from the late '90s that was formed when a soul patch met cake frosting. Their wikki-wikki scratching and dorkpie hats did to music what blood-soaked clowns do to the dreams of sleeping children.

OK, someone finally said it. My life is complete.
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 3:45 PM on December 22, 2010 [24 favorites]


I may be naive, but I don't get how that line in "Hey, Soul Sister" is a blowjob reference. I think that writer just has a really dirty mind. And an underappreciation for ukuleles.

Okay fine, so I kind of like that song SHUT UP IT'S CATCHY
posted by Anyamatopoeia at 3:46 PM on December 22, 2010


Also, the only acceptable cover of "Loser" is the one by Richard Cheese.
posted by gimonca at 3:48 PM on December 22, 2010 [2 favorites]


Wow, I haven't heard any of these. Awesome.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 3:48 PM on December 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


Okay I tried to listen to Hey, Soul Sister, but apparently its blocked in my country. Ah, okay I found it elsewhere on Youtube. Yeah, that does sound kind of familiar...but also so generic that I may be confusing it for one of half a dozen other songs...
posted by Jimbob at 3:49 PM on December 22, 2010


I maintain that "BedRock" is the Phantom Menace of rap songs -- an ungodly train-wreck that's such a mess that it's hard to even know where to begin criticizing it.
posted by mhum at 3:50 PM on December 22, 2010 [3 favorites]


I am praying like hell that number 15 is a cover of some old hymn, not what I think it might be

The bad news: your prayers are in vain. What the world really needed, it seems, is yet another insipid cover of 'Hallelujah'.

The good news: hey, it's an excuse to link Mitch Benn's song about same.
posted by Catseye at 3:51 PM on December 22, 2010 [2 favorites]


Everything Glee touches turns to suck. I imagine it was hard for the writers to pick just one Auto-Tuned moment.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 3:51 PM on December 22, 2010 [9 favorites]


I'm surprised Peacock by Katy Perry is not in the list. What an awful awful song, which is a shame considering that the album is fun for the most part.
posted by Memo at 3:52 PM on December 22, 2010 [3 favorites]


His thoughts were red thoughts: "Wow, I haven't heard any of these. Awesome."

I can't decide if I should just be happy that I missed a year of sucky music or be depressed about being so hopelessly disconnected from popular culture.
posted by octothorpe at 3:55 PM on December 22, 2010 [5 favorites]


I'm not sure I've heard #1 but man the Voice was harsh. It's like the band took turns kicking the reviewer's dog.

Is number 7 a country song featuring 4 different dudes? So I guess it is true that country is the new hip-hop.
posted by Ad hominem at 3:55 PM on December 22, 2010


There is something about incredibly snide, worst-of-list music reviews that makes me want to like the songs simply out of spite.
posted by chavenet at 3:56 PM on December 22, 2010 [7 favorites]


I haven't heard a lot of these songs, but it seems like a lot of them could win for "Worst Song Title of 2010" as well. Orinoco Ninja Flow? We Are The World 25 For Haiti? Paradice?

And, although I am relieved that none of those songs is in my iTunes, I hate that I feel kind of smug about it.
posted by jabberjaw at 3:56 PM on December 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


Far East Movement - "Like a G6" is the best bad song of the year. Completely inexcusable and yet completely irresistible.
posted by empath at 3:57 PM on December 22, 2010 [13 favorites]


Man, "Soul Sister" is such a weird piece of music. When I first heard it, I almost couldn't believe it existed. I thought, "Whoa. Really? Train - white boys on the very forefront oh white-boyism - with a song like this? With the lyric so gangster, I'm so thug in it? What's going on?"

Then, I relaxed a little. It's pretty catchy. It's poppy. The guy has a pretty good voice. It seems harmless enough.

But then, it's always on the radio. And it's so popular. And he sings about the untrimmed chest. And the line about being gangster and thug. And the whole "soul sister" motif.

Finally I concluded it's an abomination. But an abomination that's at least decently catchy.
posted by ORthey at 3:58 PM on December 22, 2010


Has anyone here heard any of these songs? Do they even exist?
posted by Ad hominem at 3:58 PM on December 22, 2010 [3 favorites]


Oh, god, yes "Hey, Soul Sister" is terrible. I don't know about that Liz Phair song though... I kind of like it.
posted by overglow at 3:58 PM on December 22, 2010


Orinoco Ninja Flow

It's a mashup of Orinoco Flow and Enter The Ninja.
posted by empath at 3:58 PM on December 22, 2010


To the best of my knowledge the only one of these songs I've heard is #5, and only because there was a MetaFilter thread about it.

I used to be with it, but then they changed what it was. Now what I'm with isn't it...and I AM FINE WITH THAT.
posted by The Card Cheat at 3:59 PM on December 22, 2010 [2 favorites]


What, no Black Eyed Peas?

If there was a button I could push that would magically erase the Black Eyed Peas from the face of the planet, I would push that button.

I'm very "live and let live" about music as a rule, but that shit has got to stop.
posted by ErikaB at 4:01 PM on December 22, 2010 [30 favorites]


I'm not sure I've heard #1 but man the Voice was harsh. It's like the band took turns kicking the reviewer's dog.

Probably haven't heard it then. I have - once - and if anything I thought the reviewer took it kind of easy on them.
posted by FAMOUS MONSTER at 4:02 PM on December 22, 2010


Old enough to remember when "Wild Thing" was shocking. Still getting over the fact that I now think Van Halen is an example of (relative) good production value and musical craftsmanship.
posted by randomkeystrike at 4:03 PM on December 22, 2010 [5 favorites]


I can't decide if I should just be happy that I missed a year of sucky music or be depressed about being so hopelessly disconnected from popular culture.

I was thinking the exact same thing. I'm not familiar with any of these songs except #17, I watched part of the video on YT thinking it was a joke.
posted by MikeMc at 4:03 PM on December 22, 2010


10. Die Antwoord, "Orinoco Ninja Flow (Wedding DJ's Remix)"

Does this mean that BoingBoing is no longer the arbiter of what's cool and hip with the youngsters these days?
posted by thanotopsis at 4:04 PM on December 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


It should be pointed out that Die Antwoord had nothing to do with that abomination.

What, no Black Eyed Peas

I'm sorry, this thread is about the worst music, not the best.
posted by empath at 4:05 PM on December 22, 2010


Wow, Susan Boyle's treatment of "Hallelujah" is just, like, riding in the passenger seat with somebody who drives ten miles UNDER the speed limit and you don't want to complain because they're being nice giving you a ride and all but you're sitting there clenching your jaw and fists and buttcheeks trying to use the power of your mind to get them to speed it up already.

(I actually like Susan Boyle and am glad to see her living the dream.)
posted by Gator at 4:06 PM on December 22, 2010 [15 favorites]


Count me in as never having heard of most of this stuff. And I've obsessively listened to new music almost every day.

I will say that I just played "Hey Soul Sister" and it sounds vaguely familiar. Most likely my brain has tried to shut it out every time I've heard it. Solid pick for #1.

I'm glad "I Whip My Hair Back and Forth" is not on this list. Because it's one of the finest pop moments of 2010 (scroll down to John Seroff).
posted by naju at 4:06 PM on December 22, 2010 [2 favorites]


I whip my hair back and forth
I whip my hair back and forth
I whip my hair back and forth
I whip my hair back and forth
I whip my hair back and forth
I whip my hair back and forth
I whip my hair back and forth
I whip my hair back and forth
I whip my hair back and forth
I whip my hair back and forth
I whip my hair back and forth
I whip my hair back and forth
I whip my hair back and forth
I whip my hair back and forth
I whip my hair back and forth
I whip my hair back and forth

That deserved to make this list.
posted by tylerkaraszewski at 4:08 PM on December 22, 2010 [24 favorites]


Listen to "Hey, Soul Sister" a few times and you'll inevitably be reminded of the "whistling solo" from the Shrek house band's inescapable "All Star." From Smash Mouth, Train picked up an earworm that burrowed into society's asshole, laid 4.7 million iTunes eggs, and gave birth to a grey cloud of banality that covers the Earth.

Or:

The lyrics represent the weird hippie fantasies of a yuppie toolbag. Quoth front-nozzle Pat Monahan: "I just wrote on my computer for a while what I saw as a group of beautiful women at Burning Man dancing around the fire. I've never been there before, but that's what I imagined it would be like." Yes, this song is the result of a grown bajillionaire who dresses like a 19-year-old Dane Cook stan sitting pud-handed at his MacBook and writing fan fiction about the fun times hippie girls have at Burning Man. Dude is like five feet and 10 inches of midlife crisis.

Something this rude, this dismissive....I think I think I'm in love.
posted by nevercalm at 4:09 PM on December 22, 2010 [14 favorites]


Wow, the only song on this list I have ever heard is "Hey, Soul Sister" and I heard it first on a TV commercial.

I feel better now than I have in days.
posted by tommasz at 4:14 PM on December 22, 2010


I'm sorry, this thread is about the worst music, not the best.

I still remember when I first heard "Fallin Up." I was so excited to hear this new group coming up that was doing catchy, positive hip hop in the spirit of Native Tongues, then being steadily more disappointed with every release they've put out since. Why, Black Eyed Peas, WHY?
posted by Hoopo at 4:14 PM on December 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


Damn, that guy absolutely hates Salem. I never knew it was a member of the group doing the rapping, I'd always thought they'd sampled and slowed down the lyrics from other songs. That makes me dislike them a little too.
posted by codacorolla at 4:15 PM on December 22, 2010


Train is a really remarkable band. They recorded the single worst lyric in rock and roll history with "She checks out Mozart while she does Tae-Bo/Reminds me that there's room to grow, hey" on Drops of Jupiter. Then they follow up with Soul Sister. Dear Al Queda, I'm not condoning violence or anything but if you feel the need to strike at western civilization Train will be playing at the International Jazz Fest in Dubai on February 18 of next year. That would probably be fairly convenient for you.
posted by I Foody at 4:15 PM on December 22, 2010 [41 favorites]


I keep confusing #1 with this song. Some kind of dyslexia perhaps.
posted by MikeMc at 4:17 PM on December 22, 2010


Wait, what? There's an International Jazz fest, in Dubai, and Train is playing there? The fucking fuck?
posted by box at 4:20 PM on December 22, 2010 [12 favorites]


Could someone explain to me how that line is a blowjob reference? I don't really get it.
posted by Ideal Impulse at 4:21 PM on December 22, 2010


I like a few Salem songs ("Redlights" is particularly hot) but if you're wondering why people mock them, you absolutely need to watch them live at the Fader Fort which might be the most laughable performance I've ever seen in my life.
posted by naju at 4:22 PM on December 22, 2010 [2 favorites]


I hadn't heard most of them until I read the article. And actually...it made me feel better about my own pop indulgences that I'm sort of ashamed of. Ahem robyn ahem ahem.

I'm surprised Peacock by Katy Perry is not in the list. What an awful awful song, which is a shame considering that the album is fun for the most part.

I admit...I think that album is pretty fun myself (I'm generally an asshole music elitist....but Hummingbird Heartbeat? Man, that song gets me every time). But my jaw dropped when I first heard Peacock. I didn't even know what to say about it. I couldn't decide if it was brilliant or...a joke...or what exactly.

Far East Movement - "Like a G6" is the best bad song of the year. Completely inexcusable and yet completely irresistible.

That song is so fucking terrible and I love it so much.

I admit, I was a little surprised Smell Yo Dick didn't make the cut.

Now speaking of good/bad songs, and because it's the holiday season, I'll just leave this here: O Holy Penis.
posted by Lutoslawski at 4:22 PM on December 22, 2010


I'm pleased to say I've come across great music this year thanks to the Mefi CD Swap, in particular gemmy's and .kobayashi.'s. More mixes and hopefully a few live links can still be found in the main MetaTalk thread about the swap. There should be another swap coming up sometime over the winter.

There's tons of great stuff on the internet and Last.fm is my currently favorite way to explore music. Fuck this "hate on pop music" crap, go find something good and enjoy life.
posted by nomadicink at 4:24 PM on December 22, 2010 [3 favorites]


> Wait, what? There's an International Jazz fest, in Dubai, and Train is playing there? The fucking fuck?

That was my reaction, too. So I looked up "jazz" in the dictionary.

jazz – noun

...

5. Slang: insincere, exaggerated, or pretentious talk.


So I guess Train qualifies.
posted by The Card Cheat at 4:25 PM on December 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


Fuck this "hate on pop music" crap, go find something good and enjoy life.

I gave into this recently too. And I'm really glad I did [searches through itunes for some Rihanna].
posted by Lutoslawski at 4:26 PM on December 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


A few years ago several members of Train ate lunch at the restaurant where I was bartending. They were very nice. They tipped 20% to the penny. They paid with an American Express card. No one noticed they were there, and I quickly forgot about them after they left.

And that pretty much sums up everything I need to know about Train.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 4:26 PM on December 22, 2010 [5 favorites]


I really really really really hate "Hey Soul Sister", because 1. ew, all that graphic lust about your (soul) sister, and 2. it rhymes "stereo" with "ain't fair y'know". And it earworms me for days. Plus Patrick Monahan looks like George Stephanopoulos and that confuses me.
posted by gingerest at 4:28 PM on December 22, 2010 [2 favorites]


I 8,000,000% agree with that fucking Train song being #1. Eight million percent.
posted by contessa at 4:32 PM on December 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'd also like to nominate those Pomplamoose commercials for filling me with inexplicable rage.

Pomplamoose's Christmas Hyundai Commercials Cause Hatred of Pomplamoose, Hyundai and Christmas
posted by naju at 4:35 PM on December 22, 2010 [7 favorites]


awesome. i havent hear any of these :)
posted by liza at 4:36 PM on December 22, 2010


I guess sometimes being as out of it as a high court judge has it's advantages.
posted by Artw at 4:37 PM on December 22, 2010


My kids and I are going to A Day On The Green here in Mudgee next year. And for the first time in quite a few years, we're actually getting international acts instead of trotting out John Farnham, Jimmy Barnes, Mental as Anything, and the rest of the tired old we've-played-here-a-million-times-but-they're-so-desperate-for-live-music-they'll-pay-to-see-us-yet-again crew.

If you browse ADOTG's site, you'll notice that the international acts rarely make it so far inland as, oh, a 20 minute flight from Sydney.

So, Train are making the effort to travel to a town sorely in need of live performances (which aren't 18-and-over only, and don't cost $150 a ticket, I'm looking at YOU, local wine bar run by the money-grabbing bitch from hell). That makes them good guys in my book and excuses the lyrics. So there.

(I'm still deciding if I should be pleased or horrified that Hutchence-less INXS are headlining.)
posted by malibustacey9999 at 4:37 PM on December 22, 2010


If there was a button I could push that would magically erase the Black Eyed Peas from the face of the planet, I would push that button.

Agreed. I think, if there's one album I'm ashamed to have ever owned and enjoyed at the time, it's one of their early albums (can't remember the name, for the best..).
But that says a lot considering the first album I ever bought with my own money was Vanilla Ice.
posted by mannequito at 4:40 PM on December 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


Far East Movement - sounds like tummy trouble to me. Happily never heard of virtually all of these songs.
posted by arcticseal at 4:40 PM on December 22, 2010


Meh. Needs more Comic Sans.
posted by jontyjago at 4:40 PM on December 22, 2010


Pomplamoose's Christmas Hyundai Commercials Cause Hatred of Pomplamoose, Hyundai and Christmas

Here's some Hall and Oates covers, instead.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 4:42 PM on December 22, 2010


I'm with Anyamatopoeia... I don't get how that left-side brains reference is dirty. Is this something I have to be under 25 to get?
posted by Golfhaus at 4:42 PM on December 22, 2010


Revised listing:

20. Artists for Haiti, "We Are The World 25 For Haiti"
19. Artists for Haiti, "We Are The World 25 For Haiti"
18. Artists for Haiti, "We Are The World 25 For Haiti"
17. Artists for Haiti, "We Are The World 25 For Haiti"
16. Artists for Haiti, "We Are The World 25 For Haiti"
15. Susan Boyle, "Hallelujah"
14. Artists for Haiti, "We Are The World 25 For Haiti"
13. Artists for Haiti, "We Are The World 25 For Haiti"
12. Artists for Haiti, "We Are The World 25 For Haiti"
11. Artists for Haiti, "We Are The World 25 For Haiti"
10. Artists for Haiti, "We Are The World 25 For Haiti"
9. Artists for Haiti, "We Are The World 25 For Haiti"
8. Artists for Haiti, "We Are The World 25 For Haiti"
7. Artists for Haiti, "We Are The World 25 For Haiti"
6. Artists for Haiti, "We Are The World 25 For Haiti"
5. Artists for Haiti, "We Are The World 25 For Haiti"
4. Artists for Haiti, "We Are The World 25 For Haiti"
3. Artists for Haiti, "We Are The World 25 For Haiti"
2. Artists for Haiti, "We Are The World 25 For Haiti"
1. Train, "Hey, Soul Sister"
posted by spoobnooble at 4:42 PM on December 22, 2010 [8 favorites]


I've always wondered if Pomplamoose's Nataly Dawn would have the same affectless gaze as she ate a baby.
posted by fleetmouse at 4:43 PM on December 22, 2010 [13 favorites]


naju: "I'd also like to nominate those Pomplamoose commercials for filling me with inexplicable rage."

This is curious to me. The Pomplamoose Hyundai ads are just like their videos online, and seem to represent their standard high quality. Pomplamoose is living the dream by subsisting entirely on YouTube ads and the occasional TV commercial, which is hardly selling out. Even better, they regularly do stuff like they did this Christmas - giving their Christmas album to anyone who donates a book to local schools. I get that it's maybe not your kind of music - but rage?
posted by l33tpolicywonk at 4:44 PM on December 22, 2010


#17: Trade Martin, "We've Got To Stop The Mosque At Ground Zero"

This is possibly the worst song of all time*. And I'm including every annoying commercial jingle or irritating earworm I can think of among the contenders. I mean, you know as soon as you see the title that it's going to be awful, but that's a bit like saying you know an infinitely large number is going to be big or that medical trauma involves a degree of discomfort. Actually listening to it is something else again. I sat there slack-jawed with amazement, only for it to become an order of magnitude worse at the very last chorus. Twice.

You're thinking 'pretty bad, I guess I'll do myself a favor and not listen to it in the first place.' But you just don't get it, and it is important for you to expand your musical horizons, rapidly and downwards. Not only will you be a happier person because everything else you ever hear will not sound that bad by comparison, it's the opposite of catchy so there's no danger you'll ever find yourself humming it by accident.

Although my quest to destroy all copies of Minnie Ripperton's 'Loving you' continues to this day.
posted by anigbrowl at 4:45 PM on December 22, 2010 [9 favorites]


I can't talk cos I've been listening mostly to stuff from the Hilliard Ensemble and the Anonymous 4 all year BUT...also I listen to random stuff from Hypemachine, and then the monthly mix from this kid...and I feel like the Internet has turned into my college radio.

I mean, there is no local equivalent of the WMSE of my youth, but there is this whole stratum of music now that's not on the radio, at least not on the radio that produced this post, nor is it a secret, cos it's all over the internet.

All of which is to say: I've never heard any of the FPP songs, and also it's ossum when I can nod knowingly when Cults come on the PA at Noble Coffee. Thanks, Internet!
posted by everichon at 4:45 PM on December 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


I would add Nickleback's song about growing weed in the yard and that rehashed Kid Rock trainwreck of a song about Sweet Home Alabama with the chords to Werewolf in London. That came out this year, right?
posted by daHIFI at 4:45 PM on December 22, 2010 [2 favorites]


Damn I really like "Orinoco Ninja Flow (Wedding DJ's Remix)" but then I'm a sucker for Die Antwoord. The remix really goes the extra mile too, unlike other mixes I have heard it maintains the integrity of the original (Enya) song's movements and bridge.

turn it up, turn it up, turn it up fucked up loud
posted by 2bucksplus at 4:47 PM on December 22, 2010


Nickelback totally bit that from Ghostface's classic couplet

'The coca leaf is slightly damp
Sproutin' in the backyard next to Gram Dukes' tomato plants.'

posted by box at 4:51 PM on December 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


Could someone explain to me how that line is a blowjob reference? I don't really get it.

The combination of lipstick and brains (urbandictionary link - sort of nsfw).
posted by Gary at 4:52 PM on December 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


2010 could have been a fantastic time for some enterprising rock band to unleash a fiery cover of Creedence Clearwater Revival's 1969 broadside against upper-class warmongers and rich anti-tax types, what with this country's ever-more-hopeless political situation.

No, it couldn't ..... because a) you just said rock's dead in the Train entry; b) you hate anybody who's capable of playing an instrument and rocking out; and c) you would heap scorn on a "Fortunate Son" cover if it were done by Arcade Fire.
posted by blucevalo at 4:53 PM on December 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


The lyrics represent the weird hippie fantasies of a yuppie toolbag.

Oh, dear lord, this is going to be one of those threads...

(also, it's the village voice, so nobody really cares.)
posted by jonmc at 4:55 PM on December 22, 2010


I bet Girl Talk could mash this list up right.
posted by klausman at 4:56 PM on December 22, 2010 [10 favorites]


I get that it's maybe not your kind of music - but rage?

To me, Pomplamoose represents the wosrt of the "adult contemporary indie quirk" Apple-commercial aesthetic of the mid-to-late 00's. An overload of precious-and-we-know-it, "indie quirk" affectation without any substance. All those faces she does, the bad attempts at Feist/Regina Spektor vocals, him dancing around like a jackass and smirking knowingly at the screen, the overuse of toy glockenspiel on every song to add to the faux-quirkiness - just everything combined, I think. Yep, rage.
posted by naju at 4:57 PM on December 22, 2010 [16 favorites]


I do not need to ever hear the song "We've Got To Stop The Mosque At Ground Zero" to know that I'm going to think it should be nuked from orbit and buried at a crossroads in Lithuania with a stake made of garlic shoved through its heart.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:58 PM on December 22, 2010 [5 favorites]


Don't get me wrong I'm sure these songs (I haven't herad any) all suck, but I have a feeling that their "Best Of" list sucks just as hard.
posted by jonmc at 4:58 PM on December 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


Pomplamoose does maintain that tension between "holy cow they are vastly more talented than me or anyone I know" and "Ack".
posted by everichon at 5:00 PM on December 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


Your suck music favorites.

Wait. That's not right.
posted by eyeballkid at 5:01 PM on December 22, 2010 [4 favorites]


I gave into this recently too. And I'm really glad I did [searches through itunes for some Rihanna].

I did that with the Zac Brown Band's 'Chicken Fried." A fun bar song, that.
posted by jonmc at 5:01 PM on December 22, 2010


I whip my hair back and forth
I whip my hair back and forth
I whip my hair back and forth
I whip my hair back and forth
I whip my hair back and forth
I whip my hair back and forth
I whip my hair back and forth
I whip my hair back and forth
I whip my hair back and forth
I whip my hair back and forth
I whip my hair back and forth
I whip my hair back and forth
I whip my hair back and forth
I whip my hair back and forth
I whip my hair back and forth
I whip my hair back and forth

That deserved to make this list.
posted by tylerkaraszewski at 4:08 PM on December 22 [6 favorites]


Wrong.

Without that song, we would not have the cover by Neil Young and Bruce Springsteen.
posted by flarbuse at 5:02 PM on December 22, 2010 [5 favorites]


(deep breath)

HAHAHAHANEENERNEENERIHAVEN'THEARDASINGLEONE
OFTHESEBECAUSEIDON'TWATCHTVORLISTENTOTHERADIO
NEENERNEENERHAHAHAHAHAHA

And that's all the time I have to waste on that.
posted by tspae at 5:02 PM on December 22, 2010


I sometimes drink at the bar next to the ground zero mosque to show solidarity.
posted by Ad hominem at 5:03 PM on December 22, 2010


This is curious to me. The Pomplamoose Hyundai ads are just like their videos online, and seem to represent their standard high quality.

I think a lot of the Pomplamoose Hyundai hate is the media weight behind it. It seems Hyundai is running in their national spots and also local dealers use it. Which means the frequency is a few times an hour per channel. The first few times I saw it, I thought, "how cute". The 10,000th time I wanted to blow up my local Hyundai dealership.
posted by birdherder at 5:04 PM on December 22, 2010


HAHAHAHANEENERNEENERIHAVEN'THEARDASINGLEONE
OFTHESEBECAUSEIDON'TWATCHTVORLISTENTOTHERADIO
NEENERNEENERHAHAHAHAHAHA


Congratulations on your ignorance...
posted by codacorolla at 5:06 PM on December 22, 2010


"We've Got To Stop The Mosque At Ground Zero" is truly amazing.
posted by Flunkie at 5:09 PM on December 22, 2010


empath: "Far East Movement - "Like a G6" is the best bad song of the year"
YOUTUBE COMMENT REDEMPTION: fly like a cheeze stick lmao
posted by boo_radley at 5:10 PM on December 22, 2010


tspae, codocorralla: fight over who's cooler, but let me get a beer first so I can watch and laugh and quench my thirst.
posted by jonmc at 5:12 PM on December 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


How is "I Gotta Feeling" by the Black Eyed Peas not on this list? It's the most commercialized craptastic song I've heard in a loooong time.
posted by emd3737 at 5:13 PM on December 22, 2010


Train is a really remarkable band. They recorded the single worst lyric in rock and roll history with "She checks out Mozart while she does Tae-Bo/Reminds me that there's room to grow, hey" on Drops of Jupiter.

My favorite lyric of that song was "and that Van Halen is overrated" (or at least that's what I thought I heard).
posted by birdherder at 5:14 PM on December 22, 2010


HEY SOUL SISTER< AINT THAT MISTER MISTER

god dammit!!
posted by Stonestock Relentless at 5:16 PM on December 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


The thing about Train that kills me is not that they remake the same song every five years (Meet Virginia, Drops of Jupiter, Soul Sister) about a girl whose post-hippie quirks are irresistibly endearing, but that I can't help but like the damn song every time. Grr.
posted by restless_nomad at 5:18 PM on December 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


So, I was hoping they'd have already commented, but this was filmed on the corner where two of my pals (and MeFites) live. It was shitty, tying up traffic for blocks and subjecting them to this song over and over and over. The only upshot was that we got to spend a couple nights drinking and making fun of Train ("How many names do you think they went through before they got to that one? Bus? Car? Suckmobile?" "Aren't they that band that Matchbox 20 makes fun of when they need to reassure themselves about their relative shittiness?").
posted by klangklangston at 5:18 PM on December 22, 2010 [2 favorites]


And God bless Whiney Weingarten.
posted by klangklangston at 5:21 PM on December 22, 2010


What, no Black Eyed Peas

But, but....they're America's Party Band®!

(I literally could not hate them more. They offend me on a very deep level.)
posted by tristeza at 5:24 PM on December 22, 2010


All this talk of Pomplamoose has me thinking of covers that I'd like to hear them do. Right off the bat would be Slayer's "Raining Blood." Next would be King Crimson's "20th Century Schizoid Man" followed by Public Enemey's "Burn, Hollywood, Burn!" Bring it on home with Blue Oyster Cult's "Veteran of The Psychic Wars" and you have the EP of my dreams.
posted by KingEdRa at 5:25 PM on December 22, 2010 [2 favorites]


To add insult to injury, the lyric actually uses the euphemism "blew my mind" in order to drive the point home. I keep hoping that there's some satire in there but, nope, it's delivered with utter sincerity.

As a brain purge, I suggest The Two Man Gentleman Band who know both how to play the ukelele and write a dirty lyric.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 5:30 PM on December 22, 2010


I saw them as a support act to a burlesque show. They were OK, but waaaay too pleased with themselves for existing.
posted by jonmc at 5:34 PM on December 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


I don't really understand why I'm commenting on this snarky drivel (I've only read #1 and don't really feel invited to read on), but it raises an interesting question about the appreciation of pop music. I am reminded of Dick in the movie adaptation of High Fidelity (after all the mother of contemporary music geek stories), commenting on a suggestion of "You Can't Always Get What You Want" for a mix tape: "No. Immediate disqualification because of its involvement with 'The Big Chill'."

That question, then, is: should we judge music for its use in other media?

Now, I live in continental Europe, where "Hey, Soul Sister", while on heavy radio rotation this year, has spared my ears at least in the form of television advertising. (I feel compelled to add that right now, another Train song I happen to despise with a passion is used in a cola ad that makes me want to smash the television regardless of who owns it.) I understand from the "article" — if that's what you call this — that it is used in quite a few ads in the U.S. This is brought up as an argument against the aesthetic merits of the song itself.

Is that really wise? Does The Big Chill, or your opinions of it, have any bearing on your appreciation of "You Can't Always Get What You Want"?

So let me come out and say that I like, nay, love "Hey, Soul Sister". You heard me.

"But you'll have all but forgotten about it this time next year," you'll say. Oh, undoubtedly. But is that a convincing argument against this particular song? I heard a familiar voice on the radio recently that I could not quite place. The backsell came, and it turned out it was the new single from Laura Marling, who I had loudly proclaimed to be a fan of only some two years earlier. (What that lapse of musical memory means I will leave as an exercise for the reader.) There's just an awful lot of music out there, not all of it is built to last, but hasn't it been that way for decades? Our Motown favourites of yore themselves were, in a way, designed for obsolescence.

"But it's 'written'; it's labored, paint-by-numbers pop. You can hear the writing." Oh, I agree on that. For all the love and soul it pretends to profess, it sounds an awful lot like an intellectual attempt at a pop song as opposed to an emotional one, what with the click track, auto-tuned vocals, the purposely gimmicky instrumentation. But like salt, sugar and fat in our food, isn't that what we secretly like? At least Train won't give you diabetes. At the risk of repeating myself, pop history is rife with similar examples. Motown, Tin Pan Alley — hell, the Monkees didn't play their own instruments, let alone write their own material, but fuck me if "Daydream Believer" isn't a great song. Would I be singing it in the shower now, four decades later, if it was recorded and released by John Stewart himself? Don't get me wrong, I'd take Neutral Milk Hotel or Ryan Adams or Wilco over Train any day in the earnestness department, but that sentiment itself does not disqualify them.

"Yeah, but the lyrics are dumb." Okay, kind of. Some of the rhymes are needlessly generic to the point you could've improved on them with a couple weeks (yes) more work without necessarily making the song more complicated lyrically, and the "untrimmed chest" and "like a virgin" bits make the front lobe of my left-side brain hurt. But I think rhyming "Hey, soul sister" with "Ain't that Mr. Mister" is a brilliant find that well emphasizes the song's carefree, wide-eyed atmosphere. (I believe this is what some people mean when they describe something as, quote, "a great driving song".)

As, by the way, is the rhyme that follows, "... radio / Stereo / The way you move ain't fair you know". I love how in that last line, a boy in love playfully berates his girlfriend for being "too" gracious: one little line simultaneously hints at dominance and chauvinism ("you're an attractive woman, and you shouldn't flaunt yourself like that"), submissiveness and doubt ("wait, you're hot. could you be out of my league?"), and facetiously childlike humour ("we're adhering to playground law here, and hey, that's not fair.").

On top of that, it has a great hook (yeah, I mean just the "Hey" part — go on and write that, ​I look forward to seeing it in MeFi Music), and teasing the drums until the last moment is a great source of tension. Who cares if it was in a couple of ads?​

Look, I know I'm beanplating here, and defending something that needs no defense. And you may well disagree with my arguments: that's the fun of dissecting pop music. Go back to your Yeasayer records, which I also happen to like (​I hear they covered some overplayed gems from last century, I wonder what you'd have to say about the originals if they had come out today).​

But to the Village Voice I have only this to say: ukuleles fucking rock.​
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 5:36 PM on December 22, 2010 [9 favorites]


"We've Got To Stop The Mosque At Ground Zero" is truly amazing.

That song reminds me of the South Park episode A Ladder to Heaven. Only difference is that South Park wasn't quite as absurd.
posted by Mister Fabulous at 5:39 PM on December 22, 2010


I really don't remember that song from the new Tom Petty album. Most of it was pretty good. But what do I know? I'm the sort of old fart who likes Tom Petty albums and shows.

(I'm also the sort of old fart who can't get into reggae so I'm hoping I'll continue to have this song fail to impinge on my consciousness as I listen to the album.)
posted by immlass at 5:49 PM on December 22, 2010


Wow, Train hasn't changed a bit since 1970!
posted by Fuzzy Monster at 5:50 PM on December 22, 2010


The thing that really kills that Train song for me is that there is no Mr. Mister song that will cause you to move in a way that is "unfair." Is she grinding to "Kyrie?" Doing a solo lambada to "Broken Wings?" It makes no sense. No sense at all. Have they ever even listened to Mr. Mister?

(Also, up until this very moment I thought the line from Drops of Jupiter was "She checks out Oprah while she does Tae-Bo." )
posted by jrossi4r at 5:53 PM on December 22, 2010 [13 favorites]


By my count, 14 comments so far involve people claiming they have not heard these songs...
posted by spiderskull at 5:55 PM on December 22, 2010


I think a lot of the Pomplamoose Hyundai hate is the media weight behind it.

Some of us were prone to fly into fits of spittle-flecked rage at the very mention of Pomplamoose long before they were even a twinkle in Hyundai's eye. The first time someone sent me a link to one of their covers, I barely made it halfway through before I had mentally penned a profanity laced diatribe as to their complete and total horribleness. It was one of those "turn the computer off and go outside" moments that happen once or twice a year for me. Yes. I know that's completely irrational, but it's there. As far as I'm concerned the Hyundai commercials are the best thing they've done, because it inspires more people to see them for the soulless indie robots that they are.

See? I'm ranting again. I can't even help myself. I need to stop before I compare them to Sarah Palin. Which I have done before. What was this thread about again?
posted by billyfleetwood at 5:59 PM on December 22, 2010 [6 favorites]


birds make everything awesome
posted by Ad hominem at 6:03 PM on December 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


HEY SOUL SISTER - AINT THAT MISTER MISTER

Take these broken songs
And make them go away





Please.
posted by arcticseal at 6:20 PM on December 22, 2010 [10 favorites]


At first I was like, "Hey dude, Salem isn't that bad," and then I listened to the alternate mix tape he posted, and now I'm like "Huh... fuck Salem!"
posted by codacorolla at 6:26 PM on December 22, 2010


There's a metal band from Israel named Salem, who aren't half-bad actually.
posted by jonmc at 6:35 PM on December 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


Cowritten by Metafilter's very-own Maura.
posted by incessant at 7:00 PM on December 22, 2010


cool, haven't consciously heard any of them. guess I'm doing something right.
posted by philip-random at 7:01 PM on December 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'd never heard of Train before, but at first listen it sounds like they're aiming for Israel "IZ" Kamakawiwoʻole's Somewhere over the Rainbow and missing by quite a distance.
posted by hot soup girl at 7:21 PM on December 22, 2010


So were they just trying to find hip-hop artists that the general public might have actually heard of? Because there were way worse songs than Ludacris' My Chick Bad. Besides, what's not to like about

My chick bad, tell me if you've seen her
She always bring the racket like Venus and Serena

Every time I hear that Train abomination I wonder who held guns to their heads and forced them to record it.
posted by fuse theorem at 7:24 PM on December 22, 2010


How is "I Gotta Feeling" by the Black Eyed Peas not on this list? It's the most commercialized craptastic song I've heard in a loooong time.

Because it was already the worst song of 2009.
posted by Ideal Impulse at 7:31 PM on December 22, 2010


By my count, 14 comments so far involve people claiming they have not heard these songs...

But it's true. I don't listen to the radio much and I FFWD through tv commercials, bless the heart of the person who invented the DVR, so I honestly haven't heard these songs. I'm not trying to be "cool" or anything. I heard part of that abortion of a song about the not quite a mosque only because it was linked to somewhere as the worst song ever (and rightly so). I'll go back to singing "Sweet Soul Sister" to my dogs now since I don't know the words to "Hey, Soul Sister".
posted by MikeMc at 7:49 PM on December 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


Congratulations on your ignorance...

Sometimes -- not always, but sometimes -- ignorance is bliss.
posted by blucevalo at 7:52 PM on December 22, 2010


Perhaps posting that you have no idea about the content of a link in a thread discussing that content isn't the most useful or interesting thing you can do. Most of these songs you probably wouldn't really hear on the radio anyway. What you're doing is basically "I'm too cool to give a shit about this and have nothing to add, later fuckers!"

Cool. Maybe you could just not post instead, or at least elaborate a little bit instead of trying to wear ignorance of something like a badge of honor.
posted by codacorolla at 7:58 PM on December 22, 2010


"Perhaps posting that you have no idea about the content of a link in a thread discussing that content isn't the most useful or interesting thing you can do."

Thank god that comment was useful and interesting.
posted by MikeMc at 8:04 PM on December 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


Most of these songs you probably wouldn't really hear on the radio anyway.

Well that's thing, where would you hear these if you didn't seek them out? Popular music used to find you but now you have to actively go and find it yourself. I'm old enough that no one I know would be playing these at a party and piped in music in public places is usually stuff from the seventies and eighties. I listen to LastFM but it only recommends music that it thinks I'll like so something like Train is never going to show up.

I'm not really surprised that so few people here seem to be familiar with these songs.
posted by octothorpe at 8:15 PM on December 22, 2010


By my count, 14 comments so far involve people claiming they have not heard these songs...

Make that 15. I kinda wish I did know any of them, because I'd probably enjoy the reviews more.

Having said that, I'll probably read them all just in case there's more writing like "Yes, this song is the result of a grown bajillionaire who dresses like a 19-year-old Dane Cook stan sitting pud-handed at his MacBook and writing fan fiction about the fun times hippie girls have at Burning Man. Dude is like five feet and 10 inches of midlife crisis."
posted by UbuRoivas at 8:18 PM on December 22, 2010



That mosque song made milk come out my nose.

1.5 TB of music and constantly adding more, and other than Susan Boyle ( hi mom ) missed them all.
posted by pianomover at 8:21 PM on December 22, 2010


Um.. they go on for like 2 pages about My Chick Bad and only write one sentence about Nicki Minaj's verse? A negative one?

No. She is the reason that song is so awesome.

Also, 'Coming down the street like a parade MACY'S' is brilliant.
posted by Put the kettle on at 8:24 PM on December 22, 2010


So were they just trying to find hip-hop artists that the general public might have actually heard of?

I dunno. Luda and Minaj are capable of making some really great shit, so I can see being incensed by that lazy piece of crap. Ludacris already had one of the year's best singles with How Low, and Minaj has been 1000x better literally everywhere else she's shown up... Would I pick it as one of the worst of the year? Probably not. But if I hated Supa Dupa Flow (a better name than hashtag rap since Supda Dupa by way of Drake is how it seems to have become ubiquitous) as much as they did...

Yeah. Those couple of lines they cite and the way they're delivered are horrendous.

BAAALLLOOOONNNNSSSS makes me crack up every time and not in a way laughing-with kind of way.
posted by sparkletone at 8:25 PM on December 22, 2010


No. She is the reason that song is so awesome.

Nah. She's just less bad than Ludacris here. Even without her album-stealing turn in Monster, I can think of many, many better verses she's done this year, and I can't recall any I'm so meh on.

Both people on that track can and have done waaay better, even just in the last 12 months.
posted by sparkletone at 8:26 PM on December 22, 2010


Ludacris already had one of the year's best singles with How Low

Don't really rate that one.

Minaj has been 1000x better literally everywhere else she's shown up

Top 3 Songs with Nicki Minaj as a Featured Artist:

1. Monster (I dare anyone to dispute this one)
2. My Chick Bad
3. Lil Freak
posted by Put the kettle on at 8:33 PM on December 22, 2010


I do agree that BAAALLLLOOOOOOOOOOONNNNSSSSSS is hilarious.
posted by Put the kettle on at 8:34 PM on December 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


Watching the internet rage about and/or analyze Glee makes watching it 100% worth it.
posted by NoraReed at 9:04 PM on December 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


This isn't really relevant but I have to put this on record somehow... I used to work for a despicable (famous) Hollywood film/TV composer whose wife was cheating on him with her yoga instructor, etc. (The cheating was common knowledge to him as he did it too.) Once she told me her "next husband" would be a guy who would write a song about her like the "Drops of Jupiter" song by Train.

They were both some of the foulest people I've ever met to date. I have so many stories. My favorite is how they bribed some shady doctor an ungodly amount of money to prescribe them both Cipro when the anthrax scare was going around after 9/11. ( Like the planet would've suffered if those two hadn't survived.) I know t sounds like something out of a bad movie, but it's true. I used to have to... oh forget it.

Train sucks.
posted by Kloryne at 9:09 PM on December 22, 2010 [4 favorites]


That Ground Zero Mosque song really is unique in the entire history of pop music, a real milestone. I mean yeah, there's the whole "document of an hysterical moment in American history" thing going for it. But what's really amazing, and in my mind could not have been unintentional, is that you read a title like "We've Got to Stop the Mosque at Ground Zero" and you think, wow that's got to be the most awful song ever conceived; then you hear it and it's actually a far, far worse song than you imagine it is. I mean, I write songs and it is really hard to think of how I would go about making a song this bad. This requires working hard at it, and frankly I stand in awe.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 9:12 PM on December 22, 2010 [9 favorites]


I've never really had any use for the Veev's writing on pop culture in any medium, at any time. They have always reeked of the hipper-than-thou. They overpromoted Liz Phair back when she was young and fresh, and look at where they put her now.
posted by Halloween Jack at 9:35 PM on December 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


Whatever happened to the mosque at ground zero? Did it just sort of stop itself?
posted by Artw at 9:35 PM on December 22, 2010


Far East Movement - "Like a G6" is the best bad song of the year.

i heard that and i found it to be trashy and catchy

old, out of it, person question - what is a G6?
posted by pyramid termite at 9:48 PM on December 22, 2010


Whatever happened to the mosque at ground zero? Did it just sort of stop itself?

I think they ended up opening a community centre in a building a few blocks away instead.
posted by UbuRoivas at 9:52 PM on December 22, 2010 [9 favorites]


#17: Trade Martin, "We've Got To Stop The Mosque At Ground Zero"

This is possibly the worst song of all time*.


crap, i'm a complete amateur with utterly low rent equipment and i can record and arrange better than that

this guy worked with b b king - what'd he do, fetch him coffee? - order him a pizza? - pick up his suit from the cleaners?

the idea is awfully damn sucky - but it's the execution that makes this utterly awful
posted by pyramid termite at 9:56 PM on December 22, 2010


I'm really sad that I had to learn about that cover of "What I Got" from this list.

I'm of an age that the song hit during my adolescence and thus remains tethered to my nostalgia button. Through that lens, I can only see the original as something simultaneously depressing and uplifting, but ultimately honest and personal. Everything said in the lyrics feels at home with the rest of the band's output describing the ups and downs and day-to-day mundanity of their lives.

This cover just seems to shit all over that seeming honesty of the original in much the same way as the "mosque" song does by referencing 9/11™. Sublime were putting out a song about dealing with the struggles of life by focusing on the love that can be found as a reason to survive. Michaels, on the other hand, is just co-opting someone else's life so he can sell the idea of Love™. He's practically taken someone's autobiography and replaced their name with his own in an attempt to pass it off as the story of his life. Hell, he didn't even change the name as he left in the line "and the Sublime style is still straight from Long Beach". There's absolutely nothing genuine in this cover and it's fucking with my nostalgia and that's why it sucks.
posted by mindless progress at 10:12 PM on December 22, 2010 [3 favorites]


Salem, 2010. Hoopo, 2007. First off, style biters. Second, why didn't I make the worst songs of 2007 list?
posted by Hoopo at 10:17 PM on December 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


I thought the G6 was the plane.

Also, seriously, I have heard like only 1 or 2 of these -- and I listen to the pop stations when I am stuck in traffic. Thank god I have never heard that Train song. Where is this stuff being played?
posted by Mid at 10:20 PM on December 22, 2010


I'm usually meh on these kinds of lists, particularly for stuff like the Train song, which is harmless and pleasant enough except in horribly overplayed application.

But We've Got To Stop The Mosque At Ground Zero.... I... I didn't know. I really never imagined it was that bad. I was ready for a certain familiar distance between lyrical content and reality common to nationalistic country music, but I was ambushed by the sheer flaccidity of what little songwriting and production craft seems to have been brought to bear.

I never thought I'd say this, but I think someone has now actually made My Humps look like it might have merits by comparison.
posted by weston at 10:20 PM on December 22, 2010


Perhaps posting that you have no idea about the content of a link in a thread discussing that content isn't the most useful or interesting thing you can do. Most of these songs you probably wouldn't really hear on the radio anyway. What you're doing is basically "I'm too cool to give a shit about this and have nothing to add, later fuckers!"

Cool. Maybe you could just not post instead, or at least elaborate a little bit instead of trying to wear ignorance of something like a badge of honor.


Thank you for posting this, codacorolla. This is the kind of useless elitist bullshit I am always tempted to post, but don't. Like "I don't watch TV."

But what I'm wondering about, is: why post a list of "worst songs of the year" that you don't hear on the radio? Are these songs "everyone" is listening too? Where?

Us older musicians and music fans are several steps removed from the world of popular music. Sad. How did things become so fractured? Where are we?
posted by kozad at 10:32 PM on December 22, 2010


"Popular music used to find you but now you have to actively go and find it yourself."

Well, kinda. You used to find good music. The popular stuff, if it's really popular, will find everyone, but the further out of youth culture (i.e. the more likely that phrase triggered TMBG associations) you are, the more you're going to have to work to find new music.
posted by klangklangston at 11:30 PM on December 22, 2010


Those of you who have heard these songs, where did you hear them? The Radio? Night clubs? On a TV show?
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 12:52 AM on December 23, 2010


Also, 'Coming down the street like a parade MACY'S' is brilliant.

Yeah, it was when David Letterman started saying it maybe 20 years ago too.
posted by fuse theorem at 3:00 AM on December 23, 2010


That "Hey, Soul Sister" atrocity is indeed a most regrettable attempt at musical entertainment. That is the kind of "song" that makes thoughts of machetes and killing sprees flood my seething mind.

"Hey There Delilah". That was another one. The first time I heard that I strangled a puppy.
posted by Decani at 3:40 AM on December 23, 2010


I posted a link to this article on FaceBook, and I now have one friend who are demanding to know what "Hey, Soul Sister" is so terrible -- they play it all the time on their iPod, 'cause it's so damn catchy and so forth, so how could the song be bad? Another is devoted to the cause in Haiti, and thinks that the V.V. is Satan-on-Earth for putting down the "We Are The World" remake.

Some of my best friends have abysmal taste in music.
posted by spoobnooble at 4:31 AM on December 23, 2010


The problem with "Hey Soul Sister" is that it is neither an abysmally dumb pop tune nor a particularly clever one. It's not terrible enough to hate and it's not smart enough to champion. It's turkey on whole wheat bread when you're really craving a reuben. It's the worst thing a pop song can be: boring.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 5:23 AM on December 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


youth culture (i.e. the more likely that phrase triggered TMBG associations)

'Youth Culture' would be a good name for a roots reggae group, or a probably-straightedge hardcore band.
posted by box at 5:53 AM on December 23, 2010 [2 favorites]


When I first saw Pomplamoose I thought it was nice that two people could have so much fun while making a living. I never really imagined that there would be so much hate directed their way as they became more known. It's too bad the commercials are getting played too much (not here, or at least not on the channels I watch).

But apparently if we could get Nataly to guest star on Glee leading a cover of Hey Soul Sister we could reduce the world overpopulation problem via mass head-explosions.
posted by mikepop at 6:11 AM on December 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


Whatever happened to the mosque at ground zero? Did it just sort of stop itself?
There are still some hardcore nuts protesting it, but mainly what happened is that the election finished, and Republicans no longer needed a manufactured issue to drive the broader, less energetic nuts of the base into a frenzy.
posted by Flunkie at 6:45 AM on December 23, 2010


Now that I've listened to "Stop The Mosque", I refuse to believe that Trey Parker and Matt Stone are not behind it.
posted by everichon at 7:39 AM on December 23, 2010


I haven't heard most of the stuff on that list. In fact, only two - I'm an unabashed Glee fan, so I have their cover of "Loser" on my iPod. Some people don't get the delicious black comedy irony that most of Glee is and take it far too seriously. I thought the ep where they sang this was hysterically funny.

And "Soul Sister" actually the only time I've heard the song all the way through was when Glee covered it, sung by the adorable Darren Criss, so I just can't hate the song.

What I want to know is, how the hell is the abomination known as "Ke-dollarsign-ha" not on this list? I may have thought pop music had hit a nadir at some point before (like probably Black Eyed Peas "My Humps") but no, somebody dug a little deeper under the septic tank and unearthed something even slimier, more grotesque, and with even less purpose or value.

I will gladly take Glee and even Train over Ke-dollarsign-ha any day.

(Credit to the awesome Joel McHale & The Soup for the "Ke-dollarsign-ha" pronunciation.)
posted by dnash at 8:10 AM on December 23, 2010


"Some people don't get the delicious black comedy irony that most of Glee is and take it far too seriously."

Except that it's not really delicious black comedy irony — it's schmaltz with a patina of subversiveness. It's as much a delicious black comedy irony as Two and a Half Men. Jane is the only thing worth watching on that show.

Plenty of us get it, we just think it's lame.
posted by klangklangston at 8:33 AM on December 23, 2010 [5 favorites]


What I want to know is, how the hell is the abomination known as "Ke-dollarsign-ha" not on this list? I may have thought pop music had hit a nadir at some point before (like probably Black Eyed Peas "My Humps") but no, somebody dug a little deeper under the septic tank and unearthed something even slimier, more grotesque, and with even less purpose or value.

This sentence would be precisely correct if you said the exact opposite.
posted by empath at 8:38 AM on December 23, 2010


I love Glee because I love show choir, and I cling to the hope that the show's popularity will usher in a national Show Choir revival in high schools across the nation.
posted by KathrynT at 8:58 AM on December 23, 2010


I love show choir, but Glee bugs me. I started watching it on Hulu this season, and saw a few episodes from the first season. With the exception of Jane Lynch's cartoon villain, I find every single character on the show unpleasant and unlikable, to varying degrees. Some of the songs are fun (Glee was my first exposure to this "Hey Soul Sister" business that everybody seems to hate, and it is rather earwormy). I'll probably keep watching it on Hulu, but it's one of those shows where every single character makes me think, "Why is anyone friends with you?" See also: House, The Office, 30 Rock, (all of which, yes, I still watch. On Hulu).
posted by Gator at 9:09 AM on December 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


that rehashed Kid Rock trainwreck of a song about Sweet Home Alabama with the chords to Werewolf in London.

Holy shit, was that ever a musical abortion. At least Zevon was already dead first.
posted by emjaybee at 9:52 AM on December 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


So far plenty of people have said "I haven't heard these songs," but no one has answered the pleas from a few of us: "Hey, where are the rest of you people hearing these songs, since it's been noted that they are not played on the radio?" Is this a list of the worst 20 songs played on Albanian gondolas, or what?
posted by kozad at 10:32 AM on December 23, 2010


I don't know about the other ones but My Chick Bad and Soul Sister were all over the radio.
posted by nooneyouknow at 10:44 AM on December 23, 2010


Holy shit, was that ever a musical abortion

I know it shouldn't, but Kid Rock is stubborn in a way that really bothers me. He takes these contrarian stands on things like the iTunes store in a way that appears designed to make it look like he has integrity or something. Apparently, the same guy that made the "musical abortion" described above is concerned that people might not listen to his album from beginning to end if they're able to download only the songs they like--am I to take it that a Kid Rock album has something important to offer when taken as a whole? What am I supposed to get out of some dude shouting "wangdangdiggydedangdang" over rap metal? Is the song a chapter in a greater narrative? Part of some grand artistic statement involving wiping your ass with the Radiohead logo? I mean Insane Clown Posse looks like Pink Floyd compared to this guy.
posted by Hoopo at 10:48 AM on December 23, 2010


I just wanna step in and clear something up that was touched on upthread re: The Black Eyed Peas.

I saw BEP on a hip hop tour opening up for Public Enemy and Cypress Hill, et al. back in 98. That band bears little similarity to the one that added Fergie and turned into the garbage factory they are now.
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 10:50 AM on December 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


Bought a new car in September and haven't turn off XM Backspin since ("old school hiphop) I don't care how many times I hear Run DMC Christmas in Hollis this week...
posted by jeffmik at 11:00 AM on December 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


The problem with answering kozad's question is, it's pointless. If someone is interested in popular culture and popular music, then they will be stumbling across these songs naturally.

If someone is not interested in popular culture and/or popular music, then there's no point mentioning that I spend a good chunk of every day listening to C89.5 (a Seattle radio station run by and for high school students) online.

The rest of the day I listen to a Pandora station which I created by telling Pandora that I like:

1. "Tik Tok" by Ke$ha
2. "Pocketful of Sunshine" by Natasha Bedingfield

By simply feeding those two songs to Pandora, it has spun forth hundreds of hours of music I enjoy listening to. Truly a miracle of Our Modern Age.

(For full recursion, I first heard "Tik Tok" on C89.5. I first heard "Pocketful of Sunshine" in The Sims 2 where it's sung in the made-up nonsense language of the game.

It's surprising how many super-popular songs started out on the Sims 2 and Sims 3 in-game radio station playlists. Sometimes I wonder if someone involved in C895's station programming is as big a Sims nerd as I am.)

Other songs I hear about from the ether. "I Whip My Hair" was mentioned by someone I follow on Twitter. I've found a lot of stuff I either hate (Pomplamoose) or love ("Single Ladies") in Metafilter threads and comments.

That answers your question in a literal sense. I gather that the underlying question is something like bafflement at the pervasiveness of a culture of which one has no experience, but which apparently exists all around you.

I cannot address this question except to shrug and say, "Yep."
posted by ErikaB at 11:38 AM on December 23, 2010


I don't mean for any of that to sound snotty, by the way. I'm a single, 38 year-old white lady who lives in the middle of nowhere. It's just that at some point, I became determined not to be one of those old people whose musical taste ossified when they were about 14.

I still like the stuff that was popular when I was a kid (i.e. 80s music). But popular culture is popular for a reason. There's a lot of new stuff I like, too.

*sniffs; nods; hangs onion from belt*
posted by ErikaB at 11:50 AM on December 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


I would bet that even "with it" young people wouldn't be familiar with most of this list. MTV doesn't play music anymore; Pitchfork hasn't reviewed any of this stuff (except for Salem); and a good portion of it got passed around blogs as WTF material (that Liz Phair song, Die Antwoord), and then some of it's meant for old people (Susan Boyle) or Tea Partiers (the Ground Zero Mosque stuff). Just a weird mishmash of things the Village Voice has come across, I guess.
posted by naju at 12:00 PM on December 23, 2010


I saw BEP on a hip hop tour opening up for Public Enemy and Cypress Hill, et al. back in 98. That band bears little similarity to the one that added Fergie and turned into the garbage factory they are now.

Yeah, that'd be the late Atban Klann. Sigh. Miss them, I do.
posted by CommonSense at 9:48 PM on December 23, 2010


If someone is interested in popular culture and popular music, then they will be stumbling across these songs naturally.

Or maybe one just has filters in place that seem to be doing their job. I'd never claim to be "on top" of what's going on anymore but I do love a more or less constant flow of fresh new sounds. My sources? Various friends, elbo.ws, any number of blogs that come and go, any number of random discoveries, various record stores I make a point of dropping into on a regular basis, various campus and/or community radio stations.

For the record, some damned good things I've heard for the first time recently (no idea of how "new" they actually are):

War On Drugs - various tracks
Lyrics Born - I changed my mind
Brasstronaut - old world lies
Crystal Castles remix of The Cure's "not in love"
Iron + Wine - walking far from home
Kid Cudi's remix of Dan Black's "symphonies"
Destroyer - Chinatown

... and so on. And to reiterate. I'm not saying I've never heard any of the offensive 20 on the list. They just made no impression beyond, "Fuck that shit, CHANGE THE STATION."
posted by philip-random at 10:54 PM on December 23, 2010


Add me to the list of people who haven't heard most of these songs. But they definitely got it right with "Hey Soul Sister" as #1. If I never hear that song again it will be too soon.

I am also surprised that Ke$ha didn't make this list. "Your Love Is My Drug" is definitely one of the worst songs I've heard this year.
posted by SisterHavana at 11:31 PM on December 23, 2010


SisterHavana: "I am also surprised that Ke$ha didn't make this list. "Your Love Is My Drug" is definitely one of the worst songs I've heard this year."

Eh...

I will grant you that "Your Love is My Drug" is a heavily synthesized, cardboard pop-ish, morally bankrupt, and possibly without value piece of music, like everything else Ke$ha makes. On the other hand ... that's kind of the point. Explicitly. Look, Lady Gaga has exposed the hypocrisies of the moral code underlying pop music by being something for everyone. Post-Gaga, Ke$ha is the only person in pop music that seems to get that code is gone, and responds to the vacuum by just completely skewing towards intoxication as an aesthetic. That's lead to some kinda neat secondary products: the weird psychadelic charm of the Your Love video, for example, or the Serious Lunch sketch Girls Night Out.

It's certainly not the best pop music has to offer. But, still ... kinda neat.
posted by l33tpolicywonk at 1:28 PM on December 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


None of these have been hits in the UK, and in fact Train fucked off after collecting the revenue from Radio 2's airplay of Drops of Jupiter. I love my country.
posted by mippy at 12:06 AM on December 27, 2010


This clip made me appreciate "Whip My Hair", actually.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:09 PM on December 29, 2010 [3 favorites]


It's surprising how many super-popular songs started out on the Sims 2 and Sims 3 in-game radio station playlists.

This is part of the larger "Everything Maxis has ever touched is gold" phenomenon. The Sims series is not just the most well-designed and polished game I've ever played but it might be the most well designed program, the soundtrack is just part of the package. (The music for SimCity 4 is also pretty swell.)
posted by NoraReed at 3:48 AM on December 30, 2010


No Traffic Jam 101? (Previously). I guess they didn't want to give them any more publicity ...

I had never heard the full version of "Soul Sister" before and I've certainly never heard any of the other songs.

The days of Top 40 radio are truly over. Who cares what's #1 anymore?

Oh wait a minute, I know that Liz Phair song. (I figured it was a novelty throwaway, not a "real song.") I kinda liked the album. Shrug.
posted by mrgrimm at 4:58 PM on January 3, 2011


Whip My Hair is sheer mediocrity. Only the stupid lyrics qualify it for any "worst" list. And since it's a kid singing, no. Not worst.
posted by mrgrimm at 5:00 PM on January 3, 2011


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