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Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Countdown to the Countdowns: The Worst Singles of 2011

yes, it's a matter of taste, but if I didn't have taste I wouldn't be running this blog. So before I count down the best tracks of the year, let's look at a few that I never want to hear again.

1. Pink - F**kin Perfect/Jessie J - Price Tag
With her first two albums, Pink was very high on my list of the best pop stars out there. Then she began to repeat herself and water down the music. Perfect, with it’s cutesy lyrics and plodding chorus, just turned me right off her. And if that’s not bad enough, we were forced to endure the song twice this year under two names. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, the chorus of Price Tag is exactly the same thing. As if it wasn’t mind-numbing enough the first time.

2. Christina Perri - Jar Of Hearts
Suffers similar problems as Pink’s song. It’s got those kind of Starbucks poetry, precious lyrics that just rub me the wrong way. Still, it was a hit around the world. I know people love it, but I seriously can’t listen to it again.

3. Bruno Mars - The Lazy Song
Almost Don’t Worry, Be Happy levels of irritation. It’s the kind of novelty track that sets an artist back years in my opinion. Everything else Bruno released this year was fine. This made me scream every time I heard it on the radio.

4. Anything by Taylor Swift
Sometimes it feels like I’m the only one in the world that who is totally done with Taylor Swift. I just can’t deal with the “dooby dooby doo… princess… dooby dooby doo… white horse… dooby dooby doo… ballerina…” nature of her songwriting. I know I’m not the target audience and that it’s just a matter of taste, but to me it’s like nails on a chalkboard.

5. Matt Cardle - Run For Your Life
The UK X-Factor winner lived up to his title of dullest champion yet with this unceremonious dirge. The title basically says it all.

6. Hot Chelle Rae - Tonight, Tonight
This epitomizes what irks me about the hipster mentality in pop music. It's like the soundtrack to a bad romantic comedy (in fact, it probably is). None of the little catchphrases in this track are the least bit cute or funny.

7. Coldplay - Paradise
More of a pet peeve of mine than anything. I hate songs whose chorus consists of the same word repeated over and over again. To me, it's lazy songwriting and almost always results in a plodding melody. Coldplay have done much, much better in the past. I can't believe I gave this a decent grade when it first came out.

8. Train - Marry Me
Thankfully it never became as ubiquitous as their last single, because this is the most saccharine track they've ever released.

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Anonymous Caleb said...

Hey man, first i just want to say that i've been following your blog for a while now and i'm a really big fan. You've introduced me to so much good music and i thank you for that

But... instead of going through each song and saying whether i agree or not (about whether its one of the worse singles of the year). I couldn't help but notice how you said you really didn't care for Coldplay's song "Paradise" because they repeat the same word(s) over and over as the chorus. Yet just a little while back you gave Rihanna's song "We Found Love" a ten out of ten when all she does is repeat the same line over and over not only as the chorus but majority of the song.
I take it that maybe you were judging her song off of the beat as apposed to lyrics but in my opinion that song is the utmost example of lazy songwriting (something that has infected much of american pop music today). I say all that to say, i think its a little unfair to say Coldplay's song is 'lazy songwriting' when so much of todays music is written just like that (Rihanna's song is a great example).
But thats just me. Id rather listen to a song like P!nk's "F**king Perfect, where you can tell a little thought went into the lyrics, as apposed to a Rihanna song where the beat might be nice but you can tell it probably didn't take the songwriter more than 5 minutes to come up with the lyrics.

But anyway, keep up the great work man! I enjoy finding out about new/great music.

6:41 PM  
Blogger Nick said...

Glad you're enjoying the blog!
When it comes to the Coldplay song, I think we'll just have to agree to disagree. The comparison to Rihanna's track (which, you're right, I did love) is in my mind apples and oranges. WFL is much more about the production and, specifically, the build to the instrumental section. In that regard, it's simple but so on-point that the track could've been stripped of her vocals and still have wound up a hit.

The rest is just a matter of personal taste, I think. While there's heavy repetition, I find "we found love in a hopeless place" to be a far more provocative statement than "para, para, paradise," especially when coupled with the music video. But you're right, plenty of songs I love have heavy repetition in the chorus. I guess it's more of a pet peeve when it's the same word used over and over to create a hook. In my experience I find that this limits the melody, and nine times out of ten, melody catches my ear ten times harder than lyrics. Whereas I find the hook to WFL anthemic (and I realize you might not), the chorus of the Coldplay track seems almost dirge-like to me, especially after repeated listens on the radio.

But, hey, these are only my opinions. That's the great thing about music. It's so subjective. (but fun to argue about!)

10:21 PM  
Anonymous Caleb said...

Thanks for replying!
I cant definitely see where you are coming from when you say "I find "we found love in a hopeless place" to be a far more provocative statement than "para, para, paradise,""

I guess it just all comes down to personal opinion. But again, like you said "That's the great thing about music. It's so subjective. (but fun to argue about!)" lol :)

6:18 PM  

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