Bullet Points: 10 Worst Hit Songs of 2007ByErik Amonson & Lukas Kaiser December 04, 2007 - 8:30 am |
If this wasn't the worst ever year for popular music, then there's some other year that I probably lived through and feel painfully sorry for in retrospect. Here, though, we present ten separate case studies as evidence that our mass culture music is sinking deeper and deeper into a panoply of stinky sh*t.
- "Gimme More" by Britney Spears - What better way to kick off the list than with the song that combines all the vacuous skankitude of Britney Spears' pre-legal years with all the bleating pretension of her post-Federline "era"? In the song's four minute running time, Britney manages to say "gimme" eighty-seven times. Eighty-seven times. Four score and seven fucking times! I'm not saying this song is "bad," but when Carrot Top listens to it, it makes him feel good about his comedy stylings. Also, I am saying this song is bad.
- "Delilah" by Plain White T's - While an acoustic jam in a year of overproduced nonsense was somewhat like a breath of fresh air, this song is damn creepy. On first listen, the song sounds like a sorta cheesy but sorta creepy boyfriend writing to his girlfriend who's all the way across the country. On repeated listens it gets creepier and creepier. And then, when you read the truth about the song, it all makes sense. This isn't a touching song for a long distance sweetie. It's the stalker anthem of the century.
- "Buy U A Drank" by T-Pain - Hu? Meeeee? Actually, all in all, I'm kind of fond of T-Pain -- in spite of myself. Most of this kind-of-fondness can be traced back to his song "Time Machine," which begins, "Tebunon pedalophagus from the planet Teleguson," and includes the line, "It's a simple thing / I'm building a time machine." You have to be at least kind of fond of anyone for whom building a time machine is a simple thing. I tried it once and I'll never try it again. I can't afford to lose another testicle. At any rate, this is a little gem that begins with T-Pain offering to buy "u" a "drank", and reaches it's only logical conclusion through the chorus: "We in the bed like / Ooh ooh ooh, ooh ooh." Respect that comma. If you can listen to this song and not go insane, you are either A) In way too loud a club to really hear it or, B) In T-Pain's bed like ooh ooh ooh, ooh ooh.
- "Potential Breakup Song" by Aly and AJ - I feel bad putting this song on here because it's obviously kid's music and kid's music isn't supposed to be good. But this song houses one of the laziest moments in lyrics writing I have ever heard (and that's INCLUDING those Retard Rap songs). The lyrics in question occur about midway through the song, when one of the two ingenues (I'm not sure if it's Aly or AJ) delivers the lines "We got along until you did that / Now all I want is just my stuff back / Do you get that? / Let me repeat that / I want my stuff back / You can send it in a box /I don't care / Just drop it off / I won't be home!" Whoever wrote the lyrics for the song (I'm assuming it wasn't either of these darling little girls) got really lazy around the midway point of the song and, after mentioning that the girls want their stuff back, decided to stop offering any new information, instead filling the verse with mindless delays until the chorus comes in. Did you get that? She wants her stuff back! And if you didn't get, she'll repeat it. And also, she wants it in a box. Wait...I already told you that! The funny thing is that these lines are basically cribbed from another recent hit, Beyonce's "Irreplaceable" ("to the left/ to the left/ Everything you own in a box to the left / In the closet, that's my stuff"). HOW LAZY IS THAT?!
- "New Shoes" by Paolo Nutini - Ah, the simple things in life. The laughter of a child and all that worn out stuff. Hey, let's flaunt my ability to buy and collect shoes! You know, like a lady socialite! There isn't much that's more irritating than horribly misguided kids who were somewhere along the line given the false impression that they're "old souls." Nutini: your name sounds like an early 20th century magician, and your sentiments aren't profound, they're materialistic. If you're going to write a laid-back, casual kind of song about enjoying the details of life, at least pick a detail that won't make much of the world frown with an incapacity to own shoes, much less new ones. On the other hand, you could interpret this as a song about not taking things like new shoes for granted, in which case there are still far less annoying ways to go about it, plastic hippie.
- "Young Folks" by Peter Bjorn and John - Other than being a terribly boring song, "Young Folks" irks us because it made whistling cool again. And we mean cool as in annoying, not cool as in bad, as in good. If I catch another "disaffected" youth whistling to this song (which is placed on his iPod playlist between five Radiohead songs--hey, you need a little bit of sunshine every once in a while), I will beat the lips right off of him.
- "Glamorous" by Fergie - Holiest shit, I hate this song so, so much. It's kind of spiritual kin to "New Shoes" in a way. I think they're second spiritual cousins or something. Whereas "New Shoes" simply takes material delights for granted, this mouth-fart of a song encourages the penniless to "take yo broke ass home." That's doesn't even cause a splinter of my hatred for this garbage, though. It's possibly the most ingenuine song ever written. It's like an infinitely less believable "Jenny from the Block." Her greatest evidence, in fact, that she hasn't been changed by her wealth is that "[she] still go[es] to Taco Bell / drive-thru, raw as hell." That's not raw at all. It doesn't mean you're not a horrible, selfish, money-grubbing, manufactured bitch. It only means that you still have horrible Taco Bell farts.
- "Beautiful Girls" by Sean Kingston - It was fun being a fan of Puff Daddy back in the late 90s. Whenever people complained that he was just rapping and singing over previously established hits, you could laugh and utter "You're just being a hater!" Yeah, back then, the word "hater" was still cool. Well thanks to all that bad karma (because let's face it, they were right, Puffy was an uncreative boob), we're getting what we asked for...that being Sean Kingston's "Beautiful Girls." The formula is simple...let's take a great, classic song (Ben E King's "Stand By Me"), loop up the bass-line so the song never moves anywhere and then have a super fat teenager who couldn't sing his way out of a lunch box (though he could eat his way out of one) take a fat turd all over the track. But truth be told, I think this is far worse than anything Puffy ever put his grubby little Proactiv-covered hands on (well, maybe not Led Zep-sampling "Come With Me"). Why? Because unlike Puffy's protege, Biggie, Sean Kingston is FAT and UNtalented. That's a big no no.
- "Before He Cheats" by Carrie Underwood - Of all the songs on this list, this might be the one that really isn't that terrible of a song. Although it's not my personal cup o' tea musically speaking, I can respect the fact that it's pretty catchy, it's structurally sound, it rhymes, it has a jaunty little rhythm, it's pretty well-sung by Underwood... in a general sense, it's a fairly well-written and well-performed song. But the fucking message. The message. This song, based on everything contained in the lyrics, is about a woman who thinks that her boyfriend probably cheated/is cheating on her, and thus she has completely destroyed every element of his car. It's basically the relationship song equivalent of the Iraq War. "Oh, I don't know whether or not he cheats," she seems to say, "but the next time he's considering it, he'll think about how I destroyed his car before he does it again... or maybe for the first time." Will he? Or will he just think about how fucking insane his ex-girlfriend was?
- "Party Like a Rockstar"/"Crank That"/"This Is Why I'm Hot" by Shop Boyz/Soulja Boy/Mims - Ahhh, good old Retard Rap. Probably the worst development in popular music since those Monster-themed party songs from the early '60s. 2007 was the year when the least talented rappers alive made the most noise and, in most cases, the most money (except for notable exceptions Kanye West, Common, Jay Z and Talib Kweli). Retard Rap, more commonly known as Ringtone Rap, stormed the airwaves, cellphones and YouTube in full force, with these three songs leading the pack.
We started off strong with the several-millon selling ringtone "This Is Why I'm Hot" by rapper MIMS (his name standing for Music Is My Saviour...how deep). With a beat slow enough for grandma to dance to, MIMS explained why he was "hot" with lines like "I'm hot cuz I'm fly, you aint cause you not" and perhaps the most ironic turn of phrase in a rap song ever "This is why I'm hot/ I don't gotta rap/ I can sell a mill saying nothing on the track." I guess we'll have to take your word for it on that one, MIMS, because on THIS song, you're rapping.
Then came the inescapable hit (and I mean both in that it was a hit song and that listening to the song was like being struck with a blunt object) "Party Like A Rockstar" by the Shop Boyz. This has to be the most repetitive song I've heard since "Whip It." It's funny because this song heavily relied on the "ironic" use of the phrase "Totally dude," as if it was HILARIOUSLY PREPOSTEROUS that black people would be using that expression. But after the song became a hit, it was only black people using that expression. Perhaps the one positive thing that came out of this song was that us white folks finally got a dose of our own medicine--black people were actually using a phrase of ours that had become passe years ago.
We close out this section with the best/worst of the trio, Soulja Boy's "Crank That." Listening to this song for the first time on the radio made me feel how my parents must've felt when they first heard a rap song. "What the FUCK is this?" I uttered to myself. "Crank That" has to be the least intelligible song I've ever heard. Reh Dogg's "Why Must I Cry" would've made more sense as a radio hit. The piece de resistance of this song is of course the "dance." Soulja Boy guaranteed himself a place in the eminent episode of "I love 2007" thanks to his little ditty, which sparked thousands of copy cat videos that kids on the internet couldn't get enough of. The video below wasn't paid for by Soulja Boy's record label (as you may already know). It was one those aforementioned fan-tastic creations. Oh joy. And hey, with the music industry in turmoil, I think it's okay to have lowered expectations. Who needs best selling album (Soulja Boy's has sold less than a million) when you've got the kind of internet fame that's normally reserved for two girls eating a cup of their own poop!