In my experience there are two kinds of music fans, those who can listen to a song over and over again until they are eventually tired of the song, and those who listen to a select few songs and slowly get bored of them over time. I am in the latter category, which is why it is increasingly frustrating for me with with today’s radio culture, the constant sound of top 20 hits played over and over until either your brain falls out or you become a monk and swear off pop music entirely.
Of course I exaggerate, and to be fair this isn’t a recent development, this has been the practice for radio stations for decades, and if your key demographic is people who like “all the hits, all the time” then to not pander to them would be bad business, and believe me, music is a business. This of course regardless of genre, it doesn’t matter if it’s the millionth time you’ve heard ‘Star Ships or ‘Hotel California’, whether it has the loving touch of ‘Timberland ‘ or that guy from OneRepublic that basically wrote all of the pop music in 2013.
It’s not even just the radio. It seems the bars and clubs have also gotten in on in the act, as it’s easier to cater to the ‘all the hits all the time’ crowd. Now i love listening to fan favourites as much as anyone else, but a few specific songs have begun to get grating, and while I find myself singing along, I find a small voice at the back of my head telling me to roll my eyes and sigh in annoyance.
Shakespeare is attributed as saying “if music be the food of love play on.” Well this is a time when music was art, I think it’s now more appropriate to say “music is the processed cheese of love, so scoff it down indiscriminately as it’s all the same crap anyway” and maybe you’ll find a well aged Brie.
10. Baby – Justin Bieber
Now before i start bagging on Justin Bieber, I thought I should first make a quick concession, Justin Bieber is not without talent, he can obviously carry a tune and I hear that he’s decent at playing the drums, it’s just unfortunate that someone with a little talent was seen as marketable enough to be consumed into the machine that is the music industry, and when I say unfortunate, I mean for us, the listeners, Justin Bieber is doing just fine with his millions of dollars (although there is a drug addiction on the way, and drugs don’t come cheap, even if you have minions to take the fall for you).
Justin Bieber can’t write his own songs, is dumb as a brick and quite honestly is a bit of a self entitled douche bag, the only reason he is still selling CDs is because preteen girls don’t have taste.
And the catalyst for the monster that is Justin Bieber is this song, Baby. With its catchy tune and repetitive lyrics it enters your brain like invasive brain surgery, and it’s easier to damage the brain than repair. Baby the kinda tune you hate with a bubbling rage when you find it’s stuck in your head and you’re humming it.
So while the song is pleasant to listen to, it is god awful and it represents something bigger in the unleashing Bieber from Pandora’s box.
9. One Thing/What Makes you Beatiful – One Direction
So you take some clean cut likely lads from the UK, find success in the UK and take them over to the US to invade, a sort of Brit invasion if you will. Where have we heard that story before?
Dating back to The Beatles, Americans have a perverse expectation of brits to be these exotic creatures who talk funny and are either charming gentlemen or roguish bad boys, and in response all things British are sent over the pond. The ironic thing about The Beatles is that while it is obvious that they were a complete success (sans the ‘bigger than Jesus’ scandal) from a record company standpoint they were a complete failure, they were popular and successful but completely unable to be controlled.
Now I’m not in the habit of comparing One Direction to The Beatles, that would be a fools errand, The Beatles are infinitely better than One Direction, but in a way One Direction is The Beatles experiment done right. No one has burned One Direction CDs (well their intended market hasn’t, i use them to light cigars) and they haven’t decided they are to big to stop touring.
It was tricky to pick between these two songs because honestly, anything this boy band releases is instantly on the radio’s ‘to be overplayed’ list, personally I dislike What Makes You Beautiful m0re, partially it’s about a guy who takes advantage of a girl with low self esteem, but also because they basically steal the bass riff from Summer Lovin’ from Grease, it caused me great disappointment when i heard that riff and it wasn’t Summer Lovin’.
8. Wonderwall – Oasis
Before anyone gets on my case let me first say A) I like Oasis and B) I like Wonderwall, however I like it slightly less than I did when I heard it the first million times. This represents another kind of song that is overplayed, the two above were songs that were catchy but terrible, this song is awesome but slightly less awesome because I’ve heard it enough times in my lifetime.
I think it’s more frustrating to like a song and have it ruined by constantly hearing it than hating a song and having to hear it over and over.
It’s especially annoying as for the most part the people that I hang around with have good taste, and don’t see my frustration, in all honestly i look like a bit of a stick in the mud (more of a stick in the mud).
The constant barrage of hearing this song on TV, the radio and by live bands has basically sucked the life out of this song for me, and it is truly saddening.
7. 80s hits that have become fan favourites (Sweet Child of Mine – Guns and Roses/Livin’ on a Prayer – Bon Jovi)
I love 80s music, period. For the most part I enjoy all of the genres that define the era, the synth pop, the electro pop and of course hair metal.
But certain songs have been put on a pedestal, and don’t get me wrong they are perfectly good songs, but what really makes them better than other songs, is Sweet Child of Mine better than Welcome to the Jungle? Is Livin’ on a Prayer better than You Give Love a Bad Name? I don’t think so, what makes these songs so special?
Even if they are better than the other songs, how much better, how can they be so much better you hear these songs all the time but never the others? If they are that much better than the other songs then how the hell did these bands even sell their other singles?
This just raises too many questions and not the fun kind.
6. Mediocre songs by great bands (Yellow Submarine – The Beatles/Another Brick in the Wall Part 2 – Pink Floyd)
Why are these songs even popular? I mean they’re not terrible songs but they’re not really songs that define a generation of musicians either. I mean Yellow Submarine is sung by Ringo, freaking Ringo! The least talented of the 4 and people think of this song when they think of The Beatles.
Another Brick in the Wall I kind of get, i mean i love a good rabble rousing song and it ties into a greater theme that pops up alot in the album it’s in which is the writer seeing his time at school oppressive, but there are so many better Pink Floyd songs out there.
I deeply love these bands and it’s a shame that while they have so many good songs, they are defined by the songs that are mediocre, great bands defined by mediocre songs.
5. Anything by Katy Perry (it’s all basically the same song anyway)
She needn’t waste the time getting new songs written and recorded as no one would notice the difference, she might as well just keep releasing the same song over an over, no one would notice (unless if she already is already, I’m on to you Katheryn Hudson, if that’s your real name).
I was struggling to come up with a redeemable feature for Katy Perry and then i watched one of her music videos on mute.
4. Smells Like Teen Spirit – Nirvana
So before i piss off alot of people (unless you’re a Katy Perry fan and are currently fuming, honestly I’m a little suprised you’re still here at this point), and before I piss off alot of people in my own age group I’ll start by saying that I like Nirvana, I also think that Nevermind is a great album that quite possibly defined a generation. Unfortunately this doesn’t excuse the truth, Nirvana weren’t really all that good and Kurt Cobain wasn’t a genius. Kurt Cobain was a troubled man who found solace in his writing and had fans that found comfort in the fact that they had someone to identify with, someone who felt the same disenfranchisement and anxiety, someone who had suffered trauma which he was able to deal with through his music (for a while anyway).
I will say something else controversial, for Kurt Cobain, like Van Gogh, the best thing for his work was for him to die. I do not condone his suicide (or murder for those conspiracy nuts out there) but in terms of commercial success it did wonders, and it lead to one of his band members branching out and create something even better.
This song is high energy and insightful and was Nirvana at their best but this song, nor Nirvana deserve the praise that they get or the level of airplay that they have received.
I mean hell they weren’t even the best grunge band, or the best band from the 90s or even the best band from Seattle.
3. Someone Like You – Adele
I loved this song. You might remember earlier I mentioned that I hated when overplay on the radio ruined a song for me and boy did the radio ruin this song for me.
This song has so much soul, so much emotion, and it was a depressing experience watching all of the soul being sucked out of this song, the reaction of hearing this song went from quiet contemplation to frustration and scorn.
Adele is obviously a talented woman, and while commercially the overplay of this song did her a great service, as an artist it did her a great disservice, but artistic integrity doesn’t exist in music anymore anyway (if it ever did).
2. Anything feat. Pitbull
WHO IS THIS GUY? Seriously, where the hell did he come from? I remember there was one day when Pitbull wasn’t a thing, and then suddenly he’s everywhere, it’s almost like the Moon Landing or the Kennedy Assassination, I think everyone remembers where they were the moment Pitbull happened (I personally was watching Katy Perry videos on mute).
It seems as though the late 2000s was a time that experienced a high demand for arbitrary Spanish phrases in pop songs. Pitbull either serves as back up or requires back up on his own tracks, this man seems incapable of being alone in his musical endeavours. He always feels like a featured artist, even on his own songs.
This question may seem a little tasteless but what kind of leverage does he have on the record companies to have so much airplay, I mean Bieber and One Direction are awful but their primary market is kids, and kids are idiots! While the average mainstream music fan may be fairly dense I’m pretty sure they have at least the minimum of standards and I’m pretty sure that they can notice something is a little of when a random Cuban who quite frankly looks like he’s in the mob (like an actual gangster), can slurrily blurt out nonsensical lines about women, clubs and women in clubs with the slightest of Latino swagger and get away with saturating the market with this garbage.
Maybe I’m giving people too much credit.
1. Gangnam Style – Psy
Am i the only one who is absolutely sick of this song? Yes it has a good beat, yes the tune is catchy, yes it was incredibly fun the dance to (for the first month it was released) and yes the video is hilarious. But enough is enough people, you’re not culturally sensitive for overplaying a song that is K Pop, in fact you are doing it a disservice by defining it based on one song.
Even still months after it’s out of the top 20 charts you can’t go into a nightclub without at least one play of Gangnam Style.
The funny thing the song was released in South Korea ages before it was released anywhere else, so i was sure that if anyone was going to be tired of the song it would be the Koreans, so i asked several of Koreans that i happen to know when South Korea was tired of Gangnam Style, my jaw dropped when they revealed that Koreans were still not sick of Gangnam Style.
This song entered my head like a brain tumor pressing against my pleasure center, for the first few week I was in bliss, absolute ecstasy, then the tumor got so big that it was painful and now I’m dying, I’m dying a slow and painful death of Gangnam Style, please make it stop.
Now before i bid you adieu i would like to remind you that this is a personal opinion list, you may disagree, feel free to do so in the comment section if you wish. With all this considered I’d like to leave you with the immortal words of the great philosopher George Jetson that i think greatly sums up how i feel about the music industry “get me off this crazy thing.”