Tuesday Ten: Worst Songs Ever

By | April 22, 2014 at 4:30 PM

Before you take a flamethrower to the site or start a Facebook hit squad, give us a second to explain. This is our list of the BEST worst songs ever, the tunes that shouldn’t be good but somehow manage to be irresistible. You can’t help but blast them in your car, or sing them over and over to annoy your friends. These are the songs you hate to love. We’re talking back alley, nobody-look-at-me-I’ve-got-to-listen-to-this-song levels of addiction.

Bloodhound Gang – The Bad Touch

Why it’s the worst:
The rhythm section sounds like someone’s childhood Casio keyboard drank too much boxed wine and got on a roller coaster. Wait, that sounds kinda fun. Meet you at six.

Why it’s irresistible:
Like a Disney theme park, “The Bad Touch” is entertaining for both the mature and immature. The immature giggle as the mono-tone Jimmy Pop sings, “let’s do it like they do on the Discovery Channel”, while the mature are elated by how silly human beings must look during rumpus late night rendezvous. Witty lyrics that inspire head shakes and sinkers make up for the lack of musicianship (The Bloodhound Gang will humbly admit they’re not great musicians). After all these years, The Bloodhound Gang are still The Undisputed Champions of Pee Pee Puns and Double Entendre. (Eddie Barella)

Carly Rae Jepsen – Call Me Maybe

Why it’s the worst:
It’s childish. It’s painfully cute. It’s aimed at those tween fangirls you claim to hate. “What are they, like, 12?” You couldn’t get away from this generic chart pop song at one point, and it’s catchier than chicken pox. AND the worst thing about this smash hit? Every guy thought the world’s cheesiest chorus turned chat-up line was the best way for you not to roll your eyes at them.

Why it’s irresistible:
Why can’t we stop singing it!? Do we secretly wish to be asked that chat-up line? Or maybe it’s just the jam to blast out — ironically of course — in your convertible, heading to the beach with your girlfriends. “What are you, like, 12?” Either way, “Call Me Maybe” was the soundtrack of summer 2012, and everything was rose-tinted and sunny because of it. Even now (after the millionth time you’ve heard it) the sugary melodies bring us back to that very first crush — a universal feeling destined to bring out the pop tween in all of us. If it makes you feel better, you could always take your pick of the thousand parodies and mashups it spawned (“Call Me A Hole” anyone?) and pretend you like that version more. (Alex Bear)

The Chainsmokers – #SELFIE

Why it’s the worst:
This song, which is beyond vapid (though I pray it’s intentional), describes the frighteningly inane musings of a millennial girl. Plus, it has a hashtag in the title. #SELFIE is a song that would have been greatly successful as a funny, viral YouTube video, but its incessant radio play has only led to highlight its mindless absurdity.

Why it’s irresistible:
#SELFIE is a quotable masterpiece—it’s practically the Mean Girls of white girl anthems. You know without a doubt that every line in the song has 100% been uttered in grimy club bathrooms worldwide. In addition to its lyrical genius, the background beat is undeniably catchy. It’s the perfect soundtrack to head-bobbing with your girlfriends in the car while you scroll through your Instagram feed. (Alyssa Dempsey)

Nickelback – Animals

Why it’s the worst:
It’s no secret Nickelback isn’t a well loved band. In fact, hating Nickelback has become just as prominent in our society as iPhones. At the end of the day, this song fits their discography to a tee — it’s a generic rock track with less than stellar lyrics backing it.

Why it’s irresistible:
All things considered, not only is “Animals” outstanding, it’s completely addictive. Convincing yourself you’re only going to give it one spin is futile. We both know once the infectious rhythm sinks in you’ll hit “repeat” more times than you’ll ever admit. Shredding guitars, a loud drum beat and Kroeger’s punchy vocals can all be cited as qualities that make you like the song but, overall, it’s just a good time. Play it at deafening volumes through your car radio. You’ll be on cloud nine for the entire three minute six second duration… multiplied by however many times you play it. I suggest fifteen. And who’s to say “Animals” has to stay a guilty pleasure? As the great Dave Grohl once said, “If you fucking like something, like it.” (Emillie Marvel)

One Direction – What Makes You Beautiful

Why it’s the worst:
Hearing the opening chords to One Direction’s “What Makes You Beautiful” feels a bit like being transported to Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory: you’re suddenly trapped in a world of sugary sweetness and death is the only escape. (Also, where did all these children come from?) It only takes these few short moments for the song to sink its claws into you and make sure that its irresistible melody has a permanent piece of your finite brain space – whether you like it or not.

Why it’s irresistible:
Think the lyrics are silly? That won’t stop them from escaping your lips when the song comes on the radio. Getting sick of the three-hour loop the song seems to be playing on in your brain? Better learn to deal with it – you’ll find yourself turning into a giant human blueberry a la Veruca Salt sooner than the song leaves your head. Just try not to get too overwhelmed and let the song light up your world like nobody else; honestly, you don’t really have a choice. (Eleanor Grace)

Pitbull ft. Ke$ha – Timber

Why it’s the worst:
“Timber” by Pitbull ft. Ke$ha consists of pretty much everything I hate listening to: country music, sleazy lyrics, and Pitbull. Logically, I should want to burn my speakers every time this song comes up, but instead I always find myself turning up the volume the second I hear that cheesy harmonica riff.

Why it’s irresistible:
Even though I know how obscenely terrible the song is, its chorus is like a black hole sucking me in and forcing me to enjoy it no matter how badly I wish otherwise. Blame peer pressure, but it is impossible not to experience pure joy while jumping around to this song with your best friends. By the end of it, you’re always begging for just one more chorus. (Catherine Yi)

The Police – Every Breath You Take

Why it’s the worst:
As soon as you saw the title of the song, you knew exactly which song we were talking about. Maybe you rolled your eyes, maybe you know all the lyrics by heart. Either way, the first thing that comes to mind is stalking. Without a doubt, this ballad is about someone obsessively stalking their significant other. After all, who else would be “watching every breath you take”?

Why it’s irresistible:
Despite these slightly neurotic tendencies that Sting sings about, the unbelievably infectious, smooth atmosphere of the bass and guitar gets you hooked right away. Even the lyrics are brilliant, despite the meaning—nearly every line rhymes with the title of the track, which only adds to the catchiness. With the windows rolled up, maybe you’ll even find yourself singing along when you’re alone in the car, or even paying a tribute to the golden decade of the eighties for bringing The Police into prominence. As long as you aren’t obsessively stalking anyone (even if you are the police), you should be good. (Emily Yee)

Spice Girls – Wannabe

Spice was my first real cassette tape at age four, and I knew every word by heart. There was a girl my age who lived next door and we would often spread a blanket down on the ground, whip out the JAX cheese doodles, and I would impress her by singing all the words to “Wannabe.” She marveled at my talent and confidence as we shared the bond of being the biggest Spice Girls fans in the world.

Why it’s the worst:
“Wannabe” is a song that cannot be taken too seriously. With questionable phrases like “zigazig ha,” it’s hard to really connect on a deep emotional level. It attempts to symbolize female empowerment, but the song is so hyperbolic that this message gets completely drowned out. And even though the pseudo-rapping and heavy synth chords are era-appropriate, they don’t particularly aid in the song’s legitimacy. As a four year old, I was a proud consumer, which glorifies the fact that this song is essentially mindless and juvenile.

Why it’s irresistible:
At the same time, “Wannabe” is completely irresistible. Nothing screams 90’s nostalgia more than the Spice Girls, and this song is particularly contagious. There is nothing more rewarding than cautiously shouting, “YOOOO I’LL TELL YOU WHAT I WANT, WHAT I REALLY, REALLY WANT,” and having another Spice Girl fan in the room respond to my call, confirming that they do indeed want to hear what I really, REALLY want. Because now we sing the song ironically, as we recall our youth and re-live the innocence of the 90’s. (Ethan Rose)

T. Mills – She Got A…

I don’t have a pink Range, drive fast in the slow lane or have all new clothes in my wardrobe. I definitely don’t sport an awesome neck tattoo, but I sing “She Got A…” like I sure do. I love to hate this T. Mills classic. It has become a running joke among my small group of friends who have the privilege of knowing I even listen to such music.

Why it’s the worst:
The track is somewhat offensive (depending on your definition of offensive) as sex, drugs and obscenities are aplenty, but the melodies and raps are somewhat catchy. Catchy enough to even convince a bunch of guys to rap the lyrics from cue cards (yes, I really saw that happen).

Why it’s irresistible:
The memorable lyrics and infectious melodies will have you rapping words you thought you might never say. So, while you may not want to tell your friends or family you jam to this song, listening to it in your car does, in fact, make you feel more badass, thus making it one of the best worst songs. (Alyson Stokes)

Taylor Swift – I Knew You Were Trouble

Let’s get one thing straight: Taylor Swift is my girl. You better believe there were teardrops on my guitar when I first heard her on the radio. I was swept away by her girlish charm like everyone else in the country — and I’m not complaining.

Why it’s the worst:
However, even I cannot say this song is good. It seems like there’s a step back in Swift’s lyric writing and she left her singer-songwriter in the dust in favor of mainstream radio pop. I love a catchy chorus as much as the next person, but I was always drawn to Swift’s clever lines and ability to turn a phrase. “Trouble” lacks substance next to everything else she’s written. But does it stop me from singing it in the shower when no one’s home? Of course not.

Why it’s irresistible:
That’s exactly why this song is trouble. You don’t want to like that attempt at dubstep, but it easily wormed its way into your head and got stuck there on repeat for days. And maybe a small part of you gets excited when it comes on the radio again, even it is the umpteenth time. But you’ll never admit to that (and neither will I). Besides, who can get enough of that goat parody? (Hannah Pierangelo)

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