Bloog Feature: The Worst Songs of 2009

I posted this on my Facebook page yesterday, and seeing as this was an LJ feature the last two years I figured it was only fair that everyone else gets a chance to see this year’s list.

Ever since I was subjected to eight straight hours of top-20 radio at work for two whole years (and some simple division ought to explain why that’s a recipe for dementia), it’s been my quest to find the absolute worst songs of the year. Thus, I give you the countdown for the Worst Song of 2009.

The criteria are rather simple: the song had to have been released, either as a single or on an album, during 2009. Songs that came out the year before can be given honorable mentions, but cannot get on the official list. Aside from that, candidates for Worst Song typically display one or more of the following traits:
– The same note being sung for an entire verse
– Humping the corpse of a pre-existing song by sampling it (and mangling said sample)
– Incredibly insipid lyrics (and I don’t just mean the typical level of banality found in most pop music; I mean that you would question why you’re listening to the song if you were to actually read the lyrics)
– Use of recording techniques that bely an ignorance of what makes music good (voice synthesis especially)
– Being played so frequently on the radio that there is no way I can get away from it

It should be noted that my access to this constant stream of crappy music ended in July when I left the aforementioned place of work (thank goodness), so most of the songs that made the countdown come from the first half of the year. Still, there was more than enough tripe to fill out the top 10 and even have a handful of honorable mentions. I am not about to argue with anyone about the merits (or demerits) of the songs on the countdown; I can’t stand them, whether or not you can.

And now, I present to you, the Worst Songs of 2009…

The 5 Honorable Mentions, or: A Top 10 is woefully inadequate for the amount of crap I had to listen to this year

– “Kiss Me Thru the Phone”, Soulja Boy
Amazing that the 2007 champ can’t even crack the top 10 this year. Maybe it’s because the 2009 crop of horrible songs is that much worse than even Mr. Crank Dat can manage, or maybe it’s because I was actually able to tune this one out a lot easier – even if they seemed to make an instrument out of a deflating balloon.

– “Show Me What I’m Looking For”, Carolina Liar
This song, along with the one right after it, seemed to play every hour, on the hour. Not a terrible song on its own merits, but hands down the James Blunt’s “Beautiful” of 2009, in that it was impossible to get away from.

– “I’m Yours”, Jason Mraz
This year’s official “one year too late” representative. It was an innocuous little song in 2008, but suddenly I was hearing this thing four or five times a day. It’s amazing how quickly white-guy scatting will wear on you when repeated that frequently.

– “1, 2, 3, 4”, Plain White T’s
These guys must hail from Vermont, because they’re responsible for some of the sappiest songs I’ve ever heard. Between this and their previous hit, 2007’s bronze medalist “Hey There Delilah”, I feel like I need to go see a dentist every time I hear one of their songs.

– “Please Don’t Leave Me”, Pink
This song is why I can never take these wannabe bad girls seriously. Their first few singles are all about how racy and hardcore they are, and then they try these soppy relationship songs that sound totally out of character and forced. This is certainly not the first girl who’s tried to go all soft and sensitive after spending years packaging herself as the next musical Bettie Page, and it sure won’t be the last. (Katy Perry, I’m looking in YOUR direction.)

Songs 6-10, or: It’s like a class reunion, if everyone in your class was incredibly annoying and talentless

10. “Blame It”, Jamie Foxx feat. T-Pain
You know I couldn’t let Mr. Microphone’s big effort for the year slip through the cracks. This year, he’s added a new sidekick – a man whose biggest musical claim to fame was pretending to be Ray Charles – and stu-stu-stu-stu-stuttering the words to his songs.

9. “Welcome to the World”, Kevin Rudolf
2008’s reigning champion returns to the formula that won him the crown last year: one-note verses. We’re not even taking into consideration the insipid lyrics, either; just the fact that this man seems incapable of singing more than three unique notes in any individual song.

8. “Right Round”, Flo Rida feat. Kesha
Folks, please do me a favor. If you’re going to butcher a previously existing song by lifting its chorus, at least go through the trouble of learning the said lyrics and not replacing them with a reference to oral sex. Not too much to ask, I don’t think. Oh – and stop clutching onto a single note for every verse of your song, too.

7. “Boom Boom Pow”, Black-Eyed Peas
The password is “aimless”. Listening through this song, it sounds as if the folks who wrote it couldn’t decide where the hell they wanted to go with it. They’ll do something for about 8 measures, then get tired of it and try something completely incongruous to the part that come before it. Not to say that these guys were musical geniuses to begin with, but at least their other songs didn’t sound like they had ADHD.

6. “Fire Burning”, Sean Kingston
Ah, yes, Mr. Kingston. Maybe one of these days you’ll learn how to enunciate your words so it doesn’t sound like you have a half-dozen marshmallows in your mouth when you were in the recording studio. SOMBODY CAW NYE WAH WAH!!

The Top 5, or: The songs that make me question my faith in humanity during the twenty-teens

5. “Poker Face”, Lady GaGa
This year’s early favorite, the very presence of the line “I’m bluffin’ with my muffin” propelled this song to the top of the rankings at the start of the year, and nearly kept it there. Sadly, as bad and as ubiquitous as this song was, it simply peaked too soon. If it had come out six months later, this thing would be cracking the top three, easy.

4. “Single Ladies (Put a Ring on it)”, Beyoncé
Is it just me, or does it sound like there’s a windshield wiper going on in the background of this song? Really, this would just be a throwaway song if not for the nails-on-chalkboard sound that plays all the way through. Well, that and the chorus, which sounds suspiciously like “Q R S, T U V, W, X, Y and Z.”

3. “Freaxxx”, Brokencyde
I only came across this song while scouring for potential nominees, and wow. There is absolutely no way that this song is not a self-parody. It is not possible. Nobody with even the most tenuous grasp of common sense would ever think that a song in which one of the band members growls into the mic every 2 measures like he’s a jaguar, a song that abuses pitch synthesis to levels beyond even T-Pain’s assaults on music, a song where two white guys from New Mexico try to rap like they’re 50 Damn Cent, would be recorded with the serious intention of selling it to the general public. In fact, the only reason they aren’t #1 is because I refuse to believe this song isn’t an inside joke.

2. “I’m in Miami Trick/Bitch”, LMFAO
I heard this song exactly once. Once, and only once, on my last day of work at my previous employer. That single exposure to this song was almost enough to win the gold medal, on the basis of the predictable lyrics and the way the singer (rapper? whiner?) sounds like the world’s biggest douche. Ultimately, the fact that I managed to escape this song’s clutches kept it from reaching the top spot, but I’ll be damned if it didn’t try.

1. “Don’t Trust Me”, 3OH!3
As you can see from the previous two items on the countdown, you don’t just have to be a terrible song to reach the top spot, you also have to be the type of song that gets played enough times that I literally start plugging my ears when I hear the first few lines. Much like 2008’s “Let it Rock” and 2007’s “Crank Dat”, 3OH!3 claims the throne thanks to the presence of something particularly horrible within the song – in this case, it’s the line “Shush girl, shut your lips/Do the Helen Keller and talk with your hips”. Not only does that make a negative quantity of sense, but it really demonstrates just how desperate these guys are to be edgy and chauvinistic, and instead sound like 13-year-olds who just had a spat with their moms.

Congratulations 3OH!3, you have the honor of being responsible for the Worst Song of 2009. Now someone ought to make YOU blind, deaf and dumb so that you can never scourge our eardrums with this garbage again.

Stay tuned for the Worst Songs of the Decade, which should hopefully get done within the week.

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