Sunday, January 21, 2007

Top 20 Worst Pop Hits Of The Last 20 Years

I'm usually not the one for most top lists. Aren't there enough of them nowadays? I remember looking at the cover of a Spin magazine a couple of years ago and the whole issue was about them.

I compiled this list of the wor
st pop songs I've ever experienced.

# 20 . UB40 - I Can't Help Falling In Love With You - This cover of t
he Elvis Presley crooner was made for the soundtrack to the movie "Sliver"
A terribly bad song fitted for a terribly bad film. It re
ally just sounds like the band is loaded up on morphine and sedatives phoning it in.

#19 . Tag Team - Whoomp! (There It Is!) - This monster hit came out just shortly after southern bass music group 95 South dropped "Whoot! (There It Is!) Up until this point in hip-hop, the originators get the props and the seniority, but the contrary happened here. M
aybe the Atlantic City based Tag Team benefited from a more clean and polished sounding track. As a longtime fan of hip-hop and rap music, I have found this one to be limited, repetitive and annoying after the third listen.

#18 . C+C Music Factory - Sweat (Everybody Dance Now) - Clivile
s and Cole, two producers emerging from obscurity formed this fake group in the early 90s. Taking their cue from Milli Vanilli, they featured a young attractive woman singing the hook in the music video that was sung by an older, heavier woman in the studio. That coupled with a guy rapping who sounded like Ice-T if he was German and grew up in Nazi Germany, (telling us to get up and move on the dancefloor, now!) made this commercial club track an awful distraction.

#17 . Britney Spears - Hit Me Baby One More Time

#16 . Bloodhound Gang - Bad Touch - With the horrendous hook, "You and me baby ain't nothin' but mammals / So let's do what they do on the Discovery Channel" one-hit wonders Bloodhound Gang crapped this retro sounding synth fodder into a 24-track mixer and took off before they could see how bad it stunk.

#15 . Sugar Ray - Fly - The award for premature songwriti
ng self-importance goes to Mark McGrath, the singer of Sugar Ray for the line, "All around the world statues crumble for me"
Add reggae icon Super Cat to the formula and it still yields horrible results.

#14 . Madonna - Ray Of Light - She never got by on her
vocal stylings. It was mostly her image, attitude and over-the-top sexuality that propelled her through the stratosphere of pop music. She also took many risks women in music before her never attempted. She also took a great risk when she crafted this frenetic dance track with her high pitched notes cracking breaking and faltering throughout the song.

#13 . Whitney Houston - I Will Always Love You - This wa
s a case of the theme song to a movie that was bigger than the movie itself. Unless you were living in a dungeon in 1992, you couldn't escape this bombastic ballad that ends with Ms. Houston holding on to a note that begs furiously to disappear.

#12 . Lisa Loeb & Nine Stories- Stay (I Miss You)

Another soundtrack single for the list? Are you starting to see a pattern? Stay ( I Miss You) makes it to the worst 20 pop hits list because of three major reasons:
It's whiny co-dependent psycho babble, which was a decade early for its time.
The stripped down acoustic guitar sound works best with gutsy folk rock or hippie rock
and this isn't either.
The narrative goes from first person to third-person storytelling without any legitimate point. If someone spoke to you like this in your life, you would leave too.

#11 . Jennifer Lopez - (I'm Still) Jenny From The Block - The jury's still out on what J. Lo has in common with any of today's Bronx boriquas. Maybe she heard someone say that you can take the girl out of the city, but you can't take the city out of the girl. There is no way that J. Lo would still ride rapid transit (unless her record label payed the New York MTA to block off a line for a day) nor would she live outside of her posh Hollywood Hills mansion or any of her luxurious homes around the world. She even jerked Bronx rappers/beatmakers The Beatnuts over on the beat she pulled from one of their tracks.

#10 . Backstreet Boys - I Want It That Way - 1997 marked the year of the return of the bubblegum pop teeny bop groups in America. Just a few months before the Spice Girls burst on the scene, the Backstreet Boys scored a minor hit with another track, but it was this harmonious pile of dextrose top 40 crapola that caught too much airplay.

#9 . The B-52's - Roam - The B-52's followed up their success with "Love Shack" with this constantly annoying high register track. Unfortunately, it was briefly revived a few years ago by a wireless phone company plugging their diplomatic roaming charges policy.

#8 . Bayside Boys - Macarena - It's the song that inspired a ridiculous dance craze that doesn't rely on using your feet; great news for paraplegics and couch potatoes. But unlike other dance crazes, this one spanned various generations - people did the Macarena with their gram gram at their cousin's wedding. The song however was a synthesized mindfuck of an experience.

#7 . Marcy Playground - Sex & Candy - Maybe it was the slow melancholy rhythm added to the trying-so-hard-to-sound-like-Kurt Cobain vocals that made this miserable song a massive hit.

#6 . Chumbawumba - Tubthumpin' - A song about hanging out in a bar or pub getting hammered on a combination of different drinks lands a statewide success, then female singer of the band provokes Americans to steal their album in a major record store chain on a late night talk forum. It only led me to think, "was she tubthumpin' that night?" The song also left a lot to be desired, much like the whole bar and pub experience itself.

#5 . Spice Girls - Wannabe - The U.K. introduced us to Sporty, Posh, Ginger, Baby and Skanky Spice and the rest was history. Carrying a simple message, "Girl Power!" was all they needed to win the hearts of slightly retarded girls in America. The confusing demand "if you wannabe my lover, you gotta get with my friends" opened up a new world of possibility with group sex that was previously unexplored.

#4 . Vanilla Ice - Ice Ice Baby

Looking like a half-Elvis half-Uncle Sam car dealership cardboard figure, Vanilla Ice (ne Robbie Van Winkle) entered the pop music landscape in late 1990 and singlehandedly set white people back forty years. Rhyming on this track about blasting a nine and rollin' in his Ford Mustang, he took rap storytelling to a whole new low. Eventually exposed for the poseur he was, he attempted to reinvent himself several different times with no success. Now you can see him on the VH1 washed-up celebrity reality shows.

# 3 . Harvey Danger - Flagpole Sitta - There were misconceptions about this group when they tapped through alternative radio airwaves in the late 90s, being called indie rockers, they rode the wave of mainstream hoopla on the strength of this profoundly annoying song. The lyrics that spoke nonsense and the singer's whiny and nasal presence made this one a definite radio knobturner.

# 2 . Hanson - MmmBop! - A band of very White heartland kids make a godawful infectious pop song about (what, I have no idea) and it hits the top of the BillBoard charts. They harmonized their high range vocals and kept a clean groove, but they didn't have any remorse for anyone with the creation of this musical tumor.

# 1 . Celine Dion - My Heart Will Go On - Her name is Canadian for "crappy diva."
The highest grossing film of all time at the moment is "Titanic" and unfortunately this overly done exaggerated love ballad didn't sink with it. Celine must have thought the name of the song was "My Note Will Go On" explaining why she awkwardly sang certain parts as if trying to send an emergency bulletin to Jupiter. This wonderfully awful song managed to be played all the time in 1997 and 1998, probably because little girls flooded radio stations with their requests.

That's the worst of it. Check out the other side here:
The Top 20 Best Pop Hits Of The Last 20 Years
Naturally only twenty songs made the top twenty but there are quite a few honorable mentions:

(Gerardo-Rico Suave, US3-Cantaloop, Ace Of Base-The Sign, Barenaked Ladies-One Week, Aqua-Barbie Girl, Sisqo-The Thong Song, Third Eye Blind-Jumper, Creed-With Arms Wide Open, Ricky Martin-She Bangs, Green Day-Good Riddance [Time Of Your Life] )

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