Year in Music 2016: The 10 Worst Songs of the Year

Not all of them are hits. All of them are songs that I hate.

10. Maroon 5 – Don’t Wanna Know (feat. Kendrick Lamar)
Years and years after the last vestiges of anything resembling guitars or “interesting music” has fallen away, I still don’t exactly hate Maroon 5. Sure, they’re a soulless hitmaking machine, but…I suppose this sort of statement asks for some sort of positive here, but I’m coming up empty, so…anyway… This isn’t the most boring song on this list, but it’s damned close. Man, I hope Kendrick got paid good for this one.

9. Chris Brown – Back to Sleep
I hate Chris Brown. This song is an excellent primer for the type of nonsense that makes me hate Chris Brown. The only reason it’s not higher on the list is that I didn’t hear it very much.

8. Shawn Mendes – Treat You Better
The mewling, computerized “BBYYYETTER THAN HE CAN” at the end of each hook is my least favorite moment of pop music this year. It’s grating, and the song itself is whiny and passive-aggressive.

7. Charlie Puth – We Don’t Talk Anymore (feat. Selena Gomez)
While I certainly didn’t like “Marvin Gaye”, but honestly, this song drives me more nuts. It’s one thing to be slow, it’s another thing entirely to be this utterly boring. There’s nothing here. And again, whiny.

6. Charli XCX – Paradise (feat. Hannah Diamond)
A lot of people I know love this song like it was a part of them – a deeply erogenous part. I tried. Literally everything about this song annoys me. The weird, mechanical clunk with the hypercaffeinated shrieks, the pitch shifted, overly chipper chorus, just….everything. This song is the final nail in Bubblegum Bass’s coffin for me.

5. Luke Bryan – Huntin’, Fishin’, Lovin’ Every Day
This gets a lot of play in the bars around here, it’s almost as if the people feel a certain kinship with….OH MY GOD I LIVE IN HICKVILLE IN THE MIDDLE OF NOWHERE SOMEONE PLEASE HELP

4. Dirty Projectors – Keep Your Name
Admittedly, I haven’t heard this a great deal, though it does keep coming on the radio. The reason for that is that I turn the channel before I can hear this utterly annoying song. I get that Dirty Projectors are an acquired taste, like Lutefisk, or Cilantro. I really liked “Stillness is the Move”, but when the weird rhythmic almost-rapping bridge happens….gethtefuckouttahere.

3. The Chainsmokers – Closer (feat. Halsey)
I never have to hear this song again. I hear it in my head, even now. I honestly think that The Chainsmokers cracked the code to simplistic, utterly asinine melodies that lock themselves into your head and stay there. I’m convinced that in 60 years, when I’ve gone senile and have forgotten even my closest loved ones, I will still hear that awful chorus. So-bay-bee-pull-me-clo-ser-in-the-back-seat-of-your-ro-ver

2. Gnash – i hate u, i love u (feat. Olivia O’Brien)
No, like… for real. What is this? There were a lot of songs that I just didn’t get this year (a bunch of them are on this list!), but I could sort of squint and screw my face up and think “okay, I guess I could see where a person who listened to this and liked it could be coming from”. I am totally lost with this one. The hook is sorta okay. I guess I would listen to more by Olivia O’Brien, maybe? But “gnash”? Who is listening to this guy for pleasure? He falls off the beat constantly. He tries to cram seven syllables into a space that only holds three, and he’s not good enough to pull any of it off. Plus, again….WHINY.

1. Florida Georgia Line – H.O.L.Y.
Notes on the worst song of the year:


* An unholy combination of schmaltzy crossover-country and CCM? Come on. This is a batting practice fastball for the “Worst song of the year” lists, and as such, many of them will be placing it in the top 5 before giving the “honor” to a different song. Needless to say, this is a mistake. There were no songs worse than this one in 2016.

* If I am to give Florida Georgia Line any credit at all, it’s that they know how to pander to people outside their base. You had people who don’t actually like bro-country bro’ing it up when “Cruise” came on. Maybe it’s that they almost exist in state that transcends mere “crossover”, but every song they come out with far exceeds the Hot 100 play of even the current titans of crossover country like Luke Bryan, et al.

* The influences that spring to mind when you hear this are Michael W. Smith and Avalon. This song hails from that very specific niche and that very specific era. It’s almost eerie. I had flashbacks

* It was weird how many people used this as a wedding song. I mean, kind of not, considering that it practically begs for that treatment but it’s weird how many people thought that this was some sort of “churchy” song. One wedding I went to even had a comment from the pastor about how the song “really perfectly describes the holy matrimonial love between a man and a woman†. My wife and I dreaded this song, and will continue to dread this song for years to come.

† Emphasis his. He went on to mention how distraught he was that feminists and the like hate that one passage that orders wives to submit to their husbands. Well, no kidding you homophobic, misogynist dipshit.


2 thoughts on “Year in Music 2016: The 10 Worst Songs of the Year

  1. Dirty Projectors, eh?
    They were one of the first signs of my “oldening”.
    When Bitte Orca came out, I just could not get into it, while it was so highly regarded by the people I read for music opinions.

    I just listened to that song you mention.
    Ha ha. That sounds like some unholy marriage between Dan Deacon and James Blake.


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