Even more than the music we love, it’s often the songs we actively loathe that stick with us the most.
Insidiously burrowing into your brain after one (or one million) unfortunate exposures, these diabolically engineered sound bombs are particularly offensive because no matter what, they simply cannot be avoided.
Be it through TV commercials, endless parodies or your “hip aunt” incessantly spinning them in the car, these are the sounds of Western Civilization at its most banal, pandering and yes, mindlessly entertaining.
Proceed with caution, because if your friends bust you singing along to a Pitbull song after this, don’t say we didn’t warn you.
5. Pitbull, “Don’t Stop The Party” – Drunkenly getting your grind on with a hot girl at the club to Pitbull’s dance floor hit is one thing. But with the Miami rapper vying for more commercial endorsements than Taylor Swift, the song ended up in a high profile Bud Light TV campaign that’s been on heavy repeat over sports networks and during big events. It’s been impossible to watch a football game or check score updates without getting blasted by Pitbull’s beats. Keep it in the club, please.
4. Taylor Swift, “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” – Ten years ago, Swedish pop producer Max Martin was ruining days with hits he made collaborating alongside acts like Britney Spears and the Backstreet Boys. Now it’s former country star turned pop hit factory Taylor Swift teaming up with Martin to make inescapable and equally insufferable mega-hits like “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together.” Between Swift’s countless endorsements, this plodding kiss-off track followed us around like a stalker everywhere from Target stores to the pizza parlor. One of her exes still needs to write the response song, “Maybe You’re the Problem.”
3. Psy, “Gangnam Style“ – What started out as a seemingly harmless viral video exploded into some kind of unstoppable monster, spewing parody videos and internet memes in its devastated wake. Between the “rapping” and those piercing electronic sound effects, any novelty the song once had evaporated after being beaten into submission with non-stop exposure. The scariest part is that the song only came out in July of this year. That’s a lot of damage for just six months.
2. Carly Rae Jepsen “Call Me Maybe” – For this one, the world can absolutely blame Canada. After coming in third on Canadian Idol, Jepsen won the real game with this teen-pop hit turned cultural touchstone. With as many parody takes as “Gangnam Style” and the chirpy, girl-power tone of Taylor Swift, even the manliest of men often found themselves bopping along to “Call Me Maybe.” Stop the madness!
1. Manufactured Superstars feat. Paris Hilton, “Drunk Text” – Unlike every other tune on the list, Paris Hilton’s ill-fated attempt at “going EDM” was not put in heavy rotation anywhere this year. But a song of this magnitude only needs to be heard once to do very real and severe damage. Coming with a pedestrian pre-programmed dance beat, the lyrics are so shockingly bad they make LMFAO sound like seasoned poets: “You take the word sex and mix it with texting/It’s called sexting/When you add drunk sexting, the words just don’t make any sense/It’s a hot mess of mispelled obsceneties, body parts and run on questions.” Oh, there’s a hot mess going on here all right. It’s called this song. Make it stop!
-Scott T. Sterling, CBS Local