The Top Five Worst Songs of 2014 (Thus Far)

*Warning: sexually explicit language and imagery in this blog post*

So I got around to the follow-up, just a lot later than anticipated. That’s not really a problem though since horrible music has always been around, and always will be (just look at most of last year’s hits as proof). I’m happy to say that I had a harder time picking out terrible songs this year than I did last year, so things are still great in my eyes (even if rock music isn’t a chart topper anymore). Some of my opinions could shift by the end of the year, but that’s then and this is now. Also, I have no ill feelings towards the artists mentioned here as people, what I disagree with on this blog is on an artistic level. So now begins my list of my top least favorite songs of the year so far!

5. “Fancy” by Iggy Azalea ft. Charli XCX

It was inevitable that I would write about this song considering how much it was overplayed during the summer and how Iggy gained her fame this year seemingly overnight. I really dislike this song because it’s driven off of the same repetitive synth riff and that lame crowd sample that artists have overused this year. And to be honest, when I first heard this song I would have had no idea Iggy was Australian, but rather an independent black female rapper from LA. I’m not going to preach whether Iggy’s rapping is racist though because as a white male, I don’t feel qualified to talk about what African-Americans have to face day-to-day in their struggles. What I do know is that this song’s a horrible pain to my ears.

4. “Wiggle” by Jason Derulo ft. Snoop Dogg

So it seems that this miserable excuse of a hip-hop song has twerked worked its way into my blog. For good reason; it’s boring as all hell with an incredibly slow beat, an only somewhat catchy pan-flute melody, and the most boring chorus I’ve heard in my whole life. My main objection is I just feel like a song about a women doing an erotic dance should be at a tempo that an erotic woman would actually dance too (#logic!) The only part of the I do actually enjoy is around the 2:40 mark where Derulo starts singing with rising chords and harmony in the background, but then soon drops back to the lack luster hook of the song. Of course there is a lot objectification of women’s bottoms in the song, but this also isn’t my fight. I won’t talk about how sexist the music industry exists as a whole as there are more eloquent and experienced (female) bloggers who can do that (even though I did just point out the issue). As a music journalist, I can only witness the new trends and keep praying that someday that better songs than this one will get notoriety.

3. “Anaconda” by Nicki Minaj

Yet another Twerking song that’s had some pretty big notoriety this year. I just want to point out that this song never “butchered a classic rap song”, it sampled a joke from the 90s and turned it into a joke song for today. My main objection to this song is the poor quality of the music, not the sexual imagery (since people’s bodies are nothing to be ashamed of). Every time this song comes on the radio I immediately change the station because it causes me cognitive dissonance because it sounds so dissonant and how the tempo drags, a feeling I haven’t since listening to Ke$ha’s “Dinosaur”. I despise this song by default, but I still respect Nicki Minaj’s sense of humor for remixing the song and how she reacts towards her critics.

2. “Blame” by Calvin Harris ft. John Newman

To make things clear, I actually enjoy most of the music in this song. What I object too is how computerized (auto-tuned) Calvin’s voice sounds here. It would have made this so much better if it was sung in a more natural way, but everything is shifting to digital these days so much that they have robots who can play the trumpet now (look that up on Youtube if you want proof). Auto-tune has its place to help correct mistakes and be used in a stylistic manner, but too much auto-tune is like putting too much salt on your fries; you’re ruining the taste of the whole experience! So I don’t outright hate this song  as I do enjoy listening to it, I just feel the vocal mixing should have been handled much better.

1. “Trumpets” by Jason Derulo

Speaking of trumpets, I put this ahead of Anaconda and the others because this particular song annoys me to no end. I get that this is a love song and the intention is  having Derul praise the beauty of his lover, but the instrumentation is plain bland and the lyrics are lazy at best (“your bra remind[s] me of a Katy Perry song”??) I should also mention that trumpets used in a symphony setting sound very different from the ones played here since this trumpet is playing a pop dance hook, not classical music. I’m also pretty sure that actually isn’t a real trumpet in the song, but a poor quality imitation by a synthesizer. If you want to hear a quality love song by Jason Derulo, check out his song “Marry Me” that he released last year and let “Trumpets” fade into obscurity.

So here are my least favorite songs this year, generally what I dislike about these types of songs are that they are either not very creative, are of a vulgar audio quality, or if they just don’t catch my interest. If you love these songs then don’t let me stop you, but also understand it annoys me that I have to hear these songs in public all of the time. I’ll have more musings in my annual Fill in The Blanks Music Awards in December. If you have any song recommendations for me to praise or rip apart, then let me know in the comments!

-Tatteybye

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My Top Four Facebook Statuses (2011-2013)

As a writer I often have my moments of reflection and deep thought, and as a person I have my moments of simple emotion and impulses. In the digital age there is no better way to measure the human psyche than with social media. Enter Facebook; where everyone expresses their political, social, philosophical, personal beliefs and actions to a world of complete strangers. And here I am, basking in the warm glow of social media in my own selfish desire for attention.

Note: I would have had more than four posts but I recently cleared out my timeline of many statuses since I’m job hunting right now.

4. Working today at New Horizons, I went up to retired Naval Veteran and thanked him for his service to this country. He thanked me back saying “Thank you, too! Because you’re a great guy!” It’s the little things that go the furthest sometimes.

I work part-time as a Waiter at an Assisted Living facility called New Horizons right now, and I go out of my way to brighten up the day of the residents’ there anyway I can. In this case I was expressing my thanks to a Veteran around this past Memorial Day Weekend. It managed to brighten my day as well.

3. “The Newsted show was so amazing!! The opening bands were great, I got a fist bump from Jason and conversed with him like a doofy fan (forgot to give him my name, lol), and I heard My Friend of Misery and Whiplash LIVE for the first time ever. Additionally, Brad and I were up front and center the whole time so I got a great view of his new band and the gorgeous basses Jason Newsted was using. I’ll write the review tomorrow and post it to the Newsted FB in hopes of getting my name out as an entertainment writer!!”

This was me talking about my experience seeing Newsted live after I got home the night of the concert with a friend of mine. It was a truly amazing experience, one that I hope the review I posted last month captured pretty well. For reference, the whole concert at The Middle East was put up on Youtube (though Audio quality is rather poor in some videos, sort of like my camera work). The reason I chose this as number three on my list was because Jason Newsted is a personal hero of mine for how he rose to fame against really pressing odds, and has remained a genuinely nice guy despite it all.

 2. Instead of putting Whitey Bulger to death I say we make him listen to “Dinosaur” by Ke$ha for the rest of his life.

I was insulting Ke$ha’s music and Whitey Bulger with this Facebook status. I didn’t enjoy the terrible ear-bleeding quality of the Ke$ha song “Dinosaur”, which happens to be about a creepy old dude who hits on very young girls. I wrote my review of Ke$ha’s first album around the same time they caught Whitey Bulger down in Florida, and I was just being a smart*** to express my disapproval of a renowned criminal and cult icon pop star. However, I’ve since learned to appreciate Ke$ha as a living parody of all pop music today. For that I can at least appreciate that Ke$ha’s music still has some substance and can rouse emotions out of me (as I’m often a tough critic of top 10 songs). So, my apologies for associating Ke$ha with a murderer and being harsher than I should have been.

1. “There is no greater sorrow than to recall happiness in times of misery”. Dante pretty much explains how I’ve been feeling for the past five years while thinking of the Summer and Fall of 2008. My misery and pain in the present won’t just magically disappear as it supposedly does for some people (as if), but pain normally lies in the present so I pray for a better tomorrow. I guess the old saying “Time heals all wounds” is a good comeback to the saying Dante wrote, but “wounds never heal quickly” is my own comeback.

I’ve been through an interesting and very hard journey through my late teen years and my early 20s. The year 2008 is still very special to me since I finished High School and began College. I also met many friends and my ex-fiance that year in Salem so I still reminisce quite often about 2008. Looking back at that year now with how things have not been easy for me shows how true the quote by Dante really is. But, I’m a writer and amateur philosopher so I put my own spin it; that spin simply being that the past can’t be changed, but the future can be. However, change’s always a gradual process and in my case it will take me a while to embrace the future.

There we go. In the vast human experience I can be very wise about life, or wise when it comes music and other subjects I dislike making me all the more human. At the end of the day I am who I am, and I will always enjoy being the narrator of my own story.

-Tatteybye

Kevin Card’s “Fill in the Blank” Music Awards of 2012

Aye, we are already past two weeks into the new year and I’ve been slowly moving along looking for a job with some promising leads here and there. I honestly haven’t had the the time or will to write lately, but life demands that we shake out of our personal funks back into productivity for the betterment of society. And the society of music from 2012 needed A LOT of betterment. I then hereby welcome you to Kevin Card’s “‘Fill in The Blank’ Music Awards of 2012.” Here, I will name what I believe to be the most fitting title of each single like  ‘”Call Me Maybe’ was the most Bubble Gum Song of 2012.” Drum roll please…

1. I hereby award the Most Overplayed Song of 2012 to…

This particular song took North America by storm back in March alongside it’s “hipster” partner on the charts “We Are Young” by Fun. “Somebody that I Used to Know” was released back in 2011, which makes sense since 2011 was a real game changer on the Billboard 100. It makes sense that this track got popular because on your first listen through you’re likely to think, “Oh my God, this is so different! And it’s a great breakup track!” which everyone DID think, until this song got too big for it’s own good and was milked dry by the radio stations who even now are still releasing remixes of this song. That being said, I still enjoy the song and respect Gotye for being an original artist who is actually succeeding at it. People who may not have liked THIS song should check out Gotye’s other works before they trash him.

2. And the award for Blandest Song goes to…

It was almost a tie between this and “Diamonds” by Rhianna, but I like the strings and the beat of “Diamonds” better than this track. “Wide Awake” is very empty sounding to me and lacks any real tonal center, by which I mean it comes out sounding very flat and predictable. However, I understand that Ms. Perry is showing the world that she is a strong independent human being. Now let me please clarify to the legions of angry Katy Perry fans right now, I don’t hate her as a person. Perry is making money while making music, and that is a dream of mine as well. However, I dislike the way Perry makes money because I can’t stand her songs since to me they are very bland and overly simplified.

3. I hereby award Most Bubblegum Pop Song to…

The biggest butt of internet joke memes for better AND worse of 2012; this song seems to be hated and loved equally by many. The reason for that is very simple as it’s a standard song formula used in every other pop song ever. It’s made to get stuck into your head with repetitive and minimalistic music while revolving around the main hook. It’s like a bad cold; you listen to the song, hate it for three weeks while it’s stuck in your head, and then you move on stronger than before. The sad thing is this formula and those who argue over how “good or bad” it is will be around forever.

4. Category: Most Disappointing Underground Song of 2012, “Analog Man” by Joe Walsh

Sorry that there is no music video. For those wondering who Joe Walsh is, he’s the lead guitarist from The Eagles (Hotel California, Love Will Show us The Way, etc.) Naturally, I would have expected something really killer and a strong throwback to classic rock, which was the majority of his latest album. Instead he released the title track which happens to be the worst on the CD. What we’ve here got is a man complaining about modern recording technology in a typical blues rock song with too much reverb, which was also recorded DIGITALLY. If people want strong throwback music recorded on analog technology then listen to underground punk rock, not this song of an “analog” man telling the digital kids to get off his lawn.

5. Most Enjoyable Pop Song: “Locked Out of Heaven” by Bruno Mars

I don’t hate commercial music, I hate ear-grating music that plays it’s self too often and fails at its purpose. This song is a pop song about sex, done in a very 80s style (ala The Police and Micheal Jackson) that was done right because of the strong build up in the chorus and the nice changes between the other song sections. People have heard it before many times, but what makes this a winner for me song is Mars’s strong emoting because you can tell he really feels it, unlike some other singers out there. Mars may be very commercial as an artist, but at least he’s skilled at it.

6. Best Viral Hit- “Gagnam Style” by Psy

I don’t feel the need to explain why this song got so popular, but I will anyways. People find this song hilarious because of the jokes in the video, that and the song is reminiscent of LMFAOs better singles. However, the song is actually about a girl who would fall for a sensitive “nerdy” guy rather a really muscular hunk, and for that reason I love the song even more since I was a nerd growing up (and still am). Also, well done Psy for beating out Justin Bieber’s views on Youtube.

7. Song Most Likely to Blow Your Socks Off- “Skyfall” by Adele

Now understand I have yet to see the movie Skyfall, but this song is the best Bond theme I’ve ever heard since Paul McCartney’s “Live and Let Die” because of Adele’s amazing voice and the climactic chorus. I also love how they sew in the Bond theme as a medley so seamlessly. When you hear the first chorus with Adele’s high register and the orchestra playing behind it, you know that it will blow your socks off. Well met Adele. Well met indeed.

8. Most Surprising Song of 2012- “Die Young” by Ke$ha

Those who remember my old blogs know that I was no fan of Ke$ha due to her first album and the musical travesty of the track “Dinosaur.” However, I did enjoy some of the songs off of “Cannibal”, and the singles from “Die Young” thus far are of a better song quality then her previous works. Her signature off pitch “bad girl” rapping is still there unfortunately, but I doubt she will ever stop doing that. I would put this song as a guilty pleasure as it has grown on me the more I listen to it. I am surprised I would enjoy a ke$ha song this much. By the way, I think Ke$ha has a decent set of vocal chords despite using pitch correction often. I don’t view Ke$ha as a sell out in the music industry, I view her as a victim of a fickle audience with a short attention span.

9. Worst Song of 2012-  “Starships” by Nicki Minaj

Honorable mentions for this category: “Payphone” by Maroon 5, and “One Thing” by One Direction. However, this song won because it tries so hard to blend the styles of other pop sensations (Ke$ha’s rapping, Katy Perry’s vocals, and Skrillex’s dub-step), but just falls flat on its face with how horrible it all sounds. I think Minaj does have an okay voice, I just really hate the way this song was written. It also fails to mention any of the COOL things that star ships do, instead she is just using the title as a pun for someone to get high while partying. Lame, this track is. Worse song of 2012, it has won.

10. Best Song of 2012- “Some Nights” by Fun

Honorable Mentions include “State of the Art” by Gotye, and “Bangarang ft. Sirah” by Skrillex. However, this song just fills me with positive energy due to the heroic marching beat and the lyrics against war that are to die for. Sure lead vocalist Nate Ruess is auto-tuned like crazy here, but in this case it’s just used for stylistic effect. This is a very triumphant song with a chorus reminiscent of Simon and Garfunkel’s “Cecelia.” And this is a great song to welcome the new year (despite the track being released around last March).

Overall I’m glad that 2012 had a handful of nice songs because the majority of said songs were just garbage for how under-written and over-produced they were. People are free to agree or disagree with my opinions on the music industry and how I want to change it, but my views are still my own.

Happy New Years.