*Trigger warning: foul language, sexual themes, Nazi imagery*
*Less serious trigger warning: awful music*
So I watched the music video for “Only”, and I’m not highly offended by the Nazi imagery or the fact that Nicki Minaj cited Metalocalypse as an inspiration for the video. What annoys me more is how how stale the beat of the song is, and how vulgar the lyrics are. I’m surprised because I thought most of these rappers did club songs, not stuff this slow and stale. The lyrics in the music video are insanely bland and more screwed up than the video they appear in. I want to say that this is happening because the parties involved only care about money, but I can’t back that claim up. What I can back up is that this song is just an ink blotch on an otherwise strong year for music. It’s just sad that shock value is what sells now.
Here’s the video, which relates to the trigger warnings above.
Please keep in mind I will not approve of any racist or otherwise hateful comments about the musicians in this song, it’s important to separate the person from the art work. All trash talking and/or defending should be purely about the video and the song. Thank you.
*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!