Taylor Swift, Kanye West, Ed Sheeran And The Worst Songs Of 2019

Taylor Swift, Kanye West, Ed Sheeran And The Worst Songs Of 2019
Worst songs of 2019 Taylor Swift

If you’re reading this, congratulations! You’ve made it to the end of another year—and another decade—and have inevitably slogged through some truly abominable music along the way. The end of the year is always a great time to reflect on the art that moved us, challenged us, enriched our lives in some ineffable way—but it’s also a wonderful time to dunk on the most excruciating songs that lodged themselves in our brains. I heard plenty of them myself, the worst of which deserved to be memorialized in a list. So, without further ado, I present to you my definitive, authoritative, comprehensive, scientifically backed guide to the 10 worst songs of 2019. Good luck!

The 10 worst songs of 2019

10) Hobo Johnson, “Typical Story”

Somewhere inside “Typical Story” is a fairly clever inversion of various cliche rags-to-riches stories. You’d have a hard time picking that out, though, amid the tuneless rap-rock instrumental and distorted vocals that sound like a college freshman who got stoned at his first poetry slam. I believe Hobo Johnson—born Frank Lopes Jr.—has a lot of valuable observations to offer on life. Unfortunately, on “Typical Story,” they’re so couched in grating, emo vocal affectations, bland drum loops and synthetic guitars cranked up to 11 that it’s not worth trying to decipher them.

9) Logic, “Homicide” feat. Eminem

True to its name, “Homicide” finds Logic and Eminem delivering rapid-fire screeds against some nondescript competitor within the rap game, which is apparently anybody who doesn’t share their singular devotion to spitting the fastest bars possible. But it all amounts to empty chest-beating, a vehicle for Logic and Eminem to boast about how fast they rap and how real they keep it, bro. Never mind the fact that Logic regularly cribs flows from rappers more recognizable and successful than him, and Eminem morphs further into the “Old man yells at cloud” meme with every release. “Homicide” is the lyrical equivalent of hearing Yngwie Malmsteen shred the same E harmonic scale for an hour straight. It’s a shell of a song that says nothing, means nothing and will make listeners feel nothing, except maybe secondhand embarrassment for its two authors.

8) Fall Out Boy, “Dear Future Self” feat. Wyclef Jean

“Dear Future Self” sounds like the members of Fall Out Boy got drunk and tried to remake the Black Eyed Peas’ “Pump It” without hearing it in 10 years. This overstuffed cavity of a song boasts all the elements that make the worst post-hiatus FOB tracks so insufferable: bland surf rock drums, distracting tropical pop sonic quirks, a garish rap break (this time courtesy of Wyclef Jean), and a Patrick Stump vocal performance that Does. Not. Let. Up. If there are hooks on this thing, you’d never know, because the hyperactive frontman can’t shut up for more than two seconds at a time. When Stump bleats his “epic” high note at the 2:24 mark, it’s hard to distinguish a human voice from the sound of Pro Tools crashing. If the members of Fall Out Boy circa 2005 could see their future selves, they’d be shaking their heads in disbelief and disappointment.

7) Katy Perry, “Harleys in Hawaii”

“Go ahead, explore the island vibes,” Katy Perry implores on this tropical pop snoozer in desperate need of a vibe check. Not only does it have one of the most lyrically pedestrian choruses of the year, but it gives Perry no chance to unleash the vocal fireworks of which she is obviously capable. “Harleys in Hawaii” could pass as a mediocre one-off from any other singer—and that’s exactly what makes it a disaster coming from Perry, who used to be one of the most charismatic pop stars in the game. Perry’s regression from the indelible, confectionary hooks of Teenage Dream to her recent flurry of forgettable singles is one of the decade’s greatest pop tragedies. “Harleys in Hawaii” is a fitting dirge.

6) Liam Payne, “Both Ways”

Upon releasing his debut solo album, LP1, Liam Payne’s “Both Ways” was roundly accused of fetishizing bisexuality. But even without the questionable lyrics—of which there are plenty—“Both Ways” is a faceless, sexless pop song that Ed Sheeran wouldn’t even have the gall to include on an album (which is impressive, given his placement on this list as well). The One Direction alum spouts vanilla cliches over an anonymous trap-lite beat, never deviating from his bland, laidback mid-range vocals. Transitioning from boy band fame to solo stardom is a daunting task that many great singers have failed. Based on “Both Ways” and the rest of LP1, Payne has a promising career as a reality TV show judge ahead of him. 

5) Avril Lavigne, “Dumb Blonde” feat. Nicki Minaj

In September, Nicki Minaj abruptly announced her retirement from rap on Twitter. In hindsight, it might have been an act of contrition for her feature on “Dumb Blonde,” which gives “Hello Kitty” a run for its money as the worst song in Avril Lavigne’s oeuvre. Each listen reveals new horrors: the petulant vocal hook, the contrived “boss babe” platitudes, the tinny marching band snare rolls and brass bursts that went out of vogue around the time Gwen Stefani dropped “Hollaback Girl.” Minaj sleepwalks through her verse, boasting, “All the hatin’ you was doin’ got the Barbie poppin’ / Now all of them wanna be a Barbie, I’m watchin’.” All of them, apparently, except Lavigne herself, who asserts in the chorus that she “ain’t no stupid Barbie doll.” It’s a failed attempt at a girl power anthem and proof that just because you can secure a high-profile rap feature doesn’t mean you should.

4) Ed Sheeran, “Remember the Name” feat. Eminem & 50 Cent

How long are we going to let Ed Sheeran keep up his “nerdy wannabe rapper who brings a guitar to the campfire” shtick? Sheeran, who claims the highest-grossing concert tour of all time, feigns underdog status as he drops “bars” over a two-note acoustic melody that makes “Weird Al” Yankovic’s “White & Nerdy” sound threatening. Eminem shows up for a disjointed verse that would’ve gotten him obliterated in his stale Nick Cannon beef, and 50 Cent’s arthritic feature sounds like a championship boxer returning to the ring only to find that excess scar tissue has rendered him immobile. Avoid this pop-rap embarrassment at all costs and pay your respects to Fort Minor, who rightfully lay claim to this song title.

3) Taylor Swift, “ME!”

“ME!” is a masterclass in how not to kick off an album rollout. Fans and haters alike scratched their heads upon the release of this cloying, Disney-lite dreck, with its gratingly singsong chorus and arguably the most childish lyrics Swift has ever written (which says a lot, considering she was a literal teenager when she released her first two albums). A Swift/Brendon Urie collaboration sounded like a match made in heaven on paper, but the result restricts Urie’s histrionic vocals while indulging his worst middle-school theater tendencies with its mawkish melody. Tellingly, “ME!” became Swift’s first lead single not to hit No. 1 since 2010’s “Mine,” and in hindsight may prove one of the worst decisions of her career. Swift habitually releases red herring lead singles that age well, but this one still goes down like a spoonful of Sweet ‘N Low.

2) Kanye West, “Closed on Sunday”

Say this about Kanye West: The man knows how to write a meme-able chorus. But what does it profit a man to gain a punchline and forfeit an actual song? Clunky metaphors aside, “Closed on Sunday” is a dour, preachy ballad anchored by melodramatic acoustic guitar arpeggios and ham-fisted lyrics about waging spiritual warfare. The second half of “Closed on Sunday” threatens to become interesting, as West invokes Old Testament battles and cries out to God in a choked falsetto. But the song no sooner builds momentum than it ends abruptly with a shouted “Chik Fil A!” It’s momentarily funny, but it’s more frustrating that West didn’t feel like doing his homework and giving the song a proper ending. As far as sincere gospel music goes, this one is right up there with “Nu Thang.”

1) Miley Cyrus, “Cattitude” feat. RuPaul

If you haven’t been treated to this abomination yet, stop scrolling, close your laptop and throw it into the nearest body of water to avoid the temptation to click the video below. If, however, you’ve already had the misfortune of hearing this track off Miley Cyrus’ She Is Coming EP, you’ll know the lyrics are more damning than any insult I could possibly write. Here are some highlights:

Exhibit A: “Turn up your gratitude, turn down your attitude / I love my p***y, that means I got cattitude.”

Exhibit B, courtesy of RuPaul: “What I do with a d**k, elect me presid**k / Put tears in his eyes when I milk a brother dry.”

Exhibit C, and my personal favorite: “Rum-pum-pum-pum, rum-pum-pum-pum-pum-pum / Rum-pum-pum-pum, rum-pum-pum-pum-pum-pum / Rum-pum-pum-pum, rum-pum-pum-pum-pum-pum / Rum-pum-pum-pum, rum-pum-pum-pum-pum.”

Thank you for reading, I’m sorry, and may we all have better luck next year.

Like what you see? Foll

0
Like
Save
Share

Comments

Write a comment

*