Forget earworms, here are the musical tapeworms of 2016. The songs that made you change the radio station, walk out of a cafe or question where modern music is going to be in five years.
1. FERGIE — M.I.L.F $
This was so woeful it made My Humps sound like Bohemian Rhapsody. Fergie tried to insist she’d reclaimed the American Pie term to now mean ‘Mothers I’d Like to Follow’ (cough) and hired independent filmmaker Kim Kardashian to be in the sexed-up video. Let’s be real, she only did this (cough) song to make a video. The same video where she poured milk on herself and talked about whipping up a ‘Milfshake’. This might all be bearable if there was a decent song. However this racket was like listening to a migraine. Wetting herself on stage was less embarrassing than this mess.
FERGIE — M.I.L.F $
2. FALL OUT BOY & MISSY ELLIOT — GHOSTBUSTERS
FORGET all the hating on the rebooted movie, who came up with this gruesome twosome for the soundtrack? Fall Out Boy cough up a version of the Ray Parker Jnr ‘80s hit that rocks about as hard as Geoffrey Edelston at midnight. And while we wait for her to release a good record again Missy Elliot simply phones in a rap, takes a cheque and gives zero. Turgid.
FALL OUT BOY & MISSY ELLIOT — GHOSTBUSTERS
3. MEGHAN TRAINOR — ME TOO
How bad was this song? It has literally snuffed out her career stone dead. Just like that. The following single flopped, the album sank. Ironically, it’s actually a better album as she isn’t just releasing doo-wop single after doo-wop single like her debut. But this song, and lyric, were so irritating you were able to watch Trainor HQ go into crisis mode in real time. Still, a Top 5 hit in Australia, not that that is any gauge of quality any more.
MEGHAN TRAINOR — ME TOO
4. IGGY AZALEA — TEAM
THIS was supposed to be the track to relaunch Iggy in America, where she was already in danger of becoming the answer to a trivia question, human punchline or reality TV bait. No guest vocalist, just pure Iggy. Except whoever wrote it forgot to make it something people would want to listen to. It peaked at No. 42 in the US, her album was scrapped, she reluctantly returned to Australia lured by cash to judge on The X Factor and showed just us how unpleasant she is. So yeah, a pretty great 2016 for I.G.G.Y all up.
IGGY AZALEA — TEAM
5. GOOD CHARLOTTE — 40oz DREAM
FROM one of the year’s least awaited comebacks, this saw the Madden Brothers dust off one they would have rejected in 2001 but with a reference to “selfies” so we knew it was new. Almost as cringe-worthy as those KFC ads a few years back.
GOOD CHARLOTTE — 40oz DREAM
6. CHAINSMOKERS — SETTING FIRES
The Chainsmokers are like the douchey guy doused in fake tan fist-pumping at nightclubs on permanent drop watch. Except there’s two of them and they’re behind the decks. They’ve tapped into the douchebag army worldwide. They’ve seen Calvin Harris become ultra-rich making dance music and have calculated a generic version for themselves — electBro. You can see why it works, they literally copy what’s working right now, but the lazy Setting Fires sounds like everything else they’ve done, zero effort but maximum return. This from the brains trust who gave us #Selfie. Justin Bieber, Skrillex and Diplo’s cut-up chorus (a la Where Are U Now) over “tropical house” was the go-to trend of 2016 that needs to end, stat.
CHAINSMOKERS — SETTING FIRES
7. MEAT LOAF — GOING ALL THE WAY IS JUST THE START
Thie song goes for 11 minutes. Mr Loaf sings like he’s being operated on minus anaesthetic. He at least lets some female vocalists do some of the heavy lifting while he wheezes in fits and spurts. His worst 11-minute performance since that AFL grand final.
MEATLOAF — GOING ALL THE WAY IS JUST THE START
8. LUKAS GRAHAM — 7 YEARS
THE problem with streaming now dictating our singles chart is that songs now take up residence at No. 1 and don’t budge for weeks and weeks, becoming the radio equivalent of water torture. 7 Years was quite pleasant the first time you heard it. But blasted by every commercial radio station and city busker it grated super-fast. The autobiographical lyrical approach seems to have been borrowed by new No. 1 Rockabye. At least Lukas wrote a few verses and aged up to 60 in this song. They’ve struggled to follow it up, and a proposed Australian tour got axed. Songs this pervasive can be hard to recover from.
LUKAS GRAHAM — 7 YEARS
9. CHARLIE PUTH — ONE CALL AWAY
THE transparent hunt for another Ed Sheeran or Justin Bieber led us to someone signing Charlie Puth and Shawn Mendes. Puth seems like a nice enough chap, but why are kids lapping up this sappy middle-of-the-road tosh? If Richard Marx released this in 2017 (and he could, except he’d probably find it too beige) commercial radio wouldn’t touch it, but throw the sexless Puth in front and it became a hit. Where is the next AC/DC? Guns N’Roses? Even dance music has been sterilised and sanitised. Pop music is bland and Charlie Puth is the king of limp. Having said that the Selena Gomez duo wasn’t all bad.
CHARLIE PUTH — ONE CALL AWAY
10. KATY PERRY — RISE
A nice idea, a motivational song for the Olympics. But for an “event” song, Rise was a total non-event. The forgettable, dank ballad went to No. 1 all over the world (briefly) as any new Katy Perry song will get attention, but at least this proves Max Martin does have bad days.
KATY PERRY — RISE
11. THE SOUND OF SILENCE — DISTURBED
NU-METAL band Disturbed try for their Nothing Else Matters moment by releasing a cover version ballad — a karaoke version of the Simon and Garfunkel classic and meme favourite. It all goes a bit Creed when it’s supposed to go emotional. Pointless.
THE SOUND OF SILENCE — DISTURBED
12. GNASH — I HATE U I LOVE U
EVER since Gotye and Kimbra, record labels have tried to foist another conversational duet on the world. Garret Nash roped in Olivia O’Brien for this duet where he does his best to imitate Drake but is closer to Kermit the Frog. Dirge-a-thon.
GNASH — I HATE U I LOVE U
13. ROBBIE WILLIAMS — PARTY LIKE A RUSSIAN
EVEN pop superstars can get their footing wrong. Robbie Williams said he chose this as his “comeback” single because it was unlike anything else in the chart (tick) and would stand out on the radio (tick). Bravo for taking a risk in the safe waters of 2016 as very few pop stars now make songs you’ll either love or loathe. It peaked at No. 68 in the UK and missed the Top 100 in Australia, but at least he got to share a writing credit with Prokofiev.
ROBBIE WILLIAMS — PARTY LIKE A RUSSIAN
14. JACOB SARTORIUS — SWEATSHIRT
WITH Bieber all grown up, someone wants Jacob Sartorius to tap into the pocket money demographic before he’s old enough to get tattoos and flop his chop out in pics. Even kids are smart enough to sniff this out as calculated BS.
JACOB SARTORIUS — SWEATSHIRT
15. KENT JONES — DON’T MIND
THIS was so gross you were waiting for Redfoo to make a cameo.
KENT JONES — DON’T MIND
This article was originally published on news.com.au