Acclaimed music critic kicks pop songs while they are up

If you spent time with a faulty aux cord this summer, you must have encountered some new music. I said new, not good. Here are five of the lowlights.

1. “See You Again” by Wiz Khalifa

Wiz is like cheese wiz: kind of gross, and made for stoners. I can’t deny that “We Dem Boyz” will always get me feeling hype but this song, which recently blew up for some reason, is hardcore bad. Wiz really should have stuck to what he does best: smoking and rapping about smoking. In this disaster of a track, he tried to express emotions and rap, and failed miserably at both. Aside from the whiny meaningless hook, which is shallow and bad in its own right, Wiz spends an entire verse talking about a line that will never be crossed. The only meaning you could possibly derive from this is that he isn’t turning to new drugs anytime soon. It seems that everyone else was on them, however, because this travesty of a song was #1 for 12 weeks.

2. “Sugar” by Maroon 5

Maroon 5 has become Maroon 1. One kind of song, one kind of sound, one shitty hit after another. At some point after the first few albums someone must have approached them and said “We can give you a gajillion dollars if you leave any semblance of musical nuance behind and go all pop, full stop.” I presume Adam Levine looked at his heart mom tattoo and was like: “Yeah fuck it.” Several years later we end up with a song like “Sugar”. Listening to “Sugar” is like eating pure sugar: quick, sweet and addictive. It certainly isn’t healthy, sustainable or multifaceted. Unfortunately, radio stations didn’t pick up on the second part, and played it 476 times per day. Each time was like having splenda forcibly poured down my throat.

3. “Shut Up and Dance” by Walk the Moon on every station at once

“Shut up and Dance” went viral, in a much more literal definition of the term. It was contagious, insidious and all encompassing. One innocent car ride I found it playing on four radio stations at the same time. The government declared martial law, it was advised that all people should stay inside and far away from radios to avoid further outbreak. Food was handed out so people could avoid hearing it in grocery stores. At least that’s how it should have been. Instead, we received an onslaught of a decent band’s worst song. I am casually fond of several other Walk the Moon songs, but this one was like an E. Coli outbreak that gives the whole genus–most of which are harmless–a bad name.

4. “Honey, I’m Good” by Andy Grammer

I’m actually surprised that this song was popular this summer, not just because it absolutely sucks musically, but because it spreads a very different message than the usual. Lots of songs that sound like this include lyrics about leaving concerns behind and just partying the night away. Pop music provides a great soundtrack to do stupid and regrettable shit to. It’s the perfect excuse to hook up in a baby pool filled with ketchup or set off fireworks in your passed out friend’s sleeping bag. Andy Grammer steps out of this mold and writes a song that sounds musically like any Ke$ha anthem that promotes blacking out, but instead promotes not cheating on your partner and avoiding binge drinking. That message paired with a middle school beat and whooping comes off as more corny than high fructose corn syrup, but it’s a perfect listen for a school bus driver.

5. “Bad Blood” by Taylor Swift Ft. Kendrick

I love Kendrick Lamar and I love Taylor Swift. I didn’t love Kendrick Lamar and Taylor Swift. Listening to this song is like biting into an egg salad and jelly sandwich: two great things sometimes don’t mesh together, and T-Swift + Kendrick was a prime example of two parts being greater than the whole. The transitions between chorus and verse sound like they were made on iMovie. Kendrick sounds constrained rapping clean, Taylor sounds out of place singing after the rap. I was equally weirded out by the hunger games style video, but I know I shouldn’t question Taylor’s method of channeling boy angst. Maybe when Taylor starts dating me she’ll transition away from the enraged music videos, and we could film something in the Crafted Kup.

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