The Most Annoying Songs of 2014

People always make “best of” lists. Well, that’s boring. What better way to enter adulthood than to complain about the terrible music kids these days are listening to?

I present to you a list of the songs I found most annoying this year in no particular order (except number 1. It is the worst). Feel free to disagree… and then get off my lawn.

1. “BREAK FREE” by ARIANA GRANDE. I’m fairly certain that I’ve never heard this song all the way through. Why? Because I immediately turn off the radio, turn off the TV, leave the store, stick my fingers in my ears, or do anything else to get away from this wretched excuse for a song. Ariana’s screaming (lets be real, it’s not singing) plus the stupid lyrics make this song too much for me to handle. If I never heard an Ariana Grande song ever again, it would still be too soon.

2. “RATHER BE” by CLEAN BANDIT. If you gave me a chance, I would not take it, Clean Bandit. There are literally 100 places I’d rather be than listening to your song.

3. “SUMMER” by CALVIN HARRIS. Ugh. His voice. I can’t even handle it. Calvin manages to make his nasal-y voice exude smugness in this song. Something about it creeps me out.

4. “BANG BANG” by JESSIE J, NICKI MINAJ, & THE PONYTAIL GIRL. Too much scream-singing. Shut up, Jessie. No one likes a show off.

5. “RUDE” by MAGIC! Why you gotta be so annoying? Also, why you gotta add unnecessary punctuation marks to your band name? Who do you think you are? Panic! At the Disco?

6. “DARK HORSE” by KATY PERRY. Why was this song even popular? It was so anti-climatic. Plus, the music was weirdly out of this world. It gives the illusion that it’s leading to some great big chorus. That amazing chorus never comes, and instead, we get stuck with creepster Juicy J. * shudders *

7. “BURNING IT DOWN” by JASON ALDEAN. This is some sort of weird slow jam with references to Jack Daniels. I think this song is supposed to be seductive and sad at the same time, but instead it just creeps me out.

8. “LET IT GO” by IDINA MENZEL/DISNEY. This song is annoying because it is overplayed. Also, we will be hearing this song every winter for the rest of our lives.

Frozen

9. Any song by ADAM LEVINE & THOSE OTHER GUYS who are in his band. How many are there, anyway? Also, why does EVERY one of their songs sound the same?

10. Any song by JASON DERULO. Jason, what happened to you? I loved your singles from your first album. Now you’ve got crazy trumpets, disturbing lyrics, and a whispering Snoop Dogg. I feel incredibly uncomfortable.

11. “SAFE & SOUND” by CAPITAL CITIES. OMG, just thinking about this song makes me squirm. I think it’s the weird trumpets (or are those saxophones again?). Too much repetitiveness and too many horns making a racket. WHAT IS THIS MUSIC?

13. “LOCKED OUT OF HEAVEN” by BRUNO MARS. I like Bruno Mars, I really do. He is amazingly talented, and his ability to produce music and capture the essence of other artists is truly one of a kind. I love it when other people cover his songs, and I love it when he covers other people’s songs. That being said, I can’t stand him singing his own songs. I can’t explain it. What I can explain is that this particular song was on the radio far too much this year.

14. “BURN” by ELLIE GOULDING. Just blah. Nasal voice. Overproduced electronic mess. No melody. On the radio too much.

*Disclaimer: I reserve the right to make a cliche list of the Least Annoying Songs of 2014.

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My July Playlist (Including the Current Theme Song to My Life)

After I get tired of listening to Kaplan Bar Review Lectures all day, I resort to listening to more entertaining (and sometimes even more depressing) things. Here’s a list of the songs currently on rotation in my iTunes and Spotify libraries.

  1. Hurry, Hurry by Air Traffic Controller (this is legitimately the theme song to my life right now. It’s super fast and upbeat, but neurotic at the same time. I LOVE IT.)
  2. Still by Daughter
  3. Tokyo by Lily Kershaw
  4. Just Be Mine by Cher Lloyd
  5. Back Home by Andy Grammer
  6. Forgive Me by Austra
  7. Holes by Passenger

Please Stop Everything You’re Doing and Listen to This Song

I know I don’t usually post stuff about music, but this song by Lily Kershaw is too good not to share. It’s like the comfort food of songs: perfect on a rainy afternoon, soothes your soul, and goes well with a good book.

Beautifully simple, beautifully sad, beautifully sung.

P.S. If you’re a fan of the TV show “Criminal Minds,” you might recognize this song from the latest season finale.

Wanna Know How Much It Would Cost to Get Your Favorite Musician to Perform at Your Birthday Party?

If you’re looking for some form of entertainment for your next summer party, what could possibly be better than hiring your favorite musician for a few hours? Well, that is, if you’re a millionaire with at least $50,000 in cash lying around.

Data service company Priceonomics released a lengthy list last week of the prices famous musicians charge for private appearances. It’s important to note that the rates are based on information from a third-party booker that deals with collegiate concerts, so the prices listed below may be “negotiable.”

Surprising observations:

  • LUDACRIS “only” charges $60K-80K for an appearance, which seems rather low compared to his star power (as an actor, rapper, and producer). Fellow rapper B.o.B, who has had a few hits, but hasn’t been around as long as Ludacris, charges the same amount.
  • Indie bands like VAMPIRE WEEKEND and ARCADE FIRE cost a pretty penny.
  • THE KILLERS want at least $500K to perform at a private gig – which seems like an insane price, considering the fact that their last big single came out four or five years ago.
  • As Slate pointed out, white artists demand a significantly higher fee than their African-American counterparts. For example, MACKLEMORE demands at least $200K-$300K, while KENDRICK LAMAR demands at least $150K, PHARRELL demands between $125K- $175K, and FLO RIDA demands even less at $100K.
  • I refuse to believe that OF MONSTERS & MEN (whom I love) and ONE DIRECTION (who, I will admit, I do jam out to) charge the same booking fee.

$100K and up

$50K and upbookingrates3

Which musician(s) would you hire if you had the money and were willing to spend it? I would probably pick Mumford & Sons, Death Cab for Cutie, Coldplay (but that price would make me squirm), or Train.

My April Playlist

Just thought I’d put up a quick post about some of my favorite songs at the moment. Since it’s the beginning of the month, it seems like the perfect time to do it. There’s a little bit of alternative, a little bit of pop, and a little bit of country (you can blame the Bobby Bones Show for that). So without further ado, here are some of the sounds currently on rotation in my iTunes library:

  1. Change by Churchill
  2. Beauty Queen by Foxes
  3. Beachin’ by Jake Owen
  4. San Francisco by Ingrid Michaelson
  5. Mason Jar by Smallpools
  6. Gale Song (from the Hunger Games: Catching Fire soundtrack) by The Lumineers
  7. Into the Wild by Lewis Watson
  8. My Oh My by Tristan Prettyman
  9. Things We Lost in the Fire by Bastille
  10. Love is War by American Young

Coldplay Needs an Intervention

(c) AZM 2010

Coldplay has released two new songs over the past couple of weeks. I finally mustered up the courage to listen to them today. They are terrible.

Let me just say that I have been a Coldplay fan for at least a decade. I own physical copies of all of the band’s albums. I can happily listen to “Viva la Vida and Death and All His Friends” from start to finish. I’ve been to one of their concerts (after which I became violently ill with the flu, but it was still totally worth it). Seven of the top ten songs in my iTunes library are their songs (ranging from “Clocks” to “Life in Technicolor II”). I know that a lot of people hate the band; they think its music is boring, annoying, and/or overrated. I was obviously never one of those people. But I’m becoming one of them now.

When I heard that Coldplay had released a new song late last month, I was afraid to listen to it. The group’s track record over the past two or three years has not been good. The song they cut for last year’s “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” soundtrack was an enormous let down. Their previous EP, “Mylo Xyloto” was easily their worst album. The only redeemable songs on it were the ones that were classic Coldplay: just Martin singing along with a guitar and piano until a steady-buildup to an epic final chorus. No bells. No whistles (literally or figuratively). The best song on that album is “Us Against the World,” and it is actually one of my favorite songs by them. Oddly enough, it would have been perfect for the “Catching Fire” soundtrack. I mean, the chorus includes the phrase “through chaos as it swirls/it’s us against the world.”

(c) 2014 AZM

Just when I thought Coldplay’s music couldn’t get any worse, it did. The band released the first single, “Midnight” off its forthcoming album, “Ghost Stories,” near the end of February. Lyrically speaking, the song has some great potential. But the band fails to deliver (also, is there even a band? I can’t even figure out what instruments are being played in the song).

“Midnight” appears to be suffering from an identity crisis. It has no idea what type of song it wants to be. Does it want to be a simple and eerie song? Does it want to be a lullaby? Does it want to be an EDM song? Does it want to be a Muse song? The answer to all of the above is YES. It tries to be all these things at once, but fails miserably. It sounds like the “ingredients” of the song were thrown in a blender and then produced by Keyboard Cat.

And then Martin’s voice is so synthesized that you can barely understand what he is saying. The song has no melody, no rhythm. It would be quickly forgettable if it wasn’t for the fact that it’s so bizarrely unintelligible that it made my ears bleed. Continue reading

Mapping Out the Most-Streamed Musicians Across America

Self-proclaimed “music intelligence” company The Echo Nest just released some statistics on the most distinctively popular artist in every state. The stats came from the number of times a musician’s work was streamed on Spotify by the residents of a certain state.

The results are rather surprising, and in some cases, seemingly random. Nebraskans really love the British-band Bastille. Tennessee is a strong supporter of rapper Juicy J. Country-duo Florida Georgia Line’s biggest fan base is not in either of its namesake states. Rather, it’s in Ohio of all places.

Check out the chart below to see what band has the most groupies in your state! The man behind this project also created an app that allows you to compare the listening habits of residents in two different states. Learn more about it here.

I’m very surprised that most of the artists that are typically in the Top 40 are nowhere to be found on this map. No Beyonce, Jay-Z, Lady Gaga, Justin Timberlake, Maroon 5, Adele, Katy Perry, or Rihanna.

Hat tip to Business Insider’s article on the map.