I know I’m a little behind, but here we are, ladies and gentlemen: the official start of Ranting About Music’s year end special! I thought today we’d start with the worst of the biggest songs of the year. To make it on this list, or its twin the top ten best hits of the year, the song had to be on Billboard’s year-end Hot 100, readable here. Ok, enough foreplay, let’s go!
10. Jennifer Lopez ft. Pitbull – On the Floor
Club pop dominated the sound of 2010, and of course bled into 2011. The exact timing of it varies for most, but by the time “On the Floor” came out, it seems like we were starting to feel burnt out on this stuff. I sure know I was, and J.Lo’s big return didn’t help matters. What really takes this song down is the completely toothless beat; “On the Floor” might be the first club pop song to need more bass to give it some oomph. On top of that, the song just feels bland and lazy, like J.Lo knew that with her American Idol resurgence, she could release damn near anything, and it’d sell. Producer RedOne doesn’t seem to be here for anything but a paycheck, and Pitbull just…“Back it up like a Tonka truck”, all you need to say. For a four and a half minute song, “On the Floor” offers about 30 seconds of substance.
9. David Guetta ft. Flo Rida and Nicki Minaj – Where Them Girls At
“So many girls in here, where do I begin?”
Where do I begin? David Guetta’s music is either nuanced and layered with subtle sounds and textures accompanying a main hook, or the exact same six seconds of synth hook meant to bludgeon you into submission with its own loudness. “Where Them Girls At” is nothing but the latter, and the blockbuster sequel to “Sexy Bitch”. “Sexy Bitch” was loud? “Girls” wants to be even louder. “Bitch” was dumb? “Girls” is dumber. Flo Rida’s verse by numbers only adds to the oppressiveness, and even a funny Nicki Minaj appearance can’t save this thing. If “On the Floor” pushed you back to the club, “Where Them Girls At” grabs you by the collar and screams “HAVE FUN” until you’re almost deaf.
8. Hot Chell Rae – Tonight Tonight
…can I go back to the club? I’d rather be there than listen to this smarmy jackass-tastic reject Disney Channel opening theme. “Tonight Tonight”, aside from soiling the name of a much, much better song, does basically all of the things that I can’t stand in modern pop. It’s covered in crummy, gloppy production, confuses a bland, monotonous hook for catchy, has no meaning whatsoever, and knows full well that it’s shit and doesn’t care. Hell, the song’s almost proud of how bad it is. The only lyric that stand out is the Zach Galifinutstospellingthisright reference, and even that feels shoed in and kind of whatever. All of the guitar-based songs released this year, and this one got big?
7. Dr. Dre ft. Eminem and Skylar Grey – I Need a Doctor
Remember when Eminem was funny? Remember when he tried to be funny? Where’d that guy go, because I’m tired of PissedOff Em. The beat’s serious, the hook’s serious, and Eminem gets furious on this track. But, if you listen to the lyrics, he’s basically rapping an angrier version of “And I Am Telling You, I’m Not Going”. Dr. Dre doesn’t do much that’s memorable aside from get jacked as shit in the video. The rad bromance of he song isn’t what strikes me as being funny (it’s rather touching to see Eminem actually care for someone), but the fact that this song’s supposed to be Detox‘s first single as a call out to everyone who treated Dre as a joke for never finishing/releasing the album. It was listed for a February release.
We still don’t have it. Apparently the only thing worse than Valvetime is Dretime.
6. Waka Flocka Flame ft. Wale & Roscoe Dash – No Hands
If you took everything bad about radio rap and put it in one song, that song would be “No Hands”. We seem to be able to weed out bad singers, or at least the ones that can hide being bad, but we’re still clueless about how to do this with rappers. These guys have no flow, no clever lines, and no redemptive qualities to their game whatsoever. Waka et. all fill the song with crass ways to nail a chick drunk off Moscato (oh hi, product placement) while doing it with, wait for it, “No hands”. This is backed by a thudding horns and snare beat that I swear I’ve heard in C-list rapper singles since 2007. “No Hands” makes me wish I had no ears.
Tune in for part 2!