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Best and Worst of Entertainment 2019 Edition: The List Jedi

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I hope that pun subverted your expectations.

As the end of the year draws near, thought I’d go ahead and make the topic ten days early since I’ll be fairly busy over the next week.

You all should know the drill by now as to what this yearly topic is about.  But in case you don’t, this topic is a group project where you all write your best and worst of the year lists for any format of entertainment.  Whether it be movies, music, television, video games, albums, commercials...anything you want.  Hell its going to be a much busier list season than normal with the decade end one coinciding with the annual one. But juggling both will give me all the more to write about this year.

And just like last year, I’m just sticking to movies and music.  I was able to watch a little more television this year due to streaming becoming that much larger this year, but in all honesty, I just don’t want to go overboard with too many lists to write.  Hell I still need to finish my Best 2010s Television List.  Might make an abbreviated list with no descriptions for 2019, but we’ll see.

Anyway, looking forward to seeing you all participating as always.  See you all soon with lists, lists, and even more lists.

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So I've been thinking about doing one of these again since its been three years since I last retrospected my previous year end lists.  What better time than now to go ahead and get a head start on that:

2016

 

Movies:

Jesus.  What a worst list.  Honestly, wouldn't touch that with a ten foot pole because everything on that list is practically perfect rankwise, although Suicide Squad would definitely be a super close number eleven.  Even Norm at number one.  Which has become a recurring meme from yours truly.  It's still the worst animated movie of the 2010s.  Yes, even worse than The Emoji Movie.

The best list on the other hand.  I know one change I would absolutely make.  Moana was at #10.  I still love Moana, don't get me wrong.  But one of my honorable mentions should have taken that spot instead.  And honestly, it should have been very high on my best list.  Like #4 if I could rerank it.  Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping.  What an amazing movie and honestly I like it more than This Is Spinal Tap in regards to music industry mockumentaries.  Check it out if you haven't yet.

 

TV:

Wouldn't change a thing about the rankings themselves, but note to self.  Never do a ranking with all GIFS ever again.  What an eye sore.

 

 

Music:

Saving the biggest thing I would redo for last.  Because good lord was I overly negative about 2016 in regards to hit music.  Like don't get me wrong.  This was a bad year.  But it was not nearly as bad as I made it out to be.  I'm not going to reveal where I would rank it in regards to the decade because I'm saving a decade end rankdown for movies and music for my decade end project.  But if you want what 2016 was in hindsight quality wise, except worse?  Well that was 2018 in a nutshell.  2016 didn't deserve the scathing torching demolition I gave it.  A 30 something long dishonorable mention list?  How over the top.

It was still one of the lower years of this decade quality wise though.  And honestly, the worst list needs a little revision:

10. One Call Away

9. Hide Away

8. Sit Still, Look Pretty

7. Just Like Fire

6. Pop Style

5. Unsteady

4. Lost Boy

3. i hate u i love u

2. Treat You Better

1. PILLOWTALK

So as you can see, number one and number two are still locked in place.  Honestly, those are two of the worst songs of this decade to me.  But everything else?  Absolutely different.  i hate u i love u is supremely insufferable.  Lost Boy has become more of a joke.  Unsteady and Just Like Fire still suck big fat ones.  And clearly, my thoughts on Daya's Hide Away are still bad, but Sit Still Look Pretty is the even more vapid song.  Hearing it at work more has done it no favors.  Such an obnoxiously insufferable song.

But man did I undersell how much I hated Pop Style in that thread.  My hatred goes far beyond that Chaining Tatum line.  It's just a monotonous bore of a song.  And Jay is barely given a damn thing to do and Kanye's guest verse SSSSUUUCCCCKKKKSSS.  And One Call Away is such an utter bore.  2016 may have been the year that Batman v Superman killed Superman's character, but at least he has character.  Unlike the joke that was Charlie Puth in 2016.  Such a hack of a song.

 

As for the best list?  Honestly, most of those rankings are still the same.  Maybe shuffle around a spot or two.  Although with one noticeable change, so here is that updated:

1. I Took a Pill in Ibiza

2. Stressed Out

3. Roses

4. Into You

5. Starboy

6. Can't Feel My Face

7. Closer

8. In the Night

9. Sorry (Beyonce)

10. Wildest Dreams

You read that right.  I've finally come fully around to embracing Closer.  All I needed was a few years away from the song to really embrace it for the slightly hacky, yet millenial anthem that it truly is.  Love the song.  The Chainsmokers fifteen seconds of fame may finally be over with all of their underperforming songs on the charts as of late, but they have undeniably three great songs to their names.

Not even going to go over how so many of my honorable mentions don’t hold up three years later.  For example, “Can’t Stop the Feeling” and “Side to Side” were on there in 2016.  Wouldn’t even come close if I completely redid it now.

 

Coming up next?  2017.  Stay tuned for that.

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2014

Music

Yeah, I'm going to do another retrospective on 2014, because even after revising my top/bottom 10 hit songs lists once, I still can't seem to agree with all of my picks. There are some particular songs from 2014's year-end list that either aged better for me (Please ignore that I put "Hey Brother" and Martin Garrix's "Animals" on my dishonorable mentions and on my bottom 10 respectively; other than those two, take songs like "Bailando" and "Shower" for example) and then there were some that aged like milk (take "Break Free" and my new bottom 10 addition for example) But hey, that's 2014's year-end list for you.

So, now let's compare and contrast my two older bottom 10s and my new bottom 10:

Spoiler

 

2014 and 2016:

10. "Animals" - Martin Garrix "Burnin' It Down" - Jason Aldean
9. "Blurred Lines" - Robin Thicke featuring Pharrell Williams and T.I. "Show Me" - Kid Ink featuring Chris Brown
8. "Na Na" - Trey Songz
7. "This is How We Roll" - Florida Georgia Line featuring Luke Bryan
6. "Adore You" - Miley Cyrus "Say Something" - A Great Big World and Christina Aguilera
5. "Say Something" - A Great Big World and Christina Aguilera "Adore You" - Miley Cyrus
4. "Wiggle" - Jason Derulo featuring Snoop Dogg
3. "Don't Tell Em" - Jeremih featuring YG
2. "Animals"(mals) - Maroon 5
1. "Trumpets" - Jason Derulo

Now:

10. "Burnin' It Down" - Jason Aldean
9. "Show Me" - Kid Ink featuring Chris Brown
8. "Na Na" - Trey Songz
7. "This is How We Roll" - Florida Georgia Line featuring Luke Bryan
6. "Say Something" - A Great Big World and Christina Aguilera
5. "Adore You" - Miley Cyrus "Wiggle" - Jason Derulo featuring Snoop Dogg
4. "Wiggle" - Jason Derulo featuring Snoop Dogg "Don't Tell Em" - Jeremih featuring YG
3. "Don't Tell Em" - Jeremih featuring YG "Animals" (mals, BABY I'M-) - Maroon 5
2. "Animals" (AWOOO)" - Maroon 5 "Amnesia" - 5 Seconds of Summer
1. "Trumpets" - Jason Derulo

 

Numbers 10-6 and my #1 are stationary. I've gotten over "Adore You," which is why I decided to purge it. "Wiggle," a song that is still too stupid to hate while it is so mindnumbingly stupid at the same time, moved up a spot, as well as the other two below it. Yes, even a typical bad Maroon 5 song got beaten out of the #2 spot, and it's quite a surprising new addition to my personal bottom 10. When I decided to look back on "Amnesia," it was at that moment that it became one of my most hated songs from 2014's year-end list.

I didn't talk about "Amnesia" in-depth before, so here's my take on it: in a nutshell, for a ballad that's supposed to sound sweet and delicate, it is straight up manipulative once you dive deeper into the lyrics:

Are you somewhere feeling lonely even though he's right beside you?
When he says those words that hurt you, do you read the ones I wrote you?

If what we had was real, how could you be fine?
'Cause I'm not fine at all
 
If today I woke up with you right beside me
Like all of this was just some twisted dream
I'd hold you closer than I ever did before
And you'd never slip away
 
Finally, this is the line that pushes all my buttons:
 
It hurts to know you're happy, yeah, it hurts that you've moved on
 
Or in other words... "Screw you if you're happy! What about MY feelings!?" What makes the songwriting worse is the whole concept of amnesia, given the song's title. What they're actually saying, when they say they want to wake up with amnesia to forget about the stupid things that led to a break-up with this one particular girl, is that they want to experience total memory loss. They want to forget almost everything about themselves in the process.
 
"Amnesia" serves as an example as to why poorly written breakup songs/ballads are my kryptonite. This is the kind of garbage that shouldn't be overlooked, yet like amnesia, we forgot about it. Of course, there's also the distinction that 5SOS are just a group of young boys, so the song's other obvious problems have easily been ignored because of that, like how the song is basically a WGWAG song and it borrows a lot of elements from a far better Plain White T's song. But come on, at the very beginning, the singer talks about getting wasted, which is big boy stuff, and if they don't want to be treated like a boy band, I can and will treat them normally. "She's So Perfect" has some very corny lines, but at least that song is fun to listen to while "Amnesia" is a dull, slow, and manipulative all the way through. So therefore, this is my penultimate worst hit of 2014.
 
Still can't stand "Animals" as it lacks any self-awareness or hilarity value to me to escape from my bottom five while "Trumpets" remains as my #1 worst hit of 2014. This is not just because of Jason Derulo and his poor vocal delivery, this is also on Jon Bellion. Jon Bellion is one of my favorite indie pop acts to come out over the course of the decade and seeing his very poor execution in the song's production (preferably the overproduction in the final chorus) and songwriting... (Take note of the Kanye and Coldplay name drops. Bellion has cited both artists as his own influences so whoever penned these "is it weird that your X reminds me a [Singer's name] song?" lines, I don't think it could only come from the mind of Derulo.) it hurts. He can do so much better and he has done better.
 
Now let's move on to my old top 10s and my newer top 10:
Spoiler

 

2014 and 2016:
 
10. "Leave the Night On" - Sam Hunt "Drunk on a Plane" - Dierks Bentley 
9. "Habits (Stay High)" - Tove Lo "Happy" - Pharrell Williams
8. "Royals" - Lorde "Love Runs Out" - OneRepublic
7. "Love Runs Out" - OneRepubic "Habits (Stay High)" - Tove Lo
6. "Come With Me Now" - KONGOS
5. "Do What U Want" - Lady Gaga featuring R. Kelly
4. "Don't" - Ed Sheeran
3. "Rather Be" - Clean Bandit featuring Jess Glynne
2. "Ain't It Fun" - Paramore
1. "Chandelier" - Sia
 
Now:
 
10. "Drunk on a Plane" - Dierks Bentley
9. "Happy" - Pharrell Williams "Love Runs Out" - OneRepublic
8. "Love Runs Out" - OneRepublic "Let It Go" - Idina Menzel
7. "Habits (Stay High)" - Tove Lo "Happy" - Pharrell Williams
6. "Come With Me Now" - KONGOS "Habits (Stay High)" - Tove Lo
5. "Do What U Want" - Lady Gaga featuring R. Kelly "Come With Me Now" - KONGOS
4. "Don't" - Ed Sheeran
3. "Rather Be" - Clean Bandit featuring Jess Glynne
2. "Ain't It Fun" - Paramore
1. "Chandelier" - Sia

 

In a not-so shocking turn of events, I've decided to purge "Do What U Want." What hinders it from staying in my personal top ten is not the obvious fact that R. Kelly features in it, but because Lady Gaga has disowned it so much to the point where she's trying to make it so that the collaboration never really existed. Because of that, some subtext that justifies R. Kelly's appearance on there is gone. In addition, I wouldn't go as far as to call this one of Lady Gaga's best. It is still a genuinely good song though, so it's now my #11, but it's no longer on the list. Therefore, the Tove Lo song and the KONGOS song both move up  a spot, with the latter entering my top five.

 
As another surprise, I've decided to have "Let It Go" take the place of "Do What U Want." I know it doesn't qualify as much as a pop song, but "Happy" is also from an animated feature and it was on my first revised list, so why shouldn't I include this? It is genuinely one of my favorite songs of the year, so I've taken the courage to put it in my top ten. And hey, if you have a problem with the song's placement on my top ten, then I say you can just...let it go. Between the two popular animated feature songs, "Happy" is the better one, which is why I put it above "Let It Go."
 
The rest of my top ten is stationary and I shouldn't have any plans whatsoever to change the other placements. With all's said and done, I can finally say that my top/bottom 10 for 2014 is final.
 
 
Animation
 
For those who weren't aware, I actually did finish my review for the best of 2014 in the animation medium by the start of 2019. It was on my old blog, so it's not there now, but I will re-post my review later this year so you guys will at least have an animation list from me this year while I continue to take my time with my 2018, 2019, and decade-end lists.
 
Of course, my points still stand when it comes to animation in 2014. It is still the best year for animation in recent memory and I would not change a single thing about my top ten. For those who never caught it, here's a small recap of what my top ten is for the year:
 
Spoiler

 

10. The Book of Life
9. Space Dandy
8. Bear Story
7. The Legend of Korra
6. The LEGO Movie
5. Wander Over Yonder
4. Over the Garden Wall
3. BoJack Horseman
2. Rick and Morty
1. Song of the Sea

 

Will do a retrospective on 2015-2017 at some later point.

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May as well speak my thoughts about the 2015 music lists I did (one year later but whatever):

 

Worst List

A lot of my opinions on this list still remain unchanged, except for two:

  • I was a little too hard on "Hotline Bling". I still think it's not that good and completely overrated but after hearing "Thinking Out Loud" too many damn times at work, it's starting to grate on my ears and I just wanna punch Ed Sheeran every time he tries to belt out "THINKING OUT" like he's trying to make the song more meaningful when it still sounds irritating as hell. Consider both the songs positions changed.
  • Meanwhile, I regret not placing the other Ed Sheeran as the worst song of 2015. No, not this guy. I'm talking about the other other Ed Sheeran of the year: Charlie Puth. "Marvin Gaye" more than deserved to be my #1 worst of the year and that's not even my Todd bias talking. In fact, it was my Todd bias that I was trying to avoid because both his #1's of 2015 (That's right, Style is still my favorite song of the year.) were exactly the same as mine. To avoid this, I placed "Watch Me" as my #1 but as time passes on, I realize that in retrospect, "Marvin Gaye" is loads worse than "Watch Me". Though choosing which song is worse is the equivalent of choosing between Soulja Boy or Captain & Tenille as your least favorite artist. Still, I believe that "Marvin Gaye" is the worst hit song, Todd bias be damned.

Previous list:

Spoiler

10. “Hit the Quan” – iLoveMemphis
9. “Nasty Freestyle” – T-Wayne
8. “Bad Blood” – Taylor Swift featuring Kendrick Lamar
7. “Hotline Bling” – Drake
6. “Worth It” – Fifth Harmony featuring Kid Ink
5. “Fight Song” – Rachel Platten
4. “Dear Future Husband” – Meghan Trainor
3. “Only” - Nicki Minaj featuring Drake, Lil Wayne, and Chris Brown
2. “Marvin Gaye” – Charlie Puth featuring Meghan Trainor
1. “Watch Me” - Silentó

Revised list:

Spoiler

10. “Hit the Quan” – iLoveMemphis
9. “Nasty Freestyle” – T-Wayne
8. “Bad Blood” – Taylor Swift featuring Kendrick Lamar
7. “Thinking Out Loud" - Ed Sheeran
6. “Worth It” – Fifth Harmony featuring Kid Ink
5. “Fight Song” – Rachel Platten
4. “Dear Future Husband” – Meghan Trainor
3. “Only” - Nicki Minaj featuring Drake, Lil Wayne, and Chris Brown
2. “Watch Me” - Silentó
1. “Marvin Gaye” – Charlie Puth featuring Meghan Trainor

 

Best List

On the other hand, I have no major complaints about this list. Though if I had to make one small change, I would exchange "Blank Space" for "Ex's and Oh's". Don't get me wrong, I love "Blank Space" and really, any song that makes my Top 20 is really doing something right but I'm starting to love "Ex's and Oh's" even more than that song. Every other choice is still perfect though.

 

Previous list:

Spoiler

1. “Style” – Taylor Swift
2. “Uptown Funk” – Mark Ronson featuring Bruno Mars
3. “Shut Up and Dance” – Walk the Moon
4. “Can’t Feel My Face” – The Weeknd
5. “Cool for the Summer” – Demi Lovato
6. “Wildest Dreams” – Taylor Swift
7. “Uma Thurman” – Fall Out Boy
8. “Time of Our Lives” – Pitbull and Ne-Yo
9. “Blank Space” – Taylor Swift
10. “FourFiveSeconds” – Rihanna, Kanye West, and Paul McCartney

Revised list:

Spoiler

1. “Style” – Taylor Swift
2. “Uptown Funk” – Mark Ronson featuring Bruno Mars
3. “Shut Up and Dance” – Walk the Moon
4. “Can’t Feel My Face” – The Weeknd
5. “Cool for the Summer” – Demi Lovato
6. “Wildest Dreams” – Taylor Swift
7. “Uma Thurman” – Fall Out Boy
8. “Time of Our Lives” – Pitbull and Ne-Yo
9. “Ex's and Oh's" - Elle King
10. “FourFiveSeconds” – Rihanna, Kanye West, and Paul McCartney

 

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2017

For the record, this is the last of these I'll be doing.  I'm going to let my thoughts on 2018 simmer a little longer so I can really see how well that list will last the test of time.

TV:

Honestly, I wouldn't change a thing except switching up my writing style.  My television lists will always be the most self-critical just because I always feel like what I write isn't good enough.  That's another reason why I don't do yearly television write ups.  Just because I know I'll nitpick them to hell even if everyone else enjoys them.  That being said, doing these decade end retrospectives really made me realize I only want to write about shows that have had enough seasons to really judge it as a whole instead of doing season by season.  That's why binge-watching is really the right way to go about doing television write-ups.  Just because analyzing episode by episode leaves you knowing at least half the picture.

Music:

Honestly, my worst list is good.  For the longest time, I thought to myself that "Strip That Down" would be the one song I'd place on there in hindsight.  But now that hindsight is long enough, I wouldn't.  "Strip That Down" is the new number eleven though.  But as for the list itself, I would just make a couple changes:

10. Look At Me!

9. Look What You Made Me Do

8. Body Like a Back Road

7. Mi Gente

6. Rake It Up

5. I Don't Wanna Live Forever

4. Believer

3. Tunnel Vision

2. Treat You Better

1. Issues

So yeah, for starters, I'm starting to soften a tad on Look What You Made Me Do and Body Like a Back Road.  Two of the biggest punching bags for everybody from this year.  I'm starting to get a slight admiration for LWYMMD because Taylor really put herself out there with this trainwreck.  And Body Like a Back Road is the sort of mind numbing awful levels of stupidity that I'm really starting to miss in a music climate where a lot of the songs are starting to sound the same.  Both songs are still terrible enough to make my worst list, but god bless they at least stuck out.

Meanwhile, that ZAYN song has only gotten worse in two years to leapfrog four songs.  Didn't expect it to be a career killer for him as his career has practically flopped.  And that Kodak Black song has also leapfroged a couple songs because seriously fuck this guy.  I can only hope that his career sputters out real soon because he is toxic garbage.

 

As for the best list, that's where I would easily make the most changes.  Not like it's all bad or anything, but a lot of the hits from this year have just aged better.  So here's my updated best list.

1. Bounce Back

2. DNA

3. Starboy

4. 24K Magic

5. Sign of the Times

6. Closer

7. Water Under the Bridge

8. Caroline

9. Congratulations

10. Something Just Like This

So where do I start with these changes?  My thoughts on Starboy and Closer aging as greatly as they have are well documented.  Nothing against Water Under the Bridge, which doesn't hold up as a top level Adele song like I once called it.  But I do stand with me still liking 25 better than 21.  Caroline really is a great song that I still appreciate two years later.  And then we have the two new entries to this list.  Congratulations is the song that made me finally get Post Malone.  I love it.  One of the best songs of his career.  And then there is the third great Chainsmokers song that I mentioned previously.  Yes it rips off the drop from Roses.  So what?  I like ripoffs depending on the circumstances.   Yes Chris Martin's lyrics don't make any damn sense. So what?  I love the utter ridiculousness of Batman and his fists and Spider-Man's control.  But Jesus does the whole song come together towards the end with that drop and guitar solo.  Seriously one of the most underrated moments in a pop song this decade.  It's one of the weirdest collaborations of this decade and yet somehow they bring out the best in each other.

 

Movies:

And the last round of major changes I would make.  Like I said last post with doing a rankdown for music years, I'm doing the same with movies.  But early spoiler, I was way too hard on this year.  Mostly with the best list.  That best list I wouldn't change a damn thing except pointing out that this is one of the better best lists of this decade.  So no need to redo it.  However, that worst list though.  It's beautifully written yes, I'm quite proud of how much hard work I put into it and how great my points were.  But there is some re-ranking that must be done.

1. Flatliners

2. The Emoji Movie

3. The Snowman

4. The Dark Tower

5. The Mummy

6. Death Note

7. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales

8. The Greatest Showman

9. Justice League

10. Fifty Shades Darker

 

So yeah, the top five isn't changing.  But the more I recollect my thoughts, Death Note deserves to be on this list proper.  What a god awful adaptation of my favorite anime.  Fuck you Netflix.  And fuck you again for still going forward with a sequel.  You've already hurt me enough with the terrible original.  Pirates 5 sucks hard.  Move it up another spot.  Fifty Shades Darker still deserves to be on this list because it's a part of probably the worst trilogy of the 2010s.

The Greatest Showman is a weird pick for this list, but the huger it becomes, the more I can't ignore it any longer.  It's a terrible piece of manipulative cinema that paints one of the lowkey scum entertainers of the world as a great person, even though that same guy highlights people with abnormalities for money.  The songs are overrated more so than Frozen.  Hugh Jackman isn't as good as people make him out to be.  The only slight positive is that Zac Efron and Zendaya have lowkey good chemistry together, but they both deserve better than this movie.

And Justice League makes this list because I rewatched it a few months ago and it really doesn't hold up.  At all.  I remember @Dr. WhoBob saying not too long after I posted that 2017 worst list that he was happy to see Justice League not mentioned on there because it wasn't all that bad.  And to that I say, rewatch it again like I did.  The production problems that this movie went through really stand out harder.  There are two polar opposite direction styles that clash with each other terribly.  What we end up getting is DC trying to make a Marvel movie and it becomes all the more apparent after rewatching.  The comedy is bad.  The Flash is annoying.  Superman is not as interesting as this movie so badly wants to make him out to be.  Steppenwolf is one of the worst/most forgettable villains in any superhero movie ever.  I'm glad DC has turned the corner these last two years (and with Wonder Woman the year prior), but seriously rewatch Justice League again. I think we were trying way too hard to paint a positive picture for a movie that honestly deserves to be scorned more than Batman v Superman (not more than Suicide Squad, which is the worst DCEU movie.  Period.).

 

And that puts an end to my revisits of 2016 and 2017.  I'll see you all in a few weeks with the Worst Hit Songs of 2019; whenever Billboard gets around to posting that year end list will play the key factor as to when that list goes up.  So until then, thanks for reading and I'll see you guys soon.

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https://www.billboard.com/charts/year-end/2019/hot-100-songs

It's time.

The list itself has its share of glaring inaccuracies since the YE tracking for 2019 ended on the week of November 16, 2019 (Why is a bit of a long, complicated story), so while I would advise anyone to do their lists differently, I will stick to what's on Billboard's list.

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…You know, I’m now beginning to understand why this current trend of pop music critics are more inclined to do their lists earlier in advance and why they also rank songs beyond the year-end Hot 100. It took until a list like Billboard’s year-end Hot 100 for 2019 to make me realize that. No matter how you feel about 2019 in pop music as a whole, this needs to be said: Billboard’s 2019 year-end list suuuuuuuucks.

I can’t say for sure that 2019 was either a good or bad year for music, but I could at least muster up my feelings about Billboard’s top 100 songs of this year. To me, this year’s list is nothing of an improvement from last year’s. The bad songs that represented this year’s list really felt like it overshadowed the greater songs on the list. It’s not that there was a great shortage of good music on the list, but there were definitely fewer songs that I’ve enjoyed from YE 2019 compared to YE 2018. And I’m going to keep mentioning 2018 because that’s what 2019’s year-end list felt like to me: a continuation of 2018. Both years do have their clear differences, I know, but hear me out on this:

A very big chunk of songs on the list are either repeats from 2018 or songs released in 2018 that would reach a higher peak in the following year. Like it was in 2018, trap is still the biggest trend in music during this year. You know how some of the biggest names in pop last year were Cardi B, Post Malone, and Khalid, right? They were still a big deal in 2019. And the fact that these respective artists have either barely or hardly evolved their sound well into 2019 made them easy for me to feel burned out on them. Sure 2019 may have seen a start where listeners had a better judge of what artists they would decide to push, but that still didn’t stop artists like Chris Brown, Kodak Black, and YNW Melley from scoring at least one or more hits on the chart (with Chris Brown having his biggest hit over the course of the whole decade with “No Guidance.” Yeah, this is not a good sign.) Oh yeah, and the best Latin pop song this year is still “I Like It.”

Now, what differentiates 2019’s list from 2018’s is the presence of the other musical genres. Thanks to the success of “Old Town Road,” country got a bigger presence on the top 40 this year. Thanks to Billie Eilish, indie pop has gained a little more attention, as artists like SHAED have earned a hit on the Hot 100 over the course of the year. But then you also have adult contemporary pop of all things earning more of a presence this year. We usually have Ed Sheeran to acknowledge for that, but it should also be considered that mainstream pop radio has been playing things safe lately. Everything else, however, is barren. The only thing we had to look forward to in crossover rock this year was Panic! at the Disco. The only thing we had to look forward to in electronic crossovers this year, besides The Chainsmokers’ several failed attempts of having another big hit, was Marshmello.

With the quality of its songs and the minimal representation of 2019, both don’t compare to the biggest problem that I’ve had with Billboard’s list for this year, in which it didn’t matter so much on what the biggest and most successful songs were during the respective year, to the point where I’ve questioned its accuracy. Billboard’s selection of the most successfully charting songs on the Hot 100 in 2019 is of clear indication of the chart being in a serious drought that year and that they need to fix their methodology sooner than later. What makes matters worse is that Billboard is finishing their tracking period for each year earlier now after, for whatever godly reason, adding an additional weekly chart for January 2018. Please fix this, Billboard. Other than that, it’s also because since the 2010s are coming to an end and I’ve been meaning to stop focusing on the charts at some later point, I felt that it’ best that I stop doing these annual music lists after I’m done with my lists for 2019.

Every music critic out there is free to do as they please with their countdowns. I have the option to go beyond Billboard’s list, but because I’m sticking to my guns and because I want to challenge myself with what Billboard gave us to work with, I’m still going be to ranking their year-end top 100. My preamble is longer than it needs to be, so I’m just going to get straight to the point now. Top 10 worst hits of 2019, first thing’s first. I’m not doing commentary for dishonorable/honorable mentions, but I’ll at least give you guys a glimpse at what 10 songs were closest to making my top and bottom 10.

 

Dishonorable mentions:

Spoiler

81. “Close to Me” – Ellie Goulding, Diplo, and Swae Lee
82. “Girls Like You” – Maroon 5 featuring Cardi B and an acoustic hamster wheel
83. “ME!” – Taylor Swift featuring Brendon Urie from Panic! at the Disco although he is also literally P!atD
84. “No Guidance” – Chris Brown featuring Drake
85. “Act Up” – City Girls
86. “Talk You Out of It” – Florida Georgia Line featuring the enigma of how tf this was successful enough to land on the year-end list
87. “One Thing Right” – Zedd 2.0 Marshmello featuring Kane Brown
88. “Leave Me Alone” – Flipp Dinero
89. “7 Rings” – Ariana Grande and SBC members angry with me for not putting this on my list proper
90. “Swervin” – A Boogie Wit da Hoodie featuring [Redacted]
0. “Earth” – Lil Dicky featuring Kevin Hart as Kanye West and a bunch of other wasted cameos

 

Steel’s Top 10 Worst Hit Songs of 2019…’s Year-End Hot 100

 

Spoiler

 

10. “Goodbyes” / Post Malone featuring Young Thug

With all fairness, I am lightening up to Post Malone a little. I can see that he is at least trying to innovate his sound with his recent album, but then there are songs of his that you can’t help but find redundant to his usual style. “Goodbyes” is a prime example of Post Malone not challenging himself and it partly proves why I’ve gotten so sick of him throughout 2018 and 2019.

In other words, “Goodbyes” just feels like it’s come from a template for a Post Malone song. He’s sad. He complains a lot. He’s bad at love. These are the kind of things from Post Malone that I’ve been familiar with since his Stoney days. Sure, he shows some amount of passion to back up this song, but compare it to other songs from the Hollywood Bleeding album like “Take What You Want” and “Allergic,” both of which I’ve enjoyed. Those two songs in particular have more of a distinct sound while “Goodbyes” sounds dull in comparison to them.

Of course, Post Malone…alone isn’t the only reason this has to be on my bottom 10. What really killed this song for me was the guest verse, courtesy of Young Thug. Young Thug is also an artist that I have been lightening up to. I’ve gotten used to his eccentric style of rapping, but his full-on singing is a different topic. Either you improve your singing Young Thug, or just don’t keep doing it if you want to stay in my good books. So yeah, Post Malone may be showing signs of improvement, but progress is looking to be slow, especially when it comes to this song.

 

 

Spoiler

 

9. “Break Up with Your Girlfriend, I’m Bored” / Ariana Grande

If there’s one thing that this song definitely proves, it’s that a song about stealing YOUR boyfriend can be as bad as your typical song about stealing YOUR girlfriend, and I’m afraid this song’s success would influence more hit songs of its type. Yep, “7 Rings” wasn’t the Ari song that made my skin crawl the most, it was this one.

I can see why “7 Rings” is hated as it shows how much of a culture vulture she is and it shows the worst side of the singer’s personality. I’m probably going to get flack for saying something in defense to that song, but what kept “7 Rings” from the bottom of my list is that it at least has a strong, albeit obnoxious, hook. You can also at least sense that Ariana is enjoying herself on the song. In the case of this other Ari song, however, she doesn’t sound like she’s having the most fun on it. It should be a given since the song has “I’m Bored” etched in its title, but still, I very much prefer to see her fun or vulnerable side. Ariana can also sound good when she’s being sensual, but her attempts to be sexually provocative in this slog of a song don’t work for me at all.

 

Spoiler

 

…Cardi B is overrated there I said it.

I’m sorry, but the more that I’ve exposed myself to Cardi’s music, the more I feel like she’s a one trick pony. A lot of the songs that I’ve heard from her sound like either a greater or lesser version of “Bodak Yellow,” or a lesser version of “I Like It.” Despite these thoughts, I did have Bruno Mars’ “Finesse (remix)” and “MotorSport” on my top 10 for 2018 and I’m not thinking about going back to change the list. One thing for sure, IMO, Cardi B can either make a song turn out better, or save it from getting it any lower on my rankings, when she’s a guest artist.

However, when she goes it alone, she tends to show that she has a gimmick. When she shows another side of her, it usually ends up being one of my favorite songs from her. Take “Ring” as an example that shows that Cardi B can do more than just be the cocky, aggressive, and in-your-face rapper she usually is. And it’s because she tends to rely on her usual traits so much that I feel like she already lost the magic that made her such a critic’s darling. Take “Press” as an example of how interchangeable she can be.

I can’t beat around the bush any longer. Cardi B has a song on my bottom 10, so let’s talk about that…

 

8. “Please Me” / Cardi B and Bruno Mars

Bruno Mars is also on here, so it pains me put him on this list. So, let’s go back to when I had the remix to “Finesse,” starring these same two artists, as my 8th best hit song for 2018. “Please Me” acts as the opposite of that song in a lot of ways, so it makes sense that this would be my 8th worst hit of 2019.

In a nutshell, “Please Me” sounds like what studio executives probably think the “Finesse” remix sounds like. The end result is a completely, utterly, forgettable and disposable R&B sex jam (without the jam). Bruno Mars and Cardi B’s chemistry is so lazily done here compared to how well they pulled it off on the other song they did together.

Like most others would, I’ll give Cardi some credit that she at least has the personality to back herself up, even in her less than stellar performances. This is something that she's lacking on "Please Me." She sounds and feels like she’s on autopilot and while Bruno sounds fine at first, his vocals end up becoming more grating the more that he croons on the song. If this is part of what we’re expecting to see from Cardi’s second album, I fear that she’ll continue to be more of the same.

 

Spoiler

 

7. “Only Human” / Jonas Brothers

I’m going to get some negative reactions for this. The Jonas Brothers made a big comeback this year from the rejoicing of those who grew up listening to their music during the mid-to-late 2000s. I was once a bit of a fan of the Jo Bros myself. Once in a blue moon, I'll return to songs like "S.O.S." and "Burnin' Up." While “Sucker” has grown on me, I still can’t say that I’ve been ecstatic to see this band’s return, since they had also churned out hot garbage like this very song.

“Only Human” is a white reggae song, something in which would already make me feel weak. The Jonas Brothers do get the horns down, but that keyboard tone kills the fun out of the song for me. On top of that, the keyboard makes the song’s reggae tone feel so phony and it sounds too childish for a song that aims for sex appeal. Even if these guys are trying so hard to sell their sex appeal, they fail to accomplish that as well because the lyrics are horrendous and near objectifying levels of unpleasant. “Sucker” works because it’s a genuine tribute to the brothers’ wives. “Only Human” presents itself as demanding to whoever’s the subject of this song to engage in the brothers’ odd sex fantasy where they want that person to dance to some 80s song while drunk. What makes the songwriting so unpleasant is how unjustified it feels…

So why would you fight or try to deny the way that you feel?
Oh, babe, you can't fool me, your body's got other plans
So stop pretending you're shy, just come on and
Dance, dance, dance, dance, oh

…However, the real problem stems from this central line that comes before that set of lyrics, which is what the song tries to justify those lyrics with:

It's only human, you know that it's real

That sounds familiar, doesn’t it? If it takes you back to when another similar and fake white boy reggae song has said the phrase “only human,” in the form of “Rude” by MAGIC!, then you know where I’m getting at. The justifications for both songs are different, but still they’re both terrible. The subject of the Jonas Brothers song doesn’t even sound like she’s consenting if you take note of how the line that says “Stop pretending.” It’s also because of that main line from “Only Human” that it takes away the supposed meaning of the song where it’s meant to be fun and sensual while it instead ends up sounding more like “Dance and have sex with me you stupid whore or you’re never, ever going home!” Look, this clearly isn’t the intent that the Jo bros are going for, but if your words don’t come off as pleasant, don’t write them. But as that one Nick Jonas song goes, it’s their right to be hellish, right…?

 

Spoiler

 

…And this is the part where I apologize to the Jonas Brothers for implying that they’ve made the phoniest reggae-sounding pop song. At least that had more of a groove compared to this…

 

6. “All to Myself” / Dan + Shay

This may definitely come off as a surprise to most of you since this my lowest rated Country song on the year-end list over the more notoriously bad ones like “Eyes on You” and “Talk You Out of It.” The fact that this is the Dan + Shay hit that I’m considering the worst may also feel surprising, so if you never thought that “All to Myself” is as bad as I’m making it out to be, then you’re in for a dive.

The problems that I have with “All to Myself” start with its production. It’s your basic, average white guy with an acoustic guitar song, but in the chorus section it tries to spice things up with a reggae-tinged sound that just comes from nowhere and contributes to nothing besides maintaining the duo’s pop accessibility. Worst of all, there’s the song’s lyrical content. The song’s narrative is nothing simpler than about wanting some girl into your life. However, the lyrics are ambiguous enough to leave off interpretations that are…if I’m not being too harsh, unpleasant:

I want you all to myself
We don't need anyone else
Let our bodies do the talking

We'll hide away in the dark

It might be selfish but I'm thinking
I don't need nothing between you
Leaning for another kiss, yeah

Girl, I want you in the worst way
I want you in the worst way

Look, I know what Dan + Shay are trying to go for, but if it is sex appeal that they’re really trying to sell, I can’t see how anyone would buy what they’re saying. In addition, considering how Dan + Shay’s songs are reliant on charm and have a certain amount of sweetness to them, they’re among the last that I would expect to try and sell a sexually-charged song. What makes me feel more iffed by this song are some of the lines where the singers express being jealous of the girl, as if the song doesn’t already come off as too clingy. This is a nitpick, but there’s also the music video. Just look at it. It looks like something that would be shot by a stalker. Need I say more? I guess the guitar riff sounds good…if only if it wasn’t already done in a far, far better Tracy Chapman song.

 

 

Spoiler

 

5. “Taki Taki” / DJ Snake featuring Selena Gomez, Ozuna, and Cardi B

If I were to take any recent Latin pop crossover hit as the epitome of what Latin pop music sounds like to people who say they hate it, “Taki Taki” would be that song. Yes, it is pretty extreme that I have this song high up on this list, since it’s meant to be nothing more than a mindless fun club song. In other words, it’s one of those songs that is too dumb to hate. At the same time though, “Taki Taki” is in, a lot of ways, so insultingly dumb that it warrants its placement on my list. The main reason for that is because of how all four of these artists featured on the song botch their talents in making an acceptable reggaeton dance song. While I have preferred for myself to get to the point quicker, I thought that I could actually talk about the parts that each of these artists play in the song piece by piece to prove that point further:

DJ Snake: It’s quite a shame how this guy went from making a solid banger in “Turn Down for What” to making a huge misfire with “Taki Taki.” He is the main artist on the track and its due to his production work that I find him to be essentially the worst part of the song. The beat on the song is incredibly repetitive and the instrumentation is inauthentic. It hardly gives off that reggaeton feel, as it feels more like a blend between that genre and EDM. It really doesn’t help when it sounds somewhat like the instrumentation to Ace of Base’s “All That She Wants.”

Ozuna: I’ve never been a fan of his voice or his songwriting, but of the four artists, I can tolerate his verse the most. However, there’s one thing I can’t help but mention. While I’m not completely certain if he’s the who penned this, but I find it funny that for a song that’s meant to be a tribute to the culture it represents, “Taki Taki,” these two words that accompany the main hook and appear in the song’s title are actually made up (although the Barcel snacks brand would beg to differ)…and at the same time, it bothers me because it adds to the song’s inauthenticity.

Cardi B: Cardi’s verse on the song is just your basic, average Cardi B verse. One thing that I do find interesting about it is that she delivers the worst line on the song with “I’m kinda scary, hard to read, I’m like a Ouija board.”

Selena Gomez: I can understand that she’s on the song as she does have her Latin roots and I can buy the sultry tone she’s trying to go for, but her verse doesn’t work well because of how clumsy it feels in most parts, especially during her chorus line where she sounds like she’s read off the particular Spanish-language words for the first time.

So there you have it, while it’s certainly not bad enough to move past #5, these are all the reasons why I have “Taki Taki” on my list.

 

Spoiler

 

4. “Hey Look Ma, I Made It” / Panic! at the Disco

Here’s yet another surprise entry to my list, and this time it’s from an act as beloved as Panic! at the Disco, in extension to Brendon Urie. Let it say it first thing that I don't hate P!atD, I've enjoyed a lot music from this now-solo act. My first impression on this song, it was hard for me to swallow. I wasn’t sure if I felt it was actually good by some merits, or if it was actually terrible. After giving the song enough replays, I’ve come to the conclusion that it is, by far, the worst thing Brendon Urie has done with his music.

The biggest issue that I have with “Hey Look Ma, I Made It,” is just how insincere its message feels. You know how “High Hopes” centers on the message of following your dreams while Brendon takes pride in making it big in the entertainment industry? Like Mr. Hyde to the other song’s Dr. Jekyll, “Hey Look Ma, I Made It” is an upbeat, yet dark and tongue-in-cheek perspective on fame, thereby giving us the message that fame is mostly bad and stressful. Looking back at the more sincere “High Hopes” and the fact that Urie seems to have been enjoying his collaborations with other musical artists like Taylor Swift and Benny Blanco, I can’t help but find this song as an example of pot calling the kettle black.

While I’ve had a problem with the overproduction on “High Hopes,” this other P!atD is guilty of the same problem. This is most especially when after each chorus, it builds with more noise to the point where not only does the instrumentation start to sound irritating, but Brendon Urie’s vocals would also begin to sound irritating as well.

Sure, I could give credit for the song trying to form subtle commentary towards the concept of fame, but I can still name other musical artists that have done the message a lot better. Billy Joel. Hole. Lily Allen. Lupe Fiasco. DAVID BOWIE. Heck, I’ve gained new respect for Katy Perry’s “Chained to the Rhythm.” At least it tried to spread a sincere and meaningful message while the message for “Hey Look Ma, I Made It” ends up being as meaningful as a pet rock. It pains for me to say this Brendon Urie, but you lose…boo-hoo.

 

Spoiler

 

…However, if there’s anything worse than wasting your potential as I’ve expressed for the previous two songs, it’s completely squandering it.

 

3. “Without Me” / Halsey

I’m all for singers expressing their vulnerability. Halsey has accomplished in doing that and could continue to do as such because, believe it or not, Halsey is more than just that tepid “New Americana” and she is capable of better. “Without Me” is an example of Halsey at her worst for how poorly written and mishandled it is in establishing the singer’s vulnerability.

A lot of other music critics have summed up why “Without Me” is not a good song, so bear with me as I try to form my own commentary. First of all, there’s the “Cry Me a River” sample. The way that Halsey strains her vocals prevents that sample from overlapping well with the singing. While I’m still on the topic of the vocals, the reverb that’s used for the song makes Halsey’s voice feel drowned out by the song’s production, it’s not a good fit for the song.

Then there’s the song’s content. “Without Me” is directed towards one of Halsey’s ex-lovers, G-EZ Cracker. Considering how much “Him & I” had soured on me for its lack of good chemistry between the two, it’s no wonder why I can’t see myself feeling invested in Halsey detailing how much hurt G-Eazy Squeeze Cheese had made her feel. Overall, “Without Me” is just a very dull and dreary song with not much to save it.

 

Spoiler

 

AND IIIAAAHHH- yeah, you guys know what exactly I’m building this up to…

 

2. “Someone You Loved” / Lewis Capaldi

White guys with a piano. White chicks with a piano. Black guys with a piano. Black chicks with a piano. Etc. Some people say one particular type is the worst in composing piano ballads, but I believe anyone can do them right and anyone can do them wrong. If any of you have been looking at my personal lists for this decade’s year-end Hot 100, you’ll notice that I have been patient towards piano ballads and they only tend to make my bottom 10 if they do more bad for me than just being simply boring to listen to.

“Someone You Loved” is an incredibly standard sad piano ballad about a breakup. There are more problems to the song beneath the surface and I don’t need to overcomplicate what they are. Lewis Capaldi cannot belt. For the rest of the song, his vocal work is fine, but his belting is atrocious and it doesn’t paint him as a good singer in the process. I’m aware that this could be due to Capaldi’s Scottish inflection, but his execution still could’ve been done better. Lewis Capaldi could be compared to whoever that listeners feel he’s trying to imitate like Adele or Ed Sheeran, but this guy doesn’t shed any personality on this song other than “I’m sad! Feel bad for me!” Finally, there’s the mere fact that we somehow let this go number one on the Hot 100 for a few weeks, which feels like a repeat to when we let a song like “You’re Beautiful” take the top spot once during 2006, a song so hated that even the singer himself, James Blunt, hates it.

If the resemblance isn’t uncanny yet, take note that, like Blunt, Capaldi tends to have more of an interesting persona outside of his music. The fact that he actually titled his debut album “Divinely Uninspired to a Hellish Extent” speaks to me that Capaldi is self-aware that not everyone likes his music. That’s also a problem because it speaks to me that Capaldi isn’t taking his music seriously enough, making me wonder if he’s actually satisfied about being a musician.

Why this isn’t my #1 worst hit, I have two reasons to give. One, there’s one other song that I find to be worse. Two, as far as my experience with listening to piano ballads from the 2010s goes, “Someone You Loved” isn’t the worst when compared to this:

Here’s looking at you Calum Scott and your terrible cover of Robyn’s most iconic song.

 

Spoiler

 

While forming my bottom 10 for this year, I knew that it would end up being a battle between two Lewises and I had to pick the lesser of the two. Although…this song ended up being a definite lock for the #1 worst spot even after listening to “Someone You Loved,” so if I had to make the choice between listening to this worst of year-end 2019 crowner or “Someone You Loved,” I would quickly choose the latter…

 

1. “Be Alright” / Dean Lewis

So, this is something that I bet most of you didn’t expect to see, where my #1 worst hit is a defining example of bad is the absence of good. Usually, when a song reaches the lowest in my bottom 10, it’s because it has a good amount of things wrong with it and there’s hardly any positives to balance it out. While the main point as to why “Be Alright” is my #1 is because there’s little to nothing I find good about it, it’s also because of the quantity of things that I find bad about it.

“Be Alright” is your basic, average, every day, sad white boy with an acoustic guitar song about a relationship that has fallen apart and the internal struggle of having to move on from it. While Dean could be compared to any other similar contemporary, much like the previous Lewis I’ve talked about, he doesn’t have any personality outside of being sad and that we should feel bad for him. Even if I’m supposed to feel bad about Lewis’ breakup with this one girl, he acknowledges at the start of the song that he’s the reason it fell apart, which prevents me from feeling the sort of way and it only makes me wonder what was that dumb mistake he made because that’s never established further, later in the song.

The rest of song deals with Lewis’ inability to move on past the breakup. I suppose there’s meant to be a feeling of optimism somewhere in the tone, but Lewis stays his usual, dreary self throughout the entire song, making other particular moments in the song come off as weak, like when he talks about how his friends are telling him that he needs to move on. Look, I know about depression and what it is like. However, I’d act the same way if I were one of Lewis’ friends. Get over yourself dude, you WILL be alright if you don’t continue to dwell on the past. I’m not even done there. What I’ve also disliked about the song’s narrative is during the middle where Lewis expresses feeling jealous about his ex-lover moving on with someone new while he hasn’t, calling it betrayal on his part.

I never thought that I would have to come to the defense of another second-rate singer, Rachel Platten, who was in her thirties when she had her only big hit, but when this guy is around that same age range and I find his biggest hit to be a lot more insipid than “Fight Song,” then I wouldn’t feel surprised if he is already forgotten about in five years or less. Heck, I believe "Someone You Loved" would've been more tolerable if anyone else sung it, while "Be Alright" would still be bad to me by some means, no matter who sings it.

This song sucks and it’s my candidate for the worst hit of Billboard’s year-end 2019 list. Thank you for coming to my TED Talk.

 

Will do my commentary for my top ten soon, but it won’t take as little time as it took for me to write this all out.

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So this is the part where I talk about my general thoughts on the charts.  And for the first time in a couple years…I actually have a lot of thoughts about the hit music landscape as a whole.

 

 

2019 was a really weird year.  It didn’t start off that way.  A lot of the huge hits from last year lingered through the winter and a good portion of the spring this year and I made that abundantly clear during my spring chart rankings.  But then something amazing happened.  We got a large abundance of new stuff from the least likely of people.  If you told me at the beginning of the year that some of the biggest hits of this year had Billy Ray Cyrus, Snow, and Bradley Cooper of all people, I would have thought that you were messing with me.  And then we had major career revivals for Lady Gaga, The Jonas Brothers coming back together, and one of the biggest names of this year was Brendon Urie of Panic! At the Disco.  Let me make that clear.  The lead singer of a fourteen year old band became one of the go to guys for chart success.  But the icing that really topped the cake for unnatural behavior?  Taylor Swift, Brendon Urie, Ed Sheeran, Justin Bieber, Post Malone, Shawn Mendes, Ariana Grande, and many more would be blocked from the number one spot for nineteen weeks on the Hot 100 by a then nobody named Lil Nas X and an absolute joke in Billy Ray Cyrus.  Only to end up being dethroned by Billie Eilish, who is also a major newcomer in 2019, singing a song about trying to seduce your dad.

 

 

And that is part of the reason why 2019 will go down as one of the best years of the 2010s.  Because of the unpredictability of it all.  This was a fascinating year to follow the charts.  After how dour and depressing 2018 was, I’ll gladly take the weird and wonderful that was 2019 any day of the week.  Especially if the quality was there.  Which it definitely was in droves.  2019 has one of the strongest and most competitive best lists I’ve had in years.  And we’ll get to that soon enough.

But you know where we have to start, as always when it comes to these lists for me.  With all the praising I just gave for this year in general, the year-end list doesn’t really convey that.  Honestly, it’s the back half of the year end list that confuses me in particular.  I can’t help but look at this list and think, this was a hit?  And, this song somehow had enough points to make it over others that better represent the year in a whole?  Billboard’s tracking needs to change whether it be the time allocated or the points allocated because this is a broken system.

Back to the worst list though…and I’ll be honest.  While there was plenty of bad music from this year, a lot of it is not your run of the mill bad.  I think one of the biggest things I’m looking forward to from this list season is what people consider their worst of the year that is 2019.  Because I’ll be honest, I can’t think of what many consider to be easy candidates.  I have a lot of choices for my worst list and dishonorable mentions especially that you are about to see that not many people will consider your usual “easy targets”.  Sure there are bound to be some that you all will think are, let’s not be coy.  But I think this year in particular, you’ll see a lot of differing opinions as to what people will view as what they think is bad this year.  Definitely an improvement in my eyes because I like varying opinions.  So with that being said, let’s see what varying opinions I have amongst the rest of you.  Starting off with some dishonorable mentions in no particular order.

 

Spoiler

DISHONORABLE MENTIONS:

 

“Money” – Cardi B

This is honestly the most interchangeable song Cardi B has ever done.  And she had A LOT of interchangeable songs this year.  This is a rough draft of an unfinished song that has been done to death by this genre.  Did you guys know that rappers brag about how much money they make?  This only proves that it doesn’t matter what gender you are.  Going through the most basic of clichés still makes your song suck.

 

“Knockin’ Boots” – Luke Bryan

I swear Luke Bryan has gotten so lazy that this song right here is simply a list of all country music tropes and it somehow became a huge hit.  At least it’s an improvement over his three huge hits from this decade.  Which are still some of the worst country music of the 2010s.  Progress I guess.

 

“Be Alright” – Dean Lewis

This year’s winner of the Ed Sheeran rip-off award who we will collectively forget about by the time this post is over.  Hope you enjoyed your fifteen minutes of fame because it’s over, mate.

 

“Trampoline” – SHAED

So this was a number one hit on the alternative charts this year (and was featured in Apple commercials for the new MacBook Pro buy one today).  And I honestly don’t understand why anyone anywhere would seek this song out.  It’s not like there aren’t other “alternative”/indie pop acts out there right now with this exact same sound.  It’s like sitting and watching paint dry.  Not the exact mood bouncing on a trampoline gets out of people. 

What an awfully dull song and that was before the ZAYN remix.  Guess his career is over if that is what it takes to get him a hit now.  Almost feel bad for the guy since his latest album failed commercially in spectacular fashion.  I wonder if and when that One Direction reunion happens if he’ll get down on his knees and beg for them to save him from irrelevancy.

 

“Envy Me” – Calboy

This was one of the biggest non crossover rap hits on the year-end list.  And I completely forget about it every time I see it.  And I’m not just talking about the song.  I’m talking about the guy who performs it.  Say what you want about how old the modern rap scene makes me feel, but at least I remember some of these guys when they pop up, even if it is only with one hit.  Who the actual fuck is Calboy?  How can I envy you when I don’t even know who the hell you are, guy? 

 

“Please Me” – Cardi B & Bruno Mars

It’s been a long time since a song soured on me as fast as this did.  I can’t listen to this song anymore without hearing studio execs meddling and giving this song a shit ton of payola to make this a hit.  Also not helping is Bruno Mars sounding absolutely god awful on this.  It was only a matter of time until Bruno Mars went through all his retro phases and eventually got to the 2010s.  Because this is basically a 2010’s Bruno Mars song disguised as a 90s R&B song.  And Cardi B just sounds flat out bored.  Where is the intensity that made “Finesse” sound so great?  Fuck this song.

 

“One Thing Right” – Marshmello & Kane Brown

Marshmello is a fitting name for this guy.  Because his songs are produced by absolute fluff.  The production on this song is absolute garbage.  Kane Brown sounds like a manipulative asshole.  For all the problems I had with “Happier”, at least it had good lyrical content and told a good story.  I don’t understand why the woman in this song would be with this douchebag.  Such a trainwreck of a song in general that I can’t believe got as popular as it did.

 

“Beautiful” – Bazzi (featuring Camila Cabello)

I don’t fucking get the appeal of this guy whatsoever.  He’s awful in all the ways all these other one name stage names are awful like Lauv, MAX, Gnash, and anyone else I’m forgetting.  But here he is with two hits to his name so I guess he’s going to be the one sticking around.  That’s probably due to the fact that this dull turd got popular off a remix with Camila Cabello.  My apologies to Senorita.  This is the most staged romantic song of the year.  I don’t buy the chemistry between these two whatsoever and it makes this song dull audio white noise.  Which means the radio loved it.  Go figure.

 

“Baby” – Lil Baby & DaBaby

This song should be funny with that clickbait title and the artists unironically involved.  The hacks at Quality Control knew what they were doing when coming up with this.  But good lord, this battle for best baby isn’t even a contest.  DaBaby is fucking killing it here.  Why does he only get like 20% of the song?  Lil Baby is left with the other 80% and he’s getting left in the dust.  He’s the reason why this song is a colossal disappointment and just further proves that he is still dull as dirt.

 

“Without Me” - Halsey

Some of you assumed this was going to be on the worst list proper.  I honestly considered it for the longest time.  It’s just not a pleasant song to listen to.  It sounds like ass.  And it still does.  “New Americana” will forever be the worst Halsey song unless she releases something absolutely unbearable.  And this is a safe second.

So what spared it at honestly the last second?  The writing.  It finally clicked with me.  She really put it all out there and it made her a huge star.  Like some of these lines actually hit me finally.  It’s a damn shame that the chorus still comes off like an obnoxious teenager who is experiencing heartbreak for the first time.  But these verses are finally resonating more.

All that being said, stream “Graveyard”.  Aka the good version of “Without Me”.

 

 

Spoiler

11. “Swervin’” – A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie (featuring 6ix9ine)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mk9YcoZCuzA

Yeah I know this is a Top Ten List and honestly the main reason this song is just outside the top ten list proper is that I like this beat a lot.  It deserves better.  But I’ve got to make an exception to talk about something that has been on mind all year long.  Why are we still giving Tekashi 6ix9ine a platform in 2019? 

6ix.jpg

From all the memes that are still being made specifically about him to the fact that his guest verse is the main reason this song became a hit.  Why aren’t we letting him rot in prison for the rest of his life or go into witness protection program so we never have to see his stupid fucking face ever again?  He is one of the worst performers I’ve ever covered doing these lists and yeah that really is a bold statement on my end.  And in a year where we had a lot of good hits and most of the toxic hit makers of last year faded out, here is this stupid shit with a guest verse about shooting up people and it really isn’t making his case in his pending lawsuit.  Fuck you 6ix9ine.  You suck so bad that you completely missed the point of this song.

…oh and fuck that other guy with the awful stage name who used Rainbow Pedo Man’s name for clickbait.  He is so uninteresting that the comments section to his own music video barely even talks about his part of the song.  Getting upstaged by the rejected Skittles mascot.  That’s really saying something about A Boogie’s longevity.

 

Now that I got all that out of the way, let's get to the main list proper.  Let's give a swift GOODBYE GOODBYE GOODBYE to...

 

CLAPPY'S TOP TEN WORST HIT SONGS OF 2019

 

Spoiler

So with the decade end project in the works, it is amazing to see how so many of these acts from the start of the decade have evolved over time. 

https://www.billboard.com/charts/decade-end/hot-100

That’s one of the many reasons I enjoy writing these sorts of reviews.  To see how artists change their style or sound over time.  Let’s face it, for better or worse, artistic growth is a good thing.  Because if you don’t change it up, well you might as well just be the Jonas Brothers.

 

10. “Sucker” – Jonas Brothers

 

And speaking of changing with the times, I went from not even remotely caring about this song to hating this to questioning why this was one of the biggest hits of this year.  I already stated that the Jonas Brothers were never meant to be my cup of tea.  This song wasn’t mean to be for me.  None of their songs from this year were meant for me.  I’m a guy who is married to a woman who worships the ground they walk on and also has a sister who would probably marry Joe Jonas if she ever had the opportunity to.

But the more I heard this song in particular, the more it just became obvious to me that this giant return single that skyrocketed its way to number one is the most half-assed song of the year.  It rips off the melody from “Feel It Still” by Portugal. The Man.  That whistle drop might as well be any whistle drop from any song, it’s that uninspired.  But it’s the lyrics that really give away how little thought was actually put into this song more than their others.  I’ll give “Only Human” and “Cool” this.  Both at least had something distinctly lame enough to stick out and actually make me kind of like both of them.

Like I mentioned earlier in the year, it’s pretty much every other song they’ve ever made about how they subliminally want to get in their fangirls pants.  But god, some of these lines are so basic that any hack could have used these:

We go together
Better than birds of a feather

This lyric is so old that the Jonas Brothers must have gotten this one delivered by carrier pigeon.

You're the medicine and the pain
The tattoo inside my brain

Of course it was going to be the latter.  What else could it have been?  I’ve lost count over how many times songs have used this rhyme scheme.  Shoot, Hall and Oates literally had a song titled “No Brain, No Pain” where they beat that rhyme into submission that I never want to hear it again.

But let’s go back to the preamble.  Over the past ten years, we’ve gone from Ke$ha to Kesha.  We’ve gone from twerking Miley to adult contemporary Miley.  Jason DeRulo has gone from my walking punching bag to being somewhat tolerable.  Taylor Swift has gone from the sweet innocent teenager to a premadonna.  I could go on all day about how artists change to stick with the times.  The Jonas Brothers from 2019 still sound like the Jonas Brothers from 2006.  That’s thirteen years of basically making the same damn music.

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yw04QD1LaB0

Hell looking back at their few years of solo work doesn’t sound like artistic growth either.  Nick Jonas was practically the poor man’s version of other artists doing that sound like before he did (and that goes for the songs I did like by him).  DNCE wasn’t really pushing the envelope of originality either. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UrUJyKsLQeU

These guys are just perfectly fine being stagnant.  And why shouldn’t they be?  It brought them success together and apart.  Well to be quite honest, being complacent artistically is really starting to be problematic for me.  Even with artists I love like Bruno Mars.  There’s only so much cashing in on what continues to work before it really starts to piss me off.  And that is especially true for acts that I never liked to begin with.

Look I get 2000s kids are ready for their nostalgia boom, but at least give it to a group that will sound radically different with the times than making the same cheap cash-ins.  Who’s the sucker now?  Still me for being the only person to hate this.  Next.

 

Spoiler

Wow.  What a polarizing song, right?  How dare Taylor Swift compare the amount of hate she gets to the amount of hate towards the LGBT community; who does she think she is?

…I don’t know how polarizing of an opinion this is outside of Wumbo, but I don’t think this song is all that bad.  It’s a fucking mess, but god bless is it a train wreck I can’t stare away from.  And despite how misguided the message is, I approve of Taylor standing for something in her music for the first time ever.

She may not be the biggest pop star on the planet anymore, but Taylor proved this year that she is still capable of holding the attention of the general public by being her.  And thank goodness “You Need To Calm Down” proved that because if you asked me the same question two months prior to that single’s debut, I would have told you that I thought her days of being a megastar were on their last legs.

 

9. “ME!” – Taylor Swift (featuring Brendon Urie)

 

The only reason this song ended up making the year end list is simply due to being the leadoff single from the biggest pop star of the last five years.  Because god forbid there was any other reason this karaoke version of itself was as big as it was.  For a song entitled “ME!”, this was supposed to be a culmination of all things Taylor Swift.  We’re supposed to be excited that the old Taylor is back and that the vengeful goddess of two years ago is dead and gone.  What we got was the old Taylor saying, she’s back…I guess.

Plain and simple, this pisses me off for being absent of anything worth talking about.  It sounds pleasant, but it’s a hollow song.  I was surprised to find out that there wasn’t a commercial or a product of any sort attached to this song when I first heard it.  Anyone could have done this song.  I shouldn’t be mistaking a Taylor Swift leadoff single as a possible commercial jingle.  This song has none of Taylor’s personality, none of her distinct songwriting, not a damn thing.  Hell the “spelling is fun” bit is Taylor trying to force a meme that was never going to happen to begin with and then you know what she does?  She completely removes it from her album.  What a cop out.  AT LEAST OWN UP TO YOUR OWN FORCED MEMES.  You can’t spell AWESOME without ME?  Well you can’t spell LAME without ME either.

Oh and Brendon Urie is on here.  I don’t know why.  He doesn’t have any chemistry with Taylor.  He doesn’t add anything really.  For a song called ME, did we really need to include anybody else but Taylor?  It just felt like a record exec told her that Brendon Urie’s starpower was on the rise, so let’s add him to the song.  Brendon Urie may have had a BIG 2019, but this was easily the most disposable guest verse he had this year.  And that includes him saying HE’S A FAT FUCKING PIG.

Taylor may still command attention by just existing, but this is easily the most disposable song she has ever done.  I’d rather watch grass grow than listen to this.  Next.

 

Spoiler

So yeah, I’m looking down this year end list and Jesus what a year country music had.

This is definitely the largest amount of country music I’ve ever seen on a year-end list.  Is country music really making this large a dent in the music zeitgeist?  Is this what will replace trap as the hot new trend everyone will ride on…oh god, I can’t finish this statement without laughing.

Let’s be honest here.  Country music is still lame.  I will admit it has made huge strides on streaming over the past two years, but my theory is that the hardcore conservatives that mostly make up country’s core fan base want something safer to listen to because rap is too provoking.  Even though two of the biggest country hits from this year were rap-country fusions, but hey what do I know?

Either way, I’ll give them good ole boys out in Nashville this.  This is the most relevant country music has been in a while.  And I’ll be damned if I can’t find at least one song to mention on this list that I couldn’t stand the slightest bit.

 

8. “Whiskey Glasses” – Morgan Wallen

 

Now I’ll go ahead and give the song this.  This is a prime example of the type of country music songs I love.  A guy drinking to mend his heartbreak.  And that’s the only compliment I’ll give this song because who the actual hell wants to listen to this?

Seriously.  The distortion on this song is fucking grating.  And it plays throughout the entire song.  It is one thing if it was just a fragment, then this would just make my dishonorable mentions list.  But nearly four minutes of this is headache inducing.  I’d rather listen to a car alarm go off nonstop for four minutes than just hear the instrumental version of this song.  It is that bad.

Then you have the singer, does he even matter?  Google tells me that he was actually on The Voice for three rounds or so…and now it makes more sense.  He was on Team Usher to only switch to Team Adam. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WJ7bg0MqUPk

Makes sense as to why he switched sides.  His singing is ear bleeding, while lacking any sort of emotional tone or depth.  Let me emphasize that again because why the fuck is he singing a song about pain and misery, so happily?  This is so stupidly happy that it becomes insufferably smug when he does that rap breakdown on his second verse.  The lyrics don’t convey the mood its going for.  They convey total despair.  How could you misinterpret your own song this badly? 

But remove Morgan Wallen’s reality television contest history, I don’t understand why Nashville leached onto this guy and this song.  He’s not a CGI Ken doll like his Voice mentor.  He can’t sing worth a damn.  The production is utter dog shit.  Hell, he’s now collaborating with Diplo.  Are we really going to make this nobody into the next big country crossover star?  If so, might as well make him the next judge on The Voice.  They need a replacement for Adam Levine anyway.  Why not one of his proteges?  Next.

 

Spoiler

I don’t have a proper preamble for this.  I give up.  I’m getting too old for this shit.

 

7. “Ransom” – Lil Tecca

 

I need to stop trying to get modern day rap music.  Because no matter how hard I’ve tried the last couple years to get it, some new guy blows up out of nowhere, gets major backing from studio hacks for playlist payola, and I don’t understand the appeal at all.  Enter 2019’s big young rapper.  This kid is practically half my age and he officially has a smash hit to his name and once again, I don’t see why.  You know how embarrassing it has gotten?  I asked a coworker who is at least ten years younger than me what the appeal of this song is.  I’ve gotten that desperate trying to figure out what anyone could possibly get out of this song.

Even though I’ve said before if I don’t get it, I can’t hate it; I’m just so bored and tired of this same sounding shit.  Is that the appeal of this?  Because if so, it fucking sucks.  I don’t care if he is sixteen.  He could have fooled me with how boring, uninspired, and lazily put together this is.  There’s no beat, no hook, no original lyrics, barely a chorus, and no flow…which ironically this song about how he will take someone for ransom if they steal his flow.  Good luck with that kid.  There is nothing special about it to begin with.  Why would someone bother to steal something that you’ve stolen from the hundreds of other trap MCs out there?

 

 

And I know I’ve bagged on myself a bit with this entry in particular; not understanding today’s rap scene.  But there are genuinely talented new guys and girls that popped up on the charts this year from DaBaby, Ski Mask the Slump God, Meghan Thee Stallion, City Girls, and Polo G to name a few.  They at least showed signs that they care enough to try and give themselves distinct first impressions.  And then you have this twerp pop out of nowhere, go through all the rap clichés like a checklist, not even try to do anything distinct, barely gets above the two minute mark by letting this limp beat linger on for an additional thirty seconds, and gets himself a smash hit.  This infuriates me.  If this is what it takes to get a smash hit, well time for me to quit my job and become the next SoundCloud sensation.  Now all I need to do is get a Twitter stan following that will say stream this or that and I’m golden…

…oh wait, TikTok is replacing SoundCloud in terms of getting recognized now?  I’m late to the latest trends again.  Time for me to retire.

 

Spoiler

I touched upon this last year, but as each year passes, it’s getting all the more apparent and even harder to ignore.  Radio stations are completely out of touch with what’s popular right now.  And it especially sucks if radio was once your main format for figuring out what the people of today are listening to.

“Sunflower” was one of the biggest hits of the year and you know how many times I heard it on the radio?  Once.  Thank god streaming has become all the more central for figuring out the hits of today and what America is listening to.  Because if I was still listening to the radio primarily, I would have assumed this was one of the biggest hits of the year.

 

6. “Close To Me” – Ellie Goulding, Diplo & Swae Lee

 

Seriously, whenever I tuned in to radio stations in 2019, I would hear this awfully dull song all the damn time.  Color me surprised to figure out this peaked at #24 and was not even in the Top 50 for this year end chart.  I can’t emphasize how relieving that was for me to figure out this wasn’t nearly as big as radio wanted to perceive it was because for the life of me, I can’t even begin to imagine who the hell would voluntarily listen to this song.

I like/used to like all three of these artists separately.  But together?  It’s a twenty-two car pileup on a busy intersection.  What the hell happened here?  I think the radio is latching on to Ellie Goulding still being a huge star since she had multiple hits the last time radio was really in tune with what was popular back in 2015.  But coming back from that multiple year hiatus has really shown that Ellie Goulding has zero personality.  Not a single part of her song sounds remotely convincing.  Her trying to convince everyone that she is a terrible person and an animal is a huge stretch when she tries to sing the song in her usual siren-like soft vocals.  Not helping is that Diplo basically sounded like he had no idea what to do with the production for this song.  Especially those squawking synths on the bridge which was a bafflingly bad idea.

And since the song was clearly not going to take off based off its own merits, let’s add Swae Lee to it.  I really do miss when most pop songs had a featured guest rapper and Swae Lee is the best hook artist rap music has right now.  But even Swae Lee sounds completely disconnected from what’s going on except being awful people.  If he and Ellie Goulding are singing about each other, it doesn’t work since they both sound like they are trying to outdo each other in terms of treating the other like shit.  Is it possible to have less than zero chemistry?

Ellie has released multiple songs this year to desperately push her comeback and not a single one of them is remotely good.  They go in one ear and out the other, just like this song.  Talk about selling what’s left of your artistic integrity to try and rack up hits.  Next.

 

Spoiler

Did I say only one country song is making this list?  I lied.  Make that two.

 

5. “Eyes On You” – Chase Rice

 

There has to be something else to the major strides country music has made over the last two years.  Well I’ve got another theory in mind to go along with the one I previously listed.  Due to how predominantly male most of the genre has become, I’ve noticed a small subgenre forming under the surface. 

Most of the big country hits over the last few years are all straight forward love songs.  I’ve been trying to figure out a proper name for this trend.  And as I watched an episode of Billboard Breakdown (check it out fellow chart watchers), Mark coined the term “boyfriend country”, and boy is that a fitting name.  Straight forward simple love songs from self-impressed “country boys” that might as well be “white guy with acoustic guitar” songs.  No wonder more country music is getting more pop because these guys are basically becoming WGWAGs.

And while I’m not saying all these acts are bad per say, I can tell the genuine of these performers from the artificial.  And you can’t get more artificial than former Survivor: Nicaragua runner-up turned country singer, Chase Rice.  The poor man’s Sam Hunt.  Hell I mistook him as the actual Sam Hunt the first few times I heard this song.  He’s got the same talk and sing vocal delivery as him. 

 

This guy is a fucking hack who is willing to trend hop to stay relevant.  I knew how fake he was from nearly ten years ago when he was able to manipulate people on one of the worst seasons of my favorite reality show.  And not much has changed since then.  He hopped all over the bro-country fad when it was starting to trickle out and now boyfriend country is the new big subgenre and he’s hopping on that while it is white hot.

This song is just flat out garbage.  This is without a doubt one of the lamest set of “I love you girl” lyrics I’ve ever come across.  Not a single original thought.  Not a single distinguishing trait that makes this stand out in any remote fashion.  Hell I don’t believe Chase Rice is even remotely interested in his generic love interest.  I can tell by just watching this music video where if you watch it with close eyes, he’s not even looking at the girl eye to eye.  For all I know, he was just pulling an Adam Sandler and making this music video to take a vacation.

I fully believe Chase Rice is a total con and this song only further proves how fake he is.  Chase Rice is just doing this to get laid girls.  Don’t buy it.

 

Spoiler

And in this episode of nepotism gave this man a career.  Ever wondered what one of the cousins of Doctor Who sounded like as a singer?

https://ytcropper.com/cropped/zA5df02458f02b1

If you guessed like a diseased ostrich, congratulations.  You too can get a number one hit.

 

4. “Someone You Loved” – Lewis Capaldi

 

Look, it was inevitable.  The UK sends over a plethora of their smash singles.  But why this one?  Why this ear bleedingly bad X Factor reject?  Did the former Doctor Peter Capaldi really have that much of an influence over this catching on not just here, but worldwide?  This might as well be one of the biggest hits of 2019 on this planet with how many top tens it cracked.  This song from such a punchable jackass.  Not only because he sounds like he got punched in the throat before singing, but I’ve seen his Twitter.  He comes off as the most arrogant entitled prick.  Offering anyone who matches with him on Tinder free tickets to his shows.  Constantly tweeting back at everybody or anybody that even slightly mentions any distaste towards him.  I seriously hope he gets delegated to one hit wonder-dom because I never so badly wanted to see a douche flame out after his first number one hit.

The song itself isn’t even worth mentioning about.  It’s another standard four chord piano ballad about a guy who sounds like he is experiencing heartbreak for the first time.  Lewis himself even mentioned that this song came to him sitting at a piano, bashing his head against a brick wall for months trying to find a good melody.  Yeah it definitely sounds like that.  And this is the part where it seems like his brain suffered some sort of aneurism from all the damage:

https://ytcropper.com/cropped/zA5df02458f02b1

Worst pop music moment of 2019.  I can’t believe there is an actual market for this slog of a song.  An imported hit hasn’t pissed me off this badly since Passenger in 2013.  And just like Passenger, I hope we send this divinely uninspired piece of shit away after his fifteen minutes are up.  Next.

 

Spoiler

So this is what we get when the two biggest male popstars alive collaborate together?  If that’s the case then I…am not all that interested.

 

3. “I Don’t Care” – Ed Sheeran & Justin Bieber

 

No seriously.  What sort of weak ass shit is this?  And this limp turd of a song was produced by Max Martin of all people?  Jesus, not caring sure sounds right.

A few years ago, I said that I would never give Ed Sheeran shit ever again.  And I’ve eaten my words ever since placing him on my worst list last year and again this year.  My standing with Ed Sheeran’s music has taken an absolute roller coaster ride this decade, but now I can’t stand him.  His constant self-depreciating shtick is really starting to piss me off.  He’s one of the biggest worldwide acts of all-time and he wants us to think that he’s a nobody?  Kiss my ass.  You have made enough money over the years to afford your own country.  Humbleness does not fit him well.

As for Justin Bieber…well for one thing, his part is probably the better of the two.  But that’s like saying light tuna is better for you than regular tuna.  There is still mayonnaise in your sandwich.  I do believe Justin Bieber has anxiety problems.  It explains his erratic behavior over the years a lot.  But Justin Bieber is such a flavorless singer and can’t convey any emotions at all.  That’s why so many people ask him to do guest verses because he’s a recognizable name who adds nothing of actual substance to your music.  And it’s especially fitting here in this nothing of a song.  It actually detracts from it since the production is fucking terrible and can’t distract me from actually trying to listen to this.

This is a team up that should have never seen the light of day.  Some team ups make sense, but this is the biggest example in recent memory of bringing the worst out of each other.  This song strips everything that was remotely interesting about Ed Sheeran to accommodate to Justin Bieber’s lack of personality and leaves us with boring white noise.  And that’s why it stuck around as long as it did this year.  Not because people actually liked it.  Because it was so inoffensive and bland enough that people didn’t care to tune out. 

Ed recently announced that he is going to take a couple years off to recharge after his latest tour is finished.  Well if this is any lasting recent impression of what he is going to send himself off with then…

giphy.gif

 

Spoiler

And speaking of not caring, I wasn’t going to originally place this song on my worst list for 2019.  Because who the fuck still cares about this song this year.

But then the end of the decade list came out.  And then I got unbelievably frustrated.  Ladies and gentlemen, if you want to talk about actively not caring, you can’t sink any lower than Maroon 5.

This should have been on the worst list proper last year.  My bad.

 

2. “Girls Like You” – Maroon 5 (featuring Cardi B)

 

Consider me all in on the “Girls Like You” hate train.  I can understand it becoming a number one hit.  I can understand why people like this music video.  I can understand a lot of people not changing the station when it comes on the radio because it is such audio white noise that it fits into the background since it is so inoffensive.

But god damn, the fifth biggest song of the 2010’s?  One of the biggest hits of all time?  Let’s put this in perspective here.  Here is what Billboard is telling me this nothing of a song is more influential than from this decade:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rYEDA3JcQqw

Bigger than “Rolling in the Deep”.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8UVNT4wvIGY

Bigger than Gotye.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kJQP7kiw5Fk

Bigger than “Despacito”.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w2Ov5jzm3j8

Bigger than “Old Town Road”.

 

Regardless of my personal opinion on some of these; these are all songs that people will point back at it saying these were some of the greatest hits of the 2010s.  Not fucking “Girls Like You”.  This meaningless song that got huge because nobody cared enough to not let it linger in the collective conscious as long as it did.

The one thing I always defended about this song not being “that bad” in the past was the Cardi B guest verse.  But after nearly two years later, it finally hit me.  Her verse adds nothing to this song.  Because the song itself already conveys nothing.  It’s the same formula that Maroon 5 has successfully ridden this past decade.  Verse-Chorus-Verse-Chorus-Bridge-Guest Rapper-Chorus.  It’s why the radio loves them so much and refuses to let Maroon 5 die out when nobody else likes them.

I couldn’t have been more dead wrong about Maroon 5 in 2019.  I thought that awful halftime show would have ended them.  It didn’t.  I thought Adam Levine quitting The Voice amidst a ton of backstage drama would have ended him.  It didn’t.  I thought this nothing of a song would have been the last of Maroon 5’s success on the Hot 100.  Good lord was I wrong there.

But there is one more thing I would like to course correct about Maroon 5.  “Wait” is the worst song of their career.  It wasn’t.  This is.  Even with that new awful song they have out now that I always forget after every time I hear it, it’s not worse than this.  And it’s unfortunately, the biggest song of their careers.  Which means Maroon 5 is just going to keep forcing out half-witted uninspired dogshit until radio payola finally ceases to exist.

And that can’t come soon enough.

 

Spoiler

Picking my worst hit song of this year was…complicated, to say it best.

I tend to usually go back and forth as to which songs frustrate me the most as you all can probably tell by reading these lists annually.  Most years, it’s easy.  Not this year.  Probably because most of the hit makers of this year weren’t nearly as obnoxious as years past and we got mostly flavorless and uninspired levels of awful outside of a few exceptions.  But when it came down to it, I picked my number one the easiest way I know how.  By going to work.

https://www.racked.com/2018/4/25/17271928/retail-music-staffers

As practically all of you may now, I work in retail.  Which means I have to hear the same easy listening pop songs at least twice a day.  Every week.  Every month.  So on and so forth.  Hearing the same generic white bread pop playlist at work every day does take its toll on me.  And when I see plenty of these songs make the year end lists, I try to be objective and not let my personal bias affect whether they make my year end lists.  But I’m going to be real with you guys.  The more I hear some of these songs, the worse they end up becoming; sometimes becoming outright insufferable.  And I can’t think of a bigger example this year of being insufferably bland and flavorless than this.

 

1. “You Say” – Lauren Daigle

 

 

Lauren Daigle has been an absolute bore to my ears with this song for practically the past year and a half.  This constant, dull-throbbing snooze of a song somehow managed to be popular enough to chart for nearly a whole year.  I guess we were in that big of a need for inoffensive easy listening garbage to stick around amongst all the trap bangers and album bombs.

And it’s quite clear to me who Lauren Daigle is trying to emulate here.  Honestly, fooled me at first because I sure thought this was Adele at first listen.  Why haven’t more people tried emulating Adele’s sound given the plethora of Grammys, number one hits, multiple diamond selling albums, and changing the pop music landscape as we know it?  But then it hit me.  Comparing Lauren Daigle to Adele is an insult to Adele.  Adele is distinct with her voice and is able to make you feel her emotions through her storytelling.  Lauren Daigle brings no fresh edge to this already established sound.  Right down to those all too familiar pop song chords.  Which of course they are.  God forbid empowerment anthems try any different chord progression.

As for the religious undertones, I don’t care.  It’s quite obvious that God is in brackets throughout the entire song.  I don’t hate it for its Christian morals.  As you all know, I’m religious.  I don’t want to force my viewpoints onto my readers because I am one who thinks that everyone is entitled to their own religious interpretations and believe what they want to believe.  

What I do hate it for is that WHO ACTUALLY FINDS THIS EMPOWERING!?  Is God supposed to be the empowering force throughout this song?  Because if so, whoever does find this empowering must really hate themselves.  Because if you look at the lyrics, all she does is beat herself up:

-She keeps falling short
-She is weak
-She’s not enough
-She can’t measure up
-She doesn’t know who she is
-She doesn’t belong
-She has no identity

That last one really strikes a nerve with me because outside of believing in God, she is basically saying she is nothing.  Even I feel insulted by this because life has more purpose than just your religious beliefs.  Life is what you make it to be.  You can forge your own path in life and only you can tell your own story.  You are whatever you identify yourself to be.  Don’t let Lauren Daigle and her tediously dull lack of self-esteem make you think otherwise. 

I can’t believe this was as big as it was.  I may hate self-empowerment anthems for being clichéd ridden piles of pandering but at least they had some sense of identity towards them.  I would rather hear artists being up their own asses than someone purposely try to force their religious beliefs to cover up their lack of identity.  This is banal-fueled drivel with all the depth of a Yogurt commercial.  It’s a formless blob of nothing and it’s also my worst hit song of 2019.

 

Thank you all for taking the time to read these lists as always.  The best list is in the works and should be up within a week or so depending on how work goes.  Hope you all enjoy that too!

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Great list, Clap. I don’t agree with your #10 (I was never a huge fan of them but this is like candy to me, what can I say) and a certain one of your dishonorable mentions, but everything else is fairly unimpeachable :funny:

Fortunately  I haven’t heard #1 but it sounds like peak bland whiteness. 
 

can’t wait for your best list! This was a weird year for sure but there were quite a few gems.

Edited by Katniss
I DIDNT MEAN TO SAY 2
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41 minutes ago, Katniss said:

Great list, Clap. I don’t agree with your #10 (I was never a huge fan of them but this is like candy to me, what can I say) and a certain one of your dishonorable mentions, but everything else is fairly unimpeachable :funny:

Fortunately  I haven’t heard #2 but it sounds like peak bland whiteness. 
 

can’t wait for your best list! This was a weird year for sure but there were quite a few gems.

You haven't heard of "Girls Like You"?  Man aren't you lucky for avoiding it for two whole years. :Laugh:

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10 minutes ago, Clappy said:

You haven't heard of "Girls Like You"?  Man aren't you lucky for avoiding it for two whole years. :Laugh:

I meant #1....this is embarrassing :Laugh:

Edited by Katniss

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