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Friday, August 9, 2013

Radio Reprieve?

In the April 4th edition of our insanely popular 100 Songs I Hate feature, I singled out four songs responsible for my decision to abandon Top 40 radio.  I've never been one to deny my weird love of popular music or one to not endlessly remind people of said weird love, but I've never been shy about the music I hate, and way back in early 2013, I'd simply had enough.

Lately, I've been dabbling, here and there, in Top 40 radio again.  "Surely," I thought, "the stations in my area have ceased playing those four loathsome tracks that soured me on pop radio those many months ago," and that seems to be the case.  There was a period in this country when you couldn't turn on your car's radio without hearing Macklemore yammering about thrift stores or a Mafia of Swedish houses pleading for you to stop worrying.  I'm happy to report that I haven't heard either of these songs once since giving Top 40 a temporary stay of execution.  However, there seems to be a whole new crop of garbage readily available to offend the non-deaf masses.  And I'll get to them in a second, but I want to start things out on a positive note.  So, naturally, here's Justin Timberlake:

You can always sort of count on Justin Timberlake when it comes to an enjoyable enough pop hit, and "Mirrors" delivers on the Timberlake promise in a way "Suit And Tie" very much did not.  And while, yes, the chorus is a little whiny, I, personally, like Justin in whiny mode (see also "Cry Me A River").  I think YouTube commenter Hanane Zegaoula said it best: "[T]his sonng touch the heart ...... [heart emoticon]."  It certainly does, Hanane.  It certainly does.

Of course, much like the good Lord, Justin giveth as much as he taketh away:

Sub-Michael Jackson dreck.  When this one starts up, I change the channel.  It just bores me.  And it's weird that Justin Timberlake claims he's never heard of the anti-rape organization of the same name, isn't it?  I think it is.

Boring songs are one thing, but dumb songs are a little tricky.  Some dumb songs can provide great fun, songs like "Baby Got Back" or "Just A Friend" or "The Humpty Dance" or the aforementioned "Thrift Shop."  These songs are simply dumb fun.  Some songs, however, are so bone-headedly stupid, their value remains a complete mystery to me.  Like this one by Capital Cities:

Pardon my language, Mom, but what the fuck is this?  A hackneyed electronica beat.  Shockingly dumb lyrics.  Yet, "Safe And Sound" has become a colossal radio hit, which apparently justified making the above video, which is extremely well-made.  Again, I'm not against dumb things, but I am against dumb things, you know?  This song is just too stupid to waste anymore letters on.

And what the hell is this?

Boring.  And I'm just not a fan of throwback pop songs that insert a bunch of foul language into the proceedings.  It's why I was never blown away by Cee-Lo's "Fuck You" like everybody else.  What's the point?  To shock me.  "Oh my Lord, someone in this doo wop song just said the f-word!  What a scandal!"  Just shut up!  And barn chandeliers?  Really, Mariah?  Isn't it enough that you seem to have your own barn and probably several purebred horses, but now you got crystal chandeliers in there too?  Show off.

It appears my return to the radio was a huge mistake.  "Scream and Shout" and "Sweet Nothings" had faded into obscurity, but now there was "Safe And Sound" and roughly twenty more Macklemore tracks to take their place.  Was there a song out there that could justify the existence of Top 40 radio in my eyes?  Turns out, there was.  This one:

I love the song.  I love the video.  I love how the lyrics and music make me feel like a sensitive teenage boy sobbing into this pillow after his first break-up or a sensitive teenage girl realizing once and for all she truly does prefer Blaine to Ducky.  It's overly dramatic and cloyingly teenage, and I scan the radio dial in a vain quest to find it every single time I get in my car.

So, is Zedd's "Clarity" enough to make me stick it out with radio?  Of course it isn't.  Screw you, radio. I'll try again in the autumn.   

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