We’ve enjoyed 2017. It’s left plenty of music to root through, but we’d be lying if we said any of it was any good (despite what was said here). The Top 40 this year was packed to the gunwales with terrible corporate shit.
This time last year we wrote (movingly) of how crushing monotony had become a hot new trend in pop. Little did we know, we were just getting started. Here are the very worst that music had to offer in 2017.
10. Iggy Azalea – Mo Bounce
Pure unadulterated trash. Writing exclusively about booties and the shaking thereof does have its creative limitations. ‘Mo Bounce’ can take some very faint praise for essentially being a Deep House song, and without Iggy it would have easily fitted onto one of those Ministry of Sound All-Night-House-Party 4 CD monstrosities. ‘Mo Bounce’ rhymes ‘assholes’ with ‘assholes’ and that’s all that can be said.
Our review of ‘Mo Bounce’ here.
9. Eminem – Walk On Water feat. Beyoncé
The most flaccid, joyless and irrelevant song in Marshall Mather’s increasingly morose, lifeless career. A complete mess – a boring plod of insipid sad pianos, saccharine plug-in strings and a sad reminder of Eminem’s dulled passion.
Our review of ‘Walk On Water’ here.
8. Fergie – Hungry ft. Rick Ross
How about some more dreadful with your dreadful? Fergie Ferg was a B-Grade pop star in her prime – now she’s not even allowed in the classroom. She’s the janitor outside mopping the floors with a creaking hip. Double Duchess was a challenging, confounding turd of an album and ‘Hungry’ gives you just a whiff of what an eye-watering steamer Fergie’s comeback truly was.
Stark, Dramatic. Memorable. ‘Hungry’ is none of these things, but it really is trying to be. An effort was made. It was sort of memorable in the same way being locked in a flotation tank would be memorable.
Our Review: Fergie’s New Album is a Pop Hindenburg.
7. Taylor Swift – Look What You Made Me Do
War, famine, corruption, right-wing populism, or “another drama (drama)” as Taylor might say, did not feature at all on the mind of one T. Swift when she decided to pen her treatise on our times. Swift finally claims the role of pantomime villain which she’s been pigeon-holed into.
It’s a gesture robbed of any real gravitas by the fact we all know it was never her idea in the first place. She was essentially forced into the role of Ice Queen by publicly exposing herself as sort of a manipulative shit.
Should we care? Why does anyone care? Taylor Swift fell out with fellow millionaires… and? This is a dreadful pop tune with a dreadful message. Cloying, pathetic, vinegary high school drama and nothing more.
6. The Chainsmokers & Coldplay – Something Just Like This
Chris Martin and The Chainsmokers produce the most punishingly insubstantial song of their respective careers. Impressive considering their collective contribution to popular culture has been a wet loogie in the face.
Chris Martin’s lovelorn croon sounds like a gradually deflating lung whilst the beat itself is ripped wholesale from the track ‘Roses’. It’d make for a pretty demo: twinkling synths and a spiffy solo are fine. The lyrics are where the track really earns its place on this list.
“I’ve been reading books of old / The legends and the myths / Spiderman’s control / And Batman with his fists.” I didn’t realise Planet Hulk classed as ancient philosophy, but there you go.
Since when was Spiderman’s trademark ability “control”? It makes Peter Parker sound like some sort of tantric sex mystic. Pandering pap for texted-out, Mandela-wearing, Waitrose-clubcard-owning trust fund babies, enjoying a corporate package at Glasto and a quinoa salad.
5. Liam Payne ft. Quavo – Strip That Down
“I had my eyes up on the prize /Ain’t watching anybody else” Liam assures, but certainly there were four guys he was keeping a very close watch over. Harry Styles is doing alright for himself isn’t he? Even Niall, whose codename in One Direction was MUTN (Making Up The Numbers) has a few hits. Liam needed to remind us all that he’s the Fuckin’ MacDaddy of Pop Radio.
Lightweight R&B is his vessel, and he rides it to precisely nowhere. Liam Payne does not have the instincts of a womanising lothario. He’s too nice. Nice Liam. Sip your Bacardi and pipe down.
4. Imagine Dragons – Thunder
A career-worst hip-hop blunderthon. Absolutely piss-poor by the standards of rock, pop and common decency. Sounds like Queen’s ‘Don’t Stop Me Now’ performed by a Text-To-Speech programme.
Dan Reynolds ends each line with an upwards inflection like an Australian asking whether you’ve seen his mate Brett. Unsure as to why. What sinks ‘Thunder’ is the dreadful non-event of the chorus.
Somehow these Chipmunked vocal manipulations are wildly popular. They sound absolutely horrid and this song fucking stinks.
3. Lil Pump – Gucci Cang
‘Gucci Gang’ reached #3 on the US charts and was a huge success for all involved. Literally the death of culture.
Lil Pump is a Soundcloud rapper. That’s basically a polite way of saying a rapper so fucking criminally untalented that not even the lowest, downtrodden label would sign them. Perhaps it’s because his rap name sounds like a bowel movement, but more likely because his music is vapid and aimless even by the standards of contemporary rap.
Thank god this was distributed digitally, because if it ever gets a physical release it would be a criminal waste of raw materials which could be better used producing a fucking Argos catalogue.
2. KSI ft Ricegum – Earthquake
The whole list could have been made up of YouTube songs. Considering they aren’t actually ‘songs’ at all and barely even qualify as music or even soundwaves, their presence is being restricted to one spot. The ‘diss track’ fad produced some of the most horrific content of the year, regressing the collective IQ of YouTube by about 38 points.
Jake Paul kicked the football furthest with his cringe opus ‘It’s Everyday, Bro’, but Ricegum deserves a mention. Alongside bandanna-offending meathead KSI, both preside over a diss track that is unlikely to actually offend anyone – beyond the concept of good taste itself.
Not for want of trying. The song is explicitly about fat-shaming and is made up of embarrassingly wordplays aimed at a fellow vlogger. That both Youtubers released this to their young, impressionable audience is disgusting. Shameful not just because they can’t rap and look like a couple of complete fucking pillocks, but because their message is toxic. Grow up.
1. Fall Out Boy – Young & Menace
The longevity of Fall Out Boy’s career is a cultural accident and no one can quite remember how it happened.
At the height of their powers, Fall Out Boy still made neurotic trash for children, so it comes as no surprise that in the autumn of their heyday things have gotten fucking dire. Recent tracks have been propped up by a litany of random & clumsily inserted samples from better songs, including ‘Tom’s Diner‘, ‘Too Fast For Love‘ and (bizarrely) the theme from The Munsters,
‘Young and Menace’ borrows the refrain of Britney Spears classic ‘Oops!…I Did It Again’. The integrity of ‘Young and Menace’ is frankly dwarfed by anything Britney has done.
The most egregious non-chorus (again) of the year with obnoxious pitch-shifted vocals and horrible sounding synth drops. Chasing the zeitgeist is all well and good; the embarrassing part is electro-clash EDM has not been the zeitgeist for at least four years. A feat of staggering ineptitude.
Read the 10 worst singles of 2016 here.
Cover image source.