Five songs that make the endof the world seem welcome
Thu 20th Dec, 2012 in Features
ANDREW P STREET presents five reasons why humanity is doomed, Mayan Apocalypse or not.
Just to be clear: The world is not going to end tomorrow (December 21). Honestly, there’s no asteroid coming, there no super-volcano about to blow, no Aztec god’s going to appear and devour us. Seriously, the world’s still going to be here on the 22nd, and probably even the 23rd. Just to be clear.
However, if you want to feel better about the possibility that humanity might be destroyed and our civilisations razed to ash, then remember that among all the beauty and grandeur that humans have created in 2012, we have also been responsible for some of the most jaw-droppingly awful music imaginable.
5. Muse – Madness
The world’s most self-important band decides to loosen up and reveal that they have fun with the same joyless and heavy-handed portentousness that marks their so-called serious work. Their completely-misunderstanding-the-laws-of-thermodynamics semi-concept album The 2nd Law is a black hole of awful, but this single still stands out as its weakest moment by virtue of the band having clearly gone “my, you know what’s cool with The Young People? The dub-steps!”
4. Bella Thorne – TTYLXOX
In a rare example of the public agreeing that a song is actually too panderingly awful to be worth bothering with, this single by Disney popstress Bella Thorne barely cracked the Billboard Top 100 in the US and sank without trace everywhere else. “But why?” you just know her handlers lamented. “It has all those references to the text messages that the damn young people are always sending! Quick, write something with “tween” in it!” When a line like “Be be be my BFF” is deemed too dumb for a pop hit, we’re through the looking glass into a strange kind of almost-genius. Almost.
3. Nicole Westbrook – It’s Thanksgiving
This is dreck on not one, but two levels. One is that it’s just a bad song recorded badly by Patrice Wilson’s parents-pay-for-their-spoilt-brat-to-make-a-pop song production line that created Rebecca Black’s immortal ‘Friday’. The second level is that it’s also a transparent attempt to ape ‘Friday’’s so-shit-it’s-cray pop culture crossover via listing off various significant holidays exactly as per ‘Friday’’s explanation of how the days of the week work. “December was Christmas, January was New Year,” the song explains. “April was Easter, and the Fourth of July: But now it’s Thanksgiving.” Even by Patrice Wilson standards, this is the aural equivalent of a footbath filled with tepid human shit.
2. The Offspring – Cruising California (Bumpin’ in my Trunk)
I’m not going to defend the Offspring’s punk credentials here, because it’s been a long, long time since they’ve done anything about which any right thinking person has given the slightest of shits. This is not the anguished bleat of a betrayed fan claiming that ‘Cruising California’ is a betrayal of the values and dignity of shitty ’90s punk. This is purely on the merits of the aging band’s transparent attempt to appear relevant in 2012 – from the Auto-Tune to the desperate we-can-haz-party lyrics all combining to create a song which Katy Perry would dismiss as not being ballsy enough.
1. Olivia Newton-John & John Travolta – I Think You Might Like It
This track is almost addictively awful, but the video: OH DEAR GOD THE VIDEO. The song’s written by John Farrar, who penned most of Livvy’s biggest hits (including ‘You’re the One That I Want’ and ‘Hopelessly Devoted to You’ from Grease), and one assumes was offered some exorbitant fee to sit down with a Casio for 20 minutes and shit out this line-dancing abomination. But the horror of the song pales in comparison with the video.
Soldiers are reunited, children get presents, people are presumably forced to dance while their families are held at gunpoint just off camera, Travolta wears a beatific expression that most people can only achieve with the sort of painkillers that follow major abdominal surgery, Livvy smiles gamely at his weirdly plastic head and haircut and goatee combo. If there is a more compelling musical reason for the Mayan gods to torch humanity to the ground in 2012, it’s only got a day to appear.