10 Worst Songs of 2016

By Liam Menzies (@blinkclyro)

As we bid farewell to 2016, arguably the shittest year in terms of right wing racists and celebrity deaths this century, and reminisce on all the high-quality albums and singles the year has provided. Of course, there are plenty that I’ve missed out and it goes without saying that these are personal choices and that if you genuinely like any of these songs then good for you and I am glad that you see something in these that I do not: too bad you’re not writing this.

In addition to that, if there are any songs that you think are missing or don’t deserve to be here then don’t forget to drop a comment in the section below. With that being said, in no particular order, let’s get on with it…

10.Blink-182 – Rabbit Hole

Oh blink-182. One of my favourite acts (can you not tell from the URL?)  you managed to put me at ease after the departure of founding member Tom Delonge with the delightfully solid track Bored To Death off your upcoming album California only to deliver this….thing. Rabbit Hole oddly enough falls into the same pitfall that Bored To Death barely skipped over with the lyrics and sound being too stuck in the past. Every line uttered just sounds like the ramblings off some 17-year old’s Tumblr page and not that of a forty odd-year-old who has shown his songwriting ability by managing to tackle some interesting subject matter. Thankfully the rest of the album wasn’t as abysmal as Rabbit Hole though it seems like the “triumphant return” of one of pop punk’s biggest bands was more than a little underwhelming.

9. Drake – One Dance

I can tell that I’m going to get a lot of slack for featuring Drake on this list but bare with me. Firstly, I’m not huge on Views: it’s somehow more of a mess than The Life Of Pablo with lifeless tracks devoid of any emotion and sometimes effort with One Dance being the epitome of that. Managing to stay at number one for weeks on end, the track is no doubt catchy but overall unambitious despite the afrobeat influences and influencers that appear on it. That’s not to say I don’t like Drake, shown by his appearance of last year’s best album list and the fact I’m willing paying £80 to see him next year.

As the year has gone on, and more intolerable tracks have made an appearance, it seems like the biggest problem with One Dance isn’t that it is objectively bad, it’s just wasted potential. Some may see it as the perfect club track but with Drake’s vocals being almost as drab as the piano mash that kicks off the song, I’m finding it harder and harder to get down with One Dance.

8. Mike Posner – I Took A Pill In Ibiza

If I took a pill everytime I had to listen to this song while working at my summer job, I’d OD which would be far more enjoyable than enduring Posner’s pish attempt at retaining his long lost relevance. Cooler Than Me was a product of its time and while you could mistake it for any late noughties pop song, it was at least tolerable. At one point during I Took A Pill, Posner mentions that he knows a sad song and due to how close to tears you’ll probably be if you have to listen to it for a second longer, it might be the most meta thing to come out of a year that included a fucking Deadpool movie.

7. Jacob Satorious – Sweatshirt

Considering the massive like to dislike ratio on the music video for this song, it’s not an unpopular decision to have Sweatshirt on this list. The second coming of annoying prepubescent teen pop, Jacob Satorious is harmless but that doesn’t make his music any less frutratingly generic and cringey. The reason why it’s not any higher is that, thanks to multiple remixes and satirical takes on the song, Sweatshirt has potential to make you laugh though that probably wasn’t Satorious’ intention. Despite that though, listen to this at your own risk. (Sorry Teagan Ner)

6. Jake Bugg – Ain’t No Rhyme

Credit where credit is due here: Jake Bugg’s new album isn’t the worst thing I’ve heard this year. While most of his recent LP On My One is sub-par at best, nothing that appears on the album is overly offensive to the ears like some of his discography. However, as soon as I came across Ain’t No Rhyme I felt revolted by Bugg trying to seem somewhat politically involved though it all comes off as impressive as Slaves going on about how we need to “take control” for the millionth time. More on that next week though. Bugg’s attempt at rapping or some variant of it is enough to have you reaching for the nearest bin.

5. The Stone Roses – All For One

If you’re going to return from a long-spanning hiatus, during which your debut album has accumulated a large amount of critical acclaim and a cult status, it’s probably best not to hit out with this as your comeback song. Back in the 80’s The Stone Roses were constantly hailed as one of the pioneering acts of music at the time and whether you disagree with that or not, there’s no doubt that I’d rather listen to anything else they’ve made than this generic BNQ advert drivel.

4. Fall Out Boy ft. Missy Elliott – Ghostbusters

While my affiliation with the Ghostbusters franchise isn’t as strong as the MRA’s who lost their shit with this year’s reboot, I, much like everyone else, found this remix of the classic theme tune very sacrilicious. The Missy Elliott verse is so out of place, not to mention plain as vanilla, Patrick Stump’s vocals seems overdone when the instrumentals are as uninteresting as they are and only when the song finally ends will you find some degree of enjoyment. They might not be afraid of no ghost but they’re definitely feart of making decent music at their current rate.

3. Lukas Graham – 7 Years

I have reason to believe that this track is the cause for many of those working in retail to be in such a sour mood. Having peaked at Number One in February and seemingly managing to stay “relevant” since 7 Years is a song that goes out of its way to try and evoke nostalgia and tranquillity yet only manages to enrage with its bland instrumentals and mind-numbing lyrics. Message to Lukas Graham: if you’re going to sing about being seven years old, something that plenty have managed, at least tell us something interesting that isn’t about how you had no pals.

2. The Chainsmokers – Closer

Call me an over-reacting little waine but The Chainsmokers may be the worst thing to happen to the charts since Calvin Harris sold his soul to make souless, formulaic chart hits. The duo have been very prominent this year and, if I’m being honest, I wouldn’t expect to have had to ever write about them again after just how dated and forgetful their first hit Selfie was all the way back in 2014. Closer manages to be somehow worse than all of the other “hits” Chainsmokers have shown off by featuring another artist who is equally as devoid of any entertainment, that person being Halsey. Both artists come together to create a song that, while having a great deal of meme potential, is enough to send you into a generic electro induced coma.

1. Catfish And The Bottlemen – Glasgow

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And to finish things off,  here we have our old friends Catfish And The Bottlemen. The band, being the saints that they are, decided to find it in their hearts to sing a heartfelt song about Scotland’s favourite music thriving city by doing it the only way they can: putting no effort in and consuming far too much alcohol to realise what a mistake they had made. Whether it be just how dire the song is, acoustic does not give you the excuse to be boring, or the blood curling way Van pronounces Sauchiehall Street, there’s plenty to love here! Wait, scratch that, I meant hate. Hate.

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BBC Radio 1’s Big Weekend 2015 Review, 23/05/2015 – 24/05/2015

Festival season is coming.

Soon the flower head dresses will be donned, the tents miserably pitched up and the cliché face-paint put on by every guy in sight (happy/sad to admit I did the same at T last year). With Glastonbury just under a month away, the BBC have got music fans hyped for the season ahead with their annual Big Weekend event which graced Glasgow last year. This year it was Norwich’s turn and god did they luck out, with what is probably the best line up the event has ever had. Unfortunately I never got tickets but this didn’t stop me from enjoying the coverage provided by BBC Three from the comfort of my bed. Instead of giving you a Top 10 style list a la WatchMojo, I’m just gonna give my thoughts on the different acts I managed to catch over the weekend. As always, this is my own opinion and my favourites and least favourites are gonna differ from yours. Regardless, let’s get started.

Foo Fighters
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ight let’s get something out of the way first: I’m not a fan of Sonic Highways. Maybe it was the hype, maybe it was the fact it played it too safe even though it’s the band’s eighth record, it just didn’t sit well with me. However, as soon as Dave Grohl and co. came on stage, as soon as he welcomed the crowd and started playing the opening chords to Everlong, none of that mattered. It was like being transported back to the very first time I listened to their greatest hits compilation and I loved every second of it. This feeling lasted through the entire set, a true testament to the band’s ability to perform. Watch out Glastonbury, you’re in for a treat.

Muse
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Saturday’s main stage headliner were none other than Muse, a band who, like Foo Fighters, have been a favourite of mine for as long as I’ve been a fan of music. However just like Foo Fighters, their recent music has been rather disappointing in comparison to their older material but regardless of the fact that they’ve nearly been around for as long as I’ve been alive, they still know how to put on a show. Their setlist showcased some tracks off  upcoming album Drones with Psycho being a highlight, accompanied by a drill sergeant appearing on a screen behind them yelling as if he was saying to the crowd directly if they were ready. Closing track Knights Of Cydonia was a real treat for fans, regardless if they were new or old, leaving those who attended satisfied as well as excited for June 8th when the band’s new album drops.

Alt J
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I’ll admit now that I was worried about this one. I love Alt J to bits, An Awesome Wave effortlessly making its way into my favourite debut albums list that’s unofficially written in my mind. However the odd vocal style and even odder sound that the band have has always had me questioning whether or not it can transfer to the stage well. Thankfully after the Miley Cyrus featuring Hunger Of The Pine and the even more mesmerizing Fitzpleasure, my worries were laid to rest. As off as some of the vocal performances may have been at times, to me it added to the band’s unique charm. Predictably enough the Leeds boys finished with Breezeblocks, a crowd and fan favourite which is just as much an anthem as you’d expect, resulting in a surprisingly sweet set by the band.

Jamie T
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t’s odd to think that Jamie T is actually back. For 4 years after his sophmore album Kings & Queens he just disappeared, fans left wondering what had happened to him and if he was ever gonna come back. Unbeknown to fans though, he was crafting 140 songs with only 12 getting hand-picked for 2014’s critically acclaimed Carry On The Grudge. The luck has continued for the Wimbledon boy with a set of festival appearances lined up, Big Weekend being the lucky one to host him first and he didn’t half arse it. There’s not much I could say that could do his performance justice as it was hands down my favourite of the weekend but I’ll try my best. Sheila, an indie anthem in its own right, had the crowd chanting along as Jamie controlled the crowd without any effort needed and this continued during the remainder of the set, especially during If You’ve Got The Money. There was some quiet moments during the atmospheric Don’t You Find as well as Emily’s Heart, both highlighting the natural skill Jamie T has as a songwriter. This performance showed why his albums will no doubt stand the test of time and why Jamie T is one of the most exciting and talented acts Britain has to offer.

Taylor Swift
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Confession time here: I used to hate Taylor Swift. Maybe it was cause I was 15 at the time and at that age you tend to jump onto whatever seems cool at the time, as proved by the Gangnam Style phase which was a dark time for us all. In my defence though I think it was because I didn’t like the style of music she was going for at the time with her country sound which in itself is a pretty Marmite genre. However her opening track We Are Never Getting Back Together was a glimpse of things to come when it was released on 2012 album Red and I’m not ashamed to admit how much I enjoyed it. Other tracks off last year’s surprisingly great album 1989 went down well with the crowd and if this performance was just Swift getting prepared for her BST gig next month then we should all be really excited.

Slaves
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Fun little story: back in November I was off to see Biffy in London and as such I was excited to say the least. When I heard that a little Kent duo called Slaves were one of the support acts, I didn’t think about it twice. Who would have known they’d become one of my favourite bands at the moment and take the music scene by storm. Their performance on the In New Music We Trust stage was a testament to the sheer power the duo can deliver, enough to put Royal Blood to shame. From White Knuckle Ride to closing track Hey, Slaves kept me entertained via the TV more than most acts I’ve saw live. The stories that vocalist Isaac told alongside bandmate Laurie had me laughing as well as intrigued, something that a lot of acts only wish they could do. If you get the chance to see this band live then do not miss out, you’ll heavily regret it.

And more…..
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I managed to watch a lot of acts over the weekend but the 6 above were my stand outs favourites. There were some other great artists there such as Fall Out Boy whose golden oldie tracks managed to outweigh the mediocre new ones. Florence + The Machine as always put on a stunning performance packed to the brim with quality that is now expected of them and will surely come in handy at Glastonbury. Lastly The Vaccines  put on a rather good performance as well, nicely tying into the release of their album English Graffiti today. BBC’s Big Weekend was well worth watching and with even more festivals on the way, music fans have more than enough entertainment sorted for the summer.

What were your favourites acts? Did you have a least favourite? Comment below or tweet me @blogclyro , thanks for reading to the end!

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