Music Schmusic: Worst Decade Ever Pt. 6  

Monday, January 11, 2010


Every now and then, you’ll hear a song you recognize, only to be interrupted by that unfamiliar voice. It sounds like a civil alert siren, because it is. The bombings intensified during the 2000s. Lives were lost. Will we ever learn?

Fergie -- Big Girls Don't Cry (Sean Kingston remix)

Why the original sucks: Any song that starts with Fergie crooning “the smell of your skin lingers on me” goes from zero to vomit awfully damn quickly. The reoccurring childish imagery scattered in a song about breaking up with a fuck buddy is pretty disturbing throughout, but nowhere is it worse than when Fergie compares herself to “a little school maid in the school yard.” Suddenly I’m picturing an aging meth addict in a little bo peep costume from Fredericks of Hollywood. Ewwww.

How it got worse: Is it possible to remix a song without actually hearing the original? Sean Kingston sure tried. Because Fergie’s appeals about moving on and growing up are met with stock R&B love song lines like “I’m feeling blue/let’s work things out.” But the worst part of the remix comes when Kingston follows up some of Fergie’s really serious, emotional lines by repeating in his Rasta Muppet voice, because it doesn’t really sound like he’s singing with her. It sounds like he’s making fun of her. Actually, scratch that. That’s a great thing, because it makes me feel like someone hates this awful song as much as I do, and made a horrible remix of it simply to shame her.

Linkin Park -- Enth E Nd (End the End remix, featuring Kutmasta Kurt and Motion Man)

Why the original sucks: The recipe for Linkin Park’s “In the End” is as follows:

1) One part the worst All American Reject song you could ever imagine

2) Mix in one part Moby

3) Water down heavily

4) Bake for three and a half minutes in an angry white boy bowl

5) Add the rapper from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ “Cowabunga” to taste

How it got worse: In 2002, Linkin Park's "Reanimation" introduced some new versions of the same old shit, mixing their Nu Metal with electronica. (That feeling you're experiencing right now is in all likelihood that of your spinal cord dissolving.) Kutmasta Kurt and Motion Man can be commended for making this song sound less like it comes off an early 90s demo tape, but it’s all a cruel joke building up to the realization that once you strip away a lot of the background noise, you can actually hear Mike Shinoda rap.

Avril Lavine -- Girlfriend (Li'l Mama remix)

Why the original sucks: Let’s keep this one simple. This song sucks because the refrain is “Hey, hey, you, you, I don’t like your girlfriend. Hey, hey, you, you, I think you need a new one. Hey, hey, you, you, I can be your girlfriend.” That’s even worse than the awful 1970s Beach Boys knock off she stole it from.

How it got worse: The inane hook is driven home by adding “nope,” “yup” and “Li’l Mama be your girlfriend” after each line, but at least most of Avril’s other lyrics are gone. And somewhere after her line “I’ve been doing this since ‘Hop on Pop,’” I’m pretty sure she compares herself to The Notorious B.I.G. So to avoid any confusion:

“Sometimes your words just hypnotize me.”

“My lip gloss be poppin’”

Rihanna -- Umbrella (Chris Brown remix)

Why the original sucks: McCartney’s Law: Nonsense syllables make for the catchiest lyrics. “Umbrella” is exhibit A. It’s probably the catchiest hook of the decade, but only because 80 percent of the song consists simply of “ella” and “eh.” The words that are in English are little better. Two people are shielded from the tempests of life by their love, represented by an umbrella. Sound familiar? Could someone just once write a catchy pop chorus that actually says something of substance? How about this:

The disruptive powers of excessive national fecundity

May have played a greater part in bursting the bonds of convention

Than either the power of ideas

Or the errors of autocracy.

Throw some synthesizers over that; kick in a drum machine. You can even add some “do do dos” at the end to help the radio play. Top 40 potential, perhaps?

But a lousy chorus may be forgivable if Rihanna didn’t sound like a fucking harpy singing it. It’s like she’s trying to give me a migraine.

How it got worse: Ironically, it’s Chris Brown’s attempt to inject some originality into the chorus only makes things worse. When it was just “Umbrella, ella, ella, eh, eh” the monotony became almost hypnotic, but when Brown changes “Umbrella” to “Cinderella” your minds is suddenly free to explore millions of other awful ideas.

“I would like my cheeseburger with mozzarella, ella, ella, eh, eh.”

“Ray Liotta rocks the shit in ‘Goodfellas’ ella, ella, eh, eh.”

“‘Twilight’ is a novel about Ed and Bella, ella, ella, eh, eh.”

“Don’t eat that raw chicken you’ll get salmonella, ella, ella, eh, eh.”

“Where is Crete? It’s near the Gulf of Mirabella, ella, ella, eh, eh.”

“Carmen Sandiego’s band was Rockapella, ella, ella, eh, eh.”

It’s hard to believe that Chris Brown actually thought he had anything to add to this song. He isn’t really remaining the song like Li’l Mama is trying to do; he isn’t really trying to turn the song into a two-sided conversation like Sean Kingston tries to do (and fails miserably). Judging by the output, I can only guess that Chris Brown is deeply competitive, and he once overheard someone saying how whiney and annoying Rihanna sounds, and he went to work, singing for hours into his vocoder until he could finally top her, and, just to prove it to the world, he released this remix.

This is, without a doubt, the worst thing Chris Brown has ever done to Rihanna.

Design by Amanda @ Blogger Buster