1. Harry Nilsson, “You’re Breakin’ My Heart”
What’s super good about this song: The goofy beat; the bodacious horns; the time they made up a dance to it on Girls.
What’s super mean: You gotta have your way / There’s nothin’ left to say / There’s nothin’ left to do / Ooh! / You’re breakin’ my heart / you’re tearin’ it apart / so fuck you!
2. Of Montreal, “Beware Our Nubile Miscreants”
What’s super good: The super-mean lyrics themselves. I mean, I dare you to listen to this without evermore singing to your girlfriends at the top of your lungs, “You only like him ’cause he’s sexually appealing!”
Super Mean: He goes to climax alone / his heart beats a busy tone… / He’s the kind of guy who would leave you in a K-hole / to go play Halo in the other room.
3. Roar, “Baby Bride Rag”
Super Good: A cappella barbershop quartet!
Super Mean: Listen to me, sweetheart / you are nothing when we’re apart / I can promise you this: / when we split the town, you won’t be missed.
4. The White Stripes, “There’s No Home For You Here”
Super Good: The dirty blues guitar that sounds like some tool you drag through the mud; Jack White whispering; the triumphant moment halfway through where they go “Ahhhhhhhhhhhh!”
Super Mean: I’m only waiting for the proper time to tell you / that it’s impossible to get along with you. / It’s hard to look you in the face when we are talking / so it helps to have a mirror in the room.
5. The Magnetic Fields, “Yeah! Oh Yeah!”
Super Good: The fact that it sounds like a swooning love song, and also a bit like a lo-fi audio waterfall; the part where he goes “Eh eh eh eh eh eh eh”.
Super Mean: I’ve enjoyed making you miserable for years / Found peace of mind in playing on your fears / How I loved to catch your gold and silver tears.
6. Of Montreal, “Bunny Ain’t No Kind of Rider”
Super Good: The hypnotic electropop beat; the jingle bells; something that sounds like laser guns; the part where he goes “So-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-oul”.
Super Mean: Eva, I’m sorry, but you will never have me / To me, you’re just some faggy girl, and I need a lover with soul power / and you ain’t got no soul power / No, you ain’t got no soul!
7. Johnny Cash, “It Ain’t Me, Babe”
Super Good: There’s nothing good about the Bob Dylan original, but the Johnny Cash/June Carter version is adorable because they obviously were the ones for each other. I mean, just look at them. June is endearing and sexy even in that awful dress!
Super Mean: You say you’re looking’ for someone who’ll promise never to part / Someone to close his eyes to you, someone to close his heart / Someone to die for you and more? / It ain’t me, babe, no! No! No!
8. Lou Reed, “Vicious”
Super Good: The song’s absolute embodiment of rock ‘n’ roll; the guitar tumble after the first refrain, which makes me want to throw my head back and actually do some air guitar; more cowbell.
Super Mean: Vicious, hey why don’t you swallow razorblades? / … When I watch you come, babe I just wanna run / You’re not good and you certainly aren’t very much fun / When I see you walking down the street / I step on your hand and I mangle your feet / You’re not the kind of person that I’d even want to meet.
9. Meatloaf, “Paradise by the Dashboard Light”
Super Good: It’s an epic (eight-and-a-half-minute) tale of teenage lust, and practically its own self-contained musical; also, 1977 Meatloaf.
Super Mean: Now I’m praying for the end of time / to hurry up and arrive / ’cause if I gotta spend another minute with you / I don’t think that I can really survive.
10. 10cc, “I’m Not In Love”
Super Good: Um, did you see the video? Also, the ethereal lady-voice interlude (which was actually the receptionist at Strawberry Studio); the best-ever use of a Wurlitzer; the fact that every lyric is a defense mechanism bunch of lies.
Super Mean: I like to see you, but then again / that doesn’t mean you mean that much to me… / So if I call you / don’t make a fuss / Don’t tell your friends about the two of us / I’m not in love! / No / NO.