10 Terrible Songs That I Love

I have really good taste in books and movies, and then when it comes to music, I just sort of give up. When I start making a mix CD for a friend, I start off with a couple of good tracks by, say, The New Pornographers or someone — and then I start feeling an inevitable drift towards the shitty, shitty songs that I actually love. Then I start coming up with excuses in my head: “Maybe X also likes the Spice Girls,” I say to myself, knowing that this is not, in fact, the case. No one likes the Spice Girls except for me and some 13-year-old girls from the year 1997.

The Ancient Greeks had a saying — “Gnothi seauton,” they said. “Know thyself.” And so, in the spirit of self-knowledge, its time to come to terms with my terrible musical taste. Because my bad musical taste isn’t going to get any better. It’s not going to go away. There may have been a time when I could have made the choice to have good taste in music, but I’m too old, and it’s too late for that now.

So here, in the spirit of that, are my favorite terrible songs:

1. The Black Eyed Peas, “Boom Boom Pow”


I like how will.i.am spends up to sixteen seconds coming up with the lyrics to his songs. Also, just having to type the name “will.i.am” in that way makes me want to punch a wall and throw things. Anyway. “I’m on the supersonic boom/ Y’all hear the spaceship zoom/ When, when I step inside the room/Them girls go ape-shit, uh.”  …What? Even calling those things “lyrics” is highly charitable. You could lock some five-year-olds in a room with a bunch of cocaine and Red Bull, and they could come up with better lyrics than that. In fact, I think I just exposed the secret Black Eyed Peas songwriting process. …Did I mention that I love this song?

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