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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  • Katgeorge

    As if the Spice Girls are terrible!

    • Pfft

      this is why you are single.

  • ScottyDeeee

    Didn't even make it to page 2.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=24703745 Carleigh Anne Mahaffey

    I would throw in “Total Eclipse of the Heart” for good measure.

    • Oliver Miller

      Fuck.  I was going to put that in and I forgot.

  • http://toddliss.com/ Todd

    How Bizarre – Is a GREAT 90's song so that probably means it's terrible…and that I love it

  • http://toddliss.com/ Todd

    How Bizarre – Is a GREAT 90's song so that probably means it's terrible…and that I love it

  • Ro

    OMC's “How Bizzare” is a great song, no questions asked.

  • Madgie

    the best spice girls song is 'stop' though!

    • modedossier

      I completely agree to both songs!

  • padface

    You want to sex Avril Lavigne?


    • Oliver Miller

      I totally want to sex her.

  • http://www.guidetomenhattan.com Rachel

    Those are all good choices. When I was younger I thought TLC's Red Light Special was really good. Who lets their kids listen to that!??!

    Oh, and after I get married, I'm walking back down the aisle to “We are the Champions”…and my first dance will be to “Sexual Healing”

    • Megan

      Sexual Healing is actually a great song though so it's okay

    • dechonmustard

      I love Red Light Special!

  • hm.


  • Tiffany

    I now remember why we are best friends. But November Rain is possibly the best song ever written. If I'd written it I would have gone crazy too with my genius. You also really like Movin Right Along by the Muppets.

  • notmarykate

    You can't in all seriousness call this list terrible unless you put Rebecca Black somewhere inside.

  • Megan

    I saw that VH1 special also (a few times, actually) and I, too, was horrified at their choice for the #1 spot. Something about “We Built This City” makes me smile, and now that genuine ecstasy has transformed into a sheepish grin. What do you know anyway, VH1??? That song rules!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=201002708 Alyssa Johnston

    Today I realized that I've never even listened to Girlfriend long enough to get to the clapping part. I think I always bitched out at the “she's like so whatever” part.

    • Oliver Miller

      Look at how talented Avril is in that video, though.  Playing two different characters like that and everything.

      • eric

        i like the part where avril lavigne gives the redhead a concussion and then she drowns

  • http://brianmcelmurry.blogspot.com/ Brian McElmurry

    Laughed my ass off on the will.i.am. part. Love how you embrace the shitty music instead of being into some obscure shit that's cool until it's not obscure. Seriously funny

  • Tim

    Since u been gone? Great song. Real talk.

  • freddipass

    I was going to write something about this. I find that as I get older I like all kinds of shitty things whereas I once wouldn't dare say I did. Nice job, again, Oliver!

  • freddipass

    I also really LOVE the classy wedding dress and the kiss in November Rain. Way to swallow each other at the altar!

  • yes

    I am so glad you posted this. So many people are so quick to judge one's taste in music but it's really entirely subjective. People always tell me that I have “great” taste but when I get really into something played on the radio, it becomes a big deal. Who cares?

  • meesh

    disagree! everyone had a thing for baby spice and no one liked sporty

  • Pfft

    i most definitely do not want to play naked uno with you now. i'm sorry.

    • Oliver Miller


  • Pfft

    this playlist is probably why you are homesless. this is what homeless people listen to, i imagine.

  • Pfft

    also, i meant, homeless. homesless is not a word.

  • Rohini

    November Rain is NOT terrible!

  • Jordan

    Rock You Like A Hurricane is an awesome song!   Hahahaha Since U Been Gone isn't that bad either. 

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