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PostPosted: Sat May 23, 2015 5:20 pm 
Mr. Party-Killbot
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Link works fine for me, Frigid. Bear in mind that for a link picture large enough to require blowing up, you need to either middle-click to open in a new tab or click on the header line in order to get the link. I try to use smaller images for just this reason, but I couldn't find one I liked this time.

And I will confess to being surprised at Nitram's tastes there, Tev, but I am hardly one who gets to throw stones on the subject of good and bad song likings. I never got into country, as you did, so I don't know a hell of a lot about it in any era, but Lonestar has one or two songs I like (as does Toby Keith).

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PostPosted: Sun May 24, 2015 3:02 am 
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I think it was the fact we were dating at the time, and those songs let him communicate how he felt. He also was found of "Come Monday" by Jimmy Buffett, especially for when we were still long-distance dating, and he would sometimes literally be with me 'come Monday'.

We often forget that some songs hang around long after their era because it speaks to people. Lyrically, musically; something about the song resounds with enough people in enough ways that we keep requesting them to be played

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 14, 2015 1:47 am 
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2001
Yearly GPA: 1.403



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I did not expect 2001 to score as low as it did, as it started out quite strong before petering out midway through the year. Still, the scores are what they are, and 2001 represents, I assume, the beginning of a terrible slide that should occupy most of the rest of the decade. Good luck to us all.






Shaggy, featuring Ricardo "RikRok" Ducent - It Wasn't Me
Number 1 song from February 3rd-16th, 2001 (2 weeks)
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Havoc's Grade: C
Ah, It Wasn't Me, a song so sleazy that it managed to corrupt lawyers. I'm serious, there's something called "The Shaggy Defense" inspired by this song, which consists of flatly denying everything that happened no matter what, and simply refusing categorically to engage with whatever evidence is presented against you. R. Kelly used this defense to get away with child porn.

All that said, I do kinda like this song, if only for how brazen it is. I like the reggae-inspired rapping of Shaggy, the plaintive "I'm-so-completely-screwed" singing of Rikrok, the overall flow of the thing. It's not quite good enough to merit a better grade than this one, but as a fun little song of sleaze and CYA, it'll do just fine.

Oh, and apparently this song wasn't even supposed to get released as a single, until someone stole it from Shaggy's computer and leaked it to Napster. It caught on, and they figured what the hell...



Outkast - Ms. Jackson
Number 1 song from February 17th-23rd, 2001 (1 week)
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Havoc's Grade: B
Ms. Jackson is an interesting song, if nothing more, a song about the complexities of breakups, particularly ones with kids involved. It's sung from the point of view of a man speaking to his ex-girlfriend's mother, who understandably hates him, explaining his side of the story when it comes to the aftermath of the breakup, and insisting that, yes, no matter what she thinks, he will be involving himself in his children's lives, particularly since he's the only one capable of paying for them. It's a perspective not often seen in music (or in general), as most people assume that men are at fault in most breakups and do not deserve access to their kids if the mother doesn't want them to have it. That attitude has changed in recent years, but back when this song came out, it was rather controversial, and ended with Andre 3000 getting attacked by a crazy woman with a pair of gardening shears who accused him of trying to "destroy motherhood".

A lot of people really really like this song. I'm not really one of them, as my appreciation for Hip Hop only goes so far, but it is clever and interesting enough to merit the rating above from me, even if it's on the low end of the scale. This song also introduced me to the very concept of "Alternative Hip Hop", which given how much I seem to like Alt-Rock, seems to be something I should look into more.



Joe, featuring Mystikal - Stutter
Number 1 song from February 24th-March 23rd, 2001 (4 weeks)
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Havoc's Grade: D
A song both boring and vaguely disturbing, this "why do you lie to me" song about an unfaithful woman sounds rather uncomfortable in retrospect, particularly the singer's repeated insistence that his girlfriend's frightened lies are "ticking him off", which sounds a lot to me like the prelude to domestic abuse, not tearful singing. Even if you leave that out, though, there's just nothing here to listen to, a lackadaisical beat with boring Hip Hop R&B singing that doesn't bring anything to the table.



Crazy Town - Butterfly
Number 1 song from March 24th-30th, April 7th-13th, 2001 (2 weeks)
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Havoc's Grade: C
I don't have any particular love for Butterfly, a song everyone who was around in the early 2000s remembers, even if, like me, you had no idea what the song was called or about. But it's not a bad song, really, a good hook and a decent chorus is hardly the worst thing we've ever encountered in this project after all. It's got a decent sense of place to it, with a melody and rhythm that could have been borrowed from a Paul Oakenfold song. It's not bad, and that's better than one might expect these days.



Shaggy, featuring Ravon - Angel
Number 1 song from March 31st-April 6th, 2001 (1 week)
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Havoc's Grade: B
This song borrows from two major sources, the Steve Miller Band's "The Joker", and Juice Newton's "Angel of the Morning", and as I like both of those songs, it's not all that surprising that I like this one too. A relaxed, laid-back Reggae fusion song with a decent hook is sometimes all you're looking for, and given that I expect this year and decade to tank imminently, I would anticipate finding what you're looking for being a rare event going forward. This was Shaggy's last big hit, which is a shame, really, as the early 2000s could have used a bit more decent reggae and a bit less of all the rest of the crap I assume we're shortly coming to.



Janet - All For You
Number 1 song from April 14th-June 1st, 2001 (7 weeks)
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Havoc's Grade: D
A painfully-generic dance-pop number by the reigning queen of painfully-generic dance-pop. This song made history when it came out, being added to every standard radio format across every genre of mainstream music (Pop, R&B, "Urban") in its first week. What the fuss was about, I cannot possibly tell you, as I simply can't tell the difference between this song and the other Janet Jackson songs we've encountered to date. This was the number one song of the year by most metrics, lasting the longest of any song on top of the charts. It can keep it.



Christina Aguillera, Lil' Kim, Mya, and Pink - Lady Marmalade
Number 1 song from June 2nd-July 6th, 2001 (5 weeks)
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Havoc's Grade: D
Moulin Rouge was a pretty bad movie, all things considered, and this song is a pretty bad cover of the original 1975 Labelle soul classic, mostly because it tries to infuse hip hop into a song that really doesn't need it, but also because of the four singers that headline it, I have no use for two of them and only occasional use for a third. The song simply tries way too hard, managing to be shrieking annoyance instead of sultry invitations. I don't like it, is the ultimate result, and those people who continue to insist that Moulin Rouge was a movie worth seeing can turn their attentions to redeeming this song while they're at it.



Usher - U Remind Me
Number 1 song from July 7th-August 3rd, 2001 (4 weeks)
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Havoc's Grade: D
I actually really like Usher, and one of these days, I hope to have a chance to explain why that is. It won't be this time though, because whatever Usher's strengths are, warbling mid-tempo R&B of the sort that was popular in the first half of the 00s is not it. Someone described this song as an attempt to make Usher sound like Soundgarden, which is a weird enough image that I kind of have to agree. All things considered, this song isn't godawful, but it's completely forgettable, which is enough to condemn it in my ears.



Destiny's Child - Bootylicious
Number 1 song from August 4th-17th, 2001 (2 weeks)
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Havoc's Grade: D
It's hard to imagine, but this song, and it's accompanying video, caused a hell of a lot of fervor when it came out due to it being too sexually suggestive and the like. How innocent we all were. What it should have generated fervor for was being terrible, particularly the relentlessly warbling guitar riff stolen from a Stevie Nicks song which begins to sound downright pernicious after a while. This is not the last time that Beyonce would wind up with very strange bass lines in her songs, indeed it would go on to be kind of a theme of hers. Nevertheless, this song just isn't worth the attention it got, then or now.



Alicia Keys - Fallin'
Number 1 song from August 18th-September 7th, September 29th-October 19th, 2001 (6 weeks)
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Havoc's Grade: C
Alicia Keys has a gorgeous voice, and this song's decision to focus entirely on it in a gospel-soul rendition that samples an old James Brown song is enough to give it some points in my book. Like Mariah, Alicia sort of spills tracks all over the main thrust of the song, warbling in and out, except this time it kind of works, due to the counter-tempo of her additions, the overall slow pace of the song, and the gospel choir she brings in to serve the main theme. All that said, I don't really love this song, as it just doesn't seem to go anywhere. But as a demonstration of vocal and songwriting prowess, it's quite a thing.



Jennifer Lopez, featuring Ja Rule - I'm Real (Murder Remix)
Number 1 song from September 8th-28th, October 20th-November 3rd, 2001 (5 weeks)
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Havoc's Grade: D
You know, for a song with a name that metal, you'd think they'd have something worth listening to. You would, however, be wrong, as this song is BOOOOOOORING in the extreme, a waste of everyone's time concerned, and I say that not being a fan of either Jennifer Lopez or Ja Rule. It's not even interesting enough to hate.



Mary J. Blige - Family Affair
Number 1 song from November 3rd-December 14th, 2001 (6 weeks)
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Havoc's Grade: C
If you absolutely must mix R&B and Hip Hop, and it appears that everyone does at times, this is how you do it. Family Affair is a strange little song, with a minor key and a very simple beat that's almost hypnotizing when combined with a bunch of made-up words (Dancery?). The effect is very strange, but I do kinda like it, as the song is, if nothing else, very different from everything else out at the time.



Usher - U Got It Bad
Number 1 song from December 15th-21st, 2001, January 19th-February 22nd, 2002 (6 weeks)
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Havoc's Grade: C
This is a RAZOR-thin margin here, but I finally opted to have a little leniancy on U Got It Bad, because despite the lackadaisical beat and fairly routine singing, the song actually feels genuine, something most slow-tempo R&B ballads don't seem to be able to muster. Maybe it's Usher, who always sings things whole-heartedly even when the song sucks, or just the arrangement with its rock guitar bridge or arpeggiated backup singers. But I do... kinda... like this song, and so I'm giving it enough credit to squeak by into a higher grade.



Nickelback - How You Remind Me
Number 1 song from December 22nd, 2001-January 18th, 2002 (4 weeks)
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Havoc's Grade: D
So. It has come to this.

I... try to be open-minded on the subject of Nickelback, the decade's great whipping boys, whose music was uniformly hated for being shitty, samey-sounding butt rock. Being a lifelong admirer of artists that it is not cool to like (remember Celine Dion), I have to admit on re-listen that this song, Nickelback's first number 1 hit... isn't very good. It's not godawful either, let's be fair, but even in the middle of a terrible rock drought on the top of the charts, this song is just boring. It sounds like someone tried to make a low-rent version of a Vertical Horizon song starring someone with laryngitis, and while I'm not one of those who gets overly on Chad Kroeger for his vocal stylings, his sort of guttural singing voice has a time and place, and this ain't it. Nickelback got a lot of flack for basically remaking the same song over and over (which they did), as well as for being one of the worst bands of the decade. I don't think that's quite fair, not in a world that includes Lil' Wayne and the Black-Eyed Peas, but I'm not going to defend this song or this band overmuch. Ultimately, in my mind, Nickelback just isn't interesting enough to properly hate.







Supplemental Songs

2001 didn't quite turn out the way I had hoped it would. But every year, no matter how awful, I at least have the supplemental list to look forward to. So let's see what forgotten gems and unjustly-deprived classics were left off the top of the charts this year...








...









...










...









Wait... seriously? NOTHING?!

Yeah, I'm sorry guys, I really am, but the Supplemental List is a barren wasteland this year. Nothing, not one fucking song was good enough to make the list. I went over every list I had for this year twice and came up completely empty handed. In fairness, some of this was because a couple songs that were pretty good actually charted in 2002, and so will be shunted over into that list, but even so, I couldn't even find a single song to embarrass myself with. Fuck. This. Year. Forever.






Other noted songs from 2001:
Lifehouse - Hanging by a Moment <---- This song did NOT age well.
Train - Drops of Jupiter <---- This BAND did not age well.
Matchbox Twenty - If You're Gone
Dido - Thank You
Staind - It's Been a While
Uncle Kracker - Follow Me
Moby, featuring Gwen Steffani - South Side
Nelly Furtado - I'm Like a Bird <---- FUCK this song. Fuck it forever.
Aerosmith - Jaded
Evan and Jaron - Crazy for this Girl
Enya - Only Time
The Dave Matthews Band - The Space Between
U2 - Beautiful Day
Lonestar - I'm Already There <---- I actually kinda like this one. I have no illusions that it's any good.
O-Town - All or Nothing <---- I also kinda like this one. The same caveat applies.
Eve 6 - Here's to the Night
Enrique Iglesias - Hero
Linkin Park - Crawling <---- :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
U2 - Elevation
Daft Punk - Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger
Alien Ant Farm - Movies
Lifehouse - Sick Cycle Carousel
U2 - Stuck in a Moment You Can't Get Out of
Coldplay - Yellow
Alien Ant Farm - Smooth Criminal <---- The closest thing to the supplemental list this year, and it's a one hit wonder covering Michael Jackson. Fuck this year.

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 14, 2015 4:46 am 
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Personally, I find nearly all your "Other Noted" to be better than the shit that charted.

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 14, 2015 12:25 pm 
Mr. Party-Killbot
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LadyTevar wrote:
Personally, I find nearly all your "Other Noted" to be better than the shit that charted.


And is that somehow new?

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 14, 2015 5:58 pm 
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General Havoc wrote:
LadyTevar wrote:
Personally, I find nearly all your "Other Noted" to be better than the shit that charted.


And is that somehow new?
Hmmm... Good point. Once again, it points out how screwy Billboard is.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 19, 2015 2:44 pm 
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2002
Yearly GPA: 1.346



Image

This decade is not getting better, and likely will continue to not get better until it mercifully ends. In fact, low as this score is, this year was actually salvaged at the last minute by a single song, without which it might have reached fully historic lows. I do not wish to think about this miserable year any longer, and so let's just get to it...






Ja Rule, featuring Ashanti - Always on Time
Number 1 song from February 23rd-March 8th, 2002 (2 weeks)
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Havoc's Grade: D
This is one of the reasons I don't like hip hop, the fact that much of the time there's just nothing to DISTINGUISH it from the other songs. I have a hard time understanding what the hell Ja Rule is saying, and the chorus, which I can understand, is boring and not worth parsing out. No thank you.



Jennifer Lopez, featuring Ja Rule - Ain't it Funny (Murder Remix)
Number 1 song from March 9th-April 19th, 2002 (6 weeks)
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Havoc's Grade: D
No, it's not that funny. Other than telling me that I need to actually figure out what these Murder Remixes are (turns out they're remixes by Murder inc. records), this song has nothing interesting to offer, a boring, lackadaisical hip hop remix that has nothing of actual interest going on.



Ashanti - Foolish
Number 1 song from April 20th-June 28th, 2002 (10 weeks)
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Havoc's Grade: D
This song sucks. It's yet another painfully boring Murder Inc. produced R&B number that might as well be any other song. I seriously can't find anything to say about this song, it's that damn generic. Even the Wikipedia article skips right to the music video, which at least is interesting enough, being a remake of Goodfellas starring Terrence Howard. I'm here to rate the music though, not the ancillary stuff, and this song isn't even worth remembering.



Nelly - Hot in Herre
Number 1 song from June 29th-August 16th, 2002 (7 weeks)
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Havoc's Grade: C
Yeah, I know how stupid this song is, but there's a time and place for stupid, and there's nothing wrong with a little bit of Funk-rap stupidity now and again. I don't really love this song, but it's entirely inoffensive to me, neither annoying nor ear-poisonous. I wouldn't exactly throw it on in the middle of an awesome music mix or anything, but it's not something that's going to drive me screaming out of a room. Other than that, I have basically nothing to say about this song, as the only other information I could dig up was the details of a SouthxSouthwest Marketing stunt I found on Wikipedia so insipidly stupid that I refuse to think about it for another second.



Nelly, featuring Kelly Rowland - Dilemma
Number 1 song from August 17th-October 4th, October 19th-November 8th, 2002 (10 weeks)
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Havoc's Grade: D
I do have my limits though, gentlemen, and this song, a boring nursery-rhyme-sounding thing exceeds them comfortably. This song samples a Patti LaBelle song from 1983, one that did not need to be resurrected. The video for the song was filmed on the set of Desperate Housewives, and includes a wonderful moment when Nelly texts Kelly Rowland using what appears to be MS Excell. This is sort of the story of this song, an incompetent exercise that isn't properly offensive, just boring and stupid.



Kelly Clarkson - A Moment Like This
Number 1 song from October 5th-18th, 2002 (2 weeks)
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Havoc's Grade: D
And so we come to the years of American Idol...

So I know that American Idol is a terribly artificial construct, but I have to admit that I actually do like some of Kelly Clarkson's work. Just not this song. Not that it's terrible, it's not, and indeed it's the sort of soaring ballad work that I tend to like, but that's just it... this song was more or less pre-prepared to appeal specifically to me, and the effect was fairly clumsy. You can tell, listening to this song, that it was written with no specific singer in mind, and indeed, each of the four finalists for the first season of American Idol recorded this song in preparation for the final, with the intention of the winner's version becoming a number one hit. And it just feels entirely fake. The chorus seems stapled onto the verses more or less arbitrarily, and the song sounds like the ad for Hallmark greeting cards that it would inevitably become within five seconds of being released. There's just no substance here to underlie the music, and while that doesn't normally annoy me, this time it's too obvious to ignore. Kelly Clarkson would actually go on to do better music from here on out, but there was little sign of that when first she won Idol.

Incidentally, there's a version of this song out there somewhere sung by Dave Chappelle. It's worth your time to go looking for.



Eminem - Lose Yourself
Number 1 song from November 9th, 2002-January 31st, 2003 (12 weeks)
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Havoc's Grade: B
I'm not exactly an Eminem fan per se, as I don't really follow most of his work, but Lose Yourself is the one big exception, Eminem's best song and the title track to the soundtrack of his Autobiographical film 8 Mile, a movie that should not have been any good at all, and paradoxically was pretty damn great. This song is very good, a painful, bitter rant about a young man trapped in grinding poverty desperately grasping at anything that offers a way out, knowing that if it doesn't work, he has no other option. When confronted with the meaningless blather of the 00s, genuine anger is a rarity, and Eminem, before he got complacent, was one of the angriest. I really, really like Lose Yourself, and it alone salvages this dismal year by its sheer presence.







Supplemental Songs

There simply weren't all that many songs involved in 2002's number 1 list, and given that we had literally nothing make the charts last year, surely we can find SOMETHING worth listening to...

... right?



The Calling - Wherever You Will Go
2002 Billboard Top 100 position: 5
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Havoc's Grade: A
Oh thank god. There is.

Wherever You Will Go was actually released in 2001, very shortly before 9/11, but it made its chart-mark in 2002, and so here it lies. One of the best Alt-rock offerings of the early half of the decade, this song, simplistic and overplayed though it might be, is staggeringly good, a rich, well-crafted post-grunge piece that I love all the more for the vapid wasteland that it appeared amidst. This song got popular in the aftermath of the attacks, and I can see why, as its a reverent-yet-upbeat piece that served admirably as an inspirational anthem in the aftermath of that horrible tragedy. I simply like it for what it sounds like, and for all the ways in which it is not everything else that hit the charts this year. It is not, however, the last post-9/11 anthem we will be considering...



Linkin Park - In the End
2002 Billboard Top 100 position: 7
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Havoc's Grade: B
And we're back to embarrassing ourselves I see.

Look, Linkin Park became an emo joke for good reason, but their music was never all that bad, and I actually quite like In the End, one of the better Nu Metal offerings of the era. Yes, it's emo enough to cut with a knife, but unlike last year's laughable "Crawling", this one doesn't sound like nothing but bad teenage poetry, at least not musically, and it's one of the few examples of decent rap-rock to be found. There's actually another Linkin Park song I may be placing on these lists later on, but for now, you can all laugh at my bad taste with this one.



Puddle of Mudd - Blurry
2002 Billboard Top 100 position: 10
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Havoc's Grade: B
I don't really love Blurry, but it's got an interesting trip-rock sound to it, particularly in the verses, such that I'm drawn back to it every time I listen to it, and thus I must relent and let it onto the list. The video for this thing was directed by Fred Durst of all people, but we'll forgive the song for that loose affiliation. I know why people don't like this song, and it isn't some magisterial work, but I do like it. I like so little of the rest of this year that I feel the need to take what I can get.



Michelle Branch - All You Wanted
2002 Billboard Top 100 position: 23
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Havoc's Grade: B
I like pop-rock, all right? Sue me.



P!nk - Don't Let me Get Me
2002 Billboard Top 100 position: 36
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Havoc's Grade: B
I'm actually a pretty big fan of Pink or P!nk or whatever she calls herself, mostly because I get a nice Joan Jett vibe from her stuff, and that's never a bad thing. Don't Let me Get me isn't really one of my favorite songs of hers, but it has a very solid rock basis that I can't ignore, and whatever her flaws overall, Pink sings the damn thing very well, as she does almost all her songs. Pink's constant forays into self-loathing can indeed get old after a while, but she does it right here, drawing on less moroseness and more general frustration to produce a pretty damn good rock song. Though in fairness to Pink, she's done better than this...



P!nk - Just Like a Pill
2002 Billboard Top 100 position: 43
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Havoc's Grade: A
... for example...

Just like a Pill is an awesome song, and I don't particularly know how to explain why if it isn't instantly apparent to you. It's simply a better song than most of its contemporaries, with a better hook, better guitar-work, better singing, better damn near everything. It conveys addiction and desperation in a more effective manner than most of its contemporaries, but more importantly than all that it's just a great song to listen to. Despite the subject matter, I always manage to rock out to this song whenever it comes on, and while nobody's going to mistake it for Black Sabbath or anything, if you're into the pop scene, this is one of the best examples, particularly given when it came out.



Five for Fighting - Superman (It's not Easy)
2002 Billboard Top 100 position: 46
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Havoc's Grade: B
Superman was one of the first songs I ever heard that I had absolutely no idea what to do with, and to be honest I'm still not sure I do. Like every damn song this year, it got re-purposed into a 9/11 tribute anthem, but the song remains elusive in my mind, a seemingly entirely sincere song told from the point of view of Superman himself, without a hint of irony. 2002 was before the great flowering of nerd culture that began around 2006 or so, and to hear a song like this was unusual. I really have nothing much else to say about it, except that it's a song I've always appreciated in some vague, nebulous way.



Ludacris, featuring Mystikal and I-20 - Move Bitch
2002 Billboard Top 100 position: 55
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Havoc's Grade: B
Oh you know you love it too...



Five for Fighting - Easy Tonight
2002 Billboard Top 100 position: N/A
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Havoc's Grade: B
Originally released in 2000, and re-released two years later after John Ondrasik's career took off, Easy Tonight is a strong step up from the rest of Five for Fighting's work, a nice piece of Heartland Rock that I've always really liked. It does kind of peter out by the end, something that a lot of Five for Fighting's work has a tendency to do, but it's still solid enough to be worth a listen.



Bruce Springsteen - The Rising
2002 Billboard Top 100 position: N/A
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Havoc's Grade: A
Of all the many, many songs I love by the Boss, The Rising may actually be my favorite, one of the greatest tribute songs ever recorded, and far and away the best song ever written about the terrible events of 9/11. It's a positively anthemic song, a rapturous piece of reverential glory, filled with evocative imagery and gorgeous orchestration. It's one of those songs I simply never get tired of listening to, a song that effortlessly encompasses all of the themes, despondent and hopeful both, that Springsteen made his career from. I simply adore this song, one of my favorite rock pieces of all time, proof positive that even the darkest periods of music or of life in general can come adorned with shining lights.



Other noted songs from 2002:
Vanessa Carlton - A Thousand Miles
Avril Lavigne - Complicated <---- Actually a pretty decent song, but one that hasn't aged all that well.
Jimmy Eat World - The Middle <---- One of the worst cases of "promising verses, disappointing chorus" I've ever seen
Creed - My Sacrifice
Enrique Iglesias - Hero
P!nk - Get the Party Started
Shakira - Whenever, Wherever
No Doubt, featuring Bounty Killer - Hey Baby <---- Atrocious song.
Cheryl Crow - Soak up the Sun
Kylie Minogue - Can't Get You Out of My Head
No Doubt - Hella Good <---- Another atrocious song.
No Doubt, featuring Lady Saw - Underneath it All <---- God I hate this band.
Goo Goo Dolls - Here is Gone
Jewel - Standing Still
Celine Dion - A New Day has Come
Avril Lavigne - Sk8er Boi
JXL, featuring Elvis Presley - A Little Less Conversation
Counting Crows - Big Yellow Taxi <---- Can someone explain the appeal of this damn thing to me? Something like fifty bands have covered it.
Madonna - Die Another Day
Celine Dion - I'm Alive
Britney Spears - I'm not a Girl, Not Yet a Woman
Coldplay - In My Place
Atomic Kitten - The Tide is High

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Gaze upon my works, ye mighty, and despair...

Havoc: "So basically if you side against him, he summons Cthulu."
Hotfoot: "Yes, which is reasonable."


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 20, 2015 2:52 pm 
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I can't help but put Blurry in the same 'dear god, the vocalist sounds bored' category as Hootie and the Blowfish. There are just certain vocal qualities that I have a hard time listening past, no matter the quality of the underlying song. Much as I hate to say it, Springsteen's accent is also in that category. It doesn't junk the songs, just knocks points off the top.

EDIT: Not that Springsteen sounds bored, just that the accent bugs me and makes it harder to enjoy his work.

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Chronological Incontinence: Time warps around the poster. The thread topic winks out of existence and reappears in 1d10 posts.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 22, 2015 3:49 am 
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"Superman (It's not Easy)" coincided with Smallville, which to me was the flame that set off the New Nerd Culture (or at least the new era of comic-based TV/movies). The song itself is plaintive, wistful, and very much a song for anyone who wasn't sure of their place in life. It simply hit all the right buttons, got nearly over-played (but without a backlash iirc), and as it's still well-known and played 10+yrs later, I'm going to say it'll stay as classic as Bon Jovi's "Blaze of Glory".

I am with you on Linkin Park, however. They're a very Guilty Sin... and very hilarious when you had Martin and I singing along with whatever song was on.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 06, 2015 12:05 pm 
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2003
Yearly GPA: 1.327




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Another year, another set of crappy early-00s songs. At this point the charts are so monotonously regular that I almost wish the music would get worse. It's nothing but boring forgettable song after boring forgettable song with the occasional "decent" hit that keeps the year out of the truly wretched dregs. The sooner this whole ugly trend can end, the better.






B2K, featuring P Diddy - Bump Bump Bump
Number 1 song from February 1st-7th, 2003 (1 week)
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Havoc's Grade: C
Songs written by R Kelly, starring unknowns, and featuring Puffy are not liable to be the sorts of things I'm unable to stop listening to. Admittedly this is a little better than the rest of the songs in this genre would indicate, as the song has an interesting enough Santana-inspired spanish guitar track. Even that wouldn't be enough for my purposes, but I actually admire the way this song restrains itself save for the most occasional moments where it brings the music up to accent the chorus. The singing is painfully generic, but not literally painful, so I'll conclude we could do worse here.



Jennifer Lopez, featuring LL Cool J - All I Have
Number 1 song from February 8th-March 7th, 2003 (4 weeks)
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Havoc's Grade: D
Admittedly, this song isn't as bad as it could have been given the combination of these two singers, but it's still not very good. Indeed it damn near put me to sleep. I really don't have much else to say about this song, except that it existed, and that it is now behind us.



50 Cent - In Da Club
Number 1 song from March 8th-May 9th, 2003 (9 weeks)
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Havoc's Grade: D
50 Cent is a talentless hack, and I'll be holding to that opinion as time goes along. That this song was a hit at all has to do more with 50 Cent's "discoverer" Eminem, who sent him to work with Dr. Dre and select one of a number of "pre-established hit beats" and lay whatever he wanted down on it. Even by the standards of the music business, this is a lazy way to go about things, and this song can only bear the mark of such a soulless production. It's a boring, slurred, barely-comprehensible song of no particular use to anyone. It's also the number 1 song of the year. Because of course it is.



Sean Paul - Get Busy
Number 1 song from May 10th-30th, 2003 (3 weeks)
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Havoc's Grade: D
I like non-standard reggae, but this song sounds like a four minute intro to a song that never happens, thanks to one of the most lackadaisical, ear-cleaving "beats" of the entire genre. The song is just a droning chore to listen to, and while Sean Paul does sing it well, that's almost irrelevant given the eight years this thing seems to take in order to finish.



50 Cent, featuring Nate Dogg - 21 Questions
Number 1 song from May 31st-June 27th, 2003 (4 weeks)
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Havoc's Grade: D
Ugh.

Just no end to the lackadaisical crap beats on the charts this year, including this snore-fest. It is a marginal improvement over 50 Cent's previous hit, including some... interesting... imagery, particularly "I love you like a fat kid loves cake", which... you know all right. Otherwise though, this song is boring as wallpaper paste, another R&B Hip Hop crossover "hit" that doesn't deserve either association.



Clay Aiken - This is the Night
Number 1 song from June 28th-July 11th, 2003 (2 weeks)
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Havoc's Grade: D
Is it just me, or does this song, with its soaring bridges of "Lift Me Up" and repeated references to Heaven, sound a hell of a lot like the bad side of Christian Rock? Maybe it is, but one way or another, this song sucks. It's another sanded-down American Idol package-hit, one that's far more insipid than the previous version, as Aiken, though not a terrible singer, is no Kelly Clarkson. An utterly-forgettable waste of time.



Beyoncé, featuring Jay-Z - Crazy in Love
Number 1 song from July 12th-September 5th, 2003 (8 weeks)
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Havoc's Grade: D
One of Beyoncé's most famous songs, this thing made all manner of best-of-the-decade/century/all time lists, for reasons I simply don't understand. This was Beyoncé's first big number 1 solo hit, and it inaugurated her tendency of using musical tracks that begin to sound slightly deranged after you listen to them long enough (Single Ladies is probably the worst offender here). Producer and songwriter Rich Harrison admitted to having written the lyrics to this thing in a couple of hours while deeply hung over, and added the horn fanfares to it purely because nobody else was using that sort of thing at the time. Good things have come from such processes (Cobain supposedly wrote Smells Like Teen Spirit the same way), and this song isn't the worst thing I've ever heard, but where all the acclamation and critical acclaim came from for this thing? I have no idea.



Nelly, P. Diddy, and Murphy Lee - Shake Ya Tailfeathas
Number 1 song from September 6th-October 3rd, 2003 (4 weeks)
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Havoc's Grade: D
You know, much as I expected to hate yet another mix-up Hip Hop mix with artists I don't like, I actually have to admit that this thing grew on me. I think it's the flow, which is actually pretty damn good in this case, complex, energetic, upbeat, and featuring some actual lyrical stylings above what you normally encounter around here. The chorus set over the tune from the Chop is also a kind of nice touch, as it lends the song some actually unexpected melody, weird though it might be. This song (as they mention repeatedly) comes off the Bad Boys II soundtrack, and won the Grammy that year for best rap performance by a group. I'm not about to call it THAT good (not that the Grammies are an indicator of quality), but it's decent is all, and decent is better than one has a right to hope for in years like this.



Beyoncé, featuring Sean Paul - Baby Boy
Number 1 song from October 4th-December 5th, 2003 (9 weeks)
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Havoc's Grade: D
Aaaaaaaand we're back to another boring R&B World Music crossover, produced by legendary cokehead-douchebag-incompetant Scott Storch no less. This song is boring and lackadaisical, its beat puts you to sleep, and Sean Paul sounds like he's reciting a shopping list, while Beyoncé has no energy at all to bring to the table. Supposedly this is a "dancehall" song, though I can't hear it in the slightest. What this thing really is is a waste of time.



Ludacris, featuring Shawna - Stand Up
Number 1 song from December 6th-12th, 2003 (1 week)
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Havoc's Grade: D
You know, I normally like Ludacris, but this song just doesn't offer anything beyond a slightly interesting beat, and only slightly at that. It's just Ludacris and some unknown female singer rapping nonsense back and forth to one another until the song finally ends. There's just nothing else to this song.

Oh and the video is stupider than usual too.



Outkast - Hey Ya!
Number 1 song from December 13th, 2003-February 13th, 2004 (9 weeks)
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Havoc's Grade: C
As always, I'm back and forth on the subject of Outkast, and Hey Ya is no exception. It's not a bad song by any stretch, but it's a weird 50s-style throwback funk/hip-hop hybrid that neither I nor anyone else really knows what to do with. I'm sort of temporizing with this score, as the song isn't exactly one of my favorites, but I do remember it, and not with seething hate.








Supplemental Songs

2001 had nothing worth listing on the Supplemental list. 2002 had a surprising number. 2003 was... interesting.



Uncle Cracker, featuring Dobie Grey - Drift Away
2003 Billboard Top 100 position: 19
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Havoc's Grade: B
Some covers just make sense, you know? Drift Away is one of the great classic songs of the early 70s. We encountered the original back then. But to be perfectly honest, I actually like Uncle Cracker's version a little better. It's all in the arrangement, which seems less jerky, more streamlined, more smooth than the original was. Nothing can detract from the original of course, but it's worth recognizing a quality remaster when one should appear. And one never knows when that will be...



Annie Lenox - Into the West
2003 Billboard Top 100 position: N/A
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Havoc's Grade: A
Into the West is a gorgeous song, utterly heartbreaking when heard in context with the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Criticize the films if you will, and there are plenty of reasons to do so, but this selection of song and singer were absolutely spot-on. The song is an ethereal thing, light and airy and yet suddenly tremendously weighty, a funeral dirge that isn't really sad, a parting song that isn't really crestfallen. It's a song that best approximates the concept of "transcendence" that I've ever heard. I went back and forth and back again as to what grade to give it, but ultimately, I can't deny that I adore this song. And I don't think that puts me in all that small a minority.



Audioslave - Like a Stone
2003 Billboard Top 100 position: N/A
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Havoc's Grade: B
I had completely forgotten about Like a Stone until just a moment ago, but that's an indictment of me, because Like a Stone is awesome. A dark, evocative Alt-rock song whose lyrics have been claimed to represent damn near everything ever, this song is on the list purely because of that goddamn chorus, one of the more evocative minimalist rock choruses out there. There's just something about this song that resonates well with me, in a 90s alt-rock sort of way, and in a year like this one, I appreciate it.



Johnny Cash - Hurt
2003 Billboard Top 100 position: N/A
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Havoc's Grade: A
Hurt, Johnny Cash's last great hit, is one of the greatest songs ever recorded, attached to what is unquestionably the greatest music video ever filmed. A cover of a Trent Reznor song from several years before, it appears that nobody knows just whose idea it was to give this song to the aging Man in Black, but whoever it was should be recognized as the genius he is. In truth, Cash doesn't do all that much different with the song here, save for downshifting it somewhat and adding a more menacing piano undertone. But what he truly brings to the song is himself, his honesty and candor, his history and background, his absolute sincerity, with the result that lyrics that sounded whiny and emo when sung by Nine Inch Nails sound absolutely breathtaking when performed by the legendary Cash. The last, extended chorus of the song, with its gradually escalating mood of apocalyptic revelation and wounded reminiscences, never fails to give me goose bumps. And the video, shot in the decaying House of Cash, with Johnny's frailties exposed for all to see, and riven with vivid imagery of crucifixions and of Cash's life, is one of the most perfect complements to a song I've ever seen.

Rarely does one encounter a song that absolutely everyone is in agreement on, but this seems to have been the one. Reznor himself refused to play Hurt ever again by himself, stating publicly that the song wasn't his any more. Seven different polls of experts and the general population alike called it the greatest music video in history. When it lost at the VMAs to a song by Justin Timberlake, Timberlake himself denounced his own video during his acceptance speech, demanding instead that the award be taken from him and given to Cash, who "deserved it more than anyone else."

Johnny Cash died seven months after this song's release. It served, as was perhaps inevitable, as his Swan Song. And few indeed are the artists who can claim that theirs was as perfect a summation as this one.



Other noted songs from 2003:
Matchbox 20 - Unwell
Chingy - Right Thurr
Kid Rock, featuring Sheryl Crowe - Picture
Evanescence, featuring Paul McCoy - Bring Me to Life <---- Not actually as bad as I remember.
Santana, featuring Michele Branch - The Game of Love <---- Santana needs better collaborators. And better song choices.
Justin Timberlake - Rock Your Body
Dixie Chicks - Landslide
Kelly Clarkson - Miss Independant
Train - Calling All Angels
John Mayer - Your Body is a Wonderland
Jason Mraz - The Remedy (I Won't Worry)
Jennifer Lopez, featuring Jadakiss and Styles P - Jenny From the Block <---- Awful. Just awful.
Michelle Branch - Are You Happy Now?
No Doubt, featuring Lady Saw - Underneath it All <---- Somebody make this band stop.
3 Doors Down - Here Without You
Puddle of Mudd - She Hates Me
Coldplay - Clocks
Young Gunz - Can't Stop, Won't Stop
Phantom Planet - California <---- Maybe the Indiest thing I've ever heard.
Norah Jones - Don't Know Why <---- Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.
Justin Timberlake - Rock Your Body
Staind - So Far Away
Metallica - St. Anger

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Havoc: "So basically if you side against him, he summons Cthulu."
Hotfoot: "Yes, which is reasonable."


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 06, 2015 3:32 pm 
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Quote:
Evanescence, featuring Paul McCoy - Bring Me to Life <---- Not actually as bad as I remember.


I don't know why but this made me laugh.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 15, 2015 12:47 pm 
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I ran across this today and thought of this thread. It really does explain so much.

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 26, 2015 1:41 pm 
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Hotfoot wrote:
I ran across this today and thought of this thread. It really does explain so much.

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You think that's bad? Wait till you see what happened to the cat that listened to Diana Ross.

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Havoc: "So basically if you side against him, he summons Cthulu."
Hotfoot: "Yes, which is reasonable."


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 09, 2015 12:52 am 
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2004
Yearly GPA: 1.192





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2004 may not actually be the worst year in music history but it is certainly a close goddamn contender. This year sucks in a way that we haven't seen since the very very early sixties. Song after miserable fucking song consisting of nothing but Crunk and R&B and some soulless abomination called Crunk&B. I hate everything about this year and I want it to fucking die. And I suspect next year's gonna be worse.






Outkast, featuring Sleepy Brown - The Way You Move
Number 1 song from February 14th-20th, 2004 (1 week)
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Havoc's Grade: C
Outkast continues to... well I'm not sure if impress is the right word, but it's still something. A crunk/soul/Atlanta Hip-hop hybrid, this song, particularly the chorus, was designed to resemble both Marvin Gaye and Earth, Wind, and Fire, which... yeah, I can hear it. I'm not sure I really like this song, all things considered, but it's interesting and different enough to be worth a consideration, and only further cements Outkast as one of the few bands of this era that are worth even giving that much consideration to.



Twista, featuring Kanye West and Jamie Foxx - Slow Jamz
Number 1 song from February 21st-27th, 2004 (1 week)
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Havoc's Grade: D
What the hell was that?

Slow Jamz is an incoherent mess, featuring among other things, Kanye's usual insane gibberish, Jamie Foxx doing a Ray Charles impression crossed with an early 2000s rapper, and a bunch of overlapped madness that I can't even figure out, plus cameo appearances from everyone from Common to John Legend. I have no idea what to even make of this thing, except that it's anarchic insanity, and I don't give points out on spec.



Usher - Yeah!
Number 1 song from February 28th-May 21st, 2004 (12 weeks)
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Havoc's Grade: C
Yeah is Usher's biggest hit, written by something like six hundred different people over the course of six months, but mostly Usher himself and his collaborator Lil' John. Supposedly something called Crunk&B, meaning R&B fused with Crunk, I'm not exactly a massive fan of Yeah, but it's interesting and iconic enough to juuuuust squeak by into a higher grade. Crunk in general is just not my thing, which is one of the reasons why this year is not my year.



Usher - Burn
Number 1 song from May 22nd-July 9th, July 17th-23rd, 2004 (7 weeks)
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Havoc's Grade: D
Guys, I swear, I actually do like Usher. I just had no idea how much boring crap he made early in his career. This song, a boring slow-jam R&B number, just goes on interminably with nothing of actual interest making it out. It's a morose, slow breakup song, something the world was not then in short supply of, nor is it today. I can't wait until Usher starts making music I like again, because right now there's little to tell him apart from Chinggy, and that's not a good place to be.



Fantasia - I Believe
Number 1 song from July 10th-16th, 2004 (1 week)
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Havoc's Grade: F
American Idol strikes again.

Fantasia Barrino isn't a name I have heard much of since she won the third season of American Idol, and I don't regret the lack. The base fact is that this song was written for whoever happened to win the show, and it sounds it. Fantasia's voice is just not capable of singing this sort of soaring gospel ballad, and there's nothing, no autotune or gospel choir that could possibly cover for that. She's horribly off-key, the entire goddamn song. Her voice is too throaty, too Mary J. Blige-esque, to deal with something like this, and if the American Idol songwriters couldn't figure that out, then it only goes to show how incompetent they really were. Not that this would have been much of a better song with anyone else singing it, for the song is a dreadfully boring, ultra-chaste ballad about nothing at all. But mismatching the singer takes the cake and earns the dreaded F.



Usher - Confessions, Part II
Number 1 song from July 24th-August 6th, 2004 (2 weeks)
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Havoc's Grade: D
Apparently there's a Part I of this song around somewhere, but I'm not interested enough to find out. Confessions continues Usher's baffling trend of making music I hate, despite the continuous claims I have been making of being a big fan. It's not that Confessions is awful, it's just entirely boring, a long, slow rendition of a man telling his girlfriend that he is having a baby with another woman. If I wanted more of this, I'd re-watch Locke. No thank you.



Juvenile, featuring Soulja Slim - Slow Motion
Number 1 song from August 7th-20th, 2004 (2 weeks)
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Havoc's Grade: F
Ugh.

This song just sucks. It sucks non-specifically, in as awful a manner as one can suck without getting moral crusades sent against you. I just like nothing about this song, it's lackadaisical beat, it's ugly lyrics, its boring singing, everything about this song is just bad. And worse yet, this thing apparently became a memorial track somehow, due to Soulja Slim's shooting death in late 2003. If this is a fitting tribute, I'll eat my goddamn hat. Fuck this year.



Terror Squad - Lean Back
Number 1 song from August 21st-September 10th, 2004 (3 weeks)
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Havoc's Grade: D
Oh goody, another Scott Storch track. This way-overlong "club" mix runs out its welcome about a minute in, and a cameo appearance by Kevin James midway through does not relieve things. Honestly I don't have a lot to say here. It's a bad song that sucks the same way a lot of bad songs from this period suck. The sooner the mid-00s are over with, the better.



Ciara, featuring Petey Pablo - Goodies
Number 1 song from September 11th-October 29th, 2004 (7 weeks)
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Havoc's Grade: D
After careful consideration, Crunk&B is a genre of music that did not die anywhere near fast enough. This song with its wannabe sultry singing and its utterly boring, lackadaisical rapping, is just a wretched waste of time. The repeated whistling sounds like someone is failing to tune a radio, and the song is so slow as to put one to sleep. Other than that it's fine.



Usher & Alicia Keys - My Boo
Number 1 song from October 30th-December 10th, 2004 (6 weeks)
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Havoc's Grade: F
What the fuck is this crap?

No, no mercy here. This song sucks and it sucks in the same way that every other fucking song this year sucks. It's lackadaisical, melodyless bullshit warbling R&B garbage set over what sounds like a bunch of whining infants beating on drums. It's incoherent, it's off-key, it uses Alicia Keys' beautiful voice to to fake-rap, it is an incoherent mess of awful fucking music. FUCK THIS YEAR AND FUCK THIS SONG IN PARTICULAR!!!!



Snoop Dogg, featuring Pharrell - Drop It Like It's Hot
Number 1 song from December 11th-31st, 2004 (3 weeks)
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Havoc's Grade: D
The most popular rap song of the decade, ladies and gentlemen.

Honestly, I don't hate this song with its minimalist beat and strange, spray-can and mouth-clicking undertones, and while I'm not a fan of Snoop Dogg, this is hardly some offensive song in terms of its musical qualities. It's just boring, like the rest of this miserable goddamn year that I am fantastically glad to be done with.







Supplemental Songs

Please God, let me find something worth listening to here.



Counting Crows - Accidentally in Love
2004 Billboard Top 100 position: N/A
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Havoc's Grade: B
You all can shut the fuck up. I sat through every fucking goddamn bullshit awful piece of shit song from this year one after the fucking next and if I want to put a stupid, happy, movie-soundtrack pop song THEN THAT IS WHAT I WILL FUCKING DO!!!! I want to hear nothing, not one fucking whisper about how uncool this song is. This song is SOMETHING I CAN LISTEN TO AND ENJOY AND I WILL NOT REMOVE IT FROM THIS LIST FOR LOVE OR FUCKING MONEY!!! GRRRRRRRAAAAAAAAAAAAAUUUUUUUUUUGGGGGGHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!



Spiderbait - Black Betty
2004 Billboard Top 100 position: N/A
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Havoc's Grade: B
Nobody really knows where Black Betty comes from, be it a slave working song from the 18th century or a folk ode to a musket from the revolutionary war, but I liked the 70s version by Ram Jam and I like the Hard Rock retooling by Spiderbait here. It's just a nice, hard, driving song, something SERIOUSLY lacking from this goddamn year.



Nightwish - I Wish I Had An Angel
2004 Billboard Top 100 position: N/A
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Havoc's Grade: B
I do not pretend to have an encyclopedic knowledge or even appreciation of most metal, but I do like Symphonic Metal as a genre, and while I can't name you all that many songs from it, I do remember a handful, among them this piece, a soaring guitar-driven opera song from Finnish Metal group Nightwish. I know this thing isn't all that great by comparison to what the true Metalheads among us will offer in comparison, but this whole genre is completely unknown to me, so I have to call out what I can.



O-Zone - Dragostea din tei
2004 Billboard Top 100 position: N/A
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Havoc's Grade: B
Yes. It has come to this.



Keane - Somewhere Only We Know
2004 Billboard Top 100 position: N/A
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Havoc's Grade: B
If there was to be an A grade in the middle of this miserable year, it would go to this song, a piano-driven rock song whose harmonies are spot on and whose tune is instantly memorable. It loses points for sort of unraveling by the end, but a lot of pop songs do that, and it doesn't mar the fact that this is one of the better alt-rock offerings of the mid-00s.



Other noted songs from 2004:
Maroon 5 - This Love <---- The beginning of Maroon Five's suck period, lasting through the present.
Hoobastank - The Reason <---- You know the year's bad when you start liking this.
Three Doors Down - Here Without You
Nickleback - Someday <---- *Shudder*
Evanescence - My Immortal
Chingy featuring J-Weav - One Call Away
Sheryl Crow - The First Cut is the Deepest <---- Like a Sesame Street song about an Ex
Linkin Park - Numb <---- You know the year's really bad when you start liking this.
Maroon 5 - She Will Be Loved <---- This fucking year...
Dido - White Flag
Los Lonely Boys - Heaven <---- I remember this being inescapable.
Kelis - Milkshake <---- *Screams*
Jessica Simpson - With You
Ruben Stoddard - Sorry 2004 <---- My sentiments exactly.
Avril Lavigne - My Happy Ending <---- I almost put this one on the Supplemental list, so starved was I for music I could actually enjoy.
Eamon - Fuck it (I Don't Want You Back) <---- A song almost as bitter as I wound up at the end of this.
Jet - Are You Gonna Be My Girl
Five for Fighting - 100 Years
The Black Eyed Peas - Let's Get It Started
Eminem - Just Lose It
Counting Crows - Accidentally In Love
Green Day - American Idiot <---- Overrated then and now.
Simple Plan - Shut Up! <---- Might be decent if it were less whiny.
The Killers - Somebody Told Me <---- I keep WANTING to like this song, but...
U2 - Vertigo
Simple Plan - Welcome to my Life

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Gaze upon my works, ye mighty, and despair...

Havoc: "So basically if you side against him, he summons Cthulu."
Hotfoot: "Yes, which is reasonable."


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 13, 2015 4:00 pm 
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2005
Yearly GPA: 0.923



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2005 is the worst year in music history.

I mean, obviously I can't say that for absolute certain, given that I don't even know how 2006 is going to turn out, let alone the other ten years remaining in this project, but if someone somehow manages to top 2005's mark for decrepitude, then I will be mightily surprised, as this was the year it all went wrong. We've had years before that seemed to be aiming for the cellar (2002), only to be saved at the last minute by a single good song, one which managed to drag the year kicking and screaming into mediocrity. No such song materialized to save 2005, and so it sank to a depth that not even the early 60s was able to record. Dig in ladies and gentlemen, it's time to get an earful of history.






Mario - Let me Love You
Number 1 song from January 1st-March 4th, 2005 (9 weeks)
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Havoc's Grade: D
Researching this song was an interesting experience to say the least, as I never figured on having to figure out what the "Dorian Method" was in relation to music. Pity it didn't mean "good". This song is yet another Scott Storch production, one that supposedly got in hot water for ripping off Tina Turner's What's Love Got to Do With It. I don't hear it at all, to be honest, just another rambling, half-spoken R&B number that's entirely indistinguishable from its fellows.

This is, however, the first song we've had that actually started its run on the charts on the very first day of the year. So... yeah... there's that.



50 Cent - Candy Shop
Number 1 song from March 5th-May 6th, 2005 (9 weeks)
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Havoc's Grade: D
Scott Storch tries to sound like Timbaland and 50 Cent tries to sound like a real rapper. *Sigh*

No, to be honest, this song isn't awful, but it is very very mundane. A pretty bog-standard dirty rap piece designed around a mildly interesting beat, with nothing else to speak to about it. I can't even really get good and mad about this song, it's just boring and forgettable.



Gwen Stefani - Hollaback Girl
Number 1 song from May 7th-June 3rd, 2005 (4 weeks)
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Havoc's Grade: F
"No Doubt fans were probably like, 'Why is she doing this record?'" said Gwen Stefani of this song, "'She's going to ruin everything!'" They probably did. And they were right.

Hollaback Girl is an infamous song, one of the most reviled things in popular music, but that's not why it gets an F from me. No, dear readers, it gets the F because it fucking sucks. It's a stompy, ugly, tuneless, joyless enterprise, disguised as a dis track for Courtney Fucking Love of all people. Its beat is lackluster, its horns are ear-splittingly sharp, its repeated chants of B-A-N-A-N-A-S are some of the stupidest things I've ever heard, and it reminds me, in all the worst ways, of the mid-00s. That the lyrics are utterly incomprehensible, and hopelessly inane when they're not, seems almost beside the point. All of its associations are ugly and grotesque. Michael Bay featured it prominently in his Ninja Turtles film, for God's sake. This song is absolute dreck, and I hate it for reasons that have nothing to do with its reputation.

I think Eric Greenwood, who panned the song at the time, said it best: "A 35-year-old woman singing about pom-poms and 'talking shit' in high school betrays such a delusional self-image that it's hard not to be taken aback."



Mariah Carey - We Belong Together
Number 1 song from June 4th-July 1st, July 9th-September 16th, 2005 (14 weeks)
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Havoc's Grade: D
After a string of disappointing cinematic and album-related failures, this song was heralded in its day as Mariah Carey's return to form. Which... yes... yes it is, if by form, you mean the same type of boring-as-hell formless airheaded ballad work she made all throughout the 90s. Mariah has a gorgeous voice, there's never been an argument on that subject, but this song doesn't manage to showcase it except for a single extended note. I can't deny this thing was popular. Look at the dates above. But the greatest song of all time (or whatnot)? No. Not even close.



Carrie Underwood - Inside Your Heaven
Number 1 song from July 2nd-8th, 2005 (1 week)
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Havoc's Grade: D
Is this Christian Rock? I can't really tell. What I can tell is that it's painfully generic chaste American Idol country-pop designed to be sung by whichever interchangeable young pretty person won the American Idol contest that year. As that person was Carrie Underwood, so Carrie Underwood sang it, and so it became a minor #1 hit (if there can be said to be such things). So it is written. So it was.



Kanye West, featuring Jamie Foxx - Gold Digger
Number 1 song from September 17th-November 25th, 2005 (10 weeks)
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Havoc's Grade: D
I honestly thought this song might be the salvation of 2005, but... no. No, I'm sorry. Not that I hate Kanye or Jamie here, Jamie does a passable interpolation of Ray Charles' I Got a Woman, and Kanye's rapping is okay, but the song is just too... frankly too boring to actually warrant a passing grade. It's not as interesting musically as I remember it being, and the minimalist structure of it I think hurts more than it helps. Kanye is a big, boisterous personality who needs a big boisterous track, not record scratches and Bozo the Clown's car horn. Fondly though this song is remembered, I've gotta reject it.



Chris Brown - Run It!
Number 1 song from November 26th-December 30th, 2005 (4 weeks)
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Havoc's Grade: D
Storch!!!!! :evil:

Okay, so it may come as a surprise to you guys that I actually kind of like Chris Brown's music. I like it a lot better than I like the man himself, to be honest. There are a number of songs of Brown's that I might actually wind up praising here, but this isn't one of them, and the blame for that belongs to Scott Fucking Storch, one of the most boring producers to ever live, who basically took Usher's Yeah (not a song that desperately needed an encore) and stripped the Crunk out of it. I admit that the result is a bit better than the original, but it's still the same fucking song, the same boring world-music-inspired beat, the same old bullshit. I have no use for this song, whatever format it appears in.



Mariah Carey - Don't Forget About Us
Number 1 song from December 31st, 2005-January 13th, 2006 (4 weeks)
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Havoc's Grade: D
I just don't like Mariah Carey, and I don't think I ever will. It's not that she's not talented, it's that this semi-sultry down-tempo R&B just doesn't appeal to me at all, and all of her damn songs sound the same as a result. I literally cannot distinguish this song from her previous one or half a dozen others we've encountered for the last fifteen years. I don't like Mariah's music. I'm not going to spontaneously start.







Supplemental Songs

Last year I was mad. This year I'm sort of astonished at just how bad the popular music got. The question is, was it all that bad, or just the stuff that floated to the top? Let's find out...



Kelly Clarkson - Behind These Hazel Eyes
2005 Billboard Top 100 position: 10
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Havoc's Grade: B
I go back and forth on the subject of Kelly Clarkson, who basically has done nothing but remake the same song for the last thirteen years, albeit occasionally in a manner that I like. This is one such manner, an uptempo pop-rock hybrid song stuffed with a driving rock bass and an anthemic chorus. I don't really love this song, given how often Clarkson would return to this theme of "Look how much an asshole my ex was" basically forever, but I like it a lot, a moment of excitement in a year full of ephemeral nothingness.



The Killers - Mr. Brightside
2005 Billboard Top 100 position: 16
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Havoc's Grade: B
I never really got into the Killers. I always kind of thought they were much ado about nothing, particularly their first big hit, "Somebody Told Me", which had a great opening 30 seconds and nothing else. But I make an exception for Mr. Brightside, which is built around a really awesome guitar-and-synth riff, one which builds and builds throughout the single verse that the song possesses to become something special, perfect accompaniment for the jealous, bitter lyrics. The Killers never really went anywhere after this, but that matters little. I really really enjoy this song, their biggest hit, and one of the shakeup moments that started to jostle the mid-00s out of the awful, awful funk they had descended into.



Weezer - Beverly Hills
2005 Billboard Top 100 position: 20
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Havoc's Grade: A
You don't have to be complex in order to be awesome, and Beverly Hills might be the best evidence of this ever produced, a song that, ultimately, I had to give an A-rating to if I was being honest with myself. Far and away my favorite Weezer song, Beverly Hills is a big, stompy anthem to resentment and sarcastic appreciation of one's betters. But to hell with the message, the draw here is all from the music and from that damn chorus, one of the best Power Pop choruses in the entire decade. I don't care how simple it actually is, this is a song that has all the unnecessary fat trimmed off of it. If Weezer had made nothing else but this, I would still think of them fondly. As it stands, this is the crowning achievement of a storied career.



Green Day - Holiday
2005 Billboard Top 100 position: 39
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Havoc's Grade: B
I have little use for the majority of Green Day's "epochal" American Idiot album, mostly because I hate the title song so much, but political as it is, Holiday gets everything right that the aforementioned one gets wrong. It doesn't sound contemptuous but angry, a bitter, outraged polemical rant, one that is excused by virtue of its sincerity and its musical quality. Holiday is a song overflowing with ambition, not a stupid lambasting of imagined groups of stupid people, but a protest song in the tradition of the 60s. So few modern bands, punk or otherwise, ever managed to recapture that transcendent magic that Dylan and his contemporaries wove with their poetic ballads, and while Holiday isn't in their class, it's still a step and a half ahead of anything Rage Against the Machine ever put out. We may not agree politically, Green Day, but we can come together on this one.



Fall Out Boy - Sugar, We're Going Down Swinging
2005 Billboard Top 100 position: 40
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Havoc's Grade: B
And speaking of pop-punk...

I've always liked Fall Out Boy. Even when their songs fail, they generally tend to fail in directions I like. This song... honestly isn't that great, but it promises so much potential from the verses that I believe it every time, even though the chorus never really writes the check. I still have no conception what this song is about (this isn't unusual for Fall Out Boy songs), but it's got energy for days, and whatever it's trying to say, it does say it rather well. I really have nothing else for this song, it's almost the definition of a B, a song I really like, but do not regard as a masterpiece. Most of Fall Out Boy's discography meets that criteria.



Green Day - Wake Me Up When September Ends
2005 Billboard Top 100 position: 46
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Havoc's Grade: B
I may have spoken too soon when I wrote off the American Idiot album, because I forgot about this song, a song that sounds rather like someone dropped Bach's Toccata & Fugue in D Minor into a Megadeth CD. Where that entire Album was polemic, this song is a wrenching, heartfelt dirge to those lost, one that instantaneously became an anthem to every tragedy ongoing in 2005 from the War in Iraq to Hurricane Katrina. Like Time of Your Life before it, it's a song that proves just what Green Day is capable of when they decide to get serious for a change, and I honestly really do like it, despite the painful connotations it has for most people.



Goo Goo Dolls - Better Days
2005 Billboard Top 100 position: N/A
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Havoc's Grade: B
Even in the worst year in music history, I manage to embarrass myself, don't I?

Better Days is a Christmas song released under murky circumstances, with questionable lyrics and suspect orchestration. It's also one of the corniest songs ever written. I acknowledge all of this to be the case, and yet I have to admit that there's something about this song that I really like. I can't really tell what it is, maybe the bridge, which builds up to the chorus in a wonderful way, or maybe I just have shitty taste. But despite all the flak I've taken for it, I actually like Better Days, and I'm thereby obligated to tell you all about it. It's probably best to assume the song will give you all diabetes and move on.



Other noted songs from 2005:
Kelly Clarkson - Since U Been Gone <---- Not a bad song, all told. At least it has energy.
Green Day - Boulevard of Broken Dreams <---- Green Day's whiny period.
The Pussycat Dolls, featuring Busta Rhymes - Don't Cha
Lifehouse - You and Me <---- This song was playing on loop in my hotel room in Iceland while I was recovering from food poisoning. The experience was... surreal.
The Black-Eyed Peas - Don't Phunk With My Heart <---- Not even close to the stupidest thing this group ever did.
The Black-Eyed Peas - My Humps <---- ... Told ya.
Nickelback - Photograph <---- :finger:
Coldplay - Speed of Sound
Gavin deGraw - I Don't Wanna Be
Maroon 5 - She Will Be Loved
Kelly Clarkson - Because of You <---- Maybe the most thunderously on-the-nose song ever written. Almost embarrassing.
Gwen Stefani - Cool <---- Almost tolerable, which is a big step up for Gwen Stefani.
Natasha Bedingfield - These Words
Jay-Z and Linkin Park - Numb/Encore
Coldplay - Fix You

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Havoc: "So basically if you side against him, he summons Cthulu."
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 09, 2015 7:52 pm 
Mr. Party-Killbot
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2006
Yearly GPA: 1.423



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After the deluge, the rainbow. 2006 is not a great year in music history by any means, but it is a massive, massive improvement over 2005's nadir, as the charts reverberated with new music by new artists sung and performed in a new way. Unlike 1992 or 1964, this was not the result of some transcendent revolution, but merely an evolution towards different tastes, and an exploration of new ideas within the same patterns of music that had previously been dominant. Oh, and Scott Storch went bankrupt, and everyone got sick of Crunk. These are absolute goods.

So yeah, while music may well continue to suck from here on out, ladies and gentlemen, after 2005, we've passed the lowpoint. It's all uphill from here less downhill from here!






D4L - Laffy Taffy
Number 1 song from January 14th-20th, 2006 (1 week)
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Havoc's Grade: D
In the original analysis of the number ones that inspired me to produce this list, Laffy Taffy was the selection for the worst song of all of them. I don't get it at all. Not that Laffy Taffy is any good, really, it's a boring, lackadaisical crunk piece with dirty rap lyrics that make me want to shower, but I can't possibly find anything to distinguish it from all the other crap that came out around this period. I've listened to dozens of these sorts of songs by now, and this one isn't even bad enough to warrant notice. Worst song of the entire Billboard charts? This probably isn't even the worst song of this year.



Nelly, featuring Paul Wall and Ali & Gipp - Grillz
Number 1 song from January 21st-February 3rd, 2006 (2 weeks)
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Havoc's Grade: F
Told ya.

Grillz was almost tolerable, almost, as the underlying beat is at least vaguely interesting for the first minute or so. But if ever there was a song that did not require four and a half minutes, it's this one. This song is boring as all get-out, an incomprehensible mass of gibberish and lackadaisical lyricisms that do not amount to anything. This song is useless, and I have heard enough of it.



Beyoncé, featuring Slim Thug - Check on It
Number 1 song from February 4th-March 10th, 2006 (5 weeks)
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Havoc's Grade: D
Mid-00s R&B and Mid-00s Hip Hop. Two bad tastes that taste worse together. Check on It isn't a terrible song, but it holds basically no interest, beyond some overcomplex vocals near the end, and the insult "wanksters", which is admittedly kind of a fun word. Otherwise I've got nothing here. I just don't care for most of Beyoncé's music and never will. So be it.



James Blount - You're Beautiful
Number 1 song from March 11th-17th, 2006 (1 week)
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Havoc's Grade: C
James Blount is something of a self-aggrandizing, nationalistic dick, but his most famous song is, at the very least, somewhat different than its contemporaries. I'm not sure that different means good in this case, but it can't possibly mean worse, even if You're Beautiful is one of the slowest, most leaden songs ever written about unrequited love, and boy is that a list. Still, at this point, I'm just overjoyed to hear something that isn't crunk.



Ne-Yo - So Sick
Number 1 song from March 18th-31st, 2006 (2 weeks)
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Havoc's Grade: C
You know, if I'm being brutally honest, I actually kind of like this song. It' s not great or anything, but I like the genuineness of the sentiment in it. I like the specificity of the lyrics. I like the quiet, understated approach that the production takes. I like Ne-Yo's vocals on the thing. I like this song. I don't think I'd buy it, but that's a shade better than what one normally gets around here.



Sean Paul - Temperature
Number 1 song from April 1st-7th, 2006 (1 week)
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Havoc's Grade: D
Endless droning bullshit.



Daniel Prowter - Bad Day
Number 1 song from April 8th-May 12th, 2006 (5 weeks)
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Havoc's Grade: B
Of all the songs I expected to find on this list, this might have been the last. Daniel Powter's sunny power-pop ballad about a really shitty day is one of the strangest things ever to become wildly popular, but if I'm being honest, I actually like it. I mostly like it due to the associations it has with all manner of people failing horribly for my amusement, but it's not the only song to skate by on that. Honestly though if anything, this song reminds me of 1963's Telstar, by the Tornados, not because of any musical similarity, but because it's just so far out there that it represents the hunger of the listening public for something different than the crap they had been given for several years.



Rhianna - SOS
Number 1 song from May 13th-June 2nd, 2006 (3 weeks)
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Havoc's Grade: D
I almost gave Rhianna's debut single some mercy, given the extremely strong sample (from Tainted Love) that it's built around. But the base fact is that the song just doesn't have anything else going for it. I don't hate it, but there's just no reason not to break out Soft Cell's cover from 1981 instead. I have a suspicion that this will continue to be the case for most of Rhianna's career.



Chamillionaire, featuring Krayzie Bone - Ridin'
Number 1 song from June 3rd-16th, 2006 (2 weeks)
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Havoc's Grade: B
Ridin' is a surprisingly great song, so much so that I almost gave it the first A-grade I've given in more than a decade. Ultimately it wasn't quite transcendent enough for that, but it's still one of the best hip hop songs of the present century. It has everything, an infectious bass line, a standout chorus, crisp, rapid-fire lyrics and superb rapping skills. This was Chamillionaire's debut single, and he was never this good again, but given the context the song appeared in, that's a lot better than most of his contemporaries could manage.



Shakira, featuring Wyclef Jean - Hips Don't Lie
Number 1 song from June 17th-30th, 2006 (2 weeks)
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Havoc's Grade: D
I don't dislike Shakira, normally, but this reggae/samba song just does nothing for me. Shakira's singing sounds inexplicably wooden, Wyclef Jean as usual does nothing but ramble endlessly and periodically shout Shakira's name. I know this is one of the biggest hits of all time, but I simply get nothing out of it. I'll pass.



Taylor Hicks - Do I Make You Proud
Number 1 song from July 1st-7th, 2006 (1 week)
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Havoc's Grade: C
Believe me, I'm as surprised as anyone to be giving this song a passing grade, but you should consider it a matter of the barest of margins. Taylor Hicks is yet another American Idol winner singing his American Idol song, and the result is about what it always is, save that Hicks this time opts for a more Soul-infused Pop number, and does a credible enough job of it that I'm prepared to have a little mercy. I never watched American Idol, but I do somehow remember Hicks, thinking at the time that I heard him that he might make a credible Sam Cooke-style singer one day. Here's to hoping.



Nelly Furtado, featuring Timbaland - Promiscuous
Number 1 song from July 8th-August 18th, 2006 (6 weeks)
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Havoc's Grade: D
I hate Nelly Furtado, and even world-beating producer Timbaland can't make me like her one iota more. Not that this song is terrible, indeed in some ways it's fairly well constructed, but I simply can't get past Nelly Furtado's singing, which while not as bad as "I'm Like a Bird", is still pretty goddamn bad. Timbaland is awesome, by and large, but there are limits to even his magical powers. Still, I'm glad to be entering a period dominated more by him and less by Scott Fucking Storch.



Fergie - London Bridge
Number 1 song from August 19th-September 8th, 2006 (3 weeks)
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Havoc's Grade: F
I have rarely heard any song that pissed me off this badly this quickly as this one did. This wretched, awful, borderline-libelously-mislabeled "Dance-Hip-hop" song is offensive to the ears and the intellect, and I agree entirely with whichever reviewer from About.com it was that called it "Hollaback Girl, slathered in puerile sexual raunch." This song is vile, ugly, atonal garbage, a terrible turn from a singer whose career was not exactly lacking in bad music to begin with. People keep telling me that Fergie has a beautiful voice, but if that's the case, then she is a past master at hiding it.



Justin Timberlake - SexyBack
Number 1 song from September 9th-October 27th, 2006 (7 weeks)
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Havoc's Grade: C
Ah, Sexyback, the song that relaunched Justin Timberlake as the most successful ex-Boy Band member in history. This highly-autotuned, EDM/R&B piece is strange enough that I have to respect it, even if it's not something I'm going to go about listening to with any consistency. It's got a really cool, intriguing flow to it, one that reminds me of James Brown in his less ostentatious moments. This song was a mega-hit, propelling Timberlake to the A-list of music stars, and helping to finally shatter the ugly logjam that was the mid-00s drought of good music.



Ludacris, featuring Pharell - Money Maker
Number 1 song from October 28th-November 10th, 2006 (2 weeks)
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Havoc's Grade: D
A disappointingly generic and boring dirty rap song from two artists I actually like, Money Maker isn't even interesting enough for me to throw anecdotes at. It existed and was over with and the charts moved on, as shall I.



Justin Timberlake - My Love
Number 1 song from November 11th-December 1st, 2006 (3 weeks)
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Havoc's Grade: D
A beatbox-laden synthpop number that doesn't really go anywhere, this song features Timberlake, Timbaland, and TI, because music isn't confusing enough. Supposedly, this was supposed to be a Jay-Z collaboration, and when that fell through, the song was assembled rather haphazardly, and it shows.



Akon, featuring Snoop Dogg - I Wanna Love You
Number 1 song from December 2nd-15th, 2006 (2 weeks)
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Havoc's Grade: D
I Wanna Love You was intended originally to feature rapper Plies, but his part was changed out for Snoop Dogg's when Plies' entourage opened fire on a nightclub crowd after he was asked to cut his set short. Classy.

The song's okay, I guess, but is almost entirely forgettable Hip Hop R&B number about a stripper with a drug habit and a violent past. The underlying track isn't bad, but there's really nothing to get excited about here. Certainly not anything worth shooting people over.



Beyoncé - Irreplaceable
Number 1 song from December 16th, 2006-February 23rd, 2007 (10 weeks)
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Havoc's Grade: C
Originally written for Ne-Yo, who suggested giving it to a female singer, and wound up handing it over to Beyoncé, Irreplaceable was a monster song, a triple-platinum smash that charted for six months and provided Beyoncé the biggest hit of her career to-date. And I do see why. Irreplaceable isn't a great song, but it's a well-structured and reasonably good-sounding one, and more importantly it's one of the only songs of Beyoncé's that is instantly believable, as she makes hash out of an unfaithful man and contemptuously throws him to the curb. Some might read that as criticism, but I have always been a fan of artists willing to play to their strengths, however morally questionable those might be. And as a non-fan of Beyoncé's, this is one of the only ones of hers that I can easily tolerate.







Supplemental Songs

So, with the pop charts having made something of a recovery, does the same hold true for the supplemental list?



Gnarls Barkley - Crazy
2006 Billboard Top 100 position: 7
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Havoc's Grade: B
Rolling Stone's number 1 song of the decade did not make the singles charts because of a complex series of marketing and promotional circumstances too belabored to get into here. What matters is the song itself, one of the weirder things I heard in the 00s, one that is enhanced by Cee-Lo Green's spot-on vocals and a cool sensibility that rather defies description. I don't love Crazy, but I do like it a lot, and it's a surprisingly easy song to groove to.



Panic! At the Disco - I Write Sins Not Tragedies
2006 Billboard Top 100 position: 20
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Havoc's Grade: B
Panic! At the Disco is a band I once described as Fallout Boy after too many blows to the head, and while I don't really love this, their most infamously weird song, it's just so goddamn strange that I kind of have to praise it. I don't love the song, but I do love certain things about it, the cryptically passive-aggressive lyrics, the demented cello riff that underscores the verses, the depraved indifference that the song displays towards concepts such as lyrical structure. I don't regard this song as a masterpiece, but I do like it in a twisted way. Sometimes that's enough.



Snow Patrol - Chasing Cars
2006 Billboard Top 100 position: 29
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Havoc's Grade: A
Chasing Cars is a colossal song, a purified ballad, written by Snow Patrol's frontman Gary Lightbody after waking up from a drunken binge in the garden shed of his producer's house. It has an aching, ephemeral quality that I absolutely love, and have from the first moment I heard it. I know the song is overplayed and I know some people find it false or boring, but to me, this song is the real deal, and where a lot of similar would-be heartfelt ballads fall short, it soars.



Bowling for Soup - High School Never Ends
2006 Billboard Top 100 position: N/A
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Havoc's Grade: B
Yeah, yeah, it's stupid. I still kinda like it. By now you know we've gotta have at least one of these a year...



Scissor Sisters - I Don't Feel Like Dancing
2006 Billboard Top 100 position: N/A
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Havoc's Grade: B
Ladies and gentlemen, I give you an extremely heterosexual song.

I kid, I kid. This Nu-Disco piece from Britain is a fairly obvious throwback to groups like the Bee Gees, Leo Sayer, or even the Four Seasons. But the person it sounds the most like is Elton John, something explicable by the fact that he wrote the damn thing. I actually really like this song, a fun little brit-dance-pop piece that always brings a smile. You can do a hell of a lot worse in the mid-00s than a piece that sounds like it was beamed in from 1978.



Meat Loaf, featuring Marion Raven - It's All Coming Back to Me Now
2006 Billboard Top 100 position: N/A
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Havoc's Grade: B
We've seen this song before, back in 1996, when Celine Dion took it to number 1, but while I don't regard this version as the better one, it is in some ways the original. The song was written by Jim Steinman specifically for Meat Loaf, but Steinman decided when it was finished that the song needed a female voice to perform. Meat Loaf kept on him for decades for the chance to record a version of his own, and 2006 is the year that Steinman finally gave in.

I don't love this version of the song as much as I do the previous one, but I do respect it. It's a more somber, more bitter piece, and while Meat Loaf has never been the best singer in a technical sense, the song's operatic nature suits his passionate singing style. I don't pretend this is some unjustly forgotten classic or anything, but it's a worthy song. And I am glad to have the chance to praise it in the middle of a decade so devoid, comparatively, of praise in general.



Muse - Starlight
2006 Billboard Top 100 position: N/A
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Havoc's Grade: B
Starlight's a borderline song from a borderline band, but I do find something truly compelling about this song, mostly in the verse structure more than the chorus, which is the opposite of how these things typically work. Incidentally, this song's drumline spells out "TITS" in morse code. No word on whether that's intentional or not.




Other noted songs from 2006:
Natasha Bedingfield - Unwritten <---- Much buildup, little payoff
The Fray - Over My Head (Cable Car) <---- Every Fray song is the same.
The All-American Rejects - Move Along <---- A close call, but the song ultimately is a little too generic for even my tastes.
The Fray - How to Save a Life <---- Every Fray song is the same.
Hinder - Lips of an Angel
Fallout Boy - Dance, Dance
Nickelback - Photograph <---- :headwall: :headwall: :headwall:
Kelly Clarkson - Because of You <---- I refused to believe that this was a real song for years
The Black Eyed Peas - My Humps <---- :finger: :finger: :finger:
The All-American Rejects - Dirty Little Secret
Nickelback - Far Away <---- The closest Nickelback ever came to a decent song
Lifehouse - You and Me <---- I have the strangest mental associations with this song. They involve being sick with food poisoning in Iceland
John Mayer - Waiting on the World to Change
The Killers - When You Were Young <---- Borderline case. I almost put this on the list, but it wasn't quite cohesive enough.
The Raconteurs - Steady as She Goes
Muse - Knights of Cydonia

_________________
Gaze upon my works, ye mighty, and despair...

Havoc: "So basically if you side against him, he summons Cthulu."
Hotfoot: "Yes, which is reasonable."


Last edited by General Havoc on Wed Oct 19, 2016 12:52 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 10, 2015 3:54 pm 
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It's a pity "Lips of an Angel" is only supplemental. It's another cross-over song, becoming hits on both Rock & Country.

As for Meatloaf -- yeah, he took that song and took it in places Celine never could. Then you get the video, which only added to the pathos.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 10, 2015 7:59 pm 
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You know, reading 2006 while listening to a Christopher Tin album is...different. Baba Yetu sanitizes the doldroms quite nicely.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 10, 2015 11:00 pm 
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Knights of Cydonia was a fun song.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 24, 2015 9:44 pm 
Mr. Party-Killbot
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2007
Yearly GPA: 1.519




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To my surprise, not only does 2007 maintain the slight bit of momentum we had from last year, it actually builds on it to reach levels that are positively acceptable! I realize that this is a generous claim given that the score is still barely even approaching tolerable under normal circumstances, but 2007 is more or less a normal year for the charts, which is a hell of an achievement just two years removed from the worst one in history. The reason for this is complicated. No great revolution in music has taken place, just a general improvement of the existing framework. The rap is more interesting, the reggae more genuine, the R&B more soulful and the ballads more emotional than they were a couple of years ago. This year's music is simply better than it has been since the decade began. We hope it gets better yet, but for now, for once, enjoy...






Nelly Furtado - Say it Right
Number 1 song from February 24th-March 2nd, 2007 (1 week)
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Havoc's Grade: C
Honestly, I'm as surprised as anyone to find this artist and this song with a passing grade, but I attribute this remarkable turn of events to Timbaland, the producer to the Gods, who produced this stripped-down Eurythmics-sounding number, layering strange, almost spooky-sounding tracks over one another to produce something actually decent. One can only do so much with Furtado, but I'll take this over her earlier work at least.



Justin Timberlake - What Goes Around... Comes Around
Number 1 song from March 3rd-9th, 2007 (1 week)
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Havoc's Grade: C
I went back and forth on this one, trying to figure out how to separate the song from the interlude-laden music video, a style I've never been fond of. Ultimately, this song is good enough to warrant a listen, particularly the choir-infused coda and the smooth bridges and choruses. Timberlake's reinvention was more or less complete by this point, but it's worth pausing a moment to realize how he got there.



Mims - This is Why I'm Hot
Number 1 song from March 10th-23rd, 2007 (2 weeks)
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Havoc's Grade: D
I wanted to like this song more than I do, with its musical sampling of the entire history of Hip Hop and its interesting ideas as to what layer over the verses. But I just can't forgive a beat this boring or a chorus this lackluster. The song lasts about four minutes, and feels like eight, and when that happens, the score pretty much writes itself.



Fergie, featuring Ludacris - Glamorous
Number 1 song from March 24th-April 6th, 2007 (2 weeks)
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Havoc's Grade: D
Glamorous begins with one of the great opening lines of hip-hop ("If you ain't got no money, take your broke ass home"), but it never lives up to that promise, rambling incoherently instead as it trudges to a conclusion. Will.i.am helped write this song, which explains a great deal.



Akon - Don't Matter
Number 1 song from April 7th-20th, 2007 (2 weeks)
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Havoc's Grade: C
The charts need more reggae fusion, that much I do know. Don't Matter is a nice, well-crafted song featuring samples from R Kelly and Bob Marley. Relaxed and compelling, this song has a nice Caribbean atmosphere to it, and strangely enough is one of Fallout Boy's favorite cover sources, though I don't know why. I don't really love this song, but it's compelling enough to listen to, at least for a little bit.



Timbaland, featuring Nelly Furtado and Justin Timberlake - Give it to Me
Number 1 song from April 21st-May 4th, 2007 (2 weeks)
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Havoc's Grade: C
This is a real close call, as I still don't like Nelly Furtado at all and it's hard to ignore that fact when she headlines the song. But this song wins points nonetheless glorious, in that it consists of Timbaland, one of the best producers in music since the turn of the millennium, absolutely shredding Scott Storch, one of the worst. Timbaland disses Storch in ways the NWA members wish they could, casting him out as a talentless hack unworthy to lick his boots, all of which is absolutely true. The beat is interesting and dark, the sound restrained and poisonous with contempt. I really like the way this song works out, and even though Furtado ruins everything she touches, I still have to give props for a masterful iceburn from a man who generally doesn't feel the need to say a thing.



Avril Lavigne - Girlfriend
Number 1 song from May 5th-11th, 2007 (1 week)
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Havoc's Grade: D
I normally like power pop, especially when it's punk-infused, and I do actually like Avril Lavigne. So then why do I hate this song? Because it's vapid, stupid, shallow, annoying, and reminds me of acts I hate, such as Ke$ha, Gwen Steffani, and the stupider side of Taylor Swift. Avril Lavigne plainly had no idea what to do once she was too old to make teenage slacker music, and still does not, but this was certainly not the direction she should have gone in.



Maroon 5 - Makes me Wonder
Number 1 song from May 12th-25th June 2nd-8th, 2007 (3 weeks)
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Havoc's Grade: D
I really dislike Maroon 5. Not every song they made is crap, but the vast majority of them are, noodling wanna-be whitewashed "pop-funk" cored around Adam Levine's stupid falsetto voice. All their songs are built on this, and while they do occasionally luck into something that sounds credible, most of the time you get this, a song that has the decency to include the elevator muzak version of the song that it would inevitably become in the coda. This was, apparently what passed for a political song from Maroon 5, critical of the war in Iraq. If so, it's the most watered-down political song I have ever heard, which is only par for the course for them.



T-Pain - Buy U A Drank (Shawty Snappin')
Number 1 song from May 26th-June 1st, 2007 (1 week)
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Havoc's Grade: D
Less interesting than even its title implies. Nothing to hear here.



Rhianna, featuring Jay-Z - Umbrella
Number 1 song from June 9th-July 27th, 2007 (7 weeks)
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Havoc's Grade: B
I'm generally reasonably ambivalent on the subject of Rhianna, and even moreso about Jay-Z, and yet, the more I listened to this song, the more I liked it. It's not great certainly, but it has a good hook and an interesting choral structure, or at least it does once Jay-Z stops bragging and lets Rhianna get to singing. I don't pretend this is some kind of historically great song, but it does its job, and is seriously a lot better than most of the rest of the crap on top of the charts. We can and have done a lot worse than this.



Plain White T's - Hey There Delilah
Number 1 song from July 28th-August 10th, 2007 (2 weeks)
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Havoc's Grade: D
I try to like these sorts of songs, I really do, but Hey There Delilah is a rambly, boring pile, and no amount of "sincerity" can change that. I've heard far worse versions of the White Guy With Acoustic Guitar shtick certainly, but it's still not anything worth putting on.



Sean Kingston - Beautiful Girls
Number 1 song from August 11th-September 7th, 2007 (4 weeks)
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Havoc's Grade: C
An interesting little Reggae number which heavily samples Stand by Me and other Motown classics, I didn't much like this song when I first started it up, but it honestly grew on me as it went on, and the classic Motown sound became more and more prominent. It's no masterpiece, but honestly it's not bad, and I do always have a thing for Reggae on the charts.



Fergie - Big Girls Don't Cry
Number 1 song from September 8th-14th, 2007 (1 week)
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Havoc's Grade: C
I liked this song long before I had any idea who sang it, one of the better acoustic folk rock songs of the decade, infused with just enough of a whiff of urban hip hop sensibilities to keep it interesting. Without question the best thing that Fergie has ever done, this song really only fails to reach the higher grades because of its utterly dreary verse and bridge structure. But that chorus really cements what a pity it is that Fergie spent most of her time making music for the Black Eyed Peas, or crap like London Bridge and Fergilicious.



Soulja Boy Tell 'Em - Crank That (Soulja Boy)
Number 1 song from September 15-28th October 6th-November 9th, 2007 (7 weeks)
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Havoc's Grade: D
What the hell was that?

I mean, it was a song of some sort, I know that much. I don't know much beyond it except that this song was a viral hit that took off in no small part because of AMVs setting the song over scenes from Barney, Spongebob Squarepants, and The Waltons. I don't have an explanation for it, but this was apparently wildly popular, one of the top thirty songs of the decade. As for me? I can barely figure out what the hell it is supposed to be.



Kanye West - Stronger
Number 1 song from September 29th-October 5th, 2007 (1 week)
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Havoc's Grade: C
I just don't get Kanye, not generally, but this song, featuring a major sample from Daft Punk's "Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger" is at least accessibly strange, instead of impossibly strange. The underlying sample is strong enough, and Kanye doesn't indulge in his usual utterly-baffling nonsense-artistry. I can't say much more about this song beyond that, really, but Kanye would go on to do far stranger things than this.



Chris Brown, featuring T-Pain - Kiss Kiss
Number 1 song from November 10th-30th, 2007 (3 weeks)
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Havoc's Grade: F
Unlike some music aficionados I know, I don't have an automatic hate on for Chris Brown, but that doesn't make this song any more tolerable. This song sucks soooo bad, sounding both incoherent and creepy at the same time. Chris Brown's autotuning doesn't work even slightly, though he'd go on to make songs where it does. Forget this piece of crap, it belongs back in 2005.



Alicia Keys - No One
Number 1 song from December 1st, 2007-January 4th, 2008 (5 weeks)
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Havoc's Grade: D
I like, or at least want to like Alicia Keys, but this song, like much of her early work, is just incoherent, rambling music with a meaningless, needlessly-stompy beat. It seems to have been assembled from other parts of music at random, and has very little going for it in consequence. Keys would get better later on, but for now, I can't endorse this strange piece of eclecticism.








Supplemental Songs

The charts were reasonably good to us this year. So what else was there?



The All-American Rejects - It Ends Tonight
2007 Billboard Top 100 position: 55
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Havoc's Grade: B
A borderline inclusion, but one I opted to show mercy to ultimately because of the associations I have with it, It Ends Tonight is a bit too generic to be great, but it's a solid-enough song in its own right to be worth a listen to. I used to love this song, and no longer really do, but I do like the way it produces a certain kind of energy. Not great perhaps, but not everything has to be.



My Chemical Romance - Welcome to the Black Parade
2007 Billboard Top 100 position: 59
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Havoc's Grade: A
This one on the other hand...

I'm well aware of what My Chemical Romance is known for, specifically trash emo-rock, but this song is a big, massive exception in my mind, a song written, in the words of the group's frontman, to be a cross between Green Day and Meat Loaf. What it's about is a fairly complex question and ultimately a fairly meaningless one, as it's the music itself that sells this song, an explosive rock piece that I adored the instant I first heard it and have never ceased to ever since.



P!nk - Who Knew
2007 Billboard Top 100 position: 69
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Havoc's Grade: B
Pink wrote this song about a friend of hers who overdosed on cocaine and died at the age of 14, and finding that fact out really turned this song around for me. I've always been a fan of Pink's, and while this song isn't her best, it's a heartfelt ballad that uses Pink's raw vocals (compared to other singer-starlets in her field) to their fullest effect. Maybe a borderline case, given my own history, but I'll give Who Knew a little love here. Some songs just work for me.



Daughtry - Over You
2007 Billboard Top 100 position: N/A
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Havoc's Grade: B
Ah shit.

Yes, I know how bad Daughtry is. He's an overwrought semi-country crooner with less sincerity than Donald Trump. I know. But... goddammit, I actually like this song. I like the chorus, I like the presence of actual rock on the charts in an era entirely too thin on it. I like the notion that it espouses that things do recover after tragedy. I just... I like the song. I have no defense for it. Sue me. The rest of Daughtry's crap can sink into the ocean as far as I'm concerned, but this one's worth a listen, at least to me. After all, it wouldn't be a year of these lists without at least one horrific embarrassment, now would it?



Christopher Tin - Baba Yetu
2007 Billboard Top 100 position: N/A
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Havoc's Grade: A
Earlier this year, I attended a concert by the Georgia Philharmonic at which they played themes from movies and video games. Such things are not unheard of nowadays, as video game musical themes have finally been taken seriously by the music establishment for the last decade or so. And the reason for that is Baba Yetu.

The theme song to Civilization IV, and the only video game theme ever to win a Grammy Award (hell, the only one ever nominated), Baba Yetu is simply a masterpiece, a gorgeous, expansive, emotional masterpiece, one of if not the greatest game themes ever composed, a song that can bring grown men to tears even if they don't know what it's about. Indeed, like many songs in foreign languages, I think that may be the point. As most of you know, Baba Yetu is the Lord's Prayer in Swahili, but I prefer it as an unknown, as a song that could be about anything and from anywhere. I have included it here, on this supplemental list, because its acclaimed popularity made it into a gigantic hit, culminating in its release as a single in 2007, thus qualifying it for admission. But more than that, I have included it here because, whatever its source or meaning, it is one of my favorite songs of all time, a perfect counterpoint to one of the greatest and most expansive game series in all history.



Other noted songs from 2007:
Carrie Underwood - Before He Cheats
Daughtry - It's Not Over
Fergie - Fergalicious
The Fray - How to Save a Life <---- I mentioned that all Fray songs sound the same, right?
Daughtry - Home
P!nk - U + Ur Hand <---- I almost put this on the list, but the song is just too damn ugly for me
Fall Out Boy - This Ain't a Scene, It's an Arms Race <---- Surprisingly on-point title.
Fall Out Boy - Thnks fr th Mmrs <---- Sounds like a car commercial.
John Mayer - Waiting on the World to Change
Nickelback - If Everyone Cared
Avril Lavigne - Keep Holding On
Timbaland featuring OneRepublic - Apologize <---- Also very close to going on the list
Amy Winehouse - Rehab <---- Awkward...
Rhianna - Don't Stop the Music
Linkin Park - What I've Done

_________________
Gaze upon my works, ye mighty, and despair...

Havoc: "So basically if you side against him, he summons Cthulu."
Hotfoot: "Yes, which is reasonable."


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 12, 2015 3:44 pm 
Mr. Party-Killbot
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2008
Yearly GPA: 1.923



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With 2008, music reaches a height that we have not seen since the late 80s, buoyed by strong showings from all walks of music. It's still not a great year, as there's plenty of stupid club crap still on the charts, but the showing is strong enough and extended enough that it may well represent a trend. At least we can hope it does...





Flo Rida, featuring T-Pain - Low
Number 1 song from January 5th-March 14th, 2008 (10 weeks)
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Havoc's Grade: D
Just how I wanted to start out the year, a stupid southern-rock club hit from one of the stupidest artists working. This song was a massive hit, the most downloaded song of the decade, certified septuple platinum by the RIAA. It is also a dirty, stupid, ugly-sounding thing, and also probably the best song Flo Rida has ever made.



Usher, featuring Young Jeezy - Love in This Club
Number 1 song from March 15th-April 4th, 2008 (3 weeks)
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Havoc's Grade: C
There was some potential here, I have to admit that much, but potential is not enough when it comes to something like this. The song has to execute, and after a really nice introduction, there's simply not much here beyond a really interesting beat and some decent singing. It's enough to get the song a few points, albeit not more, but I should mention in fairness that one could do worse for a club jam this year (and others).



Leona Lewis - Bleeding Love
Number 1 song from April 5th-11th, April 26th-May 2nd, May 10th-23rd, 2008 (4 weeks)
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Havoc's Grade: C
I actually quite like Leona Lewis. I like her despite the fact that she is clearly desperately trying to be Mariah Carey, whom I do not like. This song, however, is just... okay. One of the problems is that it's way, way too slow, and the dance club remixes of it I've heard that speed the thing up to a tolerable pace are significantly better songs. Still, there's no denying that Lewis can sing the song, and there's something to an R&B ballad that not only comes with string accompaniments, but even a church organ.



Mariah Carey - Touch My Body
Number 1 song from April 12th-25th, 2008 (2 weeks)
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Havoc's Grade: D
With this song, Mariah Carey scored her eighteenth number 1 hit, the most by any artist in history, and with rare exceptions, I've had no use whatsoever for any of them. Not that this song's all bad. The video's kind of hilarious in its own way, and I do like the repeated insistence that Mariah gives that she will "hunt down" anyone who spills the secret of her liason. But the song just isn't interesting, for all Mariah's singing qualities. And without an interesting song, what kind of a grade can we really expect?



Lil Wayne, featuring Static Major - Lollypop
Number 1 song from May 3rd-9th, May 31st-June 27th 2008 (5 weeks)
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Havoc's Grade: D
A totally generic electropop song by the king of gross-incomphrenesibility, Lil Wayne, this song would have left no trace of its existence at all had the featured artist Static Major not died unexpectedly from medical malpractice some two weeks before the single was released. I've never heard of the man, but whoever he was, he deserved a better swan song than this.

By the way, this is the eighth and (to date) last posthumous number 1 hit on the charts.



Rhianna - Take a Bow
Number 1 song from May 24th-30th, 2008 (1 week)
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Havoc's Grade: C
I actually liked this song more than I expected to, as the concept of Rhianna trying to do a Beyoncé ballad isn't one that I normally would regard as that good of an idea. And yet its' not badly made, a simple piano-and-drum machine ballad that sounds more mournful than anything else, sung reasonably well by Rhianna. It's not my favorite song ever or anything, but it's all right.

This song should not be confused with the other number 1 hit by the same name from Madonna which we already covered.



Coldplay - Viva la Vida
Number 1 song from June 28th-July 4th, 2008 (1 week)
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Havoc's Grade: B
Viva la Vida is one of the weirder number 1 hits to ever exist. A broad, orchestral song, complete with a full string section, a digitized piano, and accompaniment by timpani drums, the song is a rich, lyrical, piece, whose title is drawn from a painting by Mexican artist Frida Kahlo. The song is filled with Catholic and biblical imagery, as well as references to the French Revolution, the Petrine Doctrine, and Che Gueverra, and stands in stark contrast to most of the rest of the stuff that makes it on the number 1s list. I honestly had no idea it was a number 1 hit at all.

And yet I like this song, or perhaps I just admire it, but one way or another, I've always held it in some admiration. It's fashionable among music hipsters to like Coldplay, if only because of the sensation that nobody else "gets" them, but honestly I just like the way they blend disparate sounds together to produce something a bit different. They're hardly my favorite band or anything, but this song is a worthy inclusion for the year.

Oh incidentally, this song spawned a lot of copyright lawsuits. Like a LOT of them. I think it was because everyone wanted to think that they were highbrow enough to have written it. Or as Will Champion (drummer) once said "For some reason, God only knows why, the successful songs seem to be the ones that are accused of being stolen."



Katy Perry - I Kissed a Girl
Number 1 song from July 5th-August 22nd, 2008 (7 weeks)
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Havoc's Grade: C
And lest everyone think I'm nothing but a highbrow music snob, let me introduce you to another artist I'm a fan of...

Yeah, I actually like Katy Perry. Not everything she does, mind you (we'll hear some of her less than excellent stuff going forward), but I do like this song, actually quite a bit, to the point where I debated whether I wanted to give it a B. Ultimately it's the sub-par lyrics (structurally, that is) that keeps it from those heights, but a song like this one, built around a throbbing New Wave rock guitar bass, with just enough bubblegum pop to leaven it, was basically designed from the get go to appeal to me. This song generated a lot of controversy when it was released. None other than the Huffington Post, published an article calling Katy Perry "A fucking stupid title-thieving little slut" for having dared to write it.

... you know what, reading that article just changed my mind...

Havoc's Amended Grade: B

Address all complaints to the usual location. Especially if you're the Huffington Post.



Rhianna - Disturbia
Number 1 song from August 23rd-September 5th, 2008 (2 weeks)
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Havoc's Grade: D
I don't hate Disturbia, but it's a pretty lackluster attempt at a dark tone for an electropop song. Usher and Lady Gaga would do far better than this in the next couple of years, and there's just not enough here to really warrant a listen, save maybe for a pre-chorus section or two here and there.



T.I. - Whatever You Like
Number 1 song from September 6th-26th, October 4th-17th, November 1st-14th, 2008 (7 weeks)
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Havoc's Grade: C
Honestly, Whatever You Like isn't bad, particularly the underlying synthesizer track. But ultimately, it's a low-grade C at best, thanks to a really slow beat and uninspired lyrics. Still, there's a solid core of something better here, just a pity T.I. couldn't bring it out.



Pink - So What
Number 1 song from September 27th-October 3rd, 2008 (1 week)
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Havoc's Grade: B
So What would be absolutely insufferable if it had come from any artist except Pink, but it did come from the reigning queen of painful, drunken rock, and so it's frankly pretty damn awesome. Energetic and charged, with a powerful, driving beat and transparently desperate lyrics. I like this song more every time I hear it, and it just serves to cement for me that Pink is one of the best pop artists working. Half a dozen different artists, from Kesha to Fergie, have tried to make songs just like this one, and all of them have turned out to be teeth-gratingly annoying. This one alone is a great song, and that's all there is to it.



T.I., featuring Rhianna - Live Your Life
Number 1 song from October 18th-24th, November 15th-December 12th, 2008, December 20th-26th (6 weeks)
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Havoc's Grade: B
Live Your Life is a weird song, one which causes Rhianna to sample the Numa Numa song for reasons I can only speculate to. And yet if I'm being honest, I actually like it. T.I.'s rapping is conscious and actually fairly insightful, far beyond the previous work I've seen him do. The R&B harmonies are well orchestrated, the verses are well-written, and the song is put together overall at a very high level. I debated whether this song was worthy of a C or a B, and I'm still not sure to be honest, but the song is such a refreshing take on conscious Hip Hop and contemporary R&B, that I sort of have to give in.



Britney Spears - Womanizer
Number 1 song from October 25th-31st, 2008 (1 week)
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Havoc's Grade: D
Womanizer has a great electropop hook, I have to give it that much. But beyond that... no, I'm sorry. Repetition of this scale becomes aggravating, and Britney's voice was never that great by the standards of her peers. The chorus of this song is just annoying, and the attempt at making the song "empowering" are fairly laughable. Sorry, Britney. Better luck next time.



Beyoncé - Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)
Number 1 song from December 13th-19th, December 27th, 2008-January 16th 2009 (4 weeks)
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Havoc's Grade: C
Single Ladies is a twisted-ass song, with production that sounds like it was beamed in from another planet and aggressive undertone that could form the soundtrack to a violent murder in some avant-guard exploitation film. Beyoncé called it "playful", which I think reveals more about her mental state than anything else. And yet I don't really hate this song either, as the weird electro-horror sound definitely gives it an edge that most similar "I'm so over my Ex-boyfriend, guys, really, I swear" songs don't have. Kanye's claim that it was the Best Song of All Time is farcical, but it's not bad. Not by comparison to most of the rest of Beyoncé's career.







Supplemental Songs

Good years come and go, but the supplemental list remains. Let's see what was kept off the top of the charts by the reasonably good songs above...



Chris Brown - Forever
2008 Billboard Top 100 position: 10
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Havoc's Grade: B
Yes, Chris Brown is a scumbag, but he's not a bad singer, not always, and this song, built out of, of all things, a Doublemint Gum commercial ("double your pleasure...") is probably his best song, a relaxed, well-orchestrated Eurodance song with just enough trance and eurodisco elements to keep it interesting. I really like the mood and vibe of this song, the energetic production, the bubbly synths laced through it, the entire thing really. I know a lot of people called this an Usher ripoff, but frankly, at this point in his career, Usher hadn't done much that I had any use for. That would change as time went on, but for the moment, Chris Brown managed to pull one off, despite his personal woes. It might not even be the last time we see him here...



Linkin Park - Shadow of the Day
2008 Billboard Top 100 position: 55
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Havoc's Grade: B
Of all the songs that we've encountered to date on this project, Shadow of the Day reminds me the most of U2's With or Without You. Both are songs characterized by a long, slow buildup of element layered upon element, with the initial theme providing the iron core of a more complex musical theme by the end. Both feature infinite guitars prominently, and both result in the same sort of rising crescendo of energy that made U2's song one of the greatest pop songs of all time. Shadow of the Day isn't quite that good, but it's a really solid Alt-rock song from a band better known for whining emo crap. I'm a really big fan of Shadow of the Day, and while I acknowledge it's a bit simplistic, perhaps, it has such a wonderfully strong core to it that I go back to the damn thing again and again.



John Murphy - Adagio in D Minor
2008 Billboard Top 100 position: N/A
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Havoc's Grade: A
I know this is cheating. I know this isn't a pop song, nor a charting hit, nor anything approximating either. I know it's a song lifted from a movie soundtrack that just happened to be released as a single, one that should by rights be somewhere else. I know all these things, and the only flimsy excuse for why I have added it to the supplemental list despite knowing these things is that John Murphy's Adagio in D Minor is one of my favorite pieces of music of all time.

Words cannot describe how much I love this piece, a piece that brought tears to my eyes when first I heard it, a piece I have heard re-used in a thousand places in a thousand films, and enriched every one. There are a dozen mixes of this song, and the version linked above is my favorite of them, one which adds just a touch more weight and power to the underlying chords. It's an evocative, powerful, uplifting piece of instrumental genius, and I can't praise it enough. Call it a misfit if you will, but no list of music curated by me ever stood any chance of existing without it.



Other noted songs from 2008:
Natasha Bettingfield - Pocket Full of Sunshine <---- Annoying as hell.
Jason Mraz - I'm Yours <---- Might have been halfway decent if it wasn't so damn cloying.
OneRepublic - Stop and Stare
Katy Perry - Hot n Cold <---- I came dangerously close to adding this to the list.
Estelle, ft. Kanye West - American Boy
Leona Lewis - Better in Time <---- Another close call. Call it an honorable mention.
John Mayer - Say
Kevin Rudolf, ft. Lil' Wayne - Let it Rock
Taylor Swift - Love Story <---- And so begins the Age of Taylor.
Kid Rock - All Summer Long
Daughtry - Feels Like Tonight
The Offspring - You're Gonna Go Far Kid

_________________
Gaze upon my works, ye mighty, and despair...

Havoc: "So basically if you side against him, he summons Cthulu."
Hotfoot: "Yes, which is reasonable."


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 30, 2015 9:34 pm 
Mr. Party-Killbot
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2009
Yearly GPA: 1.600




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2009 is honestly a hard year to evaluate for the same reason that 1978 was. It's a year in which the charts were utterly dominated by a single act, with a pair of songs that combined to swallow literally half the year. The GPA therefore, will depend entirely on whether you like the group in question, which... well you'll see. Let's see how the last year of the terrible, terrible 00s fared in our evaluation...





Lady Gaga, featuring Colby O'Donis - Just Dance
Number 1 song from January 17th-February 6th, 2009 (3 weeks)
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Havoc's Grade: C
I suppose I should warn everyone at this juncture that I'm a huge fan of Lady Gaga's work. And I cannot express in words how happy I am that we've finally reached the period in which she could exercise her command of the pop landscape.

Lady Gaga was an unknown Julliard alum eeking a living in bars and clubs in New York when she was brought to Los Angeles to record, in her own words, "one shot to write the song that would change my life," and it did. A dark, clipped synthpop anthem, this song, probably the most normal thing that Gaga would ever do, is a relentlessly cool piece of music, and while I don't really love it, thanks to a fairly boring choral structure, it serves as a nice introduction to one of three female artists who will utterly dominate the musical landscape from now on to the present day.

The identities of the other two will become clear as we go on.



Kelly Clarkson - My Life Would Suck Without You
Number 1 song from February 7th-20th, 2009 (2 weeks)
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Havoc's Grade: B
I really missed being able to embarrass myself with revelations like this one.

Kelly Clarkson's best song by a mile and a half, My Life Would Suck Without You is a pounding, pop-rock overture, centered around a chorus of crashing cymbals, bass, synthesizers, and loud guitars, stupid as all hell and utterly without shame in promoting it. I love it dearly. It's a stupid song, not tremendously interesting in structure or style, but it's a fun one, with high energy and soaring vocals. After the darkness I have passed through in the 00s, I deserve a stupid pop-rock song like this one.



Eminem, featuring Dr. Dre & 50 Cent - Crack a Bottle
Number 1 song from February 21st-27th, 2009 (1 week)
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Havoc's Grade: F
Crack a Bottle sucks, mostly because it's so damn boring, a lackadaisical, noodling beat with uninspired rapping from two very good artists and one bad joke. Eminem's career would never be as good as it was when he began from here on out, but at least most of the rest of his songs had some redeeming value. This one did not.



Flo Rida - Right Round
Number 1 song from February 28th-April 10th, 2009 (6 weeks)
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Havoc's Grade: D
You'd think a song that so prominently samples a song as awesome as You Spin Me Right Round would be better than this, but that's the power of Flo Rida, one of the most boring rappers that the late 00s and early 10s records. The only other noteworthy thing about this boring sample-turned-song is the appearance of an unknown young singer named Kesha on the backing vocals.



Lady Gaga - Poker Face
Number 1 song from April 11th-17th, 2009 (1 week)
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Havoc's Grade: C
Just Dance was her first hit, but Poker Face was the song that introduced me to Lady Gaga in the first place. It's... okay. It's impact has been dulled considerably by all the really, really weird stuff that Lady Gaga wound up doing in its aftermath, and I still don't much care for her singing in this song, but the underlying Dark-electro music is still pretty interesting. I always thought that this song's meaning was obvious, but apparently there's a lot of subtext people have detected, regarding everything from Bisexuality to murder and rape going on. I'll leave that to the theorists, but this song's all right in my book, if not as good as what Gaga would produce later.



The Black Eyed Peas - Boom Boom Pow
Number 1 song from April 18th-July 10th, 2009 (12 weeks)
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Havoc's Grade: D
A song plainly intended to be released in the previous year ("I'm so three thousand and eight"?), Boom Boom Pow is totally inexplicable to me, as the song is just a disconnected set of ugly sounds and autotuned mania. I've got no use for this rambling nonsense, any more than I do for most of the rest of the Black Eyed Peas' work.



The Black Eyed Peas - I Gotta Feeling
Number 1 song from July 11th-October 16th, 2009 (14 weeks)
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Havoc's Grade: C
I did say most of the rest of their discography, didn't I?

I Gotta Feeling isn't a great song, but damn if it isn't a pretty good one, and that's just enough to win it some points from me here. A big, happy, uptempo party anthem, one that builds on itself quite well. If this song sounds like a U2 song, and many think it does, bear in mind that it was explicitly written to sound as such. Ultimately, I don't have a lot to say about I Gotta Feeling, but I do enjoy it, for whatever it's worth.

Incidentally, it's worth pointing out that with these two songs, the Black Eyed Peas held the number 1 spot on the charts for 26 consecutive weeks, a record I doubt will ever be broken.



Jay Sean, featuring Lil' Wayne - Down
Number 1 song from October 17th-23rd, October 31st-November 6th, 2009 (2 weeks)
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Havoc's Grade: C
I have a soft spot for Down, an uptempo dance-club piece whose feature verse from Lil' Wayne doesn't manage to ruin everything. I don't love this song, but it's all right, energetic enough, and with a fairly catchy hook. As always, we can do far worse.



Britney Spears - 3
Number 1 song from October 24th-30th, 2009 (1 week)
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Havoc's Grade: D
An overly-autotuned electropop song notable only for the fact that it drops Peter, Paul, and Mary's name in the lyrics as a metaphor for threesomes which is... certainly odd. I don't have a lot of use for this song overall, though I suppose there's worse out there.



Owl City - Fireflies
Number 1 song from November 7th-13th, 21st-27th, 2009 (2 weeks)
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Havoc's Grade: C
I've never heard of this song, or for that matter this group, and that's a rare thing to say for a hit barely six years old at this point. Honestly, this song has a novelty value that compensates for some of its flaws, a strange, synthpop summer anthem that sounds somewhat like it came from the Disney Channel, but only somewhat. I don't really know what to do with Fireflies, so I'll leave it as such.



Jason DeRulo - Whatcha Say
Number 1 song from November 14th-20th, 2009 (1 week)
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Havoc's Grade: C
Jason DeRulo is sort of a laughingstock among major music critics nowadays, but I've always kind of had a soft spot for his stuff, mostly because of the rich orchestration that he always brings to his Autotune-heavy R&B. The lyrics may be as stupid as one can imagine, and they will go on to get stupider from here, but I can't help it, I like creative use of Autotune as an instrument in a heavy musical production, though not as much here as I will in a song to come...



Jay-Z, featuring Alicia Keys - Empire State of Mind
Number 1 song from November 28th, 2009-January 1st, 2010 (5 weeks)
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Havoc's Grade: D
I get the idea with this song, but bereft of a personal connection to the Big Apple, I really am left only with the song itself, which is a rambly little ballad that isn't bad, but really doesn't hold much for me. I'm sure Yankees fans love this song, but they can have it, and frankly, they can have Jay-Z in general if they want.







Supplemental Songs

So with most of the year taken up by the Black Eyed Peas, shall we investigate what else was around in 2009?



The All-American Rejects - Gives You Hell
2009 Billboard Top 100 position: 10
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Havoc's Grade: B
I like a lot of The All-American Rejects' stuff, but this is probably my favorite track of theirs, a big, stompy-drum laden overture to pissing on someone you just can't stand. As a connoisseur of contempt in my own right, I appreciate the sentiment in a song like this, and I like how it builds into a pop-punk anthem by the end of it. This one goes out to everyone you hate, and there's something for that.



Lady Gaga - Paparazzi
2009 Billboard Top 100 position: 53
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Havoc's Grade: B
Paparazzi isn't a great song, but it's one I've always been kind of fascinated by, thanks to a really strange production that underlies the entire febrile, vaguely deranged affair. It's not the best of Lady Gaga's songs by any stretch, but it's pretty good, and worth another listen.



Linkin Park - New Divide
2009 Billboard Top 100 position: 61
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Havoc's Grade: B
Created for the abominable Michael Bay atrocity Transformers 2, New Divide is, nonetheless, awesome. I know a lot of people regard it as a generic rock retread of earlier stuff that Linkin Park put out, but... I have to be honest, I absolutely love this song, and only restrained myself from giving it an A because I've never been fond of the truncated second chorus and bridge combination in the middle of the thing. Lest I sound critical though, I regard this as Linkin Park's best song by a wide margin, a thumping rock anthem built around basic but effective rock building blocks. This is what I meant when I said that Linkin Park would get better after its roots as an emo laughingstock.



Green Day - 21 Guns
2009 Billboard Top 100 position: 78
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Havoc's Grade: B
A victim of it's own overplay on the rock stations in its day, I basically put 21 Guns on this list purely because of its bridge, a soaring crescendo of all of the song's best ideas encapsulated in about twenty seconds of music. Otherwise, the song is an above-average anti-war arena rock piece, one of Green Day's better offerings. I don't really listen to this song much anymore, but I adored it in its day so much that it would be deeply untrue to fail to include it here.



Leona Lewis - My Hands
2009 Billboard Top 100 position: N/A
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Havoc's Grade: B
Of all the embarrassing revelations I've made over the course of this project, this one might be the worst. Originally commissioned as, of all things, the theme song to Final Fantasy XIII, this Leona Lewis song was not well regarded when it came out and neither was the game it was attached to, and for reasons that I can't really fault, as it's a bombastic, eruptive, almost bludgeoning song. And yet... I have to be honest here guys, I basically loved this song the instant I heard it, and have never stopped. Yes, it's cheesy. Yes, it's badly matched for a bad game. Yes, it's not particularly well-crafted, but Leona Lewis has a beautiful voice and the orchestral arrangement for this thing is just the sort of thing calculated to break my objectivity right in half. I don't expect that anyone else likes this song, or anything associated with it, but to me, it lets this miserable decade end on a high note.



Other noted songs from 2009:
Taylor Swift - Love Story
Jason Mraz - I'm Yours <---- I hate this song far less than I think I probably should
Taylor Swift - You Belong With Me <---- I also hate this song far less than I think I probably should.
T.I. ft. Justin Timberlake - Dead and Gone
The Fray - You Found Me
Kings of Leon - Use Somebody
Pitbull - I Know You Want Me (Calle Ocho)
Soulja Boy ft. Sammie - Kiss Me Thru The Phone
Miley Cyrus - The Climb
Beyoncé - Halo
Kid Cudy - Day N' Night
Miley Cyrus - Party in the USA
Kevin Rudolf, ft. Lil Wayne - Let it Rock
Jeremih - Birthday Sex <---- Just wretched.
Pink - Sober <---- Very, very close call on this one.
Cobra Starship ft. Leighton Meester - Good Girls Go Bad <---- :rofl:
Beyoncé - If I Were a Boy <---- Sexist Twaddle, attached to one of Beyoncé's better vocal performances.
Pussycat Dolls - I Hate This Part <---- I hate this song.
Pink - Please Don't Leave Me
Glee Cast - Don't Stop Believin' <---- :finger:
Mario ft. Gucci Mane and Sean Garrett - Break Up <---- *Shudder*
Colbie Callait - Fallin' For You
Beyoncé - Diva <---- :rofl:
Justin Bieber - One Time <---- It begins...
John Legend, ft. Andre 3000 - Green Light
Kelly Clarkson - Already Gone
The Killers - Human <---- What the hell was this?
Kings of Leon - Sex on Fire

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 31, 2015 12:54 am 
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It's interesting how divorced I am from musical pop culture here. I doubt artist I like, such as Lindsey Striling will show up here given that her "base" is basically the internet.

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 31, 2015 3:45 pm 
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The more you got into the 00's the less connected I was to the Top 10. Some of these songs I've never heard of before, and considering the genre, I'm not surprised. I do not listen to rap or hip-hop, so I 'missed out'. (Not that I'm complaining now)

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 01, 2015 5:01 pm 
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frigidmagi wrote:
It's interesting how divorced I am from musical pop culture here. I doubt artist I like, such as Lindsey Striling will show up here given that her "base" is basically the internet.


You're almost certainly correct. Artists like Stirling will simply make no presence on the charts. One of the costs of doing business with these lists, I suppose.

And Tev, I would not, if I were you, lose any sleep over not being connected to the top 10 during the '00s. It was a dark time.

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