Musical Manslaughter: 10 Things I Hate About Music
From the blog "Woohoo's Blog"
Hello everyone. Woohoo here with another entry of Musical Manslaughter, because you can't spell 'slaughter' without 'laughter' and these songs are jokes.
Now with my previous entries, I tore apart individual songs. For this entry, I'm doing something different... I mean way different. I'm going to list the ten things in music that I hate. I may love music but there are some things in music that make my face go full on Yellow Diamond. Trying to find only ten things was a bit difficult. Also, these things I hate are in no particular order so you won't see a "ten, nine, eight," etc.
Alright, enough of my shuckin' and jivin', here are the 10 things I hate about music...
This one is pretty obvious as almost everyone has torn Auto-Tune a new one. What I hate the most about Auto-Tune is its use... or should I say its misuse. When Auto-Tune first came out in the late 90s, it was mainly used a special effect. It's first notable use was in Cher's 1998 #1 hit "Believe."
Nowadays, for the most part, it's used a crutch for "singers" who can't even carry a tune. Another thing I hate is the sound. It sounds so mechanical and unnatural, almost like a robot is singing. Where's the heart? While Auto-Tune might be useful for covering up the occasional vocal mistake, sometimes it makes the mistakes even more noticeable. A big example is Emma Watson's singing in the live action Beauty and the Beast remake. Why are artists and producers so obsessed with everything being pitch-perfect? Do they think the listener would be bothered by a few flat/sharp notes?! I'm not bothered by flats and sharps, but jarring pitch shifts and stuttering do.
I don't mind Auto-Tune as an effect, but as a crutch... STOP! Just stop! By the way, if you're looking for someone to blame for Auto-Tune, don't blame Cher. That's like blaming the Wright Brothers for 9/11.
This one is pretty nitpicky but fade-outs are something that's always gotten under my skin. To me, fade-outs are a cop out. They're bland, uncreative, lazy, and they make the songs sound incomplete. It just feels like artists didn't feel like writing a proper outro so they just kept playing while their producer slowly turns down the volume. Another thing I hate is that fade-outs tend to drag on for way too long, which just makes me want to hit the "next song" button on my player. The worst is when a fade-out is used over an amazing guitar solo. Why would you fade out your own work?!
These were extremely rampant from the 50s through 2000s. Nowadays, fade-outs have largely... faded away.
Songs That Start With The Chorus
I couldn't really find a good picture for this one. Another nitpicky one but I hate it when songs start with the chorus. To me, they feel like a quick and sleazy way to get the listener hooked. Personally, I prefer being warmed up with an intro and verse before getting to the chorus. I view the chorus of a song as the cream filling of an Oreo or the Tootsie center of a Tootsie-Pop. Starting the song with the chorus just spoils the song for me. It also makes the chorus much more repetitive (I'll get to that later.)
There are only a handful of songs I like that start with the chorus, such as Guns N' Roses' "Paradise City," Cher's "If I Could Turn Back Time," Queen's "Fat Bottomed Girls," and a few others. Meanwhile, some of my least favorite songs do this, including Charlie Puth's "Marvin Gaye," Taylor Swift's "Bad Blood," ABBA's "Dancing Queen," Starship's "We Built This City," Wham's "Last Christmas," and the list goes on. Again, this one is very nitpicky.
Songs That Run Too Long
Before I tear into this one, let me say that I love long songs, but only if they're done right and most of the time, they are. However, there are some songs that are seven, eight, or well over ten minutes long when only half the time is needed. The biggest offenders in my eyes, or should I say ears, are "Hey Jude" by The Beatles, "American Pie" by Don McLean, and "St. Anger" by Metallica. "Hey Jude" starts of promising for the first three minutes, but the last four minutes of relentless "Na-na-na-nas" utterly ruin the song for me. "American Pie" is nothing but verse-chorus-verse-chorus and a slight tempo change for a whopping eight and a half minutes. Boring! With "St. Anger," who knows what Metallica were thinking, especially since they've made some amazing long songs. These songs really should be only four or at most five minutes long.
In my opinion, the best long songs are the ones they don't feel long and you hope would never end. Some great examples include Rush's "2112," Pink Floyd's "Echoes," Iron Maiden's "Rime of the Ancient Mariner" and many more. If you're going to make a long song, at least make it interesting. Don't be afraid to be creative.
Bad Audio Mixing
Have you ever listened to a song and it's so loud that it feels your eardrums might explode? So you turn it down to a comfortable level only for the next song/part of the song to be so quiet you can barely hear it? How about when the music drowns out the vocals and vice-versa? That's bad mixing and I hate it, especially the ongoing "Loudness War." An infamous example of the Loudness War's effect was Metallica's 2008 album Death Magnetic. A pretty good album but the mix is so loud that it's difficult to hear at a comfortable level. I would have to change volume constantly.
Why can't these big time artists and producers mix their goddamn audio right?! Are they that oblivious?! Why am I you asking these questions?! *sigh* Time to move on...
Songs With "Featured" Artists
I don't really mind having another singer or musician in your song, but lately it's getting on my nerves. Some recent examples of this include "Baby" by Justin Bieber featuring Ludacris, "Bad Blood" by Taylor Swift featuring Kendrick Lamar, "Right Round" by Flo Rida featuring Ke$ha, and "Dark Horse" by Katy Perry featuring Juicy J. What bothers me the most about this is it just feels like a commercial for the featured artist. They're usually there for less than a minute, sometimes a bit more, and they're done. It almost feels like they're featured just for a paycheck... wait. Another thing is they're not given a whole lot of time to shine. Why have them in your song if you're not going to fully utilize their talent? They really should be called "sponsored" instead of "featured."
Once again, I don't mind this. It has been done right before, such as "Under Pressure" by Queen and David Bowie. At least Bowie wasn't treated like a background singer and shared roughly the same amount of lead vocals as Freddie Mercury. But these recent examples just make me shake my head... and not in a good way.
This thing I hate is pretty layered so let me break it down for you...
1. Non-lexical vocables: If you don't know what these are, they are nonsense syllables like "la-las," "na-nas," "doot-dos," "whoa-ohs," "hey-heys," "yeah-yeahs," etc. I've always hated these; they're so ridiculous and stupid. I always cringe if they're used as legitimate lyrics, such as "Hey Jude" and "Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye." Blech! How about using some actual words!
2. Elongating Words: This one's nitpicky but I hate when a single word is stretched out to fill a measure. One big example of this that pisses me off is... say it with me now...
"AND IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIEIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII WILL ALWAYS LOVE YOOOOOOOOOOU." -Whitney Houston
...And I will always loathe that song because of that. There's nothing impressive about elongating the letter I. I also hate when singers "stutter" words to fill a measure, such as Katy Perry's "E.T." and Rihanna's "This Is What You Came For." It just makes my vocal cords crawl.
3. Poor Enunciation: This pisses me off the most. I absolutely hate not being able to understand the words of a song. I've heard enunciations so poor that they sound like a different language. Why be a singer if we can't even understand what the fuck you're singing?!
Aside from a very, VERY, VERY select few, I... really... hate... love songs! I can say, without a doubt, that love is the most oversung topic in the history of music. Most love songs to me are just "I love you, you love me," mixed in with some pathetically cheesy lines, overused rhymes like girl/world and fire/desire, all laid on top of some slow and sappy melody and beat. I also feel the same way with sex songs and breakup songs. Why the hell can't you sing about something else?! There's a whole lot more to life than love!
Then again, maybe I just hate love songs because I'm forever alone. Every time I hear a love song, I feel ridiculed for being single...
Incessant Overplaying Of Popular Songs
Do you ever get annoyed with hearing the same old songs everyday? I sure as hell am! In the spoiler below is a short list of what I consider to be the most overplayed songs ever...
OK, it's not really a short list but you get the idea. I don't hate all of these songs but some I've heard so many times that hearing even the slightest note makes my face contort with annoyance.
Why do radio stations insist on constantly playing the same old songs? Because they're popular? It's like they think they're the only songs ever made! Have they ever heard of variety?! There's a whole lot more to these artists than just their hits. It's not just on radio, but in TV shows, commercials, movies, video games, and other media. Like I said earlier, I don't hate all the songs I listed, but there is one song in particular that I absolutely loathe because of its incessant overplaying. If you haven't already guessed, it's Taylor Swift's "Shake It Off." When that song was released, I could not escape it. Everywhere I went, I heard that abomination of a song. Hell, I remember one day in November 2014 where I heard it playing on five different stations at almost the exact same time!
For the love of all that everything in this universe, play something else! I don't care if it's #1 on the charts, PLAY... SOMETHING... ELSE!! That's... just... what's the word I'm thinking of? Oh yeah...
Out of all the things I hate in music, this one angers me the most. I'm fully aware music is built on repetition, but there are some songs, especially recently, that are so goddamn repetitive! Some recent examples include Taylor Swift's "Shake It Off," Justin Bieber's "Baby," and Carly Rae Jepsen's "I Really Like You." These three songs have one thing in common, they repeat a single word in their title over 50 FUCKIN' TIMES! Many artists are guilty of this, not just today's, but music legends have done this as well. You wanna know how many "na-na-nas" are in "Hey Jude?" 162! What were they thinking?! Sometimes it's not just single words or vocables that are overly repeated, but entire verses and chorus, too. I especially hate it when the chorus is overly repeated at the end of the song. Do I really need to give an example of this? It's almost as worse as a fade-out.
It just makes me wonder, do they really think that the more they repeat something, the catchier it'll be? I guess we may never know. In my opinion, there is a very fine line between "catchy" and "annoying" and most songs either just cross it or obliterate it. I would rant more about repetition, but then I'd be just repeating myself.
And those are the 10 things I hate about music. This is a blog I've wanted to make for a while but didn't have the inspiration... which I finally got when I watched TJ Kirk's "21 Things I Hate About Movies" video. What are things in music that you hate? Leave a comment down below. This is Woohoo, signing off.