The Low Notes: Examining The Worst Songs Of All Time

(via urbo) by Jamie Wiles

They say music is subjective, but don’t tell that to the critics.

Lester Bangs, the patron saint of U.S. rock criticism, once said that, “The first mistake of art is to assume that it’s serious.” Yet plenty of music critics get paid to make that mistake, and even more do it on a volunteer basis.

Paid or not, critics seem to assume that the creators of a song are, like, morally culpable for the quality of their product. People hate few things like they hate a bad song. Maybe that’s just because no nuanced weighing of relative merits is as fun as a thorough critical hatchet job.

That’s why we have Sean Beaudoin in Salon sneering at the “10 Bands [He] Will Be Forced to Listen To in Hell.” (Beaudoin goes on to trash The Beach Boys, a band that inspired luminaries from The Beatles to My Bloody Valentine.) It’s why we have Pitchfork, the website that once said of Sonic Youth: “These 40+year olds continue to operate under the perception that they matter.”

Here’s the weird thing about paying really, really close attention to pop music, though: The closer you look at a given track, the harder it is to discard it out-of-hand. When you pry a song open to check out its composite elements—harmonic structure, melodic lines, counterpoint, rhythmic shifts, dynamics, all the nuts and bolts of the pop tradition—pretty much everything is at least interesting. Even the terrible stuff…

Read more:

https://www.urbo.com/content/examining-the-worst-songs-of-all-time/

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