Taste in music is subjective. That being said, if you like any of these songs, you are a total asshole. It’s not even an argument. And if for some reason you actually like any of the songs on this list and you are offended, just take consolation in the fact that I now have all of them stuck in my head, which is my own personal living hell.
“Hotel California,” The Eagles
Why it sucks: The lyrics are a load of metaphorical bullshit that a freshman English major would be ashamed to write. Then there’s that horrible opening riff. It sounds like the house mariachi band playing for their dinner at your favorite local Mexican spot. All of which leads into the wank off dueling guitar solos. This is a six and a half minute song with zero and a half minutes of listenable music.
Why you suck for liking it: If you liked the Eagles in the ’70s, I can’t totally blame you because there were only three radio stations back then and they probably all played “Hotel California” every 30 minutes for a year straight. But if you like them now, it means you are most likely a dumbshit investment banker who keeps the band’s touring schedule going by renting out $7,000 suites for their shows so you can snack on shrimp cocktail while watching a bunch of old men with long gray hair noodle on their guitars and take three intermissions to get through an hour and a half set.
“Empire State of Mind,” Jay Z
Why it sucks: The Manhattan bureau of tourism itself couldn’t have written a jingle this catchy and persuasive for the Big Apple. (Minus the drug dealing references, of course.) “Here in New York, if you work hard, you will become a zillionaire superstar. Anyone can do it!” The desperate Yankee shout-outs are practically begging the team to hire him. Flying in Alicia Keys for the hook sounds like it was arranged by whatever tri-state area car company wound up picking this up for its commercials. As a result, you hear this song almost as often on TV as you do on the radio. This isn’t a song, it’s a marketing campaign.
Why you suck for liking it: It’s the theme song for the least liked team in baseball. I can’t think of anything more obnoxious than blaring a Jay Z song to celebrate the Yankees winning a World Series. You’re one part front-running sports fan, one part flavor of the month pop music moron.
“Don’t Stop Believin’,” Journey
Why it sucks: This song can ruin a variety of situations: karaoke night, happy hour, weddings, funerals, Journey concerts. This very well could be the number one most overplayed song ever recorded. And yet it keeps popping up. It’s the cockroach of awful songs and good taste is its nuclear bomb. Nothing can kill this thing’s momentum. It will live on forever.
Why you suck for liking it: Because in 99 percent of all situations, you don’t like this song, either. But you’re out for the first time in a while and it’s 1:13 AM and you just did a shot and then, wait a second…are those the opening piano chords to…could it be? And now you know all of the words and you are screaming them at me from three inches away and when the chorus finally drops everyone around you is your best friend and you won’t remember any of this tomorrow. But it happened. And I hate you for it.
“Hold On We’re Going Home,” Drake
Why it sucks: When you’re a rapper and your biggest hit ever is a song you sing with Autotune, you’re doing it wrong. Also, how the hell can you not hit the right notes in 2014? There are so many ways to overproduce that shit so it sounds right and Drake still comes off as a castrated Hanson brother when he goes R&B on us. I know this is a recently overplayed hit, but this level of shittiness has some real staying power. Trust me, I will feel the exact same way about this song in 10 years.
Why you suck for liking it: Basically just about every rap song written after 1996 is terrible, but Drake is really the cream of the crap. He’s overly sensitive one minute, then turns around and tries to sound like a hardcore dude from the rough and tumble streets (of Canada) on the other half of his album. He’s a chameleon rapper who will do anything to sell records. And you fell for it.
“Sweet Caroline,” Neil Diamond
Why it sucks: The term “soft rock” is a contradiction, one Neil Diamond has turned into a lengthy career and (I’m presuming) a solid gold house. It’s also the most uninspiring form of music you can make, full of bland chords, piano fills and lounge singer vocals. This is essentially the mountaintop of soft rock and it should be forever erased for all of the impostors it inspired.
Why You Suck: I’m guessing you’re a Red Sox fan if you actually still like this song, which means you’re just now downing your 7th $14 stadium beer and screaming along to the “Oh, oh, oh!” part while over-aggressively putting your arm around your buddy’s neck. No one likes that guy at the game.
Any song by Jimmy Buffet
Why it sucks: The great songwriters tackle love and pain. Jimmy Buffet tackles cheeseburgers and margaritas. In every fucking song. It sounds like he wrote his “classics” while flipping through an Applebee’s happy hour menu.
Why you suck for liking it: Look, I like fried food and tequila as much as the next guy, but the fact that this man has a mini-empire consisting of endlessly profitable tours and airport chain restaurants is just unacceptable. If you support that, you are part of what’s wrong with this country.
“We Didn’t Start The Fire,” Billy Joel
Why if sucks: I’d rather be stuck in a 7th grade history class for the rest of my life than hear this song one more time. What more do I have to say?
Why you suck for liking it: Liking Billy Joel in general is unacceptable unless you’re from Long Island. This is the most offensive track from his extensively offensive catalogue. Liking this song means you can only learn through rhymes. You know, like a pre-schooler. (What I’m saying is you are stupid.)
“Hotel Room Service,” Pitbull
Why it sucks: It seems like Pitbull has had every #1 hit or had a guest verse on every #1 hit of the last year. I’m still trying to figure out why. This particular song follows the Pitbull blueprint to a T. “Hotel Room Service” is basically the cheap light beer of pop songs: mass produced to go down easy and appeal to any crowd. I’m pretty sure Pitbull co-wrote this song with a Bud Light ad exec at their corporate headquarters.
Why you suck for liking it: This is the kind of song that is best enjoyed on plush leather sofas behind the velvet rope of a VIP lounge while sipping on champagne served in a bucket full of ice and sparklers. The kind of people who do that shit are terrible people. (That’s a scientific fact. I think they published the study in the National Journal of Medicine or something.)
“Two Princes,” The Spin Doctors
Why it sucks: They combined three-chord college rock with jazz scat singing. If you need any more reason to hate this dopey collection of scraggly-haired stoners, you shouldn’t be allowed to listen to music at all.
Why you suck for liking it: By the transitive property, a song that is really fucking annoying in 1990 is pretty much the most annoying song in the history of composed music by 2014. (Sing this next part to the tune of the song please.) And if you / still like this shitty song yeah / just kill yourself now / (Backing vocals: just go ahead nooooooowwwww.)
“Red Red Wine,” UB40
Why it sucks: This is “reggae fusion.” Ugh. Just typing out that sentence made me shudder. When you take a song from another horrible artist on this list (Neil Diamond) and make it worse, you have done a bad, bad thing. Then there’s that awful little rap line thrown in towards the bridge –- red wine does not keep anyone rocking all of the time. It keeps boring adults at dinner parties talking about NPR interviews while eating fancy cheese.
Why you suck for liking it: You like the reggae version of a Neil Diamond song recorded by a British band. If you don’t see what’s wrong about that previous sentence, you deserve this song.
“Boom Boom Pow,” Black Eyed Peas
Why it sucks: I get it. No one is listening to the Black Eyed Peas for meaningful lyrics. You want to rock your body all night long. Still, it’s possible to produce a danceable beat without making everyone on the dance floor stupider. Lyrics like, “this beat go boom boom” sound like they were written by a two year old with a full diaper.
Why you suck for liking it: The only type of person who can actually like this kind of music is a workout freak who needs something to keep them busy on the treadmill or someone who likes to go clubbing in a pleather school girl skirt. I don’t want to be associated with either of those types of people.
“We Are Young,” fun.
Why it sucks: This is basically a bunch of terrible songs smashed into one: there’s the whisper quiet first verse, that screeching and whining chorus and the horrible random bridges full of nagging “nah nah nahs.” None of the pieces fit together. You’re basically just waiting around for the chorus to come back, which is a lot to ask for a song that lasts over 4 minutes. Also, what kind of assholes put a period at the end of their band name like that?
Why you suck for liking it: This is on your iPod for hipster cred and it’s not working. Just like the people who wrote it, you are way too old to be singing about the independence of youth. Now go put on your bolo tie and pork pie hat and have fun at that house party your friend of a friend didn’t really invite you to.
“Seven Nation Army,” White Stripes
Why it sucks: This is nothing more than shitty white blues played by a band that is either brother and sister or married or divorced or something. You know that asshole hipster in your group of friends who insists vinyl is the only way to listen to music? That’s Jack White. Except he looks like Edward Scissorhands.
Why you suck for liking it: Analog recording doesn’t make any difference at all in a world where teenagers steal MP3 files that have been compressed seven different times and listen to them on tinny earbuds with no bass or treble. But you promise me you can hear the “warmth” from his tube amp. Your love of all things White has resulted in a crippling debt now that he’s putting out “remastered” recordings in 400 dollar box sets. But hey, who needs money when you have integrity?