Feb 2014
Josie Bungert

Too attracted to crappy tracks

When I was in high school, I prided myself on listening to only old, classic rock, because I was convinced they were the only ones that made good music. I loved Foreigner, Styx, The Beatles and my personal favorite, Queen. I hated the radio, because I was a snob, and didn’t ever want to stray away from loving lyrics of songs over the beat. It was my philosophy, really, that good music had to have great lyrics, regardless of a catchy or not beat. But then, I started to drive, and listened to the radio more than I ever had before.

As much as I hate it, I find myself loving crappy radio music. I define crappy radio music as those songs with repetitive beats, many words repeated (like heyheyheyheyheyhey or ohohohohohohoh…you get the picture), and subject matter based around the craziest party, the worst breakup, or so much disgusting, not pleasant passion I just want to scream. I realized this when Kanye West’s now infamous “Bound 2” was released on the radio. I don’t feel comfortable linking the video here because it is that awful, but I cannot help but bob my head to this song when it comes on. It’s seriously shameful, since the song is nothing more than a discussion of Kanye’s most recent sexcapade and love with Kim Kardashian, but as I drove home from work the other day, I wanted to crank it up. It was in that moment of me reaching for the volume control that I grew disgusted with myself, and decided it was time to explore why we like this crappy music. Here are my top five reasons why we don’t turn the screeching down instead.

5.) Crappy tracks and the artists that released them got popular despite their sucky nature, which makes us feel better about ourselves.

Let’s be honest, we all get jealous of some celebrities for their fame, fortune or good looks, so if they had great music too we would probably be more inclined to dislike them. I know I am not the only one that silently rejoices when yet another song about breaking up and partying comes out on the radio; it means the artist of the time still hasn’t hit their stride/figured out what they really value/what really matters to them that they can sing about. Granted, they will probably win a Grammy for that awful, awful song, but it won’t be because it’s good – it will be because it got popular because it sucked.

 4.) Crappy tracks are catchy.

It’s simply the truth. The beats are always easy to dance to, you always know exactly what it is when it comes on, the lyrics often rhyme. What could be better? The catchier the crappy lyric, the more I find myself liking it, despite how crappy the song itself is. Who doesn’t love “Timber” by Ke$ha? What could be catchier than “I’m yellin’ TIMBERRRRRRRRRRRRR”? Nothing. Literally nothing.

 3.) Crappy tracks are in.

As much as I try not to make it a habit to listen to this music on a regular basis (I call it the bar or car rule), they are popular. If you don’t know the song, you don’t know pop culture, which, is also in. Trust me: Ke$ha is not even in my artist I like category, let alone my love category (my favorite band is Florence + the Machine to be honest) but she is popular. If you want to be involved with pop culture, you need to listen through the crap.

 2.) Crappy tracks are good conversation starters that take us out of our own reality.

If we didn’t have Hollywood and celebrities to complain about, it would make our own reality way more real than any of us are prepared for. And I would much rather talk about T-Swift’s latest overdramatic and overplayed song much more than thinking about the homework I still haven’t started. Also, singer’s latest fails and flops are something we can all bond over. No matter our differences, most of the time, we tend to agree on the latest, suckiest song out there.

 1.) Crappy tracks have simple lyrics, so there’s nothing to think about.

I mean, who really knows all of the lyrics to Bohemian Rhapsody? Not many. And listening to that song, as much gold as it is, is actually a lot of work. You have to think about the lyrics to sing along, and no one wants to do that while they casually listen to the radio. Power ballads have a time and place, and it’s usually not when you’re driving home after a long day or week of work. But “We Can’t Stop” by Miley Cyrus? What could be more mindless after sitting at a desk or in class all day?

As much as I still adore my favorite bands that I discovered 20 years past their prime when I was 14, and the simply spectacular music of today (yes it does exist!) that I listen to on repeat*, I can’t help but jam out to these awful, awful songs. Am I alone? Tweet at me @jlbungert and let me know what you think. In the meantime, listen to the other terrible, terrible song I just can’t get enough of.


*List of songs/artists of today you should be listening to instead of most of these hooligans in this blog:

“Rivers and Roads” – The Head and the Heart

“For What It’s Worth” – Maggie Eckford

“So It Goes” – Opus Orange

“Without You” – One Two

“Bad Blood” – Bastille