Reading year-end reviews of the state of music and best albums of the year is always a delight – here we get to see everything I like slandered by professionals who think your favorite band is garbage, which by extension makes you garbage. I read these every year, and every year I am endlessly annoyed, because I am incapable of learning from my mistakes. Instead of repeating this process this year, I figured I would get a head start and tell you what makes your favorite artists trash.
(Note – some of these were deeply painful to write, but I did it for you)
AC/DC: A band who never bothered to learn more than the few power chords they learned in high school, and proceeded to milk that for the rest of their careers. We get it, you guys like to fuck chicks.
Aerosmith: Were better when they were all high as shit in the 70s. Steven Tyler looks like your thrice-divorced drunk aunt.
Allman Brothers: Lyndyrd Skynyrd for intellectuals, which is essentially like getting the best grade in a remedial math class.
Ariana Grande: Pitchy. Beyonce Jr in her publicist-curated image as a woke and empowered woman. Licked a donut once and put it back.
Backstreet Boys: Had better songs than NSYNC, still way less cool.
The Beatles: Doing tons of drugs and fiddling with recording settings doesn’t make you innovative, it makes you stoned assholes who are annoying the guy working the studio for your recording session. John Lennon beat his wives and his kid, and was a total dick even beyond that. Ringo Starr can barely play the drums and somehow managed to parlay this into a solo career.
Beastie Boys: Joke-rapping Jews. I have no idea how this ever became a thing, and no idea how it continues to be a thing.
Beyonce: This corporate-sculpted moron acts like a beacon of feminism and black power, like she had absolutely anything to do with the cultivation of this image. Something like 25 people had writing credits on her last album, and still her fans try to paint this as indicative of her “genius,” making her the first illiterate person to every be called a genius.
Billy Joel: “What if we made Elton John, but bad? And not gay?”
Bob Dylan: Sounds like a drowning ghost. His lyrics are nonsensical garbage, his instrumentals are boring, his whole shtick was built on the back of earlier black musicians who never got credit. I legitimately don’t understand why anyone likes him – he’s our greatest living musician? Really? I don’t recall him ever doing jump splits in leather pants. Point: David Lee Roth.
Bon Jovi: One-hit wonder developed for people who thought Bruce Springsteen was too edgy.
Black Keys: Every song comes in with a compelling bluesy riff, and proceeds to do absolutely nothing with it. Every song sounds the same – boring, repetitive after 20 seconds, an uninspired take on things thousands of bands have done better before. The White Stripes for people who think craft beer is interesting.
Black Sabbath: Realized no one would listen to their shit unless they developed a gimmicky Satanic vibe. Responsible for Ronnie James Dio and Ozzie Osbourne, and ultimately, “the Osbournes.”
blink 182: Are great if you are A. in seventh-grade or B. an emotionally-stunted adult incapable of handling their feelings.
Britney Spears: Has had a “rebirth” lately, like she has any idea what’s going on around her. Is the reason anyone recognizes the name “Kevin Federline,” who still only married her after that other guy married her in Vegas one weekend when she was still hot. Lucky son of a bitch, that guy.
Bruce Springsteen: Self-righteous blowhard. Sings about blue collar towns and working in factories but admitted to having never been inside a factory in his entire life. Someone more clever than me once said: “the best thing to come out New Jersey, which is still awful.” (DD Interjection: he’s an overrated left-leaning hack and I’m furious everyone is overlooking Chris Christie and his no-nonsense take on life and politics. Looking for a video of Chris Christie using voodoo magic (aka facts and statistics) against the unions? Here you go: Governor Christie Responds To Teacher During Town Hall)
Cardi B: I can’t wait to see her on the future editions of VH1’s “I Love the 2010s” or “Behind the Music.” Sounds like a Muppet after sucking down helium. Managed to get knocked up at the height of her fame by a member of Migos, who proceeded to publicly cheat on her. She took him back. Apparently incapable of not taking L’s constantly.
Carly Rae Jepsen: Flawless. I would die for her.
Coheed and Cambria: Rush for Millennials, but without the inventive musicality.
Coldplay: Legitimately the worst band to ever exist. What if we were Radiohead, but shitty and boring? What if their lead singer acted like Bono, without any of the generosity and all of the pretension? Boring, uncreative, artificial, overblown music for people who hate music. It’s sonic wallpaper; like Muzak but pompous. Hearing someone likes Coldplay is without a doubt the quickest way for me to immediately dismiss you. No one is more happy to have Nickelback around to take heat as the worst band ever, because otherwise everyone would be on to Coldplay’s musical diarrhea.
Dave Matthews Band: Why does Dave Matthews always sound like his trying to juggle marbles with his mouth? “You gotta see them live” is code for “I like to get drunk in public and try to finger strangers in parks.”
David Bowie: Had to “reinvent himself” on every album because each iteration was unlikable and embarrassing in hindsight. His most famous song features him being outshone by Freddie Mercury. Once had sex with Mick Jagger (one of Mick Jagger’s wives reported finding them naked in bed together once) – you could also watch “Dancing in the Street” and see the sexual tension yourself (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HasaQvHCv4w)
The Doors: I don’t get the appeal. What edgy college freshmen listen to in order to look cool. Did people ever think the organ was cool? Did people really consider Jim Morrison a visionary? Makes a good poster and music that is offensively boring to actually listen to.
Drake: I always like when a guy named Aubrey who got his start in a teen drama acts like a hard ass and like he isn’t a total bitch. I don’t think I can name three songs despite constantly being recommended to me by Spotify. WHAT PART OF MY LISTENING HABITS MAKES YOU THINK I WANT THIS TRASH? Got owned harder than any person in the history of the world by Pusha T in a rap beef, and nothing I can say here will sting as much as that.
The Eagles: You know what’s worse than an acoustic guitar? FOUR acoustic guitars. “Rock” music so soft, they had to constantly had to halt recording “Hotel California” because Black Sabbath was recording in the same building, and you could hear Black Sabbath in the background over their own instruments in their own studio.
Elton John: If he were straight, he would be Billy Joel, and as we covered already, Billy Joel sucks.
Elvis Presley: Cribbed his whole vibe from black artists. Liked to creep on underage girls. Literally shit himself to death, at least that’s what they WANT you to think (he works at a bingo parlor in Muncie, Indiana).
Eminem: It’s incredible how someone so technically proficient can be so boring. Remember when he made a diss track about his mom? Or when any of this music was even remotely fun to listen? I do, and it’s because I was thirteen.
Fleetwood Mac: Stories about the band members fucking each other and about Stevie Nicks drug habits (she allegedly did cocaine via her butt!) are way more interesting than their actual music. (DD Interjection: Ima letchu finish, but you know you wrong! …about the quality of their music. #buttstuff)
Foo Fighters: Generic dad-rock. David Grohl is only the face of rock because Josh Homme doesn’t want it. “Everlong” is good, but everything else is offensively radio-friendly and drab. Saying they’re your favorite band is like saying “I don’t like rock music.”
Grateful Dead: Jerry Garcia had to do long, mundane solos and improvisations because he was such a junkie he couldn’t remember how the songs were supposed to go. It’s incredible how a band with no good or recognizable songs manages to keep a following after all these years. They even made John Mayer their touring frontman, and idiots STILL keep showing up to their shows!
Greenday: A sorry excuse for a punk band. They’re just a boy band who hold their instruments.”Time of Your Life” fucking sucks.
Guns ‘n Roses: Axl Rose has a long history of domestic abuse and being a legitimately shitty person (he fucked his friend’s girlfriend in the studio and recorded it and put in on “Rocket Queen”). Slash is not as intriguing as he thinks he is (nice haircut and top hat, dipshit). Everything they did after “Appetite for Destruction” was terrible.
Haley: For people who think Lorde is too edgy. Female Dave Matthews.
Imagine Dragons: Can you imagine being a person who likes this band that was created solely to serve as the bumper tracks to televised sporting events?
Jay-Z: Should go back to selling drugs.
Jimmy Buffett: Managed to take chill, good-time vibes and turn it into an entire career of forgettable songs, a terrible chain restaurant and a Broadway musical. So authentic!
John Mayer: Heads the Grateful Dead, was on Chappelle’s Show, has a funny Snapchat, and dated tons of models, and is still universally hated. A feat for the ages.
Journey: “Don’t Stop Believin'” lost its charm after the 9,328th time I heard it, and that was fourteen years ago. This song could be used in terrorist interrogations.
Justin Timberlake: A blank slate for advertisers. Made one good solo album and has produced nothing but stale trash, yet we still have to pretend he’s cool and hip. Seriously – what was the last cool thing he did? Show us Janet Jackson’s titty? Wears too many stupid hats. (DD Interjection: While I agree with your premise, Motherlover by The Lonely Island and JT was pretty great.)
Kanye West: Not nearly as intelligent or as interesting as he thinks he is. He is an ourorboros of self-perpetuating bullshit, and that was before he married Kim Kardashian. Was a better producer than a rapper. Will eventually chase away his die hard fans.
Katy Perry: Valu-brand Lady Gaga. What if we made Taylor Swift with bad opinions? And worse songs? If she didn’t have an incredible rack, she would have been consigned to the dustbin of pop history eighteen seconds after “I Kissed a Girl”.
The Killers: A bland version of My Chemical Romance (who are basically Queen for emo kids).
Kiss: If they didn’t have facepaint, you would have never heard of them. No one has ever sold out harder – you can honest to God buy a Kiss-themed casket, if you want your family members last memory of you to be “he was the dumbest goddamn person I ever knew.”
Lady Gaga: Overly serious for a person famous for wearing a meat-suit. Like Kiss above, realized no one would care if she didn’t constantly do provocative bullshit. The more serious music she makes, the less interested anyone is in her (hence the provocative bullshit thing). “A Star is Born” looks fucking terrible.
Led Zeppelin: Stole tons of their songs from less famous artists. Shockingly managed to write songs about hobbits and wizards that people actually wanted to hear. Jimmy Paige dated girls way too young and thought Aleister Crowley was cool. John Bonham was an abusive drunk who forced their management to settle up with multiple victims of his groping.
Linkin Park: The thinking middle-schooler’s blink-182.
Lou Reed and the Velvet Underground: There’s a famous quote about how the Velvet Underground didn’t sell many albums, but everyone who bought one went on to make their own band. Yeah, because they all realized even they could do better than that tripe.
Lynyrd Skynyrd: Every racist’s favorite band.
Madonna: Managed to parlay “Like a Prayer” into decades of relevancy. Weirdly-vascular arms.
Metallica: Dave Mustaine was responsible for all their best songs and riffs, and they threw him out. Once they finished scouring his journal for ideas, had absolutely nothing of value on their own. Openly hostile to their fans. Lars Ulrich can’t play drums but sees himself as a visionary. The documentary “Some Kind of Monster” is the most unintentionally funny thing I’ve ever seen in my life. No group has ever been so disdainful of their own fans – consider: they recorded a song with Ja Rule, and a full album with Lou Reed. Their most famous song is a direct rip-off of Excel’s “Tapping into the Emotional Void” (see for yourself – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=letLBUrt7yA). I could go on for ten thousand words on why Metallica sucks and still only skim the surface.
Michael Jackson: Anything he did of value was because of Quincy Jones (“flashes of Quincy!”) His fans are always way to overeager to downplay all the incredibly weird shit he did, a list far too long for this forum. Generic pop music that people have ascribed greater value to than it actually provided.
Migos: Every song sounds exactly the same. I listened to “Culture” and sincerely thought I had heard all the songs before.
The Misfits: Proof that “knowing how to play your instruments” is not a prerequisite to success in the music industry. Glenn Danzig is responsible for the funniest HOA dispute I’ve ever heard.
Neil Young: The Canadian Bob Dylan. Warbly voice, Horrible musicianship. Another instance of “I really don’t get why people like him.” Really, can someone explain his appeal to me?
Nirvana: If Kurt Cobain was still alive, everyone would absolutely hate him – if you want proof, consider Courtney Love.
Notorious BIG: If he hadn’t been shot, heart disease or adult-onset diabetes would have got him anyway.
NSYNC: Somehow managed to get outshone by Backstreet Boys even with Justin Timberlake in the group.
Outkast: Andre 3000 gets all the credit despite Big Boi being the far better rapper. Andre 3000 is just the poor man’s Prince. Once proclaimed “the South got something to say” at the Source Awards and, after a decade of Southern rap, it turns out they really did not.
Pearl Jam: Nirvana for people who think Nirvana is too counterculture. I saw them once and Eddie Vedder was so drunk he didn’t sing 90% of the lyrics.
Phish: “What if we made the Grateful Dead less palatable for the general public?” Being a Phish fan is how you tell people you’re willing to abandon your family the moment something better comes along (like a nationwide Phish tour, for example!)
Pink Floyd: If ingesting drugs is essential to “appreciating” the music, it’s not very good. “If you start “Dark Side of the Moon” and “Wizard of Oz” at the same time, they sync perfectly!” – if you do enough mushrooms, you can pair any music to anything. “This recording of a slaughterhouse pairs incredibly with the director’s cut of “Sideways”!”
Portugal. The Man: What is that pretentious-ass punctuation? Embraced their selling-out by selling shirts that say “I liked Portugal. The Man before they sold out.” Acknowledging you sold out doesn’t make it better.
Prince: Claimed he played 27 instruments on the album “For You,” but closer inspection shows he counted “whistling” as one of them. Good news everyone, I just learned I can play an instrument.
Queen: Who thought cribbing from operas would make for good rock music? Too over-the-top and grandiloquent to be sincerely pleasurable. Without Freddie Mercury, would have been relegated to the dustbin of class rock stations. You only know anything about them because Wayne’s World made them famous years after they stopped producing decent music (look it up). (DD Interjection: Sleep with one eye open, Arch.)
Queens of the Stone Age: What a personified cheap leather jacket and bathroom cologne sound like.
R Kelly: The fact he is not in prison is astonishing, and could be used as justification to show racist is over in America. You’d be wrong, but really – an incredible scumbag who sincerely wrote “girl you make me wanna get you pregnant (KNOCK YOU UP),” and its not in the top ten most offensive things he’s ever said or done.
Radiohead: “Pablo Honey” and “The Bends” were pretty good, and then they decided to completely scrap the “playing instruments” part of making music, opting instead to record the sounds a sad computer makes when it tries to drown itself.
Rage Against the Machine: Pretty cool when you were a freshman in high school until you realize they have the political savvy of your little brother. The group consists of Tom Morello playing bass, and a bunch of nerds who can’t play instruments.
Red Hot Chili Peppers: Did you guys know they’re from California? It’s easy to miss! Like others before them, had to resort to a gimmick to stay relevant. Unlike others before them, chose the laziest option: be naked all the time.
Rihanna: A bored, stoned, disinterested woman with terrible tattoos? If I wanted that I could talk to my ex-girlfriend.
The Rolling Stones: Mick Jagger can’t dance worth a shit. Doing dumptruck loads of drugs and heisting rifts from black bluesmen is apparently an industry secret to being eternally famous. Did everything the Beatles did before them, but worse.
Rush: The soundtrack for middle-aged virgins humping a couch cushion.
Spice Girls: Weaponized feminism that provides nothing of substance or value. A one-hit wonder no matter how hard you try to spin it.
Tame Impala: Leans so hard on being “trippy” and “wavvy” that ultimately ends up being overproduced pop music that will be dated by the end of this article.
Taylor Swift: Never has more effort been put into trying to look like an innocent victim, like she isn’t the one who writes about all her of very public boyfriends. If you want to see her act like herself for once, make sure you mention how she’s manipulative and conniving. This is what happens when you give a horse girl a little bit of fame.
Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers: I’m going to use a quote here: “Here in our great nation of the United States of America, nearly 75 percent of the wealth is owned by ten percent of the population. Celebrities determine the direction of culture. Racism is still active and very much alive. Half of the population couldn’t care less about climate change. Two-thirds of the citizens are overweight. And Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers is the most American band of all time.”
Tupac: Remember when he went to prison for rape? He tried to parlay his stint in prison as part of being a victim of society but he RAPED a woman. Only got famous because he was shot.
U2: Remember when everyone with iTunes got a free U2 album pushed onto them, and everyone flipped out? Imagine giving your music away for free and people were legitimately pissed to have it. Makes me wish Great Britain never granted Ireland sovereignty. (DD Interjection: GOT ‘EM!)
Van Halen: Had the audacity to kick David Lee Roth out and replace him with Sammy Hagar, who was 80’s Guy Fieri. Managed to monetize leering at underage girls.
Van Morrison: The origination of mumblerap. I’ve been listening to him my entire life and couldn’t tell you any lyrics to any song. Wrote “Brown Eyed Girl,” and hated it immediately, which is really everything there is to know about Van Morrison.
The White Stripes: Jack White is the grumpy elder statesman of rock. He’s mad all the time about everything, convinced everyone is conspiring against him, and just generally unlikable – for example, his rider requires a SPECIFIC guacamole recipe for each performance, and was furious when this recipe was revealed online. The White Stripes is the worst of Jack White’s projects (ranked: 1. The Raconteaurs, 2. The Dead Weather, 3. Jack White solo, 4. The White Stripes)
The Who: Being loud doesn’t make you good. Keith Moon was the only part of the group any good, and he was deaf from blowing up his drums and also a piece of shit. Eleven albums and only “Who’s Next” was decent. Made the concept of having a “final reunion tour” every year decades after their last album famous.
Wu Tang Clan: Nerds who like kung-fu and tried to parlay that into a full career. Worked for “36 Chambers” before the ego trip of all the members caused everyone to break off. Ol’ Dirty Bastard was exactly that (him using food stamps in a limo on MTV News was pretty great). Either you got RZA to produce your solo album or it was total trash.
21 Pilots: Longest, wettest fart noise. For people who think Imagine Dragons is too edgy. I met a girl once at a bar and flirted with her for a while before finding out she loved (*LOVED*) 21 Pilots, at which point I bailed on pretending we could ever get along.