The Absolute Worst Songs of the Cursed Year 2015


You thought we might have an Iggy Azalea-free year? Oh ho ho, mais non, bright-eyed cheries. In a 2015 surprisingly packed with music that did not totally inspire us to fantasize about the industry being obliterated to flaming apocalyptic dust, there was still a lot to complain about. Lucky for you, we at Jezebel have tongues as sharp as our minds, and opinions as big as our… dicks?… and have once again scoured the hellish annals of our iTunes trash to bring you the undebatable worst joints of the year, from Iggy to Meghan Trainor, Maroon 5 and Allen freaking Stone. Enjoy—and then do your best to forget.

Charlie Puth ft. Meghan Trainor, “Marvin Gaye”

Jia Tolentino: When I was a child, my undeveloped brain and propensity for dank harmonies led me to devote months out of my year to appearing in my megachurch’s biannual, big-budget Christian musicals. The cast members were all 10 years old and under; the audiences filled our stadium-size worship center. These musicals most often took the form of twisted pop culture facsimiles, like, one year we did “Joy Story” instead of Toy Story and another year we were news anchors for “CNN: Celestial News Network.” The music, cooked up in some studio by what I assume were failed but highly skilled songwriters making big bucks from Jesus, was as catchy as it was cloyingly bad. This “Marvin Gaye” song, sung by a cardboard cutout whose name sounds like spitting and an overgrown Toddlers and Tiaras contestant turned ghoul, is just like everything we used to sing in those musicals, transposed to the ninth circle of hell.

Wiz Khalifa ft. Charlie Puth, “See You Again”

This song is the aural objective correlative to the state of being washed. Wiz Khalifa needs to apologize. And WHO THE FUCK IS CHARLIE PUTH?

Meghan Trainor, “Dear Future Husband”

Rachel Vorona Cote: This song is heteronormativity on Adderall, and the lyrics encourage tender thoughts of blacking out on Bacardi 151 and jumping into the sea. And this is to say nothing of the melody and arrangement. The song is aggressive in its inanity, smug in its over-trodden production. When I hear it, I imagine a gaggle of Bratz dolls come to life, planning their next trip to Ikea over pumpkin spice lattes.

The video, by the way, is its own unholy mess of Limited Too-esque smarm, but I do like Meghan’s red cropped jacket and lip color.

Ellie Goulding, “Love Me Like You Do”

Kate Dries: I don’t even think “Love Me Like You Do” is that bad, but it is indicative of a type of song that I really hate: the grand, sweeping pop ballad written for a movie (Fifty Shades of Grey, natch) that will be played in every Forever 21 for a good year before they give it a five-year break and then start playing it in American Eagle as a “throwback” jam just to make you feel old—and that, listening to it now, I’m a little afraid I secretly like on some level.

Britney Spears & Iggy Azalea, “Pretty Girls”

Clover Hope: Besides just being a trash song, this might also be the biggest collaborative flop of the year. Has there ever been a duet as equally hyped as it was irrelevant? At the time it dropped, Iggy was still moderately likable to some people but starting to come down from that high. The best part about this was the conflict between these two after Iggy implied that Britney didn’t promote the single enough. This song tried so hard and no one cared.

Mackleless & Ryan Lewis, “Downtown”

Aural fungus. Sounds like the soundtrack to a Beat Street remake no one asked for.

Maroon 5, “Animals”

Ellie Shechet: Adam Levine’s voice is so uniquely (and ironically) painful, swooping out somehow through his throat and his nose and rendering everything he sings immediately bad. This song, which is so vile it’s on our list for the second year in a row, would be awful no matter who sang it, though, and is especially indigestible in its music video form, in which Levine hangs out in a meat locker and and stalks his real-life supermodel wife Behati Prinsloo before making love to her in a blood waterfall. “But don’t deny the animal / That comes alive when I’m inside you,” what an absolute nightmare. (“Animals” actually came out in 2014, but I am at least 70% sure I heard it for the first time this year, during which Maroon 5 had the nerve to perform it live a number of times.) It’s one of those tracks that you might find yourself drunkenly trying to sing along to, but not in a fun way, the resulting warbles so eerily dreadful that you send yourself home in a cab.

Walk the Moon, “Shut Up and Dance”

Joanna Rothkopf: This song is like your first friend at college: she’s fun to talk to, she brings you to the best parties, she’s great at taking pictures of the two of you together that make it look like you’re having the time of your life. But then you notice that your jewelry starts going missing, and that she is reading your emails when you leave the room, and when you forget to text her back, she yells at you in the bathroom at 4 a.m. before your first-ever college midterm. Oh shit, you realize, this girl is fucking crazy. Same with this song. It woos you with its cheerful lyrics and arrangement; it makes you think you’re young and beautiful and alive. And then you hear it 100 times in one weekend and you realize that it is actually sonic garbage that has slowly been eating away at your brain matter.

J. Cole’s verse on Jeremih’s “Planez”

Emma Carmichael: I do not hate J. Cole, but there is nothing I hate more in 2015 music than J. Cole snarling the line, “Dick so big it’s like a foot is in your mouth/And you ain’t babysitting, but my kids all on your couch.” That line ruins an otherwise perfect song. I recommend listening to the Chance the Rapper remix instead, or just stopping (or restarting) the original right around the 2:45 mark.

Allen Stone, “American Privilege”

I took an intro to sociology course my freshman year in college, and the class culminated with a lengthy research paper. I holed up in the library for a few days like the good collegiate procrastinator I was and turned around something serviceable. But I watched from a distance as a classmate, who was white and had dreadlocks, threw together a last-minute 14-page free-verse poem about how she’d finally acknowledged and confronted her white privilege that semester. The poem included multiple drawings of trees of life, halfway-sketched childhood memories about feeling guilty about her mom’s nice car, and a general renunciation of her suburban upbringing. I’m pretty sure she got a fucking A on it. Allen Stone’s “American Privilege” is the musical embodiment of that free-verse poem (just read the lyrics, and take careful note of his unforgivable riff on Kendrick Lamar’s “don’t kill my vibe”), and, like my former classmate, he is clearly pretty confident he nailed it. I’d like to take this opportunity to retroactively give them both Fs.

Jidenna ft. Roman GianArthur, “Classic Man”

Kara Brown: To be honest, I’m not even sure I fully agree with myself here. My slight irritation was greatly exacerbated by my friends’ inexplicable enjoyment of it as well as the fact that Spotify put this goddamn song on my discover playlist like five separate times. My hatred only grew when I discovered the video which shows Jidenna saving two brown, hoodie-wearing youths from the police because everyone knows you deserve more respect and cannot have your constitutional rights infringed upon when you’re wearing a suit. Also, his clothes are tacky. Yeah, nevermind, this song sucks.

Drake, “Charged Up”

Julianne Escobedo Shepherd: In the flurry to pat Drake on the back for totally bodying Meek’s career [jack-off motion] on “Back to Back,” y’all seemed to forget about his first stab at it, which was hands-down the single worse diss track in the history of diss tracks. He was freestyling to prove he didn’t need a ghostwriter, supposedly, and sweet Toronto jesus it showed.

Anything by The Weeknd

Hillary Crosley Coker: He is an over-hyped, whining Canadian hipster who people have the nerve to actually compare to Michael Jackson because he squeals in falsetto sometimes.

The Summer Set, “Boomerang”

Madeleine Davies: The only time I ever hear Top 40 is when I’m at the gym and I don’t know any of the song titles because the only music I listen to is Kate Bush. There’s one that makes me so angry every time it comes on, so I googled the lyrics and apparently it’s called “Boomerang” and is by a band called The Summer Set. It’s the fucking worst.

Calvin Harris & Disciples, “How Deep Is Your Love”

Kelly Faircloth: I hate this on principle, because there is only one “How Deep Is Your Love,” and it’s by the Bee Gees.

Tinashe,“Player (ft. Chris Brown)”

Bobby Finger: “Player” is an excellent song with one enormous problem, and that problem is: (ft. Chris Brown). There’s a moment about a minute in when the beat decides to fully drop and you’re just like, yes, Tinashe. I’ll have this on repeat for days. But then she decides to throw you for a loop. Just when you’re off your chair and ready to give yourself entirely to its energy, in slides Chris Brown, with verses so terrible and so unnecessary that it becomes unignorably tainted. Like someone putting a single drop of garbage water in a bottle of your favorite champagne.

Justin Bieber, “Children”

Lol have you listened to it?

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Image via screenshot.

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