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Some things never change. Like radio — whether terrestrial or satellite, you can always count on your favorite station to overplay nearly every song that charts but especially the annoying, pull-your-hair-out kind.
And 2011 had plenty of those, from club bangers to ballads, unfortunate collaborations and solo numbers that barely passed muster, variety found its way to Billboard’s Hot 100 as did a disproportionate amount of mediocrity.
So as the world says hello to a new year, we’d like to say goodbye to these 10 radio hits and offer a proper burial for what may have been good songs at one time, but have since been sentenced to death by rotation. May they rest in peace.
1. “Give Me Everything” by Pitbull feat. Ne-Yo, Afrojack and Nayer
Add kitchen sink to this mishmash of a club track that amazingly took four artists to piece together. No wonder it feels so paint-by-numbers, from Pitbull’s opening rap (he just couldn’t find another word to rhyme with Kodak other than Kodak, huh?) to Ne-Yo’s peculiar pronunciation of “to-noight” to the stale gang vocals and simplistic toy-like synth melody. It was a rare awards show that didn’t feature Pitbull and Ne-Yo performing the song, which may have had something to do with how “Give Me Everything” ended up at No. 5 on Billboard’s year-end Hot 100. As for those four architects? They’re laughing all the way to the bank.
2. “Price Tag” by Jessie J
Dr. Luke and Claude Kelly may have a treasure trove of hits, but there’s a bottom to every pile. To wit: the monotonal pseudo-reggae “Price Tag.” While we have to hear it for the umpteenth time, poor Jessie J has to sing it — for that, she has our sympathies.
3. “Pumped Up Kicks” by Foster the People
Take two parts Peter Bjorn and John, one part Gorillaz, throw in a dash of MGMT and a hint of Mumford and Sons… Foster the People perfected the commercial indie formula all right, instantly — and permanently — lodging that annoyingly unshakeable hook in our brain.
4. “Stereo Hearts” by Gym Class Heroes Featuring Adam Levine
Not so much a song as a chorus, it’s a good thing Adam Levine was available or this Benny Blanco production, which peaked at No. 4 on the Billboard 100, might have gone nowhere. Here’s hoping the Maroon 5 frontman and The Voice coach will be busier next time someone asks.
5. “Good Life” by OneRepublic
Not Ryan Tedder’s finest lyrical moment (“My friends in L.A. they don’t know / Where I’ve been for the past few years or so / Paris to China to Colorado”), according to this song, hitmaking must be recession-proof.
6. “Backseat” by New Boyz
There’s too many suckers in the V.I.P., and apparently also among the radio P.D.s — after all, those are the programmers who added this offensive ode to the car hook-up to their playlists. Sample lyric: “I heard you had a baby / You want a New Boy in you?”
7. “Don’t Wanna Go Home,” Jason Derulo
It’s a suspect start when any song kicks off with a non-ironic self-shout-out, but this one goes downhill fast once it lifts Harry Belafonte‘s 1965 classic “Banana Boat Song.”
8. “Just Can’t Get Enough” by Black Eyed Peas
This disjointed four-act hit, complete with overly sweetened Fergie vocal, is trademark Peas — for better or worse.
9. “Skyscraper” by Demi Lovato
With a soaring, unforgiving chorus that’s painful for artist and listener alike, the former Disney star could also challenge Adele for saddest song of 2011.
10. “Party Rock Anthem” by LMFAO
It hit No. 1 six months ago and still shows little sign of slowing down. But seeing as the LMFAO hit is destined for heavy rotation at Bar Mitzvahs and weddings for years to come, it wouldn’t be the end of the world if we put the party to pasture now, right?
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