With my decades list for this year one thing will be kept simple. No ties on either section. For the worst of course will have one single entry.
We begin with one headscratcher of a hit from 2011.
Rebecca Black was one of the most polarizing figures of the decade. Respect came for her but back when she was 14 she had one major stumble out of the gate with this ode to weekend shenanigans known as Friday.
Autotune was prevalent but this was where it had crested, as the dull drum of her songs blandness was mulled into a mess of cliches and fluffiness.
The rap part was also out of completely nowhere.
When this mess of a song is made better by Glee and Stephen Colbert you know how bad it was for her.
The legal issues involved with this also placates to how bad she had it out of the gate.
Glad to see she’s overcome that point. Cause her cover of Chained to the rhythm was engaging.
Sum 22: Easy choice for the decades worst tune as weekend gun jumping has consequences for all involved and who hear this.
Everywhere you are is a place I wanna gofrom the album Kiss
After the mega success of ‘Call Me Maybe’ and the follow-up Owl City collaboration ‘Good Time’, Carly Rae Jepsen looked like she might just shake the one-hit wonder label that had been stalking her since ‘Call Me Maybe’ had first gone viral. Her album Kiss was a bright collection of ultra-bubblegum pop, but it had only a handful of truly single-worthy tracks beyond the two big hits - a few of these, ‘This Kiss’ and ‘Tonight I’m Getting Over You’ were released to a muted reception, and honestly, this result is exactly what Carly, her team, or whoever was picking the singles deserved. In a situation that vexes and baffles to this day, the greatest non-‘Call Me Maybe’ track on Kiss was ignored, destined to remain beloved by only those who actively chose to dig deeper (this group is otherwise known as “internet gays”). Who knows how history may have been changed had ‘Tiny Little Bows’ received its day in the sun?
Featuring a chipmunk-filtered sample from Sam Cooke’s ‘Cupid’, ‘Tiny Little Bows’ invokes the spirit of the sixties in both its musical references and its lyrics, which would sound right at home in a lovestruck girl group-era classic. If her acclaimed follow-up album E•MO•TION was a love letter to the eighties, then a lot of Kiss seemed to take its thematic inspiration from a few decades earlier, and ‘Tiny Little Bows’ is its most glorious burst of old-school romance - a less urgent ‘Run Away With Me’, this track is concerned only with basking in the ecstasy of now.
Though it was not a single, ‘Tiny Little Bows’ was chosen to open Kiss, setting the tone for the rest of the album in the most natural, joyous fashion imaginable. It let us know immediately, and years before E•MO•TION, that the ‘Call Me Maybe’ girl could offer much more than a viral hit, even if she was, at this point, still finding her feet.
Now your words don’t mean a thing And I don’t give a damn if you ever loved mefrom the album Closer To The Truth
Between 2002 and 2012, Cher completed a 326-date tour, a Las Vegas residency, and appeared in a handful of films. She never took much of a break, remaining in the public eye just as she had for the past forty years, but she kind of forgot to do one important thing: make records, which is still the medium in which the core of her legacy lies. My expectations for 2013’s Closer To The Truth were sky-high, and when the album picked up more or less where 2001’s Living Proof had left off, I was slightly disappointed. Thankfully, the singles were all much too fun for me to spend too long caring about artistic evolution, and lead track ‘Woman’s World’ was the very best.
‘Woman’s World’ is, of course, a dedication to women of all backgrounds, and, with its club-ready beat and defiant lyrics, also a nod to the LGBT community that helped keep Cher so relevant for all these years. A thematic cousin of ‘Believe’, ‘Woman’s World’ contains minimal vocoder but maximum power, and there are few moments in her discography more cathartic and thrilling than when each bridge explodes into a fierce demand to “tell the truth!” It’s no wonder every Cher concert since its release has opened with ‘Woman’s World’ - not only is it a joyous crowd-pleaser, it’s the definitive anthem of Cher in the 2010s: a crusader, activist, and survivor.
Let the club shut down We won’t gofrom the album Future History
Jason Derulo’s stats are impressive - six US top tens (including one number one), thirteen UK top tens (including four number ones), with platinum albums and singles all over the world. Despite that success, he has remained something of an enigma to audiences, never becoming a tabloid star or accumulating a dedicated fanbase on the scale of his contemporaries. Derulo’s career lives and dies by the commercial appeal of his singles, and he’s managed to survive for a decade by churning out catchy, fun R&B-pop on a regular basis. It seems to be either the easiest or the most difficult job in music, depending on how you look at it.
For my money, there have been a handful of truly great Jason Derulo singles - ‘Whatcha Say’, ‘The Other Side’ and ‘Swalla’ being some of my personal faves - but none more great that the utterly ridiculous ‘Don’t Wanna Go Home’. If the “real music” brigade feel the need to criticise modern pop for borrowing too much from other songs and artists, then ‘Don’t Wanna Go Home’ must make their heads explode. Ultimate club classic ‘Show Me Love’, Lil’ Jon’s ‘Get Low’, and, of course, Harry Belafonte’s ‘Day-O (The Banana Boat Song)’ combine to make this the definitive Frankenstein’s monster of the 2010s, and the result is as amazing as it is absurd. Like Jason himself, ‘Don’t Wanna Go Home’ pays no attention to tired concepts like authenticity and uniqueness - it is only concerned with what sounds and feels good.