Reviews for Normal People

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2015 Recap: Top 15 Best Movies of 2015 — January 19, 2016

2015 Recap: Top 15 Best Movies of 2015

2014 was a weird year for movies. There were like, five modern classics, and then everything else was just aight. Such is not the case with 2015. There was definitely more of a spectrum of quality this year. I don’t know which of these films will be remembered in a decade. Could be four of them. Could be all of them. Chances are, some movies that aren’t even on the list will stand the test of time. But these are my picks for the best movies of 2015, based on a mix of quality and how much I enjoyed them. First, some honorable mentions.The Peanuts Movie

Creed

Sisters

Furious 7

The Duke of Burgundy

15. MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE – ROGUE NATION (dir. Christopher McQuarrie)

I’ve always been surprised by how resilient this franchise is. Not only is it still going strong after five movies, but the past two have been the best ones yet. Arguably the best spy movie franchise of the century, Mission: Impossible 5 follows Ethan Hunt on the run from the CIA, trying to track down a mysterious shadow organization called the Syndicate. Tom Cruise and the gang are as fresh as ever in this supremely satisfying action movie.

14. ANT-MAN (dir. Peyton Reed)

What’s great about Ant-Man is that before it came out, everyone was sure it would bomb. After original director Edgar Wright left the project, it seemed that most Marvel fans had sworn it off altogether. But Marvel outdid themselves again. Ant-Man is just as funny, fast-paced, and mind-blowing as any Wright fanboy could have hoped for, and it succeeded in being both a solid Marvel movie and a solid movie, where Marvel’s other project this year failed at both.

13. THE MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E. (dir. Guy Ritchie)

It’s rare for any actor to have as good a year as Alicia Vikander did in 2015, but this chapter of her career is often overlooked. To be fair, I forgot she was in it. With Guy Ritchie doing all his Guy Ritchie stuff along with Henry Cavill and Armie Hammer trying to out-act each other, she seems unimpressive in comparison, even though she delivered a solid performance. But yeah, it’s worth mentioning that Cavill and Hammer are divine as comedic foils Napoleon Solo and Ilya Kuryakin, respectively.

12. STEVE JOBS (dir. Danny Boyle)

It seemed like we’d never get a good Steve Jobs movie, but by their powers combined, Danny Boyle and Aaron Sorkin made it happen. Who knew a movie with only three scenes could be so exciting? The film uses three key announcements to illustrate the progression of Jobs’ relationships and life. While it leaves a few things out (Pixar, iPod, iPhone, cancer, etc.), and isn’t exactly true to life, it’s still a great movie with a lot of Sorkin’s signature snappy dialogue and some real touching moments.

11. STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS (dir. J.J. Abrams)

With this film, Disney proved exactly what they needed to prove: that they could make a great Star Wars movie. Borrowing elements from many of the franchise’s previous installments, The Force Awakens adeptly introduces a whole new cast of characters while tying them into the established universe. The film also features the best Harrison Ford performance in decades, the most original villain we’ve seen in a long time, the cutest movie couple of the year (Finn and Poe), and revolutionary special effects with just the right mix of practical and CG. Love it or hate it, it left everyone wondering what comes next.

10. DOPE (dir. Rick Famuyiwa)

Here it is: the only good teen movie of 2015. Featuring an exciting cast of up-and-comers (also, Forest Whitaker), the film follows a trio of black nerds who get caught up in organized crime while trying to apply to Harvard (as one does). It’s really funny and sweet, Shameik Moore and Kiersey Clemons are amazing, it’s just a really fun time.

9. THE HATEFUL EIGHT (dir. Quentin Tarantino)

How sick would it have been if this was in eighth place? Oh, well. Critics have said that this film is too slow, and by Tarantino standards, they’re right. But it gives the characters more room to breathe, and by the time the action ramps up in the last act of the film, it’s that much more rewarding because the tensions have been stewing for so long. I also like how, rather than simply presenting you a mystery to solve, it creates an unsettling atmosphere and the intrigue just unfolds around you. Sure, it’s slow, but only for the purpose of suspense.

8. TRAINWRECK (dir. Judd Apatow)

After Apatow’s NBC revenge campaign ended around 2009, he started making darker, more sentimental comedies. The results have been great, for the most part. But with the help of Amy Schumer, Apatow may have created his masterpiece with Trainwreck. It tells the story of a swinging single (played by Amy Schumer) and a charming doctor (Bill Hader) who learn how to have a real relationship, with a little help from Hader’s best friend, LeBron James (LeBron James). Not only is it a comedic goldmine, but it’s actually a really touching and thought-provoking film with some genuinely great performances, especially from Schumer, Colin Quinn, and Tilda Swinton.

7. THE BIG SHORT (dir. Adam McKay)

McKay has already established himself as a comedic visionary, but it turns out, he’s also a really good director. The Big Short tells the story of a bunch of rich people in 2005 who find out about the upcoming stock market crash and use it as an opportunity to get richer (but they feel kinda bad about it!). It’s perhaps the most energetic Wall Street movie you’ll ever see, and it also features the best ensemble cast of 2015, including wonderful performances from Steve Carrell and Christian Bale.

6. TANGERINE (dir. Sean Baker)

Two transgender sex workers navigate a web of drama in the streets of Hollywood in this fast-paced drama. I don’t throw around the phrase “Guy Ritchie-esque”, especially not in a positive context, but let me put it this way: this was a better Guy Ritchie movie than the actual Guy Ritchie movie that came out this year (Remember The Man from UNCLE? From before?). It embodies the beautiful ugliness that Ritchie’s films are known for. Its characters are tragically flawed but still endearing and relatable. You know they’re all terrible, but you want to see them all make it out OK. And believe it or not, most of them do. Tangerine is one of the grimiest, and one of the sweetest, films you’ll find this year.

5. STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON (dir. F. Gary Gray)

Perhaps the most controversial Oscar snub of 2015, Straight Outta Compton tells the story of rap legends N.W.A., or at least half of them (DJ Yella and MC Ren are essentially downgraded to non-speaking roles, while Arabian Prince isn’t even in the movie). It’s the best hip hop biopic of all time, and it set up what could be a promising cinematic universe.

4. THE MARTIAN (dir. Ridley Scott)

Matt Damon is lost on the planet Mars, and it’s up to the US government and Sexiest Man Alive Donald Glover to get him back. It’s one of the few times the Oscars’ token comedy nominee has a decent chance of winning Best Picture (it won’t, but that’s beside the point). It’s that rare balance of great comedy and great cinema that so few films achieve.

3. EX MACHINA (dir. Alex Garland)

Oscar Isaac and Alicia Vikander star in this mind-bending psychological thriller about what it means to be human. It’s so uniquely its execution: it’s an isolated, suspenseful sci-fi thriller that mostly consists of only three characters. It’s something brand new, and that’s important.

2. INSIDE OUT (dir. Pete Docter)

Pixar came back full force with this heartwarming tale of a little girl and the emotions she goes through as she moves to a new city. Or, more accurately, it’s about emotions and the little girl they go through as she moves to a new city. It’s great in all the ways a Pixar movie should be, and it has an important message about how it’s OK to be sad sometimes.

1. MAD MAX: FURY ROAD (dir. George Miller)

Was there ever any doubt? This live action Road Runner cartoon is one of the coolest movies of all time. It’s non-stop action for upwards of two hours, but it’s so visually stunning and emotionally captivating that it never feels like it’s dragging. It’s adrenaline in its rawest form. It’s practically flawless. But that’s not important. What really matters is that its flaws aren’t apparent. It’s so viscerally pleasing that it keeps a stranglehold on your attention for the full running time. It’s also got a pretty sick political message, something a lot of action movies don’t have the guts to include.

So, 2016. Here we go.

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Review: I Can’t Hate Ride Along 2 — January 17, 2016

Review: I Can’t Hate Ride Along 2

I heard it asked, after this movie was a critical flop, if Kevin Hart was becoming the new Adam Sandler. I’d argue that he’s more like the new Will Ferrell. He’s really funny and talented, but he’s also up for anything, so shitty filmmakers keep putting him in their shitty films. It’s no coincidence that Hart and Ferrell shared a shitty film not too long ago (Get Hard). But when paired with a solid crew, Hart can be a miracle worker. Case in point, the original Ride Along, one of the more underrated comedies in a time when every comedy was underrated. But how does the sequel stack up?

Not bad, actually. I mean, not good. But not bad. I think what saves this movie for me is really the comedic chemistry of Kevin Hart and Ice Cube. The two are a match made in heaven, and they turn what could have been a super lame action movie into a pretty solid comedy, as they did in the first. Also, the cinematography is actually pretty good. Director Tim Story is known mainly for making run-of-the-mill rom-coms, but he definitely pulls his weight.

Now, onto the film’s problems, which are fruitful and jarring. The action is really bad. The fight scenes are boring and quick, while the chase scenes take forever and aren’t particularly impressive. For a detective movie, there really isn’t enough plot. We learn the closest thing the film has to a twist within the first half hour. Ken Jeong delivers another phoned in performance. I’m worried about the guy.

But here’s the biggest problem with Ride Along 2: Kevin Hart is unlikable. I don’t know what sort of black magic you need to pull to make Kevin Hart unlikable, but his character just has no redeeming qualities. His fuck-ups are always funny, but he never really reaches that endearing quality that he needs to make it work. He’s just an all-around bad character.

Those are some pretty damning complaints, but I did like this film. I’d give it a C+. If you got a kick out of the first one, check it out.

2015 Recap: Top 20 Best Albums of 2015 — January 15, 2016

2015 Recap: Top 20 Best Albums of 2015

I’m a little late with this one. I have a few more on the way, too. Finals and everything. So, I’ll just jump right in. Here are my top 20 favorite albums of 2015, presented with minimal commentary, since I don’t have much to say about them anyway.

20. PAPER GODS – Duran Duran

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Best songs: Pressure Off, The Universe Alone

Worst song: You Kill Me With Silence

19. IN COLOUR – Jamie xx

  

Best songs: I Know There’s Gonna Be (Good Times), Gosh

Worst song: Obvs

18. UNBREAKABLE – Janet Jackson

  

Best songs: BURNITUP!, No Sleeep

Worst song: Lessons Learned

17. BEAUTY BEHIND THE MADNESS – The Weeknd

  

Best songs: In the Night, Can’t Feel My Face, Tell Your Friends

Worst song: Acquainted

16. COMPTON: A SOUNDTRACK – Dr. Dre

  

Best songs: Deep Water, Satisfiction, Darkside/Gone

Worst song: Talking to My Diary

15. THE ALBUM ABOUT NOTHING – Wale

  

Best songs: The Pessimist, The Girl on Drugs, The Glass Egg

Worst song: The One Time in Houston

14. TWELVE REASONS TO DIE II – Ghostface Killah and Adrian Younge

  

Best songs: Get the Money, Return of the Savage

Worst song: Death’s Invitation

13. RATCHET – Shamir

  

Best songs: Make a Scene, Call It Off, Darker

Worst song: Youth

12. PSYCADELIK THOUGHTZ

  

Best songs: Confucius, Joburg

Worst song: Plain Jane

11. BLURRYFACE – Twenty One Pilots

  

Best songs: The Judge, Message Man, Heavydirtysoul

Worst song: Stressed Out

10. SUMMERTIME ’06 – Vince Staples

  

Best songs: Lift Me Up, Jump Off the Roof, Norf Norf

Worst song: Hang N Bang

9. AT. LONG. LAST. A$AP – A$AP Rocky

  

Best songs: Fine Whine, Everyday, Holy Ghost

Worst song: L$D

8. ALL WE NEED – Raury

  

Best songs: Devil’s Whisper, Forbidden Knowledge, CPU

Worst song: Love Is Not a Four Letter Word

7. TETSUO AND YOUTH – Lupe Fiasco

  

Best songs: Prisoner 1 and 2, Mural, Adoration of the Magi

Worst song: Chopper

6. E•MO•TION – Carly Rae Jepsen

  

Best songs: Gimmie Love, I Really Like You, Run Away With Me

Worst song: LA Hallucinations

5. PURPOSE – Justin Bieber

  
Best songs: Sorry, The Feeling, I’ll Show You

Worst song: No Pressure

4. THE EPIC – Kamasi Washington

  

Best songs: Change of the Guard, Re Run Home, The Message

Worst song: Isabelle

3. SURF – Donnie Trumpet and the Social Experiment

  

Best songs: Warm Enough, Rememory, Wanna Be Cool

Worst song: Something Came to Me

2. HAMILTON (O.B.C.R.) – cast of Hamilton

  

Best songs: Guns and Ships, Aaron Burr Sir, Cabinet Battles, My Shot, Satisfied (there’s a lot of songs on this, OK?)

Worst song: That Would Be Enough

1. TO PIMP A BUTTERFLY – Kendrick Lamar

  

Best songs: u, For Free?, How Much a Dollar Cost, Alright, These Walls

Worst song: Hood Politics

Coming soon: best movies of 2015, best verses of 2015, and maybe actual reviews???? Stay tuned.

2015 in Review: Top Ten Best Hit Songs of 2015 — January 3, 2016

2015 in Review: Top Ten Best Hit Songs of 2015

This one was a little harder to narrow down. There were actually a lot of good songs in 2015. So, if something you really liked didn’t make the list, I wouldn’t get too worked up about it. With that being said, here are my picks for the best of the year.

Honorable Mentions:

Ghost – Ella Henderson

I’d never heard of Ella Henderson before this song, and frankly, I’ve never heard of her since. But if this underappreciated bop is her only legacy, I’m down with that. My one gripe is that the dark, paranoid subject matter doesn’t really fit the sunny atmosphere of the song.

Ex’s and Oh’s – Elle King

This brash blues rock track was a surprise success in the later months of the year. It’s really an all-around great track, with great storytelling and a killer riff that just makes you want to fight something. Not bad at all, I just found ten songs that are better.

Bitch Better Have My Money – Rihanna

Only Rihanna could get a song called “Bitch Better Have My Money” in the top 10. But it’s not just the title that makes it a gutsy move. It’s a very ugly, bitter song, and decidedly different from what we’ve come to expect from Rihanna. RiRi has gone in a lot of weird directions this year, and they’ve all gotten me pretty hype for her upcoming Anti album (if it ever drops).

I Don’t Fuck With You – Big Sean feat. E-40

This is one of the first Big Sean songs that I really liked. It’s just the right mix of hateful bitterness and giddy sarcasm. The track also features the unlikely pairing of Kanye West and DJ Mustard on production, along with a fire verse from the tragically underrated E-40, so yeah. It’s good.

Want to Want Me – Jason Derulo

Mark your calendars, folks! Call National Geographic! Let it be known that 2015 was the year I liked a Jason Derulo album. The perplexingly-titled Everything Is 4 is far from perfect, but it’s as good a pop album as any. And I never would have given it a chance if it weren’t for how much I like “Want to Want Me”. This year’s “artist to imitate” was Michael Jackson, and aside from a certain fine slice of Canadain bacon I’ll talk about later, no one did a better job than ol’ JD. The song is fun, well-made, and not nearly as douchey as “Talk Dirty”.

Shut Up and Dance – Walk the Moon

Walk the Moon is an anomaly. A good pop rock act with a top ten hit that’s also good. The complexity of the verses, the simplicity of the chorus, and the synth solo towards the end all helped make this song one of the nation’s biggest summer jams. But now, on with the list.

10. HOTLINE BLING – Drake

Some people have called this song misogynist, and understandably so. Personally, I think it’s a “Marvin’s Room” situation where Drake is playing a character who’s kind of an asshole. The problem is that it lacks that same knowing wink that “Marvin’s Room” has. The listener has no way of telling if he’s serious or not. Leaving all that aside, though, it’s just a cool song. It sounds authentic, like it was made in a hotel lobby, and it’s got an irresistible hook.

9. SORRY – Justin Bieber

Another artist that redeemed himself in 2015 is Justin Bieber, who rose from the ashes like the mighty phoenix and released one of the best pop albums of the decade. The standout single from the record, “Sorry”, sounds like a candy colored ink blot test, and features Justin owning up to his past “mistakes”. Is it too late now to say sorry? Maybe. But I’ll take it.

8. HEY MAMA – David Guetta feat. Nicki Minaj, Bebe Rexha, and Afrojack

Of the cumbersome four artists featured on this song, I openly dislike two of them and have never heard of one. Luckily, Queen Nicki manages to pull everything together with some flavorful vocals and a solid verse. Somehow, despite its questionable lyrics and interesting but unremarkable beat, the song just works.

7. UMA THURMAN – Fall Out Boy

I’ve already sung my praises for this song, so I’ll keep it short. It’s fun. It’s weird. It’s got cool production. Everyone loves it. Yay!

6. BACK TO BACK – Drake

Yes, yes. Drake absolutely demolished Meek Mill. But that’s not what I’m gonna talk about. Not this time, anyway. I’m here to talk about how “Back to Back” is a good song. Lyrically, it’s some of Drake’s best work. It has a really solid hook and a beat that’s catchy but not overbearing, perfect for a hip hop song in the realm of pop. Also, on top of all that, he totally destroyed Meek Mill. But we’ll get to that soon.

5. HERE – Alessia Cara

This bluesy throwback isn’t just an exquisitely well done song. It also covers a subject that we need to hear more of in pop music: introversion. When was the last time you heard a song about not wanting to be at a party, let alone one this good? It’s a great song all around, but there can only be one #1, and this didn’t quite make the cut.

4. LEAN ON – Major Lazer and DJ Snake feat. MØ

I spent most of my year not even considering that this song would make my best list. I mean yeah, I liked the song, and I think Major Lazer and DJ Snake are two of the most exciting artists in all of mainstream EDM, but I just didn’t really think about it. MØ’s vocals, while grating to some, are different enough to be attracting but not jarring. The lyrics are really clever without being too pretentious. And on top of all that, it’s got a really good beat. There were a ton of good songs this year, but this was arguably the most unique.

3. DOWNTOWN – Macklemore and Ryan Lewis feat. Eric Nally, Grandmaster Caz, Kool Moe Dee, and Melle Mel

No explanation needed. This song is pure gold.

2. CAN’T FEEL MY FACE – The Weeknd

The Weeknd, an underground R&B favorite who’s been gaining steam this past year or two thanks to bumps from Ariana Grande, Drake, and Apple, was first introduced to a mainstream audience by “Earned It” earlier this year. That song was widely regarded as sort of cool, but super boring. This was when he realized that his acclaimed style of slow, sinful R&B wouldn’t work with a broader audience. So, he went in a new direction. “Can’t Feel My Face” represents the Weeknd’s rapid ascent to pop royalty. It manages to be one of the catchiest, most enjoyable songs of the year while keeping a looming sinister quality and the Weeknd’s passion for darker subject matter.

1. UPTOWN FUNK! – Mark Ronson feat. Bruno Mars

There can be only one. After being practically inescapable for the first three months of 2015, this song still never really got old. It’s a song we’ll be telling our children about, a song that’ll go down in history, a song that kids will perform during spirit week in 40 years, a song that will dominate our “classic pop” stations. Don’t believe me? Just watch.

So, those are my favorite hit songs of 2015. I’ll have a lot of film- and music-related lists coming in the next couple of days (or weeks). In the meantime, like this post if you like it, comment with some of your favorites from this past year, follow this blog or my Twitter @BreakingPOORLY for more of my bullshit, and have a happy new year.

2015 in Review: Top 10 Worst Hit Songs of 2015 — January 2, 2016

2015 in Review: Top 10 Worst Hit Songs of 2015

 I’m a bit late for this, but let’s start looking back on 2015 in pop culture. For starters, it was WAY better than last year. Lots of great movies, music, and other pop culture moments. My shortlist for best song of the year was substantially longer than my worst, which is a good sign. But of course, there were a few sour notes, and here are the ten greatest offenders. All these songs appear on the Billboard Year-End Hot 100. A few of them near the top.
“Honorable” Mentions:

No Type – Rae Sremmurd

I’m consistently surprised by the staying power of Rae Sremmurd, and with their album making more than a few “best of” lists, I don’t think they’re going away anytime soon. They’re annoying and not particularly talented. In this song, they say they have no type, only to immediately give a specific type of woman they not only prefer, but outright demand (i.e. bad bitches). So yeah. They’re liars, too.

Marvin Gaye – Charlie Puth and Meghan Trainor

I don’t care for either of these artists, but I’ll admit that this is a pretty cute song. There’s just… one thing. A moment that will go down in history as one of the worst lyrics in Top 40 history: “Let’s Marvin Gaye and get it on”. I’d be somewhat understanding if it were a throwaway line near the end, but it’s literally the first line and focal point of the entire song. What if, thirty years from now, someone made a song called “Let’s Charlie Puth and Meghan Trainor and Marvin Gaye and get it on”? Then what?

Alright, now on to the list.

10. SOMEBODY – Natalie La Rose feat. Jeremih

The age of the DJ Mustard beat faded to oblivion just as quickly as it arrived, and now all we’re left with is a few grim reminders. Case in point: “Somebody”, the first and only hit from interchangeable  R&B songstress Natalie La Rose. She and professional R. Kelly impersonator Jeremih come together for a song about partying or, more precisely, wanting to “rock with somebody”. Blatant, unapologetic Whitney Houston “inspiration” aside, the song is outright boring. La Rose takes what little time she has (on her own song) to talk about how she “be in the party in the club like ‘whuuuuut'”. Jeremih’s parts aren’t much better, but he’s been around long enough to justify not trying.

9. FIGHT SONG – Rachel Platten

Every couple of years, the media comes up with someone gunning for the position of “next Kelly Clarkson”. Some of them work out (Demi Lovato, Adele), while others do not (Natasha Bedingfield, Katharine McPhee, Shontelle). One of this year’s biggest attempts was by Rachel Platten, who dominated the charts with an emotional strong-independent-woman ballad about taking control of her own life. This is her song! One problem, though. Kelly Clarkson herself also released a new hit song earlier this year, “Heartbeat Song”, and it just happens to be pretty much exactly the same. I wound up giving Clarkson the advantage here since her song is marginally more enjoyable, but both songs are the same vapid “I’m feeling better than ever for some reason” ballad that Clarkson and many others have been making for a decade. Remember “Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You)”? Basically that, but less catchy and more fake deep.

8. GOOD FOR YOU – Selena Gomez feat. A$AP Rocky 

A solid A$AP Rocky verse keeps this song out of the top four. I’ve never been a fan of Selena Gomez. Ever since she started making this string of fuck-you-Disney “sexy” songs, I’ve just found her wholly unremarkable. But “Good For You” is the worst one yet. It tries so hard to sound sexual, but she isn’t even saying anything sexual. 

7. LAY ME DOWN – Sam Smith

In fairness, I could really have put any of the three or four Sam Smith songs in this spot, but that’s the problem. They’re exactly the same. I didn’t even remember this song before I started working on this article, and I’m still not sure if I do. That’s why I chose this song. Not only is it bad, not only is it indistinguishable, but it’s not even memorable. It’s just the same droning “I miss you” dirge that Smith won WAY too many Grammys last year.

6. SEE YOU AGAIN – Wiz Khalifa feat. Charlie Puth

I think I’m more forgiving than the average pop music critic, but Wiz Khalifa is a really shitty rapper. He often fails at the simple  art of structure and basic rhyme scheme. Also, he might be a dumbass??? Like, on this Paul Walker tribute song, Charlie Puth speaks in no uncertain terms about death. It’s actually kind of noteworthy that Puth does such a good job expressing mourning. But Wiz seems like he’s talking about… actually losing a friend? Like, look at this:

I know we loved to hit the road and laugh

But something told me that it wouldn’t last

Had to switch up, look at things different, see the bigger picture

That really sounds like it’s about two friends going their separate ways. Sure, he said “I’ll see you in a better place,” but he also says “Remember me when I’m gone.” Weird, right?

Also, the song is super lame.

5. HOUSE PARTY – Sam Hunt

For those of you lucky enough to not be acquainted with him, this is country’s Fuckboy of the Week, Sam Hunt, and this drivel is his big hit. The song is apparently about a late night booty call from a girl. We don’t know their relationship or anything, she’s just a girl. He goes into a solid amount of detail about the event itself, but the lack of context makes it hard to find sentiment in. It doesn’t help that half the time he sounds like a 19th century southern grandpappy.

It don’t take but two to have a little soirée

He also, bizarrely enough, continually taunts this apparent love interest by calling her a “homebody”. I didn’t know anyone still used that word, but maybe I’m out of touch.

4. AYO – Chris Brown and Tyga

Collaborative albums are tricky business. If the two artists aren’t in sync musically, the project can turn into a cluttered mess (Drake/Future, B.o.B/Zaytoven). But Chris Brown and Tyga didn’t experience such a problem when it came to their joint album, seeing as they’re both insufferable jars of dicks. Case in point, “Ayo”, a song in which neither artist exerts an iota of effort. 

3. STITCHES – Shawn Mendes

Despite his five million Twitter followers, I’ve yet to observe that anyone cares about Shawn Mendes. The music industry’s latest in a long line of Bieber clones suddenly and unceremoniously climbed the charts with “Stitches”, an insincere and pointless “I want you back” song.  It’s a wholly unremarkable song littered with cliches and with no significant shifts up until the “Needle in the thread, gonna wind up dead” bridge, which serves to create the illusion of a deeper metaphorical meaning to the “stitches”, which don’t actually signify anything.

2. DEAR FUTURE HUSBAND – Meghan Trainor

While Meghan Trainor’s previous hits were innocuous, Target-commercial-ready throwback jams with the occasional dip into antiquated 1954 gender roles, they’re front and center in “Dear Future Husband”, which, as you may have reasoned, is an open letter to her future husband as well as an inspirational message to girls everywhere that they’re definitely going to have a husband, but don’t worry, because no matter how much you hate each other, he’ll treat you right as long as you buy groceries and suck his dick (the line says “kisses”, but it’s clearly a euphemism in context). This is your progressive, body-positive role model, everyone. The song sounds like it was written by Ralph Kramden, not a Grammy-winning pop starlet in 2015. The same year same sex marriage became legal nationwide, a mainstream pop song contained the line “I’ll be the perfect wife, buying groceries.” Meghan Trainor, people.

1. WATCH ME (WHIP/NAE NAE) – Silento

Why did we allow this to happen? Why did so many of us look at this song and decide that it was okay? Some people have compared this song to “Crank That Soulja Boy”, but I think there’s a key difference. Even if Soulja Boy didn’t produce the song (Did he? I don’t know.), he still put some amount of effort into it. He came up with his own dance and made a unique song about it. What Silento did was take some dances he found on the internet, including some lifted directly from “Crank That”, and invited you to watch him do them. Don’t do them yourself or anything… just watch. I’m sure you all heard the song, since it was inexplicably ubiquitous this summer, but that’s literally all there is. How does someone take such a nothing premise and make it so annoying? Silento’s grating voice turns this nuisance into an outright travesty, and we made it 4x platinum.

Those are my picks for the absolute worst hit songs of 2015. My year-end lists are taking a while because I have to write them on my phone, but worry not. They’ll be here. While you wait, like this post if you like it, comment with any other songs that got on your nerves, follow this blog or my Twitter @thememe_supreme for more of my ravings, and have a happy new year.