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Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 24 June 2018

We're not sorry: 11 popular songs we're okay with never hearing again 

The National staff reveal the songs they would be happy to just have go away forever 

You can bet an Ed Sheeran song made our list. AP Photo
You can bet an Ed Sheeran song made our list. AP Photo

Every once in a while, a song comes along that - despite being massively popular - you just never want to hear again.

It might top the charts, it might play at sporting events or become a favourite at weddings or parties, but you reach the point where you've had enough.

On the heels of Daddy Yankee and Luis Fonsi's mega-hit Despacito becoming the most watched video on YouTube and also claiming to be the most streamed song ever, we share our pick of popular songs, from the past and present, which we wish would simply go away.

How You Remind Me by Nickelback, for John Dennehy

What’s the point of Nickelback? Nope, me neither. The Canadian group are arguably the world’s most hated band and their mega-hit How You Remind Me is a good example of why. Yes, the single sold hundreds of thousands of units and was one of the most played songs on the airwaves in the 2000s. But it was bland, forgettable and totally pointless. For good reason Canadian police decided to punish drivers who broke the law by forcing them to listen to the band’s music.

Don’t Stop Believin’ by Journey, for Juman Jarallah

It might be one of the most popular classics from the 1980s, but whenever I hear that song my eyes almost roll out of my head. I don’t know whether it was the cover from Glee that sparked it, but it certainly exacerbated my loathing of the song. At a party the first few bars are enough to get everyone cheering, but nothing kills my joy like this over-played cheesy monstrosity of a song.

Wonderwall by Oasis, for Evelyn Lau

I know people play this at their wedding, but if it were me, well, I'd just walk out. To be fair, I don’t think I always hated this song. I think it just built over time. Every time I hear it, it just gets worse. Liam Gallagher sounds far too whiny for such a supposedly romantic love song. Not to mention, the lyrics are horribly cheesy. It’s not even just the Oasis version I can’t stand; even when musicians cover it, I find myself just rolling my eyes.

Old Time Rock ‘N’ Roll by Bob Seger, for Ellen Fortini

I’m a rocker and I adore Bob Seger, but this song is the pits and it has nothing to do with the goofy Risky Business-socks scene. Strangely, I remember this as the song that got everyone on their feet at junior high dances in the mid-1980s — even those of us who stood with our backs planted against the gym wall — shrieking and running to the floor on the first notes of the piano intro. And while I agree with Seger’s sentiment (“Today’s music ain’t got the same soul”), there is something ironic about the tune and its popularity that irritates me, and that’s before the clap-along penultimate chorus even starts. If you want to “hear some blues or funky old soul”, skip this quasi-pop song.

Crazy in Love by Beyoncé feat Jay Z, for Selina Denman

This might be a controversial one, but if I never heard Beyoncé’s Crazy in Love again, it would be too soon. It was the lead single on her 2003 debut solo album and features a guest verse by hubby Jay Z. I’m a big Jay Z fan and think that Beyoncé is one of the most formidable female vocalists of our time, but as far as I’m concerned, this song does neither of them justice. In fact, I’ll go further and say it’s one of the weakest songs that she has ever made. It’s not just that it’s been so incredibly overplayed; there’s something fundamentally annoying about the messy, repetitive baseline and unimaginative lyrics.

Fix You by Coldplay, for Saeed Saeed

I can’t hear this song without the need to dry retch. It is so saccharine and such a shameless attempt to manufacture emotion that it just leaves me angry. Another aspect of this track that’s disturbing is how disingenuous the lyrics are. As if broken people can be “fixed” with a simple melody and self-help phrases. The whole thing is so fake that it transcends cheesy to being offensive — and this is actually from someone who enjoys Coldplay.

Celebration by Kool and the Gang, for Jonathan Turner

Isn't it ironic that a song that endorses celebration makes me die inside? This song has always grated on me, particularly the chorus: "Celebrate good times, come on!" For me, it has the power to turn a celebratory occasion into one of misery and despair. OK, that might be taking it a bit far, but it certainly conjures feelings of anti-celebration. While there may be other songs that have annoyed me more, including pretty much anything by Drake — the Canadian rapper/singer/human autotune — these normally burn bright then fizzle out. Kool and the Gang's anthem, despite being 37 years old, is still alive and kicking. It is still heard on the radio, in sports stadiums, on nights out — it is inescapable and immortal. And that terrifies me.

Call On Me by Eric Prydz, for Laura Mackenzie

This is such a terrible song — bad lyrics, bad melody and a horribly offensive music video. In short, it has no redeeming features. Yet it still managed to reach number one on the UK singles chart. Proof that people really cannot be trusted. Actually, I lied. It does have one redeeming feature — it's not by Coldplay, U2 or the Foo Fighters.

Happy by Pharrell Williams, for Anna Zacharias

Some people grow to dislike a song through repetition. I hated this song the first time I heard it. What is a room without a roof? Poverty. When I hear this song, my blood pressure rises and my fists clench. I will not be clapping along.

Galway Girl by Ed Sheeran, for Adam Workman

Where do you start with Game of Thrones-starring, guitar-abusing English pop-squeak Ed Sheeran? How about here? If somebody visited Ireland for the first time in their life, then sent their mate a postcard, Sheeran gives the impression that he was the postman who delivered said missive, read half of it while slipping it through the letterbox, then decided to turn it into a song. Even worse, it seems our lazy little tourist didn’t even bother trekking to Galway to meet his beau; instead, going by the reference to famed Dublin artery Grafton Street, he just jumped on a Ryanair flight and bumped into her while on the tiles in the Irish capital. As a colleague pointed out, the results sound a little like 1990s Irish girl band B*Witched. Except worse. It’s chock with painfully forced attempts at authenticity that give him about as much Irish credibility as wearing a leprechaun hat on St Patrick’s Day — coincidentally, Galway Girl’s release date earlier this year.

She’s So Lovely by Scouting for Girls, for Adam Workman

I had genuinely forgotten this impressively dire song from English indie-rock flavour-of-2007 crew Scouting for Girls existed until they were, somewhat bizarrely, announced to play at Dubai Opera in October. In the post-Britpop wilderness years of the noughties, casual misogyny coupled with lyrics that would get a 14-year-old boy laughed out of class were all the rage for those record buyers who found The Fratellis a little too intellectually challenging. If Scouting for Girls weren’t so clearly moronic, She’s So Lovely could be viewed as a parody of the garbage guys try on at nightclub closing time. Instead, revel in these sage words: “She's pretty, a fitty/ She's got a boyfriend though and that's a pity.” It’s like Shakespeare never died.

Which song do you think deserves to be wiped off the airwaves? Think we missed a song that should be on the list? Email us your suggestion to artslife@thenational.ae and vote in the poll below: