Dedicated readers (or reader, I suppose) know that from time to time we like to put our ear to the railroad track of popular music and get our skull crushed and mangled by whatever the Billboard Top 3 songs in the country are right that day. It's been a while! Let's do it again.
The Number One song in the country right now is - and I am having trouble with superlatives here - one of the Worst Songs Ever Created by Man. It's called "Rude" by a band called Magic! with an exclamation point so you know they're EXCITING! It's barely even a song. Whatever you do, don't click "play."
You did it. You clicked "play," didn't you? I'm sorry. Look, I'm not going to go into a lot of detail here because Jia Tolentino at the Hairpin has already done a brilliant longform takedown of this song that is so good that you'll want to print it out and frame it. Suffice it to say that not only is this a bad song; the creators should be put in Gitmo and terrorists should be released to make room for them. Released to Canada, though, since Magic! with an exclamation point is from Canada. (And the phrase "Canadian reggae fusion band" is the scariest collection of words since "Guy Fieri's donkey sauce".)
Let's put that unpleasantness behind us and move on, to Number Two: "Fancy," by Iggy Azalea featuring Charli XCX.
Iggy Azalea is inspirational proof that even a knockout blonde from Australia can somehow make it in the entertainment business. I'm not even going to attempt to unpack the layers of cultural appropriation going on here. Maybe I don't get it because I'm not in the "murda bizness" like Iggy Azalea.
I don't really have much else to add about this song. I give it three "whatever"s.
Number Three is "Stay With Me" by Sam Smith.
The best of a bad lot, I guess. I don't really know anything about Sam Smith but I gather from the 3 minutes of online research I just did that he's renowned for his incredible vocal range and whatever that's fine good for him. The song is a little boring but I guess it's heartfelt and that's more than you can say about the other two. So good for you, Sam Smith.
Out of curiosity, I checked to see what the Top 3 songs were 20 years ago today. Ready for this?
1. "Stay" - Lisa Loeb
2. "I Swear" - All-4-One
3. "Fantastic Voyage" - Coolio
So that proves it! Music really was always better 20 years ago from any given date ever in the history of time. In 2034 we'll be pining for the emotional resonance of "Rude" by Magic!. No, that will never happen. That is not true.
One final note. In looking at the Top 10 I noticed that #6 is "Maps" by Maroon 5 and at first I got really excited because I thought Maroon 5 was covering the Yeah Yeah Yeahs but disappointingly it's a completely different song.