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Top 10 Songs You Must Turn Off

By Joseph Golfen

Everybody’s got one. That song that’s always on no matter where you go or what you do. That song that is at once instantly recognizable and eternally evil! You cringe at the opening chords and every time you hear it a little piece of your love for music dies. What’s worse, everyone around you seems to think it’s great. Madness, I tell you. Madness.

In order from “unforgivable” to “stab my own eyes out” I present the list of the top 10 songs you must turn off. Do it now. Turn it off now. Now!

10. Gwen Stefani - “The Sweet Escape” What happened to Gwen Stefani? She used to be that cool girl in the ska band, but now she’s another talentless diva peddling out tunes like “The Sweet Escape.” In a likely attempt to punch up this d-list Madonna knockoff, Stefani opens the song with a dead-on impression of a wounded pigeon, and it pains me like a dentist drill a inch too deep in my back molar.

9. Soulja Boy - “Crank That (Soulja Boy)” I wouldn’t have thought anyone would want to listen to a song in which the singer mostly just says three things: His own name, “Woah!” and “Ho!,” but I was wrong (at least Little John throws a “yeah” in there from time to time). Then I thought, no one’s going to do a dance in which you just bounce back and forth like a boxer who can’t bend his knees. But I was wrong about that too. This song’s nothing but a never-ending chorus and it gets old before it even begins.

8. Panic! At the Disco - “I Write Sins, Not Tragedies”

Both a sin and a tragedy, this over-produced emo sing-a-long was nearly inescapable a year ago, and it still pops up more than it should. While lead singer Brendon Urie croons passionately about a wedding (or something, I can't understand him through the tears and mascara) a string quartet plucks behind him until the guitar heavy chorus hits. Very original, guys. Between the obnoxious instrumentation and the kind-of-bad-words they still play on the radio laced throughout, this song has to be switched off before the first word drops.

7. Katy Perry - “I Kissed a Girl” This one’s a creeper. The standard drum hits that launch this PG-rated sex tale don’t give it away at first. But as soon as the obnoxious chorus hits, it’ll all come rushing back to you. This song tries really hard to sound alluring, but the crunchy guitars and yawn-worthy references to girls kissing girls just comes off as annoying. It sounds like Ms. Perry is desperate for some attention. Maybe if we leave her alone she'll go away. And while we're keeping score, Jill Sobule already recorded this song in 1995 when being a little gay was still edgy.

6. FloRida featuring T-Pain - “Low”

“Low, low, low, low, low.” I can't take it anymore. I wasn't wild about the shout-filled chorus to begin with, but the over-playing of this song has made it completely unlistenable. T-Pain, your rhymes are hackneyed (rhyme that) on this track. If I was scoring it, that score would be “low, low, low, low, low.”

5. Papa Roach - “Last Resort” If there's an upside to “Last Resort” it's that you can identify it instantly. The downside, of course, is that by the time you recognize this song, it's already too late. Singer Jacoby Shaddix’s shouted suicide confession is not only full of horrible lyrics, it's catchy as hell. Just a few words and you'll catch yourself singing it for the rest of the day.

4. Jordin Sparks featuring Chris Brown - “No Air” Sparks is just another American Idol star adrift in a sea of mushy producers and terrible song writing. The fact that Jordin Sparks is from Glendale is cool. The fact that they play this sappy track on the radio every few minutes is not. As soon as that first “How my spose’ to breath with no air?” billows it’s way out of the speakers, you know you’re in for another four minutes of corny instrumentation and Chris Brown trying really hard to be Usher. How come pop songs don’t fade out at two minutes and 30 seconds anymore? They made the Beatles do it. What makes Jordin Sparks think this crucial pop music rule doesn't apply to her?

3. Evanescence - “Bring Me to Life”

This is an older one, but it still creeps around in radio-land often enough to make the list. This twinkling piano ballad swells into a horrid mesh of commercial guitar riffs and shouted vocals by some guy named Paul McCoy. What’s worse is that this song won a Grammy for Best Hard Rock Performance in 2004. Lead singer Amy Lee deserves better than floating her voice above a bombardment of derivative metal. Also this song was in Daredevil, and everyone can agree that Daredevil sucked.

2. Miley Cyrus - “See You Again” At this point mocking Hannah Montana is as overdone as Rick Rolling, but this song deserves a little seething hatred. I know it’s for little kids who don’t know any better (God help them), but this song is played everywhere I go. Sometimes I see grown woman blasting it in their cars and completely unaware of how ashamed they should be. It’s over-produced, Cyrus name drops herself during the song and it totally rips off Corey Hart’s 80’s classic “Sunglasses at Night.”

1. Fergie - "Fergalicious"

There is a mathematical equation for how much a Black Eyed Peas song will annoy me. Simply stated, the more Fergie opens her mouth, the more likely I am to cause bodily injury to myself in the hopes that it makes the pain stop. This arrogant, trashy track about how pretty she is, and how much money guys like to spend on her is unbearable. Did we already have to sit through this with “My Humps?” Backed by a tiresome dance beat, Fergie shrilly tattles about all the sexy things she could do, backed by Will.I.Am’s tiresome interjections. This is the kind of song people will be mocking when "I Love the 2000’s" pops up on know, in about five minutes.

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Jonathan McNamara