The Top Ten Worst Hit Songs of 2019

The Top Ten Worst Hit Songs of 2019 - Part One.jpg

The Top Ten Worst Hit Songs of 2019 - Part Two.jpg

Date Aired
December 22, 2019
Running Time
16:24 (Part 1)
16:01 (Part 2)
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Introduction[edit | edit source]

Todd plays Shawn Mendes & Camila Cabello - "Señorita"[1] on piano


A year-end review

Todd: Hey everyone. It's Todd in the Shadows, everyone's favorite music critic on YouTube except for the other guy. Probably several others. [text briefly appears: We're #4!] Once again, it's time for the worst hits of the year list, and...there's a question I've been wrestling with: Should I keep doing these?

Montage clips of Lizzo - "Truth Hurts"[2]; Ariana Grande - "7 Rings"[3]; Lil Nas X ft. Billy Ray Cyrus - "Old Town Road"[4]; Post Malone - "Circles"[5]; Halsey - "Without Me"[6]; DaBaby - "Suge"[7]

Todd (VO): "I hate this, I hate that, and..." Come on, right? We've got enough negativity in the world. Why not just elevate the things you love? Why you gotta be so harsh to innocent artists just trying to entertain people?

Todd: It's something I've thought about a lot, especially these last couple years where it's been really difficult to fill out the worst list.

Montage clips of Shawn Mendes - "If I Can't Have You"[8]; Sam Smith and Normani - "Dancing With A Stranger"[9]; Megan Thee Stallion ft. Nicki Minaj & Ty Dolla $ign - "Hot Girl Summer"[10]; Lil Tecca - "Ransom"[11]

Todd (VO): Popular music...more and more gravitates to the middle ground, so they can get on a Spotify playlist or something. And it feels like very few artists have the courage or ambition to really, truly suck.

Todd: But I thought about it, and I decided, "Yeah". Yeah, I am gonna keep doing the worst list, 'cause...I need [image of empty wallet] money. And the [screen capture of The Top Ten Worst Hit Songs of 2018 (Pt. 2) on YouTube with view count circled] worst list is always my most popular video. I mean, Christmas is coming up, if you didn't notice. [image of shopping crowd] I got a lot of shit to buy... [image of Christmas card reading "To: Me, From: Me"] for myself, while it's on sale. But I also genuinely want to make a worst list. Like, part of the reason I limit myself to the hits, and again, I define that as [images of...] anything that reached Billboard's Top 20 or made the Year-End Hot 100. The reason I do that is...more and more I consider myself a [image of professor with the caption "Snooty History Professor Todd"] historian of a kind, and this is an easy way to do [image of "2019: The Year in Review"] complete coverage of the year that was. [shot of article: "Critics need thicker skin than ever in the age of Twitter"] And at the time when artists, and their insane fan armies, seemed to demand only positive coverage, it feels important to record the bad, too. [book cover of James Ussher's The Annals of the World] I want the lousy trends recorded for posterity, even if it's just my personal interpretation of them. Now, keep in mind, I'm just a single critic among many and I have very limited tastes. I get things wrong all the time [image of children] My kids will look back at these lists and laugh at me for not liking...

Video for...

Todd (VO): ..."Gucci Gang", which will be the most classic of hip-hop at that point.

Todd: So, don't take it too seriously. We're just here to have fun, right? Right. Alright, we're counting down...

Clip of Flipp Dinero - "Leave Me Alone"[12], which serves as the interlude throughout the countdown

Flipp Dinero: Leave me alone

Todd (VO): The Top Ten Worst Hit Songs of 2019!

#10[edit | edit source]

Todd (VO): #10.

Todd: So there's an old episode of, uh, How I Met Your Mother...

Clips from How I Met Your Mother episode "Sandcastles in the Sand"

Todd (VO): ...about the psychological phenomenon called "associative regression". Or, in their words...

Marshall Eriksen (Jason Segel): ..."revertigo".

Ted Mosby (Josh Radnor): Yeah, I don't know about "revertigo".

It's about how you become your old self when you're around things or people from your past, even if you've changed drastically since then.

Todd: Now, I could not find any actual scientists talking about it...

Todd (VO): the show might have pulled it out of its ass. [text briefly appears: TV ≠ Real Life]

Todd: But I wanna believe it's a real thing, it would explain so much, like [images of man with his parents...] why you, a grown adult, might feel like a child around your parents, [...and grown-ups at a party] or how you become a dumbass when you're with your old college friends, or why...

Footage of Jonas Brothers concert

Todd (VO): ...if you were part of a band that was [clips of Jonas Brothers on Disney Channel] forced to maintain a family-friendly image, [brief clips of Nick Jonas - "Jealous"...] then spent a decade separately [...and DNCE - "Cake by the Ocean"...] forging out adult identities, [...followed by clip of MTV News interview with Jonas Brothers] and yet, the second you reunited, you started making the same...

Todd: ...Kidz Bop-y watered-down shit you made when you were kids!

#10. Jonas Brothers - "Only Human"[13]

Todd: The Jonas Brothers are bad.

Kevin Jonas: Whoo!

Todd (VO): I've been dancing around it all year, I'm sick of pretending. I don't like them, I've never liked them. Like, I was willing to say I just didn't get it...

Todd: ...but, the thing is, I feel like I am starting to get it, at, you know, at least their older stuff.

Clip of Jonas Brothers - "S.O.S."

Joe Jonas: Ooh, this is an S.O.S.

Todd (VO): Yeah...I-I guess this is okay.

Todd: "It's too squeaky-clean for me" is my problem, but, you know, it's fine. They're teenagers.

Todd (VO): But their comeback this year that all the 2000s kids are so happy about...

Joe: We gon' dance in my living room

No, I hate it. [clips of Jonas Brothers - "Sucker"[14]...] I saw many people say what a breath of fresh air "Sucker" was. Fuck "Sucker", "Sucker" sucks. [...and...] Their second single "Cool"[15] was also bad. But worst of all is their third single this year. The inhumanly annoying "Only Human".

Clip of "Only Human"

Joe: Dance in the living room, love with an attitude

Todd (VO): I had my problems with DNCE and Nick Jonas solo, but they did sound like they've grown some muscle. Reunited, they reverted to that plasticky, TV-Y7 sheen...

Todd: ...and they're not kids anymore, so it's not okay!

Todd (VO): What the grown-up Jonases remind me of is [clip of "This Love" by...] early Maroon 5 back before they sold out, by which [text appears: OVERRATED] I mean also not very good.

Todd: Fine, Maroon 5 had their moments. Let's say [clip of "One More Night" by...] they're Maroon 5 in that awkward middle period when the rot was just starting to appear, especially that awful fake reggae beat.

Clip of "Only Human"

Joe: Gon' dance in my living room, slave to the...

Todd (VO): Mostly, I just hate how repetitive it is.

Joe: Dance in the living room

The Jonases have discovered one hook and they're gonna beat it into the ground.

Joe: Dance in my living room

Todd (VO): Someone somewhere desperately needs to tell them, "Hey, you know that whole 'dance in the living room' line?

Todd: "You can say that once or twice at most...

Todd (VO): ...and then, come up with a different rhyme. Or sing it in a different rhythm, or change up the melody."

Todd: Nope.

Nick Jonas: Early morning la-la-light

Todd (VO): And the thing is they're dancing in the living room 'cause, you know, the club's closed, they wanna keep partying, but this sure doesn't sound like an all-night party.

Todd: They play it with the chipper energy of [image of kids playing in ball pit] a bunch of kids headed to Chuck E. Cheese.

Todd (VO): It's not a prelude to sex, nothing's gonna happen. They're just gonna jump on the goddamn couch.

Todd: As far as I know, they're still there now, in the living room, still dancing.

Nick: Human

Announcer: This concludes our broadcast


#9[edit | edit source]

Todd (VO): #9.

Todd: As the 2010s draw to a close, I think everyone's starting to acknowledge that the most important country singer of the entire decade...was Luke Bryan.

Clip of Luke Bryan - "That's My Kind of Night"

Luke Bryan: Uh, uh

Todd (VO): Yeah, I wish a better artist had that title too, but...

Todd: is what it is.

Clip of Luke Bryan - "Country Girl (Shake It for Me)"

Luke: Shake it for the birds, shake it...

Todd (VO): At the start of the 2010s, the sound of Nashville was bro country. And all the retrospectives pinpoint Luke Bryan as Patient Zero.

Todd: The Bro Father they call him.

Clip of Luke Bryan performing on The Ellen DeGeneres Show

Todd (VO): And this walking Bud Light commercial of a man set the tone of the overwhelmingly male decade of country music that followed.

Todd: Now, I'm told that bro country burnt itself out years ago.

Video for Dan + Shay - "Tequila"[16]

Todd (VO): Certainly it seems out of step now, where the big trend is [images of...] guys who'd more buy you flowers instead of catcall you at a Buffalo Wild Wings.

Video for Luke Combs - "Beer Never Broke My Heart"[17]

But every time I check back in with the country charts, there's always at least one meatball-brained dumbass flatulating his way through.

Todd: Usually Bryan himself.

#9. Luke Bryan - "Knockin' Boots"[18]

Luke: This truck needs a half tank

These wheels need a two-lane

Todd (VO): Now this might not technically be bro country, 'cause...

Todd: ...I don't see much hard rock or hip-hop influence in it, and...there's no partying, and...

Todd (VO): had the lyrical structure of a classic Nashville song.

Todd: But for me, bro country was always the attitude more than any specific sound or cliché.

Luke: That dress needs to slip off

Todd (VO): Does the artist seem like a frat-boy idiot? If so, it's probably bro country.

Todd: And "Knockin' Boot's" message of "'Ey, let's fuck," it feels like it counts to me.

Luke: Boots need knockin', knockin' boots

Todd (VO): Now I wanna be clear; I'm not saying "Knockin' Boots" is gross or sexist, it's just very, very stupid.

Todd: First off, I wanna say it's amazing there's a euphemism for [brief clip of The Lonely Island ft. Justin Timberlake & Lady Gaga - "3-Way (The Golden Rule)"] sex that has the word "boots" in it, and it took this long to make a country song out of it.

Luke: Birds need bees and ice needs whiskey

Todd (VO): The basic idea is that, you know...his penis needs her vagina, so we're gonna list a bunch of other things that go together as a comparison.

Luke: Long weeks need a weekend

Todd: A thing needs a thing it goes with.

Luke: Cheap drinks need a-slingin'

Todd (VO): Okay, no. Now it's...a thing needs to...

Todd: a thing.

Luke: Boots need knockin'

Todd (VO): Look, if this were a creative writing class, Luke Bryan would get a big, fat F.

Todd: But I'm not gonna tell you that I hate the song, 'cause it's not elegantly constructed. It's those fuckin' guitars.

Luke: Knockin' boots

Todd (VO): [imitating guitar chords] Neh, neh. Neh-neh-neh.

Todd: It's like they're laughing at you.

Todd (VO): I mean of course the guitars have to sound like a joke, 'cause "Knockin' Boots" is such a stupid, "gee garsh" way to talk about sex.

Todd: Look, I grew up on country music. I get that being corny is its charm, but...

Todd (VO): ...listening to this pile of beef sing about doing it in Larry the Cable Guy language...

Todd: No, I got limits.

Luke: Knockin' boots


#8[edit | edit source]

Todd (VO): #8.

Todd: I'll probably get into this more on the best list, but 2019 felt like a very fresh year.

Montage clips of DaBaby - "Suge"; Lizzo - "Juice"[19]; Khalid - "Talk"[20]; Billie Eilish - "Bad Guy"[21]

Todd (VO): The most dominant acts of the year were new names, teenagers, or both. And I...

Todd: ...absolutely welcome it.

Video for Taylor Swift ft. Brendon Urie - "ME!"[22]

Todd (VO): Most of the superstars of the 2010s like, you know, Taylor, Bieber, Sheeran, they felt worn out by decade's end. [clip of Lil Nas X - "Panini"[23]] It's time to turn the reins over to the next generation.

Todd: [pause] There are exceptions to this.

#8. YK Osiris - "Worth It"[24]

YK Osiris: I would give you the world, baby girl

You just gotta be worth it (Oh, oh, oh)

Todd (VO): In January, we saw the debut of 20-year old R&B up-and-comer YK Osiris, [image of Miley and Billy Ray Cyrus] a distant relative of the Cyruses.

Todd: Good year for the Cyruses this was.

Todd (VO): Funny thing; I said if a song made the Year-End Hot 100, I would call it a hit.

Todd: The year-end chart is weird, though. This-this song only [screenshot of Hot 100 chart with "Worth It" at #48] barely cleared the Top 50, but...

Video for "Worth It"

Todd (VO): broke right at the right moment earlier in the year, and just kind of lingered on for a long time, so, he made the list.

Todd: That feels like a technicality to me, but here we are.

Todd (VO): YK Osiris charted with his very first single, "Worth It", which makes me realize maybe I just...

Todd: ...don't like songs with that title.

Brief clip of Fifth Harmony ft. Kid Ink - "Worth It"

Camila Cabello: Baby, I'm worth it

Video for YK Osiris - "Worth It"

Todd (VO): But this is not a song that has much to do with Fifth Harmony.

Todd: What it is, is a straight ripoff of The Weeknd's...

Video for...

Todd (VO): ...deeply unpleasant soundtrack hit, "Earned It".

Intercut clips of "Worth It" and "Earned It"

YK Osiris: Worth it

The Weeknd: Worth it

YK Osiris: I would give you the world, baby...

The Weeknd: when you call

Honestly, that song probably should've made the worst list that year, too.

Todd: 'Cause both songs are like...

Todd (VO): ..."Hey, girl. You're good enough that I'll let you sit on my dick 'cause you're worth it."

Todd: [sarcastically] Gee, thanks, I'm flattered. Motherfucker, are you worth it?!

YK Osiris: Everybody doubted...

Todd (VO): Y-you gotta have a certain kind of charisma to pull that off, and YK Osiris has one big disadvantage, which is...

Todd: ...he's an awful singer.

YK Osiris: You just gotta be worth it, yeah, yeah

But you don't gotta be...

Todd (VO): His voice...he sounds like if we gave [image of...] Aziz Ansari an R&B career.

Todd: Mostly he seems like a throwback to like fifteen years ago, when we got a...

Todd (VO): ...whole bunch of weasel-voiced teenagers like [brief clips of "Hey Young Girl" by...] Lloyd, [...and "Run It!" by...] Chris Brown. [shot of highlighted article quote...] Osiris said straight up, that he wants to take Chris Brown's place. [clip of "Worth It"] And so far, he's got a good head start, 'cause...since the song came out, he has in fact [shot of BET article: "Report: YK Osiris Arrested For Choking and Biting His Girlfriend"] gone to jail for biting his the face!

Todd: The face!

Todd (VO): I will say this, though; the song ends with a pretty bitchin' R&B guitar solo.

Snippet of aforementioned guitar solo

That brought it way down on the list than it would be otherwise.

Todd: Then again...[shot of earlier BET article] face-biting. Maybe I should bump it back up.

YK Osiris: Yeah, yeah, yeah, nah, nah


#7[edit | edit source]

Todd (VO): #7.

Clip of Lil Nas X ft. Billy Ray Cyrus - "Old Town Road"

Lil Nas X: Horses in the back

When I reviewed "Old Town Road," I gave some consideration to a...fairly controversial suggestion that music genres should not be combined.

Todd: Now, I wasn't being serious about it, but you know, I-I did have a logic there. You know, there's concern that [side-by-side images of Hank Williams and Kanye West] combining two genres...just takes all the things good or interesting about either of them, and cancels each other out.

Todd (VO): Ultimately, "Old Town Road" proved that that fear was unfounded.

Todd: But then "One Thing Right"came along and proved it absolutely correct.

#7. Marshmello & Kane Brown - "One Thing Right"[25]

Kane Brown: One thing right, you

Todd (VO): There are many interesting things about Kane Brown. [clip of Kane Brown ft. Lauren Alaina - "What Ifs"] He's one of the leading lights of a new breed of country star who tries to bring some level of romance back into the genre. He's the first black country star in decades who, you know...

Todd: ...didn't come here already famous from another genre. [image of...] And there are many interesting things about Marshmello. [pause] He has a stupid hat.

Clip of "One Thing Right"

Kane: Mama had herself a little devilish child

Todd (VO): To be honest, I'm not particularly a fan of Kane Brown or the trends he represents, but he's not the problem. He's not even a presence.

Kane: Been the kinda guy girls mamas don't like

I could not tell you what this song is about, or any individual lyric, or what Kane Brown sounds like on it, or what he brings to it. Who fucking cares?

Todd: The problem is this guy.

Kane: You

Todd (VO): Fucking Marshmello, who aptly named himself after [image of marshmallow fluff jar] empty, white fluff is easily the worst of the big-name producers.

Todd: Everything he touches turns into [image of bowl of melted marshmallows] soft, featureless mush. I hate that everything sounds like this now!

Video for Marshmello & Bastille - "Happier"[26]

Todd (VO): I first noticed that he was a hack when he had that gigantic hit, "Happier" last year. But at the very least, the sentiment of the song was strong enough to break through the soft void of Marshmello's production.

Todd: But every other Marshmello song I've ever heard, he has just absolutely ruined.

Video for Marshmello - "Paralyzed"

Todd (VO): Like just out of my own identification, I tried to listen to everything else he released this year, and it all sounds exactly the fucking same!

Todd: He released a song with Chvrches...

Clip of Marshmello ft. Chvrches - "Here with Me"[27]

Lauren Mayberry: Every day

Todd (VO): ...sounds the same.

Todd: He released a song with Yungblud...

Clip of Marshmello, Yungblud & Blackbear - "Tongue Tied"

Yungblud: Can you even hear me now?

Todd (VO): ...exactly the same.

Todd: He released a song with metalcore band, A Day to Remember...

Clip of Marshmello ft. A Day to Remember - "Rescue Me"[28]

Jeremy McKinnon: Lines in the sand only you can read

Todd (VO): Oh, actually, this sounds like this might be something that...

High-pitched vocal: Rescue me

No, I spoke too soon!

Todd: The only singer whose personality he didn't erase with his production was...

Video for Marshmello, Tyga & Chris Brown - "Light It Up"[29]

Todd (VO): ...Chris Brown, the one time I would've appreciated less personality!

Clip of Marshmello ft. Shirley Setia & Shah Rukh Khan - "Biba"

What the fuck? I swear to God, he is on a mission to ruin every single genre.

Video for "One Thing Right"

Todd (VO): His job as a producer seems to be to drag and drop the same weak beat and synth line onto every song he comes across. I hate Marshmello! If there was ever an actual song in there...

Todd: has now been smothered in [clip from Ghostbusters with caption: ACTUAL MUSIC] marshmallow shit.

Video ends


#6[edit | edit source]

Todd (VO): #6.

Todd: Hey, check this out.

Clip of...

Todd (VO): Uh, Jack White and Jack Black are making music together now. [beat] You know, get it? 'Cause their names are Jack White and Jack Black.

Todd: I'll be honest, I'm not really expecting much.

Clip of Jack Black at 2006 VMAs

Todd (VO): I remember a while back, they did a bit in an award show. Like, "You know, their names are similar. Why don't we have them do a bit? That'd be great." It was not. It was just really awkward.

Todd: Okay, the point I'm trying to get to here is...just because you have a good casting gag, doesn't mean you're gonna strike gold.

#6. Lil Baby & DaBaby - "Baby"[30]

Future: Wheezy outta here

Lil Baby: Yeah, rest in peace to Bankroll

Todd (VO): By a weird coincidence, two of the biggest new names in hip-hop are named Lil Baby and DaBaby.

Todd: Actually, it's not that weird, 'cause we've been recycling rap names for a long time now.

Todd (VO): Totally expect the next clump of rappers to be named, like, [images of...] Lil Yung, Yung Lil, Li'l Lil'. But these two guys have just leaned into it, and were like, "Hey, let's make a song." I'm sure it seemed like a goodt idea at the time, but there was one big problem with it, which is that...

Todd: one should collaborate with Lil Baby, 'cause Lil Baby's like one of the worst rappers alive!

Lil Baby: Yeah, rest in peace to Bankroll, show 'em how to do it

Baby goin' crazy‚ he been gettin' straight to it

Todd (VO): I cannot stand him. He is a sucking vacuum of charisma.

Todd: Okay, he had one good song...

Video for...

Todd (VO): ..."Drip Too Hard"[31], which had enough energy and moved fast enough...

Todd: ...that I couldn't be annoyed by him.

Video for "Baby"

Todd (VO): That is not true for "Baby", where the beat drops back and puts him upfront and center.

Todd: And honestly, it's not even his flow or his lyricism. I just can't get past his voice!

Lil Baby: Catch him down bad, that's his ass‚ you or me

Todd (VO): He sounds like...

Todd: ...Charlie Brown's teacher.

Snippet of teacher talk dubbed over clip of Lil Baby rapping

Todd (VO): Like, I don't really like mumble rap, but this isn't even that. It's like whale sounds rap or something. This guy makes [images of...] Future sound like goddamn [...and iPhone with...] Siri in comparison.

Lil Baby: Actin' like they got the bag, I'm tryna stop it up

Like something about his voice just sinks into the Uncanny Valley for me. Humans shouldn't sound like that when they talk!

DaBaby: Still got them 'bows

Todd (VO): But I do like DaBaby, who had a great year. So I was like, "Well, at least he's good on it." But then, I was like, "Well is he?"

Todd: Or is that just residual good will from his other songs?

DaBaby: DaBaby in the air not gettin' his dick sucked?

Look, no one bats a thousand. I do appreciate that we're still using the word...

Todd: ...jiggy in 2019.

DaBaby: Baby gettin' jiggy

Todd (VO): But other than that, I can't really think of anything good about this song. The beat is weak, the hook is so shitty, I didn't even realize it had a hook.

Todd: Even the video is uninspired.

Brief clip showing a scene very similar to...

Todd (VO): A rap video homage to Scarface?

Todd: Let's not push the envelope too far!

Todd (VO): Doesn't seem like anyone invested anything into this, or had much of an idea for why it should exist, except that it'd be funny to have a song called "Baby" by Lil Baby and DaBaby.

Todd: If that's what you're gonna do, go all out.

Video for Justin Bieber ft. Ludacris's...

Todd (VO): Sample "Baby", [image of...] rap about being babies.

Todd: I don't know, [movie poster for Boss Baby with caption: I'M A YOUNG CEO] make a rap theme song for Boss Baby, just something! The fact that you have similar names is not a hook!

Video ends

Todd: [sighs] These Top 10 lists are exhausting. That's why we break them into two parts. Plus, it makes it easier to re-edit when the copyright bots take them down. Alright, click the link for Part 2!

Screen fades to black



#5[edit | edit source]

Todd (VO): #5.

Video for...wait for it...

Ed Sheeran: I'm at a party I don't wanna be at

[chuckles] Remember when I did a review of this, and I...complained about how Sheeran didn't collaborate well with people?

Todd: And then it turned out to be the lead single for an [shot of Rolling Stone article: "Ed Sheeran To Release 'No. 6 Collaborations Project' Album in July"] entire collaboration album? Heh, that's pretty funny.

#5. Ed Sheeran & Justin Bieber - "I Don't Care"[32]

Ed: 'Cause I don't care when I'm with my baby, yeah

Todd (VO): Yeah, I'm surprised at how high this is on the list, too. When I first heard it, I didn't think it was gonna make the worst list.

Todd: This is one of those songs whose worthlessness only really revealed itself upon...

Todd (VO): ...repeated, forced listening. The more I heard this over the course of the year, the more I realized I truly hate it.

Todd: And I don't hate Ed Sheeran!

Clip of Ed Sheeran performing at iHeart Music Festival

Todd (VO): I think he's one of the most interesting pop stars we have. And that puts me out of step with most critics, 'cause...[clip from Airplane!, with people holding numerous weapons, captioned with "CRITICS REVIEWING NEW ED SHEERAN ALBUM"] after that weird misfire of a duets album, it felt like every writer was lining up to beat on him.

Todd: And I'm not saying they're wrong.

Video for Ed Sheeran ft. Camila Cabello & Cardi B - "South of the Border"

Todd (VO): Ed Sheeran clearly should not be making music with Camila Cabello.

Ed: Te amo, mami, ah, te amo, mami

[shudders] But I do appreciate Ed for his weirdness, his willingness to take risks.

Todd: None of that has anything to do with...

Video for...

Todd (VO): ..."I Don't Care", one of the most toothless and boring songs he's ever made. [clip of Ed Sheeran ft. Chance the Rapper & PnB Rock - "Cross Me"[33]] Almost all the other collaborations on this album bring out something different in Sheeran. ["I Don't Care"] Bieber adds absolutely nothing except his name. If you collaborate with Justin Bieber, you're saying to yourself...

Todd: ..."I want a hit, and... [Todd dances in his seat while text appears: "I DON'T CARE"] if it's any good."

Todd (VO): It's not only a bad song, it makes the rest of the album look bad.

Video for Ed Sheeran ft. Khalid - "Beautiful People"[34]

The other big hit off that record is the one about how he's glad he's not one of the "beautiful people."

Ed: We don't fit in well 'cause we are just ourselves

Todd (VO): To a lot of critics, this just sounded like lazy, smug writing. Like, "Oh, I'm not one of those showbiz phonies!

Todd: "I'm not like other girls!"

Ed: That's not who we are

Todd (VO): I felt a little kinder to that song, 'cause...underneath the lyrics, I sensed fear. He sounds scared that maybe he actually is just another shallow Hollywood asshole.

Todd: Well, "I Don't Care" proves those fears are entirely valid.

Video for "I Don't Care"

Todd (VO): He is absolutely trying to be one of the beautiful people, and it's offensive to me that he sings about being a misfit in a song this dedicatedly middle-of-the-road!

Todd: There are many bad songs in that album, but I was willing to write them off as failed experiments.

Todd (VO): But "I Don't Care" is so unambitious, so soullessly designed to be a hit single. It makes the entire project seem less like artistic collaborations between mutual admirers...

Todd: ...and more just like naked starfuckery.

Todd (VO): He wants to pretend he's still the underdog, but he's grabbing Bieber for no reason on a song like this.

Todd: He knows what he's doing. And he don't care.

Video ends


#4[edit | edit source]

Todd (VO): #4.

Todd: I think this next entry is...gonna surprise people.

#4. Lewis Capaldi - "Someone You Loved"[35]

Lewis Capaldi: I'm going under and this time I fear there's no one to save me

Todd (VO): Surprise people by being so low I mean. Wasn't it just two weeks ago where I said it was maybe the worst #1 hit of the entire 2010s?

Todd: Well, honestly, not a lot of songs I really hated made it all the way to #1 this decade, so...good job, America. [gives two thumbs up]

Todd (VO): And, uh, as for it being so low on this list...

Todd: Don't worry, it's all [cartoon image of guy holding a sign that says...] zeroes out of ten from this point onward anyway. Maybe a couple entries previous to this one, too.

Todd (VO): If I'm softer on this song than you might have imagined, it's because I can say one thing for it. Unlike many, many entries on this list...

Todd: ...I understand what it's going for.

Lewis: And you're not here to get me through it all

Todd (VO): There's a clear emotional goal, it tells you what it's trying to make you feel, and it does its best to get there.

Todd: Doesn't remotely reach that target, but I respect that it's pointed in the right direction.

Todd (VO): I can imagine a good song that sounds like this with the same topic. And these days, that's at least something.

Todd: That said, Lewis Capaldi's "Someone You Loved" is not just bad. It's obviously bad.

Todd (VO): It's not like the Ed Sheeran song where its shitness only reveals itself with repeat listens; it is blatantly trash from the first second you hear it.

Todd: When I said in the intro that no one was brave enough to really suck, Capaldi was the exception.

Todd (VO): He threw himself into utterly, transparently sucking with...

Todd: ...unrestrained gusto!

Lewis: And I tend to close...

Todd (VO): Capaldi sings like a cross between [images of...] Gilbert Gottfried and an angry velociraptor. Lewis Capaldi writes lyrics with the same care as a [image of bathroom stall with...] bathroom graffiti artist writing dirty limericks. Lewis Capaldi is bad at music in a way that suggests that [cartoon image of confused man with music notes over his head] he only recently found out what it even is! He is one of the most purely talentless artists of the 2010s, and he tries to mask it with self-deprecation. Like how his album is named [screen capture of Apple Music tracklist for...] Divinely Uninspired To A Hellish Extent. [laughs sarcastically] It's...

Todd: ...funny 'cause it's true.

Lewis: Now, the day bleeds...

Todd (VO): Fuck this. Me and everyone else who called Lewis Capaldi a Sheeran, if only!

Todd: He's an acoustic Simple Plan at best.

Lewis: ...someone you loved


#3[edit | edit source]

Todd (VO): #3.

Todd: Welp. Time to throw some Shaed.

#3. SHAED - "Trampoline"[36]

Chelsea Lee: I've been havin' dreams

Jumpin' on a trampoline

Todd: In 2018, we basically [shot of Spin article: "Is Imagine Dragons the Worst Band Ever?"] booed Imagine Dragons off the stage, but alt rock has not improved in their absence.

Todd (VO): I wanna say the same thing about this I said about Imagine Dragons last year. I do not understand why someone would want to make music like this...

Todd: ...and I do not understand what it's supposed to make me feel.

Video for Imagine Dragons - "Whatever It Takes"

Todd (VO): Honestly, the Imagine Dragons backlash is really interesting to me, 'cause usually when artists become uncool, it's 'cause they're [single covers for Michael Bolton - "When I'm Back on My Feet Again (Remix)"...] sappy, [...and Vanilla Ice - "Ice Ice Baby"...] or embarrassing, [...followed by promotional image of Nickelback with album cover for All the Right Reasons] or their sound or their attitude is really abrasive. Imagine Dragons got backlash for not being any of those things.

Todd: Or being anything else for that matter.

Todd (VO): Everything they did felt completely hollow. There was no "there" there.

Todd: But Imagine Dragons is a thousand times better as a band than Shaed are.

Video for Imagine Dragons - "Believer"

Todd (VO): At least Dan Reynolds sang like he meant it, you know? I felt like they thought they were making good music, or you know...

Todd: least they were trying to.

Video for "Trampoline"

Todd (VO): I do not get that sense of ambition from Shaed.

Chelsea: Wait, if I'm on fire

All I hear on this song is that someone wants to soundtrack a commercial.

Todd: And yes, I've been complaining about the advertisement-ization of indie rock for years now.

Todd (VO): But this is the first time I've heard a song and I already knew what it was selling without even having to see the goddamn ad.

Snippet of whistling during the bridge

I said to myself, "This sounds like an ad for [image of...] a laptop."

Todd: And if you pressed me on which brand, I'd say...

Todd (VO): "I dunno. Probably Apple?"

Todd: And sure e-fuckin'-nough!

Clip of MacBook Air commercial ft. Shaed, "Trampoline"

Todd can only sigh angrily

Video for Shaed - "Just Wanna See"

Todd (VO): For what it's worth, I checked out some of Shaed's other songs, and I didn't hate them.

Todd: But "Trampoline" is the worst kind of music by algorithm.

Video for "Trampoline"

Todd (VO): All the clichés of modern alt rock; the whistling, the thin stuttering beat, the heavy galumphing synthesizers. It's called "Trampoline", but nothing about it conveys a sense of buoyancy or even motion.

Todd: If you're gonna write a song about trampolines, fucking go for it! Put some bounce in it! Put some energy into it!

Audio for "Chandelier" plays over "Trampoline" video

Todd (VO): [singing] I wanna jump, from the trampoline, on a trampoliiine! [normal] But that's not what this song feels like. It doesn't feel like anything.

Todd: Can I ask a question?

Todd (VO): For a song that gets most of its airplay on the alt rock stations, why does it sound exactly like the [brief clip of "One Thing Right"] country techno mashup I covered earlier?!

Chelsea: Wait, if I'm on fire

Fuck music like this!

Todd: Try harder!

Chelsea: I never feel so loved


#2[edit | edit source]

Todd (VO): #2.

#2. Maroon 5 - "Memories"[37]

Adam Levine: Here's to the ones...

ONE YEAR! That is all I'm asking for!

Todd: Just one goddamn year...

Todd (VO): ...where I don't have to put your stupid smirking face on the worst list, Adam Levine! Just...

Todd: ...take a year off!

Video for Maroon 5 ft. Cardi B - "Girls Like You"[38]

Todd (VO): Adam Levine and his band of unnamed background extras have been [clip of Maroon 5 - "Animals"] showing up without interruption on my worst list for, like, seven years now. [clip of Maroon 5 ft. Wiz Khalifa - "Payphone"] I have used up everything I have to say about him.

Todd: Just as Levine used up his last idea ten years ago, and has been coasting ever since.

Clip of Super Bowl LIII Halftime Show

Todd (VO): I hoped in vain that their subpar Super Bowl performance this year might end them the same way it ended the Black Eyed Peas and Justin Timberlake...

Todd: ...but 'twas not to be! They're still here!

Video for "Memories"

Todd (VO): I don't know why Maroon 5 doesn't take any break recording. I think maybe Levine understands that his place on the A-list is extremely precarious, and if he even rests for a second, everyone will realize they don't miss him and he'll never make his way back.

Todd: But "Memories" is shitty even for Maroon 5. [image of...] I've talked about the pop song chords a lot, but this uses the second most famous chord pattern, [...and sheet music for...] the Pachelbel's Canon chords. And like the pop song chords, you know, they're actually fine as long as you do something with them.

Todd (VO): But Levine plays it as stripped down as possible, and doesn't even try to hide where it comes from. Like, not only is the musical structure the bare bones of the Pachelbel's Canon...

Todd: also feels like an experiment to see exactly how much he can steal from...

Clip of live performance of...

Todd (VO): ...Bob Marley's "No Woman, No Cry"!

Clips of "Memories" and Bob Marley performance are intercut with each other

Bob Marley: I remember...

Adam: ...a time that I remember...

Bob: Everything's going to be alright

Adam: But everything gon' be alright

This is a risky move in a [shot of article: "'Blurred Lines' Guilty of Plagiarism"] post-Blurred Lines world, Levine.

Todd: I'd lawyer up.

Todd (VO): But what's truly annoying is that this seems to be intended as a victory lap. Like, technically it's about missing someone, but...

Todd: ...that cheering at the beginning...

Video for "Memories" starts

Todd (VO): That makes it clear. The memories he's talking about is everyone's long fond memories...

Todd: ...of Maroon 5's two decades in the spotlight.

Adam: Bring back all the memories

Of everything we've been through

Todd (VO): Like, this is exceptionally annoying to me, 'cause I...

Todd: ...didn't like them even when they were [air quote] "good." But, even for those OG Maroon 5 fans...

Montage clips of...

Todd (VO): ...does anyone have fond memories of "Misery"?! Or "Daylight"? Or "Sugar"?

Todd: These days I'm always worried which pop star's [image of fangirl mob] terrifying horde of stans might descend upon me. But I have never ever once thought I might get harassed by a bunch of crazy Adam Levine fans. What would that even look like?!

Video for "Memories"

Todd (VO): Except for Levine's core audience of 50-year old wine moms, everyone's memories of Maroon 5 are overwhelmingly negative!

Todd: They only stick around 'cause they're the only band left that fits [image of iHeart Radio logo] Top 40 radio's increasingly narrow definition of pop music!

Todd (VO): "Memories" plays like a song for the end credits, but there will be no end to Maroon 5.

Todd: I give up. They won, they're never going away.

Adam: Memories bring back, memories bring back you

Honorable mentions[edit | edit source]

Todd: And now, of course, let's get those honorable mentions out of the way.

Meek Mill ft. Drake - "Going Bad"[39]

Meek Mill: We goin' plat'

Todd (VO): Well this should've been a lot more interesting than it was. [sarcastically] "Oh, they had that big beef and now they're friends again." Yeah, well maybe they should've stayed enemies.

Todd: A shame, 'cause the album's really good.

Taylor Swift ft. Brendon Urie - "ME!"

Taylor Swift: Me-e-e

Todd: Oh, Taylor.

Brendon Urie: Hey kids!

Taylor: Spelling is fun!

Todd (VO): I think she realized how sad this whole spectacle was because she edited out the, "Spelling is fun" part on the album. Like, that's some [still shot from Star Wars - Episode IV: A New Hope] "Greedo shooting first" shit right there.

Todd: You put it out there, lady. Own it.

Taylor Swift - "You Need to Calm Down"[40]

Taylor: You need to calm down

Todd (VO): For me, the musical moment of the year was listening to this song for the first time by watching [clip of...] the lyric video, and having no idea what it was gonna be about.

Todd: And seeing that...

Todd (VO): ...GLAAD was spelled with two "A's"...and I was like..."Is that a typo?"

Todd: And then, just...the thirty seconds of dawning horror.

Taylor: Shade never made anybody less gay

Bazzi ft. Camila Cabello - "Beautiful"[41]

Bazzi: Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful, beautiful angel

Todd (VO): Okay, who is this low-rent Zayn, and why hasn't he gone away yet?

Ariana Grande - "Break Up With Your Girlfriend, I'm Bored"[42]

Ariana Grande: Break up with your girlfriend (Girlfriend)

Todd (VO): Well, this was fucking lousy. I mean, "Break up with your girlfriend 'cause I'm bored," is an obnoxious sentiment, but...

Todd: ...she doesn't even sound bored!

Todd (VO): The verses are about how bad she wants this guy, and how unhappy it makes her. Like...

Todd: ...commit to the bit! God!

Ava Max - "Sweet but Psycho"[43]

Ava Max: Oh, she's sweet but a psycho

Todd: Kinda too hilariously basic to really hate.

Todd (VO): [singing] Oh, it's catchy but basic. A little bit basic.

Todd: [sighs] Okay, well...let's get this done.


#1[edit | edit source]

Todd (VO): [ominously] #1!

Todd: If I can say one kind thing about the year in bad music, it's this: 2019 was the first year in a long time I felt like I really had a nemesis.

#1. Lil Dicky - "Earth"[44]

Todd (VO): I mean, I can name plenty of people whose music I consistently dislike, but...

Todd: ...people like Chris Brown, Adam Levine, I don't wanna cover them. I just want them to go away.

Todd (VO): But Lil Dicky, I will happily watch every day for the rest of my life.

Todd: I love hating this mugging hack.

Todd (VO): I will follow Lil Dicky's every move...

Todd: the ends of the earth.

Todd (VO): And speaking of the ends of the earth, that's coming quicker every day, no thanks to Lil Dicky, who released a song to combat climate change of all goddamn things! And it couldn't have possibly been more of a planet-destroying waste!

Wiz Khalifa: I'm a disgruntled skunk, shoot you out my butthole

Apparently, the only way Lil Dicky could think of to make a proper environmental charity single was to use all of his amassed good will to gather up all the celebrities he could find, and have them pretend to be animals, and tell a bunch of dick and butt jokes with no setup and half a punchline!

Todd: They're not even good butt jokes!

Justin Bieber: I'm like a man, just less advanced and my anus is huge

Todd (VO): The ass cheeks are not the anus, Dicky!

Todd: [pause] They're not!

Todd (VO): Much smarter and more entertaining people than Dicky have tried and failed to make people care about climate change. But Dicky thought he was up to the challenge. [clip of Lil Dicky on Jimmy Kimmel Live!] He dropped this with a lot of hype, [scrolling screen capture of people reacting to "Earth" on Twitter] only to be met with complete confusion and disinterest.

Todd: Most charity singles after the '80s haven't done a whole lot of business, but...

Todd (VO): ...Dicky certainly had to be hoping for more than what he got: A single week in the Top 20 before cratering into the ground.

Todd: This guy, whose only skill is [images of Lil Dicky holding up fingers to show...] clowning on the size of his own penis, thought he was gonna be the next [image of...] Bill Nye.

Todd (VO): He even shot some supplementary educational videos!

Lil Dicky: Thank you for coming. Um, I'm gonna educate you...

Todd: [sarcastically] Are ya now?!

Lil Dicky: ...on what's going on with the Earth, because I don't know anything, and...

Todd: You don't say.

Lil Dicky: We're doing bad shit. These bad things are causing temperatures to rise, and when temperatures rise, more bad shit happens.

Todd (VO): [sarcastically] I'm learning so much.

Todd: And to think, Time gave [shot of Time Magazine front cover showing...] Person of the Year to Greta Thunberg. What's she ever done for the cause?!

Clip of "Earth"

Tory Lanez: We love the Chinese

Lil Dicky: We forgive you, Germany

Todd (VO): The only thing I can really compare this song to is not other music, or even other comedy. [clip of...] It's the Kendall Jenner Pepsi ad. Like I've noted before, [brief clip of Lil Dicky - "Professional Rapper"] Dicky's background is advertising. [clip of "Earth"] So, I think knowing how modern advertising works will explain the song better than anything else.

Clip of Subway commercial

Like, all these weird positive message ads, they don't care if the message makes any sense 'cause it's about selling the brand. The message only exists to get your grandma to share it on Facebook. [clip of Burger King ad] And because they're trying to go viral, they have to pump them out really quick, and they don't have time to really focus-group it.

Another clip of Kendall Jenner Pepsi commercial

Todd (VO): And that's how disasters like this happen! The difference is that...

Todd: ...Pepsi will still be here tomorrow regardless.

Video for "Earth"

Todd (VO): Lil Dicky does not have that kind of brand dominance, and he just colossally wasted the time and money of a lot of important people.

Todd: So, my vow to follow his career might have to end abruptly [shrugs] in 2019.

Clip of Lil Dicky freestyle on Sway in the Morning

Lil Dicky: Lil ol' dick and I’m back in this bitch

I know y’all know...

Todd (VO): might not. Dicky does not [clip of "Earth"] play an animal in the video, but if he had, he should have been a cockroach. Because I sense in Lil Dicky a real, unshakable determination to survive. He will be famous and successful, dammit. Despite the obstacles of having no talent, and no willingness to hone his craft!

Todd: I hear he's working on a TV show. And I'll be the first to tune in.

Todd (VO): It might even be good, who knows? It's not like he's gonna be writing it! See ya in 2020, Dicky. Assuming we're still here.

Todd: know...the climate change and everything.

Lil Dicky: Let's come together and live

Closing Tag Song: Drake ft. Rick Ross - "Money in the Grave"[45]


This video is owned by me

And was supposed to come out two weeks ago

Top ten lists are hard


Footnotes[edit | edit source]

  1. #15 on Billboard Year-End Hot 100
  2. #13 on Billboard Year-End Hot 100
  3. #7 on Billboard Year-End Hot 100
  4. #1 on Billboard Year-End Hot 100
  5. #62 on Billboard Year-End Hot 100
  6. #3 on Billboard Year-End Hot 100
  7. #24 on Billboard Year-End Hot 100
  8. #29 on Billboard Year-End Hot 100
  9. #14 on Billboard Year-End Hot 100
  10. #93 on Billboard Year-End Hot 100
  11. #28 on Billboard Year-End Hot 100
  12. #71 on Billboard Year-End Hot 100
  13. #78 on Billboard Year-End Hot 100
  14. #10 on Billboard Year-End Hot 100
  15. Not on Billboard Year-End Hot 100; peaked at #27 in 2019
  16. #91 on Billboard Year-End Hot 100
  17. #63 on Billboard Year-End Hot 100
  18. #79 on Billboard Year-End Hot 100
  19. Not on Billboard Year-End Hot 100; peaked at #82 in 2019
  20. #8 on Billboard Year-End Hot 100
  21. #4 on Billboard Year-End Hot 100
  22. #43 on Billboard Year-End Hot 100
  23. #40 on Billboard Year-End Hot 100
  24. #77 on Billboard Year-End Hot 100
  25. #89 on Billboard Year-End Hot 100
  26. #6 on Billboard Year-End Hot 100; #80 on Billboard Year-End Hot 100 for 2018
  27. Not on Billboard Year-End Hot 100; peaked at #31 in 2019
  28. Not on Billboard Year-End Hot 100; peaked at #92 in 2019
  29. Not on Billboard Year-End Hot 100; peaked at #90 in 2019
  30. #84 on Billboard Year-End Hot 100
  31. #26 on Billboard Year-End Hot 100
  32. #16 on Billboard Year-End Hot 100
  33. Not on Billboard Year-End Hot 100; peaked at #25 in 2019
  34. #50 on Billboard Year-End Hot 100
  35. #27 on Billboard Year-End Hot 100
  36. #70 on Billboard Year-End Hot 100
  37. Not on Billboard Year-End Hot 100; peaked at #4 in 2019
  38. #22 on Billboard Year-End Hot 100; #10 on Billboard Year-End Hot 100 for 2018
  39. #18 on Billboard Year-End Hot 100
  40. #39 on Billboard Year-End Hot 100
  41. #95 on Billboard Year-End Hot 100
  42. #36 on Billboard Year-End Hot 100"
  43. #23 on Billboard Year-End Hot 100
  44. Not on Billboard Year-End Hot 100; peaked at #17 in 2019
  45. #34 on Billboard Year-End Hot 100
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