Updated: Dec 31, 2022
Hi guys, welcome back to The Social Tune and today, we're going to be counting down the Top 10 Worst Hit Songs of 2022!
So this year I have been extremely... absent, for lack of a better word. I wasn't doing the blog regularly like before, you all know I wasn't making videos, I wasn't even posting on social media much anymore. Now, there are some very good reasons for that - very few of which are negative, which makes a nice change - but this year I definitely needed to focus more on me... and good thing too, because 2022 was a terrible year for many MANY people! Despite our wilful ignorance, there's still a pandemic going on, the worldwide economy is collapsing in spectacular fashion and human rights just seemed to stop mattering. So yes, if there was a year where we collectively didn't seem to care much about music anymore, it was certainly this one.
It also didn't help that the charts were... well, not awful exactly, but very stagnant. We went through months of songs coming and going, not leaving much of an impact until Harry Styles came along... which then immediately prompted another dry spell! Some have said this year has been atrocious, and pointed at the noticeable trend of defaulting to older hits from previous years as proof. I mean the biggest hits of this year in Ireland include Running Up that Hill, Another Love and Mr Brightside! However, I think those feelings come more from a lack of relevance, where the mood of 2022's hits didn't match ours as a society and we needed something more befitting. Personally, I listened to more music this year than I have in a very long time, at least since 2018, checking out more albums, loose singles and despite not talking about it much at all, my chart focus was more dedicated than ever! I took the advice of fellow music critic The Mode Reviews and decided to expand my scope to the entire Hot 100 of the Irish Charts, which proved... exhausting, but still very rewarding, especially when calculating the Top 100 Biggest Hits of 2022 (dropping at the end of the year)!
And eventually, things did pick up, to the point where I even felt motivated to make a full list before the year was entirely over. Yep, the second half of 2022 brought about a slew of interesting songs, for better and for worse, which will certainly be reflected in this list as we dive into:
If you were paying any attention to me in 2021... aww, thank you, I was trying a lot of new things with The Social Tune and I appreciate you sticking with me through it- ANYWAY, you probably heard me talk about House and EDM a lot. Dance pop has been the dominant genre in the UK & Ireland for a long time now, and the 2020s so far are no exception. Like I said though, it felt especially tone-deaf in 2022, where the last thing I wanted to do was dance to repetitive, bargain bin melodies in a formula that has been beaten to death more than your average horse on its way to the glue factory.
Now, I've become numb to a lot of the genre at this point - most of it doesn't stick with me anymore - but sometimes, one still manages to leave a mark... albeit forcibly.
Where Did You Go? by Jax Jones & MNEK
YE position: #10
Are any of you familiar with Lima Syndrome? It's where kidnappers start to sympathise with their victims, begin to see their point of view, and eventually release them. I bring it up because when trying to find ways of describing this song, I googled "What is the opposite of Stockholm Syndrome?" and found this. Sadly it's not quite was I was looking for, but it's the most interesting thing I can say about this utter snoozefest.
So fun fact, I was working for a big tech company this year. A tech company that shall remain unnamed for the purposes of privacy, but let's just say they REALLY wanted people back in the office. Now, I don't know why, but the system in charge of music in this office seemed to enjoy looping the same 3 songs on repeat: As It Was by Harry Styles, 1 interchangeable track that varied from week to week, and this one. I have heard this song at least 300 times this year, and that's being conservative! And with every single listen, its blandness pushed me a little further over the edge. I mean there is just NOTHING original about this!
The throbbing bass ripped straight from Black Magic by Jonasu, the ascending synth keys of every Joel Corry song, even the chorus and lyrics are essentially the same as 1996's Where Did You Go? by No Mercy. Not that I would ever accuse this song of ever ripping off that one, because this idea is so hackneyed and tired that I'm sure it was thought up on the spot, Hell, I bet the lyrics are the first draft! Just like everything else here, in fact!
Oh MNEK, when will you catch a break? His is the same sob story as Ella Henderson's, a truly talented and emotive singer who got stuck as "that guy we can squander on EDM hits when Becky Hill isn't available". And unlike Ella, who seems to have given up entirely, poor Uzo is still trying so hard! He brings so much genuine heart to his best collabs like Head & Heart, he convinces me they're great! And he's still doing his best, trying to inject some real passion into these recycled, copy-pasted lyrics, but I'm sorry, there was nothing anyone could have done with what Jax Jones handed him here! Jeez, I blamed Joel Corry for OUT OUT last year, but this level of musical gentrification is beyond even him!
In any other year, this song might have just come and gone, but with that dry spell in the first half of this year, there was nothing to take its place and it DOMINATED! And that overexposure turned a song I disliked on first listen into a perpetual, stale headache. What do you mean "where did you go?", you're the one who won't fucking go away!!!
Did anyone else notice that Adele had a really bad year by her standards? I mean normally she would drop an album and call it a year or 2, but she only had 2 hits off of 30, well below her batting average! Guess that's what happens when an artist sold mainly on the unique quality of their voice turns out a sub-par album (minus Easy On Me of course), that makes some unfortunate sense... wait, no, if that's true, then explain this!
Green Green Grass by George Ezra
YE position: #18
If you're based anywhere that's not the UK or Ireland, chances are you know George Ezra for his break-out hit Budapest in 2015. Oh, how I wish I was so lucky... it, Blame It On Me, Pretty Shining People and ESPECIALLY Shotgun have been overplayed to Hell and back for the past 7 years, to the point where I get surprised when I don't hear one of them when frequenting one of my local coffee shops. This year though, things got considerably worse with the pretty abysmal Gold Rush Kid, a hodge-podge of disconnected lyrics from the cutting room floor passing themselves off as songs, and easily his worst album to date.
Now in George's defence, this isn't entirely his fault. In the past, he's stated that he likes to take his time releasing new albums, only writing when inspiration strikes him. I mean say what you will about those songs I mentioned before, I still enjoy them all, they're good to great songs that have stood the test of overplay remarkably well. But apparently, the pandemic hit George pretty hard, making him realise that time is fleeting and he should enjoy his relevance while it lasts, have a blast touring and meeting fans while he can. That's really sweet and inspiring... until you realise what a backseat the lyrics took.
George has made it clear that most of these songs were early drafts, or compiled together from a series of notebooks around his house that he's filled with lyrics over the years. Because of this, the songs are increasingly derivative drivel, with little to no cohesion between each verse. But while Anyone For You was pretty bad, especially with the frankly baffling Tiger Lily focus that felt borderline uncomfortable, Green Green Grass was SO much worse! For one, it was bigger over here, becoming almost as ubiquitous to me as Where Did You Go?, but while the hook on Anyone For You was innocuous and harmless, this hook flat-out sucked from the start! And once I realised that, the verses came into pretty sharp focus too.
Despite the upbeat hook with its incredibly cheap, chipper production, this is a song about 2 lovers committing crimes and living life on the run together, exactly like Bonn- I'm sorry, "Adam & Eve" ... okay look, I know Bonnie & Clyde are overused in modern pop music, but at least that outlaw couple makes sense! This song already feels like it would get laughed off of Veggie Tales without that little titbit! The verses are just beyond corny and confused, with half-baked descriptions of what a bad girl this is, but it's missing the bite or roughness needed for this type of song to work because of the dumbass hook! The way the instrumental cuts out before the chorus, followed by the goofy harmonies, this all feels like a Saturday morning sing-along to distract your children in front of the TV! CBeebies could have put this on when I was a kid and I would have been a perfectly delighted toddler. It's juvenile and intensely annoying to hear once, let alone hundreds of times.
This song is likely going to torment me for another 7 years, so just know that me placing it this low is conservative, I fully expect it to get worse with time. Wish my sanity luck guys, let's hope I don't snap.
The biggest crimes of bad music in 2022 fall into 2 categories: ungodly annoying and deathly boring. So I was a bit hesitant to place this song on this list because unlike the rest of this list, I genuinely enjoy how bad it is. ... Still though:
PSYCHO by Anne-Marie & Aitch
YE position: #74
This has spent a disturbing amount of time in the Irish Top 20 and is currently in the Top 10... that's fascinating to me! I mean I know it was just Spooky Season a couple of months ago, I know it's by 2 huge names over here, but when does good taste come into play?
Anne-Marie is arguably the better-known of the 2 names internationally, thanks to atrocious crossover hits like FRIENDS, but in terms of overall popularity in the zeitgeist, she might actually be the smaller of the 2 at this point! Despite all odds, the young rapper Aitch, who initially blew up in 2019 with big hits like Rain, managed to get a significant second wind this year! Not that he ever really went away, but he's been very easy to ignore until now, and I certainly wasn't expecting his level of success in 2022. I honestly thought ArrDee would be the one blowing up rather than him; both seemed like fuckboy assholes, but at least ArrDee was more distinct, more talented... maybe people just thought he was too obnoxious, I could see that. Sidenote, their collab track War is genuinely awesome, check it out!
However, the problem here is a combined effort. She's playing the jilted lover who finds out that her boyfriend's been cheating on her with all these random girls in a style that calls back to Mambo No. 5, calling out multiple women on the hook... including a mother-daughter combo he apparently slept with, weird detail to throw in there. But it starts to fall apart well before that: firstly, I don't believe this version of Aitch has got this much game. Chicken Shop Date Aitch, maybe, but not this doldrum-inducing dullard! Even aside from that, the point the song is trying to make is that he's the one that's constantly cheating on her and yet she's the one who's questioned and called a psycho. That's actually a pretty heavy subject, tackling the slut/player double standard... so yeah, kinda weird they're playing it this kooky and over-the-top. I suppose it makes it more accessible, more entertaining, but it makes for a very conflicted tone, both camp and uncomfortable... not helped by the AWFUL production!
I mean this just sounds unfinished. For a song this performative, the instrumentation is remarkably barren, with a single, minor piano meandering in a cyclical melody, 1 key at a time, with random discordant notes to add to the creepy(?) atmosphere it's aiming for. The bass also swamps out the mix on the hook, making it feel even more dour and unpleasant, and yes, I know it's the point, but it's like the song's 2 steps short in either direction! Be dark or be kooky, or do both well, none of which this accomplishes because this was clearly thrown together at the last minute to be in time for Halloween!
But even then... you all know the worst part. The pre-chorus attempts to build tension with its dour, minor key mix and nasal, mildly kooky performances, all for one of the UGLIEST drops I've heard in recent memory! Supremely undanceable, too chinsey to be atmospheric, too tuneless to be catchy! I mean even despite my annoyances with it... I have to admit that WILLOW & Camilla Cabello did this so much better. Sure, Psychofreak is pretty annoying, but at least their performances matched the production and their chemistry is MILES beyond this! This is trying to be Hunt You Down or Cannibal by Kesha, but it misses the balance that those songs mastered and falls flat on its face. This feels less like a song between 2 jilted lovers, and more like Norman Bates sneaking out on his mother. Ew!
Now, for all of you Americans laughing at the fact that PSYCHO charted as high as it did over here... don't act too holier than thou!
Unholy by Sam Smith & Kim Petras
YE position: #61
Oh boy... I hate that this song is remotely controversial. Don't get me wrong, I am delighted that a collaboration by a trans and a non-binary artist went to number 1 in multiple countries across the world. It's a milestone for culture, especially in such turbulent times for the community... I just wish I enjoyed it more. In my defence, I'm pretty sure the song is intentionally hard to like, a mix of glitz and glam with elements of gospel and glitch pop, echoing backing vocals that contrast horribly with dated lyrics, buzzing synths and what sounds like an out-of-tune cowbell! Like PSYCHO, it's really trying to be camp, only it's trying WAY too hard, with WAAAYYY too much going on in the production.
Then there's the confusing content... the song itself is about a married man having sex with Sam Smith and Kim Petras and the whole thing is scandalous and unholy, you get it, real pearl-clutching shit. But why call it "Unholy" in the first place? If this guy was a priest, or Sam Smith or Kim Petras were members of the clergy, that might fit better and be a lot more interesting, especially if you explored it in more detail, really milked the Bible imagery à la Hozier. But no, instead they go for the low-hanging fruit, laughing goofily at how scandalous it is. The entire song is just over-the-top nonsense; I should love this for its theatricality, but it just sounds so terrible!
Not to mention the fact that this is Sam Smith... Too Good At Goodbyes Sam Smith, Dancing With A Stranger Sam Smith, flying in the face of their tasteful, squeaky-clean image that they've built up over the years, how the hell am I supposed to take this?! Again, I know that's part of the point, but it comes across like a former Disney starlet trying to prove that they're an adult now. You know, in the vein of Can't Be Tamed by Miley Cyrus, which has about as much dignity as this song as it happens. In a similar way, this is Sam Smith telling us that yes, they do have naughty, grown-up sex with dirty dirty boys, they are a sexual being- it just comes across like bad fanfiction! Whereas this is just another Tuesday for Kim Petras. I mean have you heard her music?!
I just don't understand the point of this song, aside from the societal role it represents. It's so far out of the comfort zone of 1 of the 2 performers that it's just ridiculous and the other one is best known in my circles for propping the remaining fragments of Dr Luke's career, which doesn't help her reputation in my books. They also don't work all that well together; for having such a large personality, Kim Petras is absolutely dwarfed by Sam Smith here, they're the one who gets all the quotable lines and stand-out moments. I never knew I wanted Sam Smith to describe a girl twerking in the most Shakespearean-sounding way possible, "popping it and putting it down slowly"! Also, for as ridiculous as it is, "dirty dirty boy" has become by far one of the most quoted things in my social circle. So I suppose the song is memorable... for all the wrong reasons, but still, there's worse out there... for instance:
One musical phenomenon that I haven't touched on nearly enough is the surge of African music the past couple years. Afrobeat has been somewhat present for around a decade at this point, but songs like Love Nwantiti, Jerusalema, Last Last have blown the floodgates wide open; these are no longer outliers, they're part of a trend. Now, similarly to the Reggaeton craze, I was a bit hesitant to weigh in at first... after all, this isn't a genre I grew up with and it took me a while to identify when a song was bad rather than unfamiliar. Luckily the westernisation of the genre due to people like Ed Sheeran makes the conversation a Hell of a lot easier... and yet he's not the artist that I'm criticising at this spot.
Calm Down (Remix) by Rema & Selena Gomez
YE position: #64
This is Rema, a Nigerian rapper/singer. He's been slowly growing in influence over the last couple of years, signed multiple big deals with companies like Pepsi, even winning some awards along the way, and his songs have now reached a billion streams worldwide, which is awesome! But then in August of this year, he released the remix for this song, vaulting into the top 30 here in Ireland... and I hated it instantly. The tinny guitar looping hypnotically, the cheap fake drums and high hats, the pompous strings that come in to add some artificial gravitas, and DEAR GOD THAT FLUTE!!!
I swear to God, that tiny staccato whistle became one of the biggest headaches of my year! It doesn't fit at all, it just feels like it was added in post, just to irritate me! Speaking of annoyances that were added retroactively, Selena Gomez! I have decided she's officially my least favourite of the former Disney star trio. Miley's Plastic Hearts is an album I still go back to, and Demi's 2022 album HOLY FVCK is FUCKING AWESOME! Whereas Selena has just become so easy to ignore. It's unfortunate, because I do think she's a good singer and a surprisingly talented actor, but she seems to have very little interest in doing the former anymore, with the exception of that Spanish EP Revelación last year.
Anyway, I've seen some people describe this song as a vibe, similar to Essence by Wizkid last year, but I also saw a lot of people outwardly hating on that song, possibly due to the Justin Bieber remix. By contrast, while I enjoyed that song a fair bit, this just annoyed the fuck out of me from the word go! Rema repeatedly telling you to calm down down down down down down down down down down down and wanting your lo lo lo lo lo lo lo lo- FUCK OFF! I also can't stand the basic premise, of the guy prowling the nightclub and zero-ing in on the 1 girl who's "real" and "not trying too hard"... well, Selena's performance certainly reflects that, at least! It's so fucking transparent; there's even a part where he flat-out gropes her in the club, grabbing her "bu-bu-bu-bu-bu-bum", and neither of them acknowledge it! And yet he has the balls to say she's playing coy! I don't think she's shy, I think she's probably scared for her safety!
It makes Selena's performance feel even more out of place. He's telling you to calm down, Selena, react to that, give us some sort of drama, act like he has a reason to tell you to be calm in the first place! Fuck, I hate this song... and if anyone tells me to calm down, I swear, I will personally send you a video intermittently playing a recorder in your face!
You know sometimes people tell me that I write way too much and my lists end up being too long. So I'm just going to let this one speak for itself.
Doja by Central Cee
YE position: #53
8 seconds and that's it! 2 lines in and this song is already one of the worst of the year. The rest of it is completely interchangeable drivel about his come-up, but that opening is enough to make me cringe harder than almost anything else this year!
Even aside from that, this is a fragment of a song, it feels like its own teaser trailer! It clocks in at a pathetic 97 seconds, not even worth stating in minutes, where the content is either... THAT or completely copy-pasted from half a dozen other singles of his in 2022, how DARE you drag Queen Eve into this, and don't even get me started on him including a fucking "no homo" joke about loving his bros, because THAT doesn't scream insecurity!
The worst part is that Central Cee had such a good year otherwise! No honestly, if you've been paying attention to his releases in 2022, he's actually had quite a few really great songs with some excellent production. But of course, his most successful crossover hit to date had to be one of his worst. I mean I won't say it's quite up there with Commitment Issues - that's in an entire league of its own - but this song's blatant disregard for good taste, especially with the incredibly lazy sample choice... yeah, it landed it on this list out of sheer second-hand embarrassment!
Good news Central Cee, your feeble attempt at a crossover hit wasn't the most embarrassing thing Doja had to endure this year!
I Like You (A Happier Song) by Post Malone (Ft. Doja Cat)
YE position: #100
Post Malone and Doja Cat are 2 huge pop stars that I would never have pictured on a song together, which should have been an early warning sign. Maybe it's the fact that Doja always seems so fun and Post seems like a buzzkill, but each of them have made incredible music in ENTIRELY different lanes. Well, I certainly didn't expect this... it's Blueberry Faygo. I mean that's the closest comparison my brain makes. Not a bad idea to make more songs in that vein, I certainly enjoyed Lil Mosey's one and only hit back in 2020. I'm just... really confused that they turned it into something this soulless.
Make no mistakes, this is gutless pop trash, designed to be an easy hit for Post's most recent album. Because these 2 artists work in different lanes of pop, I went into this thinking it might combine their talents by making use of what little common ground they have, namely sex and debauchery. Instead, they make a happy little love song, with a chorus that sounds like it was directly transcribed from a middle-school diary. I think it's supposed to be cute, but it's so bizarre that I can't shake the feeling it's some big joke without a punchline. These 2 artists fuck, they don't take picnics to France and Japan! And it seems like halfway through making the song, they realised the same thing, because what clearly began as a love song in terms of it production and tone, is instead framed as a song about 2 good friends hanging out and MAYBE having some secret romantic feelings... I think... I don't get it.
Again, I can't get away from the nagging sensation that this song was initially supposed to be more romantic, especially based on Post's uncharacteristically bright-eyed and optimistic performance that feels incredibly forced! I can only imagine the song was written with someone entirely different in mind, then Post received it and scrawled all over it. It might explain why lines like "pulling his girl like a hammy" feel so out of place! Then you get Doja's verse and it's very clear she's doing this for sex... they just never quite get there. They just dance around it, she complains about her ex, then says they'll be friends for a long long time... again, why not just fuck?! I'm so confused that THESE 2 are acting so coy.
The song's inconclusive lyrics just annoy me, not to mention the childish rhyme scheme, the pathetic instrumental, and the manufactured whimsy that never feels natural! It feels like the heavily PG version if itself, and such an unnatural fit for both artists that it almost feels like a parody. Which subsequently makes it feel cynical. In other words, whatever tone it was going for, it fails. One of the most baffling pop songs of the year, and by far one of the most frustrating.
Lewis Capaldi had a very slow year, with multiple flop singles that didn't really take off. But then he switched up his formula to go for something a bit more synthy and poppy on Forget Me, arguably my favourite single of his to date. Now, I choose to believe this is thanks to Niall Horan's good influence, as the 2 have been touring together with some pretty great chemistry. And good for Lewis, he's made enough screaming, over-the-top piano ballads to last us all a lifetime, and if I had to sing Someone You Loved as many times as he probably has, I would probably want to shift genres as well. Still, I personally think that song gets too much hate, there are worse examples of the genre. Far worse.
All For You by Cian Ducrot
YE position: #13
I am very disappointed with this. Cian Ducrot was one of the artists that I was really rooting for coming out of 2021, despite some less-than-great songs like Not Usually Like This. But then I saw that he was climbing up the mainstream Irish charts, he was getting his first big breakout hit and I was so pleased for him... until I heard it. Because yeah, this is Cian's worst song to date. Sometimes it works out that way, but it's always unfortunate when it does.
In this case, it's a caterwauling song that actually makes him sound a lot less like Cian Ducrot and a lot more like Clinton Kane, who for the longest time, I thought sang this song. Instead, it's an Irish lad whom I've critiqued in the past, while trying to keep it constructive. But I'm sorry, I just absolutely detest this! It's wailing, it's melodramatic, it's exactly as bad as you expect for all the reasons that you immediately think of on first listen, and then so many more.
Basically, it's his take on When I Was Your Man by Bruno Mars, the story of the ex who realises that he fucked up and lost his girl to another man because he never put in enough effort for her. And so, he wishes her well in hopes that her new man will treat her better, I can respect that sentiment in theory. Oh, if only this song had that level of class to it! You see, Bruno had a tasteful air of regret to him when he performed that song, while All For You cranks the melancholy up to 11, sounding like the guilt-ridden ex battering down your door at 2 in the morning in order to beg for your forgiveness!
My God Cian, I know for a fact that you can sound better than this! Why do you sound like a baying basset hound?! Normally I would appreciate that he's clearly owning that this was entirely his fault, but these verses are way too cloying, begging for forgiveness rather than keeping a respectful distance. I also really fucking detest the line on this about her being "naive" for believing in them. That really feels like you're putting a decent bit of the blame on her, asshole! Also, the imagery of her running into a fire while he watches her burn is morbidly hilarious to me. Oh and FUCK the line "kept my hands to myself like I kept my word", as if that's something you should take any pride in, like it's not a fucking given! And finally, the part that really drives home the melodrama: the praying to some higher power, not sure if she can hear him, but hoping that she can. It's ridiculous and likely just guilt-tripping in order to get her to come back to him.
I know that there's a whole slew of people who listen to this and really feel it deep in their souls, but there are ways of doing this that don't make it sound like you're repeatedly getting pummelled in the stomach with every line. Join the ranks of James Arthur, Cian, because until you redeem yourself for this, that's the miserable box I'm putting you in!
21 Reasons by Nathan Dawe & Ella Henderson
YE position: #31
... welp, there's only 1 way I can talk about all the problems with this trainwreck!
The opening synth notes, which start out far too loud and obnoxious before fading out just as suddenly
Ella Henderson sounds more soulless on this than even Becky Hill has in years
The throbbing bass easily overpowers Ella's voice on the verses
This exact beat has been used on dozens if not hundreds of other songs
Ditto for the structure, the standard snare and high hats that speed up before cutting out for an obvious drop
1 is he makes her happy, yet with all the complaining she does about him on the pre-chorus and bridge, you could have fooled me
The repetitive delivery of each couplet, where she ends each first line on a higher intonation, then every second one on a lower one, makes the verses feel like way more of a slog
The cheap snare and handclap that comes in on the pre-chorus sound incredibly fake and just a bit too loud
She names 2 things she likes about him in the first verse, and 3 things she dislikes on the pre-chorus... at this point we are a quarter of the way through the song
One of the things she dislikes is his "moods", which is either a euphemism for something much darker or about as nitpicky as... well me, right now
The number 21 feels entirely arbitrary, possibly picked to determine the oldest age at which one can tolerate listening to this song
The ugly, squawking horns on the drop, which somehow sound off-key
The vocals on the drop, which are the most inanely repetitive and irritating part of the entire experience, synching with the fake horns in a cacophony of abrasive taunting
The snare comes back on the second half of the hook, adding to the impact of each infuriating note of the drop
The snare then procedes to not go away for the entire second verse, making it sound considerably worse than the first one
She either abandons the entire counting idea entirely after 3, or she skips number 4 to go straight to 5... either way, you FAIL
The melodramatic delivery and beat switch on the bridge, which doesn't feel earned and is delivered into her snottiest Bebe Rexha impression
She continues to name negatives about him during said bridge, even though we're at 3 or 4 good things by my count, with less than a minute to go
She builds to the end as if she's going to deliver one final big reason to make up for the 18 or so she's missing... then doesn't... she just counts to 10...
She couldn't even be bothered to count to 21...
"Doo-doo-doo-doo doo-doo-doo-doo-doo-" SHUT UP!!!
And now, before we get to our crowning jewel, a few dishonourable mentions:
First Class by Jack Harlow - YE position: #48
Jack Harlow feels like the US equivalent of Aitch. 9/10 times, his real-life charisma is nowhere to be found.
House On Fire by Mimi Webb - YE position: #54
Arguably the best production Mimi Webb's ever had, and yet even on a song about giving a cheating ex his comeuppance, she still delivers it like it's a jingle for a local sale.
Stay With Me by Calvin Harris (Ft. Justin Timberlake, Halsey & Pharrell) - YE position: #104
And here I was thinking Potion was a lazy rip-off of Feels which made absolutely terrible use of its performers! I mean it's better than By your Side with Tom Grennan, but just a different flavour of awful.
Romantic Homicide by d4vd - YE position: #106
This barely qualifies, but I can't ignore how big it got! Although, for as toxic as this song is, my main issue is how BORING this is! Eminem's Kim, this is not!
Crazy What Love Can Do by David Guetta, Becky Hill & Ella Henderson - YE position: #11
Let's be honest, this is exactly as bad as we all expected, no more, no less. What can I say, put Ella Henderson and Becky Hill on an EDM song produced by David Guetta? Of course it's gonna be kind of shit.
Words by Alesso & Zara Larsson - YE position: #76
Whereas I had some expectations for this! My God, how far Zara's star has fallen! And why does it sound so fucking murky and ugly?!
Down Under by Luude (Ft. Colin Hay) - YE position: #75
This was one of the most unlistenable songs of the year and I couldn't believe how long it stuck around... until I heard:
Miss You by Oliver Tree & Robin Schulz - YE position: #81
This is arguably the worst-sounding hit song of the entire year, and Robin Schulz and his manager were absolute dicks about the way they released it to spite Southstar... and yet for some reason I kind of like it... no clue why...
Bam Bam by Camila Cabello (Ft. Ed Sheeran) - YE position: #22
What can I say, Camila still sucks, Ed sounds kind of awful here, and the 2 of them have absolutely no chemistry. But this is really here for that mumbling "bam bam bam" on the hook; why do you sound like you're trying to eat your own lips?!
In the Stars by Benson Boone - YE position: #78
It's saying something that it took me about 15 listens to realise this was a tribute to his grandmother. I mean it's better than Ghost town but my GOD does this guy suck!
Cold Heart (PNAU Remix) by Elton john & Dua Lipa - YE position: #5
Last year I rejoiced that I wouldn't have to endure this song much longer... it got 9 spots higher on my year-end chart this year compared to the 2021 one...
Don't Stop Just Yet by Belters Only (Ft. Jazzy) - YE position: #44
The most forgettable and inessential song of the year. And that leads us quite nicely into:
I've seen a few people say that Cian Ducrot embarrassed Ireland this year with All For You, and that his howling isn't indicative of Irish music at all... suuuuuure it isn't. But I still think that's a little unfair to the guy, because before we all start pointing fingers and laughing at him, there was a much bigger infraction on Irish music this year. Something that really didn't paint us in a good light AT ALL... and it was the biggest song of the fucking year!
Make Me Feel Good by Belters Only (Ft. Jazzy)
YE position: #1
If you live outside of Ireland, the UK, and certain parts of Latvia, chances are you've never heard this song. I get it, it mostly stuck within our borders, although its success still made Belters Only a bit of a household name. It's by 2 well-known DJs who I've praised in the past, RobbieG & Bissett, as well as a fresh voice in the Dublin music scene, making it the most Irish song to hit number 1 in years. And for just a moment, the nation was so proud, I was so proud! And then I realized the entire thing was built on a lie.
Make Me Feel Good is stolen, the entire chorus, wholesale, from American DJ Timmy Regisford and Lynn Lockamy, and their song At The Club. Personally, I think the Rocco Remix is genuinely quite good and certainly trumps the Belters Only version in both production and vocal performance, but regardless of that, just look at these 2 choruses next to each other!
At The Club by sTimmy Regisford (Ft. Lynn Lockamy)
Make Me Feel Good by Belters Only & Jazzy
And the rest of the lyrics don't deviate much from there.
You see, while the song had been knocking about in Bissett's mind for a few years now, he'd always had the common sense not to release it... that or he still had as conscience. But then Polydor Records came along, gave him and RobbieG a budget, and suddenly conscience wasn't really a factor anymore. Certainly their follow-up singles showed no signs of remorse, one a song about not stopping because the eyes of the world are finally on you, the other the most blatant interpolation of I Will Survive that I've heard in years. In other words, both pretty telling songs about running away from any accusations that would jeopardize their newfound fame!
I'd seen buzzings about this act of theft on Twitter, then The Mode Reviews actually reached out to Lynn Lockamy and... yeah, she was really pissed about the whole situation, understandably enough! Apparently Belters Only or whoever manages their social media have even blocked her, just to add another nail into that coffin. And I know for a fact that a small subsection of the internet is fully aware that this song is stolen and holds Belters Only and Jazzy accountable for it. But it is a laughably small group; for most people, this song ranges from catchy radio tune to national treasure! And the more I heard it, the higher I saw it climb in the year-end ranks, the more I grew to despise it! Every time it would play, I'd get angry and my day would be ruined... so I can't even begin to imagine how it feels to the original author!
I just don't understand why there isn't more coverage on this! I know Irish people famously avoid conflict at all costs in day-to-day life and are easy-going to a fault, but not one major news organisation or music outlet has questioned them on this?! The original deserves justice, and this group needs to be held accountable! But even aside from all that, this is just bad for Irish music in general. If this is what we're allowing to get by, then what does that say about us? Well, we shouldn't have to put up with this. This is absolutely disgusting behavior that can't be encouraged or rewarded and it easily made for this song, out of all the ones on this list, the one I hated most of all. It's the one I want to hear again the least, and that's saying something considering the competition it beat out! And sure, some people may argue there are songs that sound or are written worse, and I might have even agreed with them at one point. But not anymore, after a year of hearing it repeatedly, this fills me with sheer revulsion! And that feeling increased the more I realised these guys were getting away with it and weren't being held accountable.
We need to do better, guys. Make sure that spread the word: Make Me Feel Good by Belters Only and Jazzy is not only the worst hit song of the year, but it's an absolute blatant act of theft that we shouldn't let slide!
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