Sweet Jeebus, this decade had some awful pop music. You would think the Lord would spare us a little in light of all the terrorist attacks and hurricanes we got this past period. Where the past ten year cycles had disco, new wave, and classic West Coast hip-hop to sate the aural thirsts of Top 40 listeners, the 2000's were rife with absolute bewildering trash. True it is that all pop is polished and prodded to the point of plasticization by its very own definition, but seriously the last ten years have just been ridiculous and almost insulting to our collective ears.
There have been standouts this decade though. We wouldn't kick "Hey Ya!" out of bed, and we must have heard that bastard 400 times by the time Baby New Year wet his first pair of diapers in 2004. Gwen Stefani showed what pop could be in expert hands, while Fergie gave but-her-faces a bad name with "London Bridge." As the decade closes, we see that Lady Gaga is somehow making goth-pop for the masses, which can't be all that bad, especially when blood and tulle are involved. We also never met an R. Kelly song about getting a ho pregnant that we didn't like. And we're not ashamed to say that we had a torrid fascination with having a "Party In The USA" once, twice, or 17 times.
But there have been some egregious offenders this past decade. Eurotrash pop began its slow journey over here in the '90s and has firmly planted itself on the radio. Emo kids discovered Auto-Tune and gangster rap five years too late, but just in time to have us running to the safe and loving arms of black metal. Rappers have turned into the true rock stars now, and it's still kind of awkward seeing Lil' Wayne with a guitar around his neck. But nonetheless, we must pick five songs that made our sacks shrivel in pure hate. What? They don't call us He Said for nothing, you know?
Owl City, "Fireflies"
When He Said hears this song, a myriad of gruesome scenarios come into his head. Let's start by saying that this song literally makes us sweat and grimace and feel an animalistic rage, and we aren't mean people by nature. When we hear this song on MTV or the radio, we know how the families of murder victims feel when they see the accused killer of their loved one inside the courtroom on sentencing day. Remember that video from Jeffrey Dahmer's sentencing, when that guy's sister went totally bitchcakes on him for cooking her brother's brain and turning him into a zombie? He Said wants to literally bite, chew and devour the whimsically wistful lead singer Adam Young's fucking face off until all that's left is a bloody meat-barren skull. Then we will smoke a carton of Marlboro Reds lying among the parts and use the brain casing as an ashtray before we run it over with the Dragula and snort the powdered pieces. We don't fucking like this song.
Nelly, "Hot In Herre"
This was every white douchebag's favorite song in 2002, and you couldn't walk into a shitty suburban house party back then without seeing some amateur date rapist in a Caesar cut and a silver chain trying to finger bang a TGI Friday's hostess in the kitchen with the lights turned off. He Said is all down for sleaze at any and all avenues, but Nelly was like the Diet Fresca of Sleaze. The extra "r" in the title stands for "retarded," at least in our minds.
Crazy Town, "Butterfly"
The most fucked up thing about this song is the fact that there are still people who are walking around looking like lead singer Shifty Shellshock, and their very image is in fact directly lifted from them seeing this video in 2001. Go to Clear Lake any weekend and you will see. The band has lost two members since its initial success and break-up, with guitarist Rust Epique and DJ AM both succumbing to drug addiction. Shellshock is an avowed and proud crackhead now and forever, no matter what Dr. Drew Pinsky tries to tell you. His stints on the reality series Sober House included an episode in which he constantly moaned and bitched while smoking crack on the roof. HE SMOKED CRACK ON THE ROOF.
The Shins, "New Slang"
One of the worst things about this decade was the twee-sensitive indie-rock that pervaded. You can partially blame the movie Garden State for people moping around in hoodies and drinking coffee and finding whimsy malaise in every goddamned thing. There is no blood, fire or passion in anything that has come out of this whole movement. Even Death Cab For Cutie's Ben Gibbard seemed to see that a few years back and started getting a little aggressive in his songwriting. The Shins make boring music for boring couples to listen to while the guy is trying to hold in a fart in the driver's seat while they drive to Austin to see The Shins and eat vegan ice cream. He Said would rather spend the rest of his days masturbating to Spank Wire and drinking alone in an efficiency than experience the banal minutiae that we feel from their songs.
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Shop Boyz, "Party Like A Rock Star"
He Said actually wrote about this song in 2007 in the print edition of the Houston Press upon waking up from a self-imposed pop music coma and realizing just how awful the world had became. At the time we sort of dug it because it made us realize how rappers were turning into the new rock stars because they were infinitely more interesting than any sensitive rocker on the scene at the time, like the ones mentioned above. But in hindsight, it ended up giving way to WAY more fucked up trends and fads than we can shake a stick at, like Lil' Wayne trying to play guitar. Totally, dude.