In 2004 I disliked more music than ever before. In 2004 I started listening to the radio everyday at work. These things are not unrelated. These were the records I hated most, based on far, far too many listens (thanks XFM!). And yes, some of these are obvious picks and some are cheap shots and it’s all very predictable but I want to take whatever tiny, petty vengeance I can on these fuckers for making my year that little bit worse.
20. Eminem – Just Lose It (for the disappointment, and then the tedium; it really doesn’t get any funnier)
19. McFly – Room On The Third Floor (if I was a McFly fan, I would be stoutly defending them on the grounds that they’re pretty much indistinguishable from Razorlight.)
18. Dido – Sand In My Shoes (just for the gall of her trying to colonise people’s summer holiday memories so blatantly)
17. Michelle – All This Time (the kiss of death for Reality Pop, you’d have thought.)
16. The Killers – All These Things I’ve Done (an average sort of record until the towering inanity of “I got soul but I’m not a soldier” is repeated again, and again, and again until foaming madness beckons)
15. Busted – Who’s David (or any of the other ‘grungey’ ones that are the band’s mile-wide Achilles arse)
14. Badly Drawn Boy – Year Of The Rat (the abyss of the mid-tempo songwriter strum gapes before us)
13. Morrissey – I Have Forgiven Jesus (even the stronger performances on his album have a touch of the automatic about them, but where the tunes desert him the result is embarrassing)
12. Maroon 5 – She Will Be Loved (agonisingly constipated)
11. Jamie Cullum – Frontin’ (only this low because i) it didn’t get much airplay and ii) I hate Cullum less since realising that the tastefully shot clouds behind him on the wretched new album cover look very much like a sulpherous jet issuing from his arse)
10. Franz Ferdinand – Matinee (yes, alright, Take Me Out is terrific. But if there’s ever been a smugger moment than the ‘Terry Wogan’ chunk on this I’ve not heard it. “Michael” is dreadful too, they have a knack of writing choruses which are niggling but somehow clumsy too.)
9. NERD – Maybe (actually, who needs Jamie Cullum?)
8. Band Aid 20 – Do They Know It’s Christmas? (it’s drab but not awful until the shocking last minute or so. Fran Healy: Woo!)
7. Wolfman – For Lovers (god almighty THAT VOICE! I’m no fan of the professionalisation of singing but this is going way too far.)
6. Joss Stone – Fell In Love With A Boy (not that a ‘great voice’ is any guarantee of quality if you’re just going to use it for bad Jamiroquai impressions)
5. REM – Leaving New York (so portentious, so empty – how do they carry on?)
4. The Dears – Lost In The Plot (makes Pete Doherty sound like Al Green. Genuinely painful singing.)
3. Brian McFadden – Real To Me (laughable and desperate)
2. Jet – Look What You’ve Done? (even Oasis stopped short of actually nicking the Beatles’ lyrics on one of their ‘homages’. Jet are the worst band in the universe ever.)
and my least favourite single of 2004?
1. Razorlight – Golden Touch (again, just strong enough a song to get into your head without you ever getting a gram of benefit from its being there. The final straws came when after saturation airplay I heard it on a loop in WH Smiths every morning AND my boss decided to use it on a ‘motivational’ presentation. Ocean Colour Scene live again – well done all concerned.)
SPECIAL HATE UPDATE: Two astonishing omissions! “Whatever Happened To Corey Haim” by The Thrills and “Cannonball” by Damien Rice, both forgotten because their repulsive shuffling passivity makes such a non-impression unless the blighted things are actually playing. Insert both between #s 1 and 2 please.