1. Lou Reed & Metallica, Lulu
Created seemingly out of open hostility and contempt for the few listeners who cared, Lulu is the sound of five pretentious old guys joylessly grinding out sub-shoegaze drone and patting themselves on the back for being ”subversive.” It’s more out of touch than a bunch of CEOs starting a drum circle at an Occupy rally and roughly as sonically disastrous.
2. Soulja Boy, Skate Boy
The most comically inept MC of the 21st century (you’re off the hook, guy from Rebecca Black’s ”Friday” video!) proves that sometimes it’s best to look a gift horse in the grill. By far the worst mixtape in a year full of clunkers, Skate Boy finds Soulja using his coma-patient flow to arrhythmically shout ”Swag!” and toss out Obama endorsements so clunky we have to believe he’s on Newt Gingrich’s payroll.
3. Scotty McCreery, Clear as Day
The American Idol champ’s debut would merely be benignly forgettable were it not for Scotty’s confusing inability to understand his own age, resulting in off-putting lyrics that wistfully look back on high school (recorded before he even graduated) and inspire creepy expressions of affection like the toddler-inspired ”I Love You This Big.”
4. Owl City, All Things Bright and Beautiful
Remember Owl City, the one-man Purell-pop army who topped the Hot 100 in 2009 with the tinkly magical-insect tribute ”Fireflies” and seemed poised to become a staple of God-fearing tweens’ playlists for decades? Yeah, us neither.
5. Nickelback, Here and Now
The sheer volume of lyrics about how enthusiastically and often bearded flesh-Muppet Chad Kroeger wants to receive oral pleasure is offensive enough, but Here and Now takes it up a notch by disrupting its near-constant demands for fellatio with the treacly hug-your-neighbor anthem ”When We Stand Together.”