While 2016 brought us groundbreaking music from artists like Beyoncé and David Bowie, some stars underdelivered with boring, uninspired albums and songs that left us asking for refunds. Ahead, EW’s picks for worst albums and songs of the year.
Worst albums of the year
5. Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, This Unruly Mess I’ve Made
Frontman Macklemore’s commitment to social justice is admirable, but six-minute-plus tracks about his Grammys guilt and white privilege are better in theory than practice.
4. Pixies, Head Carrier
No Kim Deal? That’s a deal breaker for the alt-rock icons’ latest, where the absence of the pioneering bassist means a lack of mojo, too.
3. Blink-182, California
Don’t call it a comeback! Actually, don’t call it anything. The less said about torturous pop-punk filler tracks like the howling “Los Angeles,” the better.
2. M83, Junk
How do you follow up a breakout hit like “Midnight City”? By trolling, apparently: With kitschy novelty songs and little substance behind those retro synths, the album’s title was truth in advertising.
1. Die Antwoord, Mount Ninji and Da Nice Time Kid
The South African oddballs used to fuse EDM and rap in ways that were as nuts as they were fun. Now they just make songs with titles like “Wings on My Penis” and “U Like Boobies?”. Womp womp.
Worst songs of the year
5. Britney Spears, “Private Show”
The pop icon’s Glory LP featured some of her best vocals in years—with the exception of this grating, unpolished boudoir jam. Can we have Robotney back?
4. Drake, “Two Birds, One Stone”
Sure, Kid Cudi started the feud, but for Drake to take shots at the rapper’s mental health after Cudi checked into rehab for “depression and suicidal urges” is a low blow.
3. gnash feat. Olivia O’Brien, “i hate u i love u”
These two scored a hit singing about conflicting feelings, but the uninspired melody and blasé rhymes only inspire one emotion in us. And it’s not a good one.
2. Fall Out Boy feat. Missy Elliott, “Ghostbusters (I’m Not Afraid)”
If you’re looking for a new reason to hate Hollywood’s reboot obsession, here it is: Even Missy couldn’t save this unnecessary take on an iconic theme song.
1. Lil Yachty, “One Night”
The teens may love him, but the Atlanta rapper’s exaggerated lethargy and fondness for AutoTune is a losing combo.