There were many bad songs released this year, I am far from listening to every single out there, and there is so much stuff released every week. I am certain I could find tons of bad songs, but the following ones get a special mention: They are some of the worst songs of 2020 because they are all COVID-19 related, and are stupid for one of these two reasons: they were either written to try cashing in on a deadly pandemic, or they were written by people who are deep down into crazy conspiracy theories. This second one is probably the worst of the two reasons because I don’t see how you can recover from such a trip to paranoia-land.
BTS – ‘Dis-ease’: A hip hop/R&B dance floor in Korean, from a very popular band. However, is it time for this much fun? And can you dance about a disease that killed almost 1.8 M people worldwide? With a cheesy title, dis-ease as the opposite of ease, they surely wanted to milk this pandemic, and even if they said it was a message of hope. I honestly cannot make any sense of the English translation of their lyrics.
Twenty-One Pilots – ‘Level of Concern’: Another obvious desire to cash in on the pandemic. This song would already be bad (to me) simply because I hate this formulaic 80s dancefloor elevator music, but they absolutely deliver the final blow with that line: ‘Wondering would you be my little quarantine?’ Once again, it’s trivial and stupid, but it’s also Twenty-One Pilots, what else to expect?
Cardi B and iMarkkeyz – ‘Coronavirus’: Tons of rappers have recorded songs with a coronavirus theme, but this one is beyond stupid. It started with a Cardi B screaming rant about the coronavirus on Instagram at the beginning of the pandemic, then iMarkeeyz chopped the clip’s audio and repackaged it with a hip-hop beat, and that’s about it. But 5M streams on Spotify and 4M views on YouTube later, it’s a hit.
Iggy Pop – ‘Dirty Little Virus’: Corona goes dirty with a Stooges treatment. Really? Was this necessary? I guess the punk icon can do whatever he wants, but I didn’t expect the famous crooner drop lines like ‘COVID-19 is on the scene/The boys and the girls have stopped their world/Grandpa is dead/Got Trump instead,’ and especially ‘ She’s only 19, but she can kill you.’ Why is he comparing the virus to an ex-groupie? I know that he explained his motivations: ’I was moved to write a direct lyric, not something too emotional or deep, more like journalism. If there was still a Man of the Year, it would be the virus, so I wrote the lyric.’ But the song made me cringe.
Van Morrison – ‘No More Lockdown,’ ‘Born to Be Free,’ and ‘Stand and Deliver’ with Eric Clapton: The award goes to Van Morrison who released not one, but three anti-lockdown songs. I couldn’t pick only one, so I’ve included the three of them because the lyrics compete for the first price of ignorance and moronic behavior. In ‘No More Lockdown,’ he mentions the ‘fascist police’ and ‘Imperial College scientists makin’ up crooked facts’ and compare the lockdown to slavery: ‘Pretending it’s for our safety/When it’s really to enslave,’…. In ‘Born to Be Free,’ he brings up another comparison, the Berlin Wall, running from fascism to communism, ‘Everyone seems to have amnesia/Just trying to remember the Berlin Wall’… and with ‘Stand and Deliver’ he is back with slavery and the police state. I could not even finish the songs, whether it is country or blues, this is just sad.
Ian Brown – ‘Little Seed Big Tree’: This may be an even sadder case of paranoia and stupidity. The Stone Roses’ Ian Brown has been very vocal about his views on Twitter and the song is the concretization of all of them, from the ‘Doctor Evil with a masterplan/A forced vaccine, like a bad dream’ to ‘A plan to chip us all, to have complete control’ to ‘Geoengineering, making more than patterns in the skies/5G radiation, beamed to Earth from space by satellites,’ every single conspiracy is packed in the song. I am afraid there is no possible return from this.
Since he has declared that masks were pointless, I am waiting for the next Noel Gallagher’s song.
distinct and wondrous without being obvious or obnoxious
except for the title track the songs are on vacation
simultaneously self-effacing and egomaniacs
essentially a disco remix of “Rocket Man” featuring one of the the UK’s biggest stars…
“I literally really need you to jump up and down”
Friday night might kill us but Thursday evening is a blast
it just isn’t the triumph she needed after six years
an impressive sonic ride.
a high-spirited Post Pandemic anthem