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 411mania » Music » Columns

The 411 Music Top Five 01.13.14: Top 5 Least-Wanted Acts of 2014
Posted by Jeremy Thomas on 01.13.2014


Criteria: Last week we looked at the best new acts of 2013, and this week we continue our Top 5 Year in Review month with a look forward to what we don't want to see. This week we're looking at the acts we would rather not hear from in the coming year. These could be acts we just don't like, ones we feel are good but overexposed, people who grab more gossip headlines than they do music-related headlines. Basically, just any reason we don't want to hear from them.


5. U2

Considering some of the attention-seeking media whores that exist in our pop culture zeitgeist today, I think I might get a little bit of stick. But hey, at least Miley Cyrus is nice to look at, sometimes. Well no not really, but better than Bono. The thing that grinds my gears about U2 is that I simply have no interest in their music anymore, and every works, sometimes every few days, there's updates about how the band may or may not be back in the studio. They're possibly preparing for a new album, which is what they've been doing since the last one dropped. I distinctly remember being told the turnaround on this new album would be no more than eighteen months, and that was like, twenty years ago (hyperbole, yes). I wouldn't mind, but the music sucks. Yes, I love The Joshua Tree, War, Boy and October as much as the next guy, but nothing they've done in the last fifteen years has been of any worth. Sorry.

4. Chris Brown

On one hand, I completely get why everyone hates this guy. He's a woman-beater (well, he hit a woman once that we know of, is that the same thing?) and generally he is just a bit of a prick. I'm not sure if the site condones the use of my favourite four-letter c-word, but if they did, I'd be using it. He's music is awful too. On the other hand, the only press he seems to get these days is negative press, which just gives us more reason to slag him off. I think even he's given up on ever releasing that new album. So why is he constantly in the news? Because we keep talking about him. As a collective, can we all agree not to do that, and then with a little bit of luck, he'll go away?

3. Lorde

This might be another somewhat eyebrow-raising choice, I'm not sure. Here's the issue. Lorde is portrayed as like the anti-Gaga. She doesn't do bizarre things or wear strange clothes in public for attention. She doesn't get half-naked in her videos like Miley Cyrus. Her music is accessible and genuine and not made for the lowest common denominator. She's authentic and the public like her because she's not forced, she's not shoved down our throats. And because of that... the media decides to shove her down our throats. They promote every word that comes out of her mouth like it's gospel. Oh, she's so alternative! She's so unique! What worldy views! Look, there are plenty of intelligent young women out there, feminists included, some of them in the public arena, some of them on your doorstep. Go talk to some of them. Unfortunately I feel the media circus surrounding this one hasn't quite reached fever-pitch and we'll be in for a load more Lorde in 2014.

2. Justin Bieber

I know it is a cop out and a bit of a cliche, but damn, will this kid never die. There's nothing more annoying than this prick teasing a retirement we know will never last, if it happens at all (it won't). The most annoying thing about Bieber in 2013 is the downright insanity of his media hogging. In the last few months alone, he got caught out with a bunch of hookers in Rio, left his monkey in Germany and upset PETA because of it, then there was the whole egging a neighbours house thing, not to mentioned the bit about Anne Frank being a Belieber. I can literally feel myself getting stupider as I type "Belieber" so I'm just going to stop and hope that little Canadian asshole does the same.

1. Miley Cyrus

I almost feel bad for putting Miley at the top of my list. It has become quite obvious that all that girl really wants is to be liked. She tried being the wholesome America's sweetheart she thought we wanted, and we all moaned about that. So in light of that failure, she grew up, took most of her clothes out, danced inappropriately on national television and made a general fool of ourselves all for our own personal enjoyment. Except it wasn't for our enjoyment, it was to generate interest and publicity for her music. And it worked too; her videos have been viewed like eleventy-billion times and her album performed strongly. But it's just too much. What frustrates me most is that it's perfectly natural for a girl to explore her sexuality and come out of her shell as she becomes a woman, but because she's doing in for the world to see, we all feel entitled to judge her. And any parent will know that the moral you admonish a young adult, the more they will do the very things that piss you off. So let's all move please, and give someone else our attention for a few months.


5. Chris Brown

This is one of the easier picks on my list, because I find the man to be a detestable human being, as well as a subpar artist. I know that there are other individuals who have done acts that deserve public scolding, just look at Michael Vick. I bring up Michael Vick because he was involved in dog fighting, served his time, and has acted like he's learned his lesson since then. Chris Brown, not so much, he's been acting like an ass before and after he turned Rihanna's face into a punching bag. I would like to couple his behavior with the fact that I personally find his music to be lacking in quality, and I can't tell you about his acting, I haven't seen his movies. But regardless, I would like him to maybe disappear for a year or two to clean up his act, or maybe just become a monk, or something,

4. Geoff Tate

If I had got a list in last year, he would be near the top because of how much I was blitzed with news about him and Queensryche, and was tired of it all. That stopped for the most part, with maybe 2 news stories a week coming from him rather than 10. So why is he still on my list? His version of Queensryche released a new album this past year, and in comparison to the original Queensryche's new album, or most new albums from last year, it was a laughable failure. After that turd of a record (that appeared in Jeremy Thomas's 16 worst albums of the year on this very site *cheap plug*), I would really just like for the dude to take his vest and get lost in some backwoods bar his band is playing in, and not come back. The dude is not what he once was, yet acts like he's even better, and could use a bit of backwoods hospitality!

3. Lil Wayne

Have you ever had anyone built up as a genius and poet to you? That is what Lil Wayne was built up as when I was in high school a mere four years ago. So I decided to give him a listen sooner or later, and was repulsed by what I had heard. This dude wasn't clever, he just made references that made little sense with the rest of the references and rhymed racial slurs with racial slurs. The dude was about as talented at rapping as I am at dancing, which is not very talented. Then I heard the dude try to play rock, that was funny. Though I had a guy tell me that his favorite guitarist was Lil Wayne once, and I had to walk away before I laughed. But this dude is still around and making music for some reason, and I am tired of stumbling across it, or having to listen to it on the Buy or Sell when it's around. The dude is a tired joke and honestly could go away for a few years on an island and I wouldn't miss him at all.

2. Justin Bieber

I knew he would be two on this list, it was fated. This little buttmunch has been in the news weekly for some stupid bullshit that he has pulled. I think the one that made me roll my eyes the most was the thing about Anne Frank would have been a Belieber (just like Wilcox, I cringe at writing that word), while that is nice and all, I highly doubt the poor girl would have the time to listen to your noise as she hides from the gestapo. I also hate his retirement announcement that will probably last as long as Ric Flair's retirement, but until then, he'll just have to stay in the news for taking a shit in a sink or something stupid like that. I sentence the Biebs to ten years in a hotel room with Leif Garrett, that'll fix his ass!

1. Miley Cyrus

Just typing her name is making me groan. Seriously, her marketing and PR team are brilliant, but never before has my reaction to a singer went from meh to KILL IT WITH FIRE, in so short a span. It really started with the VMAs with her grinding her barely there derriere on poor Robin Thicke's junk, and it's snowballed ever since. I know her current look and music is a rebellion against her Disney image, and a damn good play, because she's been a hot commodity since, but I am SO tired of seeing her. Especially with her damn tongue out, it's not edgy, or attractive, it just makes you look stupid. She'd look a lot better if she just put it back in her mouth, she's still a pretty girl, even with the hair! I think the media has also blown her out of proportion, too, they can't help but talk about her, and people keep listening, she's almost Kardashian level of annoying. I would like to also end this on a note of my distaste for the word "twerking", I know that it is not her fault, she's just copying it from others (and not doing it right, she has no ass to shake), but I'm so fucking tired of the word twerk being tossed around everywhere. Especially on RAW, I'm talking to you JBL and Cole, not everything twerking. I sentence Miley to a year of peace and solitude where she gets to take time to accept her Disney past and work it out constructively, rather than being in the public eye and looking silly, and being on a fucking wrecking ball! But then again, if she never was on that wrecking ball, we wouldn't have the mind bleach worthy video below!


Honorable Mention: Taylor Swift, Ke$ha, Robin Thicke, Justin Bieber

5. Limp Bizkit

There's no reason that we should have any hope for Limp Bizkit as an artist at this point. The band took forever to give us Gold Cobra and that album, which was supposed to be the return to form for the band, was an absolute disaster. Their upcoming album is Stampede of the Disco Elephants and while I appreciate the ridiculousness of the title, I don't expect to have any real appreciation of the album. Bizkit is one of the bands who helped contribute to the downfall of rock music in the late 1990s and early 2000s, and I have never forgiven them for that. If we never hear music from them again it will be too soon. Sadly, we aren't that lucky.

4. Pitbull

We were fairly Pitbull-free in 2013, and oh was it nice. Sadly we were subjected to his terrible art at the end of the year when he teamed up with Ke$ha for a chart-topper in "Timber" and there is more music expected from him along the way. Pitbull is the culmination of all style, zero substance; he assembles music based on what will hit the charts as opposed to what might be good in a musical capacity. Does that make him different from many pop, hip-hop and rock producers? Not so much. But few people are as crass about it, and few artists are as lazy. There's nothing worth an ounce of attention in what he delivers lyrically and it won't be long before he is all over the radio once again. Even just with the rise of "Timber," I'm already sick of him in 2014.

3. Nickelback

Guess who's coming back strong in 2014? That's right, folks...they've been quiet since 2011's Here and Now, which was dull even for them. But our favorite Canadian wannabe-hard rockers are set to release a new album in the coming year and many people are already cringing in anticipation. For what it's worth, I actually enjoy some of Nickelback's music in a pure cheese-value way. None of it is "good" music, but there is some level of fun. That being said, I didn't even find Here and Now fun; it was just bad. And I am not looking forward to seeing what they have to offer this time around. Somehow I doubt they're the band that gets better as they get older.

2. Lil Wayne

Lil Wayne has nothing left to say as a musical artist, but that doesn't stop him from throwing terrible music out on a non-stop basis. Whether he's featuring on singles from artists on his record label, doing his own substandard LPs or even just dominating headlines by going into comas from sizzurp (I hate even saying that silly word), Weezy was just about everywhere you looked. The man who gave us great albums in the earlier parts of his career has long talked about retiring so that he could skateboard and focus on his record label, and I think it is high past time. Please let it go, Wayne. Save us the pain, we beg you.

1. Miley Cyrus

Yeah, this wasn't even close. Listen, Miley Cyrus is a smart girl and I don't believe she's a trainwreck like many other artists who act like she does are. She is a lot like Ke$ha that way in that she's very smart about the business; the difference is that Miley doesn't seem to have fallen into the trap of living the gimmick and that gives her an edge in that respect. But it also means that it is far more disappointing when she acts like a trainwreck. I don't even care about her constant tabloid-grabbing headlines; I just want her to stop doing music until she figures out what kind of artist she wants to be. If she doesn't have music to promote than the rest of the nonsense will fade away too, because she has no need to push sales up. Give it a year rest, Miley. Please.

As always, the last thoughts come from you, the reader. We're merely unpaid monkeys with typewriters and Wikipedia. Here's what you need to do: List your Top Five for this week's topic on the comment section using the following format:

5. Artist - "Song": Why you chose it
4. Artist - "Song": Why you chose it
3. Artist - "Song": Why you chose it
2. Artist - "Song": Why you chose it
1. Artist - "Song": Why you chose it


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