It's been a while... I think that the presence of XM Satellite radio in my life (or more precisely, in our car) has saved me from a lot of dreck (quick recommendation: avoid XM 23, the "Love" Channel, where it's always 1982, and not in a good way). But in the fast moving world of pop music... no one is ever safe, and there's always something to blow up... in your face.
Bruno Mars, Grenade. To be fair, Mars has been skating on the Worst Song edge all along - "Just the Way You Are" simmers with a kind of drippy treacle that's just too sticky sweet ("if perfect's what you're searching for, then just stay the same"). Grenade covers similar drippy territory - I love you so much; why won't you love me back - but it's just creepy and stalker-ish enough to make me change the channel. The real lesson - which led to this post - is that explosives make for terrible metaphors; in this case, "I'd catch a grenade for you, throw myself on a blade for you" is the kind of "love you til I die symbolism that makes, well, the nature of the demise all too clear: is the focus really on the depth of your love... or the image of your bloody corpse? And either way... ew.
Katy Perry, Firework. I've had Perry's album since it first came out - living the teenage dream, indeed - and initially this song's twinkly Pachenko videogame backdrop exceeded the slightly too self conscious empowerment message in the lyric. But then it got released as a single, and overplayed became part of the scenario (and met the Ground Rules)... and that was followed, today, by the pithy observation of J in B:
Come on, show 'em what you're worth"