Today, a few songs that shouldn't have tried to be definitive:
Bruno Mars, The Lazy Song. Lazy deserves better than this; though it's unfair to single out Mars, entirely, for a genre of songs in which young men celebrate indolence and upper middle class shallowness. Many of them are rap songs, you know, the ones about riding in the limo, popping the Cristalle, bottle service at the club, yada, yada. Mars, though, deserves to be singled out for a lazy song that can't even bother to make laziness seem appealing or fun. I'm also leery of of lines like "in this castle, I'm the fricking man" which, in these Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (i.e., Will and Kate) days, only underlines how far from royalty your eaverage American really is. Stupid, sloppy, and not nearly as fun as it imagines itself to be, The Lazy Song really only has appeal when one is, well, working. On days when I really don't feel like doing anything... and actually do it... I like my music to actually entertain me.
John Cougar Mellencamp, The Authority Song. Mellencamp has more than a few duds in his repetoire (I've shied away from "Pink Houses" all this time), but I was reminded how bad this particular tune is while flipping around my XM radio. And again, the chief complaint here is... this isn't much fun: "I fight authority, authority always wins." Really? Where's the fun in that? Pointless rebelliousness, always losing one's battles, isn't exactly a great argument for challenging the status quo. Mellencamp's delivery almost puts this over, though, like much of his midtempo work, it could use more instrumental bite (and sound less like Footloose) - musically it's not putting up much of a fight, another reason, perhaps, that he's always losing.
Simon & Garfunkel, The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feeling Groovy). Surely, Midtown Manhattan's vita bridge deserves better than this prime example of sixties hippy-dippy feel good foolishness. Instantly dated, it doesn't even have the subversive joy of suggesting that feeling grrovy might be a chemically induced high, No it's just loving life and sunshine and flowers. Even the small, gloppy, treacly part of my personality finds this teeth-grating, and it even breaks the flow of the otherwise exceptional S&G's Greatest Hits. No, really, tell me it doesn't.