I know a lot of you kids are based in the Northern Hemisphere, but I’m Australian. This means that while you’re all crawling back into hibernation we’re starting to peel off layers and make the annual migration to the beach/ nearest place containing a body of water. I’m not actually a huge fan of the Australian summer, mainly because I don’t really like to sweat, but there is one thing I always look forward to: the onslaught of the Summer Anthem. Every year singers start falling over themselves trying to release that song that is going to inexplicably storm up the charts and get played so often that by the end of the summer we all want to claw our own ear drums every time it comes on the radio.
Now, some of these songs are pretty good and they become wonderful little markers in your brain for inducing warm, fuzzy feelings of nostalgia. But this blog is not really about the warm and fuzzies. As such, I have compiled a list of the worst Summer Anthems/ attempts at Summer Anthems.
- Simple Plan ft. Sean Paul – Summer Paradise – This is actually the song that inspired this list. If the idea of combining Simple Plan and Sean Paul doesn’t seem like a recipe for disaster to you, chances are you didn’t have to live through Simple Plan’s big hit Perfect, which is possibly the whiniest song ever written, or Sean Paul’s Temperature, which is notable mainly because all these years on I still have no idea what he’s saying. Anyway, due to some desire to bring about the end of the world, they recorded a duet. This is it:
Everything about this is terrible, from the nasally “heartbeat”, to the totally irrelevant Sean Paul vocal, to the lame, vaguely melancholy lyrics. The video is similarly tragic. Since Simple Plan are a ‘punk’ band (I use the term REALLY loosely) they’ve given Sean Paul a mohawk so he’ll fit in. This, of course, ignores the fact that Simple Plan have now aged significantly and look like that music teacher you had in high school who desperately tries to prove he’s still got it by wearing cargo pants and talking about all the great bands he saw in the 90s.
- Flo Rida – Whistle – Another 2012 song, because apparently it’s gearing up to be a really good year for this kind of shit. My housemate has renamed this one “Bitches Love Beaches”, because that’s what he got out of this film clip.
Ignoring the fact that this is clearly a song about blow jobs, I see what he’s trying to do here. There’s an acoustic guitar, some uplifting whistling and just enough bass that it could be played in a club or next to a pool. Having said that, it is really obviously a song about blow jobs, this video is all kinds of ridiculous and I just died a little inside.
- Las Ketchup – Asereje (The Ketchup Song) – Going for some throwbacks now. I bet you’d almost managed to blot this song from your memory. Too bad. Enjoy.
This is one of those rare times where the language barrier didn’t stop this being a monumental hit. Usually Summer Anthems require some sort of sing along element. In this case, all anyone needed was the “I said a-hey, a-huh, a-hey” and then the rest could be mumbled because there were (ridiculous) dance moves to remember. I bet you remember the dance moves. I know I do. Anyway, I’m calling it out on its terribleness for taking a fairly low-profile foodstuff and turning it into something that gets stuck in my head.
- The Offspring – Cruising California – And we’re back in 2012 (because apparently it’s just a really, REALLY good year for awful summer songs) with The Offspring deciding that they’re not way too old to be doing that thing that they do and releasing this train wreck.
I don’t even know where to start here. What is that “boo boop boop” thing happening in the background? Because it sounds like something that should have been left in mid 90s electronica. And what are these lyrics? Girls with thongs on waving kabooses at you? Dexter Holland, you are 46 years old. Grow up. Also, you would think that by now, we would have moved on from the “crazy punk band on a bus comes along and blows squares’ minds by throwing a party on a beach with girls in ripped tank tops” gambit as a video plot line. Cos it wasn’t great the first time round, and it’s not improving with age.
- LFO – Summer Girls – Dragging myself back out of 2012, because I could probably spend the whole blog systematically going through everything that was released during the American summer and ripping it to shreds, have some LFO.
Aside from the fact that I think this song may be an ad for Abercrombie and Fitch, lyrically this song is just a string of random things that rhyme thrown together. For example, the first lines are “New Kids On The Block had a bunch of hits, Chinese food makes me sick”… which is kind of a non-sequitor when you’re singing about summer sexy times. Or my other favourite: “When you take a sip you buzz like a hornet, Billy Shakespeare wrote a whole bunch of sonnets.” Yes. Yes he did, boys. Well done. “Ugh”, is the best way to sum up this one I think.
So, those are five that spring to mind for me. If you’ve got of terrible Summer Anthems, feel free to leave them in the comments. You know how much I love awful things. If you’ve got a Summer Anthem that you love, leave it there too and maybe we can share some nostalgic joy or something…