Trends We Could Live Without in 2014
Published Jan 02, 2014Life is tough, and that's why millions if not billions of people seek refuge in the sweet, occasionally transcendent relief of music. Whether listening, compiling, performing or obsessing over the art form, there's consistently a lot to get out of it. There's also a bunch of B.S. involved, however, and the negative sides continue to find new ways to annoy us each year.
Here are a handful of musical trends from 2013 that we've had just about enough of. For more of our year end coverage, click over to our 2013 in Lists section.
Top 10 2013 Trends We Could Live Without:
10. "Get Lucky" Covers:
Yes, there's no denying that Daft Punk's Pharrell-assisted disco pop smash was the song of the year. The invincible single was 2013's most overplayed, but it's still a damn pleasurable listen when it pops up. You know what's not quite as charming, however? The covers. So. Many. Covers.
Whether clinging for relevance, vying for blog attention or just killing a Sunday afternoon, "Get Lucky" was given the cover treatment by half of the music industry. Desperate, aging do-gooders U2 gave the song a drunk Baby Boomer spin with their version, while Tom Jones gave it a horrendous Vegas sheen with Jessie J and will.i.am. Honestly, a bunch of atonal Russian police had one of the better covers of "Get Lucky," which is a surefire sign that it just wasn't working, guys.
9. Kanye West Interviews
First things first: no matter how divisive it may be, Yeezus is one of the strongest, most ambitious records of Kanye West's career, and started a worldwide, year-long conversation as soon as it dropped. The other, less enjoyable conversation, however, was the one Kanye started having with anyone and everyone in the media for the second half of the year. It started off okay, with a fairly fascinating interview with the BBC's Zane Lowe. Then Jimmy Kimmel made fun of that, then Kanye got mega pissed and had a tell-all ratings grab of an interview on Kimmel's show. Since then, it feels like every day finds a new Kanye interview popping up where he yells at someone about how they don't understand him (#prayforSway) and what historical pop culture figure he's comparable to. We get it, Kanye — you're the next Orville Redenbacher. The next Jim Davis. The next No Fear T-shirt sloganeer. The next Alf.
8. Complaining about Spotify
Fair enough that y'all want to get paid for your art, musicians, but it's never going to be the same as it was back in the day. Regardless, the new thing to do is whine about how little streaming services like Spotify and Rdio pay per play. Johnny Marr told NME that he "can't think of anything more opposite to punk rock than Spotify." Billy Bragg said he thought it was okay. The biggest sign that it's a conversation suited for '90s nerds, however, is the fact that it caused a spat between late '90s alt hobbits Moby and Thom Yorke. The latter said he wasn't down with Spotify, which caused Moby to call him "an old guy yelling at fast trains." Actually, they both sound like old guys mumbling over old Fruity Loops samples.
7. Public Record Label Fighting
Yes, it's probably annoying to have a completed album collecting dust on the proverbial shelf at your record label, but can't musicians stick it to their bosses in private? There's something weirdly passive aggressive about griping about release dates on Twitter, but that didn't stop Jeezy, Danny Brown and M.I.A. from threatening to leak their releases if they didn't get a release date. Then, Angel Haze actually did leak her album after her label broke their promise to release it in 2013. As a result, they bumped the date up, releasing the record on December 30. Congratulations, Angel Haze — your album came out on probably the worst date of the year, when everyone's broke, all the year-end releases are finalized, and most people are sleeping off a week of munching on turkey and Toffifee.
6. The '90s
Look, we get it — pop culture is cyclical, and after so many years of brilliant new ideas, it's nearly impossible to offer up new ideas without referencing the past in one way or another. But the '90s aesthetic is going a little too far, making the jump from obscure Tumblrs to the smiley-face-and-John-Lennon glasses aesthetic of everyone from underground music imprints to arena-filling performers like Miley Cyrus. No one's gonna argue with how fun it is, but shit's getting a little bit tired. Plus, if we don't stop the trend of lifting an entire decade, that means the early '00s are up next — do we really want to live in a world where mainstream pop stars are wearing zip-off cargo pants, tearaways, Adidas shower sandals and faux Oakleys? Actually, that might be hilarious.