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Some songs just go down smooth like candy: they have sweet, digestible bits that slide coolly on down our ear canals, untainted and beautiful.
These are not those songs. These songs still sound great, but they hate you for enjoying them and make you suffer by butting in with obtrusive, obnoxious samples that just don’t make any sense at all. These are songs that don’t want us to love them, but we do anyway because love is fickle and confusing.
“A Cold Freezing Night” – The Books
The song heavily features some of the most annoying children ever recorded, including but not limited to: an omnicidal little girl hoping to cross gender barriers, an omnicidal 5-year-old torture fetishist, and a presumably omnicidal boy who is increasingly desperate to inform us that it is, indeed “a cold, freezing night.” It is also, for some unexplainable reason, very catchy.
“Frontier Psychiatrist” – The Avalanches
The Avalanches are like the dance version of The Books, cataloguing thousands of little, tiny bits of sound and then cruelly making us look ridiculous by forcing us to dance to them. Their best known song has to be “Frontier Psychiatrist,” which is strange because it’s also the song most jammed with annoying sounds, like a child casually talking with her mother, a man and women engaged in an argument about truancy, and the constant neighing of the world’s most easily provoked horse. It’s all super annoying, and it’s all excellent.
“Where It’s At” – Beck
Odelay‘s first single had some damn annoying parts. Sampled from an educational film titled “Sex for Teens: (Where It’s At),” the song features snippets of classic 1980s dialogue performed by actors so wooden I assume they were magical forest Ents a la Lord of the Rings.
Highlights include a young girl blurting, “It’s beautiful, Dad!” and kid who proudly exclaims, “What about those who swing both ways, AC/DCs?” which is possibly the most extreme way of saying “bisexual” ever stumbled upon by man. Archeologists of a future age will catalogue its totally rad attitude alongside 1990s Gushers commercials and that second Goof Troop movie with the X-Games.
“Slow Jamz” – Kanye West
Throughout the back of this song is a sample of Luther Vandross singing “A House is Not a Home,” which would normally be fine; people sample other songs all the time, and this isn’t terribly different. Except for one thing: it’s sped up a little bit. I get that it needs to be sped up to match the tempo of this song, but it makes Vandross sound like Alvin or one of the other Chipmunks—all squeaky and ready for chipmunk puberty to kick in.
Luckily, it adds a weird vibe to the song that actually works, giving the song a sort of creepy, old-timey feel that sells the whole thing.
“Mind Your Manners” – Chiddy Bang
Yes, there are better songs than “Mind Your Manners”; there are more annoying samples of children than the one Chiddy Bang used here because they are harpies and they don’t really “sing” as much as they “shriek sugary venom from now until the end of days.” But this song is important because it represents many similar songs.
This song is here to celebrate all the really horrible children’s choirs that bands are always trying to incorporate into their music. Sure, it’s a guilty pleasure, but that doesn’t make it any less successful.
So this spot goes out to all you choirs of terrible children. Please don’t murder me when I am old and frail.