Listener reconsiders ‘bad music’

Columnist Kevin Stairiker advises that music lovers shouldn’t write off music too quickly. How easy is it to decry the music of LMFAO? You’re probably not even thinking of that as a real question right

Kevin StairikerColumnist Kevin Stairiker advises that music lovers shouldn’t write off music too quickly.

How easy is it to decry the music of LMFAO? You’re probably not even thinking of that as a real question right now.

The music of LMFAO is sort of like a mystery to me – a code to crack or decode. I treat it like Nicholas Cage treats the Declaration of Independence.

People are so quick to dismiss something, whether it’s inane YouTube commenters: “Ugh, what happened to music? In my day all we needed was a little Tom Petty.”

Or, people who just think they are far too good for something: “LMFAO? Sorry, if it wasn‘t on the last Panda Bear album, I didn‘t hear it.”

People judge supposedly terrible music way too quickly, and usually before they listen to a lot of it. Even some of those early Black Eyed Peas albums had some bangers on them. Granted, LMFAO might be genuinely terrible, but you never really know until you listen to a lot of it. Obviously it has something going for it if people like it so much, even if the thing people like is that they don’t have to think about it at all.

In this column, I usually pick apart a song and try to figure out why it’s good or bad. But this time, just one song won’t do – sorry for the column rocking, y’all.

The surprisingly lean “Sorry for Party Rocking” album kicks off with a musical origin story that sounds like it was cribbed from a crumpled up piece of paper in the Lonely Island’s trashcan. You can nod your head for a bit to the slightly “wubby” breakdown if you’re into that sort of thing, but then the two guys come in and it just bums you out.

At a little less than two minutes, it’s like they’re trying to trick you into thinking the album is full of short songs, which is so, so wrong.

And then, we’re already at the title track.

Am I the only one that detects somewhat of an insincere apology? When I would misbehave when I was little and try to apologize, my mom would always say that if I was sorry I wouldn’t do it again. If LMFAO just keeps on party rocking, no one is going to believe that they’re actually sorry.

It didn’t take me too long to find something that I liked, as the first line of RedFoo’s rap is, “I be up in the party/Looking for a hottie to bone.” That’s the first line of a true adventure, folks.

Unfortunately, there are so many great lines in this song that can’t be printed in this paper. The whole time I listened to it I was thinking about important lyricists throughout time and their effect on the listener. Maybe some guy in 1964 was listening to some Bob Dylan and just thinking about how it felt like Bob knew exactly how he felt at the time. Then I equated it to a bro in a tank top and flip-flops listening to “Sorry for  Party Rocking” and thinking, “Man, LMFAO really gets me.” But I digress.

Next is – hey, I actually know this next song. Seriously, do you guys even consider how humongously popular “Party Rock Anthem” is? If you type the letter “P” into the YouTube search bar, it’s the first result for the letter “P.”

For being LMFAO’s biggest single yet, “Party Rock Anthem” is fairly innocuous. Not the rap, of course, but the singing parts could totally fool someone into thinking this is for all ages, as opposed to just people under 15. The musical aspects of the song aren’t really that bad either. If it wasn’t sandwiched between “Sorry for  Party Rocking” and the next song, it might even be more enjoyable.

I don’t really want to spend any time with “Sexy And I Know It.”

At some points it sounds like a song Aziz Ansari’s “Raaaandy” character would do, and at other points, it sounds like a song Aziz Ansari’s Tom Haverford character from “Parks and Recreation” would do.

I was kind of bummed to see that “Champagne Showers” was released as a single, because even for an LMFAO song, it’s pretty weak. It does highlight RedFoo and SkyBlu’s favorite thing pretty well though: having the music build to the presumable climax, cutting out to a group of people saying something related to a party and then coming back in with a mighty brostep flourish.

And as far as brostep goes, it does the job well.

As the album’s first half comes to a close, in walks total confusion with “One Day.” I was not at all prepared for a contemplative LMFAO. This is RedFoo  and SkyBlu at their most wistful, possibly sitting by a fireplace in matching leopard pants, thinking about the one that got away. Sure, they’ve got more success and money than any one person could ever dream of, but darn it, LMFAO is complicated.

From there we have the “Shots” sequel – wait, it’s not? Nevermind then.

What we do have here is an incredibly unremarkable song called “Take It To The Hole” featuring, Busta Rhymes? Sure, OK. “Take It To The Hole” wishes it was as good of a quasi-basketball reference as Wacka Flocka Flame’s “Hard In The Paint,” and that’s saying something.

The next two songs each deserve about a sentence of attention. “Best Night” sounds as if LMFAO decided to release the Glee version of the song as the actual song, and I tried desperately to find the “real” version before I figured out the awful truth. I fell into a sort of daydream listening to “All Night Long,” because I was imagining the infinitely superior Lionel Ritchie song and video of the same name.

And then it was the end. I don’t know if it was the shockingly sincere chorus or the oblique Notorious B.I.G. reference at the beginning, but the album closer “With You” was not entirely offensive to me.

It was actually pretty good. RedFoo and SkyBlu rap about their friends like they genuinely have and appreciate them like normal human beings. It’s almost touching, which is probably why no one will ever hear this song. Thankfully, “Party Rock Anthem” will be blasting out of half-dead mall speakers until the year 2134, so LMFAO can LTFAO all the way to the bank.

Songs About Fictional Places:

“Surf City”-Jan & Dean

“Funkytown”-Lipps, Inc.

“Suffragette City”-David Bowie

“Wuthering Heights”-Kate Bush

“Land Of A 1,000 Dances”-Wilson Pickett

Kevin Stairiker can be reached at

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