Friday Lyric Quiz, 441 (In Which I Become Disturbia’d)

This week in music news, Rihanna continued to take her rightful place in the music record books.  “We Found Love,” some song I’ve never heard of, became her 11th number-one hit.  She blew past the likes of Stevie Wonder and Janet Jackson and is nipping at the heels of Billboard chart goddesses Whitney and Madonna (tied with Whitney, two away from the Material Girl).  A few of her songs feature other artists, but I guess that’s nobody’s business when it comes to the charting, just when it comes to the royalties.

I have to ask …  really? At the risk of being singled out and targeted by Jay-Z, I feel she is part of what’s wrong with music today (the other part that’s wrong?  Nickelback). With one or two notable exceptions, her singles are uninspired, monotonous, and unmemorable. Is “Only Girl (in the World)” really better than “Rhythm Nation?” Can “Take a Bow” hold a candle to “Like a Prayer?”  Or will “S&M” have the staying power of “Superstition?” These questions, by the way?  Are rhetorical.

Here are her 11 number-one hits.  Wonder how many the next generation will be able to hum: S.O.S; Umbrella; Disturbia; Only Girl (In the World); Take a Bow; Live Your Life; Love the Way You Lie; Rude Boy; What’s My Name; S&M; We Found Love.

Enjoy today’s lyric quiz, which features 10 random songs, all of which have a life beyond the immediate present.

In closing, get off my lawn!

Friday Lyric Quiz #441

1.  “Who’s got their claws in you, my friend, into your heart, I’ll beat again” (mid-90s)

2.  “All I want is to see you smile, if it takes just a little while” (late 70s)

3.  “Anything that’s dead shall be regrown and your vicious pain, your warning sign, it will be fine” (mid-2000s)

4. “You wanna hear about my new obsession, I’m riding high upon a deep depression” (mid-90s)

5. “I’d hate to look into those eyes and see an ounce of pain” (late 80s)

6. “When you’re happy like a fool, let it take you over. When everything is out, you gotta take it in” (early 2010s)

7. “Well, you started off with nothing and you’re proud that you’re a self-made man” (early 70s)

8. “To have you with me I would swim the seven seas I need you as my guide in my life” (late 80s)

9. “If you are the desert, I’ll be the sea, if you ever hunger, hunger for me” (late 80s)

10. “Seems the road less traveled, shows happiness unraveled” (late 90s)

Answers to Friday Lyric Quiz #440

1.  “The world is a vampire, sent to drain. Secret destroyers” (mid-90s)
Bullet With Butterfly Wings, Smashing Pumpkins

2.  “You say Lord, I say Christ. I don’t believe in Peter Pan, Frankenstein or Superman” (late 70s)
Bicycle Race, Queen

3.  “And like a little girl cries in the face of a monster that lives in her dreams” (early 2000s)
Harder to Breathe, Maroon 5 

4. “You stumble out of a hole in the ground. A vampire or a victim it depends on who’s around” (early 90s)
Stay (Faraway, So Close!), U2

5. “They’re out to get you, there’s demons closing in on every side” (mid-80s)
Thriller, Michael Jackson

6. “And yes I call the shots I am the umpire I sprinkle holy water upon a vampire, vampire” (early 2010s)
Moment 4 Life, Nicki Minaj feat Drake

7. “A disease of the mind it can control you, I feel like a monster” (late 2000s)
Disturbia, Rihanna 

8. “And the violence caused such silence, who are we mistaken” (mid-90s)
Zombie, The Cranberries 

9. “I saw a werewolf drinking a pina colada at Trader Vics” (late 70s)
Werewolves in London, Warren Zevon 

10. “The zombies were having fun, the party had just begun” (early 60s)
Monster Mash, Bobby Boris Pickett 


Top Summer Songs of the Decade (In Which I Try to Remember Hoobastank)

Last week’s lyric quiz, in advance of Labor Day, focused on so-called anthems of summer.  Those infectious ditties that roll onto the pop scene when the weather starts to brighten and fail to drop off the charts until the kids are back in school.  As promised, here’s my own opinion of what I ruled the songs of all summers going back to 2002, when American Idol was brand new (as was the Department of Homeland Security).

Without further ado…

2002: Hot in Herre, Nelly.  St Louis’ pride and joy busted forth with this first single from his second album, Nellyville.  The hook is just catchy enough that we’ll all-but forgive the slightly misogynistic undertones.

2003: Crazy in Love, Beyonce (f/ Jay-Z).  Let’s be honest.  This song would be nowhere without the horn-charged Chi-Lites’ sample. With it – and with Jay-Z’s assistance in the intro and the bridge – it was a summer power-anthem that extended way past August 2003.

2004: The Reason, Hoobastank.   Really?  Song of the summer?  This drippy, lackluster, near-whiney pseudo-ballad from the moderately promising alt-rockers who brought us “Crawling in the Dark?”  Come on guys, really?  A modified infinity symbol in your band name? It was either this or one of about seven Usher songs, and their respective votes cannibalized one another.  But an honorable mention would be “Yeah!,” which Mr. “Ursher” Raymond did alongside Ludacris and Lil Jon.  Take that and rewind it back.

2005: Hollaback Girl, Gwen Stefani.  Fundamentally annoying, sure, but it reignited the pop-culture landscape’s interest in Toni Basil’s “Mickey” and brought “bananas” back into the lexicon as a synonym for “nuts.”

2006: Crazy, Gnarls Barkley.  Gnarls Barkley is the coupling of hip hop producer Danger Mouse and performer Cee Lo Green. Gorillaz, meanwhile, is the coupling of Blur frontman Damon Albarn and British illustrator/writer Jamie Hewlett. You can of course see why I always confuse the two. Gorillaz had a winning song-of-the-summer in 2001, “Clint Eastwood,” which I like much, much, much better than “Crazy.”  That said, “Crazy” was inescapable five summers ago and had to make this list.

2007: Umbrella, Rihanna (f Jay-Z). Speaking of inescapable, nary a reality show on the air between March 2007 and December 2008 failed to use “Umbrella” – or some folksy/emo/punk version thereof – on its soundtrack. It’s a pleasant enough tune about a sweetly strong relationship, but it’s just about two choruses too long.    

2008: Just Dance, Lady Gaga. We saw both Gaga and Katy Perry bum-rush the charts in 2008 with this cut and “I Kissed a Girl,” respectively.  Little did we know that they would remain the biggest pop stars on the planet three years later. What’s more, “Just Dance” was one of the first songs in the new genre of “See how adorably screwed I am when I drink?” (non) cautionary tales. So thanks for that, Stefani. 

2009: I Gotta Feeling, Black-Eyed Peas.  This song has no substantive lyrics.  This song includes a random and somewhat jarring “Mazel Tov” shout.  This song’s title, when broken down grammatically, means “I got to feeling.” This song is unrepentantly repetitive. This song was arguably the best pop song of its year.

Wordle couresty of

2010: Your Love is My Drug, Ke$ha. God help us all, this white-trash ho puts out some catchy freaking nonsense pop. This is no exception. May we never tire of her “rapped”-verse-plus-punchy-chorus formula.  I like your beard.

2011: Tonight Tonight, Hot Chelle Rae. Possibly my favorite song on this list, but maybe that’s because it’s the newest. The carefree chorus lyric is betrayed by the pre-chorus … “Whatever … it doesn’t matter … oh well” and the lyric “I don’t know if I’ll make it, but watch how good I’ll fake it.”  It’s an existential crisis wrapped up in  a power-pop beat. Cheers to you, boys.  Hope to hear a lot more out of you.

Phew! And that’s that! What have been some of your favorite “summer anthems” of years past?