by WRBB Media Team
Interviews by Annika Eske, Arslan Sheikh, Fenner Dreyfuss-Wells, and Bela Omoeva.
Question credit to Archie O’Connell.
On March 20th, the WRBB media team set up as per usual at Campus Crossroads in Curry Student Center. This month, we asked passerby, “What is your LEAST favorite song by your FAVORITE music artist?” Often, people found that they didn’t resonate with music that deviated from an artist’s signature style (whether it be a shaky first album or an experimental new direction). However, some people couldn’t choose a single ‘bad’ song from their favorite artist’s discography and ended up recommending a song they liked instead. In any case, we’ve compiled a playlist of all the songs discussed this month. Yes, it is technically a playlist of least-favorite songs (for the most part). But keep an open mind – maybe one of these tracks will surprise you! Listen to the playlist here, and read on for some fun music conversations.
Friends Mei and Ceci stopped by to tell us about their least favorite songs by their favorite artists.
Ceci told us that “DHL” is her least favorite song by her favorite artist, Frank Ocean. Ceci took a good minute to contemplate what it is about DHL that doesn’t quite cut it for her. “I don’t like the instruments in the background,” she explained. After giving it a little more thought she added, “There’s not enough words.” Ceci would agree with the statement that Frank Ocean’s lyrics and singing voice are his biggest strength. In “DHL,” even when there are lyrics, Frank Ocean is not quite singing – “more just talking.” Mei on the other hand, said that “Safe & Sound” by Taylor Swift would have to be her answer. When asked why, she told WRBB, “I don’t even know, it’s just in the Hunger Games soundtrack.” Mei confessed through laughter that she wasn’t able to muster up enough interest in the song to listen all the way through.
Katie, Sofia, and Ava – three Swifties – held a discussion to decide which Taylor Swift song should have been cut.
Katie approached the table first and told WRBB, “I don’t have my iced coffee anymore, but I am a basic bitch and I do like Taylor Swift…” as Katie began scrolling through options to decide on her least favorite Taylor Swift song, friends Sofia and Anna joined in on the conversation. The two are also fans of Taylor Swift and wanted to help with the difficult decision-making process. “We need to figure this out,” resolved Sofia. The three Swifties had mixed feelings about the song “Carolina,” written as part of the soundtrack for the film Where the Crawdads Sing. However, they ultimately agreed that “ME!” is the most lacking song in Swift’s discography. “It is not a great song,” Katie commented. Sofia agreed, “She can do so much better.” When asked what about the song fell short, Katie and Sofia concluded that the song is “incredibly cheesy.” Nonetheless, all of them admitted that they love the dress Swift wears in the song’s music video.
Henoss and EJ work at the Center for Student Involvement, and gave WRBB some very thoughtful answers.
Henoss was intent on giving us his best possible answer. “I really gotta think about it…who is my favorite artist of all time? I gotta do someone who’s already passed so they can’t disappoint me!” Henoss stepped aside and took some time to contemplate.
Meanwhile, EJ told us that Drake is his favorite artist, but he isn’t a fan of the song “God’s Plan.” EJ wasn’t sure if he wanted this to be his final answer, but told us that he generally prefers Drake’s older music. “He couldn’t express a lot of his creativity [in the new music]…and in some ways, his new music isn’t as good.” EJ also finds that newer Drake songs like “God’s Plan” are overplayed. Yet, EJ told WRBB that he’ll be going to his first concert in July – and it will be a Drake concert.
Henoss, on the other hand, had just decided to choose Stevie Wonder as his favorite artist. Unfortunately, after one decision comes another. “I don’t know, man, Stevie Wonder never made a bad song…” reasoned Henoss as he reluctantly tried to choose a least favorite peice from Stevie Wonder’s discography. In the end, Henoss concluded that the album The Jazz Soul of Little Stevie would be his final answer. “He’s made an incredible, immaculate, illustrious collection,” emphasized Henoss, “but that album is the one that I would not necessarily go to listen to.” He explained that the album was Stevie Wonder’s debut studio album and the legendary artist was still trying to find his musical identity at that time. “This album was his pathway to being great,” Henoss told WRBB.
We bothered Will while he was working at Campus Crossroads to hear what he had to say about this month’s question.
Will told us his favorite artist is producer The Alchemist (coolest artist name ever, confirmed). Will’s least favorite song by the producer is “Peppertree,” a collaboration with Armand Hammer. He explained that “Peppertree” is a very dissonant track. Will conceded, “I see what he’s trying to do, but it didn’t work.” When asked if he thought the rest of The Alchemist’s discography is more accessible, Will agreed that “the rest of his stuff is much easier to listen to. He does have a bit of a weird sound, but usually it works.”
Allie and Akshara stopped by and discussed a few of their least favorite songs by their favorite artists.
Without a second of hesitation, Allie answered with “Closer” by Halsey. “I just spent 10 minutes talking about how Halsey is my Taylor Swift [on her WRBB radio show].” When asked what it is about the song that she doesn’t like, Allie first joked, “It’s easy to pick a bad pop song.” Then, she told us that the song also reminds her of someone she is no longer friends with. Still, Allie cut Halsey some slack, saying “I respect that it brought her to a bigger fan base, but it’s just not Halsey’s style of music.” Akshara agreed, saying that the song has nothing that showcases Halsey’s vocals or typical style. Allie pointed out that even Halsey herself doesn’t like the song and often refuses to play it live.
Akshara had two answers to this month’s question. First, they told us that their favorite music artist is Hozier, but they don't like “The Bones,” a collaboration between Maren Morris and Hozier. Akshara then decided they had a better answer: “Heat Waves” by Glass Animals. They told us “It’s so ‘I’m-not-like-other-girls’ of me, but I just tend to not like the popular artists.” Allie laughed, “You’re gonna be tweeting about this tonight.”
Eshan almost left without giving us an answer, until we gave him some leeway and said he could tell us a favorite song rather than a least favorite.
“This is hard… Why would I have to choose one?” Eshan mused. He quickly explained that his favorite music artist is John Mayer, but he can’t come up with any John Mayer songs he doesn’t like. “I can give you a favorite song,” he offered. Eshan’s recommendations are “Slow Dancing in a Burning Room” and “Covered in Rain.” Eshan explained that he used to play guitar and “'Covered in Rain' has a wonderful guitar solo – plus it’s recorded as a live performance.