As one of the most pivotal decades for music, the 1990s have often been praised for birthing the grunge, indie rock, punk rock and nerd rock movements. I myself am an avid listener of all of these genres, but I have found myself giving too much credit to the '90s as a whole. Just because a song is released during a revolutionary decade doesn't make that song revolutionary by classification.
Following are the most overrated songs of the '90s. Some of these songs are mediocre, others are unbearably awful, but they all share one similarity: They all don't deserve the publicity they have unrightfully received. So here they are, the most overrated songs of the '90s:
5. Crash Test Dummies, "Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm"
That forced pitch. I can feel the singer physically hurting his voice to sound like an exaggerated Eddie Vedder. Even more infuriating are the lyrics. The opening words of the song are "Once there was this kid who got into an accident and couldn't come to school." Absolutely no subtlety. No emotion in the delivery either. It's like a robot reading a eulogy.
4. EMF, "Unbelievable"
Nineties pump-up songs can be really good. Take for example "Song 2" by Blur. It has a catchy riff, heavy amplification and a chorus that consists of playful shouts. Great way to start the game, right?
EMF's "Unbelievable" is a terrible way to advertise a breakfast cereal. For a pump-up song, it doesn't pack a punch.
3. Oasis, "Wonderwall"
You probably saw this one coming. Whether you are a music expert or just a common listener, you can probably recognize the opening four chords that make up this song. It's repetitive, dull and lacks any sort of passion.
And let's be honest, that chorus is just unbearable.
(Hey, I like other Oasis songs!)
2. U2, "One"
This is the perfect example of a song that isn't about anything. Words like "love," "life" and "one" get thrown around so meaninglessly that it turns the whole song into a cliché.
Ever since I first heard this song on the radio, it sounded to me like generic background noise that was supposed to be played in religion class. Listening to it again, my opinion hasn't changed at all. It's fluffy, but in the worst way.
Let me explain why this one is so high up on the list. Songs that actually express love are not supposed to be so safe, so emotionless. Whereas "Wonderwall" is commonly called out for being simplistic, U2's "One" has somehow steered clear of mass criticism.
Diehard U2 fans might try to convince me otherwise, but I don't think this song has anything substantial to offer.
(VH1 ranked this song the second best of the 1990s, runner-up to "Smells Like Teen Spirit" by Nirvana.)
1. The Verve, "Bittersweet Symphony"
Plagiarism should never be rewarded. Yeah, this isn't a terrible song, but the whole song is sung over a stolen hook. The problem is not that the Verve used a sample, but that they didn't write a song. The song is just the sample, looped for six minutes, with the addition of some half-witted lyrics.
While I consider all of the preceding songs to be subpar, they were at least original compositions. Or, at the very least, the other four songs have an argument.
Here's the takeaway: Imitation is not the greatest form of flattery when the original creators don't get their deserved credit.
(92 million views... unreal)
Remember that this is my opinion and may, naturally, contradict with yours. You are entitled to have your own taste.
Dishonorable mentions: "Tubthumping," "Lightning Crashes"
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this post incorrectly attributed the song "Bittersweet Symphony" to The Verve Pipe. The creators of the song were actually the Verve.