Music by VICE

Shitty Music Cliches That Need to End in 2017

This cursed year is over. Bury all these things in the ground with it.

by Noisey Staff
22 December 2016, 8:59pm

This article originally appeared on Noisey UK.

Music cliches aren't all bad. They're the reason a sad song can help to exude wet, salty tears until your pathetic broken heart can't squeeze out any more emotion. They inject a smattering of nostalgic fuel into a dying house party. They're why you listen to Drake, music's robotic overlord. These visual and aural clues confirm and oppose our tastes, helping us to understand music.

That said, sometimes these cliches become too much. If we think of the music world as a garden, they're like parasites. They take over, enveloping everything, ruining what was once beautiful. Remember in 2013, when every rap song sounded like it had been made in the grand mason hall of the illuminati? That cliche needed to be forgotten so culture could move forward. 2016 has brought with it a whole bunch of new cliches that need to be killed off in the same way, erased from the world, so things can be born anew. Here they are. Let them burn with the smoldering ash of 2016, baby. Burn, burn, burn!

Opinions on Kanye West

Kanye West, via Wikimedia

In a time not so far away, it was necessary to have an opinion on Kanye West. They were like badges, used to determine whether someone was friend or foe. But now there are no new paths to be tread, no resolutions to be made, only an exhausting merry-go-round to ride on through the same topics, like a go-kart rattling around a battered racing track. Like post-break up chats with an ex, there comes a time when all the words have been said and you need to stop. Set yourself free. Release from the shackles and become your own person!

Referring to an artist's second album as a "sophomore" release

Some real life sophomores, via Wikimedia

Look, we get it. You've just landed a gig writing for The 405 or something and need to impress with your worthy music journalism language. But step back for a second, son. Would you say this in real life? In those dreams where you're an "esteemed" "music" "writer" and survive on tumblers of whiskey that you drink in darkened back-alley speakeasies, perhaps you would. But that's not real life. Out in these streets you're just a millennial in a windbreaker who posts hot-takes using an iPhone.

The Stranger Things kids

Beyond politics and existential despair, 2016 has been defined by a bunch of children. God, aren't they cute? In a way, they resemble little potatoes of skin and joy. But as Buzzfeed will tell you, they're also so, so much more than that. They are warriors, fighting the good fight to restore innocence and goodness to 2016, and as such they must have a rest. Please, whoever manages the PR for these pillows of happiness and keeps forcing them to sing at award shows and launch music careers before they've left school, take them off press schedules for 2017. Sorry to shit on a child's parade, but we cannot take your faces for a while. We're really, really sorry.

Debating the vitality of "guitar music"

Guitars, via Wikimedia

Come on, guys and girls. This conversation has been going on for… how long now? A year? Two years? A decade? Your whole life? Yes, The Libertines now look more like a seaside production of Oliver Twist performed by two puffy uncles, but so long as instruments exist and there are people to play them then guitar music will never die. The only thing that will is your love and thirst for a form of music that is defined by a 3,300 year-old instrument.

Music merch with gothic font

Forever 21 t-shirt

Listen, hear this: if Forever 21 is producing bootleg versions of something you hold dearly, aka music merch with gothic font which is also most likely a longsleeve, take it as a sign that it's time to move on. Music merch is this year's bucket hat. None of us look like we're on the Vetements runway do we. Plus, half of this shit came from Gucci Mane almost five years ago and now you look like you're hilariously behind, Grandad.

Releasing a teaser trailer for your music video

Fam, our time in this world is limited. No one except you and your five friends has the desire to watch a teaser for a music video, especially one that places "cinematography" over "substance". Only do this if you've somehow managed to work into dropping the new iPhone or the sequel to Scarface. The same goes for music videos with extended introductions. Of all the things in the world we, as humans, need to do—eating enough calories to diminish our sadness, pooping out those calories to feel replenished, showering, talking, going to work, y'know, all the important stuff—watching two minutes of silent drone footage is far too much. Give is the goods, you scoundrels.

Surprise dropping an album

This trend began and ended when Beyoncé released her self-titled in 2013 and the only person who has the authority to revive it is Beyoncé, which she did, and raised the bar so high by her own standards that it's pretty much a dot to the rest of us scrambling one thousand feet below. So don't bother. Our collective nerves have been pushed to their limits enough as it is.

Saying you don't understand what British rap artists are saying

Tell us again how much you love Young Thug?

Talking about or interviewing or quote tweeting Martin Shkreli Anymore

If you stop this you cut him off from the source. It's basically like pulling the plug without any ethical repercussions.

Awful, downbeat versions of classic songs

This year, we found ourselves terrified—fucking terrified—that John Lewis would get a bland man with coiffed hair to take on a David Bowie classic, such as "Heroes", and turn it into a breathy, piano-led slice of hell for their advert, which would then go on to sell millions of copies and inevitably outperform the original, and then maybe get turned into a tropical house banger later down the line, which would then outperform the original of the original, and ultimately end up on a NOW That's What I Call Classic Reworks CD, like a literal kick to the dead face of David Bowie. Fortunately that didn't happen, but some dude who looks like all your swipe lefts mushed into one dead-eyed skin sack did release a plodding version of Robyn's "Dancing on My Own". And last year there was Aura's "Half the World Away." And there was Gabrielle Aplin's "The Power of Love." If you wanted to bookend this phenomenon, you'd put Travis' cover of "…Baby One More Time" at the beginning, Radio 1's Live Lounge in the middle, and RIGHT NOW at the end. Because, please, let it be the end.

Realizing stuff

The only good that could come of this in 2017 is everyone "realizing" the enormity of their errors in judgement, whether it be voting for Brexit or positively reviewing The Chainsmokers. But whatever the Bad Thing is, we've already done it now, haven't we? How about in 2017 we stop realizing stuff, and start doing something about it. That's sort of how this shit works.

Iconic musicians dying

Let's all agree to bond together and stop this in 2017.

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music videos
kanye west
guitar music
uk rap
stranger things
Music Cliches
Martin Skhreli
surprise albums