When it comes to genius pop music, I think it's pretty safe to say that the '90s were an absolute goldmine. We had the likes of Britney Spears, N*Sync, Ace of Base, MC Hammer... I could go on and on. It was a beautiful decade for the music world, and one that will live on in our nostalgic hearts forevermore. In fact, many '90s hits have gone on to become our karaoke favorites, finding a way to live on even in the new millennium. But not everything that came from the '90s is worth remembering. In fact, some songs weren't even listening to when they originally came out, and they're sorta cringe-worthy to think back on — even moreso now than when they were brand new.
Of course, the '90s isn't alone in having bad music, it's just the dated-ness (yes, that's a term) of the decade made the bad stuff stand out even more. Heavy synth, badly produced vocals, terrible choreography in the corresponding videos... it was an interesting time, to be sure. But life is about yin and yang, and we have to take the bad if we want to properly appreciate the good. Try not to be too disheartened when you listen to these terrible tracks from the '90s. They served their purpose at the time, even if we still don't know what that purpose actually was.
Smash Mouth, "All Star"
It's somewhat of an oxymoron to put "All Star" on this list, since basically everything Smash Mouth ever released was terrible, but this track held a particular penchant for irritation that surpassed their other singles, so here we are. The fact that Dane Cook is in the video only further illustrates the point.
Ricky Martin, "Livin' La Vida Loca"
I get what Ricky Martin's purpose in music was, and that was to bring Latin flavor to the pop world, so I appreciate him from that perspective. "Livin' La Vida Loca" really missed the mark, however, and was so terribly overproduced and overwrought that it was just a sonic disaster.
Savage Garden, "Truly, Madly, Deeply"
Savage Garden was the band your mom used to listen to on her easy listening station in the car, so it makes sense that those of us who were pre-teens during the '90s wouldn't really "get" their music. However, "Truly, Madly, Deeply" plumbed new depths of ridiculousness. Even as an adult who has indeed been in love, I've never wanted to stand with anyone on a mountain or bathe with them in the sea, sorry.
Will Smith, "Gettin Jiggy' With It"
If the title of this track alone isn't enough to make you seek a lobotomy, listening to the song itself should do the track. Will Smith was at the height of popularity in the '90s, and I see why — he's talented and goofy and seems like a lot of fun. This song, however, was basically every awful stereotype of the decade rolled into one and I can't bear it.
Alanis Morissette, "Ironic"
We're all on the same page when it comes to Jagged Little Pill being one of the most classic albums of the '90s, but "Ironic" was so bad because... literally nothing in the song is ironic. I'm not quite sure if the disconnect was intentional or Alanis just didn't check the dictionary before writing this song, but, like, come on.
House Of Pain, "Jump Around"
WHY IS THAT SOUND GOING THROUGHOUT THE WHOLE SONG? It's giving me a migraine! Make it stop!
Shawn Mullins, "Lullaby"
I can't really describe why I hate this song so much. It's just so morose and faux-sultry (yes, that's an expression I just made up) and skeeves me out. It's also just a really crappy song in general, so... yeah. I'm sticking with that.
LFO, "Summer Girls"
Anyone who particularly seeks out women who wear Abercrombie & Fitch has a serious problem and I want no part of it. Be gone, LFO. Oh wait, they were, right after that song.
This is another Smash Mouth situation, where any song this band has ever put out could be on this list, but "Higher" had some amount of chart success during the '90s, so its place on here is well-earned.
Baja Men, "Who Let The Dogs Out?"
To be honest, I do have a soft spot for this song because my nana used to get on top of my Aunt Debbie's bar and sing this when she had too much wine when I was a kid, but we all know it's terrible, right? Like, from a logical perspective?
Rednex, "Cotton Eye Joe"
This needs no introduction. It's diabolically bad. The end.
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