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Overrated, underrated


This list of overrated songs certainly has some problematic entries. “Pour Some Sugar on Me” doesn’t belong, not because it’s good because as far as I know it has no reputation for quality (and I forgive it because of frequent commenter Leo’s rousing karaoke version.) Ditto, given what I assume to be the intended audience, with “Memory.” “Free Bird” and “Light My Fire” are good but obvious choices. I think “Hey Ya!” is an excellent song, but I can almost see a case based on the facts that 1)it doesn’t stand out in the OutKast body of work the way its reputation suggests, and 2)it tended to become the token hip-hop choice of critics like Nick Hornby. But the case pretty clearly fails in the writing. I mean, if you object to rhyming “daddy” and “caddy,” or songs that have only 4 chords, you shouldn’t be listening to pop music.

Still, the list justifies itself with 3 excellent choices. “I Still Haven’t Found What I’ve Looking For” has always struck me as pretty much the definition of an overrated song. (I still remember, in the U2 ardor of my high school days, playing The Joshua Tree for a friend for the first time and warning him not to give up after the pretentious, leaden-paced second song. After about a minute he looked up and said “That is fucking annoying isn’t it?” I was amazed when many people cited the thing as the best song on the record.) I like Springsteen fine, although I evaluate his catalogue very idiosyncratically, but I’ve never gotten “Born To Run,” which isn’t one of his best songs (let alone one of the best songs in the music as a whole.) And while I think John Lennon solo is generally underrated–I think Plastic Ono Band is an amazing record–“Imagine,” eh.

This list of underrated albums is considerably more problematic (although I suppose that’s the point.) The Harder They Come is great, but is it underrated? I’m pretty skeptical about the Goo Goo Dolls entry, although I certainly don’t intend to find out. I would also like to suggest that the magnificent Southern Rock Opera should not be mentioned on the same list as a Jethro Tull concept album. Still, there’s at least one gem: Rumor and Sigh, which was out of print for a while, is some great shit. Also, I kinda like White City (which, I admit, I loved in high school), although I wouldn’t want to actually defend that. I would be willing to defend Animals and (especially) Meddle being better than Dark Side of The Moon, though…

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