Make no mistake, this is not a list of terrible songs—shit, that would take ages to write up. Instead, this list chronicles those songs I never want to hear again (especially in public) because they're utter fucking buzzkills capable of halting good times within a few feeble notes.
1. "Mad World" by Gary Jules - No disrespect to Adam Lambert, but every time I hear this song, all that comes to mind is a greasy-haired dude in a bunny suit who was stabbed in the eye through a cosmic mirror. If you didn't get that last reference, consider yourself lucky for never getting sucked into the endless pondering that comes with seeing the extended director's cut of Donnie Darko. [The very first cut was really enough, Richard Kelly.] Gary Jules's stripped, melancholy rendition for the soundtrack only made Donnie's fate seem that much more hopeless.
2. "Good Woman" by Cat Power - One of the things that endlessly endears me to Cat Power is that whenever a barfly in her hometown of Atlanta related a story about her, it was generally followed by the coda "...that crazy bitch." Yet crazy drunk bitches don't always manage to write selfless, heart-wrenching songs about longing and the guilty feelings that come with being their true selves. That's what makes this ballad that much more powerful—and one hell of a bum-out.
3. "Changes" by Black Sabbath - Need I say more, #srsly? I would rather hear "Sweet Caroline" over this at a bar any day.
4. "Jolene" by Dolly Parton - Is this song really a testament to how women dealt with infidelity in the '70s? What did chicks ever do before Maury started airing to straighten our man-folk out? Everything about this song reeks of desperation and pleading, making it incredibly difficult to listen to once you get sucked into the lyrics and much like the aural equivalent of Larry David—utterly uncomfortable to be around.
5. "Hotel California" by the Eagles - I was technically never abused as a child, but my older brother's incessant playing of this record just might count. In fact, when he got married and moved out of the house leaving his old stereo and records behind, my first act of independence was taking Hotel California to Seth Low Park for an extended game of frisbee. Maybe it's because the six-plus-minute title track epitomizes the cocaine languidness of the times in such an absolute—and overplayed—way that I equate it with pure torture.