Earlier today, the R&B blog SoulBounce came up with an idea we’re kicking ourselves for not having come up with first: the editors’ and their friends’ (and their comments box’s) choices for the “Universally-Adored Soul Classic That [They] Hate.” (Funniest moment: site editor nOvaMatic’s dis of Frankie Beverly and Maze’s “Before I Let Go,” one of two: “My god, is this song potato salad? Must it be at every Black gathering?” Funny it appears here so soon after they named it one of the all-time greatest soul songs, but then nOva didn’t write that one.) We like this idea so much that we’ve decided to rip it off, using a different category. After the jump, we’ll will pick our Universally Adored (or so it seems) Alt-Rock Classics We Hate.
Michaelangelo Matos: I have never understood the appeal of Nine Inch Nails. Oh wait, yes I have, because I was 12 once. That’s about the time where you need to leave the pettier of your emotions at the door, but no one told Trent Reznor, and he’s made a mountain of cash from them. “Closer” is one of those records I gave up actively hating a long time ago simply because you can’t fight anything that ubiquitous without expending more energy than it’s worth, but dear god what an awful song. I’m glad everyone got their little getting-away-with-saying-fuck-tee-hee buzz, but do we need to be repeatedly subjected to this insufferable plod all these years later?
Maura Johnston: I’ll rep for Nirvana, sure. Hearing “Smells Like Teen Spirit” for the first time was revelatory, their “worst live show” ever that I saw in Chicago in the early ’90s was gut-wrenching, and much of Nevermind still packs a punch today. But I’ll never understand why “Come As You Are” has stood the test of time as it has–with its moaning vocals and plodding rhythm, it damn near provided the template for every third-rate alt-rock band that flooded the airwaves in the wake of Kurt Cobain’s suicide. You’d think “In Bloom” would have been the non-”Spirit” track that kept getting spins, but I guess people weren’t comfortable with wondering if they could have been the people who knew not what Cobain’s cryptic lyrics meant.
Dan Gibson: Somehow, waiting for a new Stone Roses album for five years performed some trickery on my mind during the interval as I waited like everyone else for the band’s escape from a label imposed exile. I idolized the Stone Roses, forgetting that I didn’t really enjoy the act’s most famous song, “Fool’s Gold”. Still, the track comes up on nearly every Brit list of essential tracks, while I sit on the sideline muttering something about the genius of Shaun Ryder.
What’s yours? Answers, as always, in the comments.