What’s Your Biggest Musical Pet Peeve?

Music is good. But music isn’t always good. Sometimes it’s pretty bad. Sometimes it’s downright awful, to the point where you’d rather listen to this. Other times, and these may be the most frustrating times, you hear music that would be utterly perfect, a complete masterpiece, an inarguable classic–were it not for one conspicuous flaw.

Today’s Topic: What’s Your Biggest Musical Pet Peeve?

My Answer:

I’m interested in music production, so I’ve developed a bit of a producer’s ear over time. This has led to a newfound appreciation of well-produced music and a newfound hatred of over-produced or poorly produced music. It’s also given me a list of pet peeves longer than the Nile. I hate fade-outs (and their rarer counterpart, fade-ins), but I also hate songs that abruptly end because they’re supposed to segue into the next song on the album (Pink Floyd did not predict the Shuffle era, apparently). I hate 80’s synth, 80’s drum machines, and the 80’s. But for my biggest pet peeve, I’m going to have to forget my producer’s instincts and go with a classic; a lyrical cliche that has been with us as long as the English language.

The unpardonable crime of rhyming “girl” with “world.”

I get it: “girl” and “world” are both common lyrical themes, and there’s not much out there that rhymes (or is at least assonant) with them. “Girl” and “world” are also fairly open terms with regard to how they relate, whether one is traveling around the world and seeing many girls, or wanting a girl more than anything in the world, or possibly even envisioning a girl who is also, coincidentally, a world.

But the second you throw that line into a song, you lose the right to call yourself a lyricist. You’re destined afterwards to be known as either a lazy, talentless hack, or John Lennon. You’re just asking for the girl in question–or the world in question–to reject you. There are few sins in art, but this is one of them. Don’t do it. Ever.

And while you’re at it, stop saying “baby” unironically.


Your Turn: What’s your biggest musical pet peeve? Can you still enjoy songs that feature your pet peeve?


4 thoughts on “What’s Your Biggest Musical Pet Peeve?

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