(*Look, I’m using the word “good” loosely here.)
5. “Breathe” by Nickelback
My Case: Nickelback is not a good band. If you don’t believe me, go to a stand up comedy open mic, you’ll hear all about it! That being said, the song “Breathe” (spelled with the extra “e” because they are Canadian?) off their first major label album The State (shouldn’t that be The Province?) isn’t horrible. I mean, it’s not a great song, but compared to the onslaught of terrible music Nickelback put out over the next 10 years, this song is like The Beatles.
4. “Grand Theft Autmun” by Fall Out Boy
My Case: There is a line in the film “High Fidelity” where when talking about Stevie Wonder, the character Barry (played by Jack Black) asks “Is it in fact unfair to criticize a formerly great artist for his latter day sins?” Now I’m not saying Fall Out Boy was ever a “great artist”, but, I think if you judge this album on it’s own, you’d be inclined to like it. Especially this song: The spoken word intro, the fun chorus, the nice guitar riffs. It’s good stuff. Like Your Favorite Weapon era Brand New. So just pretend “Sugar We’re Goin Down”, “Dance Dance” and the horrendus “My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark (Light Em Up)” never happened, and enjoy this one.
3. “Awake and Dreaming” by Finger Eleven
My Case: Oh boy did I love this album! Every song was good, but this one was great. “Awake and Dreaming” was moody, but it’s got some strings in it, it’s got a nice breakdown and the singer really has a pretty pleasant voice. I saw Finger Eleven at the Ranch Bowl in Omaha in 1999 and had such a blast. They played the album in it’s entirety and everyone sang along with this one. I had a lot of hope for what would become of these guys. Unfortunately, the next 4 albums have all been cock rock radio garbage, most notably, the terrible hit song “Paralyzer”.
2. “Northern Downpour” by Panic! At The Disco
My Case: I like to put this song on for people, watch them get into it, and then go “guess who this is?” No one has ever guessed correctly, because Panic at The Disco are a shitty band (Remember this fucking song???) But this whole second album Pretty.Odd. is pretty good. From what I can tell, they drastically changed their sound from their first album, released this one, and then went back to their garbage sound. Which is so stupid. Goddamit, “Northern Downpour” is a great fucking song.
1. “Warm Machine” by Bush
My Case: I don’t hate the band Bush. I like them in a nostalgic way. That first album Sixteen Stone was a big part of my pre-teens. They are a shitty band though. No way around it. That is what makes the song “Warm Machine” so good. This song wasn’t on their first album, or their sophomore effort Razorblade Suitcase. This was on their THIRD FUCKING ALBUM, The Science of Things, We already knew who Bush was at this point. They were a shitty band that made shitty music. So when I heard this song for the first time, I was surprised. “Warm Machine” isn’t just an ok song, it’s a good song! It’s better than “Machinehead”. It’s better than “Come Down”! Fuck it, I’ll say it: it’s better than “Glycerine”.