Friday, November 16, 2007
Have you ever been at a karaoke bar, flipped through their phone book of songs, settled on a perfect choice, but after about a minute on stage, realized that the song is either impossible to sing, or goes on for a painful amount of time, or wasn’t nearly as funny as you had anticipated? Then learn the Top Ten Worst Karaoke Trap Songs and save yourself some misery.
10. Sir Mix-A-Lot - “Baby Got Back”
The concept of getting really drunk with one’s friends and shouting along out-of-tune to random pop songs is already so wonderfully ludicrous, I wonder why people feel the need to choose a novelty song for the sake of humor, let alone one which everyone got tired of after about three weeks of college.
9. Frank Sinatra - “New York, New York”
Part of the glee of karaoke comes from drunken people singing the most random, stupid song that they secretly love and having people in the crowd who also secretly love that song rise up and join in. Why, then, do so many people feel compelled to bore the room with “New York, New York,” a perennially anticlimatic choice which is at best sung perfectly, garnering a dull “hmm, that guy was really good,” reaction, and at worst a “are these Sinatra dudes going to be done soon?”
8. INXS - “Need You Tonight”
This 80s pop gem can be a tempting choice, but there’s something magically elusive about Michael Hutchence’s voice; it’s too low for high singers, it’s two high for low singers, and if you’re in the middle, it’s impossible to pull off. You pretty much just have to speak the words, but the angsty sex noises will make any non-hammered individual look like a total perv.
7. Meat Loaf - “Paradise By The Dashboard Light”
A tempting duet option, but with two massive flaws: One, only the last part of the song is a duet; the male part takes up about the first 70%, and; Two, it is the longest goddamn song in the history of recorded music. There isn’t even a single version; even the karaoke cut will include the full two minutes of Phil Rizzuto’s baseball announcing. If you select this song, you’re a moron who instantly owes everyone in the bar five rounds of drinks.
6. Journey - “Don’t Stop Believin’”
Don’t get me wrong, this song is absolutely tailor-made for sing-alongs, but, in a way, it’s almost too good; everyone in the room, from 19-year-old sorority chicks to even the most jaded hipsters, will dive into the choruses, and the final breakdown will be an absolutely cathartic group scream. But if this isn’t the last song of the night, it pretty much ruins every single song that follows it, and can clear a bar as quickly as the Sopranos finale cut to black.
5. Anything from the “Grease” Soundtrack
Short of that one girl who keeps picking country ballads that no one in the room knows, there is no more polarizing force in the world of karaoke than the girls who put on songs from “Grease,” resulting in an inevitable three minutes of loud girly sing-alongs and pissy dudes yelling at them to get off the damn stage.
4. Prince - “Purple Rain”
An absolute room-killer. No matter how seemingly hilarious a suggestion it is, or how many girls clump themselves around a microphone to shout a chorus, no karaoke song holds up past the four-minute-mark, and this one goes on long enough for patrons to take a cab to a different karaoke bar, type in a song, and get on stage quicker than if they’d waited for you to finish.
3. U2 - “One”
When you choose to sing Pearl Jam or Dave Matthews, you pretty much know beforehand that you’re going to have to do a flat-out impression of the lead singer. With “One,” though, you can’t really slip into full-on Bono impression without sounding like a crappy Mad TV sketch, nor can you sing the song in your own voice without sounding like an Idol reject who tried to open the wrong door on the way out.
2. Guns n’ Roses - “Paradise City”
A textbook karaoke trap. It seems like a viable option, because everyone can get into G’n'R, plus the chorus is fun and easy for everyone to sing along to, but even the chorus gets pretty old by about the fourth repetition (out of thirty), to say nothing of the super-fast verses which no one knows, the five instrumental breaks, and the total running time of nearly seven minutes.
1. Vanilla Ice - “Ice Ice Baby”
Remember Vanilla Ice?? I do!! He had that stupid song when we were little that became awesome again when we went to college and now we’re going to sing it! Isn’t that wacky? Who wants to be part of this never-before-attempted stab at hilarity? Ok, here we go! Stop, collaborate and listen, Ice is back with my brand new invention, something, that… dah da dah…. ummm What? I’ve never seen any of these words before. Anyone?? [Person who was about to type in “U Can’t Touch This” reconsiders his options.]