Okay, all week we've heard from critics and fans alike as they share their favorite albums, songs and moments in music from 2012. But enough about the good stuff! Now it's time to the Soundcheck 2012 Music Survey on its head as we ask music critic Maura Johnston and SPIN senior editor Chris Weingarten about the music that made them writhe in agony this year.
Maura Johnston and Chris Weingarten Share Their Picks For the Worst Music of 2012
1) Least Favorite Album -- The Script, #3
A nightmare Frankenstein of white-boy rap, lowest common demonimator EDM, and the idea that a "rock band" is still a thing you can be.
2) Least Favorite Song -- P.O.D., "West Coast Rock Steady"
Nu-metal mook stalwarts still lumber on a decade past their expiration date and rip off, of all things, Grizzly Bear's "Two Weeks" to stay relevant.
3) Least Favorite newcomer -- Alt-J
A mealy indie-rock gruel barely bolstered by thin, noodly attempts at "prog rock," paired with a sour whine.
4) Biggest Musical Disappointment -- Why?, Mumps, etc.
One of alt-rock's most vivid lyricists devolves into delivering bad hip-hop punchlines.
5) Worst Music Trend Of 2012 -- Mumford/Lumineers/Old Crow Medicine Show
The second cousins of Mumford craft "Hey!"-filled tracks more concerned with recreating a sullen round-the-campfire camraderie than with sounding like any fun at all. Also, reduces country to its twee-est signifiers and creates the illusion of the "authentic" in an era when that division is corny and outdated.
6) Least Memorable Concert -- The Grammys performance with Deadmau5, Chris Brown and Foo Fighters.
They tried to put EDM on TV, they tried to make EDM palatable to rock fans. They succeeded in embarrassing everyone involved, casting a pall on their tribute to Don Cornelius.
7) Artist Who Disappointed In 2012, But You Still Have Hope For In 2013 -- Christina Aguilera
This year, Christina Aguilera put out an uneven pop record called Lotus. She tried on different styles and took on a lot of people who have criticized her. But, there are some wonderful dance pop songs on the album that show that she can still be a really compelling star.