Ten Worst Songs of 2013 – 9. “Shameless” by Lissie
Published on November 20th, 2013 | Jonny Abrams
We continue our countdown of the ten worst songs of 2013 with what we consider to be resoundingly its ninth worst: “Shameless” by Lissie, an “American folk rock artist and Paste magazine’s No. 1 best new solo artist of 2010”.
The words ‘folk’, ‘rock’ and ‘artist’ are all misleading in their own respective ways, albeit not half as much as ‘best’. “Shameless” is indeed shameless, so ding ding ding on the ‘lack of self-awareness’ front.
Basically, “Shameless” is a not-so-gallant attempt to dress an insipid teeny bopper anthem up as something angsty, doing so by a) putting a trendy rasping effect on the vocal, and b) saying ‘fuck’ in it. Think Meredith Brooks meets Avril Lavigne.
Yes, it’s petulant, mind-numbingly formulaic trash that sees itself as some kind of protest anthem against the very hype that she’d have had to rely upon had it been the hit that she and/or her label – Sony, your guarantee of dissatisfaction – so clearly yearned for.
“I don’t want to be famous” sings Lissie, but we beg to differ on account of its ticking far too many ‘target market’ boxes to be anything other than music by committee.
Well, there was one oversight: “Shameless” was released on 7″, which raised the question of who on Earth would buy this on 7″? Put another way, how many 12-year-old-girls collect vinyl?
The word ‘fuck’ is shoehorned in on two separate occasions, and we do mean shoehorned. Think how crucial ‘fuck’ is to the impact of “Fuck you, I won’t do what you tell me!” or “You know they don’t give a fuck about anybody else”; the emphasis of the phrasing rests on it, bringing the anger exhilaratingly to the surface.
On “Shameless”, it arrives firstly as an afterthought (“I stole your magazine / The one with the beauty queen on the front / I see her look at me, I swear that it is mockingly / What the fuck?”) and secondly as an exhortation (“Now everybody fucking sing”) to join in with its piss-weak chorus.
Neither instance is in the least bit necessary, save for fueling delusion that absolutely any adult person would want to listen to this. The sheer cynicism – nay, front – of it is downright insulting.
Parental advisory? Fuck off.