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The Most Unwanted Song

Maister

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I'm curious how many here have heard before of the "Most Unwanted Song", or are familiar with its premise.

This composition was created by three guys: musician, David Soldier and two Russian born conceptual artists, Vitaly Komar and Alexander Melamid. You might recognize the names Komar and Melamid as being the guys that came up with the concept of designing the "ideal" painting for various nationalities based entirely on survey responses to various art-related questions. They did essentially same thing but this time for music. They created a 'most wanted song' for Americans based on polling information, but also devised a 'most unwanted song' based on the worst polling numbers.

Composer, David Soldier had this to say about the project:
The Most Unwanted Music is over 25 minutes long, veers wildly between loud and quiet sections, between fast and slow tempos, and features timbres of extremely high and low pitch, with each dichotomy presented in abrupt transition. The most unwanted orchestra was determined to be large, and features the accordion and bagpipe (which tie at 13% as the most unwanted instrument), banjo, flute, tuba, harp, organ, synthesizer (the only instrument that appears in both the most wanted and most unwanted ensembles). An operatic soprano raps and sings atonal music, advertising jingles, political slogans, and "elevator" music, and a children's choir sings jingles and holiday songs. The most unwanted subjects for lyrics are cowboys and holidays, and the most unwanted listening circumstances are involuntary exposure to commericals and elevator music. Therefore, it can be shown that if there is no covariance—someone who dislikes bagpipes is as likely to hate elevator music as someone who despises the organ, for example—fewer than 200 individuals of the world's total population would enjoy this piece.
Personally, I think the Most Unwanted Song is so bad it's good. And I mean 'good' in a humorous way. Where else can you hear opera singers rapping about cowboys with tuba and accordions backing it up? I doubt many would want to sit and listen to this 25 minute composition from start to finish, but I do encourage you to skip around and listen to 20 second snippets throughout the song to get a feel for how hilariously awkward this song is.
 
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Dan

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Komar and Melamid! An artsy girlfriend introduced me to them during my Cleveland years, including the Most Wanted Song and Most Unwanted Song. And does anybody like children singing?

Today, the elements that would go into a Most Wanted Song are probably a bit different than what M&K came up with in 1997. My allergist plays a local light rock / "listen at work" radio station at their office, and the playlist is really limited -- a lot of Maroon 5, and a lot of "empowering" pop from female artists. It's a sure thing that I'll hear Meet Me in the Middle by Maren Morris during my 30 minute post-shot wait, and one or more of the following at least once.

* Rachel Platten - Fight Song
* Colbie Caillat - Try
* Sia - Unstoppable
* Alessia Cara - Scars to Your Beautiful
* Kelly Clarkson - Stronger

Same thing if I go to any chain pharmacy. Maroon 5, Meet Me in the Middle, and empowering pop on a loop.

Another thing most of the songs have in common: Millennial whoops. Lots of millennial whoops.

Meet Me in the Middle has a female vocalist with a generic autotune-enhanced voice, feat. artists, Millennial whoops, and simple, repetitive lyrics. It's so "good", it's bad. Pretty much, it's today's Most Wanted Song.


Then again ...

 

Dan

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Komar and Melamid also did an installation with the Most Wanted Painting and Least Wanted Painting from different countries.

This was the Most Wanted Painting for the United States.



The most wanted painting for most countries looked fairly similar -- nature scenes, families, wildlife, and historic figures. For example, France.



Denmark.



Russia.



Kenya.



Not the Netherlands, though.

 
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