While we might have done some wonderful things for y'all with Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Black Sabbath and Radiohead, we have also sent you some terrible crimes against music. And while none of this really compares to Canada foisting Avril Lavigne and Nickleback on you, it's still not great. I'm here to hold my hands up for the collection of nations I call my home and say sorry. If it is true that for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction, then for every Radiohead there must be a Lily Allen, and for every Police there must be a Sting's solo career. We're trying, but we don't always get it right. Here are the worst offenders I can think of. Please add your own.
I get the impression that Mike Skinner might have convinced some people he is the rapping equivalent of a Guy Ritchie film, like "Lock, Stock..." or "Snatch." He is not a cockney. He is from Birmingham, England, a very long way away from London, and should have an accent more like Ozzy Osbourne (also a "Brummie," as they are called). You are not being sold a legitimate product here. It's like Bryan Adams releasing a country album with a Deep South twang he suddenly "discovered" for marketing purposes. Even worse, you are paying for music that contains insights like "Don't mug yaself mate no wat I meen" and "you're fit but my gosh, don't you just know it." Horrific.
Yes, Britain is also responsible for boring everyone to tears several times a minute, which I would imagine is how often Coldplay get played on the radio, in a commercial, or at a really awful dinner party. There's more feeling in one Elton John song than there is in an entire Coldplay album, and not only is that really saying something, Elton still doesn't play the piano in that ultra-annoying standing-with-eyes-closed way, Chris. Unfortunately I support a soccer team that plays in yellow, and someone with one functioning brain cell and hearing problems decided the semi-official club song should be, wait for it, "Yellow." Watch out, insert name of American sports team that plays in yellow here.3. Bush
Never even made it in the UK, and yet are named after a region of London, because that's where they're from. What did you all see in them? I often get their songs mixed up with Hole (no, I'm not sure how I can manage that either) who are of similar quality and also never made it in the UK. There appears to be a specific style of faux-grimy rock that the UK has managed to reject, even when the band in question is from there. That's a good thing.2. Mumford and Sons
Middle of the road pop-rock of the most generic sort has been a British specialty for some time now, and after Noah and the Whale came close to breaking America, Mumford and Sons noticed their formula (play an acoustic guitar really fast and have an emotionless voice) and used it to crush America in the palm of their hands. I find them totally unlistenable. I suspect a lot of you do as well, and to those people, I apologise for the British MOR scene. To all those that love them, and there are clearly a lot of you, what am I doing wrong? Did I miss something? Is there any reason I shouldn't listen to "Houdini" for the four thousandth time instead?
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
Fast-burning, globe-conquering, vocal "harmony" bands of one specific gender are also a British specialty. There's just something about the way we compile young people into a cynically-marketed musical enterprise that the whole world absolutely cannot get enough of. Your efforts of N*Sync and the Backstreet Boys had too much "edge" for the rest of the world, which is saying something, as they were about as sharp as a wooden spoon. So in summary, sorry everyone. Sorry about these "bands." We'll uncover another Led Zeppelin soon. Hell, even uncovering the original Led Zeppelin again works for me.