The student news site of Los Altos High School in Los Altos, California

The Talon

The student news site of Los Altos High School in Los Altos, California

The Talon

The student news site of Los Altos High School in Los Altos, California

The Talon

Talon Top 5: Overrated Musical Artists

1. Lady Gaga

Known for her synth-heavy dance tracks, catchy vocal hooks and extraterrestrial sense of fashion, Lady Gaga broke out into the music scene a few years ago. The title of her debut album, “The Fame” (2008), raises a fine question: Why is a person like Lady Gaga famous?

While Lady Gaga has created a great deal of hype through her glam-rock image and rumors of bisexuality (given outrageous lyrics such as “I’m bluffin’ with my muffin”), her tracks are cheap thrills. Frequently produced with a heavy kick, bland synths and vocals edited to an extreme, these are songs that will make people “just dance,” and only that.

After a few listens, Lady Gaga’s tunes become unbearable to most human ears. Many music buyers overlook the truth as they pay more for her image than for anything else.

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2. Owl City

Owl City, frequently mistaken for a band, is actually just singer Adam Young. Recently, the synth-pop project’s third album “Ocean Eyes” (2009) has become his most successful album by far.

Owl City failed as an alternative band long ago and therefore grabbed onto techno’s coattails to create a unique sound that would attract him some attention.

The single “Fireflies” recently hit the top of the US charts and captured the hearts of many fans, apparently bug-loving individuals who adored Young’s light and breathy helium-inspired vocals and the playful nature of the song. However, the tune is the only one that has taken off—pun not intended.

The song now completely overshadows the very average and uninspired collection of songs on the album. Who actually knows Owl City’s other songs?


LMFAO is an electro house group that has amassed an impressive fan base on the Internet, mostly people who prefer to go hardcore clubbing in their own rooms.

Remixes of popular songs such as “Paranoid” by Kanye West, songs such as “Yes” and “I’m in Miami Bitch” from the “Party Rock” (2009) album are well-produced and catchy. However, they are extremely repetitive and unnecessarily crude (not to mention member Sky Blu’s crotch grab is the focal point of the album art).

LMFAO’s rapping, when not featuring guest artists, is reminiscent of that of a drunken baby. The fact that the word “shots” is repeated 64 times over the course of the song “Shots” (among a myriad of four-letter words) confirms the monotony from which the band often suffers.

In sum, LMFAO’s records sound as if they are permanently broken.

4. Kings of Leon

Kings of Leon is the band that all music hipsters like to brag that they discovered on their own, which is, frankly, quite pretentious and lame.

Intensely blogged about on the Internet, this American rock band from Tennessee, consisting of all brothers, has about the same musical knowledge as LMFAO. Around the release of its first album in 2003, the 16-year-old youngest brother had to learn the bass guitar before performing onstage.

Although songs like “Sex on Fire” and “Use Somebody” featured on “Only By the Night” (2008) have fared well on the charts, it is notable that the band has borrowed several bass licks from other bands of its genre and repeats similar song structures. Too bad this band has received so much recognition for its “fresh” sound.

Additionally, the band thirsts for better lyrics, since it seems that many center on wanting to “use somebody,” or have sexual intercourse with a random person in the crowd. Few music buyers make this connection.

5. U2

U2 is an Irish rock band that from the late ‘80s to early ‘90s reached the peak of its international renown with albums such as “The Joshua Tree” (1987), which received rave reviews by music critics.

Over the years, the group has released 12 albums and dozens of singles. The fact that albums have been churned out faster than they can be listened to is probably the reason that the band has established itself as the most commercial of its genre.

U2’s overbearing message and allusions to religion constitute the band’s music as a constant call to action. While its work in charity should be commended, the average music buyers should not have to feel like attending a lecture every time they plug in their headphones.

U2 is the band that music listeners can always brag about being into. The band has not released a solid album in years (“Zooropa,” 1993), is getting older and lacks inspiration for new material. Maybe it’s time to go back to Ireland.

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