[Editor's note: Why This Song Sucks determines why particular tracks blow using science. It appears on West Coast Sound every Wednesday.]
Song: Hot Chelle Rae's “I Like It Like That,” featuring New Boyz
History:“I Like It Like That” is the second single from Hot Chelle Rae's sophomore album, Whatever (which, incidentally, is probably the most perfectly chosen album name of all albums' names). It features a guest appearance from both members of New Boyz (whoops; see below). Currently it is number 29 on Billboard's Top 100 chart. I hope you're proud of yourself, America.
Atmospherics: Chunky, itchy, digitized tomfoolery. Somehow, none of the verses end with the suggestion that you visit Free Credit Report dot com.
Scientific Analysis: For shame, Hot Chelle Rae is what passes for a boy band these days. They are entirely devoid of character. Or, rather, more importantly, they're entirely devoid of characters. Boy bands should have pieces. They should be pseudo-complicated and hyper-dynamic. HCR is the opposite.
They've reduced the whole schism down to a single egalitarian component: They're all trying to be The Cool One, and fuck, man, EVERYONE can't be The Cool One. That's why they call him The Cool goddamn ONE.
Look at New Kids on the Block, arch boy band from the 1980s. They got that shit perfect. There were all sorts of pieces. They had:
Step 1-1-1: The Guy Nobody Knew What To Do With Because He Looked Like He Might've Been 32 Years Old (Danny Wood, aka The Italian-Looking Guy). He was handsome, but only in a fleeting sort of manner. If you looked at him for longer than three seconds, his whole face changed. The people in charge knew that. Watch their videos. He's only ever briefly in them. Every group needs this guy.
Step 2-2-2: The Badass Who Wasn't Really A Badass (Donnie Wahlberg). He was always riding motorcycles or just running and jumping over shit in the videos. He never NEVER jumped over anything while riding the motorcycle though.
Step 3-3-3: The Stereotypical Heartthrob (Jordan Knight). He was the lead singer. His eyebrows were unassailable. And he always said things in interviews that made girls think he was talking directly to them. Nobody has ever played this role better than Jordan Knight. No. Bah. Dee.
Step 4-4-4: The Young One (Joey McIntyre). A small kid with a winning smile from an Irish-American Catholic family? Please. That's a gift from God, yo. He was built for this role. He. Was. ADOOOORABLE. Put that kid in a tuxedo and watch girls fall the fuck over themselves trying to buy his posters or scented stickers or whatever.
Step 5-5-5: The Guy No One Really Paid Attention To (Jonathan Knight). He later admitted to being gay. Everyone already knew.
You know what pieces HCR has? A guy that looks like he really, really liked Ryan Phillippe in Cruel Intentions, a guy that looks like Russell Brand, and two other guys. That's it. That's all.
(I) “You're a Jerk” has lost all of its sonic charm.
(II) Hot Chelle Rae is exactly as complicated as you'd expect them to be.
(III) Still, nobody knows how old Danny Wood is? 150?
(IV) NKOTB should consider coming out with some new music that sounds like their old music.