The 3 Most Overrated Female Musicians


I had such fun slagging overrated male rockers in this space, I decided to take on the distaff side.

There are fewer female musicians for me to hate, because a) there are fewer female musicians and b) I’m a chick.


It pains me to admit that I’m prone to the same irrational tribalism I denounce in others, but it’s true:

The second Sarah Palin strode onto that stage to accept the VP nomination, I turned into a six-year-old girl:

“A girl! A girl!! Yayyyyyy!!!”

I knew nothing about her policies. I didn’t care. I still don’t, much.

I have the t-shirts, the books, the old blog posts, and even the custom Keds to prove my blind, fangirl devotion.

Because female performers are easier for me to identify with, they’re harder for me to dislike.

But I managed to scrape together a trio…

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#3 – Sheryl Crow

When she dated Lance Armstrong, the nasty joke making the rounds was that Sheryl Crow is proof that cancer is contagious.

Mean, sure. But Crow is proof that good looks get some women much farther in life than they deserve.

Since Sheryl Crow burst onto the charts, I imagine thousands of singer-songwriter gals playing thankless, no-pay gigs in Nashville and New York have been muttering about how unfair it is that Crow is a star and they aren’t.

Many of them are correct, and I say that sight unseen — or rather, sound unheard.

Sheryl Crow is a star because she looks good, and her songs’ hooks override their many, many other, negative, qualities.


Take “Soak Up the Sun” and “All I Wanna Do” (which I actually thought were the same song until I had to look them up for this article).

Crow ingeniously overlayed toe-tapping, top-down road-trip tunes onto bitter whiny lyrics about being a broke loser in Los Angeles.

The same morons who thought “Born in the USA” was patriotic thought Crow’s songs were neo-Beach Boys paeans to summer. All I heard were foot-dragging, droning dirges, sung by a hungover woman shuffling around downtown L.A. looking for a cheap breakfast joint at 11 a.m.

She had some other songs, but I forget what they are.

I feel slightly bad about ragging on Sheryl Crow though, since I just found out she agrees with me that Jim Morrison was overrated.


#2: Lady Gaga

As a homely girl made good in the music biz, Lady Gaga kind of messes up my Sheryl Crow theory.

However, I have a theory about Lady Gaga, too:

She had an older sister who had a friend who had a bunch of Nina Hagen and Lene Lovich, a Candy Darling scrapbook plus a VHS copy of the 1980 British movie Breaking Glass and a DVD of Hedwig and the Angry Inch.

The sister borrowed them all and never gave them back.

Then Lady Gaga found them and built her persona from these building blocks, thinking no one else would notice.


After all, who else had ever heard of these obscure people?

She was right, because 99% of humans have no sense of history or culture. Their idea of an “old movie” is Star Wars.

Lady Gaga got rich on the indifferent stupidity and un-sophistication of the average person.

Plus the fact that her political message is mainstream but her appearance remains slightly daring — if, as I said, derivative.

Lady Gaga is that contradiction in terms — mass-market rebellion — of the sort we haven’t been forced to endure since Hair.

My other theory is that Lady Gaga will be blamed for a suicide epidemic in the near future, but that’s another article.

Anyway, here is the woman Lady Gaga stole half her career from:

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#1: Chrissie Hynde

Speaking of which:

Chrissie Hynde has the career Johnette Napolitano of Concrete Blonde should have had.

Maybe Hynde made a pact with the devil.

(That might explain the group’s accursed inability to maintain a stable lineup.)

Look: “Brass in Pocket” is a dumb song. All their songs are un-hummable, tedious, and indistinguishable, except for “Back on the Chain Gang,” the one song I’ll grant is well above average.


One good song in thirty years.

When Hynde whines “I’ll stand by you,” it sounds more like a threat than a promise. You want to yell, “No thanks, I’ll be fine…”

Chrissie Hynde is a boring lead singer, besides being a smug, humourless leftoid.

It’s like she’s taken a handful of Quaalude and is now trying to imitate (the infinitely superior) Joan Jett.

If Hynde were a man, the band would never have risen above the pub rock scene.

She slept with a few of the right guys, though…

Yeah, you bought their first album when it came out. Have you listened to it since? Do you ever crave a Pretenders song? Of course not.

The Pretenders are in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, which is all you need to know about the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Admit it: This woman got robbed…

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