The Orion

Best tunes for torture

Zachary Phillips

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Zachary Phillips


I once told my friend that I’d rather be water-boarded than listen to Katy Perry’s “Roar” one more time.

Although I was being hyperbolic, it turns out that these two forms of torture really aren’t that different.

In an article for the Huffington Post, Andy Worthington offers the reader a teaser to his book “The Guantanamo Files,” detailing the CIA’s use of pop music as a torture device.

Worthington’s article quotes several Guantanamo detainees who were subjected to prolonged exposure to songs such as Queen’s “We Will Rock You,” and the theme song to “Barnie & Friends.”

At first, this story seemed like something out of a James Bond movie. However, a quick look back on music in the last year has me thinking otherwise.

Here are some recent popular tunes that could easily break the toughest of intelligence operatives.

“Let It Go” from Disney’s “Frozen”

Honestly, I’ve heard this song so much since Disney’s “Frozen” first came out, I’m pretty sure there has already been some irreparable psychological damage.

The shrillness of the vocals coupled with the cheesy broadway feel blend perfectly to make a truly formidable torture song.

The only thing that could be worse is a mashup of all the song’s terrible covers that still seem to plague my Facebook feed.

“Hard Out Here” by Lilly Allen

To be honest, I’m not quite sure what it is about “Hard Out Here” that makes it particularly tortuous to hear.

Maybe it’s the perky piano beat. Maybe it’s the flutter of Lilly Allen’s auto-tuned voice. Maybe it’s the incessant repetition of “bitch” to fill up empty space.

On second thought, any of Lilly Allen’s songs would work well.

“Hello Kitty” by Avril Lavigne

Miss Lavigne’s latest single has taken the nation by storm, but not in a good way. Upon its release, it quickly gained notoriety as one of the most obnoxious tracks to ever be released.

After a minute and a half of Avril Lavigne’s keening, I felt my mental constitution weaken.

After a second listen, it felt as if Satan himself was beckoning me to come, come kitty.

With songs like these at its disposal, the CIA should have no problem carrying a big stick, or in this case, a big stereo.

Zachary Phillips can be reached at [email protected] or @ZachSPhillips on Twitter.

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Best tunes for torture