Overrated: One of the Worst Words

Alkadikce
Every Most Overrated XXX list turns out to be the same: the mixture of the Best XXX and Worst XXX lists. I might sound hypocritical since I made a quite big remix of Top Ten Most Overrated Songs, and I must have used this word a few times. I regret most of those actions.

First of all, let's look how the word overrated is interpreted in the list. The first place is held by The Beatles. Why do people find it overrated? It's obvious: they are probably the most famous music artist after the second world war, they and their members/songs are always considered among the best. Second is Nirvana: they are one of the most famous bands again, but the people voting on them (including me) think that their legacy does not justify their success, and maybe a severe proportion of their fame only exists because of Kurt Cobain's suicide. The 3rd item used to be One Direction (now it is Linkin Park), which I don't really understand: they are hated by almost everyone (at least on this site). There are strange arguments that state than even one person liking them would make them overrated.

There are bands on the list that are the most famous of their genre, but not the best (at least according to the voters): Nirvana (grunge), Pink Floyd (progressive rock), Linkin Park (nu-metal), Green Day (pop-punk), The Chainsmokers (EDM), Daft Punk (electronic) or Dream Theater (progressive metal). Overall, the top 100 of the list is like the top 35 of the list Best Rock Bands of All Time and the top 65 of Top Ten Worst Bands Ever bulked together.

Now let's see why this term should be less used. First, what is wrong with somebody liking a popular band? Why would you despise someone's musical taste just because he mostly listens to wide-known artists? What's your aim with calling something overrated? Luckily, the word overrated is almost exclusively used about entertainment. Imagine how bad a list Most Overrated Religions would be!

Let's make a comparison. According to most people, Pink Floyd is probably much more overrated than (let's say) Porcupine Tree. However, before people say Bach is overrated, they mostly don't think that being the most famous also means having the most influence and helping a genre become more popular the most. Maybe if Pink Floyd didn't exist, half as people would not even know other progressive rock bands, because nothing would have raised their interests. However, I must say I am perfectly satisfied with Pink Floyd's #155 rank on this list after I expected to see them in the top 20.

Take a look on how I (wrongly) used the word overrated. I am sure I once voted for The Rolling Stones on this list. Why did I vote for them? I know that they are considered one of the best early rock bands, but I didn't like them after listening to a few songs by them. It's this simple. Am I authorized to judge the whole population's music taste? Because calling something overrated means that: a band has about 15 million fans worldwide and I think they should have just about 1 million because I don't like them. Even if I can give reasons why they are not as good as people think, it means that I want millions of people to change their music taste.

I wonder how much some people bothered listening to these bands before calling them overrated. Just as you don't call a one-hit-wonder one of the best music artists for one very good song, don't call Deep Purple overrated just for Smoke on the Water. Just having a few overrated songs or an overrated guitarist does not make the band overrated.

We all know how much offence and anger does this word blow among the fans. I have once seen a comment (it was in caps) how the frick frack snick snack is Led Zeppelin overrated? No matter how famous a music artist is, their fans never claim it to be overrated. That shows how the word has an obviously negative meaning. Sometimes we say things like overrated does not mean bad or something which is overrated can be still good but one can't deny that this word is usually a cloving. Why should we make some fans offended just because the music artist (or movie, if that's the case) they love is popular, maybe too popular?

I can't leave it out how there are many people who don't even use this word in its already arguable original meaning. Why is Jonas Brothers on this list? Almost everybody hates them, there isn't such popularity that one can call them overrated for it (I haven't even heard of some bands on the list like Joy Division, Duran Duran or the gazzettE). It also seems like some people just think every famous band is overrated, regardless of genre and their music itself: popular = overrated. Another mistake is when the hurt fans think this is a duplication of the list Top Ten Worst Bands Ever.

I also think overrated should sometimes be interpreted for one person's opinion. Example: Blue Öyster Cult's Astronomy is not an overrated song in my opinion. However, I massively overrate it: I listen to it too many times and think too much good about it. The real meaning of overrated is just the same extended to the whole population. It is like telling others what they listen to too much. Sounds arrogant, doesn't it?

A word that is offensive but wasn't meant to be, that treats your opinion as a fact, that ignores the influence of classics and people don't even use it properly. I am glad this does not exist in my language: although we have a word túlértékelt which means the same thing, most people around me don't care about how famous something is when judging its quality.

Overrated is the most overrated word!

Comments

The same can be said about the word "Underrated" as well. - Joeljohns249

I don't necessarily thinks so. Underrated is generally a positive word, it does not fuel offense. It is also less agressive: when you call something overrated you tell people not to like it so much. When you call something underrated, you usually mean that there are too few people who have even heard of them. Underrated is also used more properly. - Alkadikce

You missed my point. For eg. Metal as a genre is widely accepted as an Underrated genre. Yet on the list "Best Music Genres", Heavy Metal still claims #1 spot. Similarly, the band "Rush" is widely considered as an Underrated band by music critics and fans alike. However, Rush currently claims the #13 spot on the list "Best Rock-bands". Which brings me to my point that both the words "Overrated" and "Underrated" are almost often mistakenly used in the wrong context. - Joeljohns249

Metal is #1 on Best Music Genres, but only on this site. If you start asking people on the street which music genres they like, not metal would be the most common answer. As for Rush, I agree with you. - Alkadikce

The "Most Overrated Rappers" list is even worse on this regard.

Good post. Although I tend to use overrated at times, I try to use them in appropriate deliveries and justify it. - CrimsonShark

Seems pretty rustled to me - Puga

Couldn't agree more the word "overrated" is overused and dare I say overrated. It should just be changed to what the list should be called _____that I didn't care for but others did - germshep24

Overrated isn't that agressive. It's just used in an opinion and I agree it's overused, but you know things can be popular and not overrated as well. - Userguy44

I think that, there's nothing wrong with calling something overrated. However, some people really overreact to the word, and take it the wrong way. - visitor

Why is this ancient post still featured on the "Newest" list? Everyone knows this word sucks, it's not that interesting to hear for the 1000000th time - CrashThyDiamond

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