BWC Writers’ Guilty Pleasure SongsMusic — By Robert Ham on March 19, 2007 at 12:00 am
Being a fan of rather outre music, I have never felt the need to justify or try to explain away why I like a song that most people would turn their noses up at or mock you for liking. So, I was a bit hesitant about asking our music writers to tell you, our fair readers, what songs they carry in their iTunes playlist or on their iPods as guilty pleasures. Why should anyone be ashamed?!? Scream it from the rooftops!!
Then I read their lists….
I hate to stand in judgment of anyone, especially after going through my iPod for my skeletons, but some of these lists are horrifying. Don’t get me wrong, it is a good thing to be able to admit this stuff but I have to say that I will be looking at some of them a little more suspiciously from here on after reading these.
Feel free to open up your playlists and let your secret songs out for all the world to read in our comments section below. We promise not to make fun of you. Well, maybe a little.
Adam P. Newton
Lead Me On – Amy Grant: I’ve always carried a torch for Mrs. Gill (or is Vince now Mr. Grant??), and this is simply my favorite song off her best album. I make no apologies for my love for Amy Grant. It’s too bad that Christians hated her for so many years — this woman actually knows how to write a honest song about her faith without watering it down for radio play and easy record sales.
Toxic – Britney Spears: This is simply a killer track with a driving beat. Even if the girl has gone wacko, it doesn’t diminish how great this song is as a single. The dark, minor key string swells mixed with a solid guitar riff mixed with a vinyl airline stewardess outfit — is there anything wrong with that?
Somebody Told Me – The Killers: This band is the definition of hipster guilty pleasure: ’80s synth lines, emo-style lyrics filled with whiny jealousy, tons of radio play, and it’s STILL a song that you can’t shake from your head. Mr. Flowers — leave Jersey to The Boss and return to Las Vegas while you still can.
Fix You – Coldplay: Admit it folks. Just go ahead and admit it. We’ve all sung along with Mr. Martin when he launches into the big vamp at the end of the song. In fact, if you’re too afraid to do it yourself, I’ll sing with you this time. “Tears stream down your face….”
Kiss Me – Sixpence None The Richer: Forget all of those worthless teen movies & how overplayed this song became on the radio and high school proms for about 2-3 years around the turn of the millennium. This was always a fun, breezy, lighthearted song about idealistic young lovers from a deep and talented band that too many people didn’t appreciate because they only know this song. But still, I love this song….
Goodbye Horses – Psyche: Something tells me Psyche had a lot of Tears for Fears records lying around when they wrote this one.
Super Mario Bros. (arr. Clint Woltering) – Momus Trombone Quartet: A trombone quartet performs the traditional Super Mario theme from the original NES game from levels 1-1 and 1-2. Brings back memories of many sunny afternoons spent in front of the television, swearing my eight year old head off at one Italian plumber for falling into the hole between the big green pipes.
Like A Stone – Audioslave: For me, there’s no shame in loving Rage Against the Machine or if you prefer Soundgarden, there,s nothing wrong with that, either. But Audioslave is a different animal and it’s not to par with its lineage. However, “Like A Stone” does away with the strutting, Zeppelin-esque blues riffs that overpower songs like “Cochise” and haunts its way into my daydreams. “Iiiiiin your hoooouse, I looooong to beeeeee…”
Frijolero – Molotov: It doesn’t take a Spanish speaker to figure out that these guys are mad at the INS. You only need to know a few Spanish swear words, and even that’s not necessary. This catchy Mexi-rocker’s title literally means “beaner.” Heh. When’s the last time you heard someone rap over an accordion?
Memphis Will Be Laid to Waste – Norma Jean: I don’t like music with screaming, but this song, from Norma Jean’s Bless the Martyr, Kiss the Child features Josh Scogan (now of The Chariot) on vocals and killer metalcore riffing and double bass. Ping-ponging between murderous ferocity and squint-eyed brooding, it delivers an all-out final blow as Aaron Weiss of mewithoutYou delivers a haunting verse over the final outing riff as Scogan delivers a his baritone scream. Invokes images of dark, muddy wooded areas, rabid wolves, and shotguns. Mmm, shotguns.
(What’s The Story) Morning Glory? – Oasis: Helicopters, sirens, awesome rock guitars, lyrics that make no sense whatsoever. Conclusive proof that Liam Gallagher has never quite got his head around the whole less is more concept. Makes me want to buy a machine gun in a good way.
Breakfast – Newsboys: Hellfire, damnation and breakfast cereal – only in the world of conservative Christian pop could such an alliance sound so irritatingly catchy. Wayne Coyne wishes he could be this warped. Disturbingly, over 10 years later I still find myself humming, “They don’t serve breakfast in Hell,” every time I see a packet of Cheerios.
Baby Don’t Cry – INXS: Sorry. I know it’s awful and it has trumpets and early ’90s not quite singing not quite shouting vocals but I’ve listened to this song about three times a week since 1992 and though I know this makes me a bad person, I don’t want to stop yet.
Spinning Around – Kylie Minogue: From one underrated Australian to another. I love Kylie. I have 11 Kylie records and I have seen her in concert. It was the third best show of my life. She wore nine different frocks in two hours. She should be taken seriously as a serious artist. I am not even the smallest bit ashamed about this one.
Wild Boys – Duran Duran: If Lord of the Flies had a soundtrack, it would sound exactly like this. New Romantics running through the jungle in leather headbands and eyeshadow, shouting a lot and banging sticks – what’s not to like?
Michael Dallas Miller
The Seed – Cody ChestnuTT: The Roots made this song popular but it was originally released on a low budget album called The Headphone Masterpiece. This album is without a doubt one of the most debauched and vulgar albums to have ever sounded from my stereo. But, it is also some the best bluesy soulful hip hop music I ever heard. I just have to make sure that my mother and/or prospective girlfriends don’t stumble across this one.
Only Wanna Be With You – Hootie and the Blowfish: This is a tune that has somehow survived in my library since middle school. I like to play it whenever I feel like going shopping for Abercrombie hats and Timberland boots with my golf buddies. By the way, do you realize that this song contains the lyrics, “I’m such a baby/’cause the dolphins made me cry”?!?!?!?!?! WTF? (ed: I do believe that Mr. Rucker is referring to the Miami Dolphins in this song. Regardless, you might have to be barred from contributing further to the BWC site for admitting that you have this song on your computer.)
Thug Love – Bone Thugs N Harmony: The infamous rap song whose beat is comprised of the cocking and firing of a shot gun. I like to crank this one up when I want to suspend my white middle class reality for four or five minutes. Plus, it freaks the hell out of the home schooled kid who lives down the hall.
Lua – Bright Eyes: I once saw a documentary about the Coachella music festival and there was a segment that featured Bright Eyes performing this song. At the end of segment it showed an 18 year old girl crying her eyes out. I said to myself, “There is no way that I should be able to associate myself with that.” But, dammit, somehow, I do. I guess sometime you just gotta emo.
Wind It Up – Gwen Stefani: I have had a crush on Gwen every since she left the punk scene. I’m not proud to say it, but I own both her albums. They embody everything about pop that I hate, but for some reason I keep coming back. There is something completely irresistible about a beautiful blonde women yodeling.
The Way We Were – Barbara Streisand: OK, so I know this is probably the sappiest song ever created by mankind…but I have to admit, it gets me every time. Plus, it’s one of the best sing in the shower songs ever.
Papa Don’t Preach – Madonna: I can’t listen to this song in public because I always start doing this weird little ’80s dance.
Walk Away – Kelly Clarkson: While I can honestly say I never really jumped on the Kelly Clarkson bandwagon, I secretly love grooving to “Walk Away.” It’s one of those songs that just makes you feel cool, but at the same time slightly embarrassed that you like it.
Working for the Weekend – Loverboy: Come on, it’s not that bad of a song. After all it was in Zoolander.
What’s Left of Me – Nick Lachey: I hate admitting that I listen to any pop idol music but this song just sticks to me. This is my “get depressed and cry when I really don’t have anything to be sad about” song, it feels great. I think everyone should have a song for that.
My Love – Justin Timberlake: Let’s face it – the guy was in N’Sync and dated the now hairless Britney, but Boy Wonder can drop beats with tha thunder. Not to mention hosting AND fulfilling the musical end of things on SNL. I think Timberlake has got what it takes. This song, though wrong for so many moral reasons, is interesting and different sounding (with some cool pulsing synth noises and beat-boxing by the man, himself) and within the realm of R&B, originality is no easy feat.
Since You’ve Been Gone – Kelly Clarkson: Truth be told, this song kicks SERIOUS arse. Even though it probably took half a year to get the crispness and filtration of the end product, and is not a really original song in any way, this tune makes anyone from a pimply teen to a disheveled balding man pump their fist and sing along along at the top of their angst-dripping lungs.
New Girl Now – Honeymoon Suite: Any song that commences with the words “Hot summer nights” always wins some kind of prize. I saw the video for this song the other day – oh joyous delight that it was. In a way, these glam-rock musicians are therapists telling you to get over a bad relationship by starting a new one. Come on, now – THAT is the best kind of therapy you can BUY!
St. Elmo’s Fire (Man In Motion) – John Parr: Fresh from the soundtrack of a film touting a list of heart-throbbing brazen ’80s stars (Rob Lowe, Emilio Estevez and Demi Moore), this song gets you up and moving and into your day with a glory leap. Heavenly blasting horns and driving late eighties power music make this track a gem for the ages.
99 Problems – Jay Z: Being an old school rap wizard (try me, anyone, I dare you – late ’80s and up), I cannot feel anything but glee for this hard-hittin’ “back to tha hood” rhymefest. I don’t really care for the Z Man but this track seems like you could be listening to old LL Cool J or Beasties (and I’m pretty sure the main beat was sampled from one of the two as they are both property of Rick Rubin – the Def Jam Records pimp daddy) and it just makes you want to throw down some dope beats and rhymes, yo.
Beautiful – Christina Aguilera: Even my girlfriend, a fan of Blink 182 and Dave Matthews…even she makes fun of me for this one. Lyrically, there are some strange moments, like when Christina sings “Words can’t bring me down/So don’t you bring me down today.” If they can’t hurt, then how could you be brought down? Also, who would’ve thought Christina would’ve ended up classier than Britney Spears? What an upset!
Never Gonna Give You Up – Rick Astley: This is actually an ironic buy, because of a great moment in the show Always Sunny in Philadelphia where Dennis is singing this in his car. Man, I can’t wait ’til season 3. I like including it as the closing track on mix CDs. You won’t believe the video for this song.
Never Ever – All Saints: I still don’t understand why these guys didn’t beat out the skanky Spice Girls. They had better voices. They were hotter. They were just a few months too late. Don’t believe me? Here’s the video. If you can get by the dim-witted spoken intro, you’re golden.
Must’ve Been Love – Roxette: Just an all around great song. So good I don’t even know if it counts as a guilty pleasure. You might be able to tell I’ve got a thing for pop ballads sung by women.
Hold On – Wilson Phillips: And I’m going to continue with that theme. I loved these girls. Especially the Wilson sisters (not so much Chynna Phillips). They could sing the hell out of a song, and can you imagine Carnie Wilson becoming famous today?
Ah…those magical early ’90s.
The Name Game – Shirley Ellis: I am still a little unsure how this song ended up in my iTunes, but I am even more unsure as to why I feel the need to listen to it so dang often, often bo boften, banana-fana, fo foften, me my mo moften, often.
Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown) – the Fiery Furnaces: Don’t get me wrong. I love the band, but this has to be one of the worst, most pretentious versions of this song I have ever heard. Really, they should have known better. And I should know better than to torture myself with it.
Love Drive – Scorpions: Growing up in a small town in the ’80s, heavy metal was everywhere. So, I must have assimilated it by osmosis because there is something about that effeminate screech of Klaus Meine and the ridiculous power riffs that makes my spine crackle with joy.
S.O.S. – Rhianna: For some reason, this is the really embarrassing one for me. It brings together my undying appreciation for both the Soft Cell version of “Tainted Love” and female soul/R&B singers.
Too Little Too Late – JoJo: Nothing in the world can justify my love of this song. Nothing.