Sunday, September 20, 2009

Guilty Pleasures

I don’t know why putting this list together was more difficult than it was. It should have been fairly simple but my Guilty Pleasures list has been in flux for the past few months. There was really no criteria but I ended up eschewing 80s one-hit wonders, hip-hop and "oldies" and for some reason, my list is 90s heavy. In the end, the consensus was that the artist name alone had to elicit some degree of embarrassment and shame in us. Here you have it.


Alanis Morissette - "Head Over Feet" (1995)
I hated "You Oughta Know." And there was that one year at Chinese Youth Camp where you couldn't walk 10 feet without hearing little girls singing "Ironic" in every hallway. This is, however, her finest hour. Showing considerable restraint, she reigns in her weird, (normally) annoying vocal tics and gives us a simple, honest love song. The rest is forgiven.

Song: Great choice and actually the only Alanis song that I like (i particularly like the ending with her random LaLas and showing off her harmonica skills)

Gwyneth Paltrow & Huey Lewis - "Cruisin" (2000)
The guilty pleasurelessness of this song is directly correlated to how obnoxious you find Mrs. Coldplay. By GOOP's mere existence, this song automatically shoots to the top of the GP list. To paraphrase Lewis Black: "If you have a vision of how you want to live your life, and you go onto GOOP and Gwyneth's lifestyle guidance is the vision you had? Kill yourself." In all fairness, her voice is surprisingly pretty great here, and a fine match to Huey Lewis's grizzled croon. Light, clear... in a sense, it's exactly how you'd figure an Ice Princess would sound. The drum machine is corny as all get-out.

Jimmy Ray - "Are You Jimmy Ray?" (1997)
Let's face it - everything about this song is retarded. The lyrics: who are all these Rays people are mistaking him for? Where are the REAL Rays? Fay Wray! Billy Ray! 1/2 of Harlem Heat, Stevie Ray! The video: bikini-clad girls wearing viking helmets and playing double dutch outside a trailer. But looking like the bastard child of Elvis, Brian Setzer, and Brüno, Jimmy Ray's rascally strut inconceivably turns the song into a catchy showpiece. For the longest time, I thought he sang "with Aretha" instead of "with a reaper," as if he had some celebrated kinship with the Queen of Soul.

Song: I agree it's catchy. Reminds me of Cornershop's "Brimful of Asha" for some reason.
Video: extremely random. No other video features a RV except maybe Radiohead's Street Spirit".

Third Eye Blind - "Never Let You Go" (1999)
In 3eb's heyday, was there anyone more douche-y than Stephan Jenkins? The Sugar Ray guy, perhaps? The falsetto singing is somewhat tolerable, but the spoken word part at the end is utter nonsense. God help me, I like it anyway.

Song: I really wish you had chosen “Semi-charmed Life” but I guess it’s better than “How’s It Going To Be”. Was he really married to Charlize?

Wilson Phillips - "You're In Love" (1990)
I feel compelled to turn in my man-card for revealing this, but dammit, their entire debut album (I had it on cassette) is a guilty pleasure. Their voices worked well together and they were just so puppy dog-eager and enthusiastic, rooting for them was easy! And I had a crush on Chynna.

Song: If you had a gun to my head and asked me to choose a fave WP song - I'd pick either “Release Me” or “Impulsive” (I can't believe I came up with two). And I guess I’ll go with Wendy then.


Aqua - “Barbie girl” (1997)
This is so painful for me to include. I use to own the 12” version of this but I’m not actually sure if we (Ting and I) ever played it at any of our parties.

Lou Bega - “Mambo No. 5” (1999)
This came song came in I believe at the tail end of the “Swing Revival” (see: Brian Setzer, Big Bad VooDoo Daddy, Cherry Poppin’ Daddies, Squirrel Nut Zippers). But this song actually reminds me more from the likes of Us3’s“Cantaloop”, Los Del Rio’s “Macarena” and Lucas’ “Lucas with the Lid Off”.

Paris Hilton - “Stars Are Blind” (2006)
Yes I did go there and yes, I’m obviously a sucker for reggae beats.

Ace of Base - “The Sign” (1993)
1994 was filled with other guilty pleasures but I went with the original that spawned a decade full of 90s hi-NRG techno songs (see other groups with female vocals with random dude’s ‘rapping’: Real McCoy, LaBouche, etc). This song also flashes me back to LoveBoat along with Enigma’s “Return to Innocence” and Inner Circle’s “Sweat”.

Sugar Ray - “Someday” (1999)
Sad to say but this may not be the only Sugar Ray song that I like (Fly, Falls Apart, When it’s Over, Spinning Away cover). This one has definitely has a nice easy breezy quality to it.

No comments:

Post a Comment