Musical Guilty Pleasures

Inspired by my friend Drew’s suggestion in a recent comment, I’ve put together a little list of songs that I really enjoy despite my better judgment. These are songs that are too trendy or too goofy or too something for any “serious-minded” music fan to admire. But I like them anyway, and I’m not ashamed to admit it. Maybe just a little embarrassed. But, hey, no more caveats from me. Here they are, my musical guilty pleasures, along with explanations of why they are “pleasures,” and why they are “guilty”:

Song Title Artist Reason for Pleasure Reason for Guilty
Kiss Me Sixpence None the Richer This has to be one of the catchiest pop songs ever written. Great hooks, beautiful voice, jangly guitars. Apparently it was played to death on the radio, making those who tune in very tired of it. Also, it was the theme song for the movie She’s All That, starring Freddie Prinze Jr. and Rachael Leigh Cook.
Since U Been Gone Kelly Clarkson Clarkson has a big voice, and she really rocks out on this one. Also, the song sounds like it could have been written by one of my favorite bands, Fountains of Wayne. She got her start on American Idol, and her biggest demographic is pre-teens.
Daydream Believer The Monkees I’m a sentimental fool. The first album I ever bought (aside from a couple K-Tel compilations featuring theme songs from “S.W.A.T.” and “Welcome Back Kotter”) was The Monkees Greatest Hits. I was in the 4th grade, and I wanted to be just like Davey Jones. The Monkees were a fake band. Except for Michael Nesmith, the band had negligible musical talent.
Thank You Dido The sultry voice. The blend of acoustic instruments and electronica elements. Ever since I saw Zach Braff try to sing the song on “Scrubs,” I can’t help but laugh whenever I hear it. Also, there’s a “wocka-wocka” percussion thing in the verses that, believe it or not, is cheesier than the old clap track standby.
Walking on Sunshine Katrina and the Waves I love the way she clobbers me over the head with her irrepressibly upbeat, can-do lyrics. Really, I do. Most people don’t like to be clobbered over the head with irrepressibly upbeat, can-do lyrics. For example: “i feel the love, i feel the love, i feel the love that’s really real.
i feel the love, i feel the love, i feel the love that’s really real.”
Jack and Diane John Cougar Mellencamp It’s good clean American fun. Also, the chord progression is the same as the one in Tracy Chapman’s “Fast Car.” It starts with these corny lyrics: “Little ditty about Jack and Diane, two American kids growing up in the heartland.” Little ditty? Please.
Treat Your Mother Right Mr. T I pity the fool who can’t figure out why I like this song! See for yourself.

Now it’s your turn. What songs do you secretly groove to behind closed doors, when nobody else is watching?

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10 Responses to Musical Guilty Pleasures

  1. Josh says:

    Holy Drum Machine with stiff lyrics Batman!  That Mr. T song
    was awesome.  In fact I think I just lost my job because I was
    laughing so hard at my computer screen when my boss walked by.  I
    pity the fool who sees this because he will be having serious laughing
    convulsions for weeks to come.  That made my morning sucka.

  2. nicole says:

    Hi there, and what a great idea…

    Ok, the soundtrack to my junior and senior years was the aforementionmed SixPence None the Richer song!!  I still like it. 

      These days I have resurrected an old Sundays song, “Summertime”, a guilty pleasure because the lyrics are a little sophomoric and sweet for the Sundays.  I am a total sap for Sting singing “Fields of Gold”, a guilty pleasure that need not even be even be explained, am I right?!  Kelly Clarkson’s “Miss Independent” can start a dance party in my apartment, even if it’s just me in attendance, and I am known to press the repeat button when the Police sing “Every Little Thing She Does is Magic”. But the most guilty of all my listening habits is my copy of Martin McBride’s Greatest hits album, especially the rockin’ “When God-fearing Women get the Blues”. Oooh, man, talk about red-necking it!!

    There.  I feel a lot better with that off my chest.  They say admitting one’s guilt is the first tstep towards recovery (although in this instance I am not really sure I want to recover!)

    Later, Gator…


  3. Aunt Ginny says:

    Here’s a weird one. I like Rob Thomas I Don’t Wanna Be Lonely, great insistent beat, super refrain and an inventive video. Guilty b/c he used to be a Backstreet Boy or something on that order, right? I didn’t know him from a bale of hay before this, but I’ve been told he was in a boy band of some ilk. Can you believe at my age I a) know who this dude is and 2) I watch MTV on occasion! Incredible.

  4. Drew MacDougall says:

    Ah, Davy Jones. He’s so dreamy! Thank you for posting this idea. I did not know that your first ablbum was by K-tel. That’s almost borders on hipster. This is a good exercise for me because it’s caused me to rethink my musical self-image. Perhaps it’s a product of my own narcissistic traits, but I’ve always thought my musical taste was best, coolest, etc.

    However, I have a confession to make. I’ve been a George Michael fan for the last 15 years!! Post-Wham, of course.

  5. Nicole says:

    Hi “Aunt” Ginny!!

      Wow!  I am tre impressed that you like Rob Thomas, and no, he was not technically a member of a boy band, so your safe!  This is his solo album, but his band Match Box 20 was very successful, and a bit less bubble-gum than say InSync! 

      You’re so hip…

    Hope you are well,


  6. Sarah G says:

    Hmm, I usually don’t feel to guilty about listening to music. 
    If I like it, I listen to it.  But I’d argue that Kelly Clarkson
    has proved herself to be WAY better than her beginnings on American
    Idol would make her seem.  I absolutely love both of her
    CD’s.  I watch “Americal Idol” (ok, maybe I feel a little silly
    admitting that), and none of the other winners have done as well
    musically, in my opinion.  I was a big fan of Clay while he was on
    the show.  His first album?  Sucks.  Big time. 
    We’ll see how this year’s winner does, since she’s likely to record the
    same type of music that she sang on the show.  

  7. Aunt Ginny says:

    American Idol is both guilty TV and guilty music… I have other guilty TV pleasures, though Karl hasn’t opened that can of worms as yet. Amer Idol leaves me cold except for when they had a certain Scooter Girl on there. Then I was glued to it. I’m well, Nicole, hope you are too. Congrats on graduating! Thanks for straightening me out- Match Box 20. I think Lizz listened to them. So much music so little time!

  8. Dennis says:

    This is an easy one:  “Here’s Where The Story Ends,” by The Sundays.  It’s shrill, extremely repetitive and certain friends have been known to run screaming/shrieking from the room whenever I play it.  But I don’t care.  For whatever reason (perhaps in keeping with its title?), it brings me back to a place and time that’s gone, never to be recovered.

  9. Karl says:

    Dennis, I love that song! And I’m not ashamed to admit it. Granted,
    I haven’t listened to it in a few years, but I’ve always had a soft
    spot for The Sundays.

  10. Nicole says:

    Ok, so I was reviewing my previous entry on this topic, and realized I used the word “your” when the contraction “you’re” was intended.   Sorry. 

    Those types of mistakes drive me batty, and I am sad to have made such a blunder…

    Your perfectionistic, OCD pal,


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