Last week I kicked off my summer DJing Rob’s Friday Night Video series as he does his YouTube thing over at My Side Of The Laundry Room. For my first outing, I looked at some summer/summer vacation songs. It was my last day of school and my mind was on vacation (all I ever wanted…)! This week I’m rocking out to some of my favorite guilty pleasure songs. However, the name “guilty pleasure” implies I feel some guilt over liking these songs and, honestly, for the most part I don’t. I should probably call these “Should Be Embarrassed By Them But I’m Not” songs. But that’s a mouthful and everyone knows what a “guilty pleasure” song is so I’ll stick with it. So let’s look at some of my awkward favorites shall we??
There is only ONE place to start this party.
Poison – “SexyBack” – 2007
Okay, okay…I know. This isn’t a video. At all. So it totally defies the very point of this list. All I can say is I’m sorry. But I’m not really sorry because I love this song and it’s the very definition of a guilty pleasure for me. When I was in high school I loved the world of ‘80s hair metal and there was no band who did it for me more than Poison. Now, as an adult I can’t say I support any of the excess they stood for – the drugs, drinking, partying, or the blatant and unrepentant objectification of women. But damn they still make me dance and sing along…even though I know I should be better than this. Plus, Bret Michaels has diabetes too and we’ve bonded over that the few times I’ve met him. I don’t think any song better encapsulates Poison’s “guilty pleasure” potential than their cover of Justin Timberlake’s “SexyBack.” If you’ve heard this before, you know what I mean. If you haven’t, you’re welcome.
Bloodhound Gang – “The Bad Touch” – 1999
How can you not love everything about this song?!? I mean C’MON. I don’t even know what to say. “You and me baby ain’t nothin’ but mammals / So let’s do it like they do on the discovery channel.” You don’t get lyrics like this every day people. It’s hooky. It’s fun. It’s hilarious. What more can you want out of life? A big factor with many of my “guilty pleasure” songs is how much they make me laugh. And few do it quite like the ol’ Bloodhound Gang. The video’s pretty darn classic too. I liked it then; I love it now. I think it gets better with age.
The Spice Girls – “Wannabe” – 1996
Judge if you want. Because you are judging me, I know it. BUT I DON’T CARE. It’s the Spice Girls and I will not apologize for enjoying them, then or now. This is a great song! I’ve sung it – out loud and with pride – in my home, driving in my car, and doing karaoke. One of my fondest memories is driving around with Jeff one summer day, when we were still in college, and we were rocking out to the Spice Girls’ greatest hits album. It was a thing of beauty. At one point he looked at me and suggested, “We should probably roll the windows up, huh?” Oh, but we didn’t let the potential scorn of strangers slow us down. Because the Spice Girls rock.
The Lonely Island w/ Michael Bolton – “Jack Sparrow” – 2011
I can take or leave the Lonely Island. Sometimes I just don’t get them. Other times they leave me howling. This – their cinematic love letter team-up with Michael Bolton – is my all-time favorite song of theirs. I just can’t get it out of my head! I love how they pair their usual lampooning of club/party music with Michael Bolton belting out big ol’ ballad salutes to some classics of modern cinema. Also, anytime you can see Michael Bolton dressed as Captain Jack Sparrow it’s a good day, you know?
Ylvis – “The Fox (What Does The Fox Say?)” – 2013
On the club music parody note, we have to talk about Ylvis. Ylvis are Norweigan brothers – Vegard and Bård Ylvisåker – who parody all manner of music styles as part of their comedy performances. They came into my life in the fall of 2013 with the above song. After Jeff put it on my radar, I played it for all of my classes as an example of the “big questions” in life and I asked them to pay attention to the esoteric messages hidden within. Well, after we finished the video – despite my being super serious as I presented it – they knew I was messing with them. But I’m proud to say we watched this video before there were even 10,000 views. It’s exciting to be part of a viral explosion and see something before it goes viral! Wa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pow!
Gwen Stefani – “Hollaback Girl” – 2009
I don’t care who you are. I don’t care what your musical tastes are. This song gets you pumped up whether you want to admit it or not. I’ve always adored No Doubt. While Gwen’s solo stuff is hit or miss for me, this song is classic. Often when I hear it, it takes me back to the summer camp I was running when it was released. It (the edited version of course) was on the radio all the time and the kids would sing along as they colored. It was hilarious a) because several of the kids notified me every time how many “swears” it had in it, counting as they sang, and b) to see them all silence themselves, naturally, as they were used to singing along with the edited version. Aww, memories.
Tegan & Sara w/ The Lonely Island – “Everything Is AWESOME!!!” – 2014
Redundant or not, THIS SONG IS AWESOME. The video is awesome too. You could even say…everything is awesome about this if you dared. I loved The LEGO Movie more than I expected when I saw it and I loved this song more than expected too. This is another fun one to blare at red lights with your windows down. You get some enjoyable looks when people hear, “Everything is AWESOME!!! Everything is cool when you’re part of a team!!! Everything is AWESOME when you’re living your dream!” coming from your car.
Down With Webster – “Your Man” – 2009
Okay, yeah, you can judge me on this one too. You totally are BUT that’s okay. That’s the whole point of the “guilty pleasure” right? I’ll take your judgment with pride because there is just SO MUCH hooky ridiculousness to this song I can’t help loving it. The video’s pretty great too. Whenever I hear it, I can’t help but sing along. I guess that’s another factor with the “guilty pleasure” songs I love – something that makes me want to sing along despite it’s potential ridiculous nature. No one handles the pop-manufactured balance of alt rock, hip hop, and pop music quite like these guys.
Partners In Kryme – “Turtle Power” – 1990
There are so many finales I could choose for a list like this but I have to go with…TURTLE POWER. I loved this song soooo much as a kid if for no other reason than it was a song about the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. What else do you need people?!? (Although, I will grant, it always annoyed me that the aforementioned “Partners in Kryme” identified Raph as the leader in this song. Do you research people!) I’ve written before about how important this movie was to me. Among other things, it was the first movie I remember having to see on opening night. I’d come home from school to excitedly cross off another day on the calendar. Also Grandma, at ninety-four, still talks about this movie and how amazing it was to see the Turtles come to life :). Everything about the super edgy (because they have to be edgy because look at how they spelled their name) Partners In Kryme’s tribute to the Turtles was awesome to me then…and now. Cowabunga!
And that’s it for this week’s edition of F.N.V. ladies and gentlemen! If you have any guilty pleasure songs – epic or cringe-worthy or (hopefully) both – feel free to leave them in the comments below so we can keep the party going longer. Also, why don’t you treat yourself and drive around with your guilty pleasure songs blaring loudly for all to hear this weekend?? There’s no guilt in what you love! Own it and rock out. Woo!
If you’d like to check out past F.N.V. posts, have a look at my Ode to Summer Vacation!