Music Meme #2: Embarassing Guilty Pleasures
Mike Meginnis has tagged me with another music meme: I’m supposed to name the top 5 guilty pleasures on my Ipod. Like Mike, though, I think that my taste is impeccable and I know not this emotion you humans call “shame”. For the sake of argument, though, I’m abiding by the standard definition of “embarassing”. In no particular order:
1. Come On Eileen – Save Ferris
So yes, it’s a ska cover of an 80’s song, which I admit is an exceedingly lame practice. But I can’t shake the fact that I like this version more than the original. Additionally, at one time I had an enormous crush on Monique Powell, who is bee-yoo-tiful.
2. Portable Radio – Hall & Oates
The internet series Yacht Rock offers an embarassment of guilty pleasures, but this one probably has them all beat. Even for a self-described Hall & Oates fan such as myself, this is an extemely weak part of their catalogue, coming before they really found their pop-soul voice. Thus they were open to the fads of the moment, in this case disco. Why do it love it, then? Well, that bass groove is infectuous, and you gotta love it when Oates gets a significant chunk of the lead vocals. (start watching at 1:40 above to see Yacht Rock‘s performance)
3. Informer – Snow
The 1990’s were generally a bad time for hip-hop fashion, to the point that it’s hard not to view every rapper as ridiculous when looking back at the videos of that decade. For Snow it’s even worse, as he has the poor fortune of being both white and Canadian.
I contend, though, that Snow was a pioneer. He was one of the first artists to bring dancehall reggae to the American audience, and he realized that dancehall could successfully cross over if you provided just one hook that Americans could understand. Without Snow and others like Shaggy, we wouldn’t have Sean Paul or any of the other dancehall and reggaeton artists we know today. In retrospect, he’s a true hero.
For the curious, the lyrics to the chorus are actually:
Informer, you no say daddy me Snow me-a gon’ blame
A licky boom-boom down
‘Tective man he say, say Daddy Me Snow me stab someone down the lane
A licky boom-boom down
4. Lovefool – The Cardigans
This song’s association with Baz Luhrmann’s craptacular Romeo and Juliet was a double-edged sword for the Cardigans. On one hand, they were exposed to America in a way most artists could only dream of. On the other hand, this song was eventually tossed aside as a schmaltzy love ballad, and the Cardigans themselves were thought of as gimmick band.
None of this is true, and the Cardigans have been unfairly tainted ever since. First, the Cardigans kick major ass (see the follow-up single “My Favorite Game“). Second and more important, “Lovefool” is not a love ballad!!! It’s a catchy disco number to be sure, but she’s asking a man not to love her, but to pretend to love her because she can’t live without him, similar to the protagonst in”Jolene“. This is an extemely sad and tragic song!
Romeo and Juliet is noted in our cultural memory as a great love story, when it should be remembered as a tragedy. It seems mere association with Shakespeare’s play has caused the same thing to happen to “Lovefool”.
5. What Time Is It? – Spin Doctors
Ah, the Spin Doctors, the band everyone loves to laugh at. But you know what? There wasn’t a lot of funk floating around in 1993, you had to take it where you could, even if there was a little hippie in it. Sure, it’s not the funkiest thing I’ve ever heard, but damnit, they tried! The Spin Doctors kept the fire burning, and for that, I salute them.