Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Some embarrassing songs I like

Let's all confess the worst songs we like!

Sometimes I like songs I think are legitimately good but they're by embarrassing artists. Like "Hands Clean" by Alanis Morrissette; only a million people have watched the video which means it basically doesn't exist:



I've probably mentioned before how much I like "I'm With You" by Avril Lavigne. I'm pretty sure I despise every other song she has recorded; "Complicated" is down there with Dave Matthews Band in terms of pure musical puke that should be banned. But I find "I'm With You" oddly, deeply affecting.



Sometimes everything about the songs is embarrassing. I'll totally sing along when "Santeria" comes on a jukebox, oh yes! I'm that girl:



And why the F do I like "The Middle" by Jimmy Eat World? I don't know, but it's undeniable.



Sometimes it's the video itself that I like and that can be embarrassing too. I'm not even embarrassed to say I think "Call Me Maybe" is a damn good song; everyone agrees, right? Justin Bieber put it best when he said:


But I don't watch the official video; I watch the one with Biebs and Selena Gomez and all their friends. Don't make me explain:



In my defense I have never and would never buy any of this crap. But I definitely stop and turn it up when they come on the radio.

Your turn.

34 comments:

  1. The Jimmy Eat World song has to be one of my least favorite songs of all time. I do have a soft spot for Avril Lavigne.

    I really liked this at the time, although I fear it maybe hasn't held up that well:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zMbIipvQL0c

    Recently, she had this one and I kind of loved it and sang it all the time to my husband (bonus point for an Avril Lavigne perfume cameo):

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tQmEd_UeeIk

    Trying to think of other embarrassing music I like. My husband is horrified I like Semisonic (they of "Closing Time" fame), but I maintain they're a genuinely good pop-rock outfit. I guess I got the last laugh when he wrote all those hit songs for Adele!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't know about the song but that second video is pretty cute. The perfume!

      Did you hear me complaining on Twitter recently about all the people who think "Closing Time" is a Green Day song for some reason? That reminds me: I also like "Time of Your Life."

      Delete
  2. Joan Osborne, St. Teresa. It's actually a great song, it's just not 'hip'. But she makes something as harmless as marijuana sound so dirty. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hbAeTywPiP4 -- JC

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That is pretty good, I'd never heard it. The video is totally embarrassing though. The mood is all wrong and, WTF?, is she smoking weed or LSD?

      Delete
  3. I like torturing Randolph with a Rufio CD that I own (bought on a whim), but kicky guitar intros aside, I don't genuinely like the music. Awful lyrics are dealbreakers.

    Songs that I'm embarrassed to know all/most of the lyrics (or at least the refrain) but will unabashedly sing along anyway when I catch them on the radio--

    That fucking Four Non-Blondes song:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6NXnxTNIWkc

    That awful, awful "SHE'S SO HIIIIIIIGH ABOVE ME" song:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ElORM9O-0U

    One of the two Sixpence, None the Richer songs that you're bound to have gotten sick of in the 90s:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8N-qO3sPMjc

    Anything by Sarah McLachlan. Anything. It's all mopey, depressing I'm-graduating-high-school, I'm-afraid-to-be-alone, Please-don't-let-me-become-someone-forgettable music that I should've blocked out by now but haven't.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Love "Kiss Me" and love Sarah McLachlan. I also kind of like "This Kiss" by Faith Hill and have a '90s Country station on Pandora.

      Delete
  4. Since I'm fairly insufferable when it comes to music (aka snob) the farthest I go is liking ironic covers of pop songs.

    Bedhead was a band with Matt Kadane of the New Year which had a song covered by a much bigger indie band that got on the OC (he's a history proff so you can guess what kind of music this is) and they did a touch tone phone version of Cher's "Believe":

    http://youtu.be/ucvVxfQmisM

    Then there is Ted Leo and he covered Kelly Clarkson's "Since you Been Gone". I like his cover (and yeah, probably the original):

    http://youtu.be/DBr5FPIL8UU

    Ok, ok. Here's a real guilty pleasure. I worked at a K-8 school one year and the 8th grade graduation used Miley Cyrus' "The Climb" and I guess it won me over, mostly because it was a hellish school year and I was sure I was out the door. I felt that song.

    http://youtu.be/-t46xJpQnv8

    And then there was the hair metal I enjoyed as a kid, specifically "Sweet Child O' Mine" which I wrote about here:

    http://adalenakavanagh.blogspot.com/2012/08/where-do-we-go-now.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm not a "The Climb" person but "Party in the U.S.A." is one of the greatest summer jams EVER.

      Oh God I love "Sweet Child O' Mine." GNR in general. And you're right, the "Where do we go now" part is clutch. Boring my ass! And yes, I sing along to guitar parts (and other instruments).

      Delete
    2. P.S. Have you heard/seen this cover of "Don't You Want Me"? It's not ironic at all, which is part of what makes it so beautiful and great.

      Delete
    3. Ooh, hadn't heard that. I do think you should own your appreciation for something others consider bad, hence I usually don't like something that's simply ironic. Like, the touch tone version of Cher is different enough from the original to give it new life. Though I think lots of what was considered bad in the '80s has become canon and lots of young people don't know how it was perceived by contemporaries,

      Delete
    4. Just listened to the Ted Leo cover ... ummmm, too bad he couldn't hit the notes in the chorus!

      The more time goes by, the more innocuous stuff that I truly hated at the time seems. Like at this point, I can enjoy really bad 90s hits that made me gag at the time.

      Delete
  5. I've always liked AC/DC, and I've always been embarrassed about that. (Though less so with age. I'm less embarrassed in general than I used to be, though not quite at the John Weiners stage of writing the most embarrassing thing I can think of. I've even grown a little proud that I used to ride my bike around the towers of WTAC, the Flint, MI radio station that introduced AC/DC to America by bringing them to Flint's Capitol Theater.) I feel like you ran into me when I was stuffing my face with McDonald's and Budweiser.

    I think of Delmore Schwartz confessing in his journal, “Today I listened to second-rate music.” The self-disgust is palpable, like that of “L'Examen de minuit.” (There, now I have permission to mention AC/DC.)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "Today I listened to second-rate music." I love that.

      Not a fan of AC/DC ... "Back in Black" was the theme song of my college at Rice, Sid Richardson, and I never care to ever hear that song again.

      Delete
    2. The Bon Scott stuff is the best, and a lot of it gets little airplay.
      I recommend the early album Powerage--to those who have the capacity to like it, that is.

      Delete
    3. Another story about Schwartz & music: John Berryman, who'd been swotting up on music, played a Bessie Smith record for Schwartz and his wife. Soon after the music began, Schwartz got up, wandered around the room, and dipped into books, making a display of inattention. When the song was over he said, "John, I neither enjoy nor understand such music."

      People associate Schwartz with his pupil Lou Reed, of course, but I doubt that S. liked Reed's music. Well, maybe he never heard it; he died right about the time The Velvet Underground & Nico was recorded.

      Delete
  6. Uh, I love ALL of those songs. I love Alanis Morrissette, no shame. I also legitimately like Nsync and Spice Girls and I have a newfound appreciation for One Direction, too (Their songs are GOOD. "Best Song Ever?" YES) One random song I really love is "The King Of Wishful Thinking" which I learned about when I was a teenager watching "Pretty Woman." I LOVE LOVE "Father Figure" by George Michael, I jam so hard when I hear it. I weirdly love that Marc Anthony song "I Need To Know," which I think was really his only hit in English. I'm hugely obsessed with the Dixie Chicks right now which feels embarrassing for some reason, I guess mainly because I've never liked "mainstream" country but holy shit, many of their songs are just what I needed this summer. I love all Jann Arden songs, especially "Insensitive."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My fave Spice Girls song is "2 Become 1." I am a SUCKER for any pop song with a string section.

      I feel 100% no shame about loving "Father Figure." It is BEAUTIFUL MUSIC.

      The Dixie Chicks are great. Like legit great. Better than Taylor Swift.

      Delete
  7. My favorite is "Viva Forever" and I'm listening to it RIGHT NOW. But "2 become 1" is my second fave. It's obviously the best video, too, PLUS has a plug for safe sex.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I really like The Middle. I also like some embarassing Taylor Swift songs, none of which I can think of at the moment. And I still believe almost all of John Mayer's first album was really good, even though he has clearly been badly affected by fame. I have noticed that a lot of the embarrassing songs that I like have come about through attendance at various workout and dance classes. Convenient excuse, no?

    But Santeria might be my pick for worst song of all time.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I like "Back to December," even though her lyrical style of describing the literal play by play of actual events drives me batty. Is that one embarrassing?

      Someone on Twitter called me out for "Santeria" too, calling it the worst karaoke song of all time, but for me that's "The Devil Went Down to Georgia."

      Delete
  9. Asia's "Heat of the Moment"

    "Beast" by Nico Vega: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k7OYLVznNvQ

    any popular song by 311 falls under the "hated it then, nostalgia now" umbrella for me

    agree on "Party in the USA"

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh no, 311?! That's worst than Santeria.

      Delete
  10. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  11. This isn't even the first time I've confessed to adoring Britney's 'Everytime'. The video is extravagantly melodramatic, of course, but the song itself is truly lovely. That piano figure is like a wisp of candy floss.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u-UJQGwzyxo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I like more Britney than I dislike. I love "Sometimes" and "Lucky" especially.

      Delete
  12. When in Rome's 'The Promise' revels in an authentically excruciating 80s video, though its inclusion on the Napoleon Dynamite soundtrack may have disqualified it as a strictly guilty pleasure.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5HI_xFQWiYU

    Duran Duran's 'Ordinary World' should be unbearable (that guitar solo!), but somehow pulls off a kind of bombastic transcendence.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dDLiVwpv89s

    Madonna's 'Papa Don't Preach'. I'm not sure whether her subsequent stature makes her stuff ineligible, but the uncomplicated charm of this song seems to me to be in the spirit of the thing.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G333Is7VPOg

    Finally, Thom Yorke's 'Hearing Damage'. Again, Yorke is irreproachable, but I feel faintly guilty about this one for having encountered it via one of the ludicrous Twilight sequels.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mt9_Vv9vuIs



    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've loved "The Promise" for many years. Hearing it always reminds me of this one pool party from my youth.

      I really love the full-on momentous cheese of "Live to Tell." (She recently performed it live while crucified on a giant cross ... classy!)

      Delete
    2. 'Live to Tell', absolutely. And 'Crazy for You', while we're on the subject. Who can fail to be moved to a slurred, neon-lit tenderness by that song?

      And it occurred to me late last night that there are at least four or five A-ha songs that I can never leave behind. One of these is 'Hunting High and Low', which, along with Brel's 'Ne Me Quitte Pas', is one of the songs I most frequently attempt with a sentimental drunk on.

      The other is 'Stay on These Roads', which belongs forever to a girl I fell in love with when I was fourteen, and whose effect on me even now is so catastrophic that I can almost never bear to listen to it.

      Delete
  13. I'm always inexcusably pleased when "I Wanna Kiss You All Over" by Exile pops up on a 70s throwback station. I enjoy the low-budget, Morodor-esque wash of synths throughout.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Had to YouTube it -- good stuff.

      BTW, I am immune to all suggestions that there is something wrong with disco.

      Delete
  14. After serious thought, the song at the top of my embarassment list is "Jean," as recorded (ca. late 1960's-early 1970's) by Oliver; it was in the top 40 on radio for a little bit. The song was written by Rod McKuen. (I once heard McKuen himself sing the song on some TV show back then. His version was even worse than the top-40 recording.)

    Another is "Take a Giant Step" as covered by The Monkees. I heard their version of the song (it was the B side of their 45 single of "Last Train to Clarksville") some time before I heard Taj Mahal's great rendition of it. I really liked The Monkees' rendering of the song until I heard Taj Mahal's recording of it. I still have nostalgia, kind of, for The Monkees' version.

    And "Karma Chameleon," the Boy George song of some 30 years ago. I'm not so fond of it now, but back when it was on the radio a lot I kind of liked it.

    Apart from the above, any number of songs by the Carpenters.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "Karma Chameleon" is not too embarrassing, especially in retrospect; one of those songs that's become "80s canon" as mentioned above.

      Delete
  15. This turned up in my G+ stream last week and instantly became the guiltiest of all guilty pleasures.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XTkhl_cEMZs

    ReplyDelete