Oh the 90s
The term “guilty pleasure” is thrown around willy-nilly these days. Left and right, everywhere I look, everyone’s got a guilty pleasure top something list. See, the expression itself implies that we should feel guilty about liking something that is considered lame, or uncool. But why? There are always a ton of people out there in the world that have similar preferences and when it comes to music, one man’s guilty pleasure is another man’s favorite artist/album/song! Still, we go out of our way to disassociate ourselves from the supposed “bad apples” while at the same time brandishing our lexicon of bands that carry respect in our social circles; all the while, we’re secretly blasting Robbie Williams in our earbuds. Why do we do this to ourselves?
Because, our friends suck.
I’m just kidding. Your friends might suck but mine don’t. But the idea is hopefully clear enough. Our collective self esteem is so low were dying to have our preferences rated highly so we can feel better about ourselves. It’s like middle school…forever. So really you have one of two options: A) Pander to the world by bending and folding at its every whim; B) Grow some balls and happily share your love of “bad” music.
At the end of the day is it really so wrong to admit to yourself that it’s okay if people know you like this music?
The idea that you could ever feel guilty about songs that make your cochleae smile is ludicrous. Why should I feel bad about liking the infectious pop sounds of Natalie Imbruglia or Hall & Oates? Why should I stifle my instinctual dancing movements every time I hear the Bee Gees or Vitamin C. You should feel like a dick for judging me. Seriously, take the first step and admit that you might like Peter Frampton, or actually listen to Matchbox 20 songs when they come on the radio (i dont but its okay i wont judge you).
You don’t have to like or even tolerate all music.
I simply suggest that you reevaluate the reasons why you don’t tell anyone that you love singing the theme song from the Bodyguard in falsetto. Be proud. Share your quirky music tastes with your friends the next time you see them. Hug them. But dont be too weird about it.
…So in the most long winded way possible, and with too much fanfare, here’s the first of many entries into what I like to call…my non-guilty guilty pleasures…I’ll work on the name.
NGGP: Fush Yu Mang
Let me set the scene for you:
It’s 1997 and an unfortunately overweight elementary student is wearing a Poppin’ Fresh t-shirt, wholly unaware of the irony of his situation. His best bud (based on the number of video game systems in the household) buys a new hit record in compact disc format..yay! This replaces his need for the album on cassette and in a charitable fashion he passes on a rectangular box of happiness to me the fat kid. As it turns out, this album was Fush Yu Mang by none other than Smash Mouth. Cue John Williams score.
For those who don’t remember, Smash Mouth is the band that had that song All-Star featured prominently in Mystery Men and Shrek. But really, that song was from their second album Astro Lounge, not nearly as good as their debut release Fush Yu Mang. Featuring a cover that has a station wagon flying through space past a purple planet with a passenger flicking us off. If you dont get it, you don’t get it.
Clearly everyone knows the superhit from the album – Walking on the Sun. Mmm pure 1997 happiness. The rest of the album is nothing like that song. Literally nothing like it. If you purchased Sugar Ray’s debut album Floored expecting a ton of hits rivaling their title track Fly, you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about. But regardless, this cd was like candy for an elementary student with no access to music other than what was on the radio. So sit back and enjoy the sweet sounds of my favorite tracks from this album. The Fonz, Let’s Rock, Beer Goggles, and a cover of War’s Why can’t we be friends.
The question really is…do I still listen to this music? Who knows?
Billy Zane knows