Music: Embarassing Enjoyment

The other day, there was a post on Reddit that asked Are there any songs which you are embarrassed to like? There are some great answers; I took the top 80 plus the original poster’s and compiled a list. Here are my mini-reviews of the songs.

Call Me Maybe by Carly Rae Jepsen: this song is deliciously catchy. My daughter loves it and I happen to think the video is awesome. Unabashed enjoyment. 4/5 stars.

If you wanna be my lover by the Spice Girls: this song is also super catchy. I know way too much of the lyrics to this song. To recap: I am a 30+ year old male. 3/5 stars.

Party in the USA by Miley Cyrus: If I was evaluating this on just guitar riffs, I’d give this 6 out of 5 stars, because this hook is brilliant. Miley was who my daughter replaced Dora the Explorer with and has a soft spot in my heart. 4/5 stars.

Love you like a Love Song by Selena Gomez: my first time hearing this song. Good beat, poppy, catchy, singable, predictable. Oooh, the bass kicked in. Repetitive. Repeat peat peat peat peat? Verses are good, chorus is obnoxious. 2.5/5

Hungry like the Wolf by Duran Duran: This band always reminds of my mom trying to draw “Duran Duran” in Win, Lose or Draw (which is moderately impossible). This song is catchy gumdrop pop schlock. This one made me re-evaluate the last song, and the five star system; I went back and deducted a half from the Gomez song (it was originally at a 3), because it’s clearly less good than this. 3/5

Niggas in Paris by Kanye & Jay-Z: Kanye is like hip hop for people who aren’t good at everything. Jay-Z is undeniably good. I give Jay-Z 4/5. Averaged with Kanye’s score, this song gets a 0/5. Permaskip. This song cray.

Safety Dance by Men Without Hats: 5/5 can’t write – dancing.

1901 by Phoenix: First off, great name. First time hearing this song. Good beat, good hook. Nice voice, makes me feel upbeat. Enjoyable. Solid 3 (plus epsilon) /5.

All the Things She Said by t.A.T.u.: This is a fun song. Very driving, great beat, phenomenal catchy riffs. Great mix of electronic and instrumental music. Somewhat repetitive, but these girls can sing, and are entertaining. 3.5/5 stars.

Lights by Ellie Goulding: First time listening. Don’t dig the hook. Girl can sing. This melody sucks. Oh, the real song is starting. Oh, I’ve heard this before. Good beat, still a terrible melody. Don’t breathe between every syllable. Song failure. 1/5 stars.

Rasputin by Boney M.: ha, ha, ha. Russian squat dancing is hard. This song is well thought out end to end. Any time a hook starts to get even mildly uninteresting, they change it up. This is brilliantly constructed, possibly the best thing on the list thus far, excluding the Safety Dance. 4.5/5

Africa by Toto: This song is a little too overengineered for my taste, which is funny considering I put it right after a song that I said was really well constructed. It’s like it was designed to be elevator music. 2.5/5

Dancing Queen by ABBA: Ugh. 0.5/5

Mean by Taylor Swift: Country is not a genre that I typically enjoy. Taylor Swift is amazingly gifted. This song is smart, catchy, and has the right amount of twang. It’s a masterwork, and she wrote it herself. This is going to get the elusive 5/5 stars.

Hello by Lionel Ritchie: I will admit that I sing this song frequently. Great melody, well paced, very good as solo piano and voice (better than the version on this list). I’ll give it 3.5/5.

Never Gonna Give You Up by Rick Astley: For real? I don’t remember putting this on the list, but here we are. I don’t think I can give this an actual mark fairly; I think the song actually kind of sucks, but it’s gone so far and done so much. 3.5/5

Home by Michael Buble: He wrote this song. In addition to having an amazing voice, this song is well constructed for the “Adult Contemporary” (what does that even mean?) genre. It’s easy to listen to, without making me think that it should be exclusively played in elevators. Great and smart chord changes, nice guitar work, subtly jazzy rhythm work. 4/5

Butterfly by Crazy Town: uninspired rapping with uninspired rock music makes an uninspiring song. It’s mildly catchy, but entirely vapid. The best review of this is Orange County. 2/5

Then He Kissed Me by the Crystals: Sometimes the things on this list astound me. If I’m not wrong, and I rarely am, this song is in Rolling Stone’s top 500 songs. It’s catchy, and it’s written by Phil Spector, who was a talented, if crazy, fellow. And the Crystals were one of the best girl bands of all time. 4/5

Staying Alive by the Bee Gees: I guess it is understandable to be embarassed by disco, but this is a great song. Good beat (disco beat), fantastic guitar, horns and strings on top great, makes you want to move. 4/5

No Rain by Blind Melon: Alternative is what I grew to ostensible maturity listening to. This has never been my favourite song, but it is a good, solid song. I always felt like Shannon Hoon was a sad knockoff of Kurt Cobain though I have not much to back that up. There is some solid guitar work in this song, and it’s catchy. 3.5/5

Breakaway by Kelly Clarkson: First time listen. Trite, but decent intro. Girl can sing. As I listen some more… this girl can sing. Now I’m googling this song, and it’s written by… Avril Lavigne, amongst others? This is surprisingly well constructed. Good riffs, catchy, and wow, not to be overly repetitive, Kelly Clarkson can really sing. 4/5

Not Afraid by eminem: I wouldn’t consider myself a fan, but here’s my opinion, this guy is talented. This is slick, well produced, has something to say, and he sells it. This is one of the most honest sounding rap songs I’ve heard. 4.5/5

Tainted Love by Soft Cell: This song makes me giggle. One time I heard it played at a wedding. Somebody who was clearly not me requested it. Full Disclosure: it was me. 3.5/5

Sexy and I Know It by LMFAO: This song is bad. The actual music certainly has a good beat, but the lyrics are so obnoxiously stupid. I understand that’s pretty much the point. Some songs are obnoxious and still work. This is not one. Wiggle wiggle wiggle wiggle wiggle. Vomit. Still better than ABBA. 1/5

Starships by Nicki Minaj: first listening. Is this a real thing? Googling Nicki Minaj. Is this a real thing? WTF? This is the first time I have felt the need to use this phrase in a long while: KIDS THESE DAYS, JEEZ. Still, better than ABBA. 1/5

Stay by Lisa Loeb: Honestly? How did this even make this list? She is everything that a song writer should aspire to be. 5/5

Kiss Me by Sixpence None the Wiser: I found an acoustic version, and it’s fantastic. This is another well constructed song. Catchy, great riffs, pulls you in, great singing. 4/5

Where Have All The Cowboys Gone by Paula Cole: Do not like the sub vocalization / harmonizing at the beginning. Do not like the message: why does she need a man to take care of her? This is a bad song, and she should feel bad. There’s very little music in this music. Still, better than Nicki Minaj. 2/5

My Heart Will Go On by Celine Dion: say what you want, she has a hell of a voice. Music by James Horner, words by Will Jennings. This is a super hit because it is a good song. It got too much radio play though, and everyone got sick of it. 4/5

Bing Bang by Lazy Town: first listen. I… what is this? It’s like a brit korean pop mixup for kids. *heads to google*. Okay, I understand now. Well, not much to say. Catchy, fun, forgettable. 3/5

Get Up by Skrillex featuring KoRn: Is there more of this? These bands should do this forever. It’s like the Spawn Soundtrack, and I mean that as a compliment. Where’s the bagpipes? This is amazing. 5/5

Finally by Ce Ce Peniston: after the last song, this seemed really lackluster. I’ll try relistening to it some other time. She can sing, but this song is pointless and uninteresting. Still, better than Nicki Minaj. 2.5/5

Ice Ice Baby by Vanilla Ice: There are two kinds of people. When you say “Stop” one group says “Hammertime!” and the other group says “Collaborate and Listen!” I say “Hammertime!” 3/5

Mmmmbop by Hanson: This is bubblegum pop at it’s finest. 4.5/5

Viva la Vida by Coldplay: I’ve always thought Coldplay was vastly, intensely and strangely overrated. I don’t understand the appeal of this band. However, this is decent song, with a good hook (the strings) and lyrics that don’t make me want to kick a puppy (it was all yellow). 3.5/5

She Drives me Crazy by Fine Young Cannibals: Guitar work solid. Bad singing. Upbeat. Loads of Synth. Welcome to the 80s. 3/5

Edge of Glory by Lady Gaga: This song is repetetive, but has a good beat. Gaga can sing. Maybe too much electronic overengineering in here, but it’s certainly listenable. I wish she said “the edge” about 30 less times per chorus. I get it. You’re on the edge. Still, better than Nicki Minaj plus ABBA plus LMFAO. 3/5

Handlebars by Flobots: first listen. Dig the intro. This is evocative of Jon LaJoie, except I feel like it might be slightly serious? It’s kind of catchy. I’m not hating it yet. Okay, it’s pretty funny. I’m starting to dig it. TRUMPET. So to recap: Jon LaJoie meets Cake makes at least 4/5

Don’t Know Why by Norah Jones: Again, this is one of those songs that I don’t understand being on this list. She can sing, she can play, she sang this on Sesame street. 5/5 and I feel bad that that’s all I can give it.

That’s it, by my count – the first half. This post took not much actual time, but it was spread out over 2 days. I hope to be able to do more next week.

One thought on “Music: Embarassing Enjoyment”

  1. Nice list!

    Kelly Clarkson really can sing. In the past, I think she’s been given material which really isn’t well-suited to her voice, but Breakaway is a good example of a song which is.

    I also like Rasputin. I have hilarious video of my kids dancing to it.

    I like “Africa” more than you, I think. The lyrics are kind of funny (rhyming “company” with “Serengeti” … genius!), but really it’s that minor seventh or whatever that chord is they use in the chorus that makes this song for everyone, I think. It’s different and rare enough that you don’t hear it in many other songs. And tell me I’m wrong, but that Gotye hit that’s playing everywhere reminds me a little of Africa.

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