Riddle Me List: Top 7 Guilty Pleasures...Let The Cringing Begin

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

First off, I'm being cliche. There is no such thing as a "guilty pleasure". There is such a thing as liking what you like no matter what people think is good or awful. Music is supposed to be a independent thing...but since we are in the day in age where we have music snobs that roam with noses held high, we have to conform. As well as feel ashamed that amid our avant-garde "hip" tunes, we have dirty little musical secrets. Secrets that we have to dust off and play when no one is looking. The seven albums you see below are my personal vices, albums that I'm sure would tarnish a bit of my cred...or so I like to believe. Share in my embarrassment.

1. Tiffany-New Inside: Yes, this album BOMBED, and yes, Tiffany doing her best Pebbles impression was a little cringing, but this album is by all means that sensation you get when you chew on a pristine piece of bubblegum. It's sugary sweet and delish. Maybe I need mental help, but I seriously found this album downright entertaining especially towards the end where tracks like "Life Affair" and "Our Love" reside. They aren't so jarring as the title track (where Donny Wahlberg, of all people, does a "rap"). Screw Tiffany's 80's stuff, she was so boring singing those schmaltzy ballads...when she decides to get all urban, she was much more fun.

2. Samantha Fox-Greatest Hits: I don't actually tell people I know the words to "Do Ya Do Ya (Wanna Please Me)"....wait, I did just now. Crap. Well, I dig Samantha Fox and I think one of these days I'll get to writing a thesis on why she's not as awful as she has been perceived. Okay, she is not the greatest singer and the topless model back story makes you not want to take her seriously at all, but pop tarts today wish they could be Ms. Fox. Lady GaGa is the only pop star at the moment who amounts to the guilty pleasure trash compactor that Sam Fox was. Her mega-hit, "Touch Me (I Want Your Body)" is well...awful, but I prefer her better when she hooked up with production teams like Full Force and Stock, Aiken and Waterman, that's when the magic happened. "Naughty Girls (Need Love Too)" and "Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now" are the epitome of pop delights and my personal favorite, "Another Woman (Too Many People)" should get an award for being just plain ridiculous.

3. Ciara-The Evolution: Want to know why I sometimes give Ciara the benefit of the doubt on this blog? It's all because of this little firecracker right here. This album sort of took me by surprise back in 2006 as I wasn't even close to being a Ciara fan. I despised what "Goodies" was (talk about screechy), so I proceeded to not lend my ears to anymore Ciara creations. That was until "Get Up" was released and I found myself getting caught up in her energy. From there, The Evolution found its way into my heavy rotations. Though the single choices were handled poorly, there are some great dance joints on this like "I Proceed", "C.R.U.S.H." and the hilariously silly, "Get In Fit It". While I usually don't go for cheap plastic R&B mixed with hip-hop at times, Ciara got it right with this. And no, I did not listen to Fantasy Ride...it kinda of doesn't exist in my world after this.

4. 5 Star-Greatest Hits: There are 18 songs on this thing. Serious. I don't even think 5 Star knew they had 18 hits, but they apparently do, and you know what, I know every lyric to each of those songs. I take pride in that. The Pearson siblings were, in a way, replicas of the Jacksons, but they were so got damn HAPPY doing those synchronized dances in those sequined outfits, that it's severely hard not to resist them. 5 Star's music is best described as perky adrenalin shots of 80's synth-R&B. It's highly danceable and oozing with saccharine sweetness, and the songs stick in your head for days. "If I Say Yes" was their biggest Stateside hit and possibly their best track next to "Find The Time" and the finger snapping diss of "Stay Out Of My Life". Lead vocalist is Deniece Pearson is the real star of the show though...she has sported a blonde weave long before Beyonce and she even once engaged to Eddie Murphy...she's kind of bad ass.

*Not too embarrassed to progress on? Check after the cut for more guilty pleasures, and share your faves in comments!*

5. Dannii Minogue-Neon Nights: Or rather, anything by Dannii Minogue is a sinful pleasure. I have mentioned that there is a gay boy who lives inside of me...he comes out when I pop in 2003's Neon Nights, which is drenched in perfectly crafted pop fare. Everything on the album sparkles, so it's usually hard for me to pick what songs are the best. Where can I begin? There's "I Begin To Wonder" (vid below), "For The Record", "Mighty Fine", "On The Loop", "A Piece Of Time", "Who Do You Love Now?"....there's even "Vibe On" and ode to that little ~pleasure mechanism~. Ah, there is so much glorious trash to feast your ears on!

6. Bobby Brown-Don't Be Cruel: As an advocate for Whitney Houston, Bobby Brown is of ignorant proportions. He has single-handily ruined Ms. Houston's career and for that, I cannot forgive him...but when I do listen to 1988's Don't Be Cruel, I pretend a lot of that trifling stuff between the two of them never happened. The album is that good. I blame the producer, you know, Babyface, for making me feel this way. He made sure that Bobby Brown had a fantastic album in his catalog, to make up for all of his later short-comings...it was almost as if he predicted it. New Jack was never so sharp or accessible to the pop market, and *sigh* Bobby Brown can croon a tune. He's no Johnny Gill, but he does have talent, just that he abused it later in his career. All the classics are here such as "Every Little Step", the title track and yeah, "My Prerogative". And for the record if a guy calls me a "Tenderoni", I'll probably date him for three days. It's semi-endearing.

7. Stevie B-Greatest Hits: Where there's freestyle, there's Stevie B and during the 80's into the early 90's he was king of that movement. Whenever I hear a Stevie B. song, preferably "Party Your Body", it's almost like a voodoo curse. I have to get up and dance and do insane hand gestures. I once heard "Party Your Body" in a clothing store...I embarrassed my mom fully. His music just has that effect on me. Songs like "I Wanna Be The One" and "Spring Love" remind me of skating rink parties where the mix tapes were freestyle, Spice Girls and Chumbawamba. Good times. Stevie's #1 hit, "The Postman Song" is on my list of songs to sing at a karaoke bar before I die. The song is perfect to unleash on an unsuspecting audience, as it's just filled with epic vocal runs. It's quite a shame no one on American Idol has attempted this song...then again, they couldn't do it justice.


  1. Five Star is my fave group. thier music is so damn catchy and Denise's voice. she's still makin music. they were so mysterious, maybe cuz they were from across the pond


  2. Danni Minogue gets the serious side-eye but i gotta LOL at the 'there is a gay boy who lives inside of me...he comes out when I pop in 2003's Neon Nights' comment!

    Everyone has their guilty pleasures ... mine incl. a bit of Girls Aloud, Mika, Juvelen (see thats MY inner gay-boy coming out right there lol).


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