This past week was a bit of a rough patch for me, downtime-wise, on account of Work Reasons That I Don’t Want To Talk About, and as a result I’ve been feeling a bit sulky. Fortunately I am prepared for just such an occasion in the form of a whole playlist of terrible, wonderful music that for some reason gets me back in a good mood. As I was driving home from work the other day, cranking the music up and singing along (badly), I had a flash of, well, I guess you could call it inspiration for lack of a better word.
“You know what would be fun? Taking a couple songs from my terrible musical library and posting my thoughts online for a bunch of random strangers to make fun of! Also, maybe grab a Pepsi.”
Anyway, now that I’ve got my carbonated beverage of choice in hand and an hour or so to kill, how about another edition of One Hundred Words, where I focus on terribly cheesy music no grown man should ever sing along to, but that I absolutely do. If this doesn’t destroy whatever credibility I have left, I don’t know what will.
This is a good idea!
“That’s What Girls Do” from No Secrets
I guess we might as well dive straight into the deep end. I first stumbled across this little gem back when The Powerpuff Girls Movie was a thing (yes, I liked Powerpuff Girls), as part of some TV spot or music video on Cartoon Network. Seeing the bemused faces of both my father and little brother as I sang along to this tune is a fun “highlight” of my awkward teenage years, and remains a staple of my awkward adult years. Sure the lyrics aren’t exactly Shakespeare, but darn it if that chorus doesn’t get me every time.
“Complicated” by Avril Lavigne
Another holdover from the aforementioned “awkward teenager” years. You’ll probably notice as we go on that these aren’t particularly “deep dives” into the world of music; in fact this is probably the kind of stuff they play on Radio Disney with an edit or two. Still, this song was pretty great for a dude whose biggest issue growing up was “why doesn’t anybody just get me, man?”. Teenage Me was a lot of fun at parties, as you can imagine. Whatever, I still like it.
“Everywhere” by Michelle Branch
I didn’t really get into Michelle Branch until my college years, but boy did I play the heck out of her music. In fact I’ll bet if we looked at my Youtube search history back then it would be a pretty even split between Michelle Branch and some Linkin Park. Like chocolate and peanut butter, those two. Partially ruined by some random comment that pointed out she ends almost every sentence with an extra “-ah”, but not enough to get me to stop singing along.
“Stitches” by Shawn Mendes
Oh, hey, a song sung by a dude this time. Also, one that came out within the last five years. Bonus! Usually I play a song like this over and over until I’m sick of it (because I hate liking things?) but with this one it just doesn’t want to get out of my head. If I were the kind of guy who had the patience to edit an animated music video, this is the song I would use, probably for something Steven Universe related. I dunno, I’m drifting here. All in all, just a ridiculously catchy little tune.
“I’m Still Here (Jim’s Theme)” By John Rzeznik
Treasure Planet is a good movie and I will defend it to my dying breath! Well, maybe not all of it. Eighty, maybe eighty-five percent? Basically everything before B.E.N. happens, but– forget it, I’m drifting again. In any case, this song is decidedly in the “cool” category. Is it just another case of a song going “the world doesn’t understand me, maaan“? Well, yes, but darn it if Rzeznik doesn’t do a great job selling it. Admittedly works a lot better in the context of the film than on it’s own, but still a winner for me.
“Pop” by N’Sync
Even when I was just a little boy growing up I knew it was social suicide to admit I enjoyed songs from boy bands, but enjoy them I did. N’Sync was at the top for me, I preferred the energy of their music over the slower romantic ballads of the late nineties to early 00’s crowd. This one in particular really caught my attention, and I made sure whenever this one played on the radio that we stayed on that station until it was over. For me this is pop music at it’s peak, boy band or not.
“Breakaway” by Kelly Clarkson
One does not simply hum a Kelly Clarkson song, and this is certainly no exception. When this one comes on you better batten down the hatches because I skip straight to full-on belting this one out, regardless of how early in the morning it is. You have your coffee, I have motivational power ballads, and we both seem to get along just fine.
“Private Eyes” by Hall & Oates
This is the only song on the list I can sing along to with my dad. He’s not even that big a fan of Hall & Oates, nor am I, but this song just has one of those beats that I can’t help singing along to. Is it corny? Yes. Do I like it anyway? Also yes. I don’t claim to have good taste in music, sometimes there’s just music that hits you at just the right point in just the right moment. Anyway, it’s an oldie but a goodie.
“Another Dumb Blonde” by Hoku
Here’s another case of a random song I saw on television for a movie or something that was coming out. “Snow Day”! That’s what it was. Ah, good old Nickelodeon Studios and their endless line of adequate kids movies. Long after I forgot everything about the film, this song still remained. Probably the second most unabashedly teenage girl songs on the list after “That’s What Girls Do”, but I still sing along to it anyway, much to the horror of my siblings. Some things never change.
“Iris” by The Goo Goo Dolls
This one is the king, my friends: the one to rule them all. One of my favorite childhood memories is going to a fireworks show/laser spectacular that played all sorts of contemporary pop music at ridiculously high volumes. I’m not a big Goo Goo Dolls fan or anything but on that night for whatever reason — possibly overstimulation from the laser lights and too much sugar — I sang this song like a kid possessed by the spirit of Janis Joplin. Nothing much to analyze here, just a song that takes me back to a very pure, very happy memory.
And that’s just the ones I can list off the top of my head; I’m not even counting the ones from Disney, or the My Little Pony: FIM soundtrack, or all the “J-Pop” music I can barely understand but sing along to anyway. Maybe I’ll get into those another time, but I think I’ve tarnished enough of my professionalism for one day. I guess the message this time around is “like what you like, sing what you want, and try not to tick anybody off”. Yeah, that sounds pretty good.
Happy listening, Squares!