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Guilty Pleasures

A few weeks ago, someone asked me what my “guilty pleasures” were and I couldn’t give her an answer. I was a little confused about what she meant by guilty pleasures–then she said hers was listening to extremely cheesy Air Supply love songs. I had smiled a little ruefully, wondering why listening to “Making Love Out of Nothing At All” counted as a guilty pleasure.

As far as music goes, my taste is varied. The albums and tracks on my iTunes betray this. Although I basically lean towards rock, alternative and pop, I have a few r&b and hiphop albums scattered here and there. I also have the soundtracks of my favorite musicals (both theater and film) plus a handful of classics by The Beatles, Fleetwood Mac and Motown greats like Stevie Wonder.

Music-wise, here’s a list of my guilty pleasures based on how I define the phrase:

BROADWAY MUSICALS – I love musicals and if I had a better singig voice I would have loved to be in the theater. I satisfy my artistic frustations by playing back an entire theatrical soundtrack and singing along to it at the top of my voice (sometimes with embellished choreography). Current favorites are “Into The Woods” and “Sweeney Todd” (yup, I’m a Stephen Sondheim fan). So why is this a guilty pleasure? My “performances” are private and I shudder at the thought of someone suddenly barging into my room while I’m busy acting out in front of my mirror.

MANDY MOORE – for someone who likes The Queen, Nirvana, Pearl Jam and Chris Cornell, my friends are a little peeved after finding out I have a copy of Mandy Moore’s Greatest Hits CD. The CD includes the extremely sugary track “Candy” and the equally saccharine “I Wanna Be With You”. Granted she’s not the best singer around but I just like her. I have yet to memorize a single song of hers (except “I Wanna Be With You” of course which was played extensively on the radio that it’s impossible not to memorize!) and I don’t dance as a principle. You could say I like her because she brings out the girliness in me–the teeny-bopper side that I find extremely displaced at my age.

HIP HOP – I am vocal about not being a fan of hip hop. I don’t appreciate rap since it is such an effort to understand what the artist is singing about. But when Lauryn Hill came out with her Miseducation CD, I just had to get a copy. It was a while before I admitted this to my friends knowing that I will be the brunt of endless teasing and ridicule about my seemingly illogical stand against hip hop.I ate my words; that album made me cross over to the other side and made me appreciate what it had to offer aside from a lot of grunting and profanity.

NSYNC – it’s ok to like boybands; when you’re 12. Nsync came out with their POP album when I was in college. I remember how my friends and I used to bash boy band lovers and it was admittedly pretentious of me to act unaffected whenever a song from that album would play in the radio. Despite my apparent dislike of boy bands, i really liked the songs from the album but I wasn’t ready to admit it. Then one day, I found a copy of the cd inside the car of a particularly “macho” friend. I had looked at him in disbelief and wondered if he was going to give me a BS excuse (that his sister left it there, etc.) but he just gave me this little “guilty” grin and told me he’s a fan. I bought a copy of the cd that same day.

SPICE GIRLS – I don’t have their albums on my iTunes but my boyfriend teased me relentlessly when he found the CDs tucked away in my room. Blame it on their effective propaganda of girl power. I became a fan despite the transvestite fashion statements (platform shoes anyone?) and the lack of musical prowess whatsoever. They were fun and I guess during that time it was enough.

I probably have a lot more hidden away that I’m not ready to confess just yet. I still have that defensive attitude when someone questions my musical taste but I’ve learned to keep it in stride. I’m fast accepting that boxing myself in genres actually limit my enjoyment and I’m more willing to open my doors–and ears–to varied styles. Granted I draw the line with the likes of April Boy and Andrew E., I’m willing to listen to anything once. If I like it, I don’t feel pressured to justify my choice.

I guess the only thing I was guilty of is being such an elitist–that I had to choose music that would somehow match the personality I want to be known with.

  1. clare
    August 1, 2008 at 9:47 pm

    hay, sobra na ito. we have so much in common!

    guilty pleasure ko rin si mandy moore and nsync! and i was a spice girls fan too!


  2. August 2, 2008 at 2:17 pm

    @clare: surreal! 🙂

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