GUILTY PLEASURE PLAYLIST

What does it mean to be a “guilty pleasure”? If you like a song, shouldn’t you be proud of it? Sing it from the rooftops? Scream it in the shower? Tell all your friends about it and bask in their respect and adulation? Sure, all of that is great if you’re proud of what you’re listening to. But as I’m sure we all know, that’s not always the case.

True guilt is based on a person’s personal standards and therefore varies wildly. For example, I happen to be a 20-something American male with an interest in today’s indie music scene. I’d be shameless to recommend Legs or Brothertiger because that’s the sort of music I would usually listen to. But if I wouldn’t shut up about Aaron Carter, well that would raise some red flags. People would worry. Same with, say, Michelle Branch–and not because she’s not amazing (she is), but because she’s incredibly random and unexpected.

So with that in mind, I’ve divided this Guilty Pleasure Playlist into five categories:

First, the basics. The meat of the playlist. The random and unexpected. Maybe not the guiltiest songs ever, but we’re just getting started.

Second, the guilty. The songs I don’t play unless I’m completely alone. Marvel at my courage as I disclose my secret pleasures.

Third, the ridiculous. These are all great songs, sure, but their existence makes me laugh.

Fourth, the 1980s. The guiltiest decade by far. It needs its own category, trust me.

And finally, the emotional. The feelings you swore you’d leave in High School. Where does teen angst go when you turn 20?

All these categories are full of righteous tunage, no doubt about it. What makes each song “guilty” is up for debate, but I encourage a hearty discussion. Please send any and all reactions, disagreements or recommendations to ian@atypicalbeastsagency.com. Click below to explore the playlist, or find it on Spotify and Youtube.


The Basics

These are the money songs, the ones everyone likes (once they remember them). Technically guilty? Only because you forgot they exist.

Ginuwine — Pony   TLC — No Scrubs   R. Kelly — Ignition (Remix)   Shaggy — It Wasn’t Me   Timbaland — The Way I Are   Nelly Furtado — Promiscuous   MSTRKRFT ft John Legend — Heartbreaker  Fergie ft Ludacris — Glamorous   The Black Eyed Peas — Meet Me Halfway   B.0.B — Nothin’ on You   Wyclef Jean — Perfect Gentleman   City High — What Would You Do   Destiny’s Child — Say My Name   Crazy Town — Butterfly   No Doubt — It’s My Life   S Club 7 — S Club Party   Oakenfold — Starry Eyed Surprise   Maroon 5 — This Love   Santana ft. Rob Thomas — Smooth   Fastball — The Way   The Wallflowers — One Headlight   Tonic — If You Could Only See   Eve 6 — Inside Out   Marcy Playground — Sex And Candy   Blur — Song 2   The Mighty Mighty Bosstones — The Impression That I Get   The Darkness — I Believe In A Thing Called Love   Beastie Boys — Sabotage


The Guilty

It’s no surprise that most of these are female artists. I consider myself minimally sexist–only as much as the next socially-conscious millennial dude–but I just can’t feel comfortable belting these in public (even though I know all the words). But that’s my cross to bear; these women (and select men) should be proud of their music:

Jessica Simpson — With You   Gwen Stefani — Cool   Jordin Sparks — Battlefield   Leona Lewis — Bleeding Love   Mariah Carey — Heartbreaker   Natalie Imbruglia — Torn   Britney Spears — Lucky   Kelly Clarkson — Behind These Hazel Eyes   Alanis Morissette — All I Really Want   Indigo Girls — Galileo   Sheryl Crow — A Change Would Do You Good   Paula Cole — Where Have All The Cowboys Gone   Tracy Chapman — Give Me One Reason   Melissa Etheridge — Come To My Window   Annie Lennox — Walking On Broken Glass   Michelle Branch — All You Wanted   Vanessa Carlton — White Houses   Regina Spektor — Us   Fergie — Big Girls Don’t Cry   Nelly Furtado — I’m Like A Bird   Janet Jackson — Together Again   Shakira — Whenever, Wherever   Nicki Minaj — Super Bass   Ariana Grande — Break Free   Enrique Iglesias — Do You Know?   Marc Anthony — I Need To Know   K-Ci & JoJo — All My Life   Hanson — This Time Around   Owl City — Fireflies   


The Ridiculous

These are just goofiest songs ever.

Sisqo — The Thong Song   DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince — Boom! Shake The Room   Naughty By Nature — O.P.P.   R. Kelly — Thoia Thoing   Del tha Funky Homosapien — Mistadobalina   Flo Rida ft Timbaland — Elevator   Lady Gaga ft Beyonce — Telephone   Aaron Carter — That’s How I Beat Shaq   Chumbawamba — Tubthumping   Bloodhound Gang — The Bad Touch   Hot Action Cop — Fever For The Flava   Right Said Fred — I’m Too Sexy   Mickey Avalon — My Dick   Gunther — Ding Dong Song   Toy-Box — Tarzan & Jane   Len — Steal My Sunshine 


The 80s

No decade has produced guiltier pleasures than the 1980s. If you don’t already have an 80s party playlist (you really should), start with the basics and then sprinkle in a couple of these. You can’t lose.

Men Without Hats — Safety Dance   Starship — We Built This City   Billy Ocean — Get Outta My Dreams, Get Into My Car   The B-52s — Love Shack   Eddy Grant — Electric Avenue   New Order — Bizarre Love Triangle   Milli Vanilli — Blame It On The Rain   Bon Jovi — Wanted Dead or Alive   Tiffany — I Think We’re Alone Now   Roxette — It Must Have Been Love   Bonnie Tyler — Total Eclipse of the Heart   Mr. Mister — Kyrie   Bryan Adams — Vanishing   Jefferson Starship — Jane   Huey Lewis and the News — The Power Of Love  Dan Hartman — I Can Dream About You   John Waite — Missing You   Yazoo — Only You


The Feels

I grew up on a healthy diet of blink-182, so forgive me if I don’t put their whole catalog on here (as they are far from guilty). That’s what this category is for though, all the angsty teenage stuff I still love. Try not to cry if you can.

Jimmy Eat World — Hear You Me   Goo Goo Dolls — Iris   Yellowcard — Only One   The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus — Your Guardian Angel   Evanescence — My Immortal   Linkin Park — In The End   Thirty Seconds To Mars — Closer To The Edge   Coheed and Cambria — The Suffering   Lifehouse — Hanging By A Moment   Secondhand Serenade — Fall For You   Eve 6 — Here’s To The Night   Bush — Glycerine   Live — Lightning Crashes   The Verve Pipe — The Freshmen   Regina Spektor — Samson   Tracy Chapman — Fast Car


The Wildcards

I know I said I only needed five categories, but no playlist is complete without a couple wildcards to round them out. The exceptions to the rules. Don’t think too hard about it.

Dirty Loops — Wake Me Up [Avicii cover]   White Denim — Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In) [Kenny Rogers cover]   Rubblebucket — What A Fool Believes [Doobie Brothers cover]   Skrillex — Bangarang   Dan Deacon — When I Was Done Dying