Song Challenge 19: Adult-Contemporary Guilty Pleasures

edited by ANDREW HICKS

Chicago's "Look Away" video: Hot chick. Fiery explosion. Still somehow boring.

ANDREW HICKS
Okay, I’ll go first. One of my guiltiest of guilty pleasures is Chicago‘s “Look Away.” It’s a Diane Warren song, even (that lady has written some of the worst pop ballads of all-time and become a billionaire in the process), and I love its maudlin gaudiness. The video, on the other hand, looks like an awful version of the depressing first half of a Folgers commercial with pyrotechnics tossed in.

ANNE GARDNER
What does “adult contemporary” mean exactly? Music that appeals to adults or music made by adults? Or both?

ERIC DOHMAN
Any music where you can replace the word “baby” with “Jesus” and it still sounds like it fits.

T. ALLAN CHRISTOPHER
The narrowed-down definition would be: music by people our age for people our age. However, you can look at “past adult contemporary” music as well, which was music for peers in that time period. Think of softer, more R+B-driven non-bubblegum pop. Michael Bolton, Kenny G, Amy Grant‘s secular stuff, Elton John, Billy Joel, etc.”

ERIC DOHMAN
“Look away, Jesus, look away…

TONY FYLER
Well, if that’s the definition, how about Twisted Sister? Have you any idea how weird it is to sing “We’re Not Gonna Take It” when you’re 40 and clearly have taken a ton of it?

ANDREW HICKS
Let’s stick to this simple definition: Music that makes FM radio’s Delilah moist. By moist, I do not mean teary-eyed, I mean sexually turned on.

J.MIZ
And by “contemporary,” Andrew means 2002 OR 1984.

MICHELLE DEE
How about Bette Midler? “Wind Beneath My Wings“? Beaches? I STILL cry watching that scene more than I EVER did in Titanic. And I was a big ball of snot during Titanic. But that’s nothing — my friend Sarah cried through the entirety of My Best Friend’s Wedding. TOP THAT!

XANDER CREWS
For me, it’s anything by Neil Diamond. I own ALL of his CDs. Funny story: I left my van unlocked one night. Someone broke in and went through all of my CDs. They didn’t take ONE. Sorry, hoodrats. No Chingy here.

TONY FYLER
I love listening to “Just The Way You Are” by Billy Joel, secure in the knowledge it turned out to be a crock of shit when he left the woman it was written for to go and marry a supermodel.

MICHELLE DEE
My husband and I like to listen to Elton John when we’re high, so we’ve listened to him *counts in her head* once.

Vanessa Williams wants your no-strings-attached sex.

ANDREW HICKS
Vanessa Williams released four consecutive adult-contemporary guilty pleasure ballads for me — “Dreamin’,” “Save the Best For Last,” “Love Is” and “Just For Tonight.” JFT is four minutes of sexy-ass Vanessa Williams begging her ex to attend a no-strings-attached Let’s Fuck For Old Time’s Sake party. I would not have a problem telling Vanessa yes to this request.

ERIC DOHMAN
That Robin Hood song: Bryan Adams, “Everything I Do (I Do It For You).”

MICHELLE DEE
The song of early-’90s junior high couples everywhere.

ANDREW HICKS
I don’t know that there’s a woman alive that would like Bryan Adams to dedicate everything he does to her. What about when he has diarrhea?

TONY FYLER
I own the CD single of that appalling Bryan Adams Robin Hood bollocks, but it’s not so much a guilty pleasure as a guilty “Why the fuck is this still in my collection?”

RICHARD WENTZ
Kiss From A Rose.” He’s the only seal I wouldn’t club.

T. ALLAN CHRISTOPHER
I think someone already done clubbed Seal there, Rich.

TIFFANY HICKS
Andrew reduces all my favorite ’70s hit radio nostalgia to being “Michael Bolton Channel” music. Fleetwood Mac‘s “Sentimental Lady” means so much more to me than that.

ANDREW HICKS
My wife is not joking. We do both happen to love the Christopher Cross bifecta of “Arthur’s Theme” and “Sailing.” That dude started off his career looking like a permed Andy Richter and now looks like the other guy from Tenacious D‘s big brother. But Chris Cross’s voice is smooth as silk, and he has almost 200 Facebook friends now!

TONY FYLER
I like T’Pau. Anybody else do an a capella version of the opening to “Heart and Soul,” or is that just me?

ERIC DOHMAN
Jesus, I’m gonna have to go get a jug of wine and a yearbook if I listen to all these fucking songs. Where’s my Xanax?

EMILY TOOPS
At least the songs you guys can reminisce to are halfway decent, or at least amusing. I’m 19. When I look back on high school, I’ll have to think about Katy Perry and “The Stanky Leg.”

JESSICA STIMSON
Oh, Sweet Jesus, I can’t believe I’m going to reveal this, but here goes… Celine Dion‘s “If You Asked Me To.” Nobody can belt out a ballad like that crazy Canadian bitch. Watch her sometime. She pounds on her chest to release the music.

ANDREW HICKS
Stimson, my guilty Celine Dion pleasure is “Where Does My Heart Beat Now.” And, fuck, I do actually kind of like that Titanic song.

ERIC DOHMAN
What’s the WNF razor budget?

TONY FYLER
Oh fuck, if we’re coming out of the Celine Dion closet… (holds up CD single of “Because You Loved Me,” buries head in pure unadulterated shame…)

ANDREW HICKS
Fyler, that song was also straight from the pen of one Diane Warren. The devil wears Prada AND hires session guitarists for 8-bar soft-rock solos.

ANNE GARDNER
I was just reading this thread before getting in the car to go shopping, and what happened? Celine Dion came on the radio. What’d I do? Yeah… I turned it up.

J.MIZ
I do like “On My Own” with Patti LaBelle and Michael McDonald, but I also like walking into parked cars

T. ALLAN CHRISTOPHER
I’d have to go with an Andrew Hicks staple, Michael Bolton. “Said I Loved You But I Lied” is pimp shit. If you don’t agree meet me out back, bitch!

ANDREW HICKS
I wish I could have been the Grammy presenter when that Bolton song was nominated for Best Male Vocal or whatever. I would’ve announced Bolton the winner, waited for him to walk up to accept, then I woulda told him, “Said you won, but I lied.” I’ve been telling that joke for 16 years now. I’ve even published it in this blog before. And yet I bother to put that same joke in another post. #pathetic

%d bloggers like this: