Songs Of Mass Embarassment: Part One

A real Jux feature! No foolin’!

Any true music fan accumulates certain songs over time that are, how shall we say, less than uplifting to his or her reputation. In my triumphant return to doing real features I decided to delve deep into my massive music collection, pulling forth songs that I love, but that any proper high school student would get beaten up for listening to. Once you see the list I don’t think any more explanation will be necessary, yet I plan to give it to you. In the immortal words of (hed) pe, let’s get this shit started.

Ace of Base – Dancer in a Daydream
This album first hit way back when I was in elementary school. I can honestly remember singing along to “The Sign” while climbing on the jungle gym at Canton Elementary, proving that I have never actually been cool to the majority of populace. As far as songs on this list go this one is among the least offensive to the reputation. However, the first law of pop music comes into effect here, stating that every good pop song written by someone with a last name other than Lennon, McCartney, Harrison or Morrison will become less cool with each passing year. Fortunately for all involved this is an exponential drop which means that the worst is already over. Otherwise this song would already be a big enough hole in the electromagneticoolosphere to suck up New York City, and then we’d have to go to war with Sweden. Ace of Base would fill the world with the TERRAR.

The song itself is nothing special, but catchy. See also: Don’t Turn Around, same album.

Boyz II Men – Motownphilly
You have to give these guys at least a little credit. They were phenomenally successful for a large part of the 1990’s despite two huge shortcomings. First, these guys were less cool than the band geeks in high school. The low water mark of coolness set by these guys wouldn’t be successfully bettered until the Streets hit over a decade later. If you’re only marginally more cool than a four foot tall British rapper , you know you’ve got problems. Tie that together with a name spelled with all the originality of a dyslexic script kiddie on a video game forum and it’s amazing these guys are remembered with any more respect than the New Kids on the Block. And yet, I still like this song.

Chumbawamba – Amnesia
I picked Amnesia at random from the songs on this album. In truth, I love the whole damn thing except one song. And that song is Tubthumping. What happened to the name of Chumbawamba should be a lesson to all rock bands everything: if you write a pop song, you will be remembered for only that pop song, and I will kill your mother.

Cyndi Lauper – She Bop
One of my friends recently tried to get me into the Dresden Dolls. My opinion? I liked Coin Operated Boy better when it was this song.

Cyndi’s music from the 80’s is really without reproach, and this song in particular is amazing. The only real problem is that it suffers from the effects of the first law of pop music just as the Ace of Base track does. This song is so old that it’s only marginally more popular than Bing Crosby. But it’s still fucking awesome.

The Donnas – Too Bad About Your Girl
I’ve done a feature about these women before, but did you know this song was written my Millard Fillmore? Yep, totally true.

En Vogue – Free Your Mind
Do you remember when being a black woman was cool? In Living Color was on TV, En Vogue and Salt N Pepa had a new song out every week, and Martin Lawrence was a popular comedian…so long as he dressed up like a black woman. A really fucking hideous black woman.

What happened to these times? The Spice Girls.

I still like this song. It sucks. It’s lame. It’s stupid. But I can’t help but wonder…had I not followed the song’s advice and freed my mind, would I be able to listen to this song? Would I be able to admit that En Vogue has all the artistic merit of a lump of salami singing the H.M.S. Pinafore? Would I have bought tickets to that salami show from that blind man just because he was wearing a shirt that said “OMG H4X”?

Garth Brooks – I’ve Got Friends in Low Places
Another example of Millard Fillmore’s work. After becoming the most forgotten President in history, Mr. Fillmore spent a good deal of time in bars. In fact, he sired more illegitimate children than Thomas Jefferson, John F. Kennedy and Hillary Clinton combined. And no one cared, because he was Millard Fillmore.

Justin Timberlake – Rock Your Body
This was one of three songs played endlessly by Italian MTV, the only station we could watch in English while I was living in Tuscany. It also played at every club and bar around. Honestly, it’s not half bad. In fact, thanks to the video, I now know I can kick Justin Timberlake’s ass whenever I feel like it.

Having a bad week? Let’s go beat the shit out of Justin Timberlake on national TV!

Travis “Zengrophyte” Rosenbaum drive his car into your house? Baseball bat + Timberlake. Problem solved before dinner.

Your four year old niece not get picked for the school play? She can kick his ass too! It’s a family game!

God bless you, poindexter. Boomp, boomp, boomp indeed.

Koda Kumi – Real Emotion
I love you, Yunie.*

Limp Bizkit – Break Stuff
There are a few universal truths about Limp Bizkit. Fred Durst is the worst leading man in rock and roll history. Limp Bizkit is the stupidest name in music history. Bizkit is one of the worst musical acts in the entirety of human experience.

The final truth? Everyone loves this song anyway. Fuck if I know why.

That’s all for right now , but this is just the first 10 of a list of 20.** Stay tuned for more from the return of Jux!

* Real nerds will not need this joke explained.
** By which I mean 21

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