Everyone has those songs they don't want to admit they love, especially if their friends constantly think they have better music taste than everyone else. For a long time, I was afraid to embrace any bubblegum pop song or obscure throwback power ballad because it was just, like, so
not cool. But honestly, everything is better when you don't worry about what people think of your music taste. So sing along to those silly pop songs and air-guitar your heart out. There's a reason you think these guilty pleasure songs are good, and that's because they're just good.
1. "I Don't Wanna Miss A Thing" - Aerosmith
There's nothing better than singing along to a huge, cheesy power ballad without a care in the world. The fact that this song was nominated for both an Academy Award for Best Original Song and a Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Original Song pretty much sums up how everyone feels about it.
2. "Beautiful Day" - U2
I will never be ashamed to admit I like listening U2, no matter what the most trusted names in music say. The band gets such a bad rep, but they've been churning out hits for decades. "Beautiful Day" demonstrates U2 at their best: a dramatic rock anthem filled with a soaring chorus and ambitious crescendo.
3. "Santeria" - Sublime
Ska punk is overall lost on me, but this song has quickly become a classic taste of the 90s. It's the definition of a feel-good summer jam - definitely what you should be playing while you're cracking a cold one with the boys.
4. "Once In a Lifetime" - Talking Heads
I have surprisingly vivid memories of my parents forcing me to listen to this song when I was little, which might be why it's shamelessly still one of my favorites. Basically I just want to dance like David Byrne does in this video and not get crazy looks from strangers, is that really too much to ask?
5. "Yellow" - Coldplay
Before they turned into synth-enthusiasts and Chainsmokers collaborators, Coldplay was all about the ballads. These lyrics feel like they were pulled straight from the script of a bad rom-com, but every time you start to feel bored of it, that melody pulls you right back in again.
6. "Sunday Morning" - Maroon 5
The way I see it, Maroon 5 should have just stopped after Songs About Jane.
The album set them apart from what was considered pop music at the time, and it's a little sad they've changed so drastically. But you'll never catch me not singing along to this beautiful, jazzy slow-jam.
7. "September" - Earth, Wind and Fire
This song is just irresistible - can anyone sit still while listening to this brilliant 70s bop? Disco can be so gaudy, but this song is pure bliss. Don't even try to talk to me about the Christmas-themed reboot, "December,"
8. "Friday I'm In Love" - The Cure
Whenever I think guilty pleasure, I think new wave. The 80s were dramatic and vibrant and romantic and weird, and all of that comes to fruition in the shimmering, transcendent music of The Cure. You might think you know all the words as a joke, but you have to admit "Friday I'm In Love" is pop perfection.
9. "Wannabe" - Spice Girls
We've already made the argument that "Wannabe" is the best pop song ever written
, and that means you absolutely shouldn't feel guilty to like it. There's something so satisfying about this ridiculously catchy pop chorus, and despite what haters think, the Spice Girls made girl power popular.
10. "Brown Eyed Girl" - Van Morrison
This song became a go-to for block parties and has suffered far too many tasteless covers, but it's a classic all the same. Even though I firmly believe Astral Weeks
is the best thing Van Morrison has ever done, the bass line on song deserves an award.
11. "Since U Been Gone" - Kelly Clarkson
guilty pleasure. If you don't sing every word at the top of your lungs when you hear it, we can't be friends.