Dave Matthews to the Bell: guilty pleasures exposed

Brian Horn and Brian Horn

One day I was sitting around listening to, I believe it was, “A Space Between” by the Dave Matthews Band, and I felt really embarrassed while doing it. After all, being a half-assed metalhead, I found it quite embarrassing to enjoy such a sappy love song by a less-than-rocking Matthews.

Then it occurred to me that there are plenty of songs I enjoy that I could never reveal for fear of getting made fun of or beat up. So, being that I am a dork and I had nothing better to do, I compiled a list of songs that I am very fond of, but could never bring myself to admit out loud.

That is, until I came up with the bright idea to make a CD called, “Songs I am Embarrassed to Like.” That way, when I was listening to these masterpieces and one of my roommates walked by my bedroom, they wouldn’t laugh and pelt me with a chewing tobacco can or a banana peel. I could show them the CD and its title and that would validate my bad taste. Even if it didn’t, it would give me something to do until “Smallville” came on. Anyway, the criteria to make the CD was simple. If I was self-conscious playing the song above a volume level of five and did not own the album it was on, the song was fair game.

So for your reading enjoyment, or lack thereof, here are the 10 best tracks from “Songs I’m Embarrassed to Like,” Volumes 1 and 2.

“Mandy” by Barry Manilow: Ummm, yep I said it. I think this is a well-crafted song….well crafted to get your ass beat if you admit it.

“How Do You Talk To Angel” by Jamie Walters: The somewhat hit from the ill-fated TV show “The Heights,” this song proved that Walters could do more than push Donna Martin down a flight of stairs on 90210. Well it didn’t, but it was a darn catchy song that had 13-year- old girls melting. Unfortunately, I’m a 23-year-old male and still like the song. Hence why I am still single, ladies.

“Just like a Pill” by Pink: My dude told me if this song ever came on at a bar, I’d get ripped on for the rest of the night. Then I realized this was coming from someone whose nickname was “Pubes” so I didn’t feel so bad. The song kind of rocks, but not enough to state in public that I like it……until now.

“Come with Me” by Puff Daddy with Jimmy Page: Someone once wrote that when Jimmy Page took that inevitable “Stairway to Heaven,” John Bonham would be waiting there to kick his ass for allowing Puffy to use the music to “Kashmir.” I have to agree, but still think the song has some appeal. If my opinion mattered, I bet Bonham would be waiting for me too.

The ‘Saved by the Bell” Graduation Theme: I had some respect for myself until I realized I took the time to download this song. Now don’t get this confused with the theme to “SBTB”, because this was the tune that was featured in the episode with the class song contest. Zack sabotaged the contest so he would win and not be remembered as a class clown, but in the end the gang comes together and they sing this ode to Bayside. Hey, I told you I was a dork. Now there’s concrete evidence.

“Crawling in the Dark” by Hoobastank: A pretty heavy song, but these Incubus wannabes really come off as somewhat corny in my book. Selling out to Mountain Dew didn’t help their cause, either. “Glory Days” by Bruce Springsteen: I don’t know why, but I always think of NASCAR when I hear this. Which raises the question, which is worse: being a fan of NASCAR or a fan of this Springsteen classic?

“Amanda” by Boston: Toledo’s own Tom Scholz wrote this gem. I think he is probably more embarrassed about being from Toledo than I am for liking this song. A great classic rock ballad and a name that is usually attached to attractive young ladies. “Still the One” by Shania Twain: I seriously question my sexuality when I give this a listen. Then I look at her and everything is back to normal.

“Lady in Red” by Chris Deburgh: The only thing worse than listening to this ballad is listening to it on Valentine’s Day with another guy in the room while you play video games. Come to think of it, that’s what I was doing on Valentine’s Day.

Well, there you have it. Ten cuts that make me put my face in my hands and wonder what is wrong with me. Now I know how Metallica fans worldwide feel.