OPEN THREAD: Music You’re Embarrassed To Love

At least 2 – 3 times per month I receive a formspring question or comment from a reader who feels ashamed for enjoying a particular song or artist, usually as either a result of their own conscience or of shit-talk from friends. Some examples sitting in my inbox right now:

“Is it okay that I really, really love Ke$ha?”
“My girlfriend makes fun of me for listening to Katy Perry”
“I know I shouldn’t love Kreayshawn but I can’t help it. Is that bad?”
“Should I feel guilty for liking Miley Cyrus?”

I thought rather than write a preachy two-thousand word article about how everyone should own their jams and fuck all the haters (okay honestly that essay has been written, it’s sitting in drafts where it’ll stay), how about we all just ‘fess up to the ‘uncool’ music we love and help make these guilt-ridden question-askers feel less alone. Hit us with your worst in the comments section below.

Of course, I don’t expect anyone to publicly tarnish their music cred without doing it myself first. Here’s a list of the most ’embarrassing’ songs found on my iPod, as chosen/determined by the biggest music snob I know. I love all of them.

No Shame


Tik Tok – Ke$ha
Honey To The Bee – Billie Piper
When The Lights Go Out – 5ive
Why Not – Hilary Duff
Predictable – Good Charlotte
Leave Out All The Rest – Linkin Park
Candy – Mandy Moore
We Got The Party (With Us) – Hannah Montana ft. The Jonas Bros
Step By Step – New Kids On The Block
Rock God – Selena Gomez & The Scene
Pointless Relationship – Tammin Sursok
We’re All In This Together – High School Musical cast
Sk8er Boi – Avril Lavigne
Ninja Rap – Vanilla Ice

You can listen to the playlist here, if you want to? It’s fine if you don’t want to. 

What are your guilty pleasures? What do you think makes a certain artist embarrassing and/or uncool? Is it because they don’t write their own music, or because their poster is on your 11-year old niece’s bedroom wall? Is it because they wrote a song for a Twilight soundtrack or because Pitchfork gave their album 3/10, or even 10/10? Why do we rank some of these things as more embarrassing than others?

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Founding member. Former writer. Still loves Autostraddle with her whole heart.

Crystal has written 320 articles for us.


  1. Never be ashamed of Billie Piper.
    I’m never ashamed of what I listen to until I let someone look at my iPod. “The Magnetic Fields? The Mountain Goats? Amanda Palmer? WHO ARE THESE PEOPLE?” they all say. I’ve been called a closet hipster for my taste in music that none of my friends have heard of.

    But, Call Me Maybe. Shit’s my jam.

    • I love Taylor Swift! I know, I know, most people dislike her. I just like that she’s so down to earth and really just a big dork like me :) I’m really liking the other songs that are going to be on her new album. Check out “Ronan” (it will make you cry) and “Begin Again.”

    • Haha, this is wicked!! I have every single one of her albums and have been to the past two concerts she held here in Adelaide, and I shook her hand!! Super in love but I cop a lot of shit about about it all the time by my soccer team mates :D I will still blissfully sing her songs out loud and proud though.

    • YESSSS. I’ve been so ashamed of turning this song up when it comes on the radio, but it’s so damn catchy.

  2. I’m sometimes mildly ashamed when I remember that I do indeed know all the words to “One Thing” by One Direction. But then I remember not to give any fucks.

    • One Direction though. They’re totally my guilty pleasure but now people have stopped making fun of me so much for liking them ^_^

      • I’ve been willingly looking up the video for “What Makes You Beautiful” multiple times a day on YouTube over the past few weeks…

      • One Direction’s style should be to lesbians what Sex And The City is to straight femme women.

        I have watched their music videos probably over a dozen times (muted of course :-P) just to look at the clothes they are wearing. If nothing else, they are style icons.

      • So I noticed that the boys in One Direction have exactly the style that I would look for in a perfect girlfriend/queerfriend. Also the Biebs is pretty high up on the list in terms of style. Not weird. Not weird at all.

  3. I have almost all of those songs on my iPhone– yes, not just are they in my iTunes library, but I like them enough/put them on enough playlists for them to make it onto my iPhone. But I feel like it’s become the thing to embrace nostalgia and like a badge of honor to have 90s pop music in your library.

    Meanwhile, I’m truly embarrassed to own every Oasis album up to 2002 and a lot of Everclear. A lotttttt of Everclear. Remember Everclear? Jesus christ do I remember Everclear. Also, the soundtracks to the first two Twilight movies. They were just giving them away, okay??

    • Hey, the Twilight soundtrack was awesome. GRIZZLY BEAR was on there. LYKKE LI was on there. REGRET NOTHING! (except maybe everclear a little)

      • The Twilight soundtracks are the most solid albums ever!! NEW MOON was my favorite album for a while. They got really good artists, people need to look past the Twilight label!

    • EVERCLEAR! I remained a fan of Everclear for about ten years longer than society considered acceptable, I was one of the five people who purchased the ‘American Movie’ album series and actually enjoyed it. I’ve been known to quote their lyrics often.

      Also I really love the Twilight soundtracks, I genuinely believe that they are good.

      • On my flight home from A-Camp I watched Pop-Up Video for like 3 hrs straight and there was an Everclear video that brought back all the late 90s feels for me. It was the most wonderful thing.

      • “Learning How to Smile” was my final-essay writing jam the last weeks of college. Ugh going to listen to it right now NO SHAME.

      • Wait, I mean “Now That It’s Over” wait I mean I’m an Everclear fan and even I can’t tell their titles part.

  4. Ummm Ninja Rap, as in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2: The Secret of the Ooze???
    I love this thread. Also +1 to Mandy Moore- Candy. That video made me feel feelings as a small, confused girl.

    I’m not afraid to admit that I own Hanson’s “Middle of Nowhere” album. That shit was my jam (in middle school, you guys).

  5. While I’m not embarrassed about the stuff I listened to in middle school (it’s past the uncool phase and into either the nostalgia one or ‘dude, no fucks given; this was /my song/’ one), I will admit that the USWNT’s video to Party in the USA makes me want to jam to it every time it comes on the radio now.

  6. I love this playlist.

    I actually wrote my undergraduate dissertation on the concept of guilty pleasure music! I recently changed my ringtone to Gimme More by Britney Spears.

  7. Spice Girls.

    Actually, I’ve gotten over the embarrassment factor. I care zero percent if people judge me for enjoying this. I loved them as a teenager, I love them now. It was the first big concert I ever went to. I still, somehow, know all of the dance moves to their songs and all of the lyrics. If only I still had my VHS copy of Spice World…

    • I am an unabashed Spice Girls fan. The one thing I *may* be embarassed about is having Forever… the album they released in 2000 after they were already panned. I remember wanting to share that album with my friends but most of them were listening to Weezer and Eminem by that point.

    • YES! I was going to write this, too, except that I’m not embarrassed because Spice World is the greatest movie ever.

    • There is nothing wrong with the Spice Girls. Nothing to be ashamed of :) hell, every once in a while, I play my Spice Girl game (you remember that old playstation game for the movie). I mean, “If you wanna be my lover, you gotta get with my friends.”

  8. I love One Direction, but I fully admit to that so I guess it’s not really guilty. My guilty pleasures are probably Robbie Williams, Backstreet Boys, and Ke$ha.

  9. I have loads of indie stuff on my playlists and many of my favourites are songs most of my friends never heard. But I also have lots of popular stuff. And I’m almost 30 years old but I’m never ashamed to say that I love listening to Taylor Swift’s songs, know multiple Miley Cyrus ones, think The BackStreet Boys music (and similar) expresses the deepest emotions and seem to have an affinity for the music from young Disney/Family Channel stars. And let’s not forget Celine Dion – she probably still holds the record for the artist who has the most songs I know. And by ‘know’ I mean can say/sing ALL the lyrics.

  10. For me it’s the non-ironic non-hipster enjoyment I derive from 80s pop music. That’s right people – this is what it sounds like when doves cry…

  11. I know all the words to “You Belong with Me” and “The Bad Touch,” and I regret nothing. It’s like with food, I love quinoa and tofu, but sometimes I just need some ice cream.

  12. Remember Kriss Kross? I totes used to wear my pants backwards, which is real awkwardsauce considering the fact I grew up on a farm where people didn’t listen to hip hop and just thought I had trouble getting dressed.

    • I definitely wore my clothes backwards a couple times in middle school. It was uncomfortable and made going to the bathroom somewhat difficult, not gonna lie.

    • I still listen to some of their stuff, my bro and I use to jump in the living room, when that song came on. On a slightly related note, I like two other songs, “to live and for hip hop,” which had Aaliyah, Da Brat and Jermaine Dupri on the track and “Tonights the night.”

    • I love Hanson way too much. They are on and off my most-listened to artist (I even have proof: – they’re not exactly compatible with the rest of my listening habits) and last year I saw them live 7 times… In my defence, they played London 7 times in one year, and I live in London, so it’s not like I was following them around or anything.

      Generally I now have to “come out” to new people in my life as both gay AND a Hanson fan, and guess which causes the most raised eyebrows…

      So here I am, coming out publicly as a Hanson fan. Again.

      • ALSO (afterthought)

        NOTE TO ALL LESBIANS: Hanson concerts are full of queer ladies.

        Apparently lots of girls either a) had crushes on them and their beautiful flowing golden locks, or b) wanted to be them. I fall under the latter.

        • Augh, so jealous. I’ve yet to see them in concert.

          I love them so much; my sister and I used to spend our Friday nights at the Dairy Queen, and we’d get some soft-serve and listen to Hanson in the car.

          It was never not the best thing ever.

    • They still come around every year or so and have five or six albums that are really really good. Also I was in love with Taylor as a kid, probably a strong indication that I was going to like girls when I grew up.

  13. I have so many embarrassing songs on my phone… top 5 mortification inducing songs would have to be:

    5. Dorrough – Ice cream paint job
    4. Eddie Rabbit – I love a rainy night
    3. Iggy Azalea – Pu$$y
    2. Glee Cas – Disco Inferno
    1. Celine Dion – If that’s what it takes

    • Is “I Love a Rainy Night” supposed to be embarrassing? Damn. That was the best song ever when I was 10, and I’m surprised that I don’t seem to have it on my hard drive. (I have a LOT of music on my hard drive, due to mp3fiesta’s $50-all-you-can-download-in-a-year deal a few years ago, plus the fact that I once lived with a bunch of hippies who all had giant music collections and passed around a portable hard drive copying whatever we wanted. Thus, my mp3 player contains both cheesy new-age goddess-worshiping harp music and Mexican death metal. But not Eddie Rabbit! This must be fixed.)

    • Pu$$y-Iggy Azalea….sooo in love with that song. Not even ashamed. I would force my sorority sisters to listen to it at pregames…

  14. Fall Out Boy has been playing non-stop in my head since 2006. And Reliant K, which I think has a lot to do with spending a lot of time in Presbyterian youth groups as a kid.

    • Yeah, my girlfriend gives me so much flak for the amount of Glee on our computer… but it’s so catchy.
      Damn them.

    • GLEE YOU LIFE RUINER. one time i got so mad at myself that i was rapping along to their TERRIBLE KID POP version of “Empire State of Mind” that had to delete it from my glee running playlist.

      • …yeah, I find myself waiting for the “Someone like you” interlude when I’m listening to the original “Rumor has it.” It’s kinda sad.

        • to be fair if you’re going to pick a glee song to love, an adele mashup about lesbian feelings sung by two of their best singers is NOT A BAD PLACE TO START

  15. I’m stuck between liking that Moves like Jagger song and wondering why there’s so many songs about Mick Jagger lately. (Two is a lot.)

  16. I have a whole playlist on my ipod called “you’re so lame, this song is about you”

    B*Witched- C’est La Vie
    Hannah Montana- Nobody’s Perfect
    Hanson- A Minute Without You
    Any song created between 2004 and 2008 that also has a dance.
    Gunther- The Ding Dong Song
    Muscles- Ice Cream
    All the Spice Girls
    Britney Spears- Lucky

    • This is also where the Glee goes. They are beautful, but admitting that I watch that show for the good singles is quite the embarassment.

    • C’est La Vie!! I still watch that video on a weekly basis. Say you will, say you won’t. Mostly say you will though!

    • B*Witched! Looooved them – found my CDs a few months ago and listened to the B*Witched one for kicks. C’est La Vie is still catchy! I know the words to Christina Perri’s Thousand Years because someone made an awesome River Song video set to it. Embarrassed to admit I actually like the Glee version of Dog Days Are Over MORE than the Florence & the Machine original :( Old school N’Sync – like the first two albums, none of this JT solo shit. Airplanes – BOB and whateverhernameis from thatoneband.

  17. i own a lot of Glee versions of things

    i think most of the music i listen to is probably embarrassing
    Like Britney

  18. I’m embarrassed by one or two songs on my iPod eg: Gamer Girl, Country Boy. Do You Wanna Date My Avatar, Game On and my Dr. Horrible soundtrack

    Basically I just have a massive crush on Felicia day, I do watch one direction music vids on YT along with CRJ and other such pop music I refuse do download these songs so as not to ruin my indie cred

    (I am also embarrassed by my acoustic and normal copies of I Don’t Have A Favourite Pony by Hank Green)

    • I have the Dr. Horrible soundtrack memorized. Like, every single part by every singer because I’ve listened to it so many times. I had one friend who would start the opening lines to Bad Horse and then I would sing all of it and then the second version. NO SHAME.

      • I don’t have any shame in loving Dr. Horrible it just looks a bit weird next to all my hipsterish music (I’m not a hipster I just like their music) I also have when she loved me by Sarah McLachlan (it’s that song from toy story 2 that was playing when Jessie’s person was slowly forgetting her and then left her

      • Just pointing out that Dr. Horrible totally united me and my girlfriend! She started humming it at work, I had a nerd-attack that someone else knew of Dr.Horrible and the rest is history and completely out of tune sing-alongs <3

  19. I often find myself singing along to One Direction when they come on the radio. I suppose I should be embarrassed, but I just don’t care.

    • NEVER apologize for Disney soundtracks. I’m a grown woman who still secretly plans to honeymoon on a Disney cruise ship, so the soundtracks are the least of my worries. Everyone loves to bust out with “Hakuna Matata” every now and then.

      • Oh! Also, if it was on “Phineas and Ferb” I already love it. But that’s because I not-so-secretly want to be Perry the Platypus.

        Also Muppets FTW.

    • I keep my love for Disney music pretty well hidden because, well, it’s too cliche, I won’t say I’m in love.

  20. Okay, so first off I have to say one thing: Blalock’s Indie Rock Playlist!!!

    Secondly, Regina Spektor, Imogen Heap, and HAIM!…Also Bev Lee Harling, and Emilie Autumn!

    Also I’m a not so secret fan of old school country (like the country your grandparents listened to)…but I’m not ashamed of that one…

    • sshhhhh now you’re just bragging about how cool your music taste is
      I will be the first to admit I know about Bev Lee Harling solely because of The Mediaeval Baebes
      they’re also how I found out about Miranda Sex Garden, which I declared THE MUSIC OF MY SOUL for a while when I was like, a junior/senior in high school

  21. Is Alanis Morissette embarrassing? Because for years I was so embarrassed about liking her. Then again, I was slightly obsessed so perhaps that’s where the vague feeling of shame came from …

  22. Lots of Glee stuff, almost my entire collection of country music, Taio Cruz, Pitbull, Flo Rida, Carly Rae Jepsen, Katy Perry, et al. Although the latter stuff I blame on my workouts and needing something with a good beat…

  23. Call Me Maybe, yes. But also songs by Lady Antebellum, Taylor Swift, and The Backstreet Boys. (In my defense, though, music by the Backstreet Boys helped get me through some things, so it is not to be sneezed at.) Also: Disney and (sometimes) bad country music.

  24. I used to consider Shakira my guilty pleasure until my girlfriend told me she was crazy about her and knows all her songs in Spanish. Now we just jam to La Tortura together :)

    My real guilty pleasure these days is HEYYEYAAEYAAAEYAEYAA, you know, with He Man. My girlfriend and roommates hate it but for some reason I just can’t stop loving it. I think it embodies all my populist love for the internet.

    • I love that video so much I wanna take it behind the middle school and get it pregnant. OHH MY GOD DO I TRYYYYY
      And RE: Shakira- I’m obsessed with ‘Whenever, Wherever’, mostly because of the lyric “Lucky that my breasts are small and humble so you don’t confuse them with mountains” because what?? Shakira in Spanish = fantastic though.


    When I was in the airport waiting for my luggage before A Camp, with very little sleep, “Since U Been Gone” came on and it made my day. Not Elli’s day. Because she didn’t like me singing to her.

    • Um, Kelly Clarkson is not embarrassing, Kelly Clarkson is AWESOME. I have seen her live twice, no fucks given.

    • Can we devote a thread to just that – songs we heard before A camp?
      I heard “I Should Be So Lucky” by Kylie Minogue while buying beer the morning of the first day and it popped back into my head and stuck there the rest of camp. Given what was going on it was plot appropriate.

      Mentally that is my A camp theme song for September 2012.

  26. …”Kiss my Country Ass” by Rhett Atkins

    I love that song without a trace of irony, in all of its rebel flag glory.

  27. Boybands. I could sing every Backstreet Boys song. I dont understand it, but give me any cheesey bubblegum pop and I’m yours.

    Also the Carly Rae Jepsen album is just good. Its the album of the century.

  28. I feel like music you loved as a child gets the nostalgia free pass and is therefore not embarrassing. I will freely admit that my sister and I went to the NKOTBSB concert last summer and I screamed like a 10-year-old girl the whole time. Especially when Joey McIntyre sang “Please Don’t Go Girl;” I would still marry him if he ever asked me and my wife knows this. ;)

    My embarrassing music is Glee. I have literally hundreds of Glee songs on my computer and I put them all in order of how they aired on the show in a playlist called “Gay Sharks.” I also have a playlist called “Straight Up Bitch” for the songs featuring Naya. No fucks given.

  29. I enjoy Coldplay and for some reason feel this is not good? Also the Killers. And, er… Michelle Branch. There MAY have been a certain year of my life when “Goodbye to You” was my most played iTunes track. Oh, god, so much shame.

    • coldplay. my family has this tradition of singing “fix you” in the car. with my 9-year-old badass sister just singing “uuuuhoooohuuuuuh” because it gets on her nerves.

      • Fix You and The Scientist are both songs that make me feel feelings. I feel like Coldplay is alright for that, even if the rational part of me thinks they’re the poor man’s Radiohead.

        • Fix You makes me feel all the feelings too. Love.

          But here’s what I don’t love. When TV shows (I see you Grey’s and The Newsroom) use it to force me to feel those feelings instead of just making good tv. Lazy.

    • There is no reason at all to be ashamed of Michelle Branch. Her whole first album and that one song she did with Santana will always be my favorite things.

  30. My roommate and I recently watched the Katy Perry movie and now we listen to Katy Perry nonstop. I’m not really embarrassed about my love of trashy pop music at all, though. I proudly talk about how much I love Kesha, Carly Rae Jepsen and Rihanna…and I’m listening to the new Taylor Swift song right now.

  31. Yanni. Oh my god Yanni. I have loved him and his flowing Greek locks since I was a kid.

    Also, Enya.

    Not sorry. Not one bit.

    OH and Taking Back Sunday.

    • Brit, I am sure you are an awesome human being but that’s still one of the most hilarious moments of my life in high school – we were in a creative writing class where everyone got a day to play music that was inspirational to them, and this 5’10 girl on the Volleyball team got up and popped in the CD player “Yanni: Live at the Acropolis.”

      Which goes to prove you never know.

      • “Live at the Acropolis” is my jam. I was definitely not a 5’10 volleyball player, but I’m glad to know that I’m not alone!

    • My mom has a recording of me and my dad dancing to Yanni in the living room of our apartment when I was around three years old. No regrets, Yanni is awesome, and I was a really cute kid.

  32. Am I the only person that loves the made for Sims freeplay music – like Sta Moogie? (yes it’s in simlish and yes I know all the words)
    that is my deepest darkest secret
    if any real people in my life find out it I am dead

    I don’t even like sims….

  33. The time I came home to find my roommate cleaning the appartment, the second she shouted out “EVERAAAAYBOOOOODAY” because Backstreet Boys was on? That could have happened to me too.

    90’s parties are our guilty pleasure here.

    The best music video of all time to me is a DJ Bobo video.


      • I feel like everyone should know him and memorize his moves. what’s wrong with the video? everything’s so perfect. the setting, the clothes, the dance, the effing lyrics!! just perfect!

  34. I may or may not have several KISS albums on my iPod. And all of Madonna’s albums through 2006.

    And a lot of Garth Brooks.

    Also, I can’t help myself when it comes to Michael Bubble – or however the fuck you spell his name.

  35. When After Ellen had a similar thread, I combed through the comments, acquired every single track, and never looked back. I’ll be doing the same thing here, so thanks, Straddlers!

    For your consideration: Soul Decision “Faded” and the Gwen “Hollaback” remix of “Since U Been Gone.” Enjoy.


    “i don’t really…listen to music”


  37. Britney Spears, Backstreet Boys, Justin Timberlake, Spice Girls, and ABBA…I have so much ABBA on my itunes it’s ridiculous

      • um excuse me ABBA is amazing and there is no shame in ABBA love. I once came upon a bar full of dutch people in Geneva who had just lost a football match and we drank beer and sang ABBA long into the night to assuage their heartbreak.

        ABBA brings people together.

      • Exactly. ABBA is fabulous. Totally not afraid to pull up to a stop sign with my windows rolled down blasting ABBA.

        Plus it has the added bonus of bringing up memories of Muriel’s Wedding.

  38. Archie Bell & the Drells – ‘Girl you’re too young’

    ” GUUURRRRRRLLLLL YOU’RE TOO YOOOUUUNG! Yo mamma won’t allow it “

  39. Hanson. The Backstreet Boys (pre-Black & Blue). The Moffats. N*Sync. 98*. The Spice Girls. Christina Aguilera.

    Love that shit.

  40. Ricky Martin and Weird Al.

    Also any music by lesbians because sometimes I have this thing about not being a walking stereotype and I already have short hair and glasses and wear hiking boots at least two days a week and drive an old Subaru. So, you know. It’s clearly a lost cause and I probably should just embrace it but if someone asks me what I’m listening to I’m still compelled to lie if it happens to be Melissa Etheridge.

  41. You should NEVER be ashamed to have ANY Linkin Park song on your iPod! I am not ashamed to say I have every single one of them indeed. Guilty Pleasure is most definitely…HANSON. Yes THAT Hanson. Still my mom never knew that I secretely love Zach because he looked like this girl I knew back then… But seriously their music is kick ass!

  42. Mark Morrison
    Return of the Mack.

    When you are feelin’ shitty, just throw that jam on and you are better. If not, then watch Tibette on youtube.

    Sadness fixed.

  43. Yep I still listen to the old Avril stuff.
    And the first two Linkin Park albums…I got the vibe that Autostraddle isn’t Linkin Park-land.

    Oh and thanks a lot for reminding me of this Good Charlotte album!

      • I should correct myself and say first 3 albums.
        I really like Meteora and I think of Reanimation/Hybrid Theory like one of these markers with two different intensities…if that makes sense :)

    • I still listen to a lot of Linkin Park! I shook off my music shame a few years ago and so I’m not at all embarrassed about the fact that they’re still on my iPod (or any of these other musicians/songs, for that matter).

  44. I used to get teased/soft-bullied for being an avid fan of Jennifer Lopez in Jr High and High School to the point that I’m SURPRISED when people don’t laugh at me to this day. Like. The fuck, what was wrong with J.Lo?

    Also, I learned Russian by listening to a girl group called VIA Gra.

    Normally, I’d say that my entire musical collection is “embarrassing” except that now I’m dating someone who actively likes my music so I don’t feel so gawky anymore sharing my music or obsessions-of-the-month.

  45. I’m not really embarrassed by the music I listen to, and I don’t think you all should be either.

    You only get embarrassed when other people make fun or make you feel bad and that’s on those folks being assholes, enjoy what you enjoy you know. It doesn’t have to be top shelf. It’s like industrial chocolate! Everyone likes some of that milky mostly sugar right before the register sweet once and a while.

  46. nick lachey’s “what’s left of me” from when jessica simpson broke his heart is still my favorite album of all time.

    i have never shared this secret. i feel exposed.

    • I have that album, I love that album and I even learned that song on guitar not ashamed one bit….what I am ashamed of, Nickelback All The Right Reasons, I fucking love that album.

  47. Before I start my shame train, I would just like to say…there is nothing wrong with loving Disney songs. They’re amazing. So yeah.

    My shame: Hall & Oates (dont judge me, I have a problem). Also, I’ve been downloading…legally *cough cough* a shit load of Glee music. I feel bad, but I like some (alot) of the covers (and originals) :/

    • I was just making fun of Hall and Oates at the record store Saturday. But I like “out of touch” so I’m kind of a damned hypocrite.

  48. IMO, as long as it’s not Nickelback, it’s not embarrassing.

    I love me some Rebecca Black and Barbra Streisand.

    • Hm I was close to writing that I sometimes enjoy Nickelback.
      I don’t love them but I’m genuinely curious why everyone has this complete anti attitude about them. I mean, it’s not the best music ever, but there are some creative guitar riffs and melodies and I heard they sound good live (with “good” I mean comparable to their records and they actually know how to play their instruments).
      Just why? (Is this a USA thing?)

      • Hating on Nickelback is a thing that happens in Australia as well, it might be universal. I don’t enjoy their music but I’m not totally offended by it, either.

      • I’m going to level with you here. One Friday night in fall of 2009 I had just finished the longest week of my life and I was in a traffic jam trying to get to the bar with my then girlfriend. The radio DJ was all, “Have You Had A Hard Week!?”
        and we were like “Yes,actually”
        and he was all ” I have a treat for you!”

        and we were all excitement and suspense and then he said it…


        and I’m pretty sure God murdered smurf because the entire town was collectively disappointed.

        Initially they weren’t bad, now they are Creed level ignored, but this is an example of why I love headphones. You really can have it all and shame free! Just don’t call it treat.

  49. I live in a house where Pandora plays Disney songs all day err day on four separate sound systems. I think it’s safe to call this a “safe house”.

    No love for Will Smith? Everybody loves to get jiggy with it…

    • one time i purchased a later will smith single (“Switch”) on the legal version of napster available at my college #100%true

  50. Some people would find my love for the Indigo Girls embarrassing, but they are the greatest, so I don’t care.

    I do feel a little embarrassed I have about 30 Taylor Swift songs on my Ipod and like to play them on my guitar.

      • Oh my god, I’m SO JEALOUS. I live in Germany, I see their facebook posts about their tour almost every day and it is THE WORST. I hope one day I’ll get to see them though. Have a great time and know that I’m incredibly jealous ;)

    • I’m slightly embarassed about my love for the Indigo Girls, too, but I shouldn’t be and neither should you! (Also, Shaming of the Sun is the best road-trip album ever. Maybe I just think that because the memory I associate with it is driving to Kentucky at midnight with my then-bff, but maybe not.)

  51. Hmm. Mostly I give no fucks. But I feel like no understands how much I really really love grunge music. Nirvana and Alice in Chains and Stone Temple Pilots and Pearl Jam and Soundgarden. Nirvana is classified under Art in my head, in the subheading of Music, not the other way around. And everyone else is just like, ‘yeah, they’re pretty good I guess.”

    Also, I like two Simple Plan songs, and four Nickelback songs. And a rather longer list of Matchbox 20 songs. Rob Thomas just has the sexiest voice, okay? In classic rock news, Chilliwack is amazing and no one loves them :(

    • I’m so happy that someone else feels like Nirvana should be classified as art. I just… yeah. And please tell me you’re not actually feeling guilty about them?

    • I don’t understand. There are people who don’t like Nirvana? My whole class got in trouble at the 6th grade dance for slam dancing (i.e. jumping off of chairs and slamming into each other, is this a real thing or did we make it up?) to Teen Spirit.

  52. I feel no guilt when it comes to my music. Especially if it’s a song from the 90s. Once in my exotic dance class I had to use my MP3 player because the studio one broke and frickin’ “Barbie Girl” came on. I taught my girls to rock that.

    The closest to guilt I feel is when I learn a song I love is off the Twilight soundtrack. But “Eyes on Fire” became my best poling song, so now I just say screw it.

  53. i looked through my entire iTunes library and i’m honestly not really ashamed of ANYTHING in there, the only thing i feel mildly bad about is the stuff i downloaded because pitchfork told me to…but then again i liked most of said stuff, so why feel ashamed?

    but i suppose my thing for 80’s swedish eurovision music probably doesn’t make me the coolest person? same with my k-pop favourites, but i just REALLY like intricately choreographed sparkly performances with crazy costumes, sometimes it’s a very welcome relief from my usual pretentious, if lovely, indie music…

    • As much as I LOVE IT ZOMG…I still occasionally feel a tiny bit of shame for being a k-pop fan.

      But then the rest of my music is various indie music and classical stuff and k-indie…so either way, no one knows what the hell I’m listening to.

  54. I am not embarrassed at all by the eclectic music I listen to, I definitely own it and I have no fucks to give. I usually get shit from my brother, so he is always laughing at what I listen to, or merely my existence as he thinks I am “weird.” In any event, weird in my book is synonymous with “interesting,” or “different” and I’m quite use to those types of reactions, so its water off a ducks back. I have been known to slump some Turkish Hip Hop in my car/room/work/where ever I go, Ukrainian music, Portugese Fado, Rhythmic Noise/Industrial music, or anything that sounds good to my ears, regardless of language or genre and I make no apologies for it because it makes me happy and that’s all that matters to me. I live for myself and listen to music for myself.

  55. There’s a handful of cheesy, dramatic ballads that I pretend to like ironically, but actually I really love them:

    Michael Jackson — Earth Song
    Backstreet Boys — Incomplete
    Frankie Goes To Hollywood — The Power of Love (one of my favourite songs)
    Madonna — Oh, Father
    Allure — All Cried Out
    Live — Overcome

    I’m very embarrassed that I love “This Is How You Remind Me” by Nickelback.

    This is really random, but I love the song “Daylight In Your Eyes” by No Angels, a German girl group that I think came out of a reality show. I’m not even German! The song is kind of awful, but there’s something about it that appeals to me.

    I used to love the band H.I.M. when I was younger, but I would have been so ashamed to listen to them in the company of other people, because their lyrics were *so* bad. They were like straight out of the diary of a 14-year-old goth, all the songs were about death and love, suicide, wanting to die with the person you love, etc.

  56. I have a playlist called trashy pop where I put all the guilty pleasure songs. Lately the one I’ve been listening to the most is the Owl City/Carly Rae Jepson song Good Time. Also, there is this mash up of Metallica’s Enter Sandman and Gaga’s Telephone that is amazing.

    When my friends my get-together for game night, we always listen a pandora top hits of the 90s channel that is just chock full of these songs, and we still know all the words.

    • “Also, there is this mash up of Metallica’s Enter Sandman and Gaga’s Telephone that is amazing.”

      Um, I just YT’ed this and HOLY SHIT.

      True confession: I am obsessed with mash ups and it’s all Glee’s fault.

  57. I listen to probably most/all of the songs you guys have listed here but without a hint of embarrassment to be honest.

  58. great. now all i want to do is watch the lizzie mcguire movie.

    also, if the light is off, then it isn’t on. obvs.

  59. My sister-in-law gave me a Hilary Duff cd (Metamorphosis) in middle school because she’s a terrible gift giver, but I might have listened to all the songs on repeat for a good 6 months (and I might have drooled over the album art…) until my friend found out and teased me about it. I still know all the words though.

    Same with Good Charlotte (except for the drooling over the album art), for some reason.

    Also, I love Baby Got Back. In a serious way. I rediscovered it in college and immediately wanted to write an analysis of it’s fat-positive message from a feminist perspective, and discuss where it’s awesome and where it’s problematic.

  60. I could go on forever, but I’ll limit myself to this addition that has yet to be named: blink-182 circa the semi-comeback album, blink-182. And anything Travis Barker has ever remixed.

    This would also be a good time to mention that I love 3LW’s “No More” and the adorable lisp that the one singer has. You’ll never be able to listen to the lyrics “I’m getting a little tired of your broken promitheth promitheth” without thinking of me again, I hope.

  61. I know way too many High school musical songs. Sometimes I have to stop my self from singing “bet on it” while running around in circles for no apparent reasons (just like Troy Bolton)

  62. I like the Backstreet Boys more now than when they were popular. I also really love New Wave, and yes a lot of it is considered cool, but I even love the cheesy stuff. Duran Duran!

  63. So, I mean, I’m not necessarily embarrassed by what I’m about to say, but I know some would be:

    When I was 21, I saw Hanson live…3 times. Also, I still remember the Hanson hotline (did anyone else ever call it?) by heart and sometimes I find myself repeating the hotline number in my head because I made a little jingle out of it.

  64. Okay so I think this is part of my social anxiety coming out, but I have serious issues with letting people see my ipod/what music I like. I always feel like they are going to judge me so harshly. I cannot be in charge of music selection/radio stations because I feel like I have to find music that everyone will like and that I won’t be judged on. Weird, right?

    My ipod is such a random collection of bluegrass, hip hop, 60’s protest songs, hair bands, pop hits and Glee covers.

    But probably I’d have to say that Barenaked Ladies, One Week, is my secret shame/jam.

  65. My Chemical Romance. I’m actually not even embarrassed to like it. Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge is perfect for when you just want a sound track to your real/imagined dramatic angst.

    • I HERE YOU SISTA. I had so many gay feelings to MCR when I was fourteen. Pretty sure I still know all the words to that whole albumn. I REGRET NOTHING!

    • I have every MCR album & Three Cheers is the best, especially in terms of overwrought theatricality. It has powered me through many, many runs. Also Liza Minelli sings in ‘Mama’. So good.

  66. HOLD THE FRONT DOOR ALL THE WAY OPEN. Billie Piper had a music career? Is this something I should have known?

    Also, I am an unabashed Celine Dion lover 5ever. It started as an ironic appreciation because of this video ( and then I briefly had a Celine Dion acoustic cover band, and then I realized I can do a passing impression of her and I’d sing “Power of Love” when my upstairs neighbors were being too noisy, and then I got high and watched a concert DVD of hers that I bought and then I realized it’s not ironic anymore.

    • Yes! Billie Piper was a pop star in the late 90s. I feel like she probably never ‘made it’ as a singer in the US though…?


    And I actually completely love Let’s Go to the Mall from How I Met Your Mother. Not a trace of irony there either.


    And I actually completely love Let’s Go to the Mall from How I Met Your Mother. Not a trace of irony there.

  69. Hilary Duff was my idol for most of my teenaged years.

    In other news, I recently found a copy of Muchdance 2000, sooo we’ve been listening to a lot of Vengaboys in my house lately. It’s amazing.

  70. “You’re insecure? Don’t know what for!” lol, I can relate to so many of these posts.

    The other day I came home, saw that I was alone, and began to sing/rap PU$$Y by Iggy Azalea, only to find that my roommate was actually taking a nap and just hidden under a bunch of blankets. And I totally woke her up by rapping embarrassing music. It’s one of those awkward things where we both know it’s happened, but neither of us has mentioned it.

    Other embarassing music I love: Destiny’s Freaking Child!!!!!!!!!!!, Hillary Duff is the shit and especially the song “So Yesterday” which makes me feel extremely empowered, the A*Teens, PLAY, t.a.T.u. (SO GOOD AND YET SO BAD! #dykeproblems, Kreayshawn, Lil Mama, getting my swag on in front of the mirror to some good Justin Bieber tunes… ALL OF THIS MUSIC I LOVE SO MUCH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!….I mean, it’s alright, I guess…

  71. Is it embarassing to listen to Paramore? Cause a girl I was dating said it was but she was also the one who told me that I had to get tested just cause I was bi, so clearly she is a judgemental asshat.

    • They do seem to be quite polarizing- from memory Stephen King once expressed disdain for them in his Entertainment Weekly column (ironic, given that he’s a guilty pleasure author for some) and whether they are/are not a Christian band. Also their lead vocalist is slightly atypical for a female pop artist- it’s a little less melodic/a bit more brash than usual.

    • the indie asshole in me wants to hate them and everything that has spawned from them, including Zac Farro’s shitty ambient post-rock band.
      But man. Misguided Ghosts is my jam.

  72. I’m more of an indie/electropop kind of girl but I also love these “cheesy” songs:

    The Moffats – I’ll Be There For You, Miss You Like Crazy, If Life Is So Short, Girl of My Dreams
    Aqua – Barbie Girl, Dr. Jones
    A*Teens – Sugar Rush, Halfway Around The World, Upside-Down
    Boyzone – Love Me For A Reason
    Enrique Iglesias – Do You Know?
    Lindsay Lohan – Ultimate
    M2M – Don’t Say You Love Me, Everything You Do
    The Pussycat Dolls – Buttons
    S Club 7 – Bring It All Back
    t.A.T.u. – All the Things She Said

  73. Some days I pop up from bed in the morning going “thiiiis is howwww we doooo iiiiiit” psh tsh psh psh tsh “this is how we do it” “sha na na na naaaa naa-aa-aaa”

  74. My parents bought me the Black Ryed peas album Moneky Busines for my thirteenth birthday.

    I still have it on my iPod.


    Seriously, the whole album makes me want to dance.

  75. My days are spent working alone in various different labs so GrooveShark is my constant companion. My current playlist consists entirely of NIN, Rammstein, Bill Bailey and Tim Minchin. It seems to work.

    I have to laugh, 5-10 yrs ago I didn’t have ‘guilty pleasure music’ because I took such things way too seriously in HS. Then I realized that pop is short for popular for a reason and life is too damn short to not listen to songs that make you happy. Besides, I never really understood the appeal of Morrissey anyway.

  76. Wow, reading some of these is bring back memories (good and bad). Even though I dont listen to them much anymore, Spice Girls, Lindsey Lohan, TATU, S Club 7 and Aqua, which was the first CD i ever bought at like, age 7, are all ones I use to listen to growing up. My embarrassing one though is the entire rap genre, and not just hip hop but gangsta rap and stuff. Ive moved past that but still have all the CDs as proof. Also, Vengaboys make regular appearances in my club playlist but im not ashamed of that.

  77. Mainly, the kind of bad emo music I listened to while I was 12-13 and realized I liked girls (or, you know, one particular girl. I fell so fucking hard for her, and I was so ashamed of it.) So: Tokio Hotel, My Chemical Romance, Evanescence and The Used. Before this, I basically never listened to music, so the whole emo thing was both my introduction to music, and the only way I was able to bear the thought of being gay. I don’t think I will ever be able to part with it, because nothing had ever felt so right, so me, before.



      and then I got into MCR and The Used in 7th or 8th grade. Emo music is way better than people give it credit for.

  78. Sometimes I wish I was Justin Bieber.

    Also, does anyone remember Aqua? I listened to them beyond the Barbie Girl song and actually enjoyed myself.

      I got to see Aqua live last year and got to cuddle Lene joyyyyyyyy
      Their most recent stuff isn’t really up to my liking but “My Mama Said” is really really good and I wished their 3rd album was more along the vein of that song. Also Lene’s solo stuff (Play With Me) is really good and so underrated.

      People expect me to be embarassed for loving Aqua and Savage Garden, but um NO. Darren Hayes is how I do femme. <3

  79. Every song Third Eye Blind has put out there.
    And I’m still not over Rihanna finding love in a hopeless place….

    • Third. Eye. Blind. No shame.
      I could (and do) listen to Motorcycle Drive By on loop for hours. Same with Wounded, Crystal Baller, Deep Inside of You, Jumper…and I’m in a glass case of 90s emotionnn.

  80. Does anyone else remember All Saints? British girl group from the late ’90s. I loved the shit out of their song “Never Ever.”

    Also Ace of Base and Natalie Imbruglia.

    P.S. I am listening to this playlist right bow and Mandy Moore “Candy” is on and I had completely forgotten this song until right now but I loved the shit out of it when it came out. Clearly I have very mature taste in music.

  81. oh god, oh heaven preserve us
    i had the biggest crush on mandy moore at 14 and i actually might still
    as far as music i’m embarrassed of
    i’m usually worried my music is too weird for the crowd i hang out with
    joanna newsom is high on my list of music i don’t tell people about

    • I didn’t even LIKE Green Day when Green Day was a Big Thing, but all of the sudden it’s constantly stuck in my head. Not even songs from the approved era–you know, back when they “used to be good.” Whatever. No shame.


  82. I don’t know if wrestling fans remember, but Hulk Hogan had an album out in the mid 90’s. I was a hulkamaniac back then, so I didn’t care if the Hulkster was terrible at music. I keep it on my iPod for memories.

  83. I like this:
    Because I liked her first songs when I was way younger and honestly I like how it sounds, it makes me… happy. Also, it’s kind of kitsch and I just loved her clothes and I still like it. I like how she used to act as if she was a friend of her fans, and her personal story of having wanted to be a dancer but breaking her leg in a bad way. (also she was cute)
    I’m ashamed because adults I looked up to basically called me a “future s…” for listening to it. Others I looked up to as well mocked it without insulting me, and it also played into the thing, but not as much. So yeah.
    I acknowledge that some of her songs are problematic, even at the time some bugged me (her song about everything she was worth, from the blue of her eyes to the blond of her hair, was for her man for example), but they weren’t saying it because of that but because these were simple songs and for kids. (now I realized if they really cared about it being problematic that way, they wouldn’t have said such a thing to a 11-years-old or to anyone.)
    They would listen to similar sounding songs, by similarly dressing singers, addressing similar themes in a less implied way, who aimed an adult audience.
    Also, she sort-of danced and it looked cool.
    Now I don’t like her new songs (even more problematic :/) because how it sound changed too much. I don’t know, it’s less simple? Less positive?
    There was this whole persona change at some point and she stopped looking like a friend of her younger audience.
    Also this:
    They were young enough that I could relate to them! (I wanted to be a singer. Except I never knew how to sing and was to shy to ask to take classes for that… meh.)
    I also do like some Avril Lavigne songs, too :) and of the S Club 7, Spice Girls, Aqua, Toy-Box.
    Only the S Club 7, the Spice Girls and Aqua I already knew at the time. It all makes me nostalgic :(

  84. I think I am most ashamed of the Glee albums I have in my itunes, for some reason I thought it would be a really good idea to get every album as they came out so now I cannot even put my ipod on random without getting annoyed. Also, I love Hanson and am 100% not ashamed of it at all. I do however have an obscene amount of John Mayer. And even though it is not on my ipod I just need to state that I hate that Rob Thomas/ Santana Smooth song and I feel like no matter how long ago it came out the radio still plays it ALL THE TIME.

  85. Ever since I saw the USWNT video for ‘Party in the USA’ by Miley Cyrus, I cannot stop listening to it… :/

  86. HARRY AND THE POTTERS. But I’m not really ashamed. “We’ve got to save Ginny Weasley from the basilisk… We’ve got to save the school from that unseen horror!” :D

  87. I am made of this. Get ready, ok? I feel like I need to preface this with some achievement, like that I read To Kill A Mockingbird when I was 9. That’s an achievement, right? Ok

    Nickelback. It’s good drunk music, which I think contributes to their popularity.

    Also Minaj’s Stupid Hoe (for some reason it’s the perfect song for FNV’s Old World Blues).

    Also Ke$ha.

    Going to the shame corner now.

  88. I get SO MUCH sh*t for this….. but I have always been a fan of Creed. No matter how badly I am ribbed by my nearest and dearest, I can’t bring myself to purge them from my collection.
    Human Clay was the second album I ever bought, thought I was going through a real ‘edgy’ self-defining phase. ***blushing a million shades of red***

  89. Bad country music. As in the kind of music that frequently gets played at state fairs.

    Proof of this? I have an entire playlist of covers of “Tomorrow” by Chris Young.

    I regret nothing.

  90. I don’t really approve of being “ashamed” of music. If you like, then that’s it, but my own appreciation of some pretty homophobic things, like, eminem is kind of unnerving me.

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