Adventures in guilty pleasures
Bringing back SexyBack
You and I, we’re both college students, and as such, media elitism is a major part of our social discourse. We reconsider friendships with those who begin to show signs of admiration for the insipid rock ballads of Nickelback and we will turn down almost any date that involves watching Katherine Heigl in 27 Dresses.
Granted, 27 Dresses and the music of Nickelback are unforgivable insults to our intelligence; but listen, we’re also both adults here and the jig is up. You know as well as I do that nobody has a perfect record for good taste. Everyone has that one Hootie and the Blowfish song on their iPod and relishes the occasional episode of “My Super Sweet Sixteen,” and it’s okay. These guilty pleasures may be commercial, banal, or just outright bad — but they’re just so good.
Take, for example, Justin Timberlake’s “SexyBack” — yet another massively successful and highly profitable Timbaland collaboration. Although Timbaland’s contribution alone is enough to make a discerning listener wary, the former *nsync-er is able to introduce enough humor to the song that it is not only tolerable, but one that can be sincerely enjoyed, danced to, laughed at and sung with in all its overproduced glory. There is really no other way to respond to the ribald brilliance of lyrics like “You see these shackles, baby I’m your slave; I’ll let you whip me if I misbehave.”
Go ahead and give it a listen. I won’t tell anyone.
“ADVENTURES IN GUILTY PLEASURES” IS A WEEKLY SERIES DEFENDING MUSIC, LITERATURE, TELEVISION AND FILM THAT IS EITHER NOT WORTH THE PAPER IT’S PRINTED ON, SO TO SPEAK, OR INEXPLICABLY LACKING IN THE CRED NECESSARY TO REDEEM IT FROM PARIAH STATUS. EITHER WAY, YOU KNOW YOU LOVE IT.