Monday, 30 June 2008
This piece was originally submitted to Cracked.com, but they had a piece from awhile back that was same, same, but better. Enjoy!
Pop music from the 90s has a lot to answer for. Like why is seeing Mark Wahlberg’s underwear bunching up out of his jeans considered sexy? And why did Bobby Brown feel he needed to forgo a shirt when wearing a suit jacket? And for the love of god, what was with Paula Abdul and that cat in the ‘Opposites Attract’ filmclip? They were fucking, right?
All of these questions could probably be answered with ‘sweet, sweet record-company grade cocaine’. But that doesn’t explain why the lyrics in 90s pop songs were so fucking terrible. Wait, maybe it does. Let’s push on anyway.
Jon Bon Jovi, Blaze of Glory (1990)
Lyric in Question: ‘I’m a devil on the run/A six gun lover/A candle in the wind, yeah.’ Also, that one in the next verse, where he compares himself to a horse.
What Makes it so Asinine?: What happens when the frontman of a popular 80s suburban hair rock bands decides to pursue a solo career? He decides to become a cowboy. And you can be his cowgirl. (Wait, wrong song).
Further Offences to Pop Music: ‘Wanted Dead or Alive’, in which Jon continues to be a cowboy, but with less apologies to Elton John… by then he knew who to cling to, when the rain set in.
C+C Music Factory, Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now) (1990)
Lyric in Question: ‘Peace and lyrics to make your shake your pants’, ‘I'm gonna make you sweat till you bleed/Is that ... enough, indeed’ and various other filler while we’re waiting for the Soulful Black Woman™ to sing again.
What Makes it so Asinine?: Enough indeed. If blood’s coming out of your sweat glands, either you need to see a doctor, or your some kind of really disgusting vampire. And they’ll make you ‘shake your pants’? We’re assuming the song is so fucking groovy, you'll actually ejaculate in your pants and have to shake off the gooey white residue.
Further Offences to Pop Music: Ok, so it’s not so bad per se. This was just a random choice to represent that ever so 90s genre of ‘Girl Sings Repetitive Chorus, Man Raps Menacingly in Background’ (also see Culture Beat, The Real McCoy, Black Box…)
New Kids on the Block, Step by Step (1990)
Lyric in Question: Steps one to five, in which NKOTB 1. Indicates they will have a wealth of fun, 2. Assures the girl that they have plenty of options for activities, 3. Specifies that such activities should be restricted to the girl and NKOTB, 4. NKOTB are able to provide an abundance of… ‘more’, and 5. That this is, in fact, a timely place to commence said activities.
What Makes it so Asinine?: Not since Sesame Street’s awesome song about the numbers one to twelve has counting been so important to a song.
Further Offences to Pop Music: The aforementioned M. Wahlberg Underwear sightings, and blazing the trail for bands like N-Sync, which begat Justin Timberlake, who dragged sexy, kicking and screaming, back into the domain of Michael Jackson impersonators.
Roxette, Joyride (1991)
Lyric in Question: ‘Don't need no book of wisdom/I get no money talk at all/She has a train going downtown.’
What Makes it so Asinine?: Wait… what? I know English wasn’t their first language, but… what?
Further Offences to Pop Music: From ‘The Look’: ‘Fire in the ice, naked to the T-bone/Is a lover's disguise, banging on the head drum/Shaking like a mad bull, she's got the look’ Shaking like a mad bull? Now, we at Cracked can’t say we’re choosy when it comes to Femme Fatales, but even we’d think twice about putting the word to some girl who was in the midst of an epileptic fit. Probably. Also, some unforgivable offences to hair mousse.
Prince and the New Power Generation, Cream (1991)
Lyric in Question: ‘Cream/Get on top/Cream/You will cop/Cream/Don't you stop/Cream/Sh-boogie bop’ and the inexplicable ‘Look up in the air, it's your guitar’
What Makes it so Asinine?: What will she cop? Some overly-attentive lovemaking at the hands of Prince himself? Is ‘cream’ what they called bukake before the internet? And, for the love of god, why is her guitar hurtling though the air? Is this just a bad reaction to Viagra, and Prince was sitting there tripping while his patient ladyfriend applied more lipstick and glanced at her watch?
Further Offences to Pop Music: Being four foot tall dressed head to toe in frilly purple velvet, and still getting more vagina that we ever could. More an offence to society rather than pop music, though it doesn’t make us any less bitter about it.
Michael Jackson, Black or White (1991)
Lyric in Question: ‘I took my baby on a Saturday bang/Boy is that girl with you, yes were one and the same/Now I believe in miracles/And a miracle has happened tonight/But, if you’re thinkin’ about my baby/It don’t matter if you’re black or white’
What Makes it so Asinine?: A fuzzy feel-good anti-racism message doesn’t make up for the fact that this song actually makes no sense. Go read all the lyrics. We’ll wait here. Also, the rappin’ bridge almost categorises this in ‘female vocalist/menacing male rapper’ territory.
Further Offences to Pop Music: This was just before it all started fucking up for Michael Jackson. He was on the good side of the eccentric/freakish map. Then the same album featured a song purportedly about fucking Diana Ross, and we believe that’s when the map shifted and things started getting weird with good ol’ MJ. Really, really weird.
Mr Big, To Be with You (1991)
Lyric in Question: ‘Hold on little girl/Show me what he's done to you… So come on baby, come on over/Let me be the one to show you.’
What Makes it so Asinine?: Less asinine, more dubious: the constant references to the ‘little girl’ by the famously gender-ambiguous lead singer force us to assume s/he’s wooing a child here. Possibly one who has been recently molested by some other guy.
Further Offences to Pop Music: Knocking Right Said Fred’s ‘I’m too Sexy’ off the Billboard charts. A blow to novelty song lovers and mesh shirt aficionados everywhere. Also, ‘To Be With You’ spawned a cover by budget boy band Westlife.
Snap!, Rhythm is a Dancer (1992)
Lyric in Question: ‘I'm serious as cancer when I say rhythm is a dancer’
What Makes it so Asinine?: And we’re as grave as blood in your come when we say those lyrics are really dumb. Also note, this is yet another woman sings/man menacingly raps song. Christ, the nineties were utterly retarded for this formula.
Further Offences to Pop Music: When they re-released the song in 2003.
Vanessa Williams, Save the Best for Last (1992)
Lyric in Question: ‘Sometimes the snow comes down in June/Sometimes the sun goes 'round the moon’
What Makes it so Asinine?: Now, we at Cracked don’t need to confirm with our on-hand elite team of science doctors, since we’re pretty sure that the latter… doesn’t happen.
Further Offences to Pop Music: …Needn’t be discussed. However, it would be remiss of us not to mention the infamous girl-on-girl pics that had her stripped of her Miss America crown.
Kris Kross, Jump (1992)
Lyric in Question: ‘Some of them try to rhyme but they can't rhyme like this Go Go/Some of them try to rhyme but they can't rhyme like this Go Go… Cause I'm the miggida miggida miggida Mac Daddy.’
What Makes it so Asinine?: Actually, I’m pretty sure ‘they’ too can rhyme ‘go’ with ‘go’, and ‘miggida’ with ‘miggida’.
Further Offences to Pop Music: Oh, and ‘Don't try to compare us to another bad little fad’? Dude, you wore your clothes back to front. Thank Christ that fad never took off. Oh, also, the Mac Daddy and Daddy Mac would now be about 27 and 28 by now. With pubes and all. Sobering.
Ace of Base, The Sign (1993)
Lyric in Question: ‘No one’s gonna drag you up/To get into the light where you belong/But where do you belong?’
What Makes it so Asinine?: Um, in the light is where I belong, wasn’t that established in the previous line? But then, why ask? Hang on, what?
No, we’ll try not to be too harsh here, as again, English was their second language. But in the interest of full disclosure, ‘Life is demanding without understanding’ was the inspiration for this entire article.
Further Offences to Pop Music: All That She Wants, (‘All that she wants/is another baby, she’s gone tomorrow boy’). Seriously, that song was fucking cryptic. Was it a ‘pump your sperm in me so I can harvest your seed and use you to make child then leave’ a la Heart’s ‘All I Wanna Do Is Make Love To You’? Or was it just, ‘I’m the town doorknob, everyone gets a turn, and you know? That’s awesome for me because I’ve actually got quite a few issues with my father’?
Silk, Freak Me (1993)
Lyric in Question: ‘Baby don't you understand/I wanna be your nasty man/I wanna make your body scream…’
What Makes it so Asinine?: Known as the ‘Let’s Get it On’ of the 90s by black men smoother than you, the whole ‘nasty man’/‘body screaming’ thing makes us think less of an attractive, masculine lover and more of Hanibal Lector.
Further Offences to Pop Music: …Can be found in the same song: ‘Take off what you cherish most/Cuz when I brag I like to brag and boast’ Wait… what?
Ini Kamoze, Here Comes the Hotstepper (1995)
Lyric in Question: ‘Here comes the Hotstepper, murderer/I’m the lyrical gangster, murderer/Excuse me mister officer, murderer/Still love you like that, murderer’ Also, ‘Start like a jack rabbit/Finish in front of it/On the night is jack, that’s it, understand/I’m the daddy of the Mack Daddy/His are left in gold, maybe, Ain’t no homie gonna play me, top celebrity man’.
What Makes it so Asinine?: Refreshing to see a man unashamed of his policeman fetish.
It's entirely possible that we here at Cracked are simply not funky enough to recognise the true funk-laden genius of this song, and in our foolhardy pasty nerdesque way have overlooked it for asininity. That said, the revelation in the last lyrics mean it’s at least nice to know that one of the members of Kriss Kross took on the family business.
Further Offences to Pop Music: Kamoze had the good grace to fade away into obscurity after this song, which is essentially a ripoff of the Beatle’s ‘Come Together’.
Hanson, MMMBop (1997)
Lyric in Question: You already know.
What Makes it so Asinine?: You already know.
Further Offences to Pop Music: Making us think the middle one was… well, you already know.
Sugar Ray, Fly (1997)
Lyric in Question: ‘Dance a little stranger, show me where you've been… who knows how long I've loved you/Everyone I know has been so good to me/Twenty-five years old, my mother God rest her soul/I just wanna fly’
What Makes it so Asinine?: The first part just makes me think of some girl doing a heaving Ian Curtis impression before showing the singer slides from her recent trip to historic Scotland. And the love/good to me/dead mother thing, well, that’s just plain fucking stupid.
Further Offences to Pop Music: Just the ongoing life of Mark McGrath, aka The Smuggest Fucking Fratboy on the Fucking Planet. (‘All around the world statues crumble for me’, wtf?). Fun fact: the single was succeeded by Smashmouth’s ‘Walkin’ on the Sun’ which proves the month in question was a busy time for single purchasing if you were a cocky, date raping douchebag.
Brandy and Monica, The Boy Is Mine (1998)
Lyric in Question: ‘[Brandy] Excuse me, can I please talk to you for a minute
[Monica] Uh huh, sure, you know you look kinda familiar
[Brandy] Yeah, you do too but, umm, I just wanted to know do you know somebody named you, you know his name
[Monica] Oh, yeah definitely I know his name
[Brandy] I just wanted to let you know he's mine.
[Monica] Huh... no no, he's mine.’
What Makes it so Asinine?: Oooh, awkwarrrrd. Actually, this one’s asinine more for story than lyrical phrasing. Instead of fighting over some dude who'd been double dipping both of them, wouldn't a better last verse show them deciding to do away with the 'playa' and dive at each other's ladybits? I mean, sure, Brandy's face looks like it's been melted off and sculpted back, but it’d still make for the most popular film clip amongst sweaty-palmed teen boys since pre-ravaged Brittney was in red leather.
Further Offences to Pop Music: From Monica, just a bunch of album titles too narcissistic for even an 80s hair rock band: Miss Thang, All Eyez on Me, The Makings of Me… As for Brandy, her crime is more the list of woeful movies and TV shows she’s Jim Carey-gurned her way through (what with her face and all).
Snow, Informer (1993)
Lyric in Question: [indecipherable]
What Makes it so Asinine?: This is what happens when some white Canadian boy does reggae. He sings like he needs a tissue to spit out a mouthful of his cellmate’s love goo. Also, his real name is Darrin. Darrin.
Further Offences to Pop Music: The album title ‘12 Inches of Snow’.