11 musical guilty pleasures you shouldn’t feel guilty about

Everyone has CDs on their shelves that they won’t admit to owning. But don’t be so ashamed of having these much-maligned artists in your collection. We all know they’re great.

Rachael O’Neill picks out eleven guilty pleasures we should all be proud to shout about.

Taylor Swift

She was annoying at first. In a way that made us angry. Now she’s annoying in the sense that she has managed to create an entire album of songs we have learnt to love – or even just loved them straight away. Do you know why? Because they’re blummin’ catchy.

No more moping about how Romeo won’t save her, or about her latest ex-boyfriend. She’s finally taking it in her stride that she stays up too late and goes on too many dates (congrats if you got the reference). ‘Shake It Off’ is the one to have in your life if you don’t buy the full album. There’s only one way to describe it, and that’s as a joy to the world. It immediately puts you in such a good mood that you can’t help but do a little dance – even if it’s just in your head.


There’s not much you can say about ABBA really, is there? They’re just an obvious classic that everyone loves. Who doesn’t love screaming “WATERLOO” at the top of their voice when it comes on – and then mumbling the rest because you aren’t quite sure of the words.

Sweden has produced two things of significance: one of which being IKEA, and the other being ABBA. For some reason though, when it comes to admitting how much we love the Swedish wonders, we can’t seem to be okay with saying “yeah, I listened to ‘Dancing Queen’ on repeat for an hour the other day”. It embarrasses us when it shouldn’t. Embrace it.

Katy Perry

Perry seems to be in the same league as Taylor Swift. Songs like ‘I Kissed A Girl’ and ‘Hot n Cold’ were just irritating. And what was more irritating was the use of the ‘n’ in the title ‘Hot n Cold’. Would an extra couple letters have really hurt the success of the song?

But she’s turned it around with the likes of ‘Roar’ and ‘Dark Horse’, which are incredibly catchy and end up in our heads all day. Regardless of how annoying she was in the beginning, she has always been one of those artists that can make a song that ends up being in your head all day.

Take That

“NEVEEEERRRRRRR! Forget where you’re coming from!” Probably the most well known song among anyone alive. Seriously. Everyone knows it and everyone loves it. Good ol’ Take That, hey? Our life long friends Gary, Howard, Mark, Jason and Robbie have made some belters over the years. Granted they lost their touch when they came back with The Circus, but it still had some great songs on it.

Tracks like ‘Greatest Day’ and ‘Up All Night’ were huge successes for a reason. Admittedly, some of us will be a lot more sheepish to admit to having any of their newer stuff on their shelves, but it’s there nonetheless. Sometimes we’ll listen to it while home alone, sometimes we’ll sing it to the dog, sometimes we listen to it just because we need reminding how great they are.


Probably not as popular as some of the others on this page, but he’s definitely up there. ‘Grace Kelly’ came out in 2007 and sold more than 600,000 copies in the UK alone. There is no reason for no one to love it. It is incredible and is a song to instantly cheer people up.

Granted, he doesn’t have an album that everyone knows of, but he definitely has a few singles that were in people’s heads for days on end.

Robbie Williams

Take That graduate Robbie is a definite all-rounder: loved by everyone. Loved by so many people in fact, we’re not even sure he can be classed as a guilty pleasure, just a pleasure in general.

‘Let Me Entertain You’ is a fantastic example of Robbie at his best because, like some of the others in this list, his older songs and albums are better than his newer ones. It happens to the majority of bands/artists; they just lose their mojo a bit. It seemed to take Robbie a while to lose his mojo though. as his single ‘Advertising Space’ was a fine addition to his collection of guilty pleasure singles back in 2005.

Destiny’s Child

It’s written in stone. Destiny’s Child were one of the best girl groups of all time. They were the American version of the Spice Girls. They were amazing. Even if you don’t own any of the CDs (shame on you) then you know a lot more of their songs than you probably thought you did.

Some of the ‘lads’ reading this (you know who you are), will probably recognise Beyoncé from the Austin Powers film Austin Powers 3: Goldmember, where she played Foxxy Cleopatra. Yep, there ya go, now you remember. Beyoncé was just one third of Destiny’s Child, the other two members were Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams, and they brought songs into our lives such as ‘Lose My Breath’ and also introduced important new vocabulary to us with words such as ‘bootylicious’.

Daniel Bedingfield

He seems to have disappeared off the face of the earth, but him and his sister going into the music business was probably the best decision ever made. ‘Gotta Get Thru This’ is what he is best-known for, and it’s an absolute belter. It’s still a mystery as to where he is these days and in all honesty, we’re a bit worried. So if anyone knows what he’s up to, let us know because we want to tell him how great his music was.

Little known fact: his debut album was recorded at his house and managed to sell more than 4 million copies worldwide. So a lesson to learn from Mr Bedingfield himself – you don’t have to spend loads of money on studio time to record a multi-million selling album. Just stick the kettle on and do it from your sofa.

Backstreet Boys

Arriving on an ocean of vests, bad hair and dodgy little beards, we loved the Backstreet Boys. We loved their cheesy-ness, and their terrible songs that were great at the time.

We still love their terrible songs. They’re hidden away in some playlist on our iPods. Either that, or their CD is hidden down the side of the sofa or in the glove compartment of our cars. ‘I Want It That Way’ and ‘Everybody’ are songs that remind us of how amazing they were, and leave us befuddled as to why they ever broke up in the first place.


They’re the obvious guilty pleasure. Everybody knows and secretly loves ‘Club Tropicana’ and has, at one point in their lives, pretended to be George Michael.

There is absolutely no shame in that, and we admire those that are happy to admit to any Wham! related incidents. ‘Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go’ is one of those songs that is known by people of all ages. It’s catchy as hell.

One Direction

These guys are said to be the new Beatles. No one is entirely sure how. Maybe in the sense that they’ve made a lot of money off screaming girls? The majority of people either like them or hate them, kinda like marmite. But recently there have been more people saying that they listen to One Direction as a kind of guilty pleasure when no one is around.

These people are kind of like snails – they jump straight back in their shells once someone confronts them about their guilty pleasure. They immediately deny ever admitting it. Still, tracks like ‘What Makes You Beautiful’ and ‘One Thing’ are horrifically catchy, and we can’t help but sing along when they’re played on the radio.

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