The Best Guilty Pleasure Songs

Songs you can’t help but love, no matter how ashamed it might make you.

‘Never Gonna Give You Up’ by Rick Astley

While this 80s classic has become something of a meme in recent years, if it comes on in Academy’s Shit Disco (that’s where we all end up, don’t kid yourself) you know you’ll be secretly delighted.

‘Careless Whisper’ by George Michael

That saxophone riff is haunting, and if it’s good enough to be featured in ‘Deadpool’, it’s good enough for me.

‘Uptown Girl’ by Westlife

Controversially picking the Westlife cover over the Billy Joel original but they add a certain level of boyband cheesiness that Joel’s iconic song desperately needed.

‘I Want It That Way’ by The Backstreet Boys

The second verse is just the first verse but in question form and its once-hilarious feature in the cold open of a ‘Brooklyn Nine-Nine’ episode is greatly overused, but I still love the utter cringiness that only a 90s American boyband can provide.

Literally anything by Taylor Swift

Literally any of them, but especially songs from her teen years such as ‘You Belong With Me’. Listen, her singing about wanting her crushes to notice her and about her failed relationships at age 15 is quite cringe but my God they’re all so catchy.

‘U Can’t Touch This’ by MC Hammer

Don’t we all wish we had the confidence (and the trousers) of MC Hammer in this song? My aim is to be able to flawlessly rap every word, should that ever become something that impresses people.

‘YMCA’ by the Village People

Cheesy? Yes. Exclusively an old-person song to dance to at weddings? Of course. Do I know every word? You bet.

‘Livin’ La Vida Loca’ by Ricky Martin

Its feature on one of the best movie soundtracks of the century, Shrek 2 cements its appearance on this list, but even Puss in Boots and Donkey can’t beat Martin’s epic original.

‘Dead Ringer for Love’ by Meat Loaf

As difficult as it is to admit I actually like one of my mam’s favourite singers, I can’t deny that this early 80s rock ballad featuring Cher is impossible not to sing along to.

‘Rockstar’ by Nickelback

One of the world’s most hated bands and I still have no idea why, but I won’t lie, I secretly adore this enjoyable and unfortunately accurate depiction of the modern celebrity lifestyle.