GUNS 'N' ROSES. One of my favorite lines from "Arrested Development" is Gob re: naming his one-man magic/illusionist show: "I wanted to call it Use Your Illusion, but some band has got the rights to that name
so I'm going to call it 'Use Your Illusion II.'" Hilarious, but let's keep in mind confusing the two G'n'R albums is a big mistake. Chances are, I would de-friend you. No, not on Facebook. To your face. But I'm not here to talk about either Illusion album. I'm here to talk about the motherfucking T-2 SOUNDTRACK. I can barely utter the title "You Could Be Mine" without adding my own Axl inflection. "Youuuuuu couuuuuld beeee may-eeeen." Don't tell me you don't lose your shit when this song pops up on Shuffle. If I hear this song walking around on the NYC streets, I am suddenly tempted to start grabbing people by their shirt collars and throwing them into stuff. Like, really hard. I don't even need a motorcycle. I'll cut you with these tiny fists!
HEAVY D & THE BOYZ. Despite repeated listenings, I still can't wrap my head around how Heavy (or is it simply D?) fits so many words into one line of "Now That We Found Love." Not only that, he manages not to interrupt the unique pop/dance tempo with all the verbiage. This beat will elicit massive hair-tossing and inappropriate gyration, especially when bourbon is involved. I'm unsure if the term "summer jam" existed in 1991 but, if it did, you bet your ass this would be it.
THIRD EYE BLIND. Upon the release of their 1997 eponymous debut album, I promptly called 3EB (fuck me, did I really just type that?) massive douchebags. All of them. You're classically trained on that bass? Douche. You can wail on a guitar? Douche. You have a decent vocal range? Douche, douche, douche. There was nothing special or undouche-y about any of these douches. But then I actually decided not to be an asshole and, you know, listen to a couple of their songs. My conclusions: That song they wrote about suicide is lame. But "Semi-Charmed Life" and "How's It Going to Be" are both borderline awesome. While "S-CL" is as overplayed and infectious as you can get, it's still a decent party song. But "HIGB," in my opinion, speaks volumes about the fallout of any breakup in terms with which everyone can relate. I don't have a hammock by my door, but I think I get what he was saying.
GENESIS. I would mention Pat Bateman's American Psycho bit about Phil Collins, but I would never disgrace Bret Easton Ellis by mentioning his work in something I wrote. I will say this: Phil Collins put out some goddamned awesome pop music in the '80s and '90s (don't tell me you don't air-drum to "In the Air Tonight," or sing "Against All Odds (Take a Look at Me now)" into the bathroom mirror by yourself alone on a Saturday night), but Genesis takes the cake for "Land of Confusion." As a wee child I only caught some of the Reagan-bashing in the song's video, and re-watching it now, I COMPLETELY understand. Reagonomics, supply-side economics, simply is not a feasible system for our nation. It creates too jarring a disparity between the lower and upper classes. At least I think that's what Phil and the other two dudes were trying to express with those creepy puppets.
P.S. I am an equalist, but this article would be far too lengthy had I included good '90s music released by both genders. Girl Edition to come.