How 90′s Adult Contemporary Ruined My Life

OK, fine. It didn’t ruin my life. But seriously. It kind of did. I have been cursed with a love/hate relationship with the songs of my Zima drinking, shoulder pad wearing elders who loved them some artists like Richard Marx and the Tony Rich Project. Here are the worst offenders to my childhood from least to most revolting:

Phil Collins. Dude sounds like he has a permanent air bubble caught in his throat. His best song by far is “Against All Odds,” and that one only makes me happy because it’s about a woman who finally wised up and ditched him. Alright, and fine, Mike Tyson has a point – “In The Air Tonight” DOES have a sweet ass drum solo. It’s the song I, too, use to get psyched before punching Zach Galifianakis in the face.

Mariah Carey. Before she got really into miniskirts and Nick Cannon, she was really into power ballads and glitter. And might I mention the obvious – perms? But wait, back up. Who am I kidding, the woman’s still really into glitter. Does anyone remember when “MC” first came on the music scene? She had all those songs that showed off her stupid 5 octave range and that one song “Hero” about finding your inner strength so you could go out and conquer the world? You go, girl. Unfortunately, in my memory, that song is eclipsed by the myriad of songs where she pines for a man, wishing he would rescue her “From the long, lonely nights til the dawn. Why don’t you take me away?” Oh yes, please someone take me away – from this radio that’s only playing hits of the 90′s. Mariah Carey’s early music combined with a steady diet of Disney films really set me up for a rude awakening when I started dating and found out most teenage boys are real grade A jackasses.

Bryan Adams. Gawd, here’s another one who ruined me for dating later in life. In “Have You Ever Really Loved A Woman,” he sings, “And when you can see your unborn children in her eyes, you know you really loooooove a womaaaaaan.” What? I later found out that NO ONE ACTUALLY DOES/SAYS THIS. If some guy said that to me, I would be extremely creeped out and I would stop returning his phone calls. No woman – no matter how big a baby lover – wants to hear this, as it smacks vaguely of rape. Maybe it worked in the 90′s, but that lyric kind of stunted me for life. Thanks a lot, Bryan Adams. It comes up in therapy sometimes. Just kidding. Or am I?

Celine Dion. And to think “My Heart Will Go On” didn’t “go on” to torture the masses until 2007. Long before that, Ms. Dion was cranking out hits in the early 90′s, like “The Power of Love,” and “When I Fall In Love,” and “Love Can Move Mountains.” Are you seeing any similarities here? “Hi, my name is Celine Dion and I’m a love-aholic.” Sheesh. As a child within earshot of these songs, I couldn’t help but find some of them catchy, and for that, I hate you Celine Dion. Wait, I don’t really mean that; I love you Celine Dion. No, I don’t, I hate her! Ack. Note to self: get more therapy.

Michael Bolton. Ah, Michael Bolton, with your golden tendrils and half unbuttoned silk shirts (both flowing, mind you), you epitomize the sappy, lovesick puppy-man portrayed by the 90′s media. Most people think of the song “When A Man Loves A Woman” when they think of Michael Bolton, but I friends, I think of “Said I Loved You … But I Lied.” Shit is epic. I mean, the title contains an ellipsis. If you haven’t already had the viewing pleasure, check out the music video. I mean, he’s in a desert. He’s on a cliff with his shirt blowing open. There are horses running through fire. There’s an EAGLE. I mean, aren’t those things endangered? Or maybe they weren’t 20 years ago. Holy shit! Twenty years?!? Are you telling me I wasted my entire youth on 90′s adult contemporary? I have to go find a corner to cry into now.

Photo Credits: Coroflot, Grantland, VH1, Storm Informs, Wikipedia

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About the author

Patricia Scull - Patty the Pauper

Patty loves cats, cheese, and irony, so although she is currently a petite Asian chick, she is well on her way to becoming a fat, smelly, cat lady later in life. Born in Korea and adopted to white people in the South, Patty spent her youth frolicking happily in the cornfields of eastern North Carolina. She currently lives in the East Village and can be found boozing her way through the bars (and streets) of New York.

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