30. Song No. 166: “All Eyes on Me,” The Goo Goo Dolls
Dizzy up the Girl, 1998
All right. Okay.
All right. So. I’ve been sitting on this one for a while and I guess it’s time to own a guilty pleasure that I don’t think I’ve ever confessed to anyone unless they were scanning the shelves of my always-prominently-displayed configuration of jewel cases and directly asked about the inclusion of this utterly incongruous instance of popular music.
Dizzy up the Girl was one of the first CDs I owned. And though it came to join my musical library as a castoff from someone else’s, it has survived purge after purge in the decades since it became mine: Even at the peak of my indier-than-thou snobbery, I could never deny that this collection of radio-friendly earworms is composed of songs that are all individually, undeniably catchy as fuuuuuck.
The melancholy charm of “Acoustic #3” and its stripped-down intimacy of lyrics any disaffected teenager could appreciate hit me first. I had forgotten how secretly but significantly I loved that song (and I’m pretty sure I threw some of those lyrics into some ill-advised foray into fanfiction at some point, too).
And then with two Goo Goo Dolls songs showing up in the first 200 songs, “All Eyes on Me” went and got itself stuck in my head. Like, it hunkered down in some empty nook between my ears and just stayed there. It abated a bit, but then I’d scroll past its title while updating the songs list or while compiling this blog’s companion playlist and it’d just get all fired up again.
This whole album sounds like three realities I never cared for–autumn and depression and early high school–but in the relief of an escape-pod kind of way. And, really, the forbidden thrill of quietly enjoying something that so directly contrasted everything else I loved at the time is proof that sometimes the guiltiest pleasures are the best pleasures.