|Cover art from the 1997 "Mmmbop" single|
[Editor's Note: Fuck Guilty Pleasures celebrates the over-produced, commercial, artless, lowbrow music that we believe is genuinely worthwhile. Like, among the best music ever.]
In 1997, my little sister got Hanson's Middle of Nowhere as a birthday gift. I teased her. My judgment was mostly based on "Mmmbop," the mega-massive catchy as heck hit song and the lead single off the album. "Mmmbop" was dominating the pop music station in our town of Green Bay, Wisconsin, and like, everywhere else in the world. I, however, was 13 and thinking myself pretty cool because I had just discovered Sublime. And so, I brushed the song off as kid stuff.
In retrospect, I was being an jerk. Hanson was exactly what seven year old girls like my sister should have been listening to. Compared to a current pop landscape where Miley Cyrus humping a foam finger is acceptable entertainment for children, Hanson was genuine, sweet, sincere and completely crushable without being blatantly sexual. Also, "Mmmbop" was legitimately great -- a joyous and goofy pop rock adolescent treatise on the topic of impermanence. (No seriously.) The song was produced by the Dust Brothers, after all, though I didn't know who the Dust Brothers were at the time, because in truth I was not actually cool at all. More »