Lately, I have been listening, off and on, to 93.9 FM, which used to be known as "Sunny 93.9" and which also used to be pretty awful, showcasing the worst of soft rock, scraping the bottom of a barrel that was already pretty shallow. But, as some of you who live in the greater Raleigh metroplex area may already know, the station is now known as The New 93.9 KISS FM, having switched formats (and call letters -- from WRSN to WKSL) to something called "Rhythmic AC," which I had never heard of. (I am in equal measure fascinated and vaguely terrified by the extent to which Big Radio has managed to segment and commodify musical tastes demographically.) And while I don't think I'm quite in the target market Clear Channel has in mind for this venture, I have to admit that it's not nearly as crap as I had automatically assumed it would be, in all of my effete Eastern intellectual ivory-tower college-radio-nurtured elitism. It's kind of fun, lively and disposable. If I danced, it would make me want to. As the station IDs constantly remind us, they are providing us with "good-time music." And who doesn't like a good time? I mean, come on: in the past hour or so, I've heard, like, five songs that were written by Prince. Are you going to tell me Prince isn't good music? If you are going to tell me that, warn me before you start to tell that to me, so that I can totally ignore you. Because you will be about to say something that is Wrong.
Anyway. That's all background; that's not really the thrust of the gist of what I wanted to Admit Grudgingly. (This may become a series on Idiom Savant, since a lot of the things I like I end up liking in spite of myself.) What I want to Admit Grudgingly this evening is this:
"All 4 Love" -- by, God help me, Color Me Badd -- is actually a pretty good song.
I can't aesthetically parse why I dig it, but I remember liking it when I heard it on the radio fifteen years ago (but not telling anybody). I know for a fact I like the bass voice going "dooo-do-dooo" at the end of each chorus. Overall, it's kind of reminiscent of something Smokey Robinson or the Temptations might have done at Motown in the early '60s. It's a happy, frothy, bouncy number, with nice, tight R&B-inflected harmonies. The spoken-word interlude is kind of cheesy, but it's part of a long tradition of cheesy spoken-word interludes going back at least as far as the Ink Spots.
The video totally gives me the hives, however:
Look at it this way: In the early '90s, bands like Color Me Badd just made Nirvana all the more necessary. You kids like the Nirvana, don't you? Also, the CMB video somehow makes Dick in a Box seem all the funnier.