Because "guilty pleasure" is the dumbest goddamn phrase I've ever heard, here are some bands that I proudly admit to loving regardless of how uncool they are. I don't necessarily love everything these guys do, but a good portion of it.
I loved Kiss more than life itself from about 7 years old through at least junior high. Of course with my luck this was smack dab in the middle of their creatively uneven post-makeup era. But let me tell you, I was more excited to see them on their first reunion tour (Madison Square Garden 1996) than I was on my wedding day.
Alright, get your lame "Come Sail Away" South Park joke out of your system. Yeah Styx kind of wussed out by the '80s, but at their peak they were either a great rock and roll band or a good prog rock band depending on what album you were listening to. And yes, "Mr. Roboto" is a great pop song and I don't give a shit how cheesy it is.
Here's the thing about Chicago - until they also fell into the trap of pumping out soft rock ballads for money, they were one of the greatest and most accessible jazz fusion bands around. Like, these cats had serious fuckin' chops. If they had retired after the first five or six studio albums they'd be legends. But Terry Kath died and Peter Cetera wanted to fight for your honor, so here we are instead.
4. Steely Dan
Hey I get it, Steely Dan fans can be kind of insufferable. "Hey man, you just need to understand all the references Fagen is making here, maaaaan!" Fuck that. These guys were smooth, yes, but this music has balls too. And if you can deal with Donald Fagen's voice, which actually fits the music quite perfectly, they have a ton of really satisfying stuff.
5. David Lee Roth
I'll admit right now that David Lee Roth is my personal hero. I love most of his solo music, sure, but the dude squeezes more out of life than just about any public figure I've ever seen. He does whatever the hell he wants, and makes whatever kind of music he wants. And sometimes that puts him in a position for ridicule, but so be it.
Oh yeah, and I prefer his solo stuff to most of Van Hagar, so suck on that.
6. Seals & Crofts
If these dudes were a new band they'd make Pitchfork writers cream their jeans. Yeah that's right, I loves me some '70s soft folk rock. COME AT ME BRO.
7. Britney Spears
haha no not really. "Toxic" is a cool song though.