Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Boy Band Song Analysis: "Liquid Dreams" by O-Town

Typing in "otown liquid dreams" in Google Image Search was not one of my finer moments.

Poor O-Town. Poor young, impressionable O-Town. How were these five young, naive winners of MTV's Making The Band to know that their first single, "Liquid Dreams," would be the song to ensure the end of the Boy Band Era? I mean, it's not their fault. They didn't write it, and they had like three other songs after it that were pretty generic boy band fluff. So what marketing genius thought it would be a great idea to introduce this hot new boy band with one of the most awkward songs ever written? Seriously, I would wager that if any licensed Boy Band Historian were asked to point to one song that signaled the boy band era's death knell, he would point his wrinkled finger straight at "Liquid Dreams" and say "There! Right there! That's the motherfucker!" Poor O-Town. Poor poor O-Town.

Although, to be fair, boy bands - like any fad - were already on the way out when "Liquid Dreams" hit the shelves. And they never were very well respected critically or publicly, so not many people were exactly falling to their knees in tears when countless boy bands started disappearing around 2002 (excluding 13-year-old girls, of course). But "Liquid Dreams," probably the grossest boy band song ever recorded, certainly didn't help.

Why is it so gross? Well, the title is a pretty decent indication of what you're getting into here. I am no prude, but "Liquid Dreams" is one of the few song titles out there that will make me physically gag every time I type it, say it, or even look at it. For those of you under the age of twelve - nahh, times are changing, let's say eight - "Liquid Dreams" (ugh) is a not-too-veiled alteration of the term "wet dream." A wet dream is when you have a sexual fantasy in bed and wake up with cum in your pajamas. And no, kids, cum is not pee. It's stickier. Ask your parents.

So "Liquid Dreams" (ughh), as most would guess, is a slick boy-band pop song about waking up with cum in your jeans. Well, ok, it's not that explicit - I'm sure it wouldn't make it onto the airwaves if it were, god forbid - but the lyrics are suggestive enough that you know exactly what these sensual boytoys are singing about. This is notable for several reasons. First off, to my knowledge, not many boy bands at the time sang flat-out sex songs, as they usually came off as awkward and weird (not to mention they were marketed to young girls, and singing to young girls about sex comes off as just a bit pedo-y). The only real boy band sex song I remember (not counting Color Me Badd, of course) was N*Sync's "Digital Get Down," a song about "getting together" over the internet that sounded like it was written by someone's grandmother. The fact that a song called "Digital Get Down" was nowhere near as creepy as "Liquid Dreams" (yech) is pretty telling.

Secondly, if you actually bother to look up the lyrics, it's clear that "Liquid Dreams" (guhh) is actually written from the perspective of a 13-year-old chronic masturbator. The first line - "Posters of love surrounding me, I'm lost in a world of fantasy" - conjures up the uncomfortable image of a sad, bored kid lying in bed staring at a bunch of Jennifer Lopez posters in a vain attempt to stem his crippling loneliness. Thanks, O-Town. But it only gets worse. After listing off the many ladies that make up our protagonist's dream girl (who he calls a "morpharotic," a word that does not exist), he goes on to claim "My mama thinks I'm lazy, my friends all think I'm crazy / But in my mind, I leave the world behind." Are we seriously being forced to believe that the swarthy, 20-something manhunks of O-Town are actually a bunch of hairy-palmed orgasm addicts, living in their mother's basements pleasuring themselves 'till they burn their skin off? Too lethargic and sad to leave their rooms? I... don't think so.

But if you think there couldn't possibly be anything more awkward than a song called "Liquid Dreams" (ughhhh), you would be wrong. There's a music video.

See? They're dancing in liquid! You know, the song's called "Liquid Dreams" so they dance around in liquid, which fits the-

...oh god. Oh no. NO.




Here's O-Town attempting to perform "Liquid Dreams" at Miss America 2000. The fact that they all sound like caterwauling pre-teens is just too fitting.


Marilena said...

Your analysis is very interesting and amusing!
You deserve a mentioning in my own blog. lol!

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