View Full Version : CHEESE

17-06-2015, 01:43 PM

This article is about how Jamacians like Michael Bolton and Shania Twain mixed in with their Chronixx and Popcaan, and why it is that they don't feel these things are "guilty pleasures"; indeed, its suggested that there is no such THING as a "guilty pleasure" for a Jamaican music fan.

Not a bad jumping off point for a discussion, eh? Perhaps there has already been a guilty pleasures thread but I would like to talk more broadly about cheesiness in music (and in the arts generally, if we must).

I feel like Dissensians aren't adverse to cheese and in fact prefer it to "depth", but that we aren't all Taylor Swift fans ala ILX. Still, the concept of a "hegenomy of taste" or whatever definitely applies to Dissensus, and there is an unwritten code defining what is and isn't acceptable.

I am also looking forward to an argument erupting when luka says Burial is cheesier than Right Said Fred.

What IS cheesiiness?

Benny B
17-06-2015, 02:03 PM
Burial is more corny than cheesy right?

17-06-2015, 02:20 PM

17-06-2015, 02:25 PM
I think that article is massively over-egging the pudding.

Jamaica has a long tradition of latching onto cheesy pop hits. 'Lady in red' and 'All kinds of everything' are just two that were big in the 80's... the likes of Whitney Houston were huge as well - you can hear them covered on soundtapes. It would, in fact be stranger if these things didn't occasionally seep through.

Dancehall is also renowned for taking what it wants from whatever source as long as it works. Its intrinsic to the genre.

Reggae is still dominant though. Flick through the airwaves in Jamaica and you will find endless reggae and dancehall and the vast majority of music events are reggae and dancehall. The occasional Air Supply concert does not make a phenomenon. You may as well ask why rap fans like Sting.

17-06-2015, 02:29 PM
But in answer to the question, cheese is music/entertainment that expresses sentiments or pushes emotional buttons in the least sophisticated possible manner.

17-06-2015, 02:32 PM
I'm glad you brought up rap fans liking Sting, cos I forgot to mention how rappers famously love Phil Collins, and also Maroon 5 and Coldplay. I dunno if these are cheesy artists or just middlebrow/MOR. I guess there are two discussions here - 1. Music that is somehow intrinsically cheesy and 2. Music which is terminally uncool.

17-06-2015, 03:00 PM
This was big in the dance for at least 5 years:


Cant really overstate how huge this was when it came out:




17-06-2015, 03:02 PM
The other side of the coin - I caned this one for years, was mortified to discover it was an ace of bass cover:


17-06-2015, 03:13 PM
And sorry to go OT, but was just reminded of how great a riddim that was. Cheese and hardcore side by side:


Mr. Tea
17-06-2015, 03:40 PM
This article is about how Jamacians like Michael Bolton and Shania Twain...

I first read this "like" in the sense of "such as", and thought "BUH...?"

17-06-2015, 07:13 PM
My next door neighbours are Jamaican and they kill me with the ballads. I can't cope
No reggae ever. Only the most sentimental saccharine American balladeers

17-06-2015, 07:16 PM
It's a little bit better than the last lot with thier serbian turbo folk I guess but I'm still on the verge of a nervous breakdown

17-06-2015, 09:26 PM
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=9450072little off topic but Dolly Parton is big in kenya

22-06-2015, 09:26 AM
Jamaicans moved out yesterday I'll let you know if the music gets better or worse with the new lot.

22-06-2015, 09:54 AM
People always overstate this really. Not sure why people are surprised some Jamaicans like ballads.

Kinda jokes I never saw this article, but...

22-06-2015, 06:24 PM
I think the concept of something being a "guilty pleasure" isn't really that common anywhere apart from certain circles of middle-class white people.

22-06-2015, 09:29 PM
Yeah, no ones ever flicked Eastenders off when someone comes into the room because they didnt want to be caught watching it.

22-06-2015, 09:46 PM
middle class people just have a lot of guilt in general. so it is natural that this extends to their book collections, music, films, etc. i.e. what one must be 'seen' to be reading/listening to vs what one actually enjoys.

22-06-2015, 10:35 PM
I'm a bit confused about what constitutes 'CHEESE' here.

I'm middle class, but never felt guilt about things I like.

I'm a No. 1 Belinda Carlisle fan. Is that CHEESE? I don't think it is.

Lots of 90s handbag house tracks I love. They must be considered CHEESE, I guess. But it would be ridiculous to feel bad about liking that stuff.

Loads of 2-step is 'CHEESE' if anything is, some of the best of it in fact. Todd Edwards is CHEESIEST OF CHEESE (even if you subtract God, maybe even more so). (Mind you, God is not as 'CHEESY' as Jesus.)


23-06-2015, 08:40 AM
i think the idea is just that if it's obvious, direct, openly pleasurable, and not trying to be cool, it's cheese.

23-06-2015, 09:07 AM
love songs are seen as cheese. most black music (soul, and R&B and disco especially) and most dance music is dismissed as cheese, right?

that seems significant. makes me think a bit of a line in that film when were young when the younger adam driver character plays eye of the tiger to ben stiller who says 'i remember when this was just bad!' not sure things have changed THAT much, even post-internet listening habits. its still cheese, but just appreciated a little more for being cheese. but cheese itself hasnt been challenged as an arbiter of good taste.

best bit of the article -

Musically speaking, there are no guilty pleasures in Jamaica. The poet Kei Miller finds the disbelieving foreign response to the sugary side of the island’s musical scene intriguing. “Why do Jamaicans ‘mysteriously’ like these things? It goes back to a question of a kind of cosmopolitan policing of taste,” he says. “The thing about having so-called ‘guilty’ pleasures is that it marks us as superior.” So understanding that you must feel guilty for a love of Barbra Streisand and Barry Gibb’s Guilty, a song named by Daley as a surefire street dance winner, marks you as having good taste. But Jamaicans will have none of this policing. “Jamaica has resisted that hegemonic bullshit of taste and what good taste ought to be,” says Miller. Or, as Russell puts it: “One of the things I love about Jamaica is that there is no judgment in anything. People just get on with everything.” Daley agrees: “Every man to his own order. That’s it, you know.”

this song is fab btw -

23-06-2015, 09:37 AM
yeah "Guilty" is far from the best example they could have used to elucidate their case.