A little bit of this, a little bit of that

Whenever I receive an iTunes gift card as a present, I have this sense of relief. Meaning, I can get songs I love that I normally wouldn't purchase. Usually I have to really talk myself into buying something, even at $.99 cents a pop. Yup, I'm that stingy.

With my sister and brother-in-law giving me a $15 card for Christmas, I proceeded to purchase the following songs. And as much as I refuse to call these "guilty pleasures," they're definitely not songs in genres that I often listen to.

Queensryche, "Silent Lucidity" (video)
While Nirvana, Metallica and Pearl Jam dominated MTV's playlist in late 1991, this was a different kind of rock song that got equally heavy rotation. I can't say I pine for much Queensryche beyond this, but there's a reason why I play its intro on guitar whenever there's one in my hands.

Slipknot, "Before I Forget" (video)
Credit goes to Guitar Hero III for reminding me of this song. A little less intense compared to the band's other material, but it's just a great hooky song -- complete with double-bass drumming! Playing this song on Guitar Hero definitely makes for a more pleasant experience compared to playing Red Faction with Iowa on. Something just really creeps me out with shooting monsters and martians while hearing a line like "I wanna slit your throat and fuck the wound."

Santana featuring Michelle Branch, "Game of Love" (video)
My time working at Best Buy subjected me to numerous hearings of Santana's collaboration with Rob Thomas, "Smooth." It was an inescapable song that I wasn't fond of when I first heard it and that opinion didn't change the more I heard it. Now, Santana's follow-up album to Supernatural came with this collaboration with Michelle Branch -- a song I dug quite a bit and still dig. Essentially just two chords, but sometimes that's all you need.

R. Kelly featuring T.I. and T-Pain, "I'm a Flirt" (video)
Looking past R. Kelly's arrogance in the lyrics and T-Pain's voice heavily processed through a Vocoder, this song is pretty infectious. Once again, it's essentially two chords, but they work well with the beat.