When we’re asked to share what music we absolutely couldn’t live without, or about our favorite one-hit wonder or guilty musical pleasure, it’s hard not to start reeling off the hits. There’s something about music that inspires, helps us hold on to old memories, and gets us through hard days. But that means that there also have to be a few songs that instantly make us cringe and drive us crazy, right?
Songs with sexually explicit content have always embarrassed me when they play in certain company, but there is one song that makes me uncomfortable even when I hear it alone. If I hear even a few strains of it my hand slams against the radio dial to change the station so quickly that I once jammed my index finger trying to avoid it. That song is “Too Close,” by Next.
“Too Close,” should be a long-forgotten relic of r&b history that reminds people of the late nineties, whatever you were doing with your life back then, and that time period when there was a deluge of guy groups singing about love and sex encounters in varying ratios. Perhaps it’s no surprise that Avant, Jagged Edge, Next, and all of those guys aren’t really around anymore, but I’m always SHOCKED when that nasty song “Too Close,” pops up the radio. This is a song about a man’s tendency to get an erection while dancing with a woman. Why is this a song? Why would anyone want to hear a song about this? Why do I have to be reminded that “when we’re grindin’ [you] get so excited”? Why is the poor harassed girl telling this guy about the “poke” she feels and asking him to back the hell up, just so he can respond with the line “you’re making it hard for me”? Dude, gross!
There are more explict songs with worse music and worse vocals, but thanks to its completely unnecessary subject matter, “Too Close,” is at the very top of my personal list of songs that I cannot tolerate.