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Opinion: Sugar Ray, Making Kids Feel Like Classy Whores Since 1995

Boy bands make us all feel like cheap used hookers. We can’t resist humming along with the perfect harmonies, incredible tales of love and hardship and starring into their huge starlit eyes. In the end, you feel used. You know that it was all a show and whether you like it or not, these were “supergroups” put together to sell records. I fully support these types of projects. In the end, you are left with a sound. A sound that is smooth, sweet, filled with perfect pitch and catchy songwriting. During this age of “boy bands,” another band was in its prime producing eerily similar sounding music without getting any flack for being a “boy band.”

Sugar Ray first broke onto the scene in 1997 with their multi-platinum album Floored and proceeded to go on a six year run of successful singles and magical albums including 1999′s 14:59. What made the band interesting is that they catered to the crowd that liked the sound of “boy bands” but didn’t want to actively call themselves a fan of the Backstreet Boys or *N’SYNC. I can admit it. During the peak of their careers, I went to see the Backstreet Boys live, jamming cotton into my ears because I was only ten years old. I loved the sound and more importantly at ten, I loved their image. They were in a sense, the perfect role models (or so I thought when I was ten).

I can recall in the years following this concert that my interest in Sugar Ray began to grow. Years later, I can’t possibly recall why I made the change. Maybe it wasn’t “cool” to like the Backstreet Boys anymore. Maybe I just tired of their “perfect” appearance. Either way, I distinctly remember hearing the sweet sounds of 14:59′s “Every Morning” and “Falls Apart,” and thought that this could work for me. No longer would I have to hide my love for the “boy band” sound. I could stand proud and listen to the music I loved. The point is, bands like Sugar Ray provided the same exact sound made popular by “boy bands” without making the listener feel dirty and used.

Here’s a salute to a band that helped me grow up and to a sound that has never been topped.

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