1. Air – ‘Sexy Boy’
While air is obviously important in any water-based environment, this classic from the French electro-chill-vendors will not sit comfortably alongside your rubber duck. If you live alone, you might get away with it. But these mellow euphonies, breaking over you like scented bath-foam, will always feel like a self-induced ego trip of the most shameful sort. And god help you if your roommate / significant other / generic family member should overhear this piping out from under the bathroom door. Serious aspersions can be cast over your entire lifestyle based on the nature of what you listen to when naked. The same problem can occur with Ida Maria’s stomping ‘I Like You So Much Better When You’re Naked’. At the very least make sure there are no mirrors within direct view of the tub. Everyone should love themselves, but not with so much steam and exposed skin involved.
2. Meat Loaf – ‘I’d Do Anything For Love (But I Won’t Do That)’
A piece of more general advice: the combination of power ballads and bathtime is a dangerous one. As you will no doubt know from your days as an child repeating Archimedes’s experiments with water-levels, excessive splashing and spilling can cause trouble. This is particularly the case if you live in a property with an upper-story bathroom and weak ceiling plaster. I speak from experience, so trust me. The urge to air-guitar is stronger than you are, as is the force of gravity. Siginificant volumes of water will travel upwards and therefore downwards, and you will regret your hair metal / rock opera playlist when half your bath slaps the floor. Not to mention that the surreal little noise-riff at the beginning of the song becomes infinitely more menacing when faced with the distant possibility of inhaling the remaining half. So keep Mr Loaf for karaoke when you’ve had one too many Jack and Cokes, or else invest in a damn absorbent rug.
3. Bobby Darin – ‘Splish Splash’
Because it’s not ironic, it’s not clever. Songs such as these were written in full awareness that in sixty or so years’ time they would be straining from a jukebox in a themed diner or soundtracking nauseating videos of small babies giggling while their YouTube-happy parent bathes them in a sink. Yes, we all indulge in the occasional cute clip of a cat trampolining into a cardboard box, but seriously lady, put the camcorder down and teach your child to read or something. And you. In the tub. I’m willing to bet that you also have ‘Rock Lobster’ by the B-52s queued up to play, and you thought you were the new Oscar Wilde when you thought of something so gauche and witty. Well you disgust me.
4. Metric – ‘Monster Hospital’
I love Metric. Many people do, and justly so. But be aware that if you listen to them while reclining on the chipped enamel of your bath under a dim, fly-spotted bulb, you will feel like the protagonist of a twenty-minute short about heroin addiction, badly edited by a film student from Montreal. Either that or like you dozed off and woke in a music video from the tail-end of grunge, possibly with a vocal by Courtney Love. Neither of these feelings is conducive to relaxed bathing atmosphere, and chances are that by the time you’ve held your breath under the water for thirty seconds or more, the only thing you’ll be able to think about is the futility of all human endeavour. And how maybe if you melted down the copper taps you could sell them for crack money. Isn’t bathtime fun?
5. Any classical music of any kind
You’re young. You’re moderately successful. Okay, so you’re not raking in the cash since you decided to go to grad school instead of taking that financial sector internship your dad’s friend told you about, but hey. You’re living for your art. You don’t want to focus on your career if it means being creatively stilted and soulless. Good for you. I’m sure you’ve had a hard day, and now you’re going to relax with a nice hot bath and your Best of Baroque compilation.
No. Stop there. You now think you’re sophisticated and mature. In fact, listening to Pachelbel’s ‘Canon in D’ in the tub makes you pretentious and let’s face it, a douche. We all know full well that yesterday you were drinking PBR in the shower and crying on the subway. One classical compilation CD you bought in a sale and only listened to once during midterms will not help you. If I catch you listening to this again I am going to throw your jasmine and elderflower incense and your iPod dock into the bath with you and save the world a lot of exasperation.
Besides, everything sounds like Moby when your head is underwater.