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Foute Muziek (literally translated: "Wrong Music") is a music genre that plays on radios in the Netherlands. Internationally well-known songs that made it to the top-10 (source) include

  • Spice Girls - Wannabe
  • Abba - Dancing Queen
  • Backstreet Boys - I Want it That Way

It's hard to explain what Foute Muziek is and if I would, I would answer my own question. So that's exactly what I will do (see my answer).

  1. Is there a direct English translation of "Foute Muziek" that captures its meaning?
  2. If not, how would you explain it to English speakers?
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    I was going to say "bubblegum music" based on the songs listed, but apparently that is a specific reference to a similar phenomenon in the late 1960's-1970's. This new stuff has the same general characteristics (made for easy and catchy sing-a-long, popular appeal, critics hate it). I personally call it bubblegum. – Damila Mar 19 at 18:16
  • Corny/commercial/pop/catchy/teen-pop music – Mari-Lou A Jul 17 at 11:14
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I'd say foute music is music that you listen to as a "guilty pleasure".

The Dutch Google inline result when searching for wat is foute muziek translates to:

Generally, foute muziek is music that for some reason shouldn't be regarded as good music but actually is. However, the term can have a different meaning for everyone. So the meaning of foute muziek can't be defined.

I'd like to add that Foute Muziek is a kind of "cult". Critics of the genre might turn the definition around to: "foute muziek is music that's regarded as good music but actually isn't". Their point is very well illustrated here. Now you know what foute muziek is.

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    Although I utterly detest James Blunt and all he stands for, I have "Stay the Night" on my phone. – Michael Harvey Feb 17 at 10:31
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    Music you never outgrew (but should have)? – TRomano Feb 17 at 14:08

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