playlist: teen angst

If you exist as part of the 18-24 demographic, then I bet that you can, too, recall vivid memories of jamming out to "Mr. Brightside" by the Killers in the back seat of your mom's Yukon; perhaps in a carseat, perhaps not. Regardless, the passion you felt when you half-sang, half-screamed along to the infamous line jeaaaaalousy, turning saints into the sea! (with absolute conviction and zero idea of what those words really meant) was unique to kids born in the 90's. We were raised in a wonderful, albeit strange, era when punk and rock music dominated the radio. This is why we still remember every word to "I Write Sins Not Tragedies." This is why we get the urge to toss our heads around and jump up and down aggressively whenever we hear "All the Small Things." This is why we still love songs about the hardships of being a young person in a messed up world, told through vivid imagery and catchy hooks.

Enter the playlist 'teen angst,' a compilation of all the songs of our youth, juxtaposing lyrical rage and upbeat melodies, that offered us an early look into how music can be both entertainment and a tool for coping. From the tales about falling for "the girl" or "the boy" and the unrequited love that follows (think Fall Out Boy), to the realization that society is a broken system (think My Chemical Romance), to songs about people in our lives who we may never truly have/understand (think Oasis), this playlist is an ode to the bands that shaped our youth. When we were young, we enjoyed the songs for their sound. Now, reconnecting with them at a time we can actually understand their meanings, we begin to realize the truth of their lyrics and the reason the late 90's/early 2K time is celebrated for its music. The era we grew up in was like the 80's - except with less rock and more punk; less references to cocaine and "rock & roll" and more mentions of Prozac and anxiety; less recognition but more emotion.

Some classic standouts that will jog your memory and bring you back to a time when you drank Capri Sun on the daily and wanted a Sidekick because Paris Hilton had one (maybe just me) are: "Almost" by Bowling for Soup (for when you think about the one that got away), "Check Yes Juliet" by We the Kings (for when you want to dance around in your underwear to a song full of feels); "Semi-Charmed Life" by Third Eye Blind (for when you're kicking it with your friends on the back porch - also, who knew this song is about doing crystal meth? Not two-year-old me, that's for sure); "In Between" by Linkin Park (for when you take a nighttime drive and have an </emo> moment); "Gives You Hell" by The All-American Rejects (for when it's a sunny day, you're feelin' good, and you accidentally drive past your ex-best friend's house); "Drops of Jupiter" by Train (for when you lie down in the grass at night, watching the stars, thinking about life).


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