Don't worry, this post has nothing to do with kids yelling "baby, oooooh!" on top an over-produced electronic beat. I wouldn't subject you or myself to that kind of torture. Seriously, I started listening to Aerosmith when I was 6 years old, so I think I've got my head screwed on right in terms of musical taste. :)
A while back I thought it would be a cool idea to do a piece on songs that meant a lot to me in high school (Most of them still mean a lot to me). In my opinion, the music that you end up listening to and feeling the strongest about during your teenage years, generally shapes what you enjoy listening to later in life and also the music that you end up creating, as you begin exploring the world of writing and performing.
So here's a list of few songs that I loved during my teens, mostly between grades 8 - 10, and the reasons why I still love them (in no particular order). Enjoy!
"A Favor House Atlantic" - Coheed and Cambria
The first time I heard this song, I thought to myself "That girl's got a great voice!". It was only a few months later that I found out that "that girl" was actually "that guy", which was even more impressive. I can't really put my finger on exactly why this song makes me smile, but I can say that it is still a regular on my playlist. I particularly love the lines - "The words you scribbled on the walls. The lots of friends you didn't have." - maybe it reminded me of some of the people I knew in school, who were "popular", but really only had shallow friendships.
"Blue and Yellow" - The Used
"Blue and Yellow" is a song supposedly written about Bert and Quinn's friendship and how even if they couldn't make music together, their friendship would still be more important than anything else. At first listen, it sounds like a love song, which is what I thought when I first heard it. Without getting all soppy on you, I used to think about Nicole, who I had a mad crush on when I first heard this song. I must've done something right, because we eventually started dating and we're still together now. (Insert High-Five here!)
"I'm Not Okay (I Promise)" - My Chemical Romance
This is a song that causes people to stare at me awkwardly when I'm driving. It's a song that I always ending up playing in my car at a high volume with me singing along at an even higher volume. I instantly loved this song when I saw the video for it back in 2004. It's just so honest. "I'm not okay, I'm not O-F*ing-kay!" It's the anthem for any kid who doesn't feel like sitting in class learning maths and would rather be making music. Well, at least it was for me, even though I was pretty good at maths.
"Stare at the Sun" - Thrice
I think what really grabbed hold of me about this song is the delivery of the vocals, combined with the lyrics. The whole theme of the song is desperation and hoping for something more. "I am due for a miracle, I'm waiting for a sign. I stare straight into the sun, and I won't close my eyes". That's some powerful stuff and you can hear it on the track. Emotion in music is very important to me, and it seems to come through a lot in this song.
"A Decade Under the Influence" - Taking Back Sunday
This song kind of grew on me over the years. Initially I thought it was fun to listen to, but didn't really take note of it all that much. It was mostly just a fun song to jump around to. However, I always liked the line "To hell with you and all your friends", which I thought was very fitting when it came to false people, who were only "friends" with you because they could use you in one way or another. Over the years, I've come to really enjoy this song more and more.
"Rest of my Life" - Unwritten Law
Much like "Blue and Yellow" by The Used, "Rest of my Life" made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. It's another one of those very open and honest songs, which is probably what makes it so great.
"Last Train Home" - Lostprophets
A really great anthem-style song. When I hear it, I mostly think about how much I love music, which in turn, makes me happy. Apart from that, the song has a lot of energy, and the vocals in the chorus really give the impression of a huge crowd of people telling the world that they'll sing no matter what. It's a song that I'm very unlikely to skip past.
I'm sure there are plenty, possibly hundreds, more songs that I could go on and on talking about, but I think I'll leave it here. Music really is a gift, and I'm grateful that I'm still receiving more and more of it every day.