Hello Emo

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Lately I've been really nostalgic for the 90s. Maybe it's not the 90s so much as it is what the music of the 90s had to say. Longing, escapism, bold and unabashed statements--in lyrics and in fashion--were staples throughout much of the music of this decade. I never thought to be quoting Amanda Diva (though she's so fly), but what she said a few weeks ago during a VH1 interview was pertinent and true when you really think about it: "People were more original in the 90s than they are now." Or maybe they were more vulnerable in their songwriting?

Cue my Annie Lennox, Paula Cole (sans Dawson Creek), Coldplay, Natalie Imbruglia, Alanis Morisette, Oasis, Goo Goo Dolls, Adina Howard (yeah, I was that 9-year old talking about "I want a freak in the morning" Not.A.Clue *shakes head), Maxwell and Erykah Badu (who's songs have never really stopped rotating through my disc changer or ipod), competitions to see who could sing Aaliyah's "Back and Forth" the best, Sade, Pete Rock and C.L Smooth, being fascinated by Madonna's lusty "Take a Bow" video when I should have been watching PepperAnn. But many of the aforementioed artists like Coldplay, Goo Goo Dolls, Erykah Badu, Oasis, and Maxwell get played on a regular anyway so why does the nostalgia seem so fresh? I don't know, but I love when ?questlove said that sometimes he'll go and re-purchase old albums that he's had for years just so he can re-live the excitement of the first time he heard a song. It may also have to with my daydreaming or living vicariously through my imagination--much like any kid--and alot of the music was like a peep hole into someplace I didn't have access to but had a strong desire to enter. Everything is an exploration when you're a kid and the 90s probably gave me my first introductory bows to new genres, which I have much gratitude for :) And to your album collection, dad!

I spent the latter half of the afternoon burrowing through albums (I have such a hard time saying CDs! why? lol), compiling songs, and of course finding that everything was attached to a memory. I had a teacher back in high school who once told us that no matter how old you get, the music you grew up with never ages. Your favorite songs will always be like your first loves: totally consuming and completely unforgettable. He then went on to explain the first time he fell in love with Little Richard's music. He was too sweet a man and too good a storyteller for the class to chuckle at his adoration for "The True King of Rock and Roll ";)

No doubt the present phase of music has its sweet moments and hidden gems, of which I'm sure will be revisted for their nostalgia in a future decade....or much sooner thanks to VH1 and its many time traveling specials devoted to decades gone by. Cue theme to 'I love the 90s"!

*My friend Whitney wrote a great post awhile ago over at her blog 1016 on a very similar topic: The New Jack Swing Era of music that has been swagger jacked by lots of artist today.

Where Have All The Cowboys gone - Paula Cole

No More "I Love Yous" - Annie Lennox


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