Thursday, January 19, 2017

If You Sting Me, I Won't Mind

All over Facebook last week, everyone was posting their top ten albums from when they were a teenager. Not only has it been a bit of a nostalgia trip, but it's got me thinking - what did I listen to then, compared to what I listen to now? Have my tastes changed that much?

Nope. Not really.

I listened to a lot of Deftones. Alice in Chains. Tool. Rage Against the Machine. All the grunge. Plus classic rock. More Incubus, Stone Temple Pilots, Weezer, and Sevendust than now, but the general idea is the same. I like what I like, and generally like it for a long time. We all know how much I dig my 90's music still.

All of my photos are in storage, so this is the only teen photo I could find - a grad pic after I darkened my hair. Ugh.

Of course, there was also the Korn, Limp Bizkit, and Slipknot phase since that was smack dab in the middle of the "Nu Metal" era. Anything remotely heavy was thrown into that category, it seems. It's pretty amusing to look back on as a 33 year old. But it wasn't all bad. Really, it wasn't.

I may be forgetting a lot of what I listened to then, as I've probably blocked out a lot of my teenage years. That was long before I owned my awkwardness and anxiety, and I truthfully don't look back fondly on a lot of that time. But I do remember the music that stuck.

What I'm noticing a lot when people are posting their teenage lists is some embarrassment over what they used to listen to. I think the main difference between my teenage list and my current list is that I had a major Backstreet Boys phase, and I loved the Spice Girls. I'm not embarrassed by this in the slightest. First of all, I will still sing and dance my ass off to those first two Spice Girls albums, and Scary Spice is still a cool chick. While I don't care about the Backstreet Boys anymore other than for sheer nostalgia, I stand by my former love for AJ McLean. Yes, I have a type.

One of the many posters that had been on my teenage walls. Met the Deftones at 16.

When I was a teenager (1996 - 2002), there was a lot of bad music. Not to say there isn't now, but as an adult I'm lucky enough to not have to be exposed to much of it. As a teenager, it was unavoidable. High school meant enduring the pop music I detested (save for Backstreet Boys when I was in Grade 9, and the Spice Girls). To give an example, "I'm Blue" by Eiffel 65 came out while I was in high school. Yikes. Still can't wrap my head around that particular gem.

So, what's my top ten? No idea. I don't think I could whittle it down to the ten I listened to most during those particular years. But there are many that came out while I was a teenager that hold up & are still in constant rotation today.

As for the ones that I previously loved and wouldn't listen to now if you paid me, I feel absolutely no shame about liking them when I was young. I may have never been a Britney fan in my life, but you can bet that if "Crazy" comes on I will gladly do a gawky dance to it. Hair flips and all. Because it reminds me of being young, even if that wasn't all sunshine and lollipops. (Or bleached teeth and back-up dancers, as it were.)

No one should ever make apologies for what they like. Especially what we liked as a teenager. Hormones are a bitch, and whatever we listened to helped us get over that awkward bridge from childhood to adulthood. So congratulations. We survived it, and lived to tell the tale.

We've got the soundtracks to prove it.

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