A few months ago, my friends on Facebook started posting lists of the music that the listened to as a teenager. I thought it was fun ideaat the time, but I didn’t bother to post anything (I also hate tagging people like a chain letter for this stuff, but that’s another conversation). One of my friends posted his list this week, and I finally decided to sit down and think about it properly, even taking the time to flip through my old CDs in case I forgot one of them.

I listened to music A LOT as a teenager, and these are the ones that stick with me. There are some other albums and artists that come to mind, but I mainly played certain singles on a loop (*cough*90’s boy bands*cough*). I strictly focused on those albums that I listened to from start to finish almost every time, and those few albums that I often selected to take with me on road trips or to the library with my portable CD player.

My music taste also changed so much in my teen years (July 1998 to July 2005). Most of this stuff was mainstream–I listened to the radio a lot, and I often taped favorite songs on cassette tapes before getting either buying the CD or getting into mp3s. But as you can tell, it jumped from late 90’s pop to more alternative music, all well before I started going more indie in my 20’s.

I saw various rules for these lists; however, I decided to hell with it, I’ll just do my own thing. I picked 20 albums from different artists (with the exception of 3 soundtracks). I also made a Spotify playlist for fun with the random tracks (see below).

Okay, here we go:

1. Paula Cole – This Fire – I think this was my among my first CDs that I ever owned. I listened to it a lot, even though I don’t think my parents liked this album a lot.
2. Eve 6 – Eve 6 – “Small Town Trap” was my angsty teen anthem.
3. Puddle of Mudd – Come Clean – I have memories of doing high school Chem II homework to this album a lot. Not sure why, but I did well in that classes.
4. Bowling for Soup – Drunk Enough to Dance – First band that I ever saw in concert. I also listened to this album a lot my fall freshman semester while doing stats homework.
5. Blink 182 — Enema of the State – I remember listening to this one on Quiz Bowl trips.
6. Natalie Imbruglia – Left of the Middle– I still like this album, although I likely will get mocked for it.
7. Third Eye Blind – Third Eye Blind – I somehow got permission to memorize “Jumper” in my poetry requirement for my high school freshman English class. In retrospect, I am surprised that I didn’t get sent to the counselor for that choice.
8. Savage Garden – Savage Garden – Zero guilt here! Love this pop album, and I do not care what y’all might think.
9. Matchbox 20 – Yourself or Someone Like You – Before they insisted on spelling it “Matchbox Twenty.” I think that I had a bit of a crush on Rob Thomas back in the day. And I listened to this album a lot.
10. Oasis – (What’s the Story) Morning Glory? – Didn’t start listening to Oasis until college, so this is a late teen album. Still one of my all-time favorites.
11. Lit – A Place in the Sun – A one-hit wonder, but this album is quite enjoyable. Several tracks make it onto my mixes even now.
12. Fastball – All the Pain Money Can Buy – An underrated album. I still listen to this one every now and then.
13. Everclear – Songs from an American Movie Vol. One: Learning How to Smile – A band that I listened to a lot as a teen, but less in the last decade. It was a good album for my last few years of high school
14. Weezer – Weezer (Blue Album) – Still a great album, and still one of my favorites.
15. Goo Goo Dolls – Dizzy Up the Girl – Another one I listened to a lot in high school, but less often over the years.
16. Alanis Morissette – Jagged Little Pill – Oh, Alanis. Sarcastic feminist in the South in the 90’s? This should shock no one.
17. Green Day – American Idiot – I listened to a compilation of theirs a lot as a teenager, but this one hit my political sensibilities in 2004 as a college sophomore.
18. My Best Friend’s Wedding soundtrack – A weird one, I know, but it was among the early CDs that I bought in middle school, so I listened to it a lot. I don’t like the movie all that much, but for some reason, the music appealed to me.
19. Garden State Soundtrack – My roommate my sophomore year in college played this soundtrack all the time. I think everyone heard way too much of The Shins that year.
20. Smallville Soundtrack – I didn’t watch much of the show, but I listened to this album a lot in my early college days.

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