Playlist of the Month: Break Out The Cassettes, It’s 1995

We’re smack dab in the middle of Clueless Week, and to help you get more in the mood of 20 years ago – and get through hump day – today, we’re transporting you back two decades with the power of music.

Songs have this ability to bring you back to a certain time and event in your life, whether it be good or bad. As I was compiling this playlist, I realized that 1995 was one of the first years I became a *fan* of music and certain artists, as opposed to just singing along with songs on the radio. For better or worse, the songs I heard in 1995 helped form my musical tastes today, and help me reminisce about my younger years when my extent of my worries was weather Mrs. Green was going to be in a good mood in class that day or not.

So here are some of our favorite tunes to bring you back to the Clueless era, and get ready to play them on your new-fangled computers and streaming services.

Enjoy the entire playlist on Spotify HERE!

Traci’s Picks

Another Night by Real McCoy

Kids, dance music was big in the 90s. Not EDM music of today with your Calvin Harrises and Aviciis and Tiestos. But electronica, Euro-inspired dance music that The Night at the Roxbury guys would groove to in the clubs. It’s a sound that’s so specifically 90s, and I remember this legitimately being my favorite song that I would write down in personality tests.

This Is How We Do It by Montell Jordan

Although this was arguably Montell Jordan’s biggest hit in 1995, I would also argue that it’s a hip-hop classic, and also one of my go-to karaoke songs.

Switch by TLC

CrazySexyCool/Waterfalls was one of the biggest albums of the 90s, with the record over two years on the Billboard album charts. It was a career-defining CD for the ladies, and was basically a soundtrack to my life when I was a kid. In fifth grade, me and three of my friends decided to enter our school talent show, and we decided to do a dance to this B-Side track. As we were practicing in my friend’s basement, I suggested someone move forward during Left Eye’s rap and basically lip sync to it. Since it was my idea, I had to do it. We got like second or third place. I believe we lost to a male-cousin team who lip synced to Ike and Tina Turner’s Proud Mary. One of them was dressed in drag. This was 5th grade.

Always Be My Baby by Mariah Carey

I think I was first introduced to Mariah when I procured Music Box on cassette, and I subsequently got Daydream – I want to say by borrowing it from the library? Anyways, I listened to it non-stop, and Always Be My Baby was probably my fave jam out of hit after hit on that record. Can we just get this Mariah back, please?

Head Over Feet by Alanis Morissette

For a long period of time, I used to tell people the first CD I ever bought was Alanis Morissette’s Jagged Little Pill. It was a stock answer for anyone around my age, because that’s how big of an album it was. In reality, the first CD I ever bought was Weird Al Yankovic’s Bad Hair Day, strictly because of his parody of Coolio’s Gangster’s Paradise – Amish Paradise. I thought I was cool. Jagged Little Pill was actually a Christmas gift in ’95, and when I eventually got around to listening to it, turns out it wasn’t that bad.

Honorable Mentions: Peaches by The Presidents of the United States of America, Stay by Lisa LoebOne of Us by Joan Osborne

 Molly’s Picks

Wonderwall by Oasis

I was so young, I didn’t even know that none of this made sense.  Radio was more segmented in 1995 (before it was all, like, radio conglomerates?) so you had your station that strictly played “alternative” versus those that played pop. It was really tough for us fourth graders who were really into Mariah AND Oasis trying to hover in front of the radio with a cassette tape to record our favorite songs.

Gangsta’s Paradise by Coolio

I was obsessed with this song. And like Traci, I was even MORE into Amish Paradise. I thought Weird Al was hilarious, and what can I say, I was going through a phase where I thought the Amish were awesome. But in real life, I lived in a city neighborhood. Some might even call it a Gangsta’s Paradise. By the way, watch Dangerous Minds – the movie this is from – for a very different perspective on 1995 teens than you get in Clueless.

Life, In A Nutshell by Barenaked Ladies

Barenaked Ladies were huge in our area, and with my sibs especially. I’m still jealous that one of my brothers got to hang out with them backstage, and it’s been 15 years. The 1994 album Maybe You Should Drive is filled with 90s nuggets like Alternative Girlfriend (referencing a girl in an all-girl band who has a second-hand futon), Jane (mentioning the fairytale romance between … Juliana Hatfield and Evan Dando, of course. What, you don’t remember that love story for the ages? Evan “Lemonheads” Dando!), and Life, In A Nutshell.

Big Poppa by Notorious B.I.G.

You can’t talk about mid-90s music without mentioning the big players in the rap game: Biggie and Tupac. You know what’s kind of amazing? How old-school 80s, early 90s rap had evolved to this by 1995, and it still sounds like it could be released today, maybe minus the synth.

Here Comes The Hotstepper by Ini Kamoze

I am including this strictly so that I can explain that I just learned last year that the lyrics are NOT “I’m the leprechaun gangster.” But for some cultural context, the horror movie Leprechaun was released in ’93 and leprechauns in general were much more intimidating in the ’90s.

Also, I just learned that this song is called Here Comes The Hotstepper now. Right now. While making this playlist.

Honorable Mentions: Don’t Take It Personal by Monica, Run-Around by Blues Traveler, I Believe by Blessid Union Of Souls, Roll To Me by Del Amitri (I just learned ~5 years ago that it’s not “the right time, the wrong me”), Waterfalls by TLC, Fantasy by Mariah  … I can’t stop. I could list every song from 1995. What a year.
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Playlist of the Month: Songs With Terrible Lyrics

Songs are poetry set to music. And today, on Bad Poetry Day, we remember that not all poems are good. Some of them make awkward word choices trying to force a rhyme. Others use clumsy metaphors. And still others do things with English grammar that, well, you just can’t do. Out of the hundreds of songs released every year, it’s no surprise that some aren’t necessarily bad music – but the lyrics are terrible poetry.

Listen to the entire playlist below or click here!

Molly’s Picks

Empire State Of Mind – Jay-Z feat. Alicia Keys

I like Jay-Z. I like Alicia Keys. I even like this song, as in I know every word to the rap verses. But the chorus drives me crazy every time. “Concrete jungle where dreams are made of?” There are so many easy ways to fix this. Take off the “of.” Change the “where” to “that.” Hell, even toss in a few commas and change the “where” to “which” and bingo, we have a restrictive clause: concrete jungle, which dreams are made of…

Sexy Bitch – David Guetta feat Akon

There are SO MANY words to describe a girl without being disrespectful. For instance: brunette. Like 5’6, 5’7. Looks like that one girl who was in our sociology class. Wears a lot of patterns. Basically anything you would  say when making a witness report. David Guetta and Akon find none of them.

Champagne Supernova – Oasis

Where were you when Oasis was getting high? Not sure, but I know where Noel Gallagher was: writing this song. He’s said himself that “slowly walking down the hall, faster than a cannonball” makes no sense so I don’t even feel bad about this.

Whenever, Wherever – Shakira

The real question is what does this guy do when he comes across breasts that are NOT small and humble? I picture Shakira’s paramour shrugging dejectedly, reaching for his Columbia backpack, clipping on a few carabiners and filling up the ol’ Nalgene when he meets a busty lady, sighing “this is going to be a steep climb.”

Sk8er Boi – Avril Lavigne

This is what the pop-punk trend of the early 2000s wrought: ratty straightened hair, lots of hot pink, spikey bracelets, and Sk8r Boi. It makes no sense. A ballerina who’s not allowed to be into punk because she has to – what, listen to Tchaikovsky always? And why do her friends all share a single nose? But that plot twist near the end makes the terrible lyrics almost all worth it. AVRIL is with the SK8ER BOY? Did not see that one coming.

Traci’s Picks

My Humps – Black Eyed Peas

You could basically choose any Black Eyed Peas song and I assure you there will be at least one stupid line. In this particular song, the offense comes from the word “lumps” – sorry, more specifically, “my lovely lady lumps”. Come on Fergie, you really thought this would be a great way to describe your breasts? Although, you did change your name from Stacey Ferguson to just Fergie, so maybe it’s just in your blood to name things horribly.

Eenie Meenie – Justin Bieber ft. Sean Kingston

A good rule of thumb is not to use children’s nursery rhymes in your songs. Especially if those lyrics are slightly sexist. “Eenie meenie miney mo/Catch a bad chick by her toe/If she holla (if, if, if she holla) let her go” Does that even make sense? If a girl does holla, wouldn’t that be a good thing (for him)?

I Want It That Way by Backstreet Boys

Listen. I love the Backstreet Boys. If you’re new to our blog, this is not brand new information, as evidenced here. But I will gladly admit this song does not make any sense. Like the chorus and the verses don’t want the same thing. Also, what is “it”? In fact the boys themselves will admit it doesn’t make any sense. I’ve even seen them multiple times say in interviews and stuff, “What way? You want it what way??” Kevin’s explanation was that Max Martin, Swedish superproducer, wrote the song and at the time his English wasn’t that good. Too bad it’s like their most popular song ever.

Soda Pop by Britney Spears

Britney Spears isn’t really known for her lyrics. Or her singing. Don’t get me wrong, I love the girl but, come on, let’s all be honest with ourselves. If you grew up in our generation, you know how big this … Baby One More Time album was. A deep cut from said album is Soda Pop, a song referring to a beverage that no one actually calls “soda pop”. But props to Brit for namedropping the likes of Homer, Agamemnon and Zeus then later singing, “Open a soda pop, watch it fiz and pop/The clock is tickin’ and we can’t stop/Open a soda pop, bop-a shu-bop shu-bop” But the real reason why she’s popular is that you get these songs inexplicably stuck in your head for the next few hours.

Any song by Kesha

I feel like there is a clear line before Ke$ha and Kesha. Pre-Kesha was so much more of a shit show, and her lyrics reflected that. Particularly on her 2010 album Animal, which included her breakout hit song TiK ToK, and other notable songs called Dinosaur (about an old man hitting on her), Stephen (in which she’s an annoying little bitch asking why Stephen won’t call her back) and Party at a Rich Dude’s House (which is exactly what it sounds like). Then there’s the song Blah Blah Blah that’s about Ke$ha meeting some dude at a bar and she wants him to just shut up and have sex with her and it’s maybe borderline non-consensual? “Come put a little love in my glove box/I wanna dance with no pants on, holla” Everything about that lyric is horrible.