Pillbox

Ten songs you grew up with

Got your study groove down and just need a playlist to match it? Feeling reminiscent? If you were born in the ‘90s, this 10-song playlist will bring you back to your childhood and the awkward phase of turn-of-the-millennium music videos.

Steal My Sunshine 1999

Featured on Len’s third album, You Can’t Stop the Bum Rush, “Steal My Sunshine” is a mesmerizing tune. It’s calm enough to put you to sleep, but not because it’s boring. The song samples “More More More” by the Andrea True Connection, slowing down the original tune until it bops along at a head bobbing pace. The song is sure to bring you back to the beach and summer, even as the leaves turn colors on the Cut.

The music video seems like the final product of someone learning how to use slideshow transitions for the first time. And don’t forget to watch the clearly out-of-sync lipsyncing.

The Anthem 2003

Remember when you were a rebellious teenager? Remember when everyone around you thought it was cool to dress in entirely black clothes and chains? Good Charlotte’s “The Anthem,” from The Young and the Hopeless (cheerful title for an album, huh?) is a reminder of just how unique and rebellious you are. The song empowers listeners to be individuals who won’t take advice from anyone with its in-your-face vocals by lead vocalist Joel Madden. Despite the song’s drab outlook, you won’t be able to get it out of your head, and you’ll probably find yourself listening to it more than once in a row.

Want to learn how to look tough popping wheelies on a bike or flashing the peace sign? This music video’s for you.

Blue (Da Ba Dee) 1999

This is the song that literally turned us all blue and made no sense, but we sang along anyway. Recorded by Eiffel 65 for their debut album Europop, the song repeats the word “blue” 36 times and requires very little practice to master its chorus (“I’m blue, da ba dee da ba di”). Try matching the autotuned voices with your own un-autotuned voice though. Bet you can’t. Don’t watch the music video. Seriously.; it’s terrible.

Hey Ya! 2003

OutKast: “Shake it like a Polaroid picture!” ‘Nuff said.

Hollaback Girl 2005

“This s*** is bananas, B-A-N-A-N-A-S.” Gwen Stefani is probably the only artist who can claim she got almost every high school cheerleader in America and their friends to scream out the name of a fruit like it was the coolest thing since Nintendo released the N64. Listen to this song for the rare times when you miss high school and having a full turnout at football games.

The music video is exactly what you’d expect —Gwen asserting herself as a tough cheerleader leading a marching band, because what else would you expect from a song overrun by piercing whistles and high school marching band instrument solos?

Stacy’s Mom 2003

Just like Stacy’s mom, this song has got it going on. Fountains of Wayne clearly doesn’t take itself seriously with this song, which is on their album Welcome Interstate Managers. If for some reason you don’t already know it, this song is about a boy and his fantasies with his friend Stacy’s mom, as he fawns over their every interaction. There’s no meaning behind it beyond that, so don’t go looking for any.

The music video? A pubescent teen getting flustered by an older woman.

1985 2004

From Bowling For Soup’s A Hangover You Don’t Deserve, “1985” is a catchy little tune that took the world by storm in 2004. Filled with cultural references galore (“Bruce Springsteen, Madonna/Way before Nirvana/There was U2 and Blondie/And music still on MTV”), the song caters to both a younger audience with its punk rock style and an older audience of parents who can’t help but be reminded of why their music growing up was so much better than the music produced today.

Oops!... I Did It Again 2000

Probably the most iconic Britney Spears song ever, “Oops!... I Did It Again” appeared on the artist’s second album of the same name and contains a pretty conspicuous reference to James Cameron’s 1997 Titanic film. You could honestly swap this song with any one of Spears’ earlier hits and maintain the quality of this stellar throwback playlist.

Watch the music video to see Britney seduce an astronaut in space and then leave him in the dust.

How You Remind Me 2001

Before you screech at the presence of a Nickelback song on this list, take a few minutes to listen to “How You Remind Me.” Also remember that Nickelback once put out music decent enough to make it onto top 100 lists and into car radios. That said, this song may only be good for a few listens before it becomes monotonous.It’s hard to listen to something over and over again if it has a slower pace and gruffer feel. The chorus is simple enough to learn, yet complex enough that you aren’t singing the same three or four words.

If you know what Nickelback’s lead singer looks like, then you know everything about this music video: Since it basically consists of closeups of Chad Kroeger and his long, wavy hair.

All Star 1999

You should probably put your fingers up in the shape of an L on your forehead if you don’t know every word to this Smash Mouth smash hit. The song is on Astro Lounge and also appeared as a lead soundtrack song in the first Shrek. Put this one on in the library, cluster, or wherever you are and see who belts out the song with you. Give shade to the haters and power your way through to the end if no one sings along.

Watch the first few seconds of the music video to see appearances by Ben Stiller and other guests in clips of cult classic Mystery Man mashed up with Smash Mouth vocals.