Looking Back at the Nostalgia in Music

A collective piece showcasing bangers from different eras

Gorillaz

By Isaura Aceves   Contributor

I’m 20 years old and my music taste is constantly expanding and changing every year. But at the age of nine, I’ll never forget when I heard the iconic album “Demon Days” by Gorillaz. 

I grew up listening to my brother and dad’s classic rock CDs varying from Led Zeppelin to Pink Floyd. So when I heard the electronic beats, mellow vocals, smooth rap and electric guitar riffs for the first time, I was intrigued. 

What captured my attention wasn’t the sound at first, but rather the band itself. Gorillaz is compromised by four cartoon characters each with their own unique personality. 

Rather than having Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett, who co-created the band as a hip hop side project, we are introduced to these fictional animated characters. 

They have contributed to their success because everything about them is so unique. 

After their  first EP “Tomorrow Comes Today,” they released their second album “Demon Days” in 2005. 

There was skepticism about whether this new album would acquire huge success, but those doubted such as reviewers were wrong as the album became one of the most acclaimed albums of the time. 

This album has songs that keep you up and dancing with the pop beats and catchy vocals such as “DARE” and “Feel Good Inc.” 

Although we mustn’t forget the complexity of this album with songs like “Don’t Get Lost in Heaven” composed of soft keyboards. Its melodic lead vocals accompanied by soulful backup vocals add dimension to the album as it softens its harsh electric rhythms.

Even though it’s been 11 years, everytime I hear the crackling laughter in “Feel Good Inc.,” I’m reminded of the album that exposed me to a new musical world.

gwenstefani

By Madison Gallegos   Culture Editor

2004 was undoubtedly an amazing year for pop music; Usher’s “Confessions,” Avril Lavigne’s “Under My Skin,” Destiny Child’s last album “Destiny Fulfilled,” and so many more albums that still remain with us today. 

But the best one, the one I want to delve into is Gwen Stefani’s debut solo album —and honestly the peak of her entire career — “Love. Angel. Music. Baby.” 

I remember getting this CD for my birthday and feeling so fucking cool because it had the “Explicit Content” sticker on it. 

Coming from a pretty sheltered household, this was the first album I owned that introduced me to curse words and sex, and segued into my love of hip hop. I definitely attribute a lot of my feminist ideas, love of fashion, and general badass-ness to this album. 

With the continuing theme of Harajuku Girls, which to this day is a big question mark to me, it is the culmination of fun, interspersed with hints of love and sexiness. 

Four of her six singles have been critically and publicly acclaimed, including “What You Waiting For?” “Rich Girl,” “Hollaback Girl,” and “Luxurious.” 

Just about every song on this album is 10/10. I still have it on my iTunes and I listen to it whenever I feel down, upset or just want to have a good ass time. I highly recommend you do too. 

NMH

By Nancy Soriano   Contributor

I’m 13 and all I’ve ever listened to is Billboard’s Top 40s, Sublime, and Snoop Dogg. I’m 13 and I’ve just finished reading Struts and Frets by Jon Skovron, a book that comes with its own playlist full of people I’ve never heard about, like The Shins, The Cure, and Neutral Milk Hotel. 

My first time listening to “In The Aeroplane Over The Sea”, I sat there and wondered how I’d gone my whole life coexisting with an album a year younger than me that was so out of my range that I’d just completely missed it. 

I always knew that people used guitars and drums in bands to play music. Sublime kind of did that, but I never knew that you could add trumpets and brass to something that wasn’t classical. I cannot put into words the genuine confusion I felt about the overall sound. 

It was weird, polished, while retaining an unrefined quality that Top 40 artists were never allowed to keep, with lyrics so hard to follow that I’d spend the rest of my academic career becoming readily acquainted with the notion of word choice interpretation and intended meaning. 

Neutral Milk Hotel changed  music for me. When I was young I was the King of Carrot Flowers. Part 1 not part 2.

Bspears

By Martha Giron Quijano   Staff Writer

As someone who was not a teenager in the 90s, it disappoints me a little that I will never know what it feels like to hear “...Baby One More Time” the very first time it was released. 

Despite that fact, I still have a profound love and connection with Britney Spears’ debut album, “...Baby One More Time,” that was released in 1999. Millions of people all over the world know the lines to her songs because of how memorable and relatable most of her songs are. 

It’s pretty clear what her impact in the music industry is. We all know she’s not a one-hit wonder because each time she comes back with a new song, people just can’t stop listening to her captivating tunes. Her unique voice just pulls you in. 

Many may argue that she’s had better albums but I think nothing beats the first. 

One of my favorites is “(You Drive Me) Crazy”. The cowbells in the intro strangely puts me in a good mood and has me up and dancing right away. 

I get so giddy listening to her songs because it just makes you feel like the first time you’ve ever liked someone and invokes that feeling of puppy love. 

But at the same time, songs like “Born To Make You Happy” and “From the Bottom of My Broken Heart” are the perfect first heartbreak jams to sing along to while enjoying a tub of ice cream.

What makes her album so special to me is that it’s very nostalgic and continues to remind me of my younger years, being carefree without worrying about the things that we all worry about today. 

I’m positive that Britney Spears will continue to make some of the greatest hits that many generations to come will listen to and hopefully have the same good feelings about it as I did with her very first album. 

aqua

By Bailey Mount   Managing Editor

Aqua’s first album “Aquarium” made waves in the United States following its 1997 release with its third single, “Barbie Girl.” Poking fun at the concept of “Barbie” type women, it incited a bizarre lawsuit with Mattel and left many kids my age and older stuck with it in their heads in the years that followed. For me, it’s one of the first songs I remember from my early childhood. 

Even though the single came out a year after I was born, I loved it. Discovering the album in its entirety a whole ten years later was then almost revolutionary for me. There’s something amazing about listening to a group when their heyday has passed, something indulgent in being able to binge on a whole career’s worth of music in a few hours. 

Dear God, ten-year-old me was in love with “Aquarium.” The other two albums that followed were nothing compared to it. All of the songs on “Aquarium” were great in that way that going hard at a party after work is - mind numbing, exuberant, and addictive. 

“Dr. Jones” is a cute song about a woman begging her lover to “cure” her of the love she has kept for him since their fling. “Lollipop (Candyman)” was the original comparing-sex-to-candy song before Christina Aguilera’s sticky sweet serenade. 

“Bite me, I’m yours” and “I wish that you were my lollipop” are just some lustful lyrics exchanged between the two lead singers. In the song “Roses are Red,” the lead singer sings that she’s “ready to release” while her partner asks her to “come pick my roses.” 

Taking a step back and relistening to “Aquarium” another ten years later, I realize that ten-year-old me didn’t know how sexual some of these songs were. Twenty-year-old me appreciates it all the more and the synth beats and high-pitched vocals take on a more sultry tone. 

Listening to it now, I still kind of understand why I loved it so much. It’s mindless fun, it’s great to listen to when you need a happiness boost, because it’s familiar in its nostalgia and comforting in its simplicity. I like to remember what it was like in the “Aquarium.” It was pretty fun. 

patd

By Alexis Cruz   Social Media Manager

The early 2000s was a wild time and stood out as an era of emo music for many — if they want to remember the cringeworthy “rawr XD’s” and the smell of burning hair on a flat iron.

There are a plethora of bands that I can name from this time of teenage angst such as Mayday Parade, Taking Back Sunday and Fall Out Boy — the so-called “founders” of 2000s — but let’s talk about Panic! At the Disco.

“A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out” was the band’s debut album and one of the few that included all the original members. 

The album had smooth song transitions and a balanced mix of electronic, rock and soulful singing which catered to the emo/scene audience of the time.

Realistically, the band was more pop-punk sounding than emo. Sure, their song titles were long and obscure like Fall Out Boy’s, but did they sing about wanting to leave their town, breaking a girl’s heart, or having their own heart broken? 

No. Panic! At the Disco was an “emo” band because of their visual aesthetics.

I mean, ringleader Brendon Urie in “I Write Sins Not Tragedies?” Iconic. 

He rode that 1920s-esque circus look to the ends of their “A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out” promotions and will forever be etched in my nostalgic emo heart.

Kanye

By Erick Zepeda   Contributor

One of the earliest albums I purchased, “Late Registration” became an enormous contributor to my lifelong love affair with rap music, and love him or hate him, from the beginning of his career, Kanye West has had a profound impact on hip-hop of the millennium.

While not the most experimental of West’s work, the lyricism, features and production are solid, building upon tropes of his debut, “The College Dropout,” and segueing into what would become his more outlandish music and public image. 

As such, the album was released during a time in which Kanye West’s absurdity was rather undeveloped, or perhaps yet to be revealed for the most part. It made for a time in which the issue of separating art from artist was not as difficult as it has become today.

I have since gone back and forth upon my opinions on Yeezy. But one thing I could never deny is that “Late Registration” is my personal embodiment of “old, straight from the soul Kanye,” as well as one of few items I can unashamedly pull from my childhood library and listen to again and again.

Chiodos Bone Palace Ballet Album Cover chiodos 22406634 450 450

By Elliott Gatica   Music Editor

Speaking of emo, remember Chiodos? Or, back then, I remember everyone just remembering Craig Owens, the more memorable frontman of the band. They were my favorite. They were my go-to band to listen to. They were my teenage lifeblood. 

“Bone Palace Ballet” and the reissue, “Bone Palace Ballet: Grand Coda” basically defined my late middle school and almost all of my high school years. I loved this album to death. 

The band’s sound, especially in this album, was much different than the sounds of other “hardcore” bands I was into back in the day. 

It topped The Devil Wears Prada, A Day to Remember, Alesana, Emarosa, Eyes Set to Kill, Suicide Silence, and other bands that defined the golden times of the emo and scene kid music scene. 

The overall theme of the album feels rather gothic and very emotional. While also incorporating orchestral elements, there are times in the album where the songs sound like they are from a horror movie. It’s amazing.

And the song titles; most of them are inconveniently long, but sound so unique. 

“Lexington (Joey Pea-Pot with a Monkey Face)” and “A Letter from Janelle” are always going to have a special place in my heart, even past my years of teenage angst. 

Both are simple, yet very emotional. Also, they come with a hint of eeriness in overall tone. I feel like those two songs also stray away from the genre of the band because of the ballad-like sections. 

It pains me that just recently in rock music news headlines, I read “Craig Owens on Chiodos: ‘It’s Done.”’ It gave me that heartbreaking conclusion to my teenage years that I wished I hadn’t read. But I don’t care; over or not, they will always be my all time favorite emo band.

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