The weekly student newspaper of Bucknell University

The Bucknellian

The weekly student newspaper of Bucknell University

The Bucknellian

The weekly student newspaper of Bucknell University

The Bucknellian

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A journey through the music of the 1990s

By Michelle Joline


While the Internet is constantly pouring information into our computers, phones and brains from all directions in this new age of technology, the music scene is changing. We rely on devices like iTunes and Pandora to introduce us to our new favorite artists, rather than discovering them on our go-to radio stations. There was something adventurous about tapping into the bands and artists that, we thought, no one else heard of. Now that we have become accustomed to the convenience of immediate gratification on the Internet, we could never go back to our more traditional ways. But, the greatness of the past does not only lay in how music was found but, more importantly, the music itself.

If there is one thing a lot of people can agree on, it is that we still love the 1990s. Hearing the classic songs of that decade brings us straight back to those feelings of excitement when we first heard them and the memories that they ignite. As more influences from the 1990s are popping up in the fashion world, with overalls and knee socks on current runways, it is inevitable that we turn to our favorite 1990s hits for inspiration.

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After being bombarded with the new electronic sounds of today, which also can offer some pleasing listening, it is a great relief to hear the grungy, organic sounds of artists like Nirvana and Alanis Morissette. Their lyrics are gritty and perfect for the many teenage listeners who declare their problems to be bigger than anyone else’s. These songs influenced a generation and are still bringing in new fans, along with the many other artists who created the anthems of that decade.

There was the never-ending, wonderful battle between Britney and Christina and the boy-band craze that many of us hoped would never end. Our generation grew up with our baby-sitters blasting *NSYNC and Backstreet Boys, making us fans for life. There is something about this music that is not really a part of current genres, something perhaps outwardly ridiculous at times but still fun.

Besides the bubble-gum sounds of Spice Girls and the chart-topping pop groups, there is nothing pretty about many of the artists of the 1990s. Metallica mastered the art of sounding angry, and Weezer influenced the alternative artists of today, still making hits now with current styles. Many of the songs that are so appealing may be guilty pleasures, but we must like them for some reason. The sulky voice of Fiona Apple has every girl identifying with her woes and No Doubt proclaims that we are more than just girls. Obviously, these artists appealed more to the female spectrum than Dr. Dre and Jock Jams did.

The music of the 1990s is the perfect example of us not appreciating what we have until it is gone. As the millennium approached, no one really made an effort to hold onto the great aspects of the passing decade. Even though the 1990s are long gone, we can still appreciate the music that were the soundtracks to our lives growing up, and perhaps helped to make us who we are today.

If you are interested in reconnecting with some of the 1990s hits, here’s a playlist of some top songs from the decade:


Alanis Morissette, “You Oughta Know

Nirvana, “Smells Like Teen Spirit”

Spice Girls, “Wannabe”

The Smashing Pumpkins, “1979”

No Doubt, “Just a Girl”

*NSYNC, “I Want You Back”

Weezer, “Buddy Holly”

Backstreet Boys, “Larger than Life”

Sixpence None the Richer, “Kiss Me”

Britney Spears, ” … Baby One More Time”

Christina Aguilera, “What a Girl Wants”

Sinéad O’Connor, “Nothing Compares 2 U”

Counting Crows, “Mr. Jones”

Fiona Apple, “Criminal”

Ben Folds Five, “Brick”

The Cranberries, “Dreams”

The Notorious B.I.G., “Big Poppa”

The Pretenders, “I’ll Stand by You”

Blink-182, “Anthem”

Coolio, “Gangsta’s Paradise”

TLC, “Creep”

Destiny’s Child, “Bills, Bills, Bills”

Fugees, “Killing Me Softly”

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