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While the ‘90s may be remembered mainly for bubblegum pop and boy bands, some songs stood out as a change of direction for mainstream music. Because of the timeless nature of some of the songs released during that period, many of them are still relevant and popular today.
Recapture the innovative spirit of the ‘90s with this playlist created by CU Independent staff writer Kenna Egbune.
“Smells like Teen Spirit” by Nirvana
Originally released in 1991, “Smells like Teen Spirit” is known for its distinctive guitar rift. “Smells Like Teen Spirit” is written in the key of F minor, with the main guitar riff constructed from four power chords (F5–B♭5–A♭5–D♭5) played in a syncopated sixteenth note strum by Cobain. “Smells like Teen Spirit” is the perfect anthem for the rebellious grunge spirit of the early ‘90s, perfectly encompassed by Cobain’s signature voice and distorted lyrics.
“The Sign” by Ace of Base
Originally released in 1993 by Swedish band Ace of Base, “The Sign” featured a synthesized beat and carefully merged the dance and pop genres. While “The Sign” narrowly escaped becoming too poppy, it redeemed itself with its lyrics that depicted moving on from a bad relationship, “I gotta new life. You would hardly recognize me I’m so glad.”
“Doo Wop (That Thing)” by Lauryn Hill
Originally released in 1998 by former Fugee member Lauryn Hill, “Doo Wop (That Thing)” merged the iconic sound of 1960s R&B with Lauryn’s new school rap/singing style. The lyrics talked about how certain gender roles are portrayed. Dedicating a verse both female and males, Lauryn warns about how relationships dynamics between females and males are no longer about getting to know each other. Each party is only after one thing: money for the females and sex for the males.
“You Oughta Know” by Alanis Morrisette
Released in 1995,“You Oughta Know” serves as the iconic angry female breakup song of the ‘90s. Flea played the bass on the song, while Dave Navarro played guitar (both were members of the Red Hot Chili Peppers at the time). Because of its explicit lyrics and graphic revenge scenarios, “You Oughta Know” is still relevant to angry broken-hearted females everywhere when Morrisette whines: “And I’m here to remind you of the mess you left when you went away.”
Contact CU Independent Staff Reporter Kenna Egbune at Ikenna.email@example.com