90s Pop Punk
A look back on some of my favorite pop punk albums from the 90s
Everybody has a music scene they kind of grow up with. Or... maybe it's not really something you "grow up" with, because it's more of something you just do for fun. For me, it was the pop punk scene of the 90s. This was after the hardcore political punk scene of the 80s, but before the emo pop scene of the 2000s. 90s pop punk was kinda just about fun, friends, and bad attitudes. I'm enthused to share some of the pop punk albums which have kept me entertained the most over the years.
PS - If you don't like punk, don't bash my article. just don't read it.
First I wanna start with "Dookie" by Green Day. Everyone remembers this one, whether they were a fan or despised it. The first single was "Longview" in 1994. It quickly caught the attention of a lot of the rebellious teenagers of the 90s. With it's unique bass line, talk of surburban boredom and shouting "I got no motivation!" It was a hit. 3 more hits followed, Basket Case, Welcome to Paradise, and When I Come Around. The whole album catches a youthful attitude. Just pop it into the CD player and hear the first lyric: "I declare I don't care no more". That line prepares you for the whole album. If you loved that song, then the rest of the CD would hit close to home too. If you thought that line was immature, then just turn the CD off and go back to your 90s pop.
Sure everyone knows who Blink 182 is. They're the band that sang "All The Small Things". But that song doesn't do justice to their early material. 1995's "Cheshire Cat" is hilarious and immature, while actually remaining true to life at the same time. The album featured songs about lost friends, pretty girls, rejection, and... wetting your pants. The song "Carousel" discussed life after high school when all your old friends lose contact with you. "M+Ms" was an awesome love song, and "Does My Breath Smell?" is still one of the ultimate dateless loser songs.
One of the best songs on the disc though, was "Wasting Time" which featured the rad line "Sometimes I sit at home thinking of her and wondering if she's sitting at home thinking about me and wondering if I'm sitting at home thinking about her... or am I just wasting my time?" Anybody who can't relate to that feeling is just lying.
Another great thing about this album was Mark Hoppus and Tom Delonge's shared vocal duties. They both sang songs, giving it a unique feel. But it's when these two guys are goofing off that you can't resist. Between songs there was lots of funny banter. One of my favorites being Mark qouting a line from the 80s movie "Airplane" followed by Tom saying "Are you uh... feeling alright?" It was incredibly stupid, but the fact that this CD was ever released is just plain great.
Another classic song was "Touchdown Boy" which was about the school jock. In the middle of the song, Mark and Tom imitate game commentators. Mark says "He won't be alone. Not this weekend I don't think" and then Tom says "Yeah, cuz like a dog, he's loyal to his bone. For the sake of the kids reading this, I won't go into detail on the double meaning of that...
Ahhh, "Punk in Drublic" by NoFX. This is a CD on many punk rocker's wish lists. There's a lot of variety to be found here. The first song "Linoleum" is a total anthem for anyone who sometimes doesn't know where they belong. "Dig" is quit an interesting historical look on how America basically wiped out the Indians from the land and then had the nerve to build museums for them.
The album has serious moments like that, but it also features some crazy humor. Two of the members of NoFX are Jewish, so they wrote a song about it. When the album ends, one of the band members says funny things in the voices of many classic cartoon characters. ("I don't think the ranger's gonna like this Yogi. This guy's more punk than me")
This is actually my favorite album of all time. "Life In General" by MxPx. The boys from Bremerton sing about a lot of things people may go through on a daily basis, hence the title.
The first song "Middlename" can apply to anyone who wishes they never met a certain person. "Move To Bremerton" is about meeting a cool girl... who doesn't live in your hometown. Other topics include growing up, going through change, school, and just trying to understand the world. While the CD isn't super funny like the other albums I've mentioned, it sure is true to life. I listen to this album about once a week at the least, and that's most likely because I find myself relating to a lot of the songs.
These are just 4 of my favorite 90s pop punk albums. So what were some of your favorite CDs of any genre in the 90s? Also, if you enjoyed this article, I just might make a part two.
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