Who can remember when we started paying attention to music? Sure, I fondly remember my single-digit days of NSYNC-mania, Backstreet Boy posters and Britney Spears, but between those fetishes and around the seventh grade is a strange gray area. What were we all listening to?
In 2000, Christina Aguilera was rocking the charts with “What A Girl Wants,” a song which this girl now truly wants to forget. By the time 2002 rolled around, Nickelback entered the scene with “How You Remind Me,” leaving us all confused and/or infatuated by Chad Kroeger’s voice. But really, who doesn’t throwback to Nickelback every now and then? Would if we could control our iPod shuffle settings…
And then BAM! 2004 brought about some real hits that we can’t help but remember every word to eight years later. “Hey Ya!,” anybody? And who wasn’t shaking it like a Polaroid picture in 2005 when “Hollaback Girl” and “Run It!” entered the scene? Am I the only person who forgot that we at one point liked Chris Brown? Who knew that later in his career, he’d have a hit that would make him even more famous. (Too soon?)
Oh, JT, true holder of my heart. Once the dreamy frontman of NSYNC, Justin Timberlake returned to the music industry in 2006 with hits like “My Love” and “Sexyback,” two songs which I am not ashamed to have on my iPod right now. Just a few months later, “What Goes Around, Comes Around” came around and swept us off of our feet once again.
Middle school parties paved the way for pre-pubescent gyrating to MIMS’ “This Is Why I’m Hot” and the (in)famous “Soulja Boy” song and dance. Let me be the first to admit that I still have not learned all of the steps to that routine.
How could we forget our efforts to hit those high notes in Leona Lewis’ “Bleeding Love” back in ‘08? Or being unmistakably embarrassed the first time that our parents heard “Lollipop” by Lil Wayne on the car radio? I might be the only one at this point, but my wrist and hips still hurt from showing my single-pride along to Beyonce’s “Single Ladies.”
With our entry into high school came Lady Gaga, Owl City, and the unexpected re-emergence of The Black Eyed Peas. No one can deny that we spent many a school dance bouncing around to the tune of “I Gotta Feeling” (woo-hoo!).
Can we pretend that “Airplanes” in any sky wasn’t the top song in 2010? Alas, it is the truth. And yet, Hayley Williams, we still love you “Just The Way You Are.” Teenage boys are still thanking Bruno Mars for the plethora of new pick-up lines.
Nice to meet you, Adele! In 2011, this chain-smoking, British beauty floored us with her killer pipes. She cranked out karaoke classics like “Someone Like You” and “Rolling in the Deep” that made our heads spin. Let’s not forget that every day we were shufflin’ to “Party Rock Anthem.” There’s no shame in it, we were only juniors then.
Who can explain what happened during our senior year, when we veered away from bass-bumping dance songs to Gotye’s “Somebody That I Used To Know?” Fortunately, the message that we live by rebounded with “We Are Young” by F.U.N., and who doesn’t like listening to the possibly pyromaniac words of a Damon/Wahlberg look-alike?
Well, seniors, here we are, thousands of songs later. This is the month that we finish high school. The month that we say our official goodbyes to the last four years and usher in the coming months of parties, road trips, sunshine and new beginnings. Clean out your cars, roll down the windows and listen to music that makes you smile.