Intern Picks of the Week – Theme: Best of the 90’s

Sleater Kinney - Roundhouse, London 23/03/15 | Photo by Jason Williamson

We have seen a lot of 90’s trends resurface in pop culture over the past few months so the interns decided to reminisce on some of their personal favorite songs from the 90’s!

Lindsay’s Pick: Sublime — 40oz to Freedom

One of the most influential bands throughout the 90’s had to be Sublime. The reggae rock band from Long Beach, California had only released 3 albums before the death of their lead singer Bradley Nowell. His death definitely spurred popularity for the band, however I’m curious to what memorable music the band would’ve created had Bradley survived. One of my personal favorite songs has to be “40oz to Freedom”. This is the title track to Sublime’s second album, released in 1992. It has an upbeat summertime rock feel to it and sticks true to the band’s reggae feel. It’s the perfect track to listen to when you’re laying at the beach with not a worry in the world.

Taylor’s Pick: CeCe Peniston — Finally

Every year, I pray that 90s house will make a comeback. And every year, I’m inevitably disappointed when the likes of Crystal Waters, the “It’s Not Right But It’s Okay” remix, and–yes–CeCe Peniston don’t suddenly surge back into the mainstream. But at the same time, maybe it’s for the best, since there’s no chance anyone is ever going to come close to reaching the euphoric highs of “Finally.” Joy in its purest form, “Finally” is explosive, starry-eyed, and impossibly groovy. Peniston’s vocal here is legendary, a thrilling mix of easy R&B, ecstatic belting, and the occasional tasteful growl. The driving piano riff is infectious, and I’ve yet to meet someone who’s remotely immune. It also passes the most important metric for a house/dance song of its ilk, meaning there’s a fantastic Drag Race lipsync set to it. It’s the whole package.

Ayden’s Pick: Sleater-Kinney – I Wanna Be Your Joey Ramone

When I think of the 90s I think of Riot Grrrl. And when I think of Riot Grrrl, I think of Sleater-Kinney. Formed in Washington State in the footsteps and fantastic carnage of founding punk group Bikini Kill, S-K is unique first for their longevity and second for their accessibility. Critically received sophomore album Call the Doctor, out on the iconic Kill Rock Stars label, is 30 minutes of pure unadulterated 90s punk. Probably the catchiest track off the record, “I Wanna Be Your Joey Ramone” is a sharp (both sonically and critically) account of the idolization of male rockstars. In her memoir Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl, Carrie Brownstein explained that “‘Joey’ was really the first song that set the precedent of what would become our habit of meta-songwriting,” solidifying the number as a staple of the band’s history and contemporary setlists. There’s no catharsis like screaming along to it.