My obsession with playlists goes way back to the 1990s. At that time of course, I didn’t make playlists – I made mix tapes. One of my favorite mix tapes was the “depressing 1990s mix.” I don’t remember what I had on this tape – my library was pretty lean as tapes costed ten bucks a piece and I was a poor high school student. I do remember, because of the lack of resources available, a lot of my so called depressing mix songs had happy endings and whatnot – so not the most depressing mix by any means.
Today, dear friends, I have come to rectify this. Thanks to Spotify, and the ability to stream about 75 percent of recorded music, I can now make a playlist worthy of depressing 1990s music. Happy endings? You won’t find them here – in fact, the 90s depressing mix has some of the darkest songs I could find from the decade. Some of these songs talk about break ups, some talk about suicide, murder, and just a general sense of hopelessness.
The 1990s depressing mix – perfect for a brooding teenager, or a brooding middle aged Gen Xer.
That truly was a depressing 1990s mix.
In all honesty, I’ve listened to this playlist a little too much in preparation for this article. If feels therapeutic – the raw emotions expressed in some of these songs. Brick by Ben Folds Five especially gets me. As does Freshmen by The Verve Pipe. i suppose both songs talk about similar things – young kids having to make adult decisions and the loss of innocence that happens as a result.
Some people, however, really don’t like to bask in negative emotions. While there’s a time and a place, some people’s tolerances are a lower to depressing songs. For anyone amongst you like this, I’m sorry. Here’s a happier playlist for you.
Changing gears, I want to tell you about this week’s featured article. I talk about the song “I Will Follow” by U2 and ask if this song represents the band’s career. This article is an experiment and a pilot of a new series, where I take the first song by a band and analyze what the song says about the band.
Finally, you might wonder why I omitted songs like “You Oughta Know” by Alanis Morissette and other overly angry songs from the depressing 1990s mix. The short answer – they get to be the star of next week’s playlist. While angry and depressing songs certainly overlap, I feel like they each deserve their own playlist.
Carry on – and for the sake of your own well being, don’t listen to this week’s playlist too much.