Hello, hello! My laptop decided to re-install Windows by itself (and certainly without my permission, that insolent piece of metal and plastic and techie sorcery. I’m looking into secure online storage options) two Sundays ago, wiping out twenty gigs of music I had collected over the past three years. I’m coping.

Songs 21-40 (because ten aren’t enough!) will be songs that defined my high school years! It’s always good to remember the late 90s and early 00s, when mainstream pop was actually good*.

Although a couple of those listed are actually from the mid-90s, I think.

21. I Don’t Want To Wait – Paula Cole
There’s something magical in Paula Cole’s voice and this song always envelopes me in warm sunshine; there is an itch to run barefoot on sand while being bathed in golden light, the wind in my hair.

I blame Dawson’s Creek.

22. #1 Crush – Garbage
Such frightening passion (bordering on creepy/stalkerish) that aptly describes the love between Romeo and Juliet (at least the 20th century Hollywood blockbuster version…and you bet I was a huge fan of the movie and soundtrack). Now imagine a 12-year old girl wailing the words (my favorite lines: I will burn for you, feel pain for you, I will twist the knife and bleed my aching heart and tear it apart. I will lie for you, beg and steal for you, I will crawl on hands and knees until you see— you’re just like me) to this song. Scariest declaration of love. I love it.

23. The Rockafeller Skank – Fatboy Slim
One of my former high school best friends and I used to dance to this in their house’s guest bedroom after school. This and Korn’s Got The Life. Basically, we did a lot of jumping around in our uniforms.

24. Maria – Blondie
Maria is the kind of girl I would like to be: walking on imported air, making your heart beat like a subway train, blue as ice and desire, and all that.

25. Near You Always – Jewel
I didn’t think that the song I used to skip in favor of the heartbreaking You Were Meant For Me, the commentary on American lifestyle that is Who Will Save Your Soul, and the poetic Foolish Games would be the song that would play in my mind when I was falling in love with the lover. <3

26. Landslide (Fleetwood Mac original) – Smashing Pumpkins cover or Tori Amos cover
Everyone loved this song— to the point of cheesiness— in high school and I’m a bit annoyed at myself for not appreciating the original version more, but it is what it is: I spent my awkward teens listening (with the occasional sob here and there) to Billy Corgan‘s barely breathless screeching earnestly singing about the passage of time, change, and loss. Nevermind that I was too young to know what it’s like to build my life around something and someone.

In college, I come across Tori Amos’s cover and fall in love all over again.

27. Nothing Compares 2 U – Sinead O’Connor
Remixed, this makes a good jeepney rock anthem. Sad and pining, it makes a perfect companion.

(I am aware that this song— the original, that is— is older than I am, heh.)

28. Celebrity Skin
I totally have a thing for sexy decadence and angry girl anthems. And cokewhores. Plus, Courtney Love and Melissa Auf der Maur!

29. Shimmer – Fuel
Because all that shimmers in this world is sure to fade away. Again.

30. Life in Mono – Mono
Best listened to at the beginning of your day, preferably when it’s gray and dreary. Or while drowning past regrets in tea and cigarettes.

*With some exceptions, of course. Boyzone, Ronan Keating, Westlife, and A1, to name a few.