Today’s Daily Prompt:
“You make a new friend. Make them a mix tape (or playlist, for the younger folks) that tells them who you are through song.
Photographers, artists, poets: show us MUSIC.”
I’m having a major nostalgia moment right now.
There’s nothing like music to jog your memory and take you way back to the oddest and most random memories – like riding in the backseat of the car with my brother, both of us singing along to REM, or whatever song was playing when the deer hit my car (not the other way around, I swear!). Or maybe the moment that I felt pretty old when it was “Throwback Thursday” on the radio and they played Beyonce’s “Crazy in Love”… and I realized that was from 10 years ago! As the kids say these days, SMH!
I have so many favorite songs, but I tried to pick songs that were meaningful or marked certain milestones in my life for this playlist. I had to set a limit for myself, otherwise the list would just go on and on – so, here are the 30 songs from the soundtrack of my life!
1. Lisa Loeb – Stay (I Missed You)
I’m a 90’s girl and this was one of my favorite songs back then. I played Lisa Loeb’s album “Tails” over and over (on cassette tape, of course) and jammed to all the songs. Back then it was harder to skip songs so you ended up listening to the entire album… luckily the entire album was great!
2. Mariah Carey – Always Be My Baby
The very first CD I ever bought was Mariah Carey’s “Daydream” – I felt so grown up walking out of the store with it. With my Discman and my huge puffy headphones, I felt like Mariah was crooning right into my ears! How technology has changed, and how Mariah has changed too! This was back when she was a fresh-faced ingenue, and I loved all her music!
3. Janet Jackson – Got ‘Til It’s Gone
My 2nd CD of my burgeoning collection (okay… I only have 3…) was The Velvet Rope by Janet Jackson. The best and my favorite song from this album.
4. Lauryn Hill – Doo Wop (That Thing)
The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill – my last CD I ever bought. and also a great album. Doo Wop was the first girl power-ish anthem I had ever heard! And actually quite educational for a teenager about… relationships. Don’t be a hard rock when you really are a gem!
5. Backstreet Boys – Quit Playing Games (With My Heart)
Of course I had to put a boy band on here! At this point in time, mp3s were starting to gain popularity and AOL was at its peak. Being an adolescent girl meant I was squeeing a lot over BSB and N’SYNC, and a little bit over 98 Degrees. I thought I was so amazing because I could burn my favorite songs on my own CDs! Of course, the first track had to be this song!
6. Presidents of the USA – Peaches
This song inevitably makes me think of my older brother, an alternative kind of guy who liked bands like Live, REM, Counting Crow – which meant that I liked them too. This song is just so strange that it’s right. Another good song is Lump 🙂
7. Big Pun – Still Not a Player
Looking back at this song, I’m amazed by all the sexual references that I really didn’t understand when I was younger! I loved the rat-tat-tat beat, the smooth melody and the flow of the rap. The lyrics, however, are somewhat nasty. Ah, the innocence of youth!
8. Faye Wong – Fragile Woman (容易受傷的女人)
Growing up in a Chinese family, my parents would naturally listen to Chinese music – in NYC, we have the Cantonese radio station AM 1480 (mandarin is AM 1380). This was a favorite song of my mother’s, and she would sing it around the house all the time! Faye Wong has a beautiful voice and she was huge in the 90’s – she also did the main song for FFVII, Eyes On Me.
9. Faye Wong – Red Bean (红豆)
Another great Faye Wong song. The lyrics are very poetic… and so different from lyrics from music nowadays.
10. Yuki Hsu ft. Yoo Seung Jun – Can’t Wait
Mandarin music never made an impression on me until I heard this song in high school – kind of interesting as it had a Taiwanese singer featuring a Korean-American rapper. I would practice the rapping part so I could sing along with my Mandarin friends 😉 Also the music video is unintentionally hilarious with the funky jumpsuits and strange dancing.
11. Jay Chou – Tornado (龙卷风)
Jay Chou is a musical giant in Taiwan and China – he composes his own music, directs, acts, etc. He basically does everything, and he’s scandal-free and humble! His songs are famous for blending various genres and he’s also famous for his mumbly singing. I loved his songs in high school, and he’s still making music today. He was also in a movie… he played Kato in the Green Hornet sort of recently, and he also directed and starred in his own movie, called Secret – pretty good and it’s on Netflix!
12. Final Fantasy X – Suteki Da Ne
I used to be a big fan of Final Fantasy and have played the games from VII to XI, but the storylines are getting too weird and convoluted for me, haha. I am still a huge fan of the music, however.
13. Hikaru Utada – Automatic
In high school, a boyfriend introduced me to Hikaru Utada and Japanese music and it blew my world! Of course, I couldn’t understand what she was saying… but it somehow added to the allure of the music. It didn’t work out with him, but I still have the Hikaru Utada CD he lent me and he started a JPop fire burning within me. I would find the romanized lyrics for the music and practice it – and it led me to study and learn Japanese later in college. This is my favorite song from her first CD, although the song that would make her famous was “First Love”.
14. Ayumi Hamasaki – TO BE
The second singer in my Jpop immersion, Ayumi Hamasaki has a high, sorta nasal and squeaky voice that takes a little getting used to. She writes her own lyrics, which I think is quite an accomplishment, and the meaning behind her songs is pretty deep – although she is definitely a queen of pop, with costume changes, crazy makeup and hair. This is one of her less squeaky songs, with beautiful lyrics!
15. Jack Johnson – Banana Pancakes
The laid-back, beachy feel of Jack Johnson’s songs always make me feel like I’m lounging on a hammock on an island somewhere, soaking in the sun and being deep and one with nature. I hate bananas and yet this song always makes me crave some banana pancakes!
16. Yann Tiersen – Comptine d’Un Autre Été L’Apres Midi
This is from the soundtrack of Amelie, a wonderful and magical movie with very talented actress Audrey Tatou. All the music from the film is great, but this song has a wonderful melancholy feel that makes me think of rain pattering on a street outside a Parisian cafe. I love this song so much that I even learned to play it on the piano!
17. Death Cab for Cutie – Title and Registration
In college, the OC came out – the teen drama TV show that everyone was talking about. In an effort to hold myself back, I refused to watch any of it until i watched the season finale with my friends – and then, after my finals were done, devoured the whole season in 2 days! Ah, back in the days of college when DC++ was around and you could download at 1-2 tb/sec. The series got weirder as it progressed, but the music was great and it turned me on to many different bands – such as Death Cab for Cutie.
18. Mikuni Shimokawa – Kimi Ni Fuku Kaze
Also during college, I was watching a lot of anime (to study for Japanese, of course…). Despite how it may sound, I did study, but I also had plenty of time for goofing around. I must have watched 20 series during college, one of which was Full Metal Panic. I still love this series, which gets quite bloody and dark later in the series, but I liked in the beginning because of its fluffiness and its cute male protagonist.
19. Kiss – Because I’m a Girl
Melodramatic Korean music videos were new to me – these videos could be 8 minutes long! This one was extremely popular during college and had a very heart-wrenching story 😦
20. Arashi – Sakura Sake
I was really into Japanese music in college, and even into Japanese boy bands, I am afraid to admit. My favorite from Arashi was Nino (Ninomiya Kazunari), the boyish looking one who would later go on to star in Letters from Iwo Jima with Clint Eastwood. I was so proud of my Nino 😉
Apparently there aren’t any youtube links, so an external link will have to do!
21. Big Bang – Haru Haru
Around this time of Jpop dominance though, another Asian music wave was coming to the scene – Kpop! And Big Bang was at the forefront, with their dramatic song Haru Haru (Day by Day). The music video was suitably dramatic and gripping, with fisticuffs, yell-singing into a mirror, and finally the necessary hospital scene. I love TOP’s gravelly rapping…
22. Corinne Bailey Rae – Like a Star
Soft, laid back and mellow – I love CBR’s style. It’s great music to relax to and daydream – which I still do all the time.
23. Brown Eyed Girls – Abracadabra
After college and in graduate school, Kpop was now firmly entrenched in my musical diet. Catchy songs and music videos with signature dance moves (Wonder Girls – Tell Me, helloooo!) meant that my mayfly attention span was captured. This song has the famous hip dance move – that would later be featured in Psy’s Gentleman song, along with Brown Eyed Girls’ member Ga-In.
24. Sara Bareilles – Love on the Rocks
Love this girl’s voice and her music is so much deeper than the current pop stuff. Man, do I sound old and jaded or what? And she can sing and play the piano at the same time. Color me impressed!
25. Jason Mraz ft. Colbie Caillat – Lucky
This was the first dance song for our wedding, so of course it has a lot of meaning to us 🙂
26. The Lonely Island – Jizz in my Pants
Still my favorite Lonely Island song, although I Just Had Sex runs a close second. This is a great song to karaoke to! The lyrics are quite plainly, hilarious – as if the title didn’t give it away.
27. Paramore – The Only Exception
Hayley Williams has an amazing voice, and Paramore makes great music. The end!
28. Bruno Mars – Treasure
I really feel the disco-ish vibe of this song – this song just makes me want to get up and dance! Even the video has that retro vibe.
29. Leessang – Girl Who Can’t Break Up, Boy Who Can’t Leave
Recently turned onto this group from the Korean variety show Running Man. Other good songs – Memories and Let’s Meet Now!
30. Drake – Hold On, We’re Going Home
Just the latest song to catch my attention, although we’ll see how it lasts in the long run! The music video is a little strange.