I don’t think anyone appreciates music as much as teenagers. Whether it be because we’re young and easily influenced, or because our angst allows us to quickly associate with down trodden rockstars’ depressing thoughts, there are three albums which I think every teenager should have in their collection to help them get through those famously difficult years.
I don’t understand how anyone could go through their teenage years without having a copy of Green Day’s “Dookie” somewhere. Sure, some Blink-182 albums would suffice, but no one really captured teenage angst and disaffection as well as Billie Joe could in “Burnout”, “Longview” and “Basket Case”. Every time I listen to this album my favourite song changes – “Basket Case” and “When I Come Around” may have been what captured the punk rockers into mainstream success, but hidden charms on the record such as “Having a Blast”, “She”, “Sassafras Roots” and “Coming Clean” root so deep into the teenage psyche that the insanely catchy three-chord musings are hands down some of the best Green Day has ever done.
Probably the best debut album released in the past twenty years, The Strokes’ “Is This It” is so disaffected, disjointed and powerful that it transcends being an album for teenagers and has become the basis for virtually every single indie rock band to come onto the scene since its release. However, I don’t think anyone can quite appreciate Julian Casablancas’ Lou Reed impressions as much as someone who has never heard Lou Reed. “Is This It”, “Barely Legal”, “Someday” and “Hard to Explain” not only provide the musical basis for your favourite 2000s indie band, but also lyrically encapsulate everything being a young has to offer, and what it can’t offer…why won’t you wear your new trenchcoat??
Now for the real Lou Reed. The Velvet Undergound’s Andy Warhol -produced and banana-clad infamous record may not be specifically for teenagers, or at least most teenagers who don’t like listening to two-note musings about hard drugs, but it’s basically a staple for every music lover. Reed’s famous drawlings coupled with Nico’s soft charms, overtly simplistic music and melancholy tones all join to form the phenomenal “I’m Waiting for the Man”, “Venus in Furs” and “Heroin”, some of the best pieces to come out of the late 60s. Listening to this record makes you romanticise a bunch of things you really shouldn’t (like New York brownstones), but it’s one of the most important albums ever created and Music 101 for any teenager – plus, Lou Reed was probably the first emo.
Article by Amy Eskenazi