I’m Brooke. I have grown to love music deeply, thanks in part to some family members introducing it to me and to growing up in one of the best music eras…ever. Sorry, ’80s purists.
Oddly, my parents are not hugely musical people. My father is more of a sports guy and my mom makes the world better each day by being a nurse. Still, I found music, and it makes more sense than anything.
The ten songs below will take you through my evolution of music taste, which I consider pretty diverse currently. Enjoy!
1. Crowded House – “Don’t Dream It’s Over”
One of my first concerts was a solo show with Neil Finn, of Crowded House fame with my father, who I inherited my taste for rock music from. Sorry, Mom, but I did inherit your nose!
This is a song I remember loving deeply, and I connect it to that experience to this day.
2. Letters To Cleo – “Because Of You”
Letters To Cleo was another band my dad would frequently play around me. I fell in love with this particular song off their best album, Go!.
Kay Hanley’s kick ass attitude and powerful vocals were a great way to introduce me to sweet and sour pop-rock.
3. Billy Joel – “Why Should I Worry?”
Let me be really clear here: I have a significant love of pretty much every Disney song. It’s hard to rank them.
Still, this song earned a spot on my list because it’s one I constantly sang along to and would rewind the tape to see again and again. Thanks Billy Joel. Please forgive me, “A Whole New World” and “I Just Can’t Wait to be King.”
4. Good Charlotte – “The Anthem”
There was a time when I went through the dreaded “punk” phase. My hair had whacky colors, studded belts and cuffs were super rad to me, and I even dressed completely goth a couple of Halloweens.
As I embraced Hot Topic couture, I also began to enjoy more rocking music. I, like many other 90’s kids, dug NSYNC and other pop artists. Good Charlotte were one of the first bands I enjoyed that felt COOL to me. My family didn’t love them, and didn’t approve of their eyeliner and tattoos, but I felt pretty indie and credible for liking a band that didn’t seem to care what people thought.
This is one of my favorite songs by them, so it had to make the list!
5. Justin Timberlake – “SexyBack”
Nearly every dance at school, or other kind of gathering had this song blaring on the speakers. You couldn’t escape it on the radio, either. Not that I minded: it’s stupid catchy.
This was a song that was super popular and takes me right back to those awkward middle school years.
6. My Chemical Romance – “I’m Not Okay (I Promise)”
It’s pretty much law that any person that digs rock music had a great adoration of My Chemical Romance. The group were so popular during my middle school years, and the perfect band you could adopt as a way of belonging.
MCR were the first group that I truly bonded with people over, and I can’t thank them enough for that! This is, no doubt, one of their quintessential songs.
7. Avenged Sevenfold – “Unholy Confessions”
With My Chemical Romance came a new sound I wasn’t quite used to: some aggressive vocals and macabre themes. It opened me up to enjoying more alternative rock, and through them, there were other bands associated with them that I came to knew.
One of those bands was Avenged Sevenfold. ‘Waking the Fallen’ remains my favorite album by the metal giants. This single gave me screams, super-distorted guitars and riffs galore. A7X was the first more “heavy” groups I came to love.
8. Dance Gavin Dance – “And I Told Them I Invented Times New Roman”
Sure, I enjoyed the more popular rock groups. Still, I wasn’t quite satisfied with that, so I kept digging deeper.
In high school, I found so many bands that I enjoy to this day, and I was attending gritty rock shows pretty constantly. Dance Gavin Dance were one of those groups. Jonny Craig’s mesmerizing vocals, instrumentals that were otherworldly and more elements made them so exciting. I still dig the group to this day and appreciate them opening me up to post-hardcore.
9. We Came As Romans – “To Move On Is To Grow”
We Came As Romans were another group I came to love in high school from the metalcore scene. Their music still pumps me up (hurry up with that album, boys!) and their jams have infinite replay value.
More importantly, WCAR were the first group (of who knows how many) to have lyrics of theirs tattooed on my body. This song, specifically, helped me through a tough time, and this mantra is something I still keep in mind every day to live my life well.
10. One Direction – “What Makes You Beautiful”
A One Direction song? Yes. Absolutely. You see, even though I would blast NSYNC as a kid, I became somewhat of a music snob. I became that annoying hipster that insisted I listened to “real” music even though I occasionally dug radio music.
When 1D burst onto the scene, I was pretty ambivalent toward them. Meh, another poppy group, whatever. The UK lads ended up captivating me, damn them.
I still listen to them on the daily. These guys helped me embrace pop music, and made me realize that having a great variety in music taste is so much better than being a snob. Life’s too short.