Best Summer Music for Teens 2009 [Teen Article]

Alexis is a 16-year-old aspiring actress from Armonk, NY. She loves to sing, act, learn new languages, travel, meet new people, and laugh.

Music to my ears

Music is very important to many of today’s teens. Whether you listen to it during long car rides, to de-stress, or to just chill, it’s pretty common to see iPods and earbuds worn all the time. I don’t even remember my life without the comfort of knowing that I can listen to music anytime I want to, partly because I don’t remember much of the ‘90s, but also because I, as well as many other kids, have become jarringly attached to my baby-I mean iPod. We use music to define ourselves, and, as an unfortunate result, judge others. Not only are looks and clothes important, but now if you don’t listen to the right music, you could be ostracized (not that you really want to hang out with people who care that much about your music taste). Music is meant to be a non-violent way to connect to your emotions and other people, so maybe we should all just accept others and their unique tastes. I think I have a pretty eclectic music taste, let’s see who you think I am after this:

My Top Music, for June:

21st Century Breakdown by Green Day

Green Day, in my opinion, is just  one of those bands that never disappoints. This album is their second story-telling “rock opera” of sorts described, by Billie Joe Armstrong himself as a: “snapshot of the era in which we live as we question and try to make sense of the selfish manipulation going on around us, whether it be the government, religion, media or frankly any form of authority”. This album has been long awaited and was definitely worth the five-year wait. Songs I’d recommend are definitely: 21 Guns, Before the Lobotomy, and East Jesus Nowhere. If you like this album, buy their others (especially American Idiot).

Lines, Vines, and Trying Times by the Jonas Brothers

I know it seems weird, going from Green Day to the Jonas Brothers, but these guys are definitely not your average Disney-bred pop stars. The fact that they are regular kids (technically only Nick is still a “kid” but, that’s just semantics) from New Jersey and write a lot of their own songs amazes me. I write songs, but they pale in comparison. This new album is a lot more mature than their previous ones and has a great combination of different sounds. Songs I’d recommend include: Black Keys, Much Better, and Don’t Charge Me for the Crime (featuring Common)

The New Broadway Cast Recording of Hair

This is a great one to open up discussions between teens and parents. I know people are often put-off by the idea of listening to a Broadway show, but this is the first rock musical. Especially with all the 60’s era interest lately in fashion and society, this really helps those of us who were unable to experience that era an understanding of what it was like. I grew up listening to the original cast recording and, though there are some differences, this is an amazing revival. If you’re near the city, I’d also suggest going to see it if you can. Some of my favorite songs are: Easy to Be Hard, I Got Life, Hair, and, of course, Let the Sun Shine In. You may be skeptical, but I promise you’ll, more likely than not, be able to relate to these songs.

Fearless by Taylor Swift

I think Taylor Swift is fabulous, and only gets better with age. Her songs are so real and relatable, each time I listen it’s like I’m talking to a friend. She doesn’t try too hard to be a poet, and that makes the songs even better. Even if you’re not a huge fan of country songs, if you’ve ever been a teenager (especially girls) you will relate. I especially love the title song, Fearless, The Way I Loved You, and You Belong with Me.

The Wombats

These guys are a British pop-rock band. They’re pretty under the radar, and a lot of their songs may not really seem to make sense, but they are a lot of fun as a party soundtrack or when you are just hanging out with your friends.  Some of my favorite songs by them are:  Party in a Forest (Where’s Laura?), Tales of Girls, Boys, and Marsupials, Lost in the Post, School Uniforms, and Moving to New York.

We Are Scientists

This is an American indie-band that sounds kind of like the Arctic Monkeys, The Killers, and Kaiser Chiefs. They describe their sound as “rock music of the thoughtful, sometimes epic, often loud, vaguely danceable, implicitly humanist variety”. You may have heard their song After Hours in the movie version of “Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist” or seen some of their music videos directed by The Lonely Island’s Akiva Schaffer (here are links to my favorites: and ). If you like them and have a chance, definitely try to see one of their concerts, these guys know how to put on a great show!

The Next to Normal Original Broadway Cast Recording

This is the other Broadway show on the list (though, also check out the Spring Awakening soundtrack and tour coming to a city near you-be warned though it’s a tad explicit, but awesome! With music by Duncan Sheik!). It’s about a dysfunctional suburban family: a bipolar mother, a father just trying to hold everything together, an angsty teenage perfectionist daughter who is on the cusp of cracking, and a mischievous teenage son, as well as a “lazy, loner, bit of a stoner” boyfriend, and two doctors played by the same man. It has a contemporary rock score and story that takes the audience on an incredible emotional journey. I relate so much to many of the songs and characters, especially Superboy and the Invisible Girl but I would recommend seeing the show if you can before listening the whole CD, for there are some intense spoilers.

I am always up for discovering new music (I love Pandora and the Genius option on iTunes). Feel free to comment with anything that you like or dislike on this list, or if you have music you want to share!

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