I have impeccable taste in music. (Much like my impeccable taste in outfits and headwear). Since everyone knows this and subsequently spends hours tracking what I listen to on Spotify (via that semi-annoying [but you know you like it] “publish to profile” feature), I am hyperaware of how my impeccable taste is presented to all 725 of my closest friends! Therefore, when I’m not listening to bands that play at “indie” musical festivals, I generally utilize the Private Sessions feature. Sometimes I let it slide when I go on a Disney soundtrack spree (Cailin Lowry: She’s Just Like You), but for the most part I’m 100% committed to the private sessions route.

Here are artists (THEY ARE LEGITIMATE ARTISTS, I DON’T CARE WHAT THE GENERAL PUBLIC THINKS) that I have happily listened to (mostly more than once) while feeling only a little embarrassed for myself. I’m coming clean – and so should you.

1. Matchbox Twenty
Nothing reminds me of late elementary school more than deep Matchbox Twenty lyrics (other than wheelie sneakers/heelies/whatever you called them, Lizzie McGuire re-runs, and personalized L.L. Bean backpacks). My sister is three years older, so naturally I consistently used* her to find out what the c00l kidz are doing. Her eighth grade best friend made some great mixed CDs, which I naturally stole and put on my chunky green MP3 player. “Bright Lights” was my primary jam during the fifth grade. It spoke to me – and it still does!

Deep and 90s: The Matchbox 20/Twenty Story

Listen to: “Bright Lights,” “Unwell,” “3 am,” “Bent” … everything.

2. Creed
I know, I know. This is going to be a tough sell. You’ve probably been conditioned to hate Creed since you were wearing braces and beaded hemp necklaces (yeah that was a really cute trend). Back when I was going through angsty I-go-to-church-but-question-God times, Creed made me feel edgy. AND IT STILL DOES because I’m defying the international hate that is misdirected toward an actual semi-decent 90s band. These songs will bring back memories. Let them.

Listen to: “One Last Breath,” “My Sacrifice,” “With Arms Wide Open”

3. Nickelback
Oh Nickelback, “How You Remind Me” of being nine-years-old and going to visit my grandparents in Georgia, it’s almost like looking at a “Photograph” of my youth… Maybe “Someday” everyone will live as “If Today Was [Their] Last Day” and fully appreciate this terribly fantastic Canadian export.


Listen to: everything I put in quotes above

4. Demi Lovato
Maybe it’s because I’m a 19-year-old girl with my share of emotional issues, I feel Demi’s post-rehab tunes. I occasionally blast “Skyscraper” as I devour post-Valentine’s Day discounted chocolate and study feverishly for… Who am I kidding, I listen to it while reading movie reviews online.

Maybe if I write things in Sharpie on my hands, I'll be taken seriously as a role model.

Listen to: “Skyscraper,” “La La Land,” “Unbroken”

5. R. Kelly
“Ignition Remix” has gotten me through more than one all-nighter. What with his legal shenanigans, I would never actually buy his music, but sometimes I just have to listen to “I Believe I Can Fly.”

Listen to: aforementioned tracks

Honorable Mentions:
1. Evanescence
Listen to: “Bring Me To Life,” “Call Me When You’re Sober,” “My Immortal”

2. Spice Girls
Listen to: “Spice Up Your Life,” “Stop,” “Wannabe”

3. Train**
Listen to: “Drops of Jupiter,” “Meet Virginia,” “Calling All Angels”

*Use. I still use her.
**In retrospect, I don’t think this is embarrassing as the rest of the list.