Songs from the “gut” – a 90s and early 00s specialty. Call it angst, call it whatever you want – people loved strong, emotional vocals that you can’t help but really let loose to when you sing along.

Aggressive radio-play, regular rotation videos on MuchMusic, and featured play in popular teen movies of the day have put some surprising songs on my radar. My 16 year old self would have avoided such an admission – like the plague.

But compared to some of the music produced today, nostalgia for a time when music was a little bit louder – and a lot less mellow – makes perfect sense.

I admit that I was very “elitist” with my choices in the 90s – many of us were. A significant demographic within my generation felt compelled to exclaim how abysmally “punk” we were and how “brainwashed” and “mainstream” we were not.

In retrospect, we were equally as “cool” as we were ridiculous.

I appreciate the peers I had then who explored indie music, searched high and low for the outliers and generally avoided whatever major record labels wanted us to buy. I am confident that I’ve sampled some of the best music the decade had to offer.

However, I might suggest to my younger self that she “doth protest too much”. Sometimes a great song has massive appeal and that’s just as cool as being accepted by an elite few.

So here are a few songs I consider nostalgic “guilty pleasures” – songs that we can all sing along to – because the radio sure did play them enough “back then”. Enjoy!

Wallflowers – One Headlight

Cracker – Low

Lit – Miserable

All-American Rejets – Gives You Hell

Wheatus – Teenage Dirtbag

Michelle Branch – Everywhere

Econoline Crush – Home

Live – Selling The Drama

Tonic – If You Could Only See