Owl City

If Loving This Is Wrong, I Don’t Wanna Be Right

Maybe they’re “tacky” or “melodramatic” or simply “terrible,” but we don’t care. these songs make us feel.

What’s “good” anyways?




Post Malone

I love Post Malone. This isn’t shocking information to anyone who knows me. From him dancing to Shania Twain at the Grammys to his cover of Hootie & the Blowfish’s “Only Wanna Be With You” to… Post is Daddy (he has a baby girl now so that is an objective statement… unless…), Post is a joy. I just know if he were to hug me, all my problems would simply dissipate.

“Try Everything,” Shakira (from the “Zootopia” Soundtrack”)

I’m going to start off with the obvious: this movie’s plot doesn’t feel especially great post-2020. However, the cast and this song go hard. The amount of times I’ve danced through anxiety to Shakira this summer… too many to count. It makes you wanna get out of whatever rut you’re in and scale a mountain, book that trip to Greece, snorkel with sharks, go skydiving.


“Fireflies,” Owl City

From the years 2016 to 2019, “Fireflies” was my most listened-to song on Spotify. Maybe that’s because it was the only song I could listen to when studying, or maybe that’s because it’s a 2000s pop jam like no other. Regardless, I’m proud, albeit hesitant, to admit that I am and forever will be a “Fireflies” groupie.


Sugar Ray

Every summer I over-indulge in this band. They’ve become as much a part of the season as cheap lemonade or the growing number of moles on my face and neck. “Fly” is the crowd-pleaser; “When It’s Over” is for relaxing in the lawn chair; “Someday” is a nice skate down the burning asphalt; and “Every Morning”, their biggest hit for a reason, is good for almost any occasion when you want to dumb-scream some lyrics. Sometimes I tell myself I’m better than this. Why is Sugar Ray my most listened to artist of this week or month, but then again…ALL AROUND THE WORLD STATUES CRUMBLE FOR ME…

“Pretty Fly (for a White Guy),” The Offspring

I used to hate this song and its ridiculous music video as a kid. Now that I’m a grown human I take it for what it is, and it became one of my most listened-to songs when I lived in LA. A song that’s so loveably stupid can be hard to find. There’s nothing here to take seriously, from the weird German intro lines to the corny horny hook of, “Give it to me baby…UH HUH UH HUH.” The percussion is actually pretty fly for these goofballs. Love the cowbell.

“The Impression That I Get,” The Mighty Mighty Bosstones

It's a cake that’s half frosting. It’s the theme song to your local Six Flags’s summer ticket sale. It’s playing at the supermarket while you’re buying too many hot dogs for one person. It’s a beer that’s been sitting out all day, but you drink it anyway. For goodness sake, there’s a guy in the band who is only there to ska dance.


“Lost Stars,” Adam Levine

In the mediocre musical comedy Begin Again, Mark Ruffalo plays a washed-up record exec named Dan who stumbles upon a waifish singer-songwriter Gretta (Kiera Knightley) performing at an open mic. Just before getting on stage that night, Gretta had broken things off with her cheating rockstar boyfriend Dave, played by Adam Levine (who was apparently playing himself?). Both adrift and alone, Gretta and Dan team up to record twee folk-pop songs in public spaces across New York City. It’s all VERY 2014. To me, this schmaltzy song from the movie sounds like high school sleepovers, Teen Vogue in print, long drives to weekend art class, and Logan Lerman Instagram fan accounts. It’s the sweet part of being 15. The overflowing sincerity is the whole point. I don’t want to revisit this movie or that age, but crying-laughing over romantic movies with my best friends will always be sacred. 


We Dance, We Love, We Steal Things, Jason Mraz

“I’m Yours” is what introduced me to this album—it was impossible to escape that song in 2008—but I stayed for the funky groove of “Butterfly,” the devastating “Love for a Child,” and the jaunty “If It Kills Me.” There is a reason this man dominated every soft-rock radio station for so long.