Top 5 Mom-Rock Songs from the 90's


You know what I'm talking about. When you're in the car with your mom, and you want a radio station which doesn't make either of you wanna blow your brains out, you turn to the Adult Contemporary station and hope like hell that for every Celine Dion track, you get some Alanis Morissette, and occasionally they even oblige. But when I was 16, the stations were stuck in a time-warp: 90% of everything they played was from 1989-1991.

A little research informs me that the adult contemporary format began in 1988, which possibly explains why the stations lean so heavily from songs back then.

I freely admit that this post was inspired by a downward spiral into youtube inspired by Bridesmaids. I watched "Hold On," by Wilson Phillips, and then the temptation was just too great to watch everything that YT recommended. Many hours later, I've made this list for you.

Amy Grant - Baby, Baby

A peculiar trend of that 1989-1991 period was a lot of hit pop songs with relentless positivity (maybe this is why grunge immediately followed). This song is great because it's all "la-la I'm happy and in love" and manages not to be saccharine (though it has the silliest synth solo in the history of synth solos). I had never seen the video before yesterday, and quite frankly, I feel cheated. Hot men keep walking up to Amy Grant in the street and offer her baguettes! puppies! more hot men!

Basically, she's having a really, really awesome day. And why shouldn't she, with such a stellar collection of hats and fruit!

Donna Lewis - I Love You, Always Forever

I freely admit that I was a little obsessed with this song (possibly predicting my obsession with palm muting in my own guitar playing). It's the perfect little pop song, catchy and uplifting. And it probably helps that you can't quite make out what she's saying (I assume this is because she's Welsh) so you don't get overwhelmed by the sap. Seriously, I know I could look up the lyrics, but I prefer to think that she is singing that "those days, swan rape comes pushing back to me." For Donna Lewis is ZEUS! This song apparently came out in 1996, but it sounds like it's 1990, and so here it is.

Roxette - It Must Have Been Love

This song was all over the radio, and probably still is. There's a weird little synth riff between where she sings "It's where the water's where the wind blows..." that always reminds me of the bits of Zelda 64 where you're hanging out with that giant fish monster thingy (you know, there are lush waterfalls everywhere and tinkly little music that sounds exactly like the backing track for this song). This video, sadly, has very little to recommend it. Marie Fredericksson is a stone-cold hottie, but they keep cutting to scenes of one terrible, terrible movie that you may be acquainted with (though you may not consider it terrible). I do not miss that awful 90's trend of tie-in music videos. Especially since I watched a bunch of other Roxette videos (for research...of course...) and they're all quite fun and even clever for their day despite their intensely low budgets. Anyway, now I'm rambling.

Heart - These Dreams

So this video opens with a vagina shot...not really sure what that says about anything, but I felt compelled to point it out. I sincerely love this song, but this video is also great, mainly because Nancy WIlson seems to think she's in a particularly different video, like, for instance, a rock video. I still find it mystifying how Heart went from awesome hard rock to this airy fairy stuff, but that doesn't preclude my love for it.

Wilson Phillips - Hold On

And, of course, the video that started this whole thing off. What can I say really? out for the power-walking. Memorize those hand gestures. Meet me on the other side.

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