1. “Torn” single. A man showed Natalie what it was to cry then left her cold and shamed lying naked on the floor. I think it might be figurative, though if not, abusive and disturbing. Either way, I want to be her.
2. The Cruel Intentions soundtrack — this eclectic mix includes the Counting Crows. Adam Duritz sings about the color grey even though it plays during a scene in the movie where the color scheme is blue. I met Adam backstage at an REM concert in ‘95. I told him his music made me cry and he said, “It makes me cry, too.”
3. The Buffy soundtrack — Pay special attention to track 14 in which the woeful, childlike vocal stylings of Sarah Michelle Gellar speak disarmingly of her (SPOILER ALERT) fall from heaven. When I worked for Casting, Spike (he had a real name I think, but really, who cares) came in and I made 50 copies of his headshot while he was auditioning. They may still be in my trunk.
4. Really, any Sarah Michelle Gellar soundtrack is probably worth purchasing. Like that one where she makes magic food and there’s a dancing crab and Freddy Prince Junior.
5. The Top Gun soundtrack. Try NOT to make out during “Take My Breath Away.” Oh, it’s possible, I’ve done it like millions of times.
6. The Brokedown Palace soundtrack featuring tracks by Sarah Brightman and Plumb. The song Damaged by Plumb is about a girl who is sad and alone and has a lot of regrets. Maybe you can relate to it. I just listen to it over and over and over again for the catchy melody.
7. The My So-Called Life soundtrack. Except it doesn’t include the Buffalo Tom song that plays during the scene where Jordan Catalano approaches Angela in slow motion flannel glory and finally holds her hand in front of all their friends. Sadly, the importance of this gesture has not been lost in adulthood.
8. The Baz Luhrmann Romeo and Juliet soundtrack. There’s a lot of good stuff on here but the best is the instrumental love theme. If you position yourself in front of a mirror in a dimly lit room, you can pretend to be both Claire AND Leo as they meet through the fish tank, make out in the elevator, and then tragically discover the others identity. (Warning: this can lead to smashing your own nose during the kissing part).
9. Really, any Claire Danes soundtrack unless they made a soundtrack of the non-musical Les Miserables because it makes more sense just to buy the musical soundtrack.
10. “Rush Rush” single by Paula Abdul. Fun facts: 1)Keanu Reeves is in the music video. 2)I used to practice slow dancing and talking sexy while this song played in my room, summer of ‘92. This was the same summer I got a pet rat and named her Christian Slater. When she died I ran to tell my mom and she said, “Oh no, was it drugs?” To be fair, my Christian Slater died right on the heels of River Phoenix and Kurt Cobain.
11. The Armageddon soundtrack. I like to pretend I’m Liv Tyler saying good bye to Bruce Willis before he (SPOILER ALERT) sacrifices himself to save the world.
12. The Lord of the Rings soundtrack. I like to pretend I’m Liv Tyler pledging my (SPOILER ALERT) Elfin devotion to Strider.
13. The Best of Tom Petty OR Why Steve Almond never fell in love with me and instead married ANOTHER Erin who probably agrees that Free Fallin’ is for losers. How can any song that starts out on a dirty road, starts out kinda slow be BAD? It’s a METAPHOR Steve, he didn’t REALLY free fall.
14. The Boys soundtrack. This is that movie where Winona Ryder is in a mental institution but not Girl, Interrupted. Don’t you sometimes fantasize about being institutionalized and wandering around medicated, writing in a journal, and staring wisely out barred windows as you slowly fade from the world? Like a vacation.
15. The Back to the Future soundtrack because The Power of Love is literally about the power of love and that is an important subject. I used to simultaneously want to KISS and BE Marty McFly. I’m pretty sure that’s still how I form crushes.
16. The Sneaker Pimps. I don’t know the name of a specific album but I forced my first boyfriend to play three songs on loop when we made out. Apparently I dry hump like I write.
17. Rap Song. That’s not the real name of it but that’s what I named it in my iTunes because, besides Vanilla Ice, it’s the only rap included in my 153 song collection. It’s by Snoop Dog and it makes me want to commit violent crimes and fuck shit up and then have a gin and then some juice.
18. End of the Road by Boyz to Men. If you are keen to slow dance, there is no other choice.
19. Pieces of You by Jewel. Jewel suggests that maybe we hate people because they have pieces of us in them. Fucking profound. A lot more profound than say, Belle and Sebastian who stole their name from a really sad cartoon about orphans and a large white dog. I used to get cold watching that. Inside and out.
20. Stockings By the Fire. This Christmas compilation is a Starbucks classic. I played it on repeat this Christmas when I was on a no sugar diet and baking cookies for my family. During the cover of that Joni Mitchell song where she wants a river to skate away on I shoved a giant spoonful of dough in my mouth then burst into tears.