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Shaping My Music Taste

My sister was the biggest influence on my music taste. I was a pre-teen when she was a teenager and I wanted to be just like her, everything from her fashion style to the music she listened to. She listened to pop stars such as Justin Bieber, Ke$ha, Katy Perry, Lady Gaga and Taylor Swift. Ke$ha’s debut album, “Animal,” was a huge hit among teenage girls because she wrote songs about experiences many girls go through growing up: having crushes, partying and being betrayed by a friend, to name a few.

Concerts at the Hollywood Casino Amphitheater, located in Maryland Heights, Missouri, are an integral part of growing up for anyone in high school. This concert photo was taken Sept. 10, 2022. Photo by Emily Retzer

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When I was a pre-teen, I used to copy my older sister, Becca, who is four years older than me. 

I’d copy her style, her music taste, and sometimes the way she talked and acted as well. 

I would sneak into her room and steal her clothes because I thought she had the best sense of style for the early 2010s.

Her style was miniskirts, plaid flannels, tank tops, Birkenstocks, Juicy Couture tracksuits, shirts with Hollister written in big letters across the chest and Victoria’s Secret PINK clothing.

Oddly enough, a lot of the popular clothing of the 2010s are coming back into style. 

I, myself, own a black fleece Juicy Couture tracksuit, which I never thought would happen.

Clothes like that are still as expensive as they were several years ago.

Every morning while Becca was getting ready for school, she would blast her music on a silver radio she had gotten for Christmas one year.

She had every rising pop star’s albums, actual CDs, that she would insert into her radio. 

I credit my sister for what my music taste is today because I still listen to all those albums she had blasting on her radio.

The most memorable album was Ke$ha’s debut album, “Animal.”

My favorite songs off the album are “Your Love is My Drug,” “Backstabber,” “Dinosaur” and “Dancing With Tears In My Eyes.” 

Ke$ha wrote a lot of songs that are fun and upbeat, her style of music can be described as Electropop.

“Your Love is My Drug,” the third track on the “Animal” album, is an upbeat song about a boy she is obsessively in love with. 

She explains her love for this boy as if it’s a drug she is addicted to. 

She sings, “What you got, boy, is hard to find. I think about it all the time. I’m all strung out, my heart is fried. I just can’t get you off my mind.” 

Having a crush on a boy is something all girls experience, so Ke$ha wrote this song to explain that feeling. 

When driving around, I will turn my radio up on full volume to sing along to this song. 

“Backstabber” is one of the songs that didn’t get as much attention, but it is personally my second favorite song on the album. 

It’s about a friend betraying Ke$ha and essentially being a backstabber by gossiping about and talking negatively behind her back.

In “Backstabber” Ke$ha sings: “I’m sick and tired of hearing all about my life from other people with all of your lies.”

In high school there can be a lot of petty drama, so many teen girls can relate to having a friend betray them; I know my sister and I had similar experiences with past friends. 

“Dinosaur” is an analogy for when an older gentleman hits on younger girls but ultimately gets rejected. 

Ke$ha wrote this song from an encounter she had with an older man hitting on her, comparing him to a prehistoric dinosaur. 

This song makes fun of an uncomfortable situation, as for myself, I relate to this song because I have experienced this a handful of times. 

Ke$ha sings in the chorus, “D-I-N-O-S-A, U-R a dinosaur,  D-I-N-O-S-A,  U-R a dinosaur. An O-L-D M-A-N. You’re just an old man. Hittin’ on me, what? You need a CAT scan.” 

“Dancing With Tears In My Eyes” is a slower, sadder song. 

This song talks about Ke$ha messing up with a boyfriend and the relationship ending because of selfishness. Ke$ha continues to go out, pretending to be OK, even though she is completely broken inside. 

She sings, “When did I become such a hypocrite? Double life, lies that you caught me in. Trust me I’m paying for it, with every move I die.” 

Most teens will experience a bad breakup, or a breakup that really hurts and is hard to get over, so this song is relatable because many pretend to be OK afterward, even when they aren’t. 

Heartbreak is the worst feeling whether it be an intimate relationship or friendship, I’ve experienced both and wouldn’t wish that on anyone.

To this day, I still listen to all of Ke$ha’s music and I relate to a lot of her songs. I appreciate her style of music even more as I’ve become older. 

This album is special to me because my fondest memories are with my sister, making up dances to the songs on this album.

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Emily Retzer

Emily Retzer

Emily Retzer is a staff journalist for MBU Timeline. Retzer is majoring in communications. She is an employee for Enterprise Fleet Management on their Customer Service team. In her free time she enjoys watching documentaries and working out. After graduation, she hopes to pursue human resource work or college admissions work as her career.

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