Anyone who loved the whole 90s vibe should take a look at the podcast 60 Songs that Explain the 90s.

The title is a bit of a misnomer as there are 124 episodes in all which sees Rob Havilla of the pop culture website The Ringer delve into key songs from the 90s.

I’ll admit I am late to the party with his one as the show began during the height of the pandemic in 2020 and the last episode dropped in March this year. But all episodes are still available.

One thing to make clear from the start, this is an American perspective of the 90s so there are a few differences. Some songs that were huge over there barely made a ripple here and vice versa.

But all sorts of genres are explored in the podcast from grunge, alt rock, R&B, country, pop, rap, boy and girl bands and Britpop.

While every decade has its pivotal moments, the 90s provides and interesting look at the impact the internet was beginning to have. It was the last decade before streaming really took hold and changed the landscape and the way we consume music.

Rob provides a kind of laid-back approach, discussing his only personal take on the song before inviting guests to discuss the song and its impact in more detail. It combines a bit of humour with interesting insight.

So far, I have listened to the first two episodes with the first looking at the angsty break-up classic ‘You Oughta Know’ by Alanis Morisette from the huge-selling album Jagged Little Pill.

The episode looks into who Morisette was talking about on the song and how the radio stations edited out the swear word. The podcast also discusses the technical side of the song and how it is mixed to trigger the emotions Morisette wants to get across. It sounds dry but it is actually pretty interesting.

Rob also speaks to main guest and The Ringer colleague Amanda Dobbins about how it was the first grown up record she bought at ten years old and how she tried to hide the rude lyrics from her mum.

The second episode looks at the Gin Blossoms’ song ‘Hey Jealousy’ and its role in jangle guitar music.

Rob looks at how the upbeat sound of jangle rock often hides darker lyrics. The song was a bigger hit in the US than the UK which many would probably either never heard or barely remembers.

He also looks at the troubled founding member Doug Hopkins who wrote the song but left the band before they really became successful before taking his life aged only 32. Again, he talks technically with a music engineer about how the raw demo contrasts with the final single and what was done to make it sound better.

The episodes begin at around half an hour but the gradually get longer, average at around an hour and a half with a few passing the two-hour mark.

For me the 90s still seem fresh and new but for young people now it is a retro, bygone age although it is growing in  popularity again with teens often displaying Nirvana T-shirts.

This podcast provide a fascinating nostalgia trip but can also unearth unfound gems for those born after this decade. It is available on Spotify and Apple.