Pop culture is key
When it comes to teen movies the one thing that is of prime importance is relevance. With the multitude of different artists in the music industry offering a gigantic selection in songs and musical styles, it is only a question of picking the right ones. While many teen movies are filled with pop culture references that are relevant, it is key to make sure that they are not outdated references, as this would make the songs and film feel less relevant to the lives of teen viewers. The choice of music targets the emotional and temperamental nature of teenagers, feelings that can be at times volatile and easily triggered. The music steps in to trigger the right emotions in order to make even the most distracted teen audience focus on the story, and to generate the engagement required to make a movie that is memorable.
Making the old new again
It is very common to use the typical pop punk or pop rock style bands such as Blink 182, Sum 41 or Simple Plan for the exciting moments, as these can be used quite generically across many scenes. The songs are quite popular and were always well received by audiences, as they find the music relatable in the lyrics, not to mention the familiarity of the music. Conversely, some songs, which are not the latest hot pics, tend to be very old pop rock that originally came out well before the current teen generation, but still have a funky jam to them that make them timeless. In this respect, since audiences have not heard the music before, it feels fresh even if it was originally released in the seventies. Which leads to many artists being rediscovered, and the music becoming popular, such as the band The Jam, which has since stopped making new music, but their songs are very often slipped into movies for their upbeat and feel-good grooves. Like any choice of soundtrack or movie score, the choice of song is a delicate art form in its dependence on tone, pace, the right beat, lyrical composition, and also on when it was released. The right choice in the music can make the difference between a teen movie that offers real competition and one that is only good for passing the time on a boring evening.