Make Lemonade

On Valentine’s Day 2018, a kid walked into Marjory Stoneman Douglas and killed 17 people. Six weeks later, kids across the country participated in protests all across the United States in support of gun control. 

Why did I feel the need to start with a political diatribe today? Because I needed to establish that today I am discussing something that was truly revolutionary at the time. Lemonade Mouth. 

This album is admittedly the soundtrack of a Disney Channel Original Movie (DCOM) from 2011. However, I would argue that it stands alone as music, and possibly stands stronger alone. Rather than provide backing to the story as is the case for more famous DCOMs like High School Musical or the Cheetah Girls, Lemonade Music made music that was for all kids who wanted to be heard. It didn’t matter if you were a jock or a rebel or a nerd; if you were tired of being pushed around, this album was made for you. 

Lemonade Mouth is a strong album that doesn’t even try to be the teen pop that Disney is so well known for. This was something that wanted you to rock out everywhere you went. It flies in the face of everything that DCOMs had established as what its audience wanted. It was angsty and relatable, not because we had temper tantrums on golf courses, but because we wish adults would try to understand us. It’s a classic teenager feeling, approached like real teenagers would. 

The whole point of Lemonade Mouth, the movie, was that this was a band made of all the people their school didn’t pay attention to who stood for things they believed in. They stood up for the arts programs in their school and the lemonade machine that gave the band its name. This album always comes up when there’s something in our society that I want to do something about, like the March for our Lives. When I was getting ready for the local march in Charlotte, I blasted Lemonade Mouth through my headphones and I could almost feel the adrenaline start to rush through my veins. This is music that really channels all the teenage feelings that are constantly bubbling beneath your skin and redirects it to something good. 

“Waiting on the World to Change” may be one of the most famous John Mayer songs, but it’s a philosophy that is incompatible with Lemonade Mouth. Lemonade Mouth is the kind of music Peter Parker listens to when he gets ready to swoop down; it’s what I listen to when I’m ready to stand up. Lemonade Mouth reminds us that we were meant to be Somebody. Yeah, it’s a Disney Channel soundtrack, but it’s a subversion of everything you know about DCOMs. When adults give you lemons, turn the world into lemonade. 

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About the Author

Andrew Walker Watson is a sophmore International Studies Major. He loves Brazilian rap music, discovering useless facts, and, naturally, writing. If he could ever stop staring out into space, he would like to start a global movement to change the world and guest host Saturday Night Live.
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