We've all had those albums that have gotten us through the worst or just made us ridiculously happy. It takes more than 3 radio hits and a fillers to make an album, it takes talent and hard work. These albums are just a tiny amount of my favorites, but I chose them because they helped me at significant points in my life. When listening to these I never had to worry about pushing the 'next' button, the album could just play.
1. "Dizzy up the girl" - The Goo Goo Dolls
This album was released in 1998. I was 12, and it changed my life! Going through my adolescent years proved to be just as difficult as many said. I was teased like crazy in my ridiculously "safe" suburban town and I had a warped self-image. Nothing about me seemed beautiful or worthy to have friends. My features stood out in a school where whites were the majority. My full lips, bushy hair and brown skin set me apart every day and i was never able to forget. Not only did I feel like a prisoner in my body, but my family was disintegrating. Within one year my parents were talking of splitting and my family experienced the loss of two members. Any time I could pop in "Dizzy up the girl" in my discman, I did. The sounds of Johnny Rzeznik singing about personal traumas and doubt spoke to me and was the only thing that got through to me, that kept me holding on. At times I would just lay on the front yard and stare at the stars while listening to "Iris", "Black balloon", "All eyes on me", "Bulletproof" and "Hate this place". Not only did it turn my world upside down but it changed the Goo Goo Dolls' career forever. The band received 3 grammy nods for their amazing work.
2. "The writing's on the wall"- Destiny's Child
If the Goo Goo Dolls healed my wounds and supplied me with comfort, then Destiny's Child gave me an EGO. Okay! While I lacked the confidence it took to get me through the day, I would come home and let my inner diva out. I can't tell you how much I played out "Say my name" before it was actually played out. This was definitely one the groups best albums and served as a milestone in the girls' careers.
3. "Deja Entendu"/ "God and the devil are raging inside me"- Brand New
Brand New has been my all time favorite band since they released "Your favorite weapon". The song 'seventy times 7' erupted something inside of me. I had never heard such cutting wit in song lyrics before. Jesse Lacey (vocals/guitar) took his writing a 10 steps further with these two albums. "Deja Entendu" presented a transformed band. nothing sounded the same. There's break-up songs for your lovers, your friends and songs that speak of the pressures of marriage and touring. But it there's another thing I could point out that I love about this album it's the song composing. Most of the songs start off slow instrumentally and vocally and then escalate as they go on. This creates a bubbling anticipation and emotion. "Deja entendu" was definitely my soundtrack for four years.
If "Deja Entendu" was my soundtrack in high school then their next effort, "God and the devil are raging inside me" was mine for my college years. Once again the band took their talent a step ahead and created a quenching follow-up to their extremely succesful sophomore album. If you have never heard this album...go order it now. You will not be disappoint. Jesse Lacey exudes vulnerability and each song holds an eerie sound. The opening track "Sowing season" mended me through dealing with the suicide of my beloved friend. "Jesus Christ" is one of the most beautiful melodies I've heard. If anyone has ever confided in God about the afterlife or been just plain down and found themselves speaking to him, this is your song. And it's not in a christian rock way (not that it's bad). Once listening to the lyrics I deciphered that many songs are based on situations from news, other's personal struggles or films. "Luca" is about the death of a character from "The Godfather" who winds up sleeping with the fishes. As I demanded above, go out and purchase these two albums, they are something special. Brand New is a band that is constantly raising the bar and challenging themselves and their audience. They may alter themselves on each album but I promise you with each change you will never be unsatisfied.
4. Fiona Apple "When the Pawn..."
What can I say about Fiona Apple? Little miss angst out-did herself on this one. Once again a great album is not just about lyrics or hits. It's about the whole picture, and Ms. Apple definitely painted a classic. There's a fusion of jazz, blues, folk and alternative rock all rolled into one. How can you label her sound? You just can't. "Paper bag" begins with a crisp conga drum like sound and Fiona's mellow vocals explains the pain of knowing you are not good enough for someone sometimes. The most bitter track on the album "Limp" tricks you with its calm verses but its pissy chorus manages to stir you back up about the "asshole lover" in your life. Although Fiona's other albums have been successful and praised, "When the Pawn..." was her "Thriller".
5. "Enema of the state"- Blink-182
I don't know of too many youngins who didn't base their very being on this album. There is so much nostalgia on this album, it's like a time machine. I know I'm still young, but when I hear "What's my age again?" I feel 13! Vocalist Tom DeLonge, sings many teen anthems on "Enema of the state". Blink-182 for me very much said all the things I wanted to say about being a kid with raging feelings. When listening now I sometimes laugh because I didn't fully understand the genius of "Adam's song" until I lost my friend to his own hand. How haunting are those lyrics? When I think of how this band was able to speak the thoughts and feelings of a generation (whether they be silly or resentful), I am baffled. To this day I am still a fan and am glad to see the boys are back. Can't wait for the tour!
Other albums that made my lengthy list are:
*"Tragic Kingdom"- No Doubt
* "The Marshall Mathers LP"- Eminem
* "Mizundastood" - P!nk
* "Nevermind" - Nirvana
* "Breakaway"- Kelly Clarkson
* "Songs in A minor" - Alicia Keys
* "The Used"- The Used
* "The love below/Speakerboxx" - Outkast
* "Dookie"- Green Day
* "Like a virgin" - Madonna
* "Aaliyah"- Aaliyah
* "License to Ill" - Beastie Boys
1. "New again"/"Tell all your friends" - Taking Back Sunday
2. "Singles of 1992-2003" - No Doubt
3. "Breakaway" - Kelly Clarkson
4. "The High Road" - JoJo
5. "The Chronicles of Life and Death"- Good Charlotte
6. "Here we go again" - Demi Lovato
7. "Let go"/ "Under my skin"- Avril Lavigne
What are your favorites? Share in the comment box!