Sunday, October 27, 2013

I May Have Terrible Music Taste...

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I have contemplated for a while making a top 50 favorite albums list. I am a pretty avid list maker, and music has always been important to me. What was holding me back mostly was the fact that there are a metric shit ton of 'top 50 best albums EVERRRRR' lists. And that isn't what I wanted to make. I don't claim these are the best albums ever (frankly there are quite a few that I KNOW aren't good albums, and a lot are technically nothing special) but they are my favorite albums. The criteria I used included when I discovered them in my life, how much I played them, the fact that I don't have to skip a single song on any of them, if they live up to a listening currently, and simply the way they make me feel when I listen to them.

I had to give myself a few rules as well though. I ruled out recordings of musicals (sorry 'Spring Awakenings' and 'The Last 5 Years'), any album that is a 'best of' or 'greatest hits' (though Mariah Carey #1s was on pret t t y constant rotation there for a bit) and finally soundtracks or compilations which may have been the hardest, as Save the Last Dance, Romeo and Juliet, Once and Empire Records soundtracks all formed my youth in a pretty massive way.

So over a span of 5 posts, I give you, my top 50 favorite albums.


50. Devendra Banhart- Smokey Rolls Down Thunder Canyon
I received this CD during my senior year of college from my boyfriend at the time who knew it would be right up my alley. I had never heard of Banhart at this point, but was making frequent 2-3 hour drives to try and keep our long distance relationship moving right along. This CD still makes car rides all the more enjoyable. Lover, Sea horse, Samba Vexillographica

49. The Flaming Lips- Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robot
So, Just forget that this is a concept album. Now put it on in the background, or while driving cross country (you will see that 'driving cross country' is a constant theme to my favorite albums) and you will have perfect mood music. I will always associate this album with my first LONG road trip and our halfway point of Colorado. Not a one. I don't think I ever this to this album tracks as individual tracks. Ever.

48. Beastie Boys- License To Ill
Growing up in the MTV generation, I can still remember the first time I saw the video for 'Fight for you right'. Granted, it was a few years old already at the time, but it still left a mark. As I got older, I still mark the Beastie Boys as my first real introduction into rap, and it probably fostered my love of 90's hip hop and R&B. Girls, Brass Monkey, She's Crafty

47. Eels- Daisies of the Galaxy
I really don't remember when I got into this album. I know as of 9th grade, I had NEVER heard of the Eels, as he was the opening act for Fiona Apple, and in all my girl teen angst, I just wanted him to get off the fucking stage so I could hear Fiona. (Ms. Apple would finally take the stage, yell at the audience and cut a few songs short due to male heckling). My first memory of LIKING the Eels goes back to some 90s era teen rom-com, that used a brief snippet of Mr. E's Beautiful Blues. (I tried desperately this past 30 minutes to figure out WHICH 90's movie, I could have SWORN it was '10 Things I Hate About You', but can't find evidence of it at all). I Like Birds, Its A Motherfucker, Wooden Nickels

46. Fleetwood Mac- Rumours
Here is the first entry that is basically on every 'best of...' list. But listen, there is a reason. I didn't grow up with this album anymore than any other 28 year old who just randomly heard these songs in movies, oldies stations, etc. It was the realization that all these great songs, THEY ALL COME FROM ONE ALBUM. And No, it isn't a greatest hits compilation. That's just crazy talk. Never Going Back Again, Songbird, I Don't Want To Know

45. Violent Femmes- self titled
My So-Called Life. Claire Danes dancing to 'Blister In The Sun' out of pure happiness in an opening sequence. Hello Violent Femmes. Gone Daddy Gone, Kiss Off, Blister in the Sun.

44. Beck- The Information
The year after I graduated from college, I lived with one of my best friends from growing up. One of our favorite pastimes was to hold small parties, or larger holiday parties, but no matter what the exact occasion was, we always would throw on the DVD that accompanied 'The Information' CD (it contained the entire track listing from the CD, but with homemade videos Beck put together). Best. Background. Ever. (spoilers, a bear plays drums. And a little girl dances). Cellphones Dead, Nausea, Think I'm in Love.

43. Paul Simon- Graceland
I thinks its reasonable that my first experience with this album was of course 'You Can Call Me Al' because like I mentioned before, MTV kid right here. Later though, I realized the glorious nature of the rest of the album. What was that, you don't like Graceland? Oh, you're also a robot. I get it. Diamonds on the Soles of her Shoes, Graceland, Crazy Love

42. Dark Dark Dark- Wild go
I can't remember what first brought 'In Your Dreams' across my radar, but I fell in love with it immediately. And I am not one for female voices (this is one of nine albums on this list that features a female voice). I slowly listened to more and more of this album, when I wasn't listening to 'In Your Dreams' on repeat. Every time I've played this album since, it is always that moment of 'damn, I forgot how great this is'! Just stellar. In Your Dreams, Right Path, Say the Word.

41. Cake - Prolonging the Magic
Pick a Cake album, any album, and it is enjoyable start to finish.. This is def. one of those moments where I could have had the whole Cake catalog on this list. I decided upon this album in particular because it holds the most ties to memory. I am always brought back to my sophomore year of college, and all the people who were important to me at the time. Mexico, Satan in my Motor, Hem of Your Garment.

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