posted a BLOG item over 2 years ago
These aren't necessarily my favorite records of all times but the ones I feel helped define the music fan I would become (see: elitist snob.) These are the records that changed everything for me, in one way or another, they have all had a very profound and long last impact on me as not only a fan of music, but as a person. So in no particular order. . .
Brand New - Deja Entendu
Freshman year. Is there a more angst ridden and awkward time than the first year of high school? For me this record evokes feelings of walking home and the seasons changing. It was a dense record fill with lyrics of love, loss, death and holds up as one of the most bitter, depressing yet beautiful records I have ever heard. I still play this every Fall as I watch the leaves change and fall.
Third Eye Blind - Self Titled
I don't remember the exact age I first heard this entire record but I remember I used to constantly snatch it from my sister's room. Musically this was my first real "rock" record that I had entirely to myself. Before this is was just a sad sack collection of hand me down R&B and pop records my sister had out grown. This album truly "changed" everything. It put me on the path of discovering my own music rather than simply accepting what the radio (and my sister) gave me.
Coheed & Cambria - In Keeping Secrets Of Silent Earth: 3
Again, freshman year. This record, to that point in my life, was the biggest thing I had ever heard. Claudio's vocal range was insane and the music mixed pop with the sound of my dad's old metal records and it was entirely mine! As a young kid, it was everything I had searched for up to that point. Also, it inspired of a story I’ve been trying to write since my freshman year of high school. And for the record, I don't think Coheed has made a back record yet.
Saves The Day - Through Being Cool
Pure pop punk goodness and the first Saves The Day record I owned. The lyrics were bitter, spiteful, dark and as a young teen - completely awesome! To this day, this is one of my favorite records and will sit in my Top Ten Ever for a long time.
The Cure - Galore
Yet another CD I had to steal from my sister's room when she wasn't around. Much like Third Eye Blind, it was completely different from anything I had ever heard as a young kid. I can't understand why my sister insisted on handing me New Edition instead of this.
The Gaslight Anthem - Sink or Swim
I had heard this album off and on for awhile and didn't quite get it. Then one day it hit me like a ton of bricks followed by a building collapsing on top of me only to get struck by lightning when I crawled out. "I'm broke and I'm hungry, hard up and I'm lonely. Been dancing on this killing floor for years." That was it. My head imploded, my heart jumped from my sleeve and ran for the door. Suddenly, I wasn't listening to music that took me back to my youth (like most of this list) but something that defined the very moment I was in. With this record my 20s were defined.
New Found Glory - Self Titled
As I stated, as a young kid nobody really gave me music. I got my sister's cast off tape cassettes and my dad's metal. But nothing that I could relate to or put my faith in. It was all just noise and something to sing to. Then this record came a long like a freight train. I don't remember the exact age I got this record but I was young, hungry and full of odd romantic notions. I think every young teen male identifies with pop punk and for me this record had my name all over it.
Fear Before The March Of Flames - Odd How People Shake
Truth be told, I am not and never was a huge fan of screeching vocals. But I'll be damned if as a kid I didn't love this shit out of this record. It was fast, abrasive and quite frankly scary. I loved every single second of it.
Fallout Boy - Take This To Your Grave
My memories of this record are confined to a basement with my ex-girlfriend. First day I found it I took it to her house and shared it with her. I was in the 8th grade. For me it was such a strange time. I had not only found a girl but was giving her something, a part of me. In the long run, I never really got it back. Still a great pop punk record and a testament that the band didn't always suck.
Jimmy Eat World - Clarity
Favorite record of all time. It's epic, it's sweeping, beautiful, sad, touching and uplifting. As a young man I immediately attached myself to this record and never let go. All the way from the term Lucky being something people can identify me with to it being a record I tell every person I talk music with to listen to. And if I ever have kids, this will be the first record I pass to them.
Frank Turner - Love, Ire & Song
Frank Turner is going to lead the next generation. From his untouchable voice to his wide variety of song subjects, the man mixes the classic folk singer vibe while still managing to be aggressive, romantic, political and pissed off like any top shelf punk poet. It also doesn't hurt that sometimes his lyrics feel as if he sits inside my heads and nicks things I am thinking. The first time I heard "And punk rock didn't live up to what I hoped that it could be." I completely fucking lost it.
Bruce Springsteen - Nebraska
Haunting. As a young kid, I was completely infatuated with punk music. From my old school hardcore to the likes of Motion City Soundtrack, that was me every day, all day. Then I heard Nebraska. Suddenly, it wasn't just love and spilled guts and romantic ideals. No. Nebraska is a seedy, dark and pessimistic record that stands as one of Bruce's best.
The Clash - London Calling
It sure wasn't the politics, that's for sure. I was 13 or 14 when I got this record. I remember riding in the car with my head phones on. Strummer's wailing voice, the catchiness of it all while still being aggressive. And my grandfather for the first time acknowledging something I liked musically. I'll never forget him telling me "Good, I'm glad." after asking me if I liked it. It was obvious. I was bouncing around like a maniac in the passenger seat. But I'm glad he asked anyways. My rebellion was approved of and as a young guy, that sat well with me even if it was completely counter productive in retrospect.
Something Corporate - Leaving Through The Window
There is something inherently beautiful about this record. Andrew McMahon has always been a "wise beyond his years" kind of writer and even here, it shows. Sure, there are signs of immaturity but it was a clear Andrew would age well as a singer and song writer. I still dream of living out the song "Woke Up In A Car" at 22 and this record forever connects me to a younger, dumber yet more innocent version of me.
Alkaline Trio - Good Mourning
I spent my formative years on punk records and horror movies. So when I finally got the two crossed, this record exploded in my face like a shotgun blast. The lyrics were dark, clever, blood soaked and hilarious. What young kid wouldn't love this record? It mixed my two favorite things in the world and kept me with the band, even as they slipped into making sub par records. It may not be there best ever, but it was my first.
Dashboard Confessional - The Places You Have Come To Fear The Most
I got this for my birthday in the 7th grade. Looking back, it's not hard to discover where my fear of commitment developed. But because of this record, I started writing lyrics. I wanted so bad to write like Chris Carrabba. I don't think I ever got close but I tried and that itself made me a better writer. This record is still good today and I don't think he ever lived up to the potential he showed on this and it's predecessor The Swiss Army Romance. But to me this record made me want to truly be a writer. It also made me horrified of women for a long time. But mostly I remember it for making me want to write all the time.
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