As a member of the dreaded Millennial generation, I pride myself on my eclectic taste in music that spans different decades and genres. I love Lady Gaga as much as the next girl, but my personal opinion is that a lot of what’s on the radio these days is garbage because it’s overproduced and sounds more or less the same (I’m looking at you, Katy Perry). With the exception of a few artists, rawness, creativity and originality seems to be a thing of the past…yes, I see the irony here. Shut up.
Any way, in this post, I’m going to explore and discuss the albums that have been so impactful in my life, that they’ve shaped my memories and immediately evoke waves of emotion whenever I hear them, whether I’m exercising, writing, or grocery shopping (just kidding, I let other people do that for me).
Rumours by Fleetwood Mac (1977)
No one can be surprised by this! I was so obsessed with Stevie Nicks that I dressed up as her for Halloween. Fleetwood Mac’s opus, the 1977 album Rumours, was the second album that included the Buckingham Nicks duo. This album proves that you just need to publicly breakup with you significant other to create beautiful art. The angst bubbled perfectly to the surface in Go Your Own Way and The Chain. As a former alto singer, I enjoyed singing Dreams or Gold Dust Woman at home alone. Gritty, harmonious, and moody; there’s nothing to dislike about this album. The extended cut also contains Silver Springs, one of my favorite FM songs, performed live, so deliciously here 20 years later on their 1997 tour, “The Dance”.
This was in 2013 and everyone thought I was a witch. How appropriate.
Thriller by Michael Jackson (1982)
Good lord, did my DiscMan get overheated with this one! Arguably one of the most famous albums on the planet, I don’t think it needs much explanation. Michael Jackson, strange though he was, was immensely talented and truly in a class of his own. Favorites for me include Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’, P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing), Billie Jean and of course, the title track (also one of the best music videos of all time).
The walking dead never looked so cool! How the hell were his pants so clean though?
Led Zeppelin IV by Led Zeppelin (1971)
Led Zeppelin was a late in life discovery. I’d always thought it was a band that frat guys liked, so I assumed it wasn’t for me. While Zeppelin boasts an incredibly large discography, IV stood out to me with favorites including the folkish Battle of Evermore (the only Zeppelin track to feature another singer) and Misty Mountain Hop, which tells of a trippy afternoon and features John Bonham in a big way. Probably my favorite Zeppelin song ever, When The Levee Breaks, punctuates the album. Robert Planet singing the blues over another incredible Bonzo performance is to die for. It makes me want to ugly cry when I hear it, it’s so good. I also love that they based the album art on me!
Design of a Decade: 1986 – 1996 by Janet Jackson (1995)
Yes, we’re doing a brother sister feature on here! Those Jacksons are pretty talented, except for LaToya. So I’m pretty sure this was the first CD I purchased at Border’s Books & Music (RIP) with my allowance cash! I had seen her music video for Runaway on MTV where she’s hopping on rooftops all around the world in her Jasmine outfit and I decided I wanted to have it so I could get them abs, DAMN!
From there, I listened rapturously to this compilation of all of her hits spanning the mid-80s to the mid-90s, with favorites including Nasty What Have You Done for Me Lately, Love Will Never Do Without You and Rhythm Nation. Janet’s empowered attitude, proclamation of control and her sense of fun comingled with social justice is everything!
The Suburbs by Arcade Fire (2010)
Arcade Fire was something I discovered in my earlier college years. This is one album that I would listen to sequentially. It beautifully encapsulates that feeling of being stagnant, the desire to break free, the terror of going out of your comfort zone and the heavy realization that life is both passing you by and that it is fleeting. To me, it’s a beautiful depiction of a quarter life crisis. This album makes me wonder what my future looks like and if I’m living my life right. I’m now blogging for attention, so definitely not…
Heroes & Thieves by Vanessa Carlton (2007)
Admittedly, high school was emotionally taxing and the insecurities were endless – shocking, I know. This was an album that indulged my self-absorption, yes, but it spoke to my young heart’s pain and made me feel understood. I also used to sing and attempt to eek these songs out on the piano with a dear friend. Plus, Stevie Nicks makes a cameo on The One. Everyone needs some “woe is me, why doesn’t so and so love me, am I pretty?” introspections and this album allowed me to do that, not unlike this blog.
Do you have any albums that make you feel things? Let me know in the comments!