The Albums that Shaped Me: Part II

Back by popular demand! Just kidding, literally no one asked for more of this blog…but guess what? I’ve decided to post Oh hey!‘s first two-parter! Hooray!

I hope you enjoyed Part I of this series about the musical albums that have impacted my life because we’re doing another round.


Chet Baker Sings by Chet Baker (1954)

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This is the newest on my list, but no less important. Very recently, I stumbled across Chet Baker when I was listening to a jazz playlist on Spotify to help drown out the cacophony at my corner Starbucks. I had never heard of Chet Baker before, but oh my lord, did his rendition of My Funny Valentine get my attention.

A pioneering West Coast jazz trumpeter, Chet controversially recorded this album that showcased his gentle singing (apparently that was considered a betrayal to instrumentalists). I listen to this when I’m trying to relax or drift off to sleep. Unfortunately, outside of his career, Chet had a very tragic life as a heroin addict. There’s even a biopic called “Born to Be Blue”, starring Ethan Hawke that I’ve yet to see, but that I would like to. Below are two side by side photos of Chet as a young man (very easy on the eyes), and then much later after many years of drug abuse. Still, his talent is so undeniable and I highly recommend you listen to this album, even if you think jazz isn’t your thing.

Wow…speaks for itself. I absolutely love both portraits.


Rubber Soul by The Beatles (1965)

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I grew up in a Beatles household. I have distinct memories of cassette tapes, I believe of their earliest stuff, which was very palatable to a young kid like me. As I grew older, I remember listening to compilation CDs of The Beatles and becoming more interested in the time period between A Hard Day’s Night and Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. I love the transition to a folkier sound; the relinquishment of the teenybopper sound and the embrace of much more interesting lyrics and edgier sound. Favorites on this one includes Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)Drive My Car and In My Life. Also, no offense to Paul, but I love John heavy vocals and there’s a lot of that on here.


Spice by the Spice Girls (1996)

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Marge (my mom, in case you didn’t know), reminded me about this one. I neglected to include in the first round probably because subconsciously, it was such an obvious choice that when I thought about what to include, I didn’t even consider it. Does that make sense?

Well, the Spice Girls totally blew up on the scene in the 90s and this was the kind of album you sang to with your hairbrush, shampoo bottle or whatever you could find in front of the mirror. The best part about this album is that nearly 20 years later, you still feel like that because girl power is timeless.

Also, if you’re wondering, I am a combo of these two:

Literally, a “Food Derivative Spice” and “Way Too Competitive Spice”.


Debussy Greatest Hits by Various Artists with music by Claude Debussy (1984)

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Don’t skip this one! Just because it’s classical doesn’t mean you don’t know anything about it. Debussy’s most famous piece, Claire de Lune, is legitimately in every movie. Notably, the montage scene in Ocean’s 11 after they pull off the heist. See? You know classical! Put on your monocle and clap your wrist for yourself!

Anyway, I grew up with a father that was very into classical music. This CD was played regularly in his studio and with it was a whirring of mental imagery that included nature, beautiful maidens and other cherished stories my mind could concoct. Songs like Rêverie or Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune, which means Dream and Prelude to the afternoon of a fawn, respectively, are truly good for the soul. Also, if you don’t know what a fawn is, then make haste and Googleth!


Cruel Intentions Soundtrack by Various Artists (1999)

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Okay, so the movie itself is a guilty pleasure and I secretly love Sarah Michelle Gellar’s character in it (but not as much as her demise – I know, I’m awful!). That said, one thing you can’t deny for its quality is the soundtrack. This album boasts a nice mix of moody alternative rock, Brit Pop and a some goofy indie tracks. It also provided my first exposure to the terrific Aimee Mann with her You Could Make a Killing as well as one of my favorite Blur songs, Coffee and TV. Also, who could forget The Counting Crow’s Colorblind for that love scene! Listening to this album made me feel edgy and mature. You’ll be shocked to know that it still does, especially when I’m listening to The Verve’s Bittersweet Symphony and fantasizing about ruining my enemies and making former crushes jealous! Très mature.

Okay this two-parter is done. Are you happy?

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