I’m that person who has more music than anyone could ever listen to, in fact, I often forget that I own a song or artist until someone makes a request. But I love music, I can spend hours diving into YouTube, iTunes, film/tv soundtracks, or whatever media form, happily looking for new music that makes my soul dance.
Wants 90’s top hits? Small children singing Sunday school songs? Instrumental film scores? Motown? Hip hop from the 80’s-present? Indie jams? Disney favorites? Obscure tracks only released on bonus cd’s in Japan? – I got ya covered.
So with music on my mind I tried to narrow down my massive pile of music to my top 10 albums that I think are absolute perfection. Obviously, I’m going to forget about certain albums and think of them after this is posted. I’m also bound to space on some of my favorite artists. But this selection is quite literally off the top of my head and in no particular order.
Okay, here I go:
1 – Our Endless Numbered Days by Iron and Wine
This album is magic. The harmonies and poetic lyrics often send me into a sort of trance. The world is suddenly more tangible, more magnificent, more present. When this album is the soundtrack to my days, I feel like I’m an observer of my life. The world, in its complicated majesty, is increasingly honest. Making everything around me contain a haunting beauty.
2 – Josie and the Pussycats by Various Artists
Every song on this album, to put it simply – rocks. The uptempo rock songs are not only a snapshot of the rock/ska music of the late 90’s early 2000’s, but are bound to put you in a good mood. Kay Hanley, singing voice of Josie and lead singer of Letter’s to Cleo, performance is full of fun, raw, careless energy. Don’t be deceived because it’s a movie soundtrack. A lot of the songs are originals created for the movie – but even if I hadn’t seen the flick, the music would be able to stand on its own. Not a lot of music from movies can say that.
3 – The Heist by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
Don’t let the silliness of the hit Thrift Shop fool you, in fact, if you pay attention to the lyrics you’ll realize that the song is actually mocking materialism. Or a hatred for rap because of the misogynistic lyrics about getting laid and drinking patron, normally found in the genre, keep you from giving this album a try. Macklemore & Ryan Lewis are just what the rap industry is needing. Macklemore’s lyrics touch on important issues ranging from gay marriage to overcoming drug addiction. Ryan Lewis is a beat making genius who brings an energy to each track, heightening the emotion behind each song. Plus they’re from Seattle. Woo, Washingtonians represent!
4 – 20th Century Masters – The Millennium Collection: The Best of Big Bad Voodoo Daddy by Big Bad Voodoo Daddy
Big Bad Voodoo Day formed as part of the neo swing music movement of the 1990’s. These awesome swing songs are bound to get your feet tapping, and any swing dancer to get up and start showing off on the dance floor. The energy of this album is infectious, and I usually keep it on repeat for at least a few days once I pop the cd in.
5 – Skipping Stone – EP by Alexz Johnson
Alexz Johnson has one of the most beautiful voices I’ve ever heard. In addition she’s a wonderful song writer. Which is why she should be more well-known and is bound to be one of those artists that someday will inevitably spark hipster comments such as, “I hate how popular she is now, I’ve been listening to her for years.” While this album only has five tracks, I’ve played those five tracks more times than I can count. Alexz has a way of pulling you in, of letting her voice function as more than just the vessel for the words, but as an instrument in itself. In short, everything she does is beautiful. But there’s something about this EP that’s extra special. Listen to it – you’ll see what I mean.
6 – Way to Normal by Ben Folds
I think Ben Folds is a genius. While he’s not the greatest singer of all time, he’s a wonderful piano player, and quirky lyricist. This album is everything you could want from Ben Folds. With lyrics that are subtly witty and intelligent, he clearly had fun making this album, and as a result, it’s fun to listen to. If nothing else, his piano skills are enough to make this worth buying.
7 – Tetra by C2C
This album only just came out, but I’m already in love. C2C deliver’s a fusion of blues and electronica that will make any blues dancer swoon. So as a blues dancer, that’s exactly what I did. But even if you’re not a dancer, you should appreciate the album for its uniqueness in the world of electronica – standing out is not something that can easily be accomplished within the genre. It’s perfect for setting a pleasant mood for working out, house parties, making cookies, or really whatever you feel like doing.
8 – Blunderbuss by Jack White
Jack White’s first solo album could not be better. I’ve loved every thing this man has been apart of, and to hear him just on his own, well – it’s awesome. Bluesy rock at it’s finest. In fact, the album is so good that it’s almost hard to describe without writing an essay, but while you can hear whispers of the style of The White Stripes – this solo album has a character all its own.
9 – The Story by Brandi Carlile
Trying to pick just one Brandi Carlile album is like trying to eat only one Wheat Thin – nearly impossible. So I went with the album that first made me fall in love with her. There’s something about her poetry mixed with her raw, at times barely contained, vocals that make The Story an album you’ll never forget. I know I never did, I heard it once and I’ve been a Carlile junkie ever since. She captivates you in a way where it no longer feels like someone is singing at you, but with you, sharing their soul and inviting you to take part in the journey.
10 – Franz Ferdinand by Franz Ferdinand
This was the first album I became obsessed with outside of Christian rock, and to this day it’s one of my favorites. And while I have all of their other albums and find them all wonderful. THIS album, was THE album, that started my journey with music. Without my discovery of Franz Ferdinand I might not be the musical guru before you today.