2. OkGo by OkGo – So many memories! Everyone has that one band that they listened to before they became huge stars. Well, OkGo was mine. I remember seeing and meeting OkGo at Maxwell’s in Hoboken in high school, around Valentines Day, and we’re talking way before the treadmill video. In my opinion, their self titled album is their best work, a masterpiece. Every track flows into the next, so clever and memorable. One tune will have you dancing or clapping along, like in “You’re So Damn Hot”, another will teach you life lessons, “The Fix Is In”, or bring you to a comatose state like in “Shortly Before The End”. Oh No was a decent album, Of The Blue Colour Of The Sky was a travesty, OkGo is the way to go my friends.
2. The Wall by Pink Floyd – An album that truly defines what it means to be a concept album. Track by track, flowing together cohesively, taking us along for the journey that would later be played out on-screen in the movie bearing the same name. It’s another one of those albums that transcend time, labels, sounds, and genre’s. It’s a work of sheer brilliance that has remained untouched since its inception. Not only is the band and the album iconic, but also legendary.
2. (TIE) Dookie by Green Day (1994)/Weezer (a.k.a. The Blue Album) by Weezer (1994) – Unlike my usual justifications, heavily laden with facts about the albums and artists…facts that should pretty much speak for themselves as far as lending credo to the significance of the albums, and hence their inclusion on my list, but when it comes to these two albums…Dookie and Weezer (The Blue Album) I must elaborate differently. These two albums pretty much defined my freshman year of high school, already a time when our minds are super impressionable, and social awkwardness forces us all to begin to decide/define who we are. By September 1994, both albums had made their way to the airwaves, just in time for me to be walking into my first days of high school, and both albums accompanied me down those halls. This was in the days way before iPods, when most people still had a Walkman (that’s right, cassettes…remember those?), and I had made the ultimate tape with all Dookie on Side A, and Weezer (The Blue Album) on Side B. Ever since then, these two albums have been connected in my mind, and listening to them these days gives me instant flashbacks to a time when I was pretty much first discovering who I was.
2. Greatest Hits by The Police– My very first foray into the world of one of the world’s greatest and most unique rock bands. Looking back on it, this album was a musical milestone for me, as my purchase of this album was my graduation from the world of MTV’s sugary-pop into the Police. It’s hard to pin down exactly what it is about this album that I love. Maybe it is Andy Summers’ classical guitar playing through dozens of effects pedals to create a one man symphony, or Stewart Copeland’s psychotic poly rhythms, or maybe even Sting’s melodic but oddly punkish vocals. Well, regardless of the reason, this group is a huge influence on me…they kick royal ass.
2. Liars by Lola Ray – Lola Ray has been featured in many of my Top 5 lists. It’s hard to express how much I love this album to people who haven’t listened to Lola Ray’s music. The music, lyrics and John Balicanta’s vocals all come together to create these musical stories about the good and bad of love and relationships.