1. Something to Write Home About by The Get Up Kids – Without a doubt, this is my favorite album of all time because of the way it makes me feel. I remember I had such a strong connection with this album when I played it for the first time. From the guitar slide in the first seconds of “Holiday” (track 1) to the ending chord in “I’ll Catch You” (track 12), I’m hooked. I reference this album as true ’emo’ music. They’re not whining (in my opinion) or crying or pissing everyone off, their lyrics are EMOtional. Take the hint you poser bands hiding under the tag ’emo’. People are usually shocked when they ask “What’s your favorite band or album?” and I can answer the question. It’s not an easy task for such a tremendous music lover like myself.
1. Dookie by Green Day – I chose this as my number one for a few reasons. I can listen to this album over and over and it never gets stale. I was in 4th grade when Dookie came out; I studied this album. I listened to it religiously, studying the lyric sheet and committing each song to memory. It’s directly responsible for my love affair with the band as well as my first introduction to punk rock. I know American Idiot was phenomenal, but this one is a bit more personal…and it can get me through anything. To this day, people still cite it as one of the top albums of the 90’s.
1. Master of Puppets by Metallica (1986) – One could argue that if its historical significance, or impact on the music world at large, when it comes to Metallica it would be about either their debut album Kill ‘Em All (1983), their mainstream break-through album Metallica (The Black Album) (1991) or their controversial transitional album Load (1996). When one is arguing with true, die-hard fans, who are about Metallica for the music, for the feeling they get from listening to the songs and identifying with the themes and emotions being expressed, one cannot expect that argument to end anywhere but Master of Puppets (1986). The final album featuring bassist phenom Cliff Burton (1962 – 1986), the collection of tracks could be considered the group’s true masterpiece, as well as their first gold record, selling over 500,000 copies when released. From the opening bars of “Battery” through the last notes of “Damage, Inc.” this anthem laden album is an explosive powerhouse of thrash metal combined with serious melodic structure, giving rise to some of the most epic songs in Metallica’s library, without a single one less than 5 minutes. Tracks worthy of special mention, since none of the songs on this album were radio singles or music videos at the time of the album’s release (though some tracks eventually made their way to the airwaves in the following decade): Track 2 – “Master of Puppets”, Track 4 – “Sanitarium (Welcome Home)”, and my personal favorite Metallica song of all time Track 7 – “Orion” (Instrumental).
1. ESCM by BT– Easily one of the greatest dance albums in the past 20 years. A truly diverse and ethereal album that appeals to the senses, in particularly mine. It’s hard to believe that I ignored this album as ‘overlong nonsense’ when I first heard it. But once I gave it a chance and experienced this masterpiece all the way through, I was
forever initiated into the sonic church that BT leads. From the hip-hop/folk grooves of “Firewater”, to the piano led beauty of “Flaming June” (my favorite tune), right through to the hidden symphonic segment of “Flaming June” at the end of the album. I am forever hooked.
1. Return of Saturn by No Doubt – It didn’t have many radio hits, but No Doubt’s Return of Saturn is my favorite album of theirs. Upbeat, downbeat, kooky, moody and whimsical, Return of Saturn bursts with personality and shows how the band grew from Tragic Kingdom.
1. Dookie by Green Day – This album, a complete and utter classic, is responsible for my descent into the world of music. I think the first time I heard this I was like 11 years old, and it’s been downhill from there.