I’ve been seeing a lot of top 10 lists out in the world as of late and felt the need to add 1 more list. This is a collection of the 10 albums that have influenced my songwriting over all other albums and over many years. Yes, White Snake didn’t make the list and that doesn’t mean I don’t love them. Yes, I have other non-musical influences like Science Fiction and Bill Murray but I’m trying to focus on albums. Here goes…
10. MuthMath, MuthMath – A christian band that actually sounds good. What you say, “I don’t believe it”, then go check them out and tell me they don’t rock. Check out this video…..
9. Bjork, Vespertine – Bjork plays a very important role in this universe as the oracle of unique perspectives. She demonstrates Platonic ideals while writing all her own parts and making original music.
8. Radiohead, In Rainbows – I’ve just been hooked to this album for the last couple of weeks, probably since the Grammies. The thing I sticks out is the simplicity of the songs. Usually not more than 4 things going on at any moments. Goes to show that less is usually more.
7. Blur, The Great Escape – Just a childhood favorite, probably the main reason why I sometime sound like I sing with a british accent. I would spent hours in my room shooting hoops into my laundry hoop and sing along with this album at the top of my lungs.
6. U2, Joshua Tree – Do I need to explain myself here?
5. Sufjan Stevens, Come on feel the Illinois – This album reinforces idea’s of syncopation as a deadly tool for making a song sound original, much in the same way Steve Reich uses it. The song “John Wayne Gacy, Jr” relating the murder to the listen gives me chills every time, while
4. Jeff Buckley, Grace – Both a curse and a blessing to my world. The fact that Jeff Buckley existed on this planet instills the fact that I will never be a truly great musician. Surreal vocal abilities and lyrics that can put you into a trance, meanwhile being one of the best guitar players I have ever heard. It is clear that God granted him with musical super-powers and this album proves it.
3. Weezer, Pinkerton – This was the 1997 high school girls-suck album of destiny. Weezer is (used to be) amazing at using feedback as a critical part of their song. All the songs are so simple, El Scorcho is just G – C, and they were the one that thought of it. The lyrics show every ridiculous thought going on in his life while still making it rhyme and not sound stupid.
2. Love-cars, I’m Friends with All-Stars – I had a long road trip to make by myself and I had just borrowed two Love-cars albums. I put them in the CD player and fell in love. If I could pick out 1 thing I loved is was the dynamics. They have the ability to gradually start a song quietly and gradually build for 5 minutes till the song plateau’s for a 30 second face melting fest that takes your breath away.
1. Pedro the Lion, Control – This album heavily demonstrates that lyrics can be an extremely powerful tool for delivering a message. It demonstrated the fact that lyrics can play a huge part in delivering a message. In the same way movie “American Beauty” reveals a disgusting truth about our society this album reveals the true thoughts of a christian American males life traveling from marriage through death. I strong encourage everyone to listen to the lyrics of the album. Plus, the album rocks super hard without being typical indie.