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Most Important Albums Sputnik Ever Gave Me

I've been on Sputnik for 9(!!!) years now. The site and its users have given me plenty of albums in that time, but some have come to mean more to me than others. These are the 25 most important albums Sputnik ever gave me, ranked by some combination of how much I love them, how long I was addicted to them, and how influential they were in expanding my music tastes.
1Porcupine Tree
In Absentia


Waaaaaay back in 2009, Sputnik introduced me to Porcupine Tree; all these years later, this remains the best thing music-wise that the site has ever done for me. I started with 'Fear of Blank Planet' first, and while I enjoyed it, it wasn't until I heard 'In Absentia' that my love for the band skyrocketed, and it eventually became my second-favorite band of all time (behind Bad Religion). If nothing else, discovering Porcupine Tree made putting up with you people worth it (I'm just kidding, y'all know I love you).
2Devin Townsend Project
Addicted


I can trace this one back to a single user: AnotherBrick. All of my days listening to Dream Theater and Opeth and Cynic, and I never knew that what I was really looking for was something like this. This was the first album I picked up from Devin, but it wasn't the last. I've been following his every move ever since.
3Killer Mike
R.A.P. Music


When I first got 'R.A.P. Music', I only simply "enjoyed" it. As time went on, though, I found myself invested in it. By the end of my obsession, I was convinced that this signaled the true return to form for Hip-Hop. This hit on an emotional level that few rap albums have done, and it was thanks to Sputnik that I even gave this the light of day.
4Neutral Milk Hotel
In the Aeroplane Over the Sea


At no point during my time here on Sputnik did I ever think that I would love or hate this album. I thought it would simply be
another album in my collection, one of those that I would simply "enjoy," even as everyone else on Sputnik sang its praises from the tops of mountains while collectively jizzing over how raw and authentic and so incredibly INDIE it was. But somewhere along the line, at a point that I didn't even know had passed by, I began climbing, too (as did my rating), drawn in by Jeff Mangum's crooning vocals and the intensely satisfying grooves found in songs like "Oh, Comely" and "In The Aeroplane Over The Sea." And before I realized it (and trust me, I didn't realize it), I, too, had reached the semen-stained mountaintops, and eventually joined in the heralding chorus, singing off-key at the top of my lungs, "I LOVE YOU, JESUS CHRIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIST!" Jesus Christ, I love this album...yes, I do.
5Raekwon
Only Built 4 Cuban Linx... Pt II


This album single-handedly restored my faith in Hip-Hop back in 2009. If that doesn't say enough about what it means to me, than I don't know what will.
6Black Star
Black Star


I already loved Mos Def and Talib Kweli by themselves, but Sputnik showed me this album, and I think it's the best thing either of them have ever done. "Respiration" might be considered my favorite hip-hop song.
7Sigur Ros
( )


I was introduced to Post Rock through this album. I know it's supposed to be all pretentious and stuff, but honestly, it remains one of the most hauntingly beautiful albums I've ever heard. And the climax for "Untitled 8" is the climax to end all climaxes.
8Flying Lotus
Until the Quiet Comes


Flying Lotus, along with Janelle Monae, got me interested in the whole Afro-Futurist movement in music. But more than that, FlyLo's label Brainfeeder is the focus of this incredible collective of jazz and hip-hop artists that have kind of been dominating my playlists lately--Thundercat, Kamasi Washinton, Jose James, Kendrick Lamar, Robert Glaspar, Shabazz Palaces, among others. It started with this album for me, which came from Sputnik.
9Karnivool
Sound Awake


This is a current obsession. I love Australian Alt Prog (as is evident by this list), and this and 'Themata' are about as catchy as they come.
10Failure
Fantastic Planet


For the longest time, 'Fantastic Planet' was the definition of a 4 rating. But then I just kept listening to it, and then they came back, and now it's one of my favorites. I actually chose it because I was really into A Perfect Circle, it had 'The Nurse Who Loved Me', and everyone said it was a good album, but only in the past couple of years have I discovered how good it was.
11Mew
Frengers


Someone once suggested Mew to me, and I chose this album because it was their highest rated one. Sometime later, it remains in my top 5 most listened to albums of all time (according to Last.fm) - tied with 'In Absentia', actually. I wasn't ready for this album to take over my life like it did, and nothing else they've done has ever even come close, but man this album was extremely special to me.
12Slint
Spiderland


This one is special, because this was a vinyl-first album. Meaning, I bought the album on vinyl, THEN got acquainted with it. It's one of the most "groovy" albums out there, where each song has a groove that you can get lost in for days. I can put this on at any time and get lost for 40 minutes.
13A Tribe Called Quest
Midnight Marauders


This album got me to explore hip-hop. Without this album, I wouldn't've cared about Raekwon or Killer Mike or Kendrick Lamar or any of them. And yes, I picked it up because of Sputnik.
14My Bloody Valentine
Loveless


I had actually never heard the term "shoegaze" before visiting Sputnik, even though I had been listening to it for years (via Starflyer 59). MBV perfected a sound I already enjoyed, and because of them I picked up quite a few other shoegaze favorites.
15DJ Shadow
Endtroducing...


When I first picked up 'Endtroducing...', I didn't know what to expect. Something jazzy and cool, possibly, but how do all the samples fit together? When I got done listening, I immediately started it over again. This album got me into trip-hop, and led to Portishead, Massive Attack, Zero 7, etc. It also became one of my most sought-after vinyls, and helped me really get into collecting them.
16Jeff Buckley
Grace


It took me ages to enjoy 'Grace' in the way that other people do. And even then, I still feel like I betray it because my favorite song is "Eternal Life," not "Hallelujah" (actually, Buckley's version isn't even my favorite version of the song). Still, Sputnik convinced me to check this guy out, and I'm incredibly thankful for it. The guy's voice is completely unreal.
17John Frusciante
The Empyrean


Ooooh...2009 was a good year! My friend was already into Frusciante's solo stuff, and I had one song by him ("Control"). But Sputnik convinced me to get this album when it dropped, and I did, and I was completely blown away. In the pantheon of Chili Peppers and their associated side projects, this album ranks in the top 3, and convinced me to seek out other singer/songwriter albums that were more than just acoustic guitar (Elliot Smith, anyone?).
18Descendents
Milo Goes to College


There was a time when I was super into punk. I still enjoy it, but back then, it was my whole world. This is the best punk album I didn't discover on my own. What a one to miss, eh?
19At the Drive-In
Relationship of Command


At the Drive-In came highly recommended to fans of post-hardcore. I was really into that scene when I came across it, and while it was a little more harsh than, say, Thrice or Brand New, it eventually evolved into a highlight of the genre for me. Even more telling is that I didn't grow up with this band, so I wasn't listening to it for angst's sake--I just enjoyed the songs they played.
20The Butterfly Effect
Imago


This, along with Sleep Parade's 'Things Will Always Change', were the first albums I dove into when I was exploring the Australian alt-rock scene which I've come to love so much. Sleep Parade can take me to some emotionally nostalgic places when I listen to it, but I think I just enjoy the songs more on here as a whole. Plus, "A Slow Descent" was my most played song for a good six months.
21Japandroids
Post-Nothing


When I first heard this, it became my album of summer. It still is, actually. Imagine if these guys would have quit after this?
22Dead Letter Circus
This Is The Warning


More Aussie Prog. This is just one of the catchiest albums I've ever heard, period.
23Ulver
Perdition City


I remember seeing Ulver everywhere on this site. The cover of 'Shadows of the Sun' is still one of my favorites, but for some reason I decided to start here with them. I was into trip-hop at the time (thanks to DJ Shadow), so when I first heard "Lost In Moments," I was hooked. It's so dark, but that sax! Goodness, this is a sexy album.
24Ride
Nowhere


I think I listen to 'Nowhere' more than any other shoegaze album nowadays. Seeing them in concert was an absolute highlight of my live-music experiences last year.
25M83
Hurry Up, We're Dreaming


M83 is actually a product of my love of shoegaze. Their first album is some electronic-shoegaze hybrid, and they were always on the list for me to check out, but I never did...until this album came out. I got this album because of Sputnik, and "Midnight City" was on constant repeat in my car months before it was being repeated on the radio. My interest in certain bands has actually fluctuated based on how similar they sound to this album. I haven't heard 'Junk' yet, but I want this to be how I remember the band.
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