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|Most Influential Albums On My Gradually Shifting Musical Taste|
I've seen a few of these coming up on Sputnik, so like a shameless
conformist I figure I'd give a retrospective look back at what albums
have come to define my taste in music for the past 8 years or so
years (though namely from my childhood through early college). Like
the other lists, this isn't one of my favorite albums (a few here are
actually less favorable to me now); just releases that I feel
represented my tastes for a certain period of time.
As a kid, I wasn't musically informed in any sort of form. But if there was one
artist I kept coming back to over and over before my restrained middle school
hearings, it was Billy Joel (as likely indicated by my posting of his studio
discography in-progress). Both Glass Houses and River of Dreams became
albums of choice for me to listen to, but at the time, the basic rock beats in the
former just clicked with me more.
This album will likely be a big surprise since it's a pop/rhythm & blues album,
two genres I'm not the least bit fond of. Though it's true I didn't have high
regards of the album even when I bought it, the singles were enough to keep
me coming back. Regardless, the relatively ballad-esque nature of the latter
genre I feel influenced my inclination towards softer songs in other genres.
"Yeah" and "Burn" are still among my guilty pleasures.
Yes, there was a brief time that I used to (casually) listen to what I like to call
"silly rap" songs. This ranged from Eminem's less-serious moments, to Petey
Pablo, to Lil Jon and yes, even Chingy. I couldn't tell you how many times I
listened to the lead tracks off this album and, though I don't look back at said
point fondly, I sure enjoyed it at the time.
Just about anyone my age (21) has listened to Linkin Park and been bound to
have a period they were in love with them. I even took highly to their Collision
Course CD/DVD release with Jay-Z. And though I'll proclaim Meteora as a
superior album, Hybrid Theory was what I held in the earnest regards and, thus,
kept me coming back. "One Step Closer" and "In The End" were probably my
most frequently listened-to tracks for the longest time.
Though nu metal (a genre I'd barely classify Slipknot in past their self-titled LP)
isn't regarded as "true metal," Slipknot were who I'd call my first metal band.
And though my initiation came with Volume 3: The Subliminal Verses, it was
Iowa that fed my hunger more than anything else they've released. That is,
with the exception of the still-excellent Disasterpieces DVD.
Living After Midnight: The Best Of
I've never been fond of compilation discs, but when my stepfather offered to
purchase me an album of his choice by Judas Priest, guaranteeing I'd like them,
I accepted. And sure enough, the solid combination of tracks here were more
than enough to appease me. All I needed was a listen to the live recording of
"Victim of Changes" to say that they became my favorite band (and they've
held that claim to this date). Yes, this Best Of does lack some of their key
tracks, but it's what ultimately got me into them; while being my first big step
towards heavy metal.
|7||Children of Bodom|
Follow the Reaper
It might be easy to put this album by everyone's favorite melodic death metal
band on a list, but this is with good reason. For the longest time I couldn't
tolerate harsher metal bands because of the vocal style. But Bodom's songs
kept me coming back since I wanted to let the keyboard/guitar combination
make me disregard the vocal style. And sure enough, in-time I grew to tolerate
Alexi Laiho's screams and, in some ways, like them after a while longer.
Anthems to the Welkin at Dusk
Emperor were actually among the first metal bands I listened to, and from the
get-go I was in love with them. Once I heard "With Strength I Burn" (my first
taste of them) I was immediately in love. Anthems to the Welkin at Dusk
became an immediate favorite for me, and it's retained a firm grasp on that
position (probably better than any other album since my introduction to metal).
The murky nature of their music here seemed to click with my ears better than
any other band or album before and for a while. Regardless of whatever reason
why, I think it's safe to say that this was an indication of a superb album.
The Art of Balance
I remember when I first heard Shadows Fall and how my thoughts were no
different than their haters. But when I gave more of their material a chance I
began to like and, eventually, love their thrash/metalcore mix. And even
though I still regard their debut as their best album (ironically, the only one
without Brian Fair on vocals; who isn't nearly as bad as most make him out to
be), it was The Art of Balance that I feel initiated my tolerance for even less
casual vocal styles. "Thoughts Without Words" and "Stepping Outside the
Circle" remain two of my favorite songs, yet it was tracks like "Idle Hands" and
the long-listened-before-finally-enjoying "A Fire in Babylon" that readied me for
the bigger world of heavy metal music.
The Jester Race
Like I said with Shadows Fall, lower and harsher vocals took a long time to grow
on me. And if there's any album that I've had the most varied relationship
with, it's The Jester Race. For the longest time this was atop my "Most
Overrated" albums lists because the vocals and production sounded horrendous
to me; even after listening to and enjoying Whoracle. But I kept coming back
to this one over and over, hoping to see (or hear) what everyone saw in it. And
all I can say is that one day it seemed to finally click as I became fascinated by
the music; as if I was listening to an entirely different album. I feel I owe it to
this album for helping me keep a more open mind with older, less well-produced
|i'm 24 and i always thought lp sucked :/|
|most people don't have that michigan logic|
|7 was the same with me in Middle School.|
Them and Opeth were the first bands to get me past that "I can't tolerate harsh vocals" phase.
|nah most kids in my hs digged the fuck out of them|
|great list, very descriptive. |
and yeah, it took me a bit to get into harsh vocals as well. i got past that through Alexisonfire, though
|ditto for 6, 8, 9, 10, though I actually just bought The Art of Balance and still haven't really gotten into it...|