Xenorazr
Kenneth E. Rathburn
User

Reviews 62
Approval 95%

Soundoffs 341
Album Ratings 343
Objectivity 73%

Last Active 09-10-11 3:19 pm
Joined 07-06-09

Forum Posts 2
Review Comments 398

 Lists
08.15.14 My Next Discography Review?08.09.14 Dream Theater Ranked (songs)
08.05.14 Dream Theater Ranked (albums)07.14.11 Billy Joel Ranked
07.12.11 Some Of My Favorite Album Covers07.06.11 Albums I've Bought Used
06.18.11 Most Influential Albums On My Gradually06.11.11 Addicting Albums
06.04.11 Some Of My Favorite Album Closers05.08.11 Some Of My Favorite Album Openers
03.27.11 Nightwish Ranked03.08.11 Children Of Bodom Ranked
01.30.10 Albums I Want Similar Styles To12.24.09 Metallica Ranked
10.31.09 Judas Priest Ranked10.04.09 In Flames Ranked
09.12.09 Shadows Fall Ranked08.23.09 Dimmu Borgir Ranked

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.
1Billy Joel
Glass Houses


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.
2Usher
Confessions


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.
3Chingy
Jackpot


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.
4Linkin Park
Hybrid Theory


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.
5Slipknot
Iowa


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.
6Judas Priest
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.
7Children 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.
8Emperor
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.
9Shadows Fall
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.
10In Flames
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 albums.
Show/Add Comments (7)

FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2014 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy