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216 Months Later...

So yeah, happy birthday to me, I guess. I'm away somewhere on a course, so I'm not exactly able to celebrate it but the minute I get away from this place, I intend on buying a pint of the finist Cider possible. I think I deserve that much. Kind of sad I'm not able to celebrate this milestone but I'll live I guess. Oh, and HUGE shoutout to CalculatingInfinity, who coincidentally just so happens to have the same birthday as me. List are important albums that shaped my music taste today

An album that both my parents LOVED to bits. Still too young to even fathom the power of music, I used to remember this being played during long, car journeys, particularly ones at night. I first used to think of this thing as a bit boring and didn't have anything that really used to grip me, a bit like classical music. As time grew, I learned to really appreciate it through patience and I suppose it's a good place to start this list. Might not have been the first album I enjoyed at that age but it's certainly one that I grew to love and is now my all time favourite. Favourite song: The whole damn thing
19Green Day
American Idiot

This was the first album I truly ever loved. Before that, music was whatever pop that played on the radio, not that there was anything wrong with that but it was never something I loved and enjoyed so much until this came into my life. A pretty typical starter and I used to be very obsessed with playing it in and out, every day. However, me being about 11 year old me, I was far more interested in the singles. As a result, I only really listened to three-quarters of the album for some reason. Oh well. It'll always be my first album. Favourite song: Jesus of Suburbia
18My Chemical Romance
Three Cheers For Sweet Revenge

The other album I truly loved as a child. It was at that time when MCR were becoming big and this exploded, so what can I say? I just got caught up in the hype. Unlike American Idiot, however, this was something I did listen to as a whole; still on endless repeats. I had a lot of fun with this and I still do, but I'm quite sad to say that it's just not as special as it used to be for me. Regardless, I still think it was a nice introduction into slightly heavier, mainstream music that I was now getting into. Favourite song: I never told you what I did for a living
17 Bowling For Soup
A Hangover You Don't Deserve

Ahh pop punk. A genre I never really got into but this was heaven at the time. It had all the elements that appeased to my small 11 year old brain. Catchy, fun, sometimes emotional and something that was just fun to rock out to. My sister and I used to air guitar to pretty much the entire album without any guilt. It's not the same anymore but I'll always listen to this with those memories in mind. This, American Idiot and Three Cheers were essentially the only albums I listened to in my life back then. Favourite song: Two Seater
16Porcupine Tree
Fear of a Blank Planet

Whilst In Absentia bore out the first song I listened to by them, it was actually this album that first grabbed my attention. My dad was going through a PT phase and I got caught up in it, needless to say. Endless car journeys with Steven Wilson blaring out the windows. It was actually Arriving Somewhere which first caught me. Air guitaring to that terrific guitar solo interlude in the middle was what it was all about! So my dad then took me to the official release of this at Fopp, which they did an acoustic set at. Nothing grand, but this was my first taste of a live performance. I was nervous, really. I then went to their cambridge gig, to which I just complained that my legs ached the entire way through. Didn't appreciate it too much back then, but I started listening to this on endless repeats, especially Anaesthetize whilst playing pinball on the old windows xp. "So I like progressive music, daddy?!" Favourite song: Title Track
15Dream Theater
Systematic Chaos

I had obviously then gotten into PT and this naturally followed. It was during the release of this album and my dad would play it endlessly... everywhere. I first didn't like it because I wasn't used to all of the solos and I thought th man's voice was funny and a little too... american. However, the idea of a concept album on Metropolis intrigued me. Never before had an artist done this before in my mind, especially one done so well with such good lyricism and emotion in the music. it was unheard of and they soon became gods in my musical pallete. I ended up really getting into this album, despite its cringeworthy moments. I loved it for what it was worth but I reached saturation point a long time ago with excessive listens. it sadly hasn't grown too well on me either. What it did do, however was open up the floodgates to new things... "But dad, these songs are sooooo long" Favourite song: Ministry of Lost Souls
14Sonata Arctica
Reckoning Night

I can't remember if it was this or Silence that I first liked but yeah. The energy in the performances were unreal and it was just incredibly fun to listen to. I also ended up listening to Dragonforce as a result, but I always held this in higher regards. There isn't much to say about this apart from the fact that I fucking loved it. Favourite song: White Pearl, Black Oceans
13Zico Chain

I don't remember which year it was in but I remember the family watching "Get in the Ring" or something like that. Deathstars were playing and we all knew that they were going to win but then this band came along, playing some very gritty grunge that was clearly reminiscent of Nirvana, not that I knew a song which wasn't Smells Like A Teen Spirit back then. They closed with 'The Lonely Ones' and a younger me just couldn't understand why this band swore so much. My sister and I ended up listening to their upcoming album, food on endless repeat. It was such a solid listen, other than one song and it literally became the only thing I litened to for a whole month. Sitting there trying to memorise all the lyrics was endlessly enjoyable and one that I'll never forget. Favourite Song: No Hoper Boy
12Green Day

Around this time, I bought my first album with my own money. ooooh, I know right? i hadn't actually listened to this, but it was GREEN DAY, so I HAD to have it. To my surprise, it was actually a very enjoyable listen, just not as good as American Idiot. I would borrow my mothers Sony Walkman disc player and would listen to it every night before I went to bed. Favourite Song: Hitchin' a Ride
11Elliot Minor
Elliot Minor

We were casually on Kerrang TV one day and the music video for 'Parallel Worlds' showed up. I was a little more sceptical with my music now but the entire family seemed to enjoy it and holy shit did this lead to some rifts in the house. My sister loved this band more than anything else in the world. It was obsession and whilst I enjoyed it a lot too, It was nothing like her. We shared a room and we would play this album on our CD player and argue over whose vocal melodies we got to sing and became a bit possessive over it. These guys were just incredible. Supposedly mixing 'classical' and 'rock' together. I know better now. Went to see these guys at Brighton, which was an unforgettable experience. A year later, the obsession died but their next album brought it to life. At this point, I didn't listen to Dream Theater or Porcupine Tree anymore as this was all that mattered. Favourite Song: The White One is Evil/The Broken Minor
10Take That
Beautiful World

I was casually wathing telly and a documentary about these guys showed up. I had heard the name before but it wasn't someone I knew a lot about. So my sister and I watched it and having liked a lot of boyband music beforehand, we found this stunning. I think it was 'Shine' that got our attention and it led to a pop music era for the next 2 or 3 years in my life. We bought the Take That discography when Circus came out and this, combined with Elliot Minor, were simply the only things I listened to. I realise the dangers of listening to something over and over again now but back then it was just part and partial of listening to music. My dad bought me my first mp3 player. a 2GB Hitachi touch... I think and this would get endless replays out of the Take That albums. I was somehow very interested in keeping up with the charts at this time too. It was round about the time that Owl City's 'Fireflies' became a huge hit and I remember being on chart channels for far too long. Pop music was just amazing back then and still is now, but I obviously don't listen to it in the same way. Favourite Song: Patience
Dark Passion Play

I never liked Nightwish. The vocals were a bit too melodramatic for me and it was hard to ignore it and get along with listening to the rest. To this day, I still don't like Tarja but I did get into this at least. Once again, it was through my dad who bought the album, played it endlessly in the car, whilst singing its praises and telling me of what happened between Tuomas and tarja. I was familiar with symphonic metal through bands like Within Temptation but this was just on an entirely different tier. The emotion that resonated with this was fantastic and The Poet and The Pendulum was possibly the greatest song of all time in my head. It was just so poweful and passionate and full of that melancholy emotion that caused me to long for more in my music. The islander and Last of The Wilds were also great songs that I listened to a little too much. Favourite song: The Poet and The Pendulum
8Enter Shikari
A Flash Flood of Colour

There was a period of time where I virtually listened to nothing new. I had about 500 or so songs on my mp3 player and I was under the impression that these were the only songs I could ever need. So I got to know these 500 off by heart and I started to become sick of music. So after about a year of this, I turned to popular radio for my musical needs. It was when I got a new mp3 player, the Sansa Clip+, which to my amazement could play radio. So I would listen to Kiss FM and radio 1 whenever I could. On the way to school and back to school and pop music was all that was important. it's weird, but I remember hating songs that I love now, such as Swimming Pools by Kendrick Lamar. Well anyway, I then heard 'Radiate' by these guys on radio 1 and it was incredible. It was odd that I used to hate harsh vocals but this was so much... better. I also used to loathe these guys a lot because my dad had bought Take To The Skies and I used to think it was messy shit and them being stupid. the Anything can happen in the next half hour video didn't help my opinion either. So I listened to this and all I could imagine was the thought of the boys in silly hoodies in thw Anything can happen video. it was insane! Those... boys who just jumped around wrote such a mature song. I had to find out what was going on with these guys but I knew to avoid their debut so I tried this album instead. The electronic elements were a little hard to wrap my head around, especially because I didn't listen to any electronic music back then but wow. It stunned me and led to me appreciating their discography as I do now. Listening to the intensity of 'System...' was a whole other experience for me and I couldn't help but feel somewhat aggressive when the gang vocals towards the end came in. More importantly, however, it led to me wanting to try out harsher music. Favourite Song: Gandhi mate, Gandhi
Blackwater Park

Stuff now was only about a year and a half ago. I didn't know where to start with finding heavier, more aggressive and harsher music but my dad absolutely loved this band, so I thought it would be a good place to start. My dad is quite keen on melodeath too but he was always more interested in these 'Opeth' guys. I could never see what was so good about them. I hated the growls so much and i complained whenever my dad would put them on in the car. During a long car journey, he asked me "Do you recognise these vocals", to which I replied "it's the man from Porcupine Tree!". I still didn't like it though but the idea of a band so heavy writing quiet interludes was also a little odd. I imagined big, scary blokes who looked intimidating and the thought of that combined with the interludes and Mikael's soft voice was had to comprehend. It was Bleak that first started it off. I hated the growling but loved the rest of the music and Bleak first made me think differently about the vocals. I got used to them in the end and learned to love this band too. They were no longer the intimidating people I once thought they were. I did once tell my sister that these guys made amazing music, but it was "ruined" because of the growls, so she suggested I listen to Damnation, to which I said "It's not heavy enough!" Favourite Song: Bleak
6Death Grips
The Money Store

At some point, I discovered Anthony Fantano. I didn't think he was great but I was astounded at the amount of albums I didn't know about through his reviews. It was like another world to me and I could pick out 2 or 3 but I knew noting about the rest. So I saw his video suggested for this once and the album cover looked intriguing. I watched about 3 minutes of the video (not realising he gave it a 10) and thought I'd give it a go because of its rather compelling album cover. I was always sceptical on both hip-hop and electronic music at the time but this was a big surprise. Through the opening notes of 'Get Got', I was amazed at how interesting the electronic qualities were. Having heard a lot of EDM through radio 1, I was obviously a little confused with this. I didn't listen to the whole album til months later but I began to notice to world of electronic music that was out there ready for me to listen to. Needless to say, this got me trying to listen to more electronic things and fuelled my curiosity for new sounds. Favourite Song: The Fever (Aye Aye)
Fables of the Sleepless Empire

I knew someone from school who liked Opeth. I was flicking through their iPad and I saw the name and i was quite astonished. No one I knew had even heard of them, let alone listened to them. So we got talking but to no avail as the man was a little difficult to talk to at times. He also liked Porcupine Tree, so i thought this guy was very compatible music wise. I didn't really ask him about it but I knew he liked the slow, melancholic things that required a little more attention. So I literally began stalking his music taste through facebook and seeing what he liked as so on. After a couple of misshits, I ended up with this and I didn't know what to expect. 'Unfed Pendulum' came on and it was frighteningly weird! Circus metal as such? not for me by the sounds of it, I thought but 'Unfed Pendulum' was actually really catchy, despite some moments I didn't like too much as they were too heavy or too growly for me. It was weird that music could be this... weird, so I downloaded the entire album and listened to the entire thing during one weekend. It all kind of merged into one sound after a while, but I thought there were some moments that were amazing and I thought it was a very intriguing listen. I got more used to it after a while and found myself enjoying it a lot more than I thought I would. So with this new-found curiosity, I was determined to listen to more weird/experimental music in general. Favourite Song: Unsolved Ideas of a Distorted Guest
4Olafur Arnalds
Eulogy For Evolution

Another album that this 'friend' of mine was into. I remember him playing it at school and it was a pretty slow song, so people obviously began complaining because it wasn't active or happy enough and skipped it and he got frustrated and said "YOU MISSED THE CLIMAX!". My kind of guy, really. I had been a fan of classical music for a long time. Both parents were classically trained at their own instruments but I used to refer to it as music that I could fall asleep. It just wasn't something I could really appreciate until i got to an older age and learned that music required patience. Nevertheless, I rarely revisited it because I didn't know who did what and so on. This album was immensely emotional and got me interested in other neoclassical artists. It's interesting how they incorporate other styles into classical music and that's something I've grown to like. I'm now always open to neoclassical music of any kind, even if the genre is a little sparse currently. Favourite song: 3055
Kid A

My ongoing search for sonically interesting and different electronic music continued. It was difficult to find anything because mainstream radio sucks for this kind of thing and I realised how generic it was and soon gave up. Obviously, Radiohead was a name that I've heard around from a number of sources but one I never actually tried for myself. A friend told me it was 'experimental', a tag I was a little sceptical on but I gave it a shot nonetheless. It turned out to be a huge surprise and the opening notes of 'Everything in its Right Place' were breathtaking. I was new to this kind of thing but the glitched up vocals were something that I was very keen on. Just like listeners of 2000, I was inclined to explore the more experimental elements of electronic music. Whilst not an album I love as much as most people, it was definitely one that was important in shaping my music taste. Favourite Song: Idioteque/Everything In Its Right Place
2Venetian Snares
Rossz Csillag Allat Szuletett

And now we enter the sputnik era. I was scoping the internet for some album reviews and I frequently came across this site. Me, being curious and thinking I was a good enough writer thought it would be a good idea to join. I wrote my first review on London Grammar's 'If You Wait' but it didn't go anywhere and I fortunately lost it when I was trying to post. I lurked for a bit and then feeling oddly inspirational on the 30th December, I wrote my first review on the Unexpect album late at night. It was... sincere, i'd say. Definitely not something I'm too proud of, but it got me going and pushed me to try to integrate myself to the site a bit more. My first couple of lists were all asking for recs and one of them was one asking for something classical but also electronic. It came after listening to Kashiwa Daisuke's 'Program Music I', which was otherwordly and made me crave a similar experience. So someone recommended this to me and with Kashiwa Daisuke in mind, I dived in. It wasn't the pleasant and ethereal listen I had first expected but there was something about those glitched drum patterns that kept me listening, even though I was weirded out as fuck. It was pretty abrasive, yet beautiful in the same way and I realised it was the kind of electronica I wanted for so long. A busy, glitchy mess, to put simply. It was one of the few albums that I have gotten from sputnik and well... yeah. Let's be honest, I would never have discovered my liking for breakcore had it not been for sputnik. Favourite Song: K?tsark? Mozgalom
Sacred White Noise

I had been told to try black metal before. Got a huge tonne of recs and dove in thinking without much thought but what I didn't realise was how raw it was by nature. It was Emperor's 'In The Nightside Eclipse', which I tried and it was just too damn raw. Considering I was brought up on the polished sound of Steven Wilson's production, I was used to much cleaner production and this seemed like a hurdle too big to jump over. I discovered this through Theneedledrop and was blown away at what I was hearing. I didn't even know it was black metal, I just liked it a lot. The clean production helped and got curious enough to try out more black metal elsewhere. It is THE black metal album in my mind and will probably forever be, regardless of 'traditions'. Without this, I wouldn't have been able to enjoy Bergtatt, Darkspace, Dodecahedron etc. It's currently where I'm at right now, trying to explore Black Metal above other metal genres. Favourite song: The Bright White Nothing At The End of The Tunnel. My taste is destined to change within the next couple of years, but it's sometimes nice to look back to remember the albums that got me there in the first place. Finally, I haven't reached a year on sputnik just yet, but it's been a joy ride full of good music and sticky arguments. So here's to another fucking 18 years of good music!
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