These are not in order- I tried to think of my ten favorite albums and found it challenging- when I was a kid, I only bought CDs if I knew they were CDs I would listen to again and again. And then throughout college, I survived on mp3s and free downloads. And now, I'm back to mp3s and really I only buy CDs when I know I MUST have the album. I tried to think of various albums that have really meant something to me throughout my life-- the albums that either got me through dark times or that when I lost for whatever reason, put me in a sad mood...
1. Mariah Carey's first album (Mariah Carey)- I got it when I was in like the 4th or 5th grade and listened to it millions of times (in tape form!! before CDs!!) and it made me a loyal fan of hers for at least 2 more albums. And then she turned whore-ish. (Although I did come to like some of her newest stuff...)
2. No Doubt- Tragic Kingdom. I got this album when I was either freshmen or sophomore in high school and I felt SO COOL to own it. But aside from the cool factor, it was a timeless and good album that lasted me into college. And after I outgrew it, my sister still listened to it at full blast when she took hour long teenage girl showers, which proves its' greatness (there was about 6 years difference between us.)
3. Norah Jones- Come Away With Me. This is one of my favorite albums ever. It's mellow enough to calm me in a doctor's office or on an airplane but her voice and the way the songs are is very very sexy (at least to me.)
4. Paula Abdul- Forever Your Girl. Again, this is not in any particular order. But you must understand the psyche of a pre-pubescent girl whose parents have just divorced. Another album I played on tape (on an ancient walkman, over and over. side A, flip, side B, flip, change batteries, side A...) I think it's the only Paula Abdul album I've ever owned but I have fond memories of it- (like the one time I played it over and over and over on a road trip with my Dad the summer before 5th grade, from Camp Verde, Arizona to Albuquerque, NM. I listened to it on my walkman and sang outloud and he didn't mind and that makes me feel very good, as a memory).
5. Prodigy- The Fat of the Land. High school Sucks. This was the era of me listening to KROQ (for those of you familiar with Southern CA). My mother really questioned my musical tastes and I probably almost didn't own this album but it outlasted my rebel stage and became an album that has brought me through power-walking on the streets of Buenos Aires even. These are songs that get me ready to move. (I've also been known to read US History textbooks to this album...) (Definitely the only "techno" album that I've owned and played more than once)
6. Dixie Chicks- Home. I love the Dixie Chicks and it's hard to pick one album (I love their first album and their newest.) But this particular album has meaning- it was one of very few albums that Dennis and I would listen to together, and I've got great memories of Dennis singing "Landslide" and "Traveling Soldier". This album has moved me to tears at times (I "inherited" it from my mom, who loved "Landslide" too...)
7. Fiona Apple- Tidal. Top three of my favorite albums of all time, this takes the list. I don't have any other Fiona Apple albums but I still love her. It got me through my moody teenage years, it got me through hard times in airports, and it still moves me. The way she expresses her emotions- her voice and that piano. It's a classic.
8. Jennifer Knapp- Kansas. I'm not even sure why the title of this album is "Kansas" but this was one of the first Christian albums that I bought post-born again Christianity. And I know all the words. This is an album that is just as beautiful and poetic and catchy as any other that is on my list, but there are times when I sing along and have to lift my hands. And I haven't, to be honest, really invested in any other Christian albums. Of those that I own, this reigns as the top.
9. La Ley- MTV Unplugged. I saw them on MTV in Argentina and thought "they've got good sound". But after my week of making out with Dennis and just being in love, finding out that they were his favorite band, I went and bought the album instantly. It did indeed take me time to understand lyrics but songs like "el Duelo" hit my heart even when I didn't understand them. I listened to it so many times just to feel closer to Dennis. And then when Dennis came to the US and married me, it was the only album in Spanish that we owned so we listened to it at full blast A LOT. I have so many memories of singing "mentira" at the top of my lungs and watching Dennis play air drums on the steering wheel. (And then the band broke up. I've heard the normal versions of their songs but this is just classic.)
10. Natalie Merchant- Tigerlily. I bought this album for "Carnival" (which is an amazing genius of a song) and found an amazing genius album ("San Andreas Fault"!!). I listened to it to study and even while moping about feeling lonely and fat while visiting an Argentine estancia.
honorable mention- Dave Matthews Band- Crash. I stole this CD from my Dad (he was seriously too busy listening to the Grateful Dead and smoking pot to listen to such fine pop music.) It sat in my CD collection for about a year and then I took it to Argentina- it is another fine album to power-walk too while in Buenos Aires. And there are songs like "Crash" that just give me chills...