I listed my fifteen favorite authors the other day, so today I thought I’d list the other thing that’s circulating Facebook these days, which is a list of fifteen favorite albums.
Again, the gist of this is that you list these albums quickly. You don’t get to belabor over your choices. It’s interesting what comes to mind when you do it this way. I have a very eclectic taste in music, and listen to just about everything except country (and even then, I’ve got a few from Travis Tritt, Kenny Chesney, and Keith Urban). A few years back there was this an email chain letter of sorts where your friends had to list certain things about you. My pals each had a different response to the kind of music I listened to. Some said Christian rock, others said rap, some pop, and still others classic rock. They were all correct.
Anywho, when I got tagged on Facebook, the first thing I did was look at the stack of CDs I have sitting by my desk everyday. Just like the author list, I could have listed about a gazillion more, but here’s my 15:
- Train, My Private Nation – Patrick Monahan’s voice combined with deep lyrics and a folksy/rock/pop vibe? Sounds great to me. I loved “Drops of Jupiter” but it was Train’s follow up album that really resonated with me.
- Mandisa, Freedom – I liked Mandisa’s voice from the first moment I heard it on American Idol, but when she finally started doing the music she wanted, the whole package came together. I love the Christian/female perspective combo.
- Jeremy Camp, Stay – Camp wrote the songs on Stay after the death of his wife, and the pain of his loss combined with the strength of his faith make this one of the most beautiful albums ever. Best of all? It’s also a jam. Camp is a talented songwriter and musician. (And that voice… wow.)
- Matthew West, Happy – Okay, the clown on this album’s back cover is a little creepy for me, but the songs have the ability to stick with you. The line from “More” that talks about God loving you even when you come undone, is one of the best ever. I also like that West throws a few spoken word and rap tracks on as well. This, and his album History, are close to my heart.
- John Mayer Continuum – I know John Mayer was a little crazy with his over-sharing on Twitter and in interviews, but he really is an incredible songwriter. Continuum has a vibe that speaks to longing, which in turn inspires reflection.
- Best of Simon & Garfunkel – I can’t get over the poetry in Simon and Garfunkel songs. When I was a kid (like about eight years old) I asked my dad what “I Am a Rock” really meant. I cannot listen to that song today without thinking of him, and the parallel between it and his life still makes me take pause. The line “I have my books and poetry to protect me” was something I could certainly relate to as well. Ever since nine eleven, when I hear “America” I think of that Saturday Night Live performance where Simon sang the song and it inspired hope and encouraged us to sing again.
- Eminem, Curtain Call – It was really hard to limit the rap choices on this list. People are sometimes surprised that I like rap music, but to me it’s just another type of poetry. Anyways, I went with Eminem’s Curtain Call. I listen to that one as a whole more than I do the others.
- Third Day, Revelation – I am in love with Mac Powel’s voice. In love. His voice reminds me a little bit of the guy from Del Amitri. Besides that, the words and music of Revelation are so powerful, they fill me with God’s spirit, which is exactly what you’d hope an album like this would do.
- Kanye West, College Dropout – How can such a wide variety of subject material combine to make one album? But that is exactly what I love about it. From “Jesus Walks” to “Slow Jamz,” this album rocks.
- Return to Me Soundtrack – A soundtrack on a favorite album list? Yeah. Especially because Return to Me is my favorite movie, and the songs on here are from one of my all-time favorite time periods. I listen to a lot of Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin, so it’s nice to hear them on here. The album also has a few from Jackie Gleason and Joey Gian. In fact, Gian wrote “What If I Loved You” for the album, and it sounds as if it could have come straight from the 50s. It has the perfect vibe for this collection of music and is one of my faves on the entire album.
- John Legend, Get Lifted – When “Ordinary People” first came out, I couldn’t stop talking about (or singing) it. I yakked about it so much that my husband finally went out on an ordinary Saturday and came home with this CD to surprise me. (I’m cheap and sometimes really stall when it comes to buying things.) Then there’s “So High” and “Number One” and… well, you had me at hello John Legend.
- India Arie, Acoustic Soul – I actually wore out my first copy of this CD and had to buy a second. I didn’t think that was possible. “Promises,” “Ready for Love,” and “Simple” are some of my favorites on here, but the entire album is so strong each song just builds on the next.
- Sarah McLachlan, Surfacing – When “Angel” first came out, it was right at the time that my father died. The words of this song could have been written especially for him. She captured the emotions of someone who struggles with addiction so eloquently, and as I drove back and forth between my house and my mothers (a 45-minute drive) I listened to this over and over and just sobbed. It’s hard for me to listen to even today, and it’s also a song I can’t turn off when I hear it.
- Everclear, So Much for the Afterglow – What a contrast to Sarah Mac’s entry above. This album also reminds me of my father, but in a much different way. If “Angel” allowed me to see his pain, Everclear’s “Father of Mine” was all about my own pain. The album itself is filled with great stuff, and one of the best jams around.
- We Will Rock You (Cast Recording) – Going to see the musical We Will Rock You in London was a particularly memorable event for me because it occurred during one of the happiest times in my entire life. For that reason (and the fact that I adore the music of Queen) I really love this album.
What are some favorites on your list?