I bought some records recently and one of them (which I’ll get to momentarily) made me reflect on some more music that made me when I was growing up. The record that started this trip down memory lane was…
1) Weezer, Weezer (aka The Blue Album)
Yep, their debut album! The vinyl I got has the original master recording, so it sounds even better than I remember it – but then I think I ripped it from a burned CD when an old childhood friend visited years ago. I think I was in high school but this album came out when I was a kid and had no idea who Weezer was. Really, when I first heard of Weezer (again, in high school) it was the singles from their third album (also titled Weezer but better known as The Green Album) that I was familiar with. These were mainly “Hash Pipe” and “Island in the Sun.” But my friend didn’t have The Green Album and so I burned The Blue Album. It would stick with me for several years and today still I enjoy coming back to it.
2) Moby, Play
I mentioned this one in my first Music That Made Me post. It was an honorable mention at the time, so here I’m giving it a full mention. I played this one A LOT in high school. I wasn’t really aware of how big an album this was at the time. I just saw the music video for “South Side” on MTV and liked Gwen Stefani and so I bought the album. Looking back, it makes sense and seems right that this would be one of the greatest albums of its time. (I think it still holds up even now.) Every song was like an audio landscape to me. They’re so distinct from one another and yet they belong on the same album. It’s like a quilt, and it’s one of my favorites as such.
3) Harry Connick Jr., 20
This one seems kind of random, eh? I went through a period where I really liked jazz (I mean, I still like jazz) and somehow I got ahold of this album. It belonged to my parents, but I had it in my walkman a lot for a time. I really liked how expressive a solo jazz piano could be. This album doesn’t have a lot of singing on it – well, less than a general pop album would, I guess – but it didn’t need a lot of sining. And even when there was singing, it flowed really well with the piano. Because I don’t forget the music that made me, I have a couple of Harry Connick Jr.’s other albums, but none of them quite did it for me like 20. I never stopped liking jazz, and I still love this album.
4) Dido, No Angel
Another album from high school! Like most people, I was introduced to this one via the single “Thank You” – the actual single, not the sample from Eminem’s song “Stan.” But “Thank You” wasn’t even my favorite song. The album overall is painted with sad tones and themes, but there was something very independent about it too. Dido’s presence was very strong throughout, and it made an impression on me. I don’t think I’ve heard the whole thing from start to finish in quite some time, but I think I may need to change that. This was a great album, start to finish, and I think anyone who likes a quieter pop album would really appreciate this one.
5) Coldplay, Parachutes
Should I say it again? Another high school era album for me. I mean, of course the music you listen to in high school has the greatest influence on you. Coldplay has been big practically from the start, but this was before they got really, really big the way they are now. Seeing as how I liked Dido, it makes sense that I liked Coldplay too. I mean, I guess I still like them! I have a few of their other albums that followed. But this one made the biggest impression on me. It was the quietest, yet it was just as powerful as the albums that would follow, for me anyway. I played this one a lot, a lot. But again, it’s been awhile since I’ve listened to it start to finish.
I’m looking from the top of the list to the bottom and I guess I’ve unintentionally listed them in the order I’d go back and listen to them – from sooner rather than later to later rather than sooner. I don’t want to say I’ve outgrown these albums – they’re still good and they were important to me – but I guess my musical tastes aren’t as fulfilled by these ones. It’s kind of weird to look back on these and think of the albums I play a lot now and how different they are. I don’t really see a pattern in my music that made me. Just an evolution, I guess.