Continuing on from my post yesterday, here are the rest of the albums I consider to be in my top twenty favourites.
Almost Here by The Academy Is…
This marks the first album of band The Academy Is… who were one of the many Fueled by Ramen bands that dominated the alternative rock scene. At just over thirty minutes long, this bite sized album stepped apart from other alt-bands in the rise of the “scene phase” that gained popularity in 2005. William Beckett’s smooth vocals and powerful lyrics gave the band a steady foundation to build another two albums on. It might be far back in the music archives, but it’s one well worth listening to.
Songs to Love: All of them. There are only 10.
From Under the Cork Tree by Fall Out Boy
The album that bought alternative rock to the mainstream chart. Fall Out Boy fell into the deep hole between Pop and Rock and built up an empire from the ashes. Although this wasn’t their first album, it was their first to make them household names and help them revolutionise guitars-and-drums musicianship.
Songs to Love: “Our Lawyers Made Us Change the Name of This Song So We Wouldn’t Get Sued”, “Of All the Gin Joints in All the World”, “Dance Dance”, “Sugar, We’re Goin Down”, “Sophomore Slump or Comeback of the Year”, “A Little Less Sixteen Candles, a Little More “Touch Me”, “XO”.
A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out by Panic! At the Disco
Signed to Pete Wentz’s label, Decaydance, his prodigies went one step further than Fall Out Boy with the critically-acclaimed album A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out. This record defies genre or definition, at times feels like a concept album, and breaks the mould musically and lyrically. I don’t believe there has been another album quite like it, before or since. Another Fueled By Ramen alumni, along with Fall Out Boy and The Academy Is, Panic! (as their name is often shortened to) were standout musicians with this breakthrough record.
Songs to Love: The Only Difference Between Martyrdom and Suicide Is Press Coverage, London Beckoned Songs About Money Written by Machines, Camisado, Time to Dance, Lying is the Most Fun a Girl Can Have Without Taking Her Clothes Off, I Write Sins Not Tragedies, Build God Then We’ll Talk.
Like Vines by The Hush Sound
Hands up anyone who has heard of The Hush Sound? No one… well, that’s not really surprising. The Hush Sound were another of Fall Out Boy’s proteges, groomed in the same way Panic! At the Disco were, to make unique, and sometimes slightly odd, sounding music. They too were signed to Decaydance records and spawned three albums over their short lived time as a band. Like Vines was produced by Patrick Stump, who clearly gave it a little touch of magic, as it was by far their most popular.
Songs to Love: We Intertwined, Sweet Tangerine, Don’t Wake Me Up, Where We Went Wrong, Magnolia, Wine Red, Out Through the Curtain.
American Idiot by Green Day
In a similar vein, Green Day’s American Idiot is unlike anything before or since. The social commentary concept album surrounding post-9/11 America and war ideologies went on to create the ground-breaking musical of the same name. Although at times the music is schizophrenic (see: Jesus of Suburbia), this album is really musical story telling at it’s finest, and on paper is simply poetry.
Songs to Love: Jesus of Suburbia, Holiday, Boulevard of Broken Dreams, Are We the Waiting, Wake Me Up When September Ends.
Hopes and Fears by Keane
Keane are my homeboys, from Battle, East Sussex, not far from where I live. These guys put East Sussex on the map and wrote and recorded their album in the area. They’re out claim to fame, and we’re so proud to see them win awards and sell records doing what they love. Their first album, Hopes and Fears, not only put them on the map but was considered among the best British albums of all time.
Songs to Love: Somewhere Only We Know, Bend and Break, We Might as Well be Strangers, Everybody’s Changing, This Is the Last Time, Bedshaped.
+ by Ed Sheeran
Ed Sheeran was an underground star before he ever released his first album, but the commercial success of + put him on the map. All Sheeran uses is a guitar and loop pedal when playing live and everything else is down to him. He’s a true musician and this album is proof that whatever he touches turns to gold. (Or ginger.)
Songs to Love: Drunk, Wake Me Up, Small Bump, This, The City, Lego House, Kiss Me, Give Me Love / The Parting Glass.
21 by Adele
Who does not have a copy of this album? Who does not love Adele? I defy you to find a person guilty of both. Adele’s second album is a masterclass in how to write a breakup record and do it with grace, dignity and honesty. Need I say anymore? The album speaks for itself when I say it has sold over thirty two million copies world wide.
Songs to Love: Rolling in the Deep, Rumour Has It, Turning Tables, Set Fire to the Rain, Take It All, Someone Like You.
Breakaway by Kelly Clarkson
From one strong female to another, Kelly Clarkson’s album Breakaway was probably the soundtrack to every female adolescent. It spawned hit after hit and remains Clarkson’s bestselling album to date.
Songs to Love: Breakaway, Since U Been Gone, Behind These Hazel Eyes, Because of You, Gone, Where Is Your Heart, Walk Away, You Found Me, Beautiful Disaster.
4 by Beyonce
And from two strong ladies to another, it was difficult picking just one Beyonce album to feature, (not because they’re not all amazing, but because I’ve come to the end of my list), especially after she dropped her self-titled album as a complete surprise, fully formed with accompanying music videos. But 4 has my heart, as it’s the perfect blend of pop, r’n’b, soul, and a tonne of hits.
Songs to Love: 1 + 1, Best Thing I Never Had, Party, Start Over, Love on Top, Countdown, End of Time, I Was Here, Run the World (Girls).
That’s it, this concludes my list of top twenty albums I love. Let me know down in the comments if you agree or think I should have added a few more. Which one from this list is your favourite? Happy listening.