Top 20 Albums I Love (1-10)

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I started developing my own music taste around the age of twelve years old. This also coincided with the exposure of Busted, who were my first music-based obsession, closely followed by McFly, their prodigies. I am now aged twenty four and my music taste has changed a lot since then, (well, not THAT much. I still love Busted and McFly), and I wanted to compile my top 20 albums that I love.

These albums are in no particular order

Pioneer by The Maine

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I love the story of this album just as much as I love the album itself. In the wake of their success of ‘the difficult second album‘ Black and White, The Maine still felt dissatisfied by their experience of working with a major label, and made their third album, Pioneer, in secret. When they eventually revealed the album to their record company, they decided to part ways and were released from their contract. Ever since, The Maine have been doing it for themselves, and have gone from strength to strength under their self-management/label 8123, and have toured around the world with another two albums.

Songs to Love: Time, Some Days, Don’t Give Up on Us, When I’m At Home, Jenny, Like We Did, Listening to Rock and Roll.

American Candy by The Maine

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This album is the latest to be dropped from The Maine and shows their growth as musicians, not only from Pioneer, but also from their first album Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop, which was released back in 2008. What I love about The Maine is that every album contains and different sound, a different perspective, shows maturity and tells a story, so it was so difficult to only pick two for this list. Whilst this album goes back to their earlier pop-rock roots, The Maine have established themselves as staples in the alternative rock genre.

Songs to Love: Same Suit Different Tie, My Hair, English Girls, 24 Floors, Diet Soda Society, Am I Pretty?

The Final Riot! by Paramore

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I am a listener who loves live albums, and The Final Riot! by Paramore is one I have listened to on repeat. This album perfectly sums up their first two records, and shows just how incredible the band sound in a live venue. The crowd goes wild, the band goes wild, and even though Hayley Williams rocks the show like it’s her own, this record proves that Paramore IS A BAND.

Songs to Love: That’s What You Get, Here We Go Again, crushcrushcrush, When It Rains, My Heart, Decoy, Pressure, Emergency, Misery Business.

Brand New Eyes by Paramore

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The last album before the in-famous depature of the Farro brothers and showed just how fraught things became between them. Although the band insisted things were better, the cracks were clear with this album that detailed the intense feelings of judgement that the members were placing on each other. One thing I particularly love about this album is that it captures so candidly the no man’s land between growing up, and the frustration at the world as one matures.

Songs to Love: Playing God, Brick by Boring Brick, Turn it Off, Looking Up, Where the Lines Overlap, Misguided Ghosts, Decode.

Paramore by Paramore

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I know what you’re probably thinking. Three Paramore albums in one list?! But I couldn’t do a top twenty album list and NOT include this beauty. A lot of Paramore fans, including myself, worried about what the sound of Paramore would be like PF, (post-Farro), as a lot of the melodies were written by Hayley and Josh. Their chemistry, their love, which unfortunately came to an end ,(and probably was partly to blame for the Farro’s depature), was what fueled the spark of Paramore, or so we thought. The truth was, we didn’t have to worry. Paramore came back live and kicking without the Farro brothers and gave us the gift that was their self-titled album. Mixing pop/rock/funk was something I never thought I would see on a mainstream album, and I don’t think I ever will again.

Songs to Love: Daydreaming, Ain’t It Fun, Last Hope, Still into You, Anklebiters, Proof, Hate to See Your Heart Break.

Big Skies by Nick Santino

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Another prodigy from 8123, Nick Santino released his solo album Big Skies after being a part A Rocket to the Moon before they split. This album captures the ache of unrequited love and plays it out on this up-tempo, slightly western-infused acoustic-come-rock album that gives Nick Santino his unique sound.

Songs to Love: Bad Taste, I Can’t Say I Miss You, Long Way Home, Mood Ring Eyes.

Young Pilgrim by Charlie Simpson

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Like many, I found Charlie Simpson through his success in Busted, and although I was devastated when his departure split up my love affair with the band, I’m (in a round about way) very glad he did. See, if Charlie had never quit Busted, then he may never have had a solo career, and made this fantastic album, that showed everyone what Charlie was really made of. This acoustic-based album with beautiful poetic lyrics is one of my all time favourites.

Songs to Love: Down Down, Parachutes, All At Once, Thorns, Hold On, Sundown, Riverbanks.

Long Road Home by Charlie Simpson

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Charlie’s not-so-difficult second album is just as good as his first. It shows a slightly more mature and refined sound but has just as many hits on it as it’s predecessor. Charlie’s voice is unmistakable, whether you’re a Busted fan, a Fightstar fan or just a fan of old Charlie boy himself, it’s this album that allows him to make his mark as a solo artist.

Songs to Love: Long Road Home, Comets, Emily, Haunted, Blood, Still Young.

The Dance by Fleetwood Mac

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As I said before, I love live albums, and I consider this to be one of Fleetwood Mac’s hidden gems. Recorded in 1997, The Dance showcases the band behind the mask, behind the headlines and the stories, the real people who made music just because they loved it. They play all the hits, they talk the talk and walk the walk. This album is one that delivers time and time again.

Songs to Love: The Chain, Dreams, Everywhere, Rhiannon, I’m So Afraid, Temporary One, Big Love, Landslide, Say You Love Me, Silver Springs, You Make Loving Fun, Go Your Own Way, Tusk, Don’t Stop.

Rumours by Fleetwood Mac

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It would be sacralidge to do a ‘favourite albums’ list and not include one of the most well know, well loved albums of all time. This record is certified Diamond (yes, I didn’t know it was a thing either), and has sold over twenty eight million copies to date. Impressive, even more so, as this was the album the masked the lies, the drugs and the breakups that Fleetwood Mac is renowned for. I’ll let it’s legacy speak for itself.

Songs to Love: Dreams, Don’t Stop, Go Your Own Way, Songbird, Silver Springs, The Chain, You Make Loving Fun, I Don’t Wanna Know.

Stay tuned to part two of my list of favourite albums coming soon!

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Rock Your Body: Tattoos and Piercings

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My opinion on tattoos and piercings is similar to that of buying clothes and dying my hair. I buy a t-shirt in a certain colour because I like how it looks, and I dye my hair a certain colour, or cut it a certain way, because I think it suits me. These are forms of self-expression, and I believe tattoos and piercings fall into the same vein.

(My hair has been various colours over the years, as you can see!)

I wanted to do everything I could possibly do when I came of age, so I got my first tattoo on my eighteenth birthday, as well as buy cigarettes, place a bet and buy alcohol. I knew a lot of people wondered what to get for their first tattoo, worrying if they’d regret it or only getting it because they could. But not me, I knew exactly what my first one would be.

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(Line work done at Black Pearl Tattoo, Bexhill)

People close to me will know my Dad passed away when I was fifteen, so I got Dad tattooed above my hip, next to my faint birthmark in the shape of a diamond. Now, nearly seven years later, I still love it. I could never regret anything that was in memory of my Dad.

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(Dot work done at Inkscape, Bexhill)

My second tattoo I got only last year. I never felt pressured to get loads of tattoos really quickly, so I wanted to make sure I’d had an idea in my head for a while before I committed. Again, if you’re close to me, you’ll know my struggles with mental health, so it made sense for my to get a semicolon, not only for Project Semi Colon, but also because I’m a writer. (And the semi colon is a very underrated punctuation mark, along with the interrobang!)

I’ve also had my fair share of piercings done, beginning with my ears which I got pierced at Claire’s Accessories when I was twelve. Then, there was a trend that started which included everyone I knew getting helix piercings, and so naturally, as a naive sheep-like teenager, I got one too. After a few weeks, it was so sore I could barely touch it, let alone sleep on it, so I took it out and the hole healed up.

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(Nose piercing done at Lord’s Ink, Bexhill and Labret done at Intro, Brighton)

Five years later, I really, really wanted a nose ring like Jeremy Davis from Paramore, and so went to get it done on a break from college. In the years after, I had toyed with getting a labret piercing, but always worried that I wouldn’t be “attractive” if I got it done. I worried people what people would think, or make assumptions about me that weren’t true. But in the end, at the tender age of twenty-two, I took the plunge in Brighton before going to see Charlie Simpson at the Old Market. I went to Intro in Queen’s Road and have been happy with my decision ever since.

The point of me writing this blog post is to tell anyone and everyone who is worrying about what others will think of their body modifications, permanent or non-permanent, then don’t. Your boy is yours to do with as you wish, and if you think it looks good, then that’s all the motivation you need!

Have you been thinking about getting a piercing or a tattoo? Or do you have some you’re particularly proud of? Let me know in the comments!