Monday, September 24, 2012

Top 40 Albums (40-31)

Haven't done one of these posts where I document my favorite things in a while, so let's go with my top albums.  We live in the era of the iPod where albums aren't as significant, as a whole, simply because we all can just pick and choose what songs we want to listen to.  That being said, when I was growing up, I had a ton of albums and would listen to them in their entirety quite often.  For a while, I even hung all the album covers I owned on the walls of my room.  I have since been converted to the world of digital music and rarely, if ever, buy albums physically anymore, but it's still cool to see which songs have been gathered together for one album.  I look at a great album almost like an all-star team in sports, a group composed of spectacular players, or in this case, amazing songs all on one album.

As always, there's honorable mentions for these type of lists that I do.  One-X by Three Days Grace, Hypnotize by System of a Down, Cheshire Cat by Blink-182, Dirty Work by All Time Low, and Chuck by Sum 41 didn't quite make the cut.

I should probably bang these posts out over the course of the upcoming week, I imagine.  Keep an eye out for the rest and here's an introduction to the most noteworthy and lasting albums I've listened to in my life.

40 - Infest - Papa Roach (2000)
Favorite Song - Last Resort
This album is one of only a couple that lasted the test of time for me.  A great majority of music I listened to during grammar school and junior high faded for me over time and got replaced.  Here I am over a decade later and Infest has managed to make it and I still consider it one of my favorites.  I typically don't find the signature single of an album to be my favorite song, but Last Resort has always stood out to me in this album and still manages to be my top choice.  That being said, Infest, Broken Home, Dead Cell, Between Angels and Insects, Blood Brothers, and Never Enough could have also had arguments made for them.

39 - Turtleneck & Chain - The Lonely Island (2011)
Favorite Song - Mama
I'm not a huge comedy music fan, I've never really been one to go out of my way to listen to a full album of funny songs, but The Lonely Island is just that damn good.  I love Andy Samberg, especially, and the trio is just so gifted at making songs you can't help but chuckle at.  With so many additional artists on their albums, including Justin Timberlake, Rihanna, Snoop Dogg, and even more, their songs become almost mainstream enough to feature on a radio station.  They make songs that sound like your typical Top 40 hits, but with side-busting hilarious lyrics.  There's a ton of gems on Turtleneck & Chain, but my favorite is definitely Mama.  The first time I heard it, I was walking home and couldn't help but laugh at everything I heard.  So, thanks, The Lonely Island, for making me look like a fool laughing to himself as he walked.  I really wish this song had a music video.  We're Back!, I Just Had Sex, Jack Sparrow, Rocky, Shy Ronnie 2: Ronnie & Clyde, Motherlover, The Creep, Threw It on the Ground, Japan, and No Homo are also songs on this album that I consider to be spectacular.

38 - Let It Enfold You - Senses Fail (2004)
Favorite Song - NJ Falls Into the Atlantic
You'll often hear someone talk about a favorite album of theirs and proclaim how underrated it is.  I'll say this about Let It Enfold You, it IS underrated, but I mean to myself.  I often gloss over how much I love this album and weirdly have to remind myself to give it a listen every now and then.  It's Senses Fail at their very best, if you ask me.  So many of the cleverly titled songs on this album have the ability to get stuck in my head.  NJ Falls Into the Atlantic (my favorite), Lady in a Blue Dress, You're Cute When You Scream, Buried a Lie, Rum Is for Drinking, Not for Burning (the first song I had ever heard from Senses Fail), and Angela Baker and My Obsession With Fire are the top tracks for me and it was very difficult for me to choose a favorite.

37 - Mezmerize - System of a Down (2005)
Favorite Song - Old School Hollywood
Had you asked me to create this list in junior high, there's a spectacular chance that I would have included Mezmerize in my top five.  It was the first System of a Down album that I really got into and it was due, in large part, to B.Y.O.B. being such a hit.  I took notice and listened to the whole album and fell in love with it. From the amazing intro of Soldier Side - Intro to the final 1-2 punch of my favorite Old School Hollywood and second favorite Lost in Hollywood - I couldn't get enough of this album.  Serj Tankian is great, we all know this, but I really think Daron Malakian shines in this album.  He's given a very large portion of singing on the songs and his voice is so enticing.  One of my personal favorite performances on an album period.

36 - Get Your Heart On! - Simple Plan (2011)
Favorite Song - You Suck at Love
Simple Plan is one of those bands that I don't openly brag about how much I enjoy listening to, but they've always been a pretty popular choice for me.  I really admire the fact that they can still pump out albums, like they did last year with Get Your Heart On! and I still consider it an all-time favorite.  Pierre and the boys have a knack for making albums with chunks of songs that I just plain enjoy listening to.  They're catchy, the lyrics strike a chord, and I always associate the tracks with a good time.  Anywhere Else but Here was the song I often considered to be my favorite on the album, but the past several months, You Suck at Love has really skyrocketed for me and is definitely my new favorite.  I don't imagine that'll change.  Can't Keep My Hands off You, Jet Lag, Loser of the Year, Freaking Me Out, and Summer Paradise are also personal favorites of mine.  I'm also a big fan of bands bringing in friends to help out on songs, I love collaborations and Simple Plan gets it right on this album.  Rivers Cuomo from Weezer and Alex Gaskarth of All Time Low make appearances on this album and it's no surprise they're two songs that I find to be standouts on the record.

35 - Bleed American - Jimmy Eat World (2001)

Favorite Song - Bleed American
I'm not a massive Jimmy Eat World fan, but Bleed American is just perfect to me.  Their sound has kind of developed over the years, which is good for a band as a whole, but I always found this album to be Jimmy Eat World at their best.  Typically, you would assume the singles a band releases for an album are supposed to be the signature tracks.  The songs that the band feels are the best to offer for the album.  I'd say with Bleed American, you have the epitome of that.  Bleed American (the single itself) is spectacular, along with Sweetness, The Middle, and A Praise Chorus.  Those songs are all fantastic, 5 star songs to me.  Really had to wrestle with the decision between Bleed American and Sweetness for my favorite one on the album.

34 - Start Static - Sugarcult (2001)

Favorite Song - Pretty Girl (The Way)
Another album where I had issues picking a favorite song.  That's obviously a good thing, you would think that would come with the territory of a favorite album, I suppose.  Pretty Girl (The Way) may not be the first song I go to listen to by Sugarcult, but when I really stop and think about it, when it comes to emotional connection and the song itself, I know it's my favorite.  It just edges out Bouncing Off The Walls, Stuck in America, Daddy's Little Defect, and How Does It Feel for the top track on the CD.  I do love Sugarcult, there are other albums of theirs that I adore, but Start Static is the best, top to bottom, for me.

33 - Liberation Transmission - Lostprophets (2006)
Favorite Song - Rooftops (A Liberation Broadcast)
This album took over my life in 2006.  It all started when I heard Rooftops (A Liberation Broadcast) on Fuse (you know, back when Fuse was good) and I knew I had to go out and give Lostprophets a chance.  I knew I liked some of their singles from their album before this one, but never listened to any of their other songs.  I'm really happy I bought Liberation Transmission.  While Rooftops (A Liberation Broadcast) managed to retain its hold as my favorite song, there were plenty of other songs that made my ears very happy.  I definitely want to give recognition to all the awesome songs, but to be completely honest, top to bottom, this album is fantastic.  Everyday Combat, A Town Called Hypocrisy, The New Transmission, Can't Catch Tomorrow (Good Shoes Won't Save You This Time), Everybody's Screaming!!!, Broken Hearts, Torn Up Letters and the Story of a Lonely Girl, 4:AM Forever, For All These Times Son, For All These Times, and Always All Ways (Apologies, Glances and Messed Up Chances) all could lay claim for the best song on the album if it wasn't for Rooftops (A Liberation Broadcast).

32 - Underdog Alma Mater - Forever the Sickest Kids (2008)
Favorite Song - Coffee Break
I won't lie, I find Forever the Sickest Kids to be insanely catchy.  They're not a band I go out of my way to listen to often, but when I do, they're stuck in my head all damn day.  I had heard a lot of their songs from EPs they released and it was cool to see them polish their sound with this, their debut album.  Every time their songs are on, I can't help but sing along.  Coffee Break is the quintessential acoustic song for me.  Exactly what I'm looking for when I hear an acoustic chord strung along and introduce a song to me.  That being said, the catchy upbeat pop punk songs that are featured in this album are fantastic.  Whoah Oh! (Me vs. Everyone), Hey Brittany, Believe Me, I'm Lying, The Way She Moves, She's a Lady, Phone Call, Breakdown, and Catastrophe are Forever the Sickest Kids at their finest.  For the longest time, Phone Call was my phone's ringtone.

31 - Anywhere but Here - Mayday Parade (2009)
Favorite Song - Bruised and Scarred
This album was the followup to A Lesson in Romantics, which was an album that I loved (also one you may or may not see in a future post, OHHH SPOILER) and it managed to live up to my expectations.  Mayday Parade is that pop punk band that makes catchy songs with lyrics that can stand out to me and stay in my mind for a very long time.  A little over a year ago, I was going through quite a rough patch as my summer ended.  Everything seemed to go to shit and this album, especially Bruised and Scarred, really helped me out a ton.  I love music like this, bands like Mayday Parade, that can make music that I don't just like simply because the songs are good, but because they mean a lot to me on a personal level.  Kids in Love, Anywhere But Here, Still Breathing, and I Swear, This Time I Mean It are songs that I could argue as my favorite songs by Mayday Parade period.

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