I’m Margaret and I work at WLFM now. I want us to not be strangers and I also want our website to be interesting so I’m going to share something special with you!
This is a list of 10 albums that had an effect on me when I was in an easily-affected stage of living. They now serve as my album comfort foods, my go-to’s. Ja feel? Yeah, you do.
I feel like there is no way Peter is not going to make fun of this list because he’s mean and too cool for everything but you can’t put the too cool shit you listen to on here! This list has to have the things that made you the cool person to find the too cool shit you listen to. Okay whatever I shouldn’t have to be justifying this, these albums are gold.
1. Adele – 21
Discovering Adele after years of thinking Taylor Swift was the only female who could speak to you is liiiife-changing for a fifteen year old girl. I had never heard such heartbreaking, soulful vocals, or such eloquently honest lyrics. I’ve definitely screamed the words of Set Fire To The Rain several times and possibly cried to Someone Like You. Actually if you haven’t cried or considered crying to an Adele song I’m not sure I can trust your emotional character.
2. The Antlers – Hospice
Speaking of crying. My roommate and I listened to this album dozens of times spring term of our freshman year when we vowed to never leave our room again. “You know that all this actually happened to him?” she would say to me. “People ask him who this album is about, and he says he doesn’t want to talk about it.” If you haven’t listened to this album, you need to, and you need to listen to it all the way through (because it’s a concept album), and read the lyrics. Epilogue still paralyzes me into a state of unthinking immobility when I listen to it.
3. Arctic Monkeys – AM
I THIS AH I THIS ALBUM. This album is simply the coolest. Cool is the only word. It’s the perfect album for people our age (and also everyone I mean even my parents love it), it’s all about going out and falling for people you meet in bars and fleeting love and late night texts. AND IT’S BEAUTIFULLY POETICALLY WRITTEN. Literally – Alex Turner actually adapted I Wanna Be Yours from a poem written in the 80s. This is another one where you should read the lyrics because it takes several times to pick out the personal lines like “There’s this tune I found that makes me think of you somehow, and I play it on repeat until I fall asleep.” And those romantic words are hidden behind the bad ass beatz of Do I Wanna Know? !! I could talk for years about this album and DO not get me started on the whole “wah their older stuff is better I don’t like this album” you’re just wrong, you don’t understand this band if you don’t like this album.
4. The Beatles – Abbey Road
This is not my favorite Beatles album. But this is the first Beatles album that made me realize I could really jam to The Beatles. I grew up on this band thanks to my dad, so I knew all the classics like She Loves You yeah yeah yeah all that. But my dad reintroduced my brother and I to this band in high school, and it was with this album. I Want You (She’s So Heavy) is so head bangin and Come Together is so coooool – the album is so far from being outdated. I didn’t realize how many different sounds were created by one band, and the influence that Abbey Road had on music and culture began my keen Beatles appreciation.
5. Kanye West – Yeezus
I’m a huge defender of assholes because I think being a famous asshole takes a lot of talent and respect for yourself. Kanye has achieved mounting success and has never really received his due from mass media or society, and we see him as a huge jerk because of his own confidence in his accomplishments. He also is just completely outright about what bullshit it is that black people still face horrible racism no matter what they do or what success they do or do not amount to, which is something he expresses in New Slaves. This album is the culmination of Kanye’s talents in music production and his strong beliefs on social issues. When this album came out he also had an amazing interview with BBC’s Zane Lowe that highlighted all this shit that is definitely worth watching.
6. Lana Del Rey – Born To Die
I think Lana Del Rey was my first legitimate woman crush – for good reason, this album is sexy as hell. This album served a similar purpose as Adele’s 21 did; it was a new, powerful female presence in my life who was honest in what she wrote. And everyone gives her shit for this music as being over-sexualized and glamorizing abuse and female submissiveness BUT that’s unfair because she’s just trying to find an outlet to express what being in those relationships is like and kind of creating her own therapy for her problems, which is actually really inspiring. She even comments on the negative relationships women can have with each other because of men in This Is What Makes Us Girls.
7. Michelle Branch – The Spirit Room
THIS and Avril Lavigne is what tiny Margaret grew up on in the early 2000s. I would sing along to Everywhere and All You Wanted in the car on my Walkman and my family hated it but those were my beautiful musical beginnings. And this proves how big of an influence my siblings were in my taste in music because both of my sisters loved this album and got me listening to it. Michelle Branch holds huge sentimental value for me.
8. Sara Bareilles – The Blessed Unrest
A girl who actually transferred from this school showed this album to me and I became obsessed with it. I played it nonstop winter term – mostly Hercules because THAT SONG – because it made me feel like you can be a strong person by not being a strong person all the time. This was also what I listened to the entire time I didn’t have a phone for two weeks which could or could not have something to do with my weird attachment to it, like I was channeling my sad isolated technology free feelings into Sara Bareilles’ beautiful powerhouse high notes.
9. Taylor Swift – Fearless
I can’t not put this on here. This album got me through the beginning parts of high school in so many ways. I totally worshipped Taylor Swift and I actually still kind of do, and picking one album by her is actually HARD because I loved them all. And now even though I’m over it I do still appreciate her in some ways because she was usually able to make fun of herself, and she actually taught me a lot about being self-aware of yourself, and what you need and want from people. And Taylor Swift served as my gateway to Adele and Lana. I couldn’t have appreciated those higher beings without Taylor as my start.
10. Vampire Weekend – Contra
Discovering Vampire Weekend in high school might’ve had more of an effect on developing my aesthetic than my taste in music. I loved the East Coast prep school vibe, and the subject matter in the songs – or maybe just the way that subject matter was written – was different than anything I’d listened to. Being an intelligent English major, Ezra Koenig uses endless puns and wordplay and somehow masks endless swear words with his falsetto. This album is a god damn breath of fresh air every time you listen to it because of that. Diplomat’s Son is one of my favorite songs of all time, partially because my brother and I listened to it on the way to school every winter day my junior year (I obviously get really into albums my brother and I listen to together). I also had the hilariously quintessential fan moment where I drank warm horchata on a cold day at the coffee shop in my hometown and then went home and listened to Horchata so I’ll be attached for the rest of my life.
So there you go, you have basically just seen my essence as a person and experienced me defending my formative albums even though no one was actually arguing with me. And now I’m about to listen to alllll of these yaaay.