Thanksgiving is all about taking a moment to recognize the things that you are lucky enough to have; things that you don't necessarily appreciate in the moment, or take the time to reflect on every day. I want to take this opportunity to pay tribute to albums that I have been moved by. This isn't about what are the best records critically speaking per se, but rather which ones are sentimental and significant for me. These aren't the best albums of all time— however, they illustrate an unmatched personal importance, because in conjunction with one another they map the emotional trajectory of my life. These are my comfy, security blanket albums, and I am thankful for them simply because they are mine. What are yours?
I had this album on tape. ON TAPE GUYZ, ON TAPE!
As I write this now I am realizing that, although this Irish girl group played on rotation in my Tween bedroom (the walls of which were teal and lime green, and graced with a poster of Freddie Prinze Jr.), I have literally no idea if anybody else has ever heard of them...
3.Tragic Kingdom No Doubt
There are just so many gems on this classic album. Gwen Stefani was quite honestly one of the most badass chicks ever back in the day, and everybody should probably take a moment and just bow down.
4.Enema Of The State Blink-182
I remember in middle school when my friend Gavin was 'dating' my friend Coral. He told her that Blink-182's "Adam's Song" reminded him of her, and she was like "That's kinda fucked, because that's a really depressing song..." They broke up shortly thereafter(shout out, those are their real names, kinda hope they see this and think it's creepy that I remember such an intimate detail of their pre-pubescent love lives.) The song, and the album as a whole, so poignantly convey the minutia this formative time: wherein which we felt even the smallest of things so strongly and completely.
5.Bleed American Jimmy Eat World
I remember when "The Middle" got a lot of radio play, and I was really pissed because I like Jimmy Eat World before they were popular...and everybody else was just posers.
6.Wide Open Spaces The Dixie Chicks
The Dixie Chicks are beautiful and talented and cool and amazing. I was introduced to them while a friend of the family was watching my sister and I as my parents took a trip out of town, and despite our whines that "We hate country music!" she insisted that we give these Southern Belles a try. I give them eternal love and respect and space in my iTunes.
My cousin knew every word to every song on this album, and is the one who introduced it to me on our way to piano lessons. Still one of my favorite albums of all time.
8.Tenacious D Tenacious D
Used to listen to this album all. the. time. My adolescent self thought it was HILARIOUS. To be fair, it is hilarious. Also it's pretty sound musically speaking?
9.Prolonging The Magic Cake
A cute older boy who rode my bus to school burned me a copy of this CD. Swoon.
10.Is This It? The Strokes
This one epitomizes rebellion and freedom and unbridled lust, joy, dancing, puking, crying, screaming, loving.
11.Strawberry Jam Animal Collective
This album weirdly saved me my senior year of high school. My sister's college boyfriend (who I have to thank for such important skills as rolling a joint and opening a beer bottle with a lighter) made me a playlist with all of his picks for favorite music of the moment. I'm from a town of 1,000 people, and had been attending the same one-building school with the same thirty people in my class for thirteen years. I was itching to get away, to move on and experience something...else...It represented completely new sounds, feelings yet to be felt.
12.Odd Blood Yeasayer
To embracing being really weird with all of my weird friends.
13.The Dawn Of Eternal Summers Eternal Summers
For me, this was the perfect accompaniment to re-entering Spring after an impossibly long winter, as well as a number of personal transitions which synced with such a symbolic rebirth. It's an album with both great vulnerability and strength; a soundtrack for retrieving your bike from the basement, and breaking up with your boyfriend, and finishing your thesis, and freaking the fuck out about what even is life.
14.Atlas Real Estate
Best. Cruising. Album. Best. Daydreaming. Album. Best Willing-the-time-to-pass-faster at my horrible first job out of college Album. Just a great fucking album, really.
Beyoncé's monster album from last winter, in which she solidified world domination and came out as a grown-ass woman. It also coincided with my graduation from college, and subsequent crippling fear of life and growing up. Well, leave it to Beyoncé to save the day, and my life, by providing non-stop booty-shaking heartwarming jams to empower me to embrace my own womanhood.