Music is a huge part of my life. Ever since I was a little boy, I would spend so much time just listening to music for hours on end. Whether it was listening super loud with headphones or learning the dance routines to my favourite songs, music was pretty much my life growing up. So of course that means that my iTunes library is pretty huge, spanning multiple genres from the angst of Alanis Morissette to the whimsy of Wilson Phillips. It’s been a while since I had a clear up of said iTunes library but you don’t just go deleting things willy-nilly. You have to listen to EVERYTHING in your library and then decide whether to keep or delete. It’s a great way to re-discover music and it inspired me to write this blog post on my favourite albums of all time.
Bellefire – After The Rain
Everyone has an artist or band from their teenage years that they hold dearest to their hearts. For me, that is Bellefire. I can’t explain what it is about them or their music that drew me in so much over others, they just did. ‘After the Rain’ was their debut album, released only in Japan in late 2001. It was incredibly difficult to get a copy back then since internet shopping wasn’t really a thing (the horror). I had to resort to downloading the album song by song on my parents AOL dialup internet. Those were the days where you’d get shouted at for blocking the landline!
To most who have never heard this album before and listen now, it will sound dated. But to me, it will always be a timeless classic of beautiful uplifting pop songs and stunning ballads. My three favourite tracks are and have always been ‘I Can Make You Fall in Love Again’, ‘Don’t Let Me Down’ and ‘All I Want Is You’. Each has their own special spark but it’s the harmonies of ‘Don’t Let Me Down’ that I love most. Seriously stunning.
Dido – Life For Rent
As someone who listened to lots of pop growing up, I was surprised by how much I fell in love with this album. I was gifted it for Christmas 2003 by my parents along with the Evanescence album (talk about eclectic taste!) and had it on loop for weeks. It’s such a timeless record and whenever I feel like I need to de-stress, I put this album on. I find everything from Dido’s vocals to the production incredibly therapeutic and calming.
My three favourite tracks from this album are ‘White Flag’, ‘Stoned’ and ‘Sand In My Shoes’. I’m sure everyone has heard ‘White Flag’ so they know it’s a gorgeous ballad. I absolutely love ‘Stoned’ for it’s exquisite production and ‘Sand In My Shoes’ has the best melodies and a lovely late summer vibe to it.
Girls Generation – Girls Generation
I often wonder what my music taste would be like if I hadn’t discovered Girls’ Generation. They were my gateway into the incredible world of K-Pop and I think without them and this album, I wouldn’t have discovered so much amazing music. I came across Girls Generation and their debut Japanese album while I was on holiday in Tokyo back in 2011. They were absolutely everywhere! The music video for ‘Mr. Taxi’ was constantly being played on breakfast television, there were billboards all over Shibuya district as well as promo vans driving around blasting out ‘Mr Taxi’. When I got back to the UK, I checked out some clips from the album on iTunes and my love for Girls’ Generation was born.
The reason why this album is my favourite is because not only was it my first K-Pop album but it’s one of those big pop records that will be remembered for how incredible it truly is. Think ‘Teenage Dream’ by Katy Perry, ‘The Fame’ by Lady Gaga – this is one of those genre defining albums that will never be forgotten. My favourite three tracks from this album tend to vary but as it stands, they are ‘Genie’, ‘You-Aholic’ and ‘Bad Girl’. Just go listen to them and you’ll understand why.
Michelle Branch – The Spirit Room
Growing up in the 90’s, it was all about the bubblegum pop but as we entered the 2000’s, my taste in pop music began to shift. I credit ‘The Spirit Room’ by Michelle Branch for this. Despite never being a big name here in the UK, I was obsessed with her songs ‘Everywhere’ and ‘All You Wanted’ when they were released in 2001. It would be 2 years later until I got my hands on this album while on holiday in the US. I played this album along with the follow-up ‘Hotel Paper’ on loops for months.
My favourite three tracks from this album have completely changed from when I was a teenager to now. ‘All You Wanted’, ‘Sweet Misery’ and ‘Goodbye To You’ are the three best tracks for me. All are incredibly catchy but it’s the emotion behind ‘Goodbye To You’ that makes it the ultimate standout. Plus it was in an episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer so bonus points for that.
Girls Aloud – Tangled Up
Oh how I miss Girls Aloud, back when they are at the top of their game and not revealing the backstage drama in rag mags. Girls Aloud were THE girl group during their time and to this day, their discography remains unchallenged by, well, anyone. ‘Tangled Up’ is their defining album for me for two reasons. Firstly because it was released around the time I had started dating my now husband. And secondly because it’s literally loaded with incredible pop songs. The track listing, in particular the first 6 tracks is flawless.
It’s very difficult to choose the three best songs from this album because they are all so good but I think I’d go with ‘Close To Love’, ‘Can’t Speak French’ and ‘Control Of The Knife’. All beginning with the letter c. Each has their own unique flavour and both Close to Love and Control Of The Knife deserved the single treatment for sure.
What are your favourite albums of all time? Let me know in the comments and on social media!