My 20 Favourite Albums: Part 1 (20-11)

I figured if I’m to take this blog seriously, then it makes sense to give those who visit it a clear idea of the kind of music I’m into, and there’s no better way to do that than by listing my favourite albums to date. Obviously these are my opinions, and what I consider a masterpiece some people may consider absolute shite, as with everything I post on this blog. The following 20 albums all mean a massive amount to me, and each has played a part in sculpting my musical taste today. Plus, everyone loves a good list.

20) La Dispute – Somewhere At the Bottom of the River… (2008)

Lyrically, La Dispute have always excelled and this ability is most apparent on ‘Somewhere At the Bottom of the River…’ in which La Dispute create an album that’s brutally honest, creative, and above all else is just good. It’s a very musically competent release, both instrumentally and vocally, and the way in which it makes you feel and think is truly unique.

Favourite track – ‘New Storms For Old Lovers’

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19) Panic! At The Disco – A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out (2005)

Now 8 years old ‘AFYCSO’ was something different at the time it came out, unique in a sense that it was fast, catchy, and lyrically very strong, and is still an album I listen to regularly. I remember buying it for a fiver in HMV and losing myself in it for a good month.

Favourite track – ‘Camisado’

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18) Bring Me The Horizon – Suicide Season (2008)

This was the album that properly introduced me to ‘heavy’ music. I remember seeing the video ‘The Comedown’ on Kerrang! and being well and truly freaked out, because the sound was very new to me at the time. I went out and bought the album because I was curious, and was a apprehensive. I’d have been 13 at the time, so listening to music that heavy would probably have been me acting out, as no-one else I knew was into music like that. Now I listen to metal on a daily basis, and I owe a lot of that to Bring Me’s 2nd full length.

Favourite track – ‘The Comedown’

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17) New Found Glory – Sticks and Stones (2002)

Probably one of the most essential pop-punk albums of all time ‘Sticks and Stones’ has defined a genre, and rightly so. It’s an album that has provided the soundtrack to plenty of sunny days since its release 11 years ago. It cemented NFG’s place as the centrepiece of pop-punk, and still puts me in a good mood to this day.

Favourite track – ‘Understatement’

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16) The Wonder Years – The Upsides (2010)

Staying in the vein of pop-punk, ‘The Upsides’ is another personal favourite and essential release. It does everything an album of this type should, and does it very well. Dan ‘Soupy’ Campbell delivers track after track, with great lyrics about growing up but not giving up, and friendship. ‘The Upsides’ is definitely one of my favourite albums to come out of this genre, and what every new release is compared to. It’s spinning in my record player right now, and has a lot since I bought it a few months back.

Favourite track – ‘It’s Never Sunny in South Philadelphia’

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15) Blink-182 – Enema of the State (1999)

As far as I’m concerned, ‘Enema of the State’ is Blink’s best album, and set a benchmark for all their future releases. It’s fast, clever and tongue in cheek, and encapsulates everything that’s good about Blink-182, and always will. Considering it came out 14 years ago and still beats the majority of punk albums that come out is a testament to how brilliant this album is, and I wish I’d found it sooner.

Favourite track – ‘The Party Song’

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14) Biffy Clyro – Puzzle (2007)

This was the first Biffy Clyro I listened to, and remains my favourite to date. It was one of the first alternative rock albums I really listened to, and I remember thinking it was ridiculously good at the time, which I still do 6 years later, after a few hundred playthroughs. Simon Neil’s ability to write captivating and well-crafted songs was at its best on ‘Puzzle’ and songs such as ‘Living Is A Problem Because Everything Dies’ and ‘Semi-mental’ showcase this. As far as British rock albums go, I don’t expect to hear many better than ‘Puzzle’, and don’t expect to Biffy to reach the highs they reached on this exceptional album.

Favourite track – ‘Living Is A Problem Because Everything Dies’

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13) Slipknot – Iowa (2001)

‘Iowa’ changed the way I perceived music – it made me appreciate anger in music, and the way it can be utilised to deliver an experience that I initially found very weird. There’s no denying that Corey Taylor is one of the greatest frontmen in music and his involvement on this album is great, especially on standout tracks like ‘People=Shit’. ‘Iowa’ is ferocious and exhilarating as a result, and an essential metal album that will always be a hallmark of the genre.

Favourite track – ‘People=Shit’

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12) Jimmy Eat World – Bleed American (2001)

Released in the same year as ‘Iowa’, ‘Bleed American’ is a direct contrast, it’s warm and uplifting, and probably JEW’s best release. It’s openly known as one of the best albums to come out of the American punk rock scene, and rightly so, showcasing brilliant song writing and juts generally oozing quality. I remember buying it from a charity shop around 5 years ago for £1.50, and still testify that it was the best money I’ve ever spent. ‘Bleed American’ is a masterpiece.

Favourite track – ‘A Praise Chorus’

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11) Fall Out Boy – Take This To Your Grave (2003)

From one staple mark of the ‘emo’ genre to another, ‘Take This To Your Grave’ is every bit as good and influential as ‘Bleed American’, despite sometimes being overlooked due to the release of ‘From Under The Cork Tree’. Pete Wentz’s lyrics on TTTYG are honest and heartfelt, and put FOB on the map when coupled with Patrick Strump’s great voice. It’s an album full of angst and wit that I still relate to years after first hearing it. Another one of the genre’s finest products.

Favourite track – ‘Homesick At Space Camp’

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