I’mma Let You Finish, But These Are My Top 35 Albums of ALL TIME! (Part 3)

Note: i went home recently, and after looking at some CD cases on my CD rack (talk about something of the past), I realized I had forgotten a few. I’ve added them to this list, designated as X.5.

Here’s part 3 of my Top 35 Albums of all time (Click HERE for Part 1 and HERE for Part 2). As a refresher, this is a PERSONAL list, and essentially spans the time from 1993-2009, and I speak only for myself.

THE RULES:

  • Ranked by the impact/significance they had on me, and NOT by what I like the best. (This is hard to differentiate, at times)
  • Note: since this list is ranked by impact, they do skew towards albums from my younger, formative years. (sorry, Taylor Swift)
  • Must be from ONE SINGLE album.  (Some albums suffered from this: Dave Matthews Band, BSB, Britney, Relient K, etc)
  • Can only choose ONE album per artist. (Runner-Up Albums Will Be Listed)
  • Can not be from the last 2 years.  (You need some time to properly process music, and give appropriate perspective)
  • Must have at least 3 meaningful singles.  (Just because you REALLY love one song on the album doesn’t count).
  • No greatest hits albums, and no album soundtracks (unless the soundtrack has original songs).
  • Note: singles do not have to be RADIO singles. They can be single songs that you enjoyed a lot.

SPOTIFY LINK FOR THE ENTIRE LIST (INCLUDING PARTS 1 and 2)

Late Add-Ons to Numbers 11-36

28.5 Green Day – DookieGreen Day - Dookie
This might be the earliest CD i remember hearing of, as a whole. I remember being in 5th or 6th grade and hearing people talk about this awesome album in the St. Mark’s (my private school) library. Btw, if you haven’t noticed already, I associate a lot of my memories with music. I never owned the album because it was fairly naughty at the time (profanity), and that’s why it’s probably not higher on my list. That and I don’t necessarily agree with their political leanings.

Notable Singles

1. When I Come Around 3. Longview
2. Basket Case

19.5 No Doubt – Tragic KingdomNo Doubt - Tragic Kingdom
Runner-Up Albums: Rock Steady
This was also a huge album that is among the earliest I remember, although I don’t think I owned it (which probably explains it’s lower ranking). Remember that 6th graders don’t have a whole ton of disposable income. Not much to say about this, except for the fact that pop-punk with female vocals are pretty awesome. And these three singles are pretty epic. AND i think Gwen Stefani is one of the most attractive people I was never attracted to. (Uma Thurman is also on that list, somewhere).

Notable Singles:

1. Just a Girl 3. Spiderwebs
2. Don’t Speak

14.5 Jennifer Love Hewitt – Jennifer Love HewittJLH - JLH
Haha, so a random fact about me that many people don’t happen to know about (by design) is that I ran a fan website for Jennifer Love Hewitt for parts of high school, and it was fairly popular (i think the second biggest). It’s difficult to explain, and it wasn’t a huge part of my life (i rarely mentioned it in the real life world). And…. it was cool because she had a signing career that no one seemed to know about. (This was before her horrible mainstream single, “Barenaked”) So it was kind of nice having a crush that had a decent album that I could kinda enjoy as my own. If you bug me hard enough, maybe i’ll let you see what the site used to look like. Oh, and time for another story: one of my saddest waking up from a dream moments was on a Christmas day back in junior high… I had a dream that I met JLH and that we became best friends. You know a dream was good when you don’t even want to wake up for Christmas.

For whole songs, you’ll have to scour youtube.

Notable Singles:

1. Cool With You 4. It’s Good To Know I’m Alive
2. No Ordinary Love 5. (Our Love) Don’t Throw It All Away
3. Never A Day Goes By 6. I Believe In

The Original Top 10 List (With One New Addition)

10. Backstreet Boys – MillenniumBSB - Millenium
Runner-Up Albums: Backstreet Boys, Black & Blue
You knew that BSB would be on this list, somewhere.  Disappointed that they didn’t make the top 5?  Let me explain: their awesome singles are evenly distributed across several albums, and so it makes it hard to pick one that really stands out from the rest.  I think this album really defined the era, though, because “I Want it That Way” is probably their biggest single.  (My favorites, “All I Have to Give” and “Shape of My Heart” were on different albums though).  I did really like “I Want It That Way” and “The One” off this album though.  Man… BSB was quality.

Notable Singles:

1. I Want It That Way 4. Show Me The Meaning of Being Lonely
2. The One 5. Larger Than Life
3. It’s Gotta Be You 6. I Need You Tonight

9. Yellowcard – Ocean AvenueYellowcard - Ocean Avenue
Another one-album wonder band, Yellowcard rocked my world with Ocean Avenue, and then quickly left my life entirely. One reason this album impacted my life so much is it was one of the first songs I bought through a young music service store called iTunes. Also, I just loved the fact that the music that sounded like it was played by an electric guitar was actually played by a violin. How awesome! Man, i listened to this album all the way through quite often. Also, “Believe” was written in dedication to the firefighters of 9/11. Bonus points!

Notable Singles:

1. Only One 7. One Year, Six Months
2. Believe 8. Life of a Salesman
3. Ocean Avenue 9. Twentythree
4. Miles Apart 10. Empty Apartment
5. Way Away 11. Back Home
6. View From heaven 6. I Need You Tonight

8. John Mayer – Room For SquaresJohn Mayer - Room For Squares
Runner-Up Album: Heavier Things
I was surprised to see how high this album ended up ranking, because I really despise John Mayer as a person. He seems like a complete tool, and has dated quite a few women that I am envious of. However, I can’t deny the fact that some of his music has been iconic in my life. Both this album and Heavier Things had quite a few singles. This one brings me back to my senior year of high school, and reminds me of a girlfriend I had then. And I remember EVERYBODY tried to learn how to play all the songs on the guitar. In that way, it was the “Stairway to Heaven” of its day.

Notable Singles:

1. Your Body Is a Wonderland 4. Why Georgia
2. No Such Thing 5. Neon
3. My Stupid Mouth

7. Eminem – The Marshall Mathers LPMarshall Mathers LP
Runner-Up Albums: Curtain Call, The Eminem Show, Chronic 2001 (Dr. Dre)
I might not talk about it too much, but I have a lot of respect for Eminem’s lyrical and musical ability, and have owned pretty much every one of his albums. Like many of my top 10 artists, it is difficult to pick one specific album. I think this album really solidified his standing at the top of the rap music industry for my teenage/college years. “Stan” was probably the standout song on the album (it’s telling that it essentially launched another single and artist’s career: “Thank You” and Dido, respectively).  My favorite Eminem songs are probably “Lose Yourself” and “Forgot About Dre.” Btw, i know Chronic 2001 is a Dr. Dre album, but I primarily only listened to the songs he did with Eminem.

Notable Singles:

1. Stan 5. Kim
2. The Real Slim Shady 6. Marshall Mathers
3. The Way I Am 7. I’m Back
4. B**** Please II 8. Kill You

6.5 The Lion King SoundtrackLion King Soundtrack
Runner-Up Albums: The Tarzan Soundtrack, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, Little Mermaid
The renaissance era of the Disney Animated classics (Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Best, Aladdin, Lion King, etc) is something that I’m proud to have grown up during. The soundtracks to these musicals were all so epic, but something about Lion King always stood head over shoulders above the rest. Think about it: everybody knows the lyrics to songs that AREN’T EVEN ENGLISH (my version – “maaaaaaah zen kenya!!!! mah mah meetzewahwah”) That’s quite an accomplishment. If you look at the range of emotions covered in the songs, it’s quite impressive: “Circle of Life” captures the majestic scale of life (And the animal kingdom). “I Just Can’t Wait to Be King” captures the youthful yet naive enthusiasm of life. “Be Prepared” demonstrates the conniving anthem of the evildoer. “Hakuna Matata” captures the…. hakuna matata lifestyle. “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” is one of the most romantic songs ever. Quite impressive. On a side note, I also REALLY love the Tarzan soundtrack. Like… really. REALLY

Notable Singles:

1. Circle of Life 4. I Just Can’t Wait to Be King
2. Hakuna Matata 5. Be Prepared
3. Can You Feel the Love Tonight 6. The “I’ve Got a Lovely Bunch of Coconuts” Song (not on album)

6. Postal Service – Give UpPostal Service - Give Up
A one-time album created by Ben Gibbard (of Death Cab for Cutie fame) and Jimmy Tamborello, they really captured lighting in a bottle, and it’s magically tragic that there will most likely never be a second album.  “Such Great Heights” introduced most fans to this album, and the record really introduced a whole new type of electronica music that has really never been duplicated, to this day.  Owl City later brought a very similar sound, but in the end lacked the depth and complexity of this album.  And a song titled “Sleeping In” will always be a winner in my book. Also, in a complete side note, Kaba Modern (from Season 1 of America’s Best Dance Crew) later did an awesome live performance to a mix including “The District Sleeps Alone Tonight.”

Notable Singles:

1. Such Great Heights 5.. Clark Gable
2. Sleeping In 6. Brand New Colony
3. The District Sleeps Alone Tonight 7. We Will Become Silhouettes
4. Nothing Better

5. Angels and Airwaves – We Don’t Need to WhisperAngels and Airwaves
Runner-Up Albums: I-Empire
When I first heard Angels and Airwaves album, I was instantly in love. It made me realize that I absolutely love the delay pedal and electric guitar combo. Also, I love complex drum beats. If you don’t know who they are, they formed when Blink 182 broke up, and it was started by Tom DeLonge (the tall lanky electric guitarist who had the higher pitched voice). There is just something about the ethereal sound created by his combination of voice, the electric guitar, and drums that gets me every time. I definitely consider Angels and Airwaves one my favorite bands.

PS: it might be a drummer thing, because Cobus (an awesome YouTube drummer) does quite a few awesome covers of Angels and Airwaves songs. They are AMAZING.
Cobus Cover of The Gift
Cobus Cover of Valkyrie Missile
Cobus Cover of Love Like Rockets (from I-Empire album)

Notable Singles:

1. The Adventure 4. The War
2. The Gift 5. Do It For Me Now
3. Valkyrie Missile

4. Linkin Park – Hybrid TheoryHybrid Theory
Runner-Up Albums: Meteora
I realize much of what I said about Postal Service and Angels and Airwaves also applies to Linkin Park. When Hybrid Theory came out, my ears were overwhelmed with the awesome new sound of the rock + digital synth and DJ. It had the mainstream appeal of pop music with the synth and DJ mixing, yet was heavy hitting and had the intensity of rock. Also, add in a touch of rapping, and you had a brand new formula of musical splendor.

Notable Singles:

1. In The End 7. Cure for the Itch
2. One Step Closer 8. With You
3. My December 9. By Myself
4. Crawling In My Skin 10. Runaway
5. Papercut 11. Pushing Me Away
6. Runaway

3. Switchfoot – The Beautiful LetdownSwitchfoot - Beautiful Letdown
Runner-Up Albums: Hello Hurricane, New Way to Be Human, Learning to Breathe
My all-time favorite band, Switchfoot might surprise you by only being number 3 on my top records list, but it has more to do with the fact that albums #1 and #2 were the first CD’s I essentially remember owning. I absolutely LOVE this album, and I don’t think it will ever get old to me. Four little known Switchfoot facts about me:

1) I went to a record release party for Beautiful Letdown at Tower Records in La Jolla (i think it’s closed now), where the entire band signed my guitar (i was first in line!).
2) I bought 10 extra copies of this CD to give out to random people on library walk at UCSD. (i ended up selling them to friends who wanted to buy it)
3) Jon Foreman did my voicemail recording, and I kept it for a year or two.
4) Jon and Chad (drummer) are very close friends with a church member of mine, to the point where Chad was his best man, and Jon sang and wrote a song for him at his wedding. So it’s kind of weird that my musical heroes are friends of my friend.

Notable Singles:

1. Dare You to Move 6. The Beautiful Letdown
2. Twenty Four 7. Meant to Live
3. This is Your Life 8. Gone
4. On Fire 9. Redemption
5. More Than Fine

2. Alanis Morissette – Jagged Little PillJagged Little Pill
Hmm… After writing that glowing bit about Switchfoot above, maybe this album should be #3. Actually, though, this is one of the earliest CD’s I remember listening to over and over again. I still remember programming my Panasonic Discman to play tracks 2,4,5,7,8,10. (I don’t remember the track names off the top of my head though). Who hasn’t listened to the lyrics of “Ironic” and wondered how half the things she says are actually ironic? (Side Note: entertaining Oatmeal comic on Irony)

Notable Singles:

1. Hand in My Pocket 4. You Learn
2. Ironic 5. Head Over Feet
3. You Oughta Know 6. Right Through You

1. Mariah Carey – DaydreamMariah Carey - Daydream
I think this album speaks for itself. To this day, I think “Always Be My Baby” stands out as one of my top 5 songs of all time. Like Alanis Morisette, I distinctly remember programming my Panasonic Discman to play tracks 1,3,5,7,9,10. I can actually name the titles of each of those tracks, to this day. Like a lot of great albums, my favorite single changes from time to time (“Always Be My Baby,” “When I Saw You,” “Melt Away,” or “Forever”). One Sweet Day (duet with Boyz II Men) was an epic single that got overplayed to the point where I still can’t really stand it. With some research, it turns out that my memory is right, as that song single-handedly holds the record for most number of weeks as #1 in the Billboard Hot #1 (16 weeks). Actually, the wikipedia entry for List of Billboard Hot 100 Records is pretty fascinating to read.

Notable Singles:

1. Always Be My Baby 4. Forever
2. When I Saw You 5. One Sweet Day
3. Melt Away
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I’mma Let You Finish, But These Are My Top 35 Albums of ALL TIME! (Part II)

Here’s part 2 of my Top 35 Albums of all time (Click HERE for Part 1). As a refresher, this is a PERSONAL list, and essentially spans the time from 1993-2009, and I speak only for myself.

THE RULES:

  • Ranked by the impact/significance they had on me, and NOT by what I like the best. (This is hard to differentiate, at times)
  • Note: since this list is ranked by impact, they do skew towards albums from my younger, formative years. (sorry, Taylor Swift)
  • Must be from ONE SINGLE album.  (Some albums suffered from this: Dave Matthews Band, BSB, Britney, Relient K, etc)
  • Can only choose ONE album per artist. (Runner-Up Albums Will Be Listed)
  • Can not be from the last 2 years.  (You need some time to properly process music, and give appropriate perspective)
  • Must have at least 3 meaningful singles.  (Just because you REALLY love one song on the album doesn’t count).
  • No greatest hits albums, and no album soundtracks (unless the soundtrack has original songs).
  • Note: singles do not have to be RADIO singles. They can be single songs that you enjoyed a lot.

For those of you who have Spotify, I’ve added part two to my playlist for this event.  Listen along!  If you’d like Spotify, let me know, and I can give you an invite!

21. The Rocket Summer – Do You FeelThe Rocket Summer - Do You Feel
Like Seven Places, The Rocket Summer is one of my favorite albums that people might not be aware of. The Rocket Summer is one guy who plays every instrument on the album: keyboard, drums, guitar. He’s super-talented, and can sing well (although his voice is slightly higher, which might bother some). He had some mild success in the mainstream audiences, and one unique memory of the album is that I was studying at Coffee Bean when his song came on the store speakers, and it was the same exact song I was listening to at the time through my headphones. It was kinda trippy. He identifies as a Christian, but his music is not meant for general audiences. Definitely an album I can listen to straight through. But seriously, if you haven’t heard him before, check it out. NOW!

Notable Singles:

1. So Much Love 6. Do You Feel
2. Break It Out 7. Waiting
3. Save 8. Hold It Up
4. Run To You 9. A Song is Not A Business Plan
5. So, In This Hour… 10. High Life Scenery

20. Robyn – Robyn is HereRobyn - Robyn Is Here
Seriously, I think time kind of forgot about Robyn, although she has 2 marginally successful club singles at the moment (“Call Your Girlfriend” and “Hang With Me”). She had 3 HUGE singles back in the end of the 90’s. All three of them were pretty epic, and I have secretly been waiting for the past 15 years for her comeback. (And then she comeback with a new techno-ish sound that is just kinda whatevz). I enjoyed her voice and music greatly.  To be fair, I think I rank her higher on my list because most other people under-appreciate her.

Notable Singles:

1. Do You Really Want Me (Show Respect)
2. Do You Know (What it Takes)
3. Show Me Love

19. Coldplay – ParachutesColdplay - Parachutes
Runner-Up Albums: A Rush of Blood to the Head, X&Y
Coldplay’s First album was a pretty grand debut album, but to be honest, I didn’t expect them to become the huge success that they ended up becoming. It was a very mellow album (perhaps it’s a lot harder to be emo after you get married to Gwyneth Paltrow). “Yellow” was such an epic song. And interesting story is that I obtained a random burned copy of this album that had a song that I really loved on it, but it turned out to not be a Coldplay song, so I never was able to find out who sang it. Oh wait! Now there’s Shazam! If i can find my burned CD somewhere, i should figure it out who actually sang that song.

Notable Singles:

1. Yellow 5. High Speed
2. Spies 6. Don’t Panic
3. Trouble 7. Shiver
4. Sparks 8. Parachutes

18. Owl City – Ocean EyesOwl City - Ocean Eyes
Owl City quickly secured a spot on my list when I first heard his music. “Fireflies” is an amazingly catchy and beautiful song. I have a thing for well-done techno-pop, and I had been waiting eagerly for another album like Postal Service to come along. While he might not be as complex and musically gifted as Postal Service, I like the simple happiness of his music. Not to be outdone, Adam Young (of Owl City) is also a believer, who lists John Piper as one of his primary influences. His most recent album did not meet my high expectations, but I listened to Ocean Eyes to the bone.  I still listen to it every once in a while, and it takes me to a happy place.

Notable Singles:

1. Fireflies 7. Tidal Wave
2. Hello Seattle 8. Cave In
3. Meteor Shower 9. On the Wing
4. The Bird and The Worm 10. Umbrella Beach
5. Vanilla Twilight 11. Dental Care
6. The Saltwater Room

17. Jars of Clay – Jars of ClayJars of Clay
This album probably defined Christian music for a generation. Song after song are such huge classics. “Love Song for A Savior” is probably one of my most favorite Christian songs. I think they set such high expectations with this album that they were never really able to live up to them afterwards. That, and they just were not that great live. Also, I’m still baffled as to how “Flood” made it to #34 on the Billboard Hot 100. That song was not that good.
Notable Singles:

1. Love Song for a Savior 4. Liquid
2. Worlds Apart 5. Sinking
3. Like a Child 6. Flood

16. Jimmy Eat World – Bleed AmericanJimmy
Along with Owl City, Jimmy Eat World also really captured me immediately as a band I’d expect to be one of my favorites for a long time. Unfortunately, they both were unable to impress me as much with follow-up efforts. (I do still listen to their new efforts, in hope that I’m wrong) But I loved this album! “The Middle” was actually my voicemail music for a short time (back when people put music as their voicemail recording). One of my favorite lyrics from this album is from “if You Don’t, Don’t.” – “We once walked out on the beach, and once I almost touched your hand.” So sad, haha! Story of my life.
Notable Singles:

1. The Middle 7. Hear You Me
2. Sweetness 8. Bleed American
3. Get It Faster 9. Cautioners
4. If You Don’t, Don’t 10. The Authority Song
5. A Praise Chorus 11. My Sundown
6. Your House

15. The All-American Rejects – The All-American RejectsAAR"
I really liked the All-American Rejects debut album, and I was not very impressed by their follow-up efforts. I listened to this album straight through many times. This album has one of my favorite 30 seconds in CD history, which I describe as how heaven must sound. Click here to listen to it! Does anybody else think the lead singer looks like Clark Kent from Smallville?  For a little while, I literally thought that they were the same person.  It makes me sad when good-looking people are talented in other things as well.  ::jealous::
Notable Singles:

1. Swing, Swing 7. My Paper Heart
2. One More Sad Song 8. Don’t Leave Me
3. Why Worry 9. Time Stands Still
4. The Last Song 10. Drive Away
5. Your Star 11. Happy Endings
6. Too Far Gone

14. High School Musical 3: Senior YearHigh
Well, this is embarrassing. Although I think I’m too old to say this, I actually really enjoyed the HSM series, and HSM3 had the best soundtrack and highest production value of the three movies. Definitely, the scene for “Can I Have This Dance” was pretty awesome. If you want to disagree with this choice, watch the movies first… Then we’ll talk.  I do have a strange man-crush on Zac Efron (i wish I could be him), and a true normal crush on Vanessa Hudgens.
Notable Singles:

1. Can I Have This Dance 5. Now or Never
2. Just Wanna Be With You 6. Senior year Spring Musical
3. Right Here, Right Now 7. I Want It All
4. We’re All In This Together (Graduation Remix) 8. Just Getting Started

13. Chris Tomlin – Not to UsChris Tomlin Runner-Up Album: See the Morning
Just as David Crowder defined Worship music that sounds awesome on cd but impossibly difficult to translate to actual praise, Chris Tomlin defined Worship music that translated quite easily into the church service. Though I hear he’s kind of a tool in person, God has definitely gifted him with the ability to craft excellent worship music. Also, I think he has an ideal voice for leading praise. “Enough” is one of the best praise songs ever.
Notable Singles:

1. Enough 5. Everything
2. Wonderful Maker 6. Unchanging
3. Not To Us 7. Come Let Us Worship
4. Famous One

12. Superchick – Last One PickedHigh
Runner-Up Albums: Regeneration
Superchick is a personal favorite band of mine that I first found out about by seeing live at a Christian conference (Acquire the Fire). They have been consistently good throughout their career, although they haven’t become household names, even in the Christian industry. Unfortunately, they have a really dorky band name, and they actually consist of 2 girls and 3 guys. I describe their music as a combination of Linkin Park, Blink 182, and female vocals (i know.. crazy combination, but they have a DJ like LP). “Song 4 Tricia” is a cute song written by the boys in the band to their lead singer (Tricia) about not giving up hope in all guys, and Iincluded it on pretty much every mix cd i’ve made for any girl i’ve liked, back in the day. -=) While Regeneration (their next album after this one, primarily of remixes) solidified their sound, I think this album was the one that got me hooked. In hindsight, their songs are somewhat juvenile, but I was younger then.
Notable Singles:

1. Song 4 Tricia 6. High School
2. Na Na 7. Real
3. Wonder If She’ll Get It 8. Hero
4. I Belong to You 9. Rock Star
5. So Bright 10. We All Fall

11. NSync – No Strings AttachedBSB - NSync
Runner-Up Albums: Celebrity, *NSync
As a huge BSB fan, I still have much appreciation for NSync. Up until this album, they had merely been a joke next to BSB. However, after switching to Jive Records (home of BSB and Britney Spears), the songwriting and marketing powerhouse revolutionized their career. “It’s Gonna Be Me” is probably my favorite NSync upbeat song, and “This I Promise You” is arguably my favorite slow NSync one. (I do love “God Must Have Spent” and “Drive Myself Crazy” too) And really, EVERYBODY can recognize the “Bye Bye Bye” dance (and has tried it secretly in their room next to a mirror).
Notable Singles:

1. It’s Gonna Be Me
2. This I Promise You
3. Bye Bye Bye

I’mma Let You Finish, But These Are MY Top 35 Albums of ALL TIME! (Part I)

wow, so i came back to this blog to start working on this post, and I didn’t remember most of these posts (i thought i had just written once about the iPad and Japan). in fact, i actually enjoyed reading through my posts again!  I should probably write a bit more.  if you particularly love my tech writing (eg. nobody), I have been writing regularly for iMedicalApps.com.

anyways, this is part one of a list of my Top Music Albums of ALL TIME.  I will post parts 2 and 3 in a few days.  Don’t worry, I’ve actually completed the entire post, but it’s way too long to post as one).  As if it needs to be said, this is a PERSONAL list, and essentially spans the time from 1993-2009, and I speak only for myself.  It initially started off as a top 25, but I didn’t want to leave out albums.

THE RULES:

  • Ranked by the impact/significance they had on me, and NOT by what I like the best. (This is hard to differentiate, at times)
  • Note: since this list is ranked by impact, they do skew towards albums from my younger, formative years. (sorry, Taylor Swift)
  • Must be from ONE SINGLE album.  (Some albums suffered from this: Dave Matthews Band, BSB, Britney, Relient K, etc)
  • Can only choose ONE album per artist. (Runner-Up Albums Will Be Listed)
  • Can not be from the last 2 years.  (You need some time to properly process music, and give appropriate perspective)
  • Must have at least 3 meaningful singles.  (Just because you REALLY love one song on the album doesn’t count).
  • No greatest hits albums, and no album soundtracks (unless the soundtrack has original songs).
  • Note: singles do not have to be RADIO singles. They can be single songs that you enjoyed a lot.

So here goes the list.  I’ve put a lot of thought into this list, and Spotify helps a lot by allowing you to essentially listen to ANY album at ANY time. (If you would like a Spotify invite, let me know in the comments).

For those of you who have Spotify and want to enjoy this list with me, here’s a link. (I’ll add the songs from parts 2 and 3 when I upload them).

35. Evanescence – FallenEvanescence - Fallen
Not only did “Bring Me to Life” dominate the radio and charts in 2003, it also appealed to me in that Evanescence was (briefly) marketed as a Christian/rock crossover band. I still remember reading reviews of this album on Christian sites and seeing it at Christian stores before they completely changed the way they marketed themselves.  In my opinion, “Tourniquet” was their most lyrically Christian song.  Either way, still a pretty powerful album.

Notable Singles:

1. Bring Me to Life 6. Haunted
2. Tourniquet 7. Imaginary
3. Going Under 8. Hello
4. My Immortal 9. Taking Over Me
5. Everybody’s Fool 10. Whisper

34. Rebecca St. James – TransformEvanescence - Fallen
Another Christian album, this album came out while I was in High School, and I was immediately struck by her cool Australian accent and weird techno-ey sound (esp in “Universe” and “Stand”). At the time (second half of High School), I was primarily listening to only Christian music, and something different was nice. Also, “Wait for Me” was a pretty powerful song about waiting for marriage.

Notable Singles:

1. Wait for Me 4. Stand
2. Reborn 6. Universe
3. Don’t Worry

33. Will Smith – Big Willie StyleEvanescence - Fallen
“Bien Venido A Miami” Will Smith has had an illustrious career, dominating TV, Music, and the Movies.  I don’t really have much to say about this album, except giving it proper for having several radio-crushing singles back to back.  And “Men in Black” and “Wild Wild West” were two back to back awesome movie music singles.  (Wild Wild West was not on this album) On a side note, Jaden Smith is in “Just the Two of Us”!

Notable Singles:

1. Miami 4. Just the Two Of Us
2. Gettin’ Jiggy Wit It 5. Yes Yes Y’all
3. Men in Black

32. Dave Matthews Band – Under the Table and DreamingEvanescence - Fallen
Runner-Up Albums: Crash, Before These Crowded Streets
So the era of DMB brings me back to my junior high years, when I would go every summer to a nerd camp at Johns Hopkins on the East Coast.  (The camp was called CTY, standing for Center for Talented Youth, and despite its cool name, we were not mutants with special powers).  I remember all the people on the east coast loved DMB, so I got into them, too.  Their drummer is absolutely amazing and probably contributed much to my love for the drums. Also, having a fiddle and harmonica just rocks.

Notable Singles:

1. Ants Marching 5. #34
2. Satellite 6. What Would You Say
3. The Best of What’s Around 7. Warehouse

31. Taylor Swift – FearlessEvanescence - Fallen
Looking at the track list on this album is absolutely ridiculous.  I think nearly every song on this album was good, many of them epic, even.  If it came out just a little earlier and I were younger, I think this album would most likely be top 5 or even top 10.  It’s all the more impressive that she wrote most (maybe all, i’m too lazy to check) of these songs by herself! Now that I think about it, maybe I should rank this album higher…

Notable Singles:

1. You Belong With Me 9. Hey Stephen
2. Love Story 10. White horse
3. Fearless 11. Breathe
4. Fifteen 12. The Best Day
5. Our Song 13. The Way I Loved You
7. Teardrops On My Guitar 14. You’re Not Sorry
8. Breathe 15. Tell Me Why

30. Casting Crowns – LifesongEvanescence - Fallen
I still remember first hearing about this song from Pastor John during a sermon where he challenged us to not be like the church described in “Stained Glass Masquerade,” one that gives off an air of perfection and is intolerant of vulnerability and sin. Lyrically, this album is so powerful. “While You Were Sleeping” talks about how great things happen in very common circumstances. “Praise You in This Storm” talks about praising God in trials. “Lifesong” talks about the importance of having a song or theme that embodies our life. Man, just thinking about this album is like a devotional! Note: if this album was more catchy and upbeat, it would be much higher.

Notable Singles:

1. Dive 4. Great Expectations
2. Speechless 5. The Change
3. The Change

29. Relient K – Anatomy of the Tongue In CheekRelient K - Anatomy of the Tongue In Cheek
Runner-Up Albums: MMHMM, Two Wrongs Don’t Make a Right But Three Do
When Relient K hit the Christian music scene, it was a breath of fresh air compared to all the other quasi-inferior pop-punk Christian bands. They were the first Christian pop-punk bad that could stand up against the likes of blink 182, etc. Over the years, they’ve had staying power as well, with some pretty awesome singles. In my eyes, though, this album stood tall above the rest in just its shear quantity of excellence.

Notable Singles:

1. Sadie Hawkins Dance 7. Maybe It’s Maybelline
2. Less is More 8. The Rest is Up To You
3. Pressing On 9. My Way or the Highway
4. Those Words Are Not Enough 10. Failure to Excommunicate
5. For the Moments I Feel Faint 11. I’m Lion-O
6. Those Words Are Not Enough 12. Breakdown

28. Vanessa Carlton – HarmoniumBritney Spears - Oops!... I Did It Again
One of the more off the wall albums, I really enjoyed Vanessa Carlton’s short-lived career.  If you don’t remember her, she was the famous singer of “A Thousand Miles,” and came alongside Michelle Branch as the female pop musicians with talent to follow up the pop princesses.  Harmonium was her second album, and had quite a few catchy singles.  I remember listening to this album all the time during my sophomore and junior years of college, and it reminds me of driving around all the underclassmen.

Notable Singles:

1. Who’s to Say 3. San Francisco
2. White Houses 4. Private Radio

27. Britney Spears – Oops!… I Did It AgainBritney Spears - Oops!... I Did It Again
Runner-Up Albums: Baby One More Time, Britney
This album came at the peak of Jive’s dominance of the music industry and the Total Request Live machine was cranking full gear. I think the music video for the title single was one that debuted during a “Brand Spankin’ New” week. Ahh… memories. I do think this album suffered from not having a high number of singles. Most of her memorable singles from this era were spread over several albums (in a perfect money-making grab). I do think my favorite all-time Britney song is “Sometimes.”

Notable Singles:

1. Stronger 4. Oops!… I Did It Again
2. Lucky 5. Don’t Go Knockin’ On My Door
3. Don’t Let Me Be the Last to Know 6. (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction

26. Seven Places – Lonely for the Last TimeSeven Places - Lonely for the Last Time
Ryan Chan was the one who recommended this gem to me, and I don’t think they ever gained a whole lot of mainstream Christian radio airplay. Much like Relient K, I appreciated this album because it was a catchy, poppy alternative band that could actually hold their own against their secular counterparts. It also had quite a few singles that I enjoyed, and was one of those albums I could just listen straight through. My memory associated with this song is Ryan singing the vocals and instrumentals to this song. It also reminds me of his Honda Accord Coupe and its interesting acoustics as we drove to Brea Mall and Rancho Cucamonga 24 Hour Fitness the summer of 2003. If you’ve never listened to this album before, you should check it out.

Notable Singles:

1. Landslide 6. Into Your Heart
2. Sleepers 7. Stay the Same
3. Everything 8. Yours
4. Thinking it Over 9. Along the Way
5. Like It Never Happened 10. It Might Be Today

25. Audio Adrenaline – UnderdogAudio Adrenaline - Underdog
This album (in combination with SCC’s “Speechless”) really reminds me of the mission trip where I first became a Christian. When I first arrived at the mission trip, I remember being flooded with all this foreign Christian music that I had never heard before. Audio Adrenaline’s Underdog album was pretty big at the time, and it’s heavy hitting music left an impact on me. Overall, not a HUGE fan of AA, but this album has a dear place in my heart.  These songs are good stuff.   And what a cute album cover!

Notable Singles:

1. Underdog
2. Get Down
3. Hands and Feet
4. Good Life

24. David Crowder Band – IlluminateDavid Crowder Band - Illuminate
Whenever I get around to making a list of my top 100 singles of my life (read: never), “O Praise Him (All This for a King)” will DEFINITELY be on the list. This album redefined what a worship album could be, before Lighthouse Bible Church kinda redefined that for me again later. (??) It was catchy, hard-hitting, and powerful. And David Crowder’s voice is cool enough that he can sing any song and make it sound cool.

Notable Singles:

1. O Praise Him (All This For a King) 4. Revolutionary Love
2. All Creatures #2 5. Intoxicating
3. No One Like You 6. Open Skies

23. Plumb – candycoatedwaterdropsPlumb - Candycoatedwaterdrops
Plumb’s voice was the quintessential female voice that I loved in high school. Some people might say Sixpence None the Richer’s Leigh Nash was better, but I disagree. AND… her career arc is quite unusual. She started off as a female lead singer of a Christian rock band, then took a 5 year hiatus. Later, she turned out to be quite a popular focus of dance/techno remixes over the past 2 years, due to her awesome voice. Maybe the Christian Paramore of her time?

Notable Singles:

1. Lie Low 4. Here With Me
2. Phobic 5. Worlds Collide: A Fairy Tale
3. God-Shaped Hole 6. Stranded

22. Kelly Clarkson – BreakawayKelly Clarkson - Breakway
This is one of the few albums on this list that I never owned. I just remember thinking after each #1 single came out on the radio back to back, how in awe I was of how many good songs were on this album. I love Kelly Clarkson’s voice (even though it reminds me of a lighter version of Pink’s voice), and I think she is the true American Idol. (I actually remember what I was doing when I saw her win: i was hanging out with some friends from Upland High, playing Resident Evil, during our senior year!) And I can’t quite describe why, but “Behind These Hazel Eyes” is a song with depth that I really enjoyed.

Notable Singles:

1. Behind These Hazel Eyes 4. Walk Away
2. Since U Been Gone 5. Breakaway
3. Because of You

STAY TUNED FOR PARTS 2 and 3.  Feel Free to leave suggestions or comments below.  I’ve already made my list and the rest of my post, so it shouldn’t be swayed by your thoughts (that much).  

Spotify Link of Part 1 of my Top 35. (I’ll update this playlist with the songs from Parts 2 and 3 as I publish the posts).