Turns out they're mostly by women. Not a shock.
  1. Tidal, Fiona Apple, 1996.
    I was 13. This is the first album I ever bought and listened to more than just the singles. She broods and questions her way through this one and it spoke to me. This is the album that made me start to really LOVE music.
  2. The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, Lauryn Hill, 1998.
    This woman showed me the side of hip hop and rap that I wasn't aware of before, the side where great beats meet social consciousness. This was also one of my first introductions to mainstream feminism. L Boogie pretty much defined 15-16 for me.
  3. Wolfmother, Wolfmother, 2005.
    My boyfriend at the time introduced me. He also introduced me to smoking weed every day, so 70s sounding rock music is a predictable soundtrack to our time together. Fare thee well, 22. I barely remember you.
  4. Back to Black, Amy Winehouse, 2006.
    And then we broke up. I was sad and drunk a lot and Amy's music is perfect for substance enhanced heartbreak. What a force of nature she was. This music can still bring me to tears, even if I can no longer relate.
  5. Beyonce, Beyonce, 2014.
    Daaaaaaaamn girl. DAMN. She was incredible before but this one cemented her as an icon in my eyes. Say what you will about her commitment to feminism, but nobody else is extolling the virtues of wife/motherhood, feeling sexy for yourself AND him, and getting whatever the hell you want because you deserve it like this woman. Yes to B always and forever. So excited to see what's next.