The Albums That Changed My Life

It all started with punk rock, but now my musical tastes are a cornucopia of genres and artists built around providing the perfect music for my current mood.
  1. Dookie - Green Day
    The album that got me interested in music. I walked in the room where my sisters were watching MTV. The "Longview" video was playing. The aggression and catchiness of the song had me immediately hooked and it was game over.
  2. ...And Out Come the Wolves - Rancid
    Doors were opening to a more in-depth world of punk rock. The mohawks, the detailed narrative lyrics, the ska rhythms, and sing along choruses cemented Rancid as my favorite band.
  3. Energy - Operation Ivy
    While Rancid opened my mind to punk rock, Jesse Michaels' lyrics charged it with social-political lyrics that made me think. No longer was I just singing along to catchy choruses, but I was seeking to understand social injustices in the world that were presented to me in songs such as "Here We Go Again," "Unity," "Freeze Up," and "The Crowd."
  4. London Calling - The Clash
    Taught me that punk wasn't loud, distorted guitars, but an attitude. A way of looking at the world with a vision for peace and justice.
  5. The Harder They Come - Jimmy Cliff
    The message was grittier than the songs sung by the artists on this reggae classic. Jimmy Cliff, Desmond Dekker and many more Kingston staples showed what life was really like for the struggling class.
  6. Live at Leeds - The Who
    The classic rock phases began with the band that possessed the punk attitude. Heavy and aggressive—The Who were the best songwriters and storytellers, while also possessing the most talented rhythm section in rock music.
  7. Dark Side of the Moon - Pink Floyd
    Mind opening. That is all.
  8. S/T - American Football
    The perfect high school album. Still listen to this on a regular basis and am immediately transported back to high school. The friendships, relationships, weekend nights out, local shows, graduation, leaving home—it all comes back in a flood as soon as "Never Meant" begins. It's really a beautiful album.
  9. S/T- Owen
    Same exact thoughts as the previous post. Mike Kinsella's honesty, quirky, conversational lyrics are the most relatable I've experienced.
  10. Rift - Phish
    The album that ignited my Phish phandom, and opened the door to genres like jazz, funk, ambient, and progressive rock. It was all punk and classic rock until Phish came along. Then the world expanded...