• James Hewlett

Ten Great Albums

Recently going around on facebook was one of those ‘post the cover of an album, don’t write anything about it and nominate someone to do the same and repeat for ten days’ things. I normally avoid them like the plague, I don’t like using that platform at the best of times but I got tagged in it on my birthday by a friend who shares a lot of the same musical tastes as me so I posted a response. I didn’t bother doing the rest of the ten days as I thought it was a waste of half decent content for the blog.

Instead of feeding into the mindless scrolling culture of facebook I actually will write a little bit about each album to give some context as to why it is on the list.

The premise was ten albums that had a big impact on you at the time and while not necessarily in constant rotation now you can happily listen to them throughout and enjoy it just the same. So that is what this is, it is not my definitive ‘Top Ten Albums Ever’ list, though some of these might make that too.

Barenaked Ladies - Gordon

First one and the only one I bothered posting on facebook, the debut album on my favourite band. I first discovered them when Jon got back from his first cruise as a DJ. He’d made some friends and they were big fans. I was hooked straight away and probably know this album, word for word front to back. It’s a really great pop rock album that has ages incredibly well. I’ve only just realised it is the oldest album on this list too. Weird. I’m looking forward to seeing the now hall of famers again on Wednesday night.

Nirvana - Nevermind

This might seem like a basic bitch answer but it is a god damn masterpiece. I was listening to it again recently and it fucking rocks all the way through. I can’t remember when I first heard this but again, it would have been from Jon when it first came out. I really like what came before and after with Kurt, Krist and Dave but this album captures a moment in time perfectly.

Arrested Development - 3 Years, 5 Months & 2 Days in the life of…

My name sake inspiration for the website! This is such a cool and funky I guess hip hop album. I hesitate to call it that as it is nothing like what you think of when you say rap or hip hop. More typical examples of that are also on this lis later. This album is full of such positivity and good feelings. Mr. Wendal and Everyday People might be familiar if you heard them but the rest of the album is just as good if not better. I was pleasantly pleased to discover the band have been back together for quite some time and are still putting out music, it’s good too.

The Shins - Oh, Inverted World

This is a time capsule of the mid two thousands for me. I still think it is a great album but for a good few years there last decade it was my absolute favourite thing. I really like how melodic and wistful the album is. I’m listening to a playlist at the moment based off some Syd Matters tracks and I wouldn’t be surprised if New Slang came up. I’ve not connected as much with the last couple of albums but the first three I still really like a lot.

Snoop Doggy Dogg - Doggystyle

Dude was nineteen when this came out and is still widely considered to be one of the best rap albums of all time. Makes you feel lazy doesn’t it? Another album I probably know word for word and can listen to start to finish whenever. It used to take me back to barbecues in the garden in the summers of the mid nineties but now it is just an album that seems to creep its way back into rotation every year as the sun starts staying out longer.

The Postal Service - Give Up

Another time capsule from Sub Pop in the mid two thousands, but one that I believe holds up better. I’ve written about this album before I think so I won’t go into it again. It is really great and totally unique. Well, I say that, there are probably many imitators not but none that match up. This album always reminds me of Brockenhurst college, it came out while I was there and I listened to a fair bit, I really fell in love it with later though.

Counting Crows - August & Everything After

A lot of people shit on Counting Crows and I can kind of see why, they rub people the same way that Dave Mathews Band do I think. I don’t really care, I think they’re great and this album is really good. It reminds me a lot of sitting in my bedroom at home as a kid getting high and painting miniatures when I should have been studying. It was right around the start of my hippie years. I alternated between this and Stunt by BNL a lot. It’s weird what certain moments in songs can conjure in your memory.

Pinback - Summer In Abaddon

This one feels really personal, I don’t think I’ve ever met someone who is as into Pinback as I am unless I’ve introduced them to the band. Sure some people have heard Fortress, it was on a bunch of soundtracks at the time, but these guys were so good! I also feel like they were very much ‘artists’ both of them had many different projects and would only put out a Pinback album if they really had the right material to bring to that particular band name. Thats not to say that any of their albums sound samey, they’re all quite different. This is my person favourite. I sometimes go a few months or years without listening to it and then when I come back to it I don’t just remember how much I love it but I discover something new about it too.

Blind Melon - Blind Melon

Weird, I’ve got a few debut albums on my list but this is the only self titled album on here. I’m sure I’ve talked about my love of Blind Melon before but if I haven’t stay tuned as, spoiler alert, the first episode of Another Dead Rockstar is all about Shannon Hoon and this band. I got way into these guys during my hippie years. While I believe Kurt Cobain would have stopped making music after a little bit more had he continued to live, I think Shannon would have stayed with Blind Melon and continued to make music for many years. They wouldn’t ever have hit the heights of No Rain again but they could have continued to tour and been popular for many years.

Childish Gambino - Camp

This album had to be on this list. It took over me and my group of friends for a good couple of years. Sure it got popular and Donald Glover has only continued to grow in fame and expertise in everything he does, and sure a lot of people look at the earlier Gambino stuff and sneer at it now, but god damn does this album pack a punch. It was hard putting this on the list over Culdesac or even the five track EP that came out between but I think this one just had the right amount of polish to it for it really stand out. Seeing him one tour in two tiny venues in support of this album is still my favourite live music experiences.

That’s it! I considered an honourable mention for Bleed American by Jimmy Eat world but this will have to suffice for that. It’s five thirty and I’m on my fourth beer, how is your Saturday going?

#music #topten #livemusic #entertainment #listicle #me #memories


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