Music shifts, molds and shapes people over the years, whether it changes their tastes, their moods or whatever, the fact remains constant that music is powerful. Now before spouting off more bullshit, I’ll just right into the nitty gritty of this post; it’s all about albums that have affected me in the past. There are plenty more, but these are the ones that struck me as the most important.
Oceansize – Effloresce
This is the first full length release from the late Manchester prog-rock band, Oceansize. Effloresce opened a lot of doors for me in terms of the music that I like; before Oceansize, there was only 4/4 and maybe a few variations, now there’s all these time signatures that go straight over my head. The album is heavily textured, it moves through itself incredibly well mixing different moods eloquently with the proficient use of every instrument in the band and above all else, it’s exciting.
Recommended listening: Remember Where You Are
Muse – Origin Of Symmetry
For a massive part of my life, these Devon alt-rockers ruled my playlists with their memorable riffs, vocal melodies and interesting themes. Above all else though, the sinister release, Origin Of Symmetry reigned supreme. It’s an incredibly big sounding album, despite there being only three members and it still holds up today as one of the best rock albums I’ve ever heard. The band has since moved on to create bigger, more hyperbolic pieces of work, but this album will always remain my favourite.
Recommended listening: Screenager
Kashiwa Daisuke – Program Music I
Here’s another gent that pushed me to look into different genres and styles of music. Program Music is a monolith of an album that clocks in at around 60 minutes, with only two songs on the album. Each song moves through a mass of different sounds and mash ups of sound that range from classical, to rock, to IDM. All of this centres on the genius that is Kashiwa Daisuke and his truly epic composition of music. His other releases have been great, sure, but nothing will ever hold a candle to Program Music I.
Recommended listening: Stella
Between The Buried and Me – Colors
Easily my favourite BTBAM release, simply because it feels like their most coherent work. These guys have been putting out there progressive-mind-bending-metal out for a while now and I think it’s fair to dub this, their best. Alaska is also an incredible album, but the musical direction this album takes (all of them), is fantastic and there is never a dull moment in the feedback. Colors is full of twists and turns that you might not expect to be driving down on a metal album. Prime example for all you example heads out there, the almost Mumford and Sons breakdown in Ants of the Sky; mesmerising.
Recommended listening: Ants of The Sky
Johnny Cash – American IV: The Man Comes Around
The last release in Johnny Cash’s lifetime was also one of his most breath-taking. Despite the majority of the track listing being covers, Cash works his magic over them with striking effect. I think this album is one of the first albums that got me in to music all those years ago and it still hasn’t lost its effect on me. Hurt still moves me in the same earth-shattering way it did back then and When The Man Comes Around still sends chills down my spine with those final words: “And I looked and behold, a pale horse and his name that sat on him was death and hell followed with him.”
Recommended Listening – I Hung My Head
Dan Le Sac Vs. Scroobius Pip – Angles
Dan Le Sac and Scroobius Pip continue to put out strong electric/hip-hop releases, to this today. Recently they released Repent Replenish Repeat, which is glorious and self-aware hip-hop album. Said album dissects a few uncomfortable issues that we, as a society, are not always comfortable at dealing with. It will always be Angles for me though; the first album of theirs I heard that caught me off guard with some incredible sharp lyrics and even sharper instrumentation. Both of which could be very difficult on the ears, not because they were bad, but because we’re made to face a few unpleasant truths. Essential listening.
Recommended listening: Angles