1. Spice by The Spice Girls
This was probably the first CD that I really ever had. I distinctly remember being 7 and putting this CD on and dancing on my bed in front of the mirror of my dresser and singing into my brush. The Spice Girls were (and still are) awesome and I will always have an admiration for them. I still love listening to them and watching Spice World. This album changed my little 7-year-old life. I like the messages of Girl Power they always sent. They were really all about empowering girls and women, and it was great.
2. No Strings Attached by N'Sync
I was a huge Backstreet Boys fan until N'Sync came along because they are clearly better. Sorry to those of you on the BSB team, but come on.... Justin Timberlake. I think saying that I was obsessed with N'Sync would be an understatement. My walls were literally wallpapered with pictures of them from all the teenybopper magazines. You know...Bop, Teen Beat, Tiger Beat, and J-14. I watched all their specials and interviews and taped them so that I could re-watch them over and over. I knew the dance moves. I knew all the fun facts about them. I had to watch Model Behavior when it premiered on the Disney Channel. All the usual stuff that pre-teen girls do when it comes to their favorite band. I was shameless. But am I embarassed? NOPE. Still jammin' out to them in my car sometimes. :D I would probably let out the biggest girly squee if I ever heard that they were going to do a reunion show.
3. Britney by Britney Spears
I loved Britney Spears since she first started out. I remember buying her first CD and loving it. I even went to see her concert on her very first tour. My mom took me and I remember we could've stayed and met her afterwards, but my mom wanted to leave and beat the traffic. I'm still not sure if I forgive her or not.
Anyway...this album in particular shaped me because it really helped to solidify my love for dancing. I used to come home from middle school, put this album on and dance the afternoon away in the family room. I'm A Slave 4 U is probably my favorite Britney song, and that was the big single from this album. I loved the video, I loved the beat, and I loved the VMA performance with the snake. I mean, she looked fucking awesome and HOT. I loved watching Britney perform, and yes...I know the Oops I Did It Again dance by heart. I love to dance and I think that watching Britney really brought more of that out in me.
4. The Marshall Mathers LP by Eminem
This is probably somewhat of a 180 from the other albums on the list so far. Eminem is vulgar, dirty, offensive, and controversial. And I don't mean controversial the way Britney's nude-colored VMA outfit was "controversial". I am really not sure why I fell so in love with Eminem's music. I always liked his style and the way he could rhyme things that you didn't think could rhyme. A lot of the time, his lyrics are like rapid fire and sometimes I'm in awe of it. While a lot of people may be against Eminem or are offended by his lyrics, I never was. I just thought it was fascinating the crazy scenarios he came up with. It's like reading or watching some sort of crazy horror story. I felt like he had a little bit of theatrics in his work, and I liked that as well. The Eminem Show almost made this list because that album came out when I really started getting into writing poetry, and I even tried writing some raps. That didn't really pan out well...
5. The Young and the Hopeless by Good Charlotte
Ah, yes. Pop punk. It's like chicken soup to me. I hear it and I just feel better about life because it brings me back to simpler times...lol. I had a goth phase and then I had a scene phase and all throughout, Good Charlotte was my favorite band. I still love them and would totally go see them live if they didn't suck at the moment. I'm pretty sure they just broke up and didn't tell anyone. Lame.
Anyway...I'm not sure what caused me to latch onto them in particular. I guess it was their popularity on MTV. I used to watch music videos in the morning (you know, when MTV still played them) before school and I remember seeing the Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous video and thinking they were kinda weird, but in a cool way. I really loved The Anthem. It's still probably one of my favorite songs by them. It's just fun. They were fun. And they actually had personalities that seemed silly. It always fascinates me how/why teenage girls in particular become obsessed with bands or singers, but once again, that happened to me with Good Charlotte. I had to see them every time they came to the area (probably a total of 6 times), I had all their posters on my wall, every t-shirt, and I owned every obscure song, cover songs, and different versions of their songs that existed. I also used to stay up until 2 or 3 in the morning when I had to be up for school at 6 just because Benji and Joel were hosting a show on MTV called All Things Rock. It was sort of like TRL for rock videos, but replace Carson Daly with Benji and Joel and take away all the screaming people. This was a similar obsession to N'Sync, but it was also a different kind. Around this time is when I was sort of depressed and in a weird stage in life and their music helped. I also had a crush on Benji...
6. Nirvana by Nirvana
This isn't necessarily an album, but more of a compilation, but it had a HUGE impact on me. It's hard to hear the words of Kurt Cobain and NOT be intrigued. I remember Ashley got into them and she sort of introduced me. It was not really like anything I'd heard before. It was a lot of different emotions, and the music was heavier and dirtier in a way. It was grunge, which I never really heard before this. I liked it. I liked the weirdness of the lyrics that you sometimes had no idea what he was saying or talking about. They were almost cryptic sometimes. I remember getting the book of his journals when it was published. It was probably the weirdest thing I ever read. I have no idea what happened to it because I haven't seen it in about 8 years and it didn't turn up when I was packing up my stuff to move, either. Sorry, Kurt.
7. Three Cheers For Sweet Revenge by My Chemical Romance
This album came out at probably the height of my "scenester" stage. I listened to it over and over and over again. I still think it's an awesome album. I always loved the drums on their songs, for some reason. My Chemical Romance was probably my favorite of this particular genre, whatever that genre may be. I also liked The Used, but My Chemical Romance just did it better. I was in a band with my cousin and a friend of mine when this album came out, and they influenced me a lot and I always love to learn their songs. I think we actually played I'm Not Okay (I Promise) during our practices sometimes.
8. Dear Wind by Page France
I discovered Page France closer to my college years near the end of high school. I started getting more into indie stuff, as well as oldies and vintage music. I liked how different they sounded compared to anything else I heard before. I used to spend hours on iTunes searching for new music, and this was the stage in my life when I was doing this A LOT. That's how I found Page France, and that's how I found a lot of other bands that I currently like. I would go through chains of those suggested artists from one band's page to the next. It's a pretty decent way of finding new music fast. Page France actually became a new band called Cotton Jones a while back. They have a different sound, but it's still amazing and really inspiring. I fortunately got the chance to meet them when they did a tour while I was in college. It was awesome!
The Eminem Show by Eminem
Paranoid Cocoon by Cotton Jones
1 by The Beatles (Another compilation, but a great introduction to them for my younger self!)
The Best Party Ever by The Boy Least Likely To
The Used by The Used
Weezer (Green Album) by Weezer
Neon Ballroom by Silverchair
Frankenstein Girls Will Seem Strangely Sexy by Mindless Self Indulgence
Fallen by Evanescence
So there you have it...a glimpse into the albums that shaped me into who I am today! What are yours?
*All photos found on Wikipedia