I’m celebrating turning 30 at the end of the month by posting a bunch of my favorite things on this blog and my YouTube channel. Today I’m continuing the countdown of my favorite albums. If you missed my Favorite Movie Moments, click here for the first, second, third, fourth, and fifth posts. If you missed my first Favorite Albums post, click here.
#24 – Pageant Material
I mentioned in my previous post that I wasn’t always the biggest fan of Country music. Well, that has changed in the last few years. I find myself drawn to artists like Kacey Musgraves, who present a more mellow sound, and laid back feel to their music. Her music sounds very melancholy to me, and I love the mood it creates. Pageant Material is her second album, and while I love her first one, I think this one is a little more connected in terms of themes and sound.
“Dime Store Cowgirl” is a sweet little ditty that served as the second single off the album. It feels nostalgic and essentially delivers a message of staying true to your roots while still enjoying what’s happening in the now.
#23 – Hell on Heels
Speaking of Country artists and laid back, mellow sounds, the Pistol Annies is a new favorite of mine. I had never really listened to Miranda Lambert and was a little surprised to find that I liked her side project so much. I still haven’t heard much of her solo work but I’m a big fan of the darker themes she, Ashley Monroe, and Angaleena Presley cover as the Pistol Annies, and I love the harmonies the three of them create on both this album, and their follow up one, Annie Up.
The title track is still my favorite from this album, and a perfect introduction to what this band’s music is like.
#22 – Hot Fuss
If The All-American Rejects were the soundtrack to my senior year of high school, The Killers were the soundtrack to my sophomore year. They had such a unique sound that perfectly synthesized rock with pop electronic, and I was instantly hooked. I haven’t followed them too closely over the years but I kind of “re-discovered” them about a year ago. I’m kicking myself now because they continued to produce great music, so I have a lot of catching up to do.
“Mr. Brightside,” the first single is still my favorite track on the album but “Spaceman” from their third album, Day & Age, is my all-time favorite Killers song.
#21 – Rooney
Rooney was a local band that should have gone farther than they did/have. I know that Robert Schwartzman is still making music but the band lineup has changed, and the subsequent albums haven’t hit as big as the first. I hope he continues to record new material because I like what I’ve heard from him thus far, and especially love the first album. It has a 60ish pop rock sound with a little bit of 2000s alternative thrown in, and every track on the album feels like they belong together, making it a very satisfying, and cohesive listening experience.
“I’m a Terrible Person” is a fun, upbeat song, and is hilarious when you actually listen to the lyrics, which is why it’s my favorite track off the album.
#20 – Release Me
Another Southern California band that I think should have gotten much more exposure than they did. I discovered them thanks to a number of concerts in which they opened for another favorite band of mine. I like their first album, and I have all of their EPs but this album was perfect in my mind. They sounded (and looked) like a 60s pop girl group on this one, and less like the indie alternative band of their first album (which wasn’t bad). Still bums me out whenever I listen to either album that they weren’t more successful.
The first track on the album, “Wishing He Were Dead” is a rather sweet sounding pop song with some fairly dark lyrics from a jilted girlfriend planning a bit of revenge on an unfaithful boyfriend.
#19 – Tyrannosaurus Hives
This may be the shortest album on my list. It comes in at just under 30 minutes but it is a pure adreniline rush from start to finish. The Hives are a great live band. They take that energy they put into their albums, and they really put on a show. They don’t just stand up there and play, they run around, they interact with the audience, and when I saw them, their guitarist split his finger open (and broke his guitar string) from playing too hard. I could have picked any of their albums for this slot but I chose this one because I think of all of them, it is the most energetic.
“Walk Idiot Walk” is the longest track on the album, and the most traditional, which makes sense that it was the lead single.
Swing by tomorrow for the next batch of my Favorite Albums.