I Want It All
I got tagged in one of those memes on Facebook by awesome friend, Chrissy (also known as the mother of my goddaughter, Lucia). And I wouldn't call myself a music enthusiast in a way wherein I know obscure bands and crazy indie trivia but I do love music and have been listening since I was a kid.
For some reason, sharing musical tastes with folks always felt strange to me because I felt there was always so much judgment for liking too much pop (or the amount of pop that I do). And it's not that I don't like anything else, growing up, I listened to such a variety of music thanks to having too many siblings with very different tastes. But sharing musical preferences always felt personal.
So seeing this meme that didn't require any explanation of why I liked certain albums, I thought. Why not? But then after sharing all of it without explanation, I realized I have very little shame/dignity left and I thought these albums held a special place in my heart, so here I am rambling about why I like these albums. And you know what? Judge away!
*NSync - No Strings Attached
A large part of my formative years were spent fangirling over *NSync. I would say they were my first fandom. And at this point, I've already heard of the Backstreet Boys and probably even loved them first, but as a teen, JC Chasez's silken voice (and second in command to Justin's lead singing) always struck my heart.
I really believed in my heart I would end up with him. And so I would imagine walking down the aisle as the rest of them sang This I Promise You. It's true. I saw their concert way too many times (on VHS! and then on DVD) and just owned way too much merch. So clearly, they would make it to this list.
On repeat: This I Promise You, I'll Be Good For You, I Thought She Knew, Bye Bye Bye, No Strings Attached
John Mayer - Room For Squares
And as a way of graduating from the excessive amount pop I listened to, I transitioned to white guy with a guitar and I remember my cousin, Nikki first introduced him to me (she also fangirled with me for *NSync) so it was a nice transition as we felt a little more adult.
He's come out with album after album of favorites (save for the two folk-y ones that I mostly ignore) but this first album brings back awesome memories and just gives me good vibes even after listening to it years later.
On repeat: Your Body is a Wonderland, Love Song for No One, Back To You, Not Myself, St. Patrick's Day
Various Artists - High School Musical 3: Senior Year
My love for this movie franchise probably rivals my love for Twilight and this installment, I saw at the cinemas 3-4x. It definitely made me wish that I were still back in high school, going to prom -- rather than being in college and having graduation so far away.
I'll admit to retroactively being obsessed with the first two movies (and their soundtracks) but if I had to choose my favorite of the three, it would be this one. It's hard to deny how HUGE a leap in the production value the movie got when it graduated from being a TV movie.
It also made me wish Zac Efron and Vanessa Hudgens would stay together forever and never break up but I couldn't be so lucky.
On Repeat: Right Here Right Now, Can I Have this Dance, I Want It All, Night To Remember, Just Wanna Be With You, Walk Away
Carly Rae Jepsen - Emotion
I didn't know I needed Carly Rae Jepsen in my life until this album and I kind of want to kick myself for not discovering her sooner. This album is pure pop perfection. As I write my favorite tracks down, I feel like I'm cheating on the other tracks for not including them.
When my instagram turned into what it is now, I always chose a favorite album to soundtrack a trip of mine and this was the soundtrack of my US trip back in 2015 and it was glorious. I still think of LAX, SFO and PDX when I hear the songs. Very very good times.
On Repeat: Run Away With Me, I Really Like You, Gimmie Love, Your Type, When I Needed You, Favourite Colour
Taylor Swift - 1989
This lady is one of the more polarizing artists on my list and I do wish I heard most of her discography when I was in high school because her thoughts turn my feels into mush. From her country roots to when she just straddled the line of pop and country to her full blown pop-album, it was very hard for me to choose an album.
But this album was the soundtrack of my trip to Japan in 2014 and it was amazing. I can't even recall how many times I repeated certain tracks when I was feeling the high of highs and then wallow and get all emo with some tracks. And though Red was a very very close second, the aesthetic of 1989 was hard to ignore. I'm sold.
On Repeat: Blank Space, Style, How You Get the Girl, This Love, I Know Places, Clean
Maroon 5 - Songs about Jane
I remember hearing This Love as part of a CD a crush of mine in high school burned for me -- there was Jason Mraz and Matt Nathanson and Howie Day and Ari Hest and this was before they released their first albums, so I thought he was very cool for introducing me to 'new music.' I ended up really liking their first album and some subsequent albums though they all kind of blend into each other now.
And that's why I love this one. I can still name the songs on it. I actually have favorites and I can tell the intros of the next songs before the previous ones end. This was when Kazaa and Limewire were getting me into new music but I was still definitely listening to entire albums. Oh the days.
On Repeat: Harder To Breathe, This Love, She Will Be Loved, Sunday Morning, Not Coming Home, Sweetest Goodbye
Justin Timberlake - Future Sex/LoveSounds
This was a difficult choice between this album and the double album 20/20 Experience and though I do love a whole lot of the latter, this album just solidified that Justin's decision to go solo was not a mistake. Did it make me sad? Of course. But he clearly was on his way to being his own brand. And he did it so well.
And that's why it makes me sad to hear his latest album (I'm not over it yet), because even the b-tracks on this album are golden. I could listen to Chop Me Up over and over again and just dance to Damn Girl all the time -- and they weren't even the singles. I hate to love him but I do.
On Repeat: My Love, What Goes Around.../...Comes Around, Chop Me Up, Damn Girl, (Another Song) All Over Again
Various Artists - The Fault in Our Stars: Music from the Motion Picture
Apart from the fact that I obsessed over Shailene Woodley's haircut in this, the movie also made me cry buckets. Not as much as the book did, that's for sure, but I was definitely in the camp that was pretty satisfied with how this movie turned out and so when the soundtrack came out and it was awesome, too. My jaw just hit the floor.
It's rare to have a pretty good trifecta of book-movie-soundtrack (i.e. Twilight had amazing soundtracks) so this was a nicely wrapped gift for me when I was losing hope on YA books. The soundtrack was very cool but very apt and just made me want to re-read the book except that was too sad so instead I just re-listened to this soundtrack all the time.
On Repeat: All The Stars, Let Me In, Tee Shirt, Boom Clap, Without Words, Not About Angels, Wait
Alicia Keys - Songs in A Minor
This album was definitive. Alicia Keys is an amazing musician and she's proven that years on years but this debut album of hers was unlike anything that was coming out during that time and so I thought all the praise she got and all those Grammy's was super well worth it.
Her remake of Prince's How Come You Don't Call Me is hands down my favourite on this album and I don't think I've ever stopped listening to it. The hidden track is also particularly amazing. And though her subsequent releases had gems in them. From end to end, her debut album still owns my heart.
On Repeat: How Come You Don't Call Me, Mr. Man, Never Felt This Way, Why Do I Feel So Sad, Loving U
Pietro Lazatin - Songs For Someone Some Time Ago
And lastly, how could I not include the masterpiece of my brother's heartache which he so eloquently transformed into two works of art. I'm a proud sister, yes, but I also appreciate good music.
And these really did sum up my feels not just when you're feeling heartbroken (but they especially do then) but I'm still in awe overtime I listen back to it because damn they're good (even when you're not heartbroken.
And though I do love his other EP as well, these four tracks really do bring out the best of my feelings. I'm sorry The Cupid Above. I love you, too but just not as much as the rest of your co-EP friends. Listen to it, if you haven't.
On Repeat: It Might Not Be Love, I Don't Want You, I Miss You