1. Hysteria – Def Leppard
Hysteria changed my feelings toward rock music. I had always been a fan of rock since I was little, but I didn’t become a fan until recently. When I listened to Hysteria for the first time, all 62 minutes of it, I understood. This album changed everything all the way back in 1987, and it made me realize how much I love rock. It made them go from ‘heavy metal’ to ‘pop rock’, partially because of the use of electronic drums after drummer Rick Allen lost his left arm. It took them four years to create, and it took me 28 years (even though I’m only 19) to figure out how much this album meant to me. Now, I’m obsessed with the guitar lead of “Women”. “Pour Some Sugar on Me” is a classic, the title track “Hysteria” makes me close my eyes and pay attention, and “Gods of War” is just that epic song.
2. Night Visions-Imagine Dragons
I stumbled upon Imagine Dragons by a shot of luck. They had a free song on iTunes this week, “Amsterdam”, I downloaded it and I was so hooked I had to drive myself down to the music store to get this CD. This is another rock album that changed me, as I absolutely love the actual music, besides the fact that the lyrics are also amazing. I have listened to this album, in full, many times on my way to school and as I do regular things. It’s my go-to rock album that I love, and I’m glad I became a fan.
3. Red-Taylor Swift
This album truly made me a Taylor Swift fan. Sure, I had always liked her music before then. I thought it was good. Then this album was released. I have it on repeat every fall, because for some reason I only think of this season when it comes to this record. It’s also exclusively played in my car during the fall when I’m at home. “All Too Well” is my absolute favorite song from her, and I have to stop and sing my heart out every time. I don’t know what it is, but the lyrics are just so damn good. Her lyrics on this record are flawless, and honestly, it’s her best.
4. The Stronger the Love-Action Item
This is the album (or EP) that made me love Action Item. They had just released this a few months before I became a fan, and once I heard it, it was love. This record has been played at least 600 times on repeat in the past 5 years, and I can’t say I regret it. Songs like “Defenseless” and “Home” made me emotional, and the song “Somewhere Out There” gave me hope. This is basically the album that defines my high school career. It was part of my high school life and I still get a sense of nostalgia every time I hear it. I’m still hoping to someday get a lyric tattooed on me, but that’s a totally different story and probably will never happen.
5. Battle Scars-Paradise Fears
I became a fan of PF when their singer, Sam Miller, approached us at an All Time Low show and asked if we wanted to listen to his band’s music. I had always liked them, and their song “Sanctuary” was like my “Defenseless”, but then they released this EP. Every song is inspiration for you to be yourself and to do what you want, regardless of your past. This EP told me that I could be who I wanted to be, no matter what. This is also on the list partly because I attended a Boston release show for this EP, which is one of the best concerts I ever lived through. The energy, the love, the passion… it was perfect.
6. Save Rock and Roll-Fall Out Boy
I had always liked Fall Out Boy, even though I was a young’in when they were first popular. Then the hiatus happened, and they came back the day before my 17th birthday. I heard this album live a year later on their Monumentour with Paramore and fell in love. Rock and roll is my favorite thing in the world, and I love that they made this a pop/rock/punk/whatever else combo. Every single song is perfection, especially ones like “Just One Yesterday” and of course, the title track “Save Rock and Roll”. FOB is one of those bands that just keeps on rocking, and this album gave me a belief in music again.
7. Jonas Brothers-Jonas Brothers
If I never got this album for Christmas, I wouldn’t be who I am today. The Jonas Brothers were my first band obsession. I listened to this record every day, in and out. After I saw them on their WYLMITE tour, my teacher let me bring the CD in every day while we were working on projects to listen to. I know I annoyed everyone else in my class, but that’s also why my “Best Known For” in 8th grade says “My JB Obsession”. I loved this band and everything about them, and I’ll never forget how much of an impact they made on me.
8. Fashionably Late-Honor Society
I discovered HS through the Jonas Brothers on their 2009 tour. HS was also another band that made an impact on me and helped me discover other bands. They were the band that showed me the life of small bands, working their way to the top. Songs like “Two Rebels” and “Don’t Close the Book” were what I blasted in my room in 8th grade. Honor Society changed my entire viewpoint on the music industry (plus, they were also the first band I met. Ever.).
9. Salute-Little Mix
A more recent album, Salute came out in 2013. However, it quickly became a favorite of mine. I liked the girls of LM, and this girl-power record made me love them even more. Songs like “Salute”, “About the Boy”, “Stand Down” and “Good Enough” were fantastic anthems about being yourself and proving that you can be just as good as anyone else. I’m a feminist, and this record just gave me the songs I needed to clarify with.
I may have 9 different albums that have changed my life, but I know everyone has that one album that makes you feel good. The one that makes you happy. Hopefully you love it just as much as I love these.