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Brandy's 10 Most Influential Albums in 23 Years of Life

10 albums that have influenced me the most, huh? That’s definitely a little tough because it’s not like these are my top 10 favorite albums, just ones that have had some sort of impact on me. My generation definitely was into the illegal…I mean super legal way of downloading songs through LimeWire and such to our MP3 players, so we could pick individual songs and didn’t need to go full blown album if we didn’t know a song. My parents and brother first got me into classic rock with your ACDC, Van Halen, Aerosmith, and all of those goodies via the cassette. Ya everyone, I know what a cassette is.

As I have become older, I’ve definitely enjoyed the beauty of a full blown album more so than I did when I was a young’n, but most of my albums I chose were actually influential to me at a young age when I was learning what kind of music speaks to me. For a while there while I was discovering new music in my teens, I’d check out the Billboard rock categories, see what’s new, then explore the album from there!

I put them in order from the first influential in my life, to the latest!

Will Smith - Big Willie Style (1997)

This album was one of my first memories of listening entirely through a CD. I was probably like 6 years old, and my mom had it for her car so we would always jam to it! Singing along and dancing on our car trips was just so much fun. I have a pretty wide variety of music I enjoy, and I think some of my early years of listening to things like this album is what helped me broaden my music horizon. My favorite song off of this album is “Miami”.

Sade - Diamond Life (1984)

Another one of the first albums I learned in its entirety, was introduced to me at a very young age from my mom and dad. They both had this record and CD, so it just has some feel good memories of growing up and spending time with my family associated with it. Definitely another album that has influenced my wide array of music genres. Sade is so soothing on the ears; really gets you to relax! My favorite song off of this album would be “Smooth Operator”.

The Killers - Hot Fuss (2004)

My friend’s sister owned this CD, so one day she stole all of her CDs and we got to jamming. We knew some of The Killers songs that played on the radio, and we were very much into Mr. Brightside. I want to say we were in 3rd or 4th grade, and we felt so cool 1.) Knowing a whole album and 2.) Loving what our older siblings were listening to. Having that connection with my best friend and listening to music that was different than most playing on the radio, definitely helped influence us to get more into this genre of music. My favorite off of this album is “Somebody Told Me”.

Linkin Park - Meteora (2003)

Some of the first songs I used LimeWire to download to my good ol' Mp3 player was off of this album. This was the start of my “teen angst” so it paired really well with Linkin Park. I kinda thought I was so hardcore listening to them, headphones in while I rode in the car with others not listening to their “mainstream” music, yup, so totally hardcore screamo!! For a while there, Linkin Park songs were surrounding me, and I couldn’t escape them on my playlists. Even if I didn’t add them, they just would show up... “Numb” is a great song, and as I grew older I understood things more with the message from it and the pain behind the lyrics. R.I.P Chester Bennington.

Amy Winehouse - Back to Black (2006)

This album influenced me to get into the history of artists. You know, doing research about the stories behind the songs. I started to really enjoy “Tell All’s” and documentaries about artists as well. My favorite song off of her album is “You Know I’m No Good”.

Panic! at the Disco - Too Weird to Live, Too Rare to Die! (2013)

This album was the First CD I bought with my own money. I wasn’t into Panic! When they first came out, I took a few years to find the beauty of Brendon Urie…literally..(and his voice). The day this album was getting released, I went to Target so that I could have my very own physical copy of the CD. The series of videos for this album are just fantastic, as are all of Panic! At the Disco’s. I always had a thing for watching music videos on TV, but by the time of this album release, we had to go to Youtube for music videos (R.I.P real music video channels). My favorite song off of this album is tough to choose, but I’d have to go with “Miss Jackson”.

Fall Out Boy - Save Rock And Roll (2013)

I ALMOST FORGOT ABOUT THIS ALBUM! So many great summer memories with my friends when we were in high school (and my mom, she even came to the concert to jam when it was out at First Ni...uh, I mean S&T Bank Music Park). Playing through it right now I remember every single lyric, and it’s definitely been a few years since I’ve heard em. Impressive. Adding them back into rotation! This album is another fun music video series. My favorite song off of this album is “The Phoenix”.

alt-J - An Awesome Wave (2012)

I love this album. Discovering this album got me away from my typical 2000s alt rock, and opened me up to more chill music. I actually came across this album by creeping on my crush's music list (Thanks Andy). I was sent on a journey through all sorts of indie rock from this album, which opened me up to so many intimate shows that have been some of the most enjoyable ones I’ve attended. My favorite song off of this album is “Tessellate”.

Highly Suspect - Mister Asylum (2015)

OOo, Highly Suspect. Mister Asylum. This album has led me to see a band 9 times over the course of 4 years. Hands down my favorite band, so picking one of their albums over another was hard. This one was the start for me though, an adventure that I’ve enjoyed every minute of. I have a really funny meet and greet story with them, but I’ll save that for another time! I received this album as a gift for my record player, and it was my first record to own. MCID. My favorite song is “F**k Me Up”.

Meg Myers - Sorry (2015)

This album helped influence who I am as a person. This one is a biggy. Meg Myers is kickass and she helped me to realize the badass inside of me. What I mean by that is how you can be so angry at something, but screaming lyrics from the heart make you feel so so much better. This album helped me get through heartaches is basically what I’m saying. Thank you, Meg. My favorite on this album is “Desire”.

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