15 albums that will stay with me forever – 2010 vs 2017

Does anyone else remember Facebook notes? Back in the early 2010s they were all the rage in my friendship group.  People would tag their friends in questionnaires about inane topics like their favourite colour, and I probably filled out about 4 notes a week at my peak.

Nowadays I know that kind of thing is pretty cringey, but in 2010 I was merely an annoying little 15 year old with too high an opinion of herself, so I was under the impression that literally EVERYONE wanted to know all about whether I’d kiss the last person I sent a text to.  (Note: usually the last person I’d sent a text to was my Mum, just to demonstrate how thrilling my answers were.)

Well, earlier this week I was reminded about the existence of notes, when a note I had written back in 2010 popped up in my Memories page on Facebook.  The title read 15 albums ❤️, and the ‘rules’ that invariably came along with a Facebook note read as follows:

The rules: Don’t take too long to think about it. Fifteen albums you’ve heard that will always stick with you. List the first fifteen you can recall in no more than 15 minutes. Tag fifteen friends, including me, because I’m interested in seeing what albums my friends choose.

When I read over the list of albums I’d chosen, I laughed to myself. Most of these albums didn’t stick with me for much more than a couple of years, let alone a lifetime.  So today I thought I’d show you my list of 15 albums from 2010, and compare with albums I’d choose today.

2010:

  1. Welcome to the Black Parade – My Chemical Romance
  2. This is War – 30 Seconds to Mars
  3. The Flame in All of us – Thousand Foot Krutch
  4. One-X – Three Days Grace
  5. Infinity on High – Fall Out Boy
  6. Streets of Gold – 3OH!3
  7. Betrayed – Lostprophets
  8. The Defamation of Strickland Banks – Plan B
  9. In Your Honour – Foo Fighters
  10. Meteora – Linkin Park
  11. Black Holes and Revelations – Muse
  12. Only Revolutions – Biffy Clyro
  13. 21st Century Breakdown – Green Day
  14. Curtain Call – Eminem
  15. In Silico – Pendulum

Well, isn’t this list a throwback? It really demonstrates how little my music taste has changed in seven years, as to be honest I still listen to tracks from 11 out of these 15 albums on a regular basis.

The four I’ve left behind? Lostprophet’s Betrayed, for obvious reasons – after Iain Watkins was convicted of being a paedophile, I deleted all of their music from my iTunes account and I’ve never listened to them since.  The knowledge that Watkins had been doing unspeakable things to kids whilst making that music makes me sick to my stomach.

I’ve also moved on from Eminem’s Curtain Call and Plan B’s The Defamation of Strickland Banks.  I’m not massively into rap any more, and besides, I’ve grown out of Eminem spitting bars about how he’d like to murder his mother, ex-girlfriend Kim, or any other lady who takes his fancy – violence against women isn’t my favourite genre.

Plus, Streets of Gold by 3OH!3 is essentially a 2010 time capsule.  It perfectly captured the music and sentiments of the moment, so I honestly feel like I’m 15 again every time one of its tracks comes on shuffle, and it’s all just a bit cringe.  To be fair, though, the line “tell your boyfriend, if he says he’s got beef, that I’m a vegetarian and I ain’t fuckin’ scared of him” is still lyrical genius.

To be fair to my 15 year old self, the rest of the albums on this list still hold up today.  Meteora is still an amazing Linkin Park album 14 years since it was released, and if I ever feel the urge to listen to some drum and bass, In Silico is usually the record I turn to.  I don’t listen to Thousand Foot Krutch or Three Days Grace very often any more, but I still feel pretty nostalgic for those albums, so I don’t feel bad at having included them.  Plus, my first ever proper gig was to see Green Day on their 21st Century Breakdown tour, so that album will always have a special place in my heart.

But with no further ado, what are the 15 albums that will stick with me forever – 2017 edition?

2017:

  1. Blossom – Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes
  2. Puzzle – Biffy Clyro
  3. Ceremonials – Florence & The Machine
  4. All Hope Is Gone – Slipknot
  5. Minutes to Midnight – Linkin Park
  6. Toxicity – System of a Down
  7. Bones – Young Guns
  8. Wasting Light – Foo Fighters
  9. A Flash Flood of Colour – Enter Shikari
  10. Folie à Deux – Fall Out Boy
  11. Maybe Today, Maybe Tomorrow – We Are The Ocean
  12. Royal Blood – Royal Blood
  13. Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not – Arctic Monkeys
  14. Black Holes and Revelations – Muse
  15. Nightmare – Avenged Sevenfold

I’ve gotta say, this was a seriously difficult list to compile.  The thing I found hardest was trying to discern in my mind between albums I’m obsessed with right now, and albums that hold a special place in my heart, and I’ll likely love for a long time.

For that reason, records like If I’m The Devil… by Letlive., Bad Vibrations by A Day to Remember and Asymmetry by Mallory Knox didn’t quite make the cut – whilst I love those records, I’m not 100% convinced that I’ll still love them as much in years to come.

You’ll notice that only one album is still on this list: Black Holes and Revelations by Muse.  I struggled with choosing a Muse album, because I love all of their records for different reasons, but Black Holes and Revelations is one I always go back to without fail.

There is a fair bit of repetition of artists on this list, though: Foo Fighters, Muse, Fall Out Boy, Linkin Park and Biffy Clyro all make a reappearance, even if my favoured records on their discographies have changed a bit.  In fairness, most of these bands have put out at least two records since 2010, so I had a broader spectrum of choice.

And what of the new appearances on my list? About a year after I wrote this note, in 2011, I started listening to bands like Avenged Sevenfold, System of a Down, Young Guns and Slipknot.  Without being too sappy, they honestly changed my life and the way I listen to and interact with music, and now a lot of my music taste revolves around these three acts.

Whenever any of the tracks from the above 15 albums come on shuffle, I feel relieved that my iPod has come up with a good shuffle, for once, and ignored the many years worth of crap music which still resides in my iTunes library. (Note to self: clear it out, you’ll feel better for it.)

I know the premise of the 15 albums note is flawed, because there’s truly no way of knowing how you’ll feel about an album or artist in years to come. Hell, nobody could predict that Iain Watkins would turn out to be a paedo.  So maybe in another seven years, in 2024, I’ll take on 15 albums ❤️ round three, and we can see how my tastes have evolved – or not – yet again!


What are your 15 albums that will stay with you forever? What do you think of my selection? Facebook or Twitter page, or in the comment section below this post.

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Review: Drones

As an aside, before I start this review I just realised that this is my 100th post on altrocklife!  It’s always exciting to reach milestones like this, and I’ve had a fantastic time writing all of these posts.  Thanks to all of my loyal readers who have continued to read altrocklife, and I look forward to the next 100 posts.

Back to the matter at hand: Drones is the seventh studio album by Muse, the Devon three-piece formed in 1994.  I’m one of those rare creatures that has enjoyed everything Muse have ever released.  In my opinion, even though Muse have never really stuck to one genre and continued to experiment with their sound, every musical risk they’ve taken has paid off.

Saying that, Drones is a return to Muse’s heavier, prog-rock roots, and it sounds absolutely fantastic.  Vocalist Matt Bellamy’s wailing vocals are as powerful as ever and strong throughout, and there are plenty of instrumentals and guitar solos that are sure to keep every listener happy.  Plus, for fans of The 2nd Law, electronic influences still play a role on this record.

The record has a good mixture of heavier tracks, such as Psycho and Defector, and slower ballads like Mercy.  The autotune and heavy use of synthesisers in Reapers adds something a bit different to the track and helps it to stand out from the rest of the album.  And for fans of Muse’s 2003 album Absolution, The Handler has been lauded as Stockholm Syndrome on steroids, or its cooler, more badass older brother.  The title track is a bit of a strange way to end the album, in my opinion, but that doesn’t detract from the overall package.

Muse’s most recent albums have followed a theme, and Drones is no different: Matt Bellamy, in an interview with NME, hinted that the album would follow the themes of World War Three, deep ecology and the empathy gap.  These themes are apparent in every song on the album, which helps to make it a more complete package.

Drones weighs in at almost an hour long, and with almost every song over four minutes long, each track is a saga in its own right.  The two short filler tracks help to break the album into more manageable chunks.  I was listening to the album on Spotify Free, which saddens me as I was unable to access The Globalist, which is a Spotify Premium exclusive.  The album doesn’t seem to suffer without it, however having never heard that track I’m unaware of what I’m missing.

One criticism I have is that, by the time of its UK release on June 8, Muse had already released seven out of the 12 Drones tracks.  This made listening to the finished package a little underwhelming: it’s difficult to get excited while listening to an album for the first time, when you’ve already heard over half of the tracks.  That doesn’t make the record any less fantastic, though!  To be fair to Muse, with so many amazing tracks on the album, I’d struggle picking two or three to release as singles as well.

To conclude, for existing Muse fans who enjoyed their first three albums, this album should be a dream come true.  In my opinion, this band can do no wrong, and I’m extremely jealous of everyone who’ll be seeing them headline Download Festival this weekend.  My favourite music is music with a message, and Drones is certainly that.

Highlights: The Handler, Reapers, Defector

8 incredible new tracks you need in your life – March 2015

Anyone with ears will know how much incredible new music is out there at the moment, from established bands as well as up-and-coming acts.  Here’s my list of some of the best tracks released in the past couple of months.

8: The Vaccines – Handsome

Weird music videos seem to be on trend in 2015, don’t they?  I really like the combination of techno drum beats and crashing cymbals in the chorus.

7: Slaves – Feed The Mantaray

If you’re a fan of The Mighty Boosh, the video for this track might leave you reminiscing the cult BBC3 comedy.  This grungy track is great fun to listen to, especially if you love sea creatures as much as I do.

6: Mumford & Sons – Believe

As the only Reading And Leeds headline act I’m actually excited about this year, I was super excited when Mumford & Sons released this little number.  It’s a slow-burner, I’ll admit, but the track’s climax is well worth the wait.

5: Courtney Barnett – Pedestrian At Best

Anyone who knows me will understand my love of female musicians in alternative rock.  Courtney Barnett is a great example of new female talent.  The lyrics of this track are really interesting, on top of some great riffs.

4: Peace – I’m A Girl

This song is a must-listen for fans of wailing guitars and feedback aplenty.  If you feel like challenging your brain a little, the interactive video above may give you something to do.

3: The Bohicas – To Die For

Yet another weird music video!  I can see The Bohicas making waves this year if they keep releasing great tracks like this.

2: The Wombats – Emoticons

The lil’ guitar solo during the introduction to this track is a great mood-setter, and the track’s lyrics are as self-depreciating and fun as The Wombats have always been.  I can’t wait for their next album, Glitterbug, to be released next month!

1: Muse – Psycho

Muse are officially back, and they’re back with a bang!  The guitar work in this track is absolutely incredible, and Matt Bellamy’s voice sounds excellent as always.  Drones promises to be a fantastic album if the rest of the track meet Psycho‘s standards.

#tbt : top 9 albums from the 90s you need in your life

Hey everyone!  Looks like it’s time for another throwback Thursday, and today I want to look at my favourite 90s albums.  The 90s were an amazing time for the punk, rock and metal world, with bands such as Foo Fighters, Slipknot, Avenged Sevenfold, Biffy Clyro, Blink-182, and Linkin Park forming during the decade.

A lot of the albums released during the 90s have gone on to become cornerstones of modern punk, rock and metal; if you’ve never listened to Nevermind, for example, most people would look at you like your head was on backwards.

Plus, even if you only listen to music from the noughties onwards, chances are that your favourite artists were influenced by, or grew up listening to some of the albums I’m gonna list today.  So, let’s start the countdown!

9: The Razor’s Edge – AC/DC

Honestly, the members of this band probably sweat pure rock and roll.  Whilst not their best album, The Razor’s Edge produced a whole host of anthems which could easily fill stadiums.  Plus, the slow-burning opening to Thunderstruck is enough to send shivers down my spine.

8: Dookie – Green Day

From start to finish, this album is an explosion of angry pop-punk.  What’s not to love about that?  In fact, I don’t think I even need to say any more about Dookie.  Go listen to it, and let it speak for itself.

7: Enema of the State – Blink-182

This album is pure, unadulterated awesome.  Plus, the singles it produced – Adam’s Song, What’s My Age Again? and All The Small Things – have become anthems even hermits that never listen to the radio are probably well aware of.

6: Showbiz – Muse

This album is quirky as hell, and that’s why I like it.  Showbiz turned out to be a pretty good indication of what direction Muse would be going in; that direction being completely throwing out the rule-book and creating completely original music with every album.

5: Parklife – Blur

This list wouldn’t be complete without a little bit of Britpop.  Parklife and Girls and Boys are instantly recognisable even 20 years on, and the whole album in general is infectiously good.

4: In The Aeroplane Over The Sea – Neutral Milk Hotel

When I decided I was going to write this post, ITAOTS was one of the first albums I considered for it.  It’s weird, yes, and the lyrics are pretty difficult to get your head around on the first listen, but gems like Holland, 1945 and King of Carrot Flowers Part 2 & 3 combined with the weirdness is what makes this album great.

3: Nevermind – Nirvana

I bet you saw this one coming, didn’t you?  To be honest, I’m not a massive fan of the rest of Nirvana’s discography, but Nevermind is legendary and pretty damn difficult to fault.

2: The Colour And The Shape – Foo Fighters

Quite frankly, this album has it all, and is probably one of the Foo’s best albums.  If you can listen to this album without singing along, or at least tapping your foot to bangers like Monkey Wrench and Everlong then you have more willpower than I do.

1: System of a Down – System of a Down

This album just goes to show that System of a Down were at the top of their game from the very beginning.  I saw SOAD at Reading Festival last year: they closed the set with Sugar, and it was one of the highlights of the day.  If you don’t have this album on your iPod, then I’m seriously judging you.

Currently listening to: I RememberA Day To Remember