this is going to be very difficult for me to write, partly because (okay, mostly because) tons of people (*except for Robin! and Biff sometimes) think that my musical taste is crap.
Since I'm 20, this counts as roughly one album per year.
The extremely life changing first:
Luxury by Fantastic Plastic Machine
This was the first CD that Biff gave me when we met. And I totally, completely would listen to it every morning while I was getting ready for school, and when I got home from school...it was unlike anything I'd ever heard before, and I loved that. "You Must Learn all night long," track #7, is just so absolutely fun... I fell in love with this album AND the guy who gave me it.
I bought this in a bargain bin at the central library for $1.00. Little did I anticipate how much their rock-riff anthems would perfectly describe the angst and frustration of highschool. So, so good. These are songs from those single years.
I remember going to Marquette with my Dad during the summer, when I was 10 or something, and there were all these college students dressed like college students were dressed back in the 1990's playing frisbee and listening to "Two Princes" by the Spin Doctors on a boombox, and that moment was kind've frozen in time for me as "YES I WANT TO BE LIKE THEM WHEN I GROW UP!"...so for me, the Spin Doctors epitomize summer. And what college should be.
And no, I don't just like the title track. I love this whole album. It's like shouting out loud "I WANT MORE!" to the world. It still gives me goosebumps--the intense "Whatever happened to Mary", and my own personal theme song of "Outsider." You couldn't pay me enough to go back to middle/high school but at least this album got me through it.
These orchestral adaptations of random Enya songs achieve a level of such haunting beauty, I'd listen to them with my eyes closed and cry. And I've had this album for such a long time, too. I've always liked listening to music while imagining.