Saturday, February 20, 2010

Top 10 most embarrassingly favorite albums

We all have secret musical affairs, we just don't talk about them much. They are our secret lovers too strange and vapid to mention to polite company, but sometimes we need to air our dirty laundry.

10. Britney Spears In The Zone

Yeah, yeah, I know. If you showed anyone your CD case in high school and they spotted any of Britney's CDs in your collection, you'd be guaranteed to be stuffed in your locker after third period. Brit-Brit's fourth studio album is probably most well-known for the stripper-licious number "Toxic." Infectious, annoying, and impossibly sexy all in one, "Toxic" reached the Billboard Top 20 fairly quickly. It was overplayed, and the video was criticized by most high school students as "OMG SLUTTY!" But in the shadow of "Toxic," we missed out on great tracks like "Early Mornin," a collaboration with Moby. The song is sexy and surprisingly relaxing; quite possibly the best alternative to a hangover. If you need good dance tracks for booty dancing on your daily commute to school or work, this is a great choice.

BEST TRACK: "Early Mornin'"

9. World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King Original Soundtrack

This one makes the list simply by virtue of being associated with the video game which babysits the highest percentage of virginal nerd-boys in the cyberverse. But all that aside, the music is phenomenal. It has a complexity which not only do the previous WoW expansions not have, but many modern instrumental composers couldn't dream of creating. Unfortunately, due to the nature of angry raids and retardocake Vent chats, the music goes unappreciated by most WoW nerds.

BEST TRACK: "Dragon's Rest"

8. Godsmack: The Other Side

I would have picked one of Godsmack's other albums for this slot, as they are far more embarassing than this. But they simply don't fit the favorite category. Among those of us in the precocious adolescent stage in the late 90s and early 21st century, Godsmack is one of the most frequently mentioned cathartic experiences, along with Slipknot, Linkin Park and Staind. This fact makes it a bit harder to appreciate the music, but The Other Side brings out the depth to the lyrics that obnoxiously loud metal just can't match. The acoustic songs are colorful and moving--not to mention that Sully's voice is just so much more sexy without that obnoxious bass in the background.

BEST TRACK: "Running Blind"

7. Eden's Crush: Popstars

Old people like me remember when Nicole Scherzinger was not a Pussycat
StripperDoll. This album was from the first group produced by the short-lived WB series, "Popstars," and their debut single, Get Over Yourself, made the Billboard Top 40 in its first week out. The girls' voices blend incredibly well, and over all, their music was infectious. This album makes the list mostly because of its nostalgic value, but it is also aural crack if you're in the right mood.

BEST TRACK: "I Wanna Be Free"

6. B*Witched: B*Witched

This incredibly successful Irish girl group was at their heyday in the late 90s and early 2000s. And man, were they the bubblegummiest of bubblegum pop. Yet, unlike American pop, their lyrics didn't follow the trite OH BABY formula as closely. This group was a refreshing European take on fun music, and they were talented as hell.

BEST TRACK: "Blame It On The Weatherman"

5. Aqua: Aquarium
Dude, how many late 90s junior high students didn't know all the words to "Barbie Girl?" If you didn't, your life was sad and empty. Seriously. Aqua's trademark vocals, squealed and grunted out by Lene Nystrøm and Claus Norreen, had the potential to be the most obnoxious thing in the universe, but somehow they never got old. All the the songs on the album were written to be addictive, and they damn well succeeded.

BEST TRACK: "Doctor Jones"

4. Christina Aguilera: Stripped
I would have picked her first album, considering the love/hate relationship that most junior high kids back in my day had with "Genie in a Bottle," but I picked her second album, because it means much more to me personally. The reaction to "Beautiful" was strong among the conservative people I lived among during my last two years of high school. It made no bones about sending a strong message, and the fact that Aguilera was brave enough to make that video speaks volumes about her as a person. She is an incredible person and an amazing vocalist.

BEST TRACKS: "Get Mine, Get Yours", "Beautiful"

3. Linkin Park: Hybrid Theory
This one HAD to be on the list. HAD to. Because no matter how much people say that Linkin Park is emo music, they always end up going back to this album because there is something wonderful about it. It was praised by Time Magazine back in 2001 for its clean lyrics, but beyond that, it has a meditatively cathartic quality that you just can't escape.


2. Jars of Clay: Furthermore: From the Studio, From the Stage
By now you're thinking something along the lines of "WTF. That's an uber-Christian album." Yup. It is. And that's the main reason it made my list. But I view my Christian phase of life as a very good learning experience, and this album played no small part in that. This album was a 2 CD set, one studio recording and one live performance. And the live album is one of only two live albums I can stand to listen to. The great thing about a lot of modern Christian music is the emotional quality of it, and Jars of Clay are masters at this.

BEST STUDIO TRACK: "Something Beautiful"

1. Creed: Weathered
Ohhh yeah...if this one isn't embarassing, I don't know what is. Precocious adolescents loved these guys until they figured out Scott Stapp was nuts in a very Catholic way. And that's too bad, because this album is phenomenal. This album is deeply spiritual--not religious, unlike their most well-known shot at mainstream music, "Arms Wide Open." This album is quite a bit more evolved musically and in thought, and no matter what you think of Scott Stapp or the main singles, this album tops not only the embarrassing scale, but the holy-crap-that-good-and-it's -not-supposed-to-be scale.

BEST TRACK: "Who's Got My Back Now?"

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