November 2017
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prompt 14: my top 10 most influential albums


theindiequeen gave me this ridiculously difficult prompt: What are your top 10 favorite albums of all time?
hahahaha! I couldn't possibly say, I can't rank my loves. But I can TRY tell you which albums had the most impact on my life.

Contact by the Benjamin Gate got me through the loneliest time of my life, gave me something good to hold on to when I most needed it. I felt seen, held, strengthened by it. Even though it has a lot of Jesus-must-be-your-favorite stuff in it I still love it, still feel like singing along, still feel that it has life and meaning for me. I associate it with wild impassioned dancing at every concert, driving 13 hours, flying, writing letters, sending presents; The Benjamin Gate was something I could believe in and look up to at a time in my life when everyone around me was so full of shit, lying all the time. "this is not what I need to be!" and I still deeply love the sound, so fucking much. "Need" still makes me yearn and cry. I've never had a relationship with an artist like I had with The Benjamin Gate. I can still worship with this music.

Everybody Else Is Doing It So Why Can't We by the Cranberries is an album I listened to seeking meaning, asking for answers from Godde. I used it as an oracle; a way to bring me messages. I must have gone to sleep listening to it almost every night for two years. I love all of the Cranberries works but this was my first love. I associate it with waiting, hoping, and hearing what I needed to hear.

World Is Bound By Secret Knots by Noe Venable was my first Noe Venable album and it changed me deeply. It came into my life when I was feeling spiritually lost and it gave me a place to be, a way to feel connected to all things. It nourished me and introduced me to one of my deities (through the song Black Madonna). It is to me as a temple might be to someone else. Summer Storm Journals is a close second, I've felt roots and my own godde self through it. I recently got one of Noe Venable's oldest albums and there was some problematic ableist stuff in it (using other people's experiences as metaphors) and that has me terribly nervous but there wasn't any in the more recent ones and that was 16 years ago (holy shit). I have such unbearably high hopes for the new album, oh dear Godde please let it be what I want from it.

200km/hr in The Wrong Lane/Dangerous And Moving by t.A.T.u. -- yes both, because in my mind they are the same album since I got all the songs together and listened to them like one album. These albums made me feel like I had queer community and helped me to feel validated in myself. And I do love the sound also.

Flutterby by Butterfly Boucher -- this was my first album by this artist. I love the others nearly as much, but this one gives me such beautiful images in my mind, and has more of a magical, mythical focus. I associate it with deviantart because I was really into dA when I first started listening to this.

White Chalk by PJ Harvey -- picking ONE ALBUM from this artist is ridic. But while other of zir albums have songs with intense meaning to me, this is the only one that I sank into with relief. I got this album in May 2009 and through the transformations of that year (breaking up with my partner of 8 years) this album was a guide for me, tapping into my darkness and strength in a way I needed in order to learn to be independent. "All of my being is now in pining / What formerly had cheered me / Now seems / Insignificant"

Tales of a Grasswidow/Grey Oceans by Cocorosie -- Tales of a Grasswidow was my first of their albums, though I had heard a few songs here and there. The unity of scathing dark social commentary on patriarchy and the taking back of spirituality from "sky-god religions" as they call them felt really good for me, and the images they word-painted nourished me. As soon as I felt I had grasped Tales well enough I got Grey Oceans, which resonated even more strongly with me. The surreal appreciation of the mythic and alien in their lyrics was so unique and wonderful for me. I hadn't felt this kind of resonance with an artist since I first discovered Noe Venable. Then I saw them in concert and I cried and my heart beat their rhythms and my veins pulsed with their words, I'd never in my life felt so one with music AND with their performance, which I read as being wild resistance to gender norms and patriarchy in general. Then I got Adventures of Ghosthorse and Stillborn and they broke my heart with the song 'Japan' (not in a good way): it's racist (I think: it gives me that ick feeling but I'm not sure what's wrong with it) and transphobic and misogynist (implies that drag queens want to rape people, implies rape can be desired). I hadn't realized the lyrics when they played it at the concert, but I recognized the tune when I heard it on the album and that means they are still playing it and don't see a problem with it. Although they may have changed the lyrics since and kept the song. I messaged them on twitter because that is the only contact info they had public, but I have no idea if they even saw it. My initial response to that song is to want to cut them out but I've decided that every fucking thing is problematic in some way so I'm going to divorce them from their music and just love the good songs as beings of their own life force.

Hydrogen Burning by Dream Art Science is their only album still, sad :-( but it's really important to me because it speaks of cosmic connection, growth, trees, and Kemetic concepts and deities. I like the sound, it's smooth and meditative. I love the lyrics. "from one atom to another / we are hydrogen"

Mezzanine/Heligoland by Massive Attack are equally important to me. It's harder to articulate why these two (the first and the most recent ones I've listened to). Mezzanine just fits my soul in its sound (and is an album I've had lots of sex to). Heligoland I think is actually important to me because it feels like that's the album where Massive Attack started writing about justice. When I saw them in concert, it was INTENSE, I cried and danced and gasped and panted. They used their platform to educate. I felt all of their songs so much more deeply after feeling the intention live.

Smoke & Fire by Neulander is important to me because there are so many songs on it that I relate to so deeply; about spring, about fighting oppression, about throwing off ties to family. The whole album feels like a walk in a Georgia summer night, alone and strong.

Also quite meaningful but not as much as the above (which are NOT in order by the way):

On a Clear Night by Missy Higgins
The American by Angie Aparo
Hold On Love by Azure Ray
Sugar by Tonic
Spiritchaser by Dead Can Dance
Fur and Gold by Bat For Lashes
Tension and the Spark by Darren Hayes
Deepika by Deepika/Deeyah
Hybrid by Elsiane
Siren by Heather Nova
Still Night, Still Light by Au Revoir Simone
We Are Born by Sia

and there are others that I really love listening to but don't have the same kind of time-tested meaningfulness to me.

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Comments
raoin ══╣i too feel this way╠══
oh! "Everybody Else is Doing It..." is one of those albums (along with Jagged Little Pill) that i stoleborrowed permanently from my dad after he bought it and then refused to let anyone listed to it because he felt like it had questionable 'morals'. I could listen to the cranberries for days on end, such a good album.
theindiequeen ══╣╠══
Hahaha. I didn't think you would actually answer this one! I ask everyone that question. There have only been a handful of music geeks like me who have ACTUALLY answered it.
wildrose ══╣╠══
on communication, social justice, intimacy, consent, friendship & other relationships, spirituality, gender, queerness, & dreams. Expect to find curse words, nudity, (occasionally explicit) talk of sex, and angry ranting, but NEVER slurs or sexually violent language. I use TW when I am aware of the need and on request.
Expect to find curse words, nudity, (occasionally explicit) talk of sex, and angry ranting, but NEVER slurs or sexually violent language. I use TW when I am aware of the need and on request.