This shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone at all, but I have a lot of CDs. I still buy them in the physical edition from time to time, though that’s considered passe. There’s something about going to the record store and buying a CD, looking through all of the artwork and lyrics in the booklets and deciding if it’s worthy to put on my iTunes that’s so satisfying.
Most of my album collection is from my teen years. Music blocked everything out for me, and it still does, so I thought I’d write about 10 albums that left an impact on teenaged me. Everyone’s doing it on Facebook, so I figured why not.
I’d like to add this isn’t the first time I saw this on social media. Three years ago, people were doing the “12 albums” tag about the same thing, but nobody tagged me. I was going to post it, but then it became irrelevant by the time I wrote it out three years ago.
My opinion on what albums meant a lot to me in my teens won’t change, because my teen years are what they are, and there was nothing I could do about it.
I hope you like pop-punk because there’s a lot of it here.
- “Let Go”-Avril Lavigne (2002)
For the record, anything by Avril Lavigne could have been on here. In a sense, I feel like I’m cheating because I’ve had the album since Grade Five at 10 years old.
However, it’s still going on the list because I felt like I could relate to her lyrics more when I was around 16-17, which was how old she was when she released the album. There were times where people disappointed me and made my life complicated, which has not changed since I blew out the candles on my 20th birthday, by the way. I was also going through a time of constant change, and I still am. High school moves fast, kiddos.
2. “Still Not Getting Any…”-Simple Plan (2004)
Again, everything Simple Plan ever produced could go on this list. However, this album summarized my year as an angsty Grade Seven and Grade Eight student who somehow still had a smile on her face.
It took me awhile to get into songs like “Welcome To My Life”, admittedly, because it used to make me sad just listening to songs about feeling depressed when I was, well, feeling depressed. Once I liked the song, I turned towards music about feeling not okay as a way to cope with stress. It was nice knowing there was music for people like me, who felt like nothing was working out.
3. “Coco”-Colbie Callait (2007)
Here’s something a little bit more upbeat. My dad introduced me to Colbie Callait’s music one night, and her first album was my jam during high school. I loved the simplicity and purity of it and felt like I was so cool listening to it instead of bubblegum and dance pop, which I still liked. I know I wouldn’t have it on this list if it wasn’t for my dad doing his usual “Oh, do you not know this song? You’ll like this song!”
4. “Some Hearts”- Carrie Underwood (2005)
I like a lot of Carrie Underwood’s songs because they tell stories. “Smoke Break” was my jam in my last year of college. Before that, she just won American Idol and released her first album. A year later, I listened to it and really paid attention to the lyrics. Many of the songs were moving on from the hardships in life, and it basically gave me a kick in the rear to do so when I was feeling tense.
5. “Masterpiece Theatre”-Marianas Trench (2009)
“Astoria” had a greater impact on me, mind you, but that album didn’t exist until I was 23. “Masterpiece Theatre” was my first Marianas Trench album, and it made me appreciate the band so much because of all of the work that went into the production.
I feel like they are one of the few artists out there that stick to a conceptual album throughout. Since this album, they always had an intro, interlude and outro song that tied everything together. They became my favourite band right after this album.
6. “Seven Second Surgery”- Faber Drive (2007)
Much like some of the albums I mentioned, there were themes of growing up and fitting in that I loved listening to when I was young. I still enjoy those themes, of course, but they really spoke to me when I was in high school. Again, I felt like such a rebel for listening to this instead of sugary bubblegum pop, when I’m pretty sure there were many people in my grade listening to them as well.
7. “Billy Talent III”-Billy Talent
This shouldn’t come across as a shock to anybody. Billy Talent is one of the few bands and musicians my sister and I both enjoy, and it was a huge deal when we saw them in concert together.
What may shock some people is that I wasn’t always a fan until late high school. I looked up the meaning behind their music and realized how much I enjoy their symbolism in their songwriting. I bought this album when it came out because I loved their writing, and it made the summer I had jaw surgery less terrible.
8. “Breakaway”-Kelly Clarkson (2004)
We’re stepping back in time here. Most of the albums mentioned were ones I listened to in high school, but this was something I listened to often when I was in Grade Seven and Eight. When I was first feeling down, I listened to “Breakaway” and it made me feel better. The fact Avril Lavigne co-wrote the song also made it appealing.
This is one of my favourite albums of all time, but I somehow lost the disc in high school, so I bought myself a new copy from HMV when I was in university so I could listen to it again.
9. “Storms”-Hedley (2011)
In my second year and first semester of university, when I was 19 years old, I was scared of flunking out. My grades slipped because I wasn’t taking school seriously enough, and I was also trying to cope with matters in my personal life. I kicked myself in the butt, worked as hard as I could to boost my marks and maintain them through university and graduated after all, but there were a few weeks where I was really scared of failing.
The whole album is about becoming stronger from the tough times in life, and it really helped me cope with my anxiety surrounding school at the time. As I did with Simple Plan’s sophomore album, I felt reassured that I wasn’t the only one who went through rough times but bounced back in one piece.
10. “Flyleaf”- Flyleaf (2005)
First of all, I would like to say it was really tough picking out the last album. I gave it to Flyleaf’s debut album because I admire Lacey Sturm for who she is as a person. I’m inspired by her because she had such a tough life, but was able to become a musician, a wife, and a parent after recovering through faith. It was always an inspirational album to listen to and feel spiritual.
How did I find out about this group? The Rock Band video game that was the craze of the late 2000s. I loved “I’m So Sick” and I wanted to hear more from Flyleaf, and I’m glad my curiosity got in the way.
Honourable mentions include “From Under the Cork Tree” by Fall Out Boy, “We Started Nothing” by The Ting Tings, “Boys Like Girls” by Boys Like Girls, “Fearless” and “Speak Now” by Taylor Swift and “RIOT!” and “Brand New Eyes” by Paramore.
All images found on CD Universe