Next week I’ll be starting a new project, writing short essays on the key albums of my life — the records that shaped who I was and served as a reactive force to the world around me. These albums gave me an idea of what was possible in the world, provided shelter for my broken spirit and quite literally served as the soundtrack for some of my most joyful moments. Without these albums, I would not be who I am today.
The essays I write around these albums will not be a critical look at the music, or judge their overall place in the canon — although I will tell you why I love them so much. Instead, the essays will try to place the album in my life, discuss how they served me and what they taught me. Through these essays it’s likely I will be doing some of the most personal writing I’ve ever done — which is a prospect that’s both exhilarating and terrifying. I look forward to sharing these stories in the coming weeks.
Early days: Thriller, Michael Jackson
Middle school: It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back, Public Enemy
High school (early days): Murmur, R.E.M.
High school (middle days): Everybody Knows This is Nowhere, Neil Young
High school (final days): Nevermind, Nirvana
College: Cornell 77, Grateful Dead
Post college: White Ladder, David Gray
Early turn of the century: Yankee, Hotel, Foxtrot, Wilco
Current time: The Suburbs, Arcade Fire