If I could be perfectly honest with you I would tell you that I should be writing a paper on 18th century views of the historical Jesus. Yet, my mind has been thrown off course and a trip to the ol’ carnival seemed like a worthy diversion. So with a spirit of procrastination, here I am.
My mind has run back to a conversation I had earlier this month with the CIY Morning Emcees. Over dinner one night one of the guys threw out this superb discussion topic: if you were stranded on a deserted island and could only bring 5 albums to listen to for the rest of your life, which would you choose?
There are obviously a few flaws to this question. You have to wonder where you’ll find a CD player on an island and, even if you found one, where you find an outlet. I guess you could rig something with coconuts. Perhaps there is some way to pull power from the citrus juice.
These issues aside, you’ll have to humor me a little because I have been thinking about this question for the last few weeks. I have always said that you can tell a lot about a person based upon their CD collection. I think this is a worthy exercise to think through with your family or Boy Scout troop, whichever you might belong to.
Without further nonsense, here are my five choices in no certain order:
“August and Everything After” (1993): Counting Crows
This was one of the very first CDs I ever bought and helped me find my music identity as I entered middle school. There isn’t much I don’t like from CC, but this is easily their best album. The writing blows most other singer/song-writers out of the water. “Step out the front door like a ghost, into the fog, where no one notices the contrast of white on white.” That is pure poetry.
“Bringing Down the Horse” (1996): the Wallflowers
I cannot picture any memory from my freshman year of high school without hearing this CD in the background. There was the road trip to Oklahoma City. Late night stops at Sonic. The time I kissed a senior girl. Man, that sounds a little “Wonder Years”-like doesn’t it? Even still, years before itunes, I remember waiting by my radio with a blank tape in hand to dub “One Headlight” when it aired.
“Jars of Clay” (1995): Jars of Clay
Jars of Clay is the most innovative, creative, contemporary Christian band around. Every single song on this CD was worthwhile and “Flood” was one of the first Christian songs to gain secular airplay. Though sadly, they have not reached this level since. Oh yeah, I know a guy who knows the lead singer.
“Transatlanticism” (2003): Death Cab for Cutie
This is great music to chill out to. If you ever find yourself stuck in a rainy Saturday afternoon, grab a book, a cup of your favorite brew, and throw on this CD. You’ll notice that the songs flow together to create a sweeping musical story. My friend Allen borrowed this CD two years ago and still has it. If you see him, could you tell him I want it back?
“Under the Table and Dreaming” (1994) Dave Matthews Band
If you were a white high school student in the 90’s you liked two things: Abercrombie and Fitch catalogs and Dave Matthews Band CDs. “Under the Table” is the only album on the list that my mom bought for herself. I would later steal it. This is a tough decision because so many of the same DMB songs appear on multiple CDs. Yet this was their first major release. So I choose it.
There you have it, my top 5 albums as of right now. I wrestled with choosing a few albums that were a little more recent yet opted for the tried and true above. After all, a good album has to have legs. It has to stand the test of time, specifically if you are going to listen to it on a deserted island for the rest of your life.
Do you agree with me? Do you think I have no musical taste outside of mid-90’s pop-radio? Do you have a list of your own? If so, let your voice be heard. Post your top 5 on the comment section below.