heart_dreamboat_annie_front_coverMusic plays a pivotal role in most peoples lives. The world isn’t a silent place. Almost everywhere you go, you can find music.

Everyone grows up listening to many different types and genres of music, but ultimately, one usually finds the type that is right for them that they connect to it in a certain way. Most people have certain albums or artists that have changed their lives significantly, and there are probably some interesting stories connected to those works.

I have compiled a list of a few albums that have affected my life in a significant way. These are albums that I’ve listened to for years or, in some cases, my whole life. I find myself always going back to these albums because I’ve become emotionally connected with them, and I have fond memories of them. If you haven’t heard of any of these before you read this, I strongly suggest you look them up.

“Blood” by In This Moment

This album took fans by storm in 2012 upon its release. It was a new look and feel to their previous work. Nearly all of the original band members left after their third album, leaving singer Maria Brink and guitarist Chris Howorth as the only two original band members remaining. It might have been for the better.

Even though this album came out three years ago, I still get pumped listening to it. The hard-driving guitars, powerful vocals and amazing lyrics will entice anyone who gives the band a try.

One of the songs on the album, “Whore,” became a staple for the group. While it may sound demeaning and abusive, it has a complete opposite meaning. Brink says that the song is meant to be powerful, telling women not to listen to the perceptions others have. Brink considers “Whore” an acronym for women honoring one another rising eternally.

This album has become something that my friends and I have bonded over and something I’ve connected to emotionally. Because of this album, In This Moment holds a special place in my heart.

“The Strange Case Of…” by Halestorm 

I’ve been known to talk about Halestorm quite often. My peers are probably rolling their eyes because I bring them up on a nearly daily basis. However, I find it difficult not to because Halestorm is the epitome of what I want from music.

Halestorm is a heavy rock band that provides amazing guitar riffs, mesmerizing lyrics and incredible rock shows. I began listening to this group when their self-titled album came out in 2009. Three years later, the group introduced “The Strange Case Of…,” and my love for them was taken to a whole new level.

This album is a perfect mix of hard-driving songs and slow ballads. The four-part group has great chemistry and can entice nearly anyone with their music.

I found this album in the middle of high school, introduced it to my friends and, once again, we bonded over it. The song “Here’s to Us” quickly became the theme of our senior year, and we always listened to the album when we were hanging out.

The song on this album that means the most to me is “Rock Show.” It describes perfectly everything that is felt at a concert. I’ve gotten to hear Halestorm perform it twice. Both times were pure magic.

“Dreamboat Annie” by Heart

Unfortunately, I didn’t have the pleasure of discovering Heart until I was 16 or 17. Digging through my dad’s basement, I found a huge box of records that belonged to my mom and dad once upon a time. I convinced him to let me have them and my life changed.

I had heard Heart before during my childhood, but when you’re a kid, you’re at the mercy of what your parents are playing; you don’t really have a choice. When I first put “Dreamboat Annie” on my turntable, I had a tinge of nostalgia from childhood, but mostly, I was spellbound.

Sisters Ann and Nancy Wilson are two of the best musicians I’ve heard. They’re the dynamic duo to end all dynamic duos. As a guitarist, I quickly idolized Nancy Wilson because she is a phenomenal player.

All it takes is one listen to “Crazy on You” and anyone can see that these sisters kick butt.

“Crimes of Passion” by Pat Benatar

Pat Benatar has been in my life as long as I can remember, but I only began to appreciate her when I was older.

“Crimes of Passion” is best known for the song “Hit Me With Your Best Shot,” which is one of the songs I loved as a child. Long before my record collection began, I would listen to it on a burned CD in my Walkman or in my portable DVD player in my room.

Benetar has a voice that can’t be matched. She sounds great on all of her records, but she sounds even better live. I was able to see her live in 2013 at one of the best concerts of my life.

“Jagged Little Pill” by Alanis Morissette

Two awesome things happened in 1995: Alanis Morissette released “Jagged Little Pill” and I was born. I have fond memories of hearing this in the car as a kid, and I loved the album even more when I got older.

The more I listen to it, the better it gets somehow. The album is full of angst and anger but, at the same time, peace and happiness.

Morissette’s voice has an ability to produce such raw emotion, and that resonated with me more as I got older. “Hand In My Pocket” has become my anthem. “You Oughta Know” is one of the best break-up songs in history.

“Fallen” by Evanescence

I attribute my love for music to this album. I remember when it came out clearly, even though I was only about 8 years old at the time.

I remember the song “Bring Me To Life” always coming on the radio. I remember being enchanted by Amy Lee’s voice when she would sing, “How can you see into my eyes like open doors?”

Since this album’s release, I’ve followed the band through their new albums, band members leaving, record company lawsuits, as well as supported Lee’s solo effort “Aftermath.” I am forever keeping my fingers crossed for the day I get to meet Amy Lee, for only then will my life be complete.

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