10. Nick Drake: Pink Moon
Nick Drake's life and career utterly fascinates me. Due to cripplingly shyness, Drake only performed a handful of concerts ( I think the number is seven), never gave an interview, and never toured. There is no footage of any of his live performances, and even few public color pictures of him. He sold fewer than 5,000 records during his lifetime, and died a premature death. You only have three albums, Five Leaves Left, Bryter Layter, and Pink Moon and that's it. Pink Moon is my favorite and I feel it is his best work. Stripped to its bare bones, Pink Moon features Drake's incredible guitar playing and vocal accompaniment and place it at the forefront of this album. It's beautiful, and I feel a MUST listen to any music fan.
9. Nirvana: In Utero
For my generation (early thirties) Nirvana was the equivalent to The Beatles. Kurt Cobain was able to express emotions in his music that many felt, but were too timid to say out loud. This created an authentic connection with Cobain and his fans that is difficult to explain, but is strongly felt. Nirvana released In Utero in late 1993, which was the follow up to their highly successful major label debut Nevermind. In Utero is incredible!! It sees Nirvana exploring new territory, and pushing their limits as musicians. Which makes it a little sad in my opinion. It's an opportunity missed out on because of the tragic events of the week of April 6th, 1994.
8. Punch Brothers: The Phosphorescent Blues
I love the Punch Brothers!! I think they are the most exciting band in the world today. For the past two years, there hasn't been a week that goes by where I do not listen to one of their albums, or a rock block of their songs. My love for the band really began with this album, The Phosphorescent Blues. I still vividly remember my excitement and awe when I heard the album for the first time. I could not get enough, and I still cannot get enough. Without a doubt, this album made the Punch Brothers one of my top 5 favorite bands of all time.
7. Moby: Wait for Me
A common theme of my all-time favorite list seems to feature albums that made me fans of the band. This statement is true for Wait for Me. I knew of Moby, but I never really listened to his music before this record. When I did, I was blown away. It almost felt like I was "going home" when I was listening. Their is a melodic quality to Moby's music that adds sadness, and thoughtfulness.
6. William Elliott Whitmore: Field Songs
It's difficult for me to put into words how much the music of William Elliott Whitmore means to me. There's happy songs, sad songs. He has music that I want played at my wedding and at my funeral. It's music of the earth, and it speaks to me in a way that only John Lennon and The Beatles can compete with. For me, Field Songs cements Whitmore's place as one of my all-time favorites. The poetry is moving, the music gets the foot tapping, and it makes you feel emotions that can be scary to confront at times. It's beautifully simple. And that quality makes it epic.