a mix of the 20 best/most influential albums of my life.

1. Dc Talk- Free at Last. I remember having to hide this cassette from my dad because at that time he thought fast music was bad. Until we showed him the lyrics to “that kinda girl.” then he liked it.

2. Jars of Clay- Self Titled. This album is one of the best in Christian music, and the music isnt dated even if you listen to it now. On the other hand I remember standing at a Cd Release party at our tiny Christian bookstore in wooster, ohio to get their second album “much afraid.” That cd blows. And Jars of Clay has yet to release something that even comes close to touching their first album.

3. Boys 2 Men- II. This album is ridiculous. I was in 4th grade when it was released and I don’t think I have ever been to a dance where they didnt play at least one of their songs. I still believe that if you sing along with Boys 2 Men you will become a better singer, just because of their vocal control.

4. Seven Day Jesus-The Hunger- 1996. This album is probably the most impact-full and probably the first of many to push me in the direction of wanting to do music. Yes I was in 6th grade. The song “strength” on this album is incredible. Brian Mcsweeny was Ledgend-ary.

5. Dashboard Confessional-Swiss Army Romance. This album although girly and whiny, is unbelievably written. “the brilliant dance” this is just great lyrically ” and breathing is a foreign takes, and thinking is just to much to ask, and your measuring your minutes by a clock thats blinking eights” great stuff.

6. David Crowder Band- Can you hear Us? This isn’t even my favorite David Crowder cd, but its on this list because it took worship music in a different direction. Up until this song the standard worship music was stuff by Michael W. Smith, he made it acceptable to have drum loops and stuff to make music more exciting! So I can say that because of the shift I have a job doing worship music. Thanks Dave.

7. Damien Rice-O. This album is again one of those that won’t ever feel dated. It is just good music. And you can always listen to a little Damien.

8. Coldplay- Rush of Blood to the Head. Even though this album was multi-platinum and all that, it is still under appreciated. The songs that people skip on this album and never got radio play are still insanely good. Coldplay reinvented piano rock with this album and bands after them, even if original seem like they are copying them. Sorry Keane and Aqualung.

9. Jay-Z-The Black Album. This took the rap genre and made it actually worth something. Yes there are other good rappers, but this album is ridongculous. Any album that can be stripped of all music and put to others music, (beatles, coldplay, lincoln park) and be just as good if not better?! Still amazes me that this is possible.

10. Jimmy Eat World- Bleed American. “sweetness,” “the middle,” “get it faster,” “hear you me.” Thats all I should say, this is an album you need to buy.

11. Relient K- Self Titled. I remember seeing this band open up for some crapy band named Occams Razor, at the gund arena(now known as the Q), before Relient K even released their first album. All they had at the table was their ep. And me and my friend Andrew Berg walked out of the other two bands shows and talk to Matt Thiessen and Matt Hoopes. Who were ridiculously down to earth. The next time I saw them I was in a boy band called wild guys. And I had drawn fake sideburns drawn on my face. Thats a long story.

12. Shane and Shane- Clean. This is quite a recent one. I like harmony and this album is full of it. Again lyrically this album is on par and I love acoustic music, so it all adds up to me loving it.

13. Lincoln Park/ Jay-Z- Collision Course. I mentioned this in the Black Album section in number 9. But I had to give it its own slot. When this came out I have to say that I was literally blown away. Just how clean the transitions were between artists who really arent even in the same genre at all.

14. Muse- Absolution. This is just a fantastic album. Muse proves over and over that they are the most talented rock band out there right now, especially for only having 3 members in their band.

15. Kanye West- College Dropout. Even though this guy is an egotistical moron, I could not leave this album off the list. I remember buying this album at the Virgin Megastore in NYC. And I listened to it probably 10 times over on the drive back to Ohio. Sorry Josh Saefkow, that probably was very annoying. “School Spirit,” “All Falls Down,” “Jesus Walks.”

These are some of My personal favorites, may not be the best of all time but they are on my list.

16. All American Rejects- Self-Titled. This album came out the year I graduated and it is the soundtrack to the summer before college. You know that summer, where it feels like you are soooo free. Have the weight of High School off your shoulders, and feel all grown up. Good stuff.

17. Jack Johnson-Brushfire Fairytales. This album is perfect. If there is anyone I would switch lives with it would be with Mr. Johnson. Record music in the basement of my beach house in Hawaii. Then go surfing. Anyways, good memories are wrapped in this album, with my first year at liberty. Kameno has some good memories with this too I think.

18. Bon Jovi- Slippery when wet. “living on a prayer,” and “wanted dead or alive” are both on this album. good stuff.

19. Audio Adrenaline- Bloom. This album is the one that made me want to play electric guitar. The solos in “good people,” “big as jesus” and “im not the king” made me ask for an electric guitar for Christmas that my brother learned to play and I just put it on hold and played with ninja turtles instead. Poor choice.

20.John Mayer- Any Given Thursday. I hated John Mayer, because I hated his first single. But then I realized how good he actually was. And this live album was where I developed a now 6 year man crush on him. By far the most talented musician of my generation. The song “comfortable” is one of my favorites of all time.


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