I will be starting a series about my favorite albums.
I'm kind of a weird music-listener. I go through phases of a band where I listen to all their stuff. I dissect all of their studio recordings and learn how to play the majority of their songs on guitar, bass, and drums. I study their songwriting techniques and structures and find the things they all have in common. I go through the band history and study their stage presence. Then after a few years I move on to another band and start the cycle over again.
Currently I'm obsessed with Radiohead. I don't know why, really. I used to HATE them because they were so depressing. There weren't any sing-along pop/rock choruses. Nothing was really memorable for me. Everything was bleak and negative. They weren't nearly as accessible as some of the other British bands of their time. But...Then they released In Rainbows. The whole music industry was buzzing about Radiohead and how Thom Yorke is the most powerful man in music. Now that I think about it, I'd much rather have Thom Yorke and his reputation for pessimistic lyrics be the center of the music industry than Justin Bieber or some other pop star.
I started listening to In Rainbows religiously. It really struck me as a powerful and cohesive album, and suddenly Radiohead were my favorite band. I loved them. The song "Reckoner" really stood out to me. The way the instruments enter, one after another...The layers upon layers of instruments and how they blended together to form this massive crescendo at the peak of a song and then.....nothing. Just silence in the middle of a song. And then it builds up and swells with a string section and wall of vocal harmonies and fades out, seemingly never ending. It's just perfect to me.
Anyway, at the moment my favorite album is In Rainbows by Radiohead. If you feel like it, give it a listen.