Tuesday, August 2, 2011

10 Records that Continue to Challenge Me As An Artist (in no particular order)

In a recent mini documentary featuring Jay-Z and Kanye West for their collaboration record, West at one point says "I want to make music that is just SO GOOD that it makes other people not want to try to make music anymore."

What a statement to make. That was my first thought.

But then I thought about longer, and I knew exactly what he was talking about. Multiple albums popped in my head, albums that I not only thought were spectacular, but albums that made me think "Man. This is SO GOOD. I can't even begin to imagine writing something that good. I should just take a break."

There are records, for me, that raised the bar SO high for me as a musician and a songwriter that there came certain points where I would stop writing music for weeks to months due to knowing how far out of reach that bar they set was.

Here are some records that have truly challenged me as a musician, records that raised the bar to unthinkable heights that I am still striving, with every song I write, to reach.

1. Florence and the Machine: Lungs

2. Bon Iver: Bon Iver, Bon Iver

3. Matthew Good: Avalanche

4. The Ataris: Welcome the Night

5. 1997: ...A Better View of the Rising Moon

6. Lydia: Illuminate

7. P.O.S.: Never Better

8. Dashboard Confessional: The Places You Have Come to Fear the Most

9. This Will Destroy You: This Will Destroy You

10. The Graduate: Anhedonia

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