Criteria: One album per band. More than 8 songs must be phenomenal.
5. New Found Glory-New Found Glory
The soundtrack to my high school career is filled with emo, pop-punk bands and it all began with the song "Hit or Miss". After viewing the video on MTVX, (hey, does anyone else remember The Box?), I immediately went to my favorite hole in the wall record store to buy a copy. It became the gateway album which led to Blink-182, Good Charlotte, Dashboard Confessional and several other bands I still listen to today.
They were the one thing her and I ever agreed upon.
4. The Great Milenko-Insane Clown Posse
I love me some ICP and Milenko served as our introduction back when I was in 8th grade. The record was unlike anything I'd ever heard. With the fourth Jokers card the boys created something vulgar, horrifying, violent and hysterical all at the same time. It's absolutely flawless.
The story behind the making and release of this album is almost as good as the music it contains. Google it.
3. Argue With a Tree (Dual disc live album)-Blue October
It's scary how much I relate to Blue October's lead singer, Justin Furstenfeld. Not only is the this best live album I've ever heard, but many of the tracks are ten times better than their studio recordings. This is simply one of those bands which sounds better in person and this is TWO discs of magic in a bottle.
Life imitating art: I've personally lived the song "HRSA".
2. Sparkle and Fade-Everclear
I stole this album from my dad back in middle school and put it on every once in awhile. I didn't truly hear it until my first obsession kept my entire CD collection except for S&F for over a week during my sophomore year. That's an eternity for a moody high schooler. During that time I listened to it all the way through over 100 times. It's the first album I really connected to emotionally. Frontman Art Alexakis cuts himself wide open and bleeds out on every track. The pain in is vocals is heartbreaking, but it's provided me with comfort for ten years.
Fun Fact: Art wrote and recorded my favorite track off the record by himself in a couple of hours. This dude doesn't fuck around.
1. Daisy-Brand New
What can I say about this album? "Vices" is an unexpected and jarring open, but at the 1:25 mark the guitars explode and violent lyrics about the pain of divorce let you know you're in for one hell of a ride. Every song manages to keep you guessing, while the final one perfectly ties it all together. While this album is certainly not for everyone, I highly recommend it for those of you who are adventurous and can see the beauty hidden just below the surface.
Also, if it's your first time to listen to this album; wear headphones and read the lyrics.