Desert Island Picks.

SnapDragon’s Top Ten Albums: Pick #3.

Hi! And welcome to the latest addition to my Desert Island Picks.

In case you missed my little advertisement, I’ve decided to award ten–yes, only tentop albums of my life.

And when I say ‘album’, I mean the entire album, friends. The whole record. Not some compilation or mix tape. I put in the CD, crank up the volume on quality speakers, and let the artist’s creation come to life.

You know. How it was intended.

All right. Now that we’ve cleared that up, let us continue!

. . .

Dude.

You may have noticed that it’s been a while since my last Top Ten Albums post.

And it maaaay be because I’m hyperventilating with self-induced pressure.

We’re in the top three, yo. And I don’t want to fuck it up!

These last three albums mean more to me than I could ever say.

Consider them. . . the holy trinity in artistic creation.

They’re friggin’ perfect.

And it’s my sincere hope that you find time to enjoy them, friend.

On we go.

. . .

#3: Ram by Paul and Linda McCartney (1971)

Image borrowed from Wikipedia.

I fell in love with Paul McCartney when I was 14.

Oddly enough, this was in the year 2001, and not 1964.

It truly was a love at first sight. But, more on that for Pick #2. (Hint hint!)

Paul McCartney, man.

He is the epitome of an artist: the real goddamn deal.

If I were ever to tattoo my body, it would undoubtedly be a portrait of this beautiful, soulful, optimistic, and incredibly talented human being. (Certainly a shot of him with his beard, circa 1969 or so.)

Yeah. I’m obsessed.

But ANYWAY.

Ram: It’s a folksy. It’s earthy. It’s whimsical and layered, in pure Paul fashion.

It makes me want to walk barefoot through a garden, singing and laughing as I pluck tomatoes straight from the vine.

It’s everything Paul does well, rolled up into a delicious, satisfying meal.

And so, my Dear Reader (Listener!) I will let the album speak for itself.

Please: Do yourself the favor of Ramming on.

(she smiles because she has so much more to say about this album, yet is at a complete loss for words)

. . .

Oh yeah. I won’t be listing my favorite tracks for these top three albums. It’s just. . . impossible.

. . .

SnapDragon is a writer and artist who drinks close to 70 ounces of water each day.

Follow Snippets of SnapDragon for her take on just about everything.

Desert Island Picks.

SnapDragon’s Top Ten Albums: Pick #4.

Hi! And welcome to the latest addition to my Desert Island Picks.

In case you missed my little advertisement, I’ve decided to award ten–yes, only tentop albums of my life.

And when I say ‘album’, I mean the entire album, friends. The whole record. Not some compilation or mix tape. I put in the CD, crank up the volume on quality speakers, and let the artist’s creation come to life.

You know. How it was intended.

All right. Now that we’ve cleared that up, let us continue!

. . .

#4: American Doll Posse by Tori Amos (2007)

Image borrowed from Amazon.com

Hell yesss.

Before we begin, Dear Reader, it’s worth reminding you that this list of albums is a reflection of my life.

Each selection is precious; each one a savored stone of remembrance.

And let’s face it: not everyone digs Tori.

But she’s my spirit animal (whatever that even means) and I’m effing proud to list American Doll Posse as Pick #4.

Here. We. Go.

. . .

It’s the spring of 2007. I’m on the brink of turning 20; my curly hair is dyed a coppery shade of red. Sophomore year of college has awoken me to so many beautiful and complicated truths.

I feel like I’ve shed a skin I didn’t know I had.

My Chevy Corsica barrels down the highway, the nighttime calling and shrieking and pulling me in to its possibilities.

I’m fucking unstoppable, yo.

And in the passenger seat, no doubt, is my black-haired best friend. Sparkly eye shadow. Pink Sugar perfume. Non-stop laughs about things only we think are funny.

And although life has taken us different places, the magic of ADP will always remain between us.

Pure magic.

. . .

All right, all right. I’ll get to the music.

American Doll Posse checks all of the glorious Tori boxes:

-Raw, Badass Lyrics

-Insane Imagery

-Pristine Vocals

-Powerful Yet Intricate Piano

And in typical Tori fashion, she created five distinct personalities to deliver the message.

Like so many things, it’s a bit odd to experience it now, in post-Trump America.

But it’s a masterpiece. And I leave it to your ears now, friends.

. . .

Favorite Track: You just gotta listen to the whole thing. Just do it.*

. . .

*Can’t? If you insist, listen to “Dragon”.

. . .

SnapDragon is a wife, mama, and teacher who lives in beautiful southeastern PA.

Follow Snippets of SnapDragon for her two-bit opinions on pretty much everything.

Desert Island Picks.

SnapDragon’s Top Ten Albums: Pick #5.

Hi! And welcome to the latest addition to my Desert Island Picks.

In case you missed my little advertisement, I’ve decided to award ten–yes, only tentop albums of my life.

And when I say ‘album’, I mean the entire album, friends. The whole record. Not some compilation or mix tape. I put in the CD, crank up the volume on quality speakers, and let the artist’s creation come to life.

You know. How it was intended.

All right. Now that we’ve cleared that up, let us continue!

. . .

#5: Songs for Silverman by Ben Folds (2005)

Image borrowed from wikipedia.com

(SnapDragon starts rocking back and forth in her desk chair, a look of panic on her face.)

We’re in the Top Five, yo.

And it’s so damn hard to pick. This slot at Number Five easily could have been filled by two–or even three!–others.

But Mama’s gotta choose.

And at the end of the day, Silverman wins the race.

. . .

There are times in life a young SnapDragon just doesn’t forget.

Summer before senior year of high school, windows down in my Chevy Corsica.

Rockin’ the Suburbs blaring.

Piano. Tongue-in-Cheek lyrics. Tickle-Your-Spine chord changes.

Yes. (claps)

So when Songs for Silverman came out the following spring, I was all about it, Dear Reader.

. . .

Simply put, Ben Folds is a master musician.

And while I would describe his singing voice as merely “adequate”, I also think it’s perfect. It has a sort of raw humility that draws you in.

And if I could play piano like that?

Shit. It’s all I would do.

And when I listen to this album–which is not as often as it used to be–I feel a part of my identity restored.

I feel like my invincible high school self again, sketchpad at the ready. I shamelessly air-piano on every surface available. I sing my little heart out, and drink up every harmony like a grandmother’s homemade lemonade.

It’s a fucking delicious album, friends.

And so I leave it to you to enjoy.

. . .

Favorite Track: “Give Judy My Notice”

. . .

Stay tuned for Snap’s #4!

SnapDragon is a writer, artist, and frequent orderer of Extra Cheese.

Follow Snippets of SnapDragon for her creative musings and more.

Desert Island Picks.

SnapDragon’s Top Ten Albums: Pick #6.

Hi! And welcome to the latest addition to my Desert Island Picks.

In case you missed my little advertisement, I’ve decided to award ten–yes, only tentop albums of my life.

And when I say ‘album’, I mean the entire album, friends. The whole record. Not some compilation or mix tape. I put in the CD, crank up the volume on quality speakers, and let the artist’s creation come to life.

You know. How it was intended.

All right. Now that we’ve cleared that up, let us continue!

. . .

#6: Made in Heaven by Queen (1995)

Image borrowed from Google.com

Oh, my dear friends. I don’t even know where to begin with this one.

(takes a deep breath)

It’s probably no surprise by now that I don’t pray.

But while I may not subscribe to a set of beliefs, I do believe in magic:

The Magic of Rock n’ Roll.

Yes. I. do.

. . .

You probably also know that I’m a Classic Rock Girl at heart. I grew up listening to it on the radio, and much to my friends’ confusion, dedicated my adolescence to buying Beatles’ CDs and memorabilia.

Queen, for whatever reason, was always on the periphery. Bohemian Rhapsody played on the station–as it still does–and I thought, “Yeah, man. Good stuff.”

And that was the end of it.

Well, July 2015 was the time of Our Sweet Wedding. And we had the amazing good fortune to honeymoon across Europe for four weeks. (It’s okay; you can hate me. I kind of do.)

And on the plane ride over, after scrolling through the viewing options on the seat in front of him, My Sweet Husband found a documentary on Freddie Mercury.

He watched. He enjoyed. And the magic unfolded.

Because a little over a week later, as we strolled along Lake Geneva in the gorgeous city of Montreux, Switzerland, we happened upon the statue of Freddie himself. Yep: the one on the album cover.*

He called to us.

And we listened.

. . .

All right. I could go on. But I will get to the music!

This is the only album on my list that I’ve discovered in recent years. (All of the others have been staples of mine for at least a decade.)

But it absolutely deserves it. It’s that good.

Released after Freddie’s death, this album was heart-breakingly pieced together by Brian, John, and Roger.

It’s 100% haunting, beautiful, and moving.

It’s also an album that is difficult to describe. So, well, I’ll leave it to you, Dear Listener.

May Freddie bless you.

. . .

Favorite Track: “Mother Love” (I have no words for how incredible this song is.)

. . .

Stay tuned for Snap’s #5!

SnapDragon is an educator, writer, artist, and occasional root-beer-drinker.

Follow her Two-Bit Musings and more on Snippets of SnapDragon.

. . .

* For the sake of brevity, I’m leaving out a lot of really cool Queen-related details about our time in Montreux. There’s a Queen museum nestled inside a casino**–which again–we just happened to discover. It turns out that Queen recorded many albums there. I could go on and on (and maybe I will in a future post!) but I really encourage you to look up more about Queen and their special connection to Montreux. Oh, and you should definitely go there.

** Yep. The casino that was rebuilt after the fire, which inspired Deep Purple’s Smoke On the Water. Have I mentioned I love Rock N’ Roll?

Desert Island Picks.

SnapDragon’s Top Ten Albums: Pick #7.

Hi! And welcome to the latest addition to my Desert Island Picks.

In case you missed my little advertisement, I’ve decided to award ten–yes, only tentop albums of my life.

And when I say ‘album’, I mean the entire album, friends. The whole record. Not some compilation or mix tape. I put in the CD, crank up the volume on quality speakers, and let the artist’s creation come to life.

You know. How it was intended.

All right. Now that we’ve cleared that up, let us continue!

. . .

#7: OK COMPUTER by Radiohead (1997)

Image borrowed from Amazon.com

Every time I put this album on and hear those first shredding guitar notes, I feel a certain happiness that is difficult to describe.

I first discovered this album junior year of high school. (Which was not in 1997, for the record.)

And friends, I was absolutely blown away by it. I remember inserting the CD into my parents’ Dell desktop computer, cranking the volume, and calling my older brother in to experience this dazzling display of ingenious sounds and song.

It’s one of a kind.

(We get it, Snap. This is, after all, your top ten.)

I also know that Radiohead has really blown up in recent years. And truth be told, I’ve lost track of them a bit.

But OK COMPUTER, with its expert blending of band and studio. . .

Well, you’ll just have to listen for yourself, Dear Reader.

Enjoy every last drop.

. . .

Favorite Track: “Paranoid Android” (starts giggling in excitement)

. . .

Stay tuned for Snap’s #6!

SnapDragon is a writer, artist, and admirer of peculiar things.

Follow her Two-Bit Musings and more on Snippets of SnapDragon.

Desert Island Picks.

SnapDragon’s Top Ten Albums: Pick #8.

Hi! And welcome to the latest addition to my Desert Island Picks.

In case you missed my little advertisement, I’ve decided to award ten–yes, only tentop albums of my life.

And when I say ‘album’, I mean the entire album, friends. The whole record. Not some compilation or mix tape. I put in the CD, crank up the volume on quality speakers, and let the artist’s creation come to life.

You know. How it was intended.

All right. Now that we’ve cleared that up, let us continue!

. . .

#8: The Last DJ by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers (2002)

Image borrowed from ultimateclassicrock.com

It’s still hard to accept that Tom Petty is gone. What a loss.

His voice–which itself sounds like a finely-tuned guitar–was a welcomed friend in our house as kids.

To me, Tom Petty represents everything that is right about Rock n’ Roll: dedicated musicianship paired with meaningful lyrics and kick-ass chord changes. Balls-out with purpose, if you will.

And The Last DJ captures that feeling exactly.

Each song is a carefully-crafted stab at selling out. And he does it in a way that is nothing short of beautiful. (And The Beatles’ influence is in full force on this one. It makes me giddy.)

Please listen to this, friends. It’s absolutely brilliant.

. . .

Favorite Track: “Like a Diamond” (But it’s so hard to pick just one!)

. . .

Stay tuned for Snap’s #7!

SnapDragon is an educator, writer, artist, and homemaker. She enjoys singing while her husband plays guitar.

Follow her Two-Bit Musings and more on Snippets of SnapDragon.

Desert Island Picks.

SnapDragon’s Top Ten Albums: Pick #9.

Hi! And welcome to the latest addition to my Desert Island Picks.

In case you missed my little advertisement, I’ve decided to award ten–yes, only tentop albums of my life.

And when I say ‘album’, I mean the entire album, friends. The whole record. Not some compilation or mix tape. I put in the CD, crank up the volume on quality speakers, and let the artist’s creation come to life.

You know. How it was intended.

All right. Now that we’ve cleared that up, let us continue!

. . .

#9: So by Peter Gabriel (1986)

Image borrowed from wikipedia.com

Ahh, yes. Another classic.

This album will always remind me of my dad. As kids, my brothers and I would routinely raid his meticulously-selected CD library. It was a treasure-trove of quality Rock. It was also a gift to us kids: one that perhaps he hadn’t even realized he had given.

My oldest brother would carefully place the CD in the stereo, press play, and let the magic come to life.

And Peter Gabriel’s So is, just that: magic.

With its heavily 80s studio sound, it hits all of the feels, friends.

His voice–his words–are haunting. There’s an ethereal quality to it, really. As with most of my favorite music, it’s almost like this album wasn’t produced by the dedicated collaboration of instruments.

It feels like it has always just. . . been there.

It’s an album that takes its time. It’s an album that reminds me what it means to be an artist.

And it’s an album that’s waiting for you.

. . .

Favorite Track: “Sledgehammer”

(This song makes everything better. And it has to be loud loud. Enjoy.)

. . .

Stay tuned for Snap’s #8!

SnapDragon is a writer, painter, and feather on a breeze.

Follow her Two-Bit Musings and more on Snippets of SnapDragon.

Desert Island Picks.

SnapDragon’s Top Ten Albums: Pick #10.

Hi! And welcome to the latest addition to my Desert Island Picks.

In case you missed my little advertisement, I’ve decided to award ten–yes, only tentop albums of my life.

And when I say ‘album’, I mean the entire album, friends. The whole record. Not some compilation or mix tape. I put in the CD, crank up the volume on quality speakers, and let the artist’s creation come to life.

You know. How it was intended.

All right. Now that we’ve cleared that up, let us begin!

. . .

#10: Pet Sounds by The Beach Boys (1966)

Image borrowed from mentalfloss.com

While I’ve always appreciated The Beach Boys, I’ve never been some die-hard fan. But when I read that Pet Sounds has been considered the Greatest Concept Album of All-Time (along with The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, many argue) I had to check it out.

At 22, having freshly graduated college, I moved into my own tiny apartment in Philadelphia’s Rittenhouse Square. As the place slowly became mine—complete with string lights, and my students’ artwork on the fridge—I finally selected Pet Sounds on my touchscreen jukebox. (Yes, I had a jukebox. The Husband had handcrafted it for me when we were dating. Reason #805 why he’s the coolest person I know.)

Anyway, this album is a gem, to say the least. With its layers of symphonic instrumentation, young, fresh vocals, and chord changes that make you reassess life, it’s an album that stays with you, Dear Reader.

And Paul McCartney, who in my humble opinion is God, made the following remarks about The Beach Boys’ eleventh studio album:

Pet Sounds blew me out of the water,” Paul recalled in 2003. “First of all, it was Brian’s writing. I love the album so much. I’ve just bought my kids each a copy of it for their education in life – I figure no one is educated musically ’til they’ve heard this album” (Havers 2018).

So, heed Paul’s advice. Listen. Love. And let the music soothe your weary soul.

. . .

Favorite Track: “Let’s Go Away for Awhile”

. . .

Sources:

Why The Beach Boys’ ‘Pet Sounds’ Remains a Work of Art by Richard Havers. 2018. Udiscovermusic.com

. . .

Stay tuned for Snap’s #9! (number nine. . . number nine. . . number nine. . .)

SnapDragon is just a wildflower in a Mason jar, yo.

Follow her Two-Bit Musings and more on Snippets of SnapDragon.

Desert Island Picks.

Stay Tuned: SnapDragon’s Top Ten Albums of Her Life.

Okay. So before we get started, I must clarify a few things.

First, I’ve thought about this Holy Grail list for years. I’ve taken this very seriously. As you might imagine, it’s tough to narrow it down to just ten. But these are my gun-to-the-head, tried-and-true albums that I consider to be part of my identity.

Second, it should be noted that each artist could only be represented by one album. Many of these artists have other astounding studio works, but I’ve selected what I consider to be each artist’s masterpiece, and one that also has personal significance to my life.

And finally, while I love them all, I consider this list to be ranked in order. My number one is Number One for a reason. If I had to select just one album to listen to for the rest of my life (which is a concept I don’t even like to think about) it would hands down be what you see at the top of this list.

Yes? Good? On we go!

Stay tuned. . .

. . .

SnapDragon is a writer, artist, and collector of CDs. Nothing sounds better.

Follow her Two-Bit Musings and more on Snippets of SnapDragon.