I grew up around film and music. I got a listening ear with eccentric tastes. My oldest brother got me into alternative rock music. Both my brothers got me to enjoy Hip-Hop/Rap/Rhythm and Blues, and the parents got me into the country and classic rock music. Also growing up it was a trend to be a teeny pop girl who got into one or all of the boy and girl bands. It’s a bipolar mindset when I bounced back and forth from Eminem and Backstreet Boys. It probably would be defined as a love/hate relationship in a sense since Eminem promoted hate in his music and Backstreet Boys had plenty of love songs in their playlists.
Today, radio is a disappointment. Let’s be honest. Mainstream media overplays crap music. Even with the good music, the radio plays them so damn much to the point that I get exhausted usually of the song I am blessed for my Spotify streaming and IPod, so I can ignore turning on the radio and get tired of their playlists and play the music I want to play on my own time.
Holy shit, I own an Apple product! Someone take notes (inside joke). Anyways, before I buy a whole album, I search it through my Spotify and if I can listen to the whole album without skipping a song, I consider buying the whole album. Instead of puking out Holiday Jams, I decided to share my own personal tastes in music and my top five albums I am currently playing. A sneak peak of my eccentric mind and you know well that new poetry will be produced through the influences of these tunes.
5. Kane Brown – Kane Brown
This upcoming country star grew his fan base on his own through social media before getting a record deal with RCA. His authentic rich baritone voice brings me back to the likes of Trace Adkins and his voice on the cover songs he’s chosen gives them an original vibe. Whether it’s him or George Strait singing “Check Yes & No”, him or Randy Travis singing “Three Wooden-Crosses”, it brings joy to my ears and brings me back to my childhood. Unlike other cover-song artists, Kane Brown, can actually make great original songs. A blessing in disguise when he walked away from X-Factor and a boy band offer. You can’t take the country out of the boy. When I need to be reminded of home, I don’t just turn on my Randy Travis, George Strait, or the Outlaws. I also enjoy the new country likes of Georgia Florida Line, without the pop remixes, and certainly the rising star of Kane Brown.
4. Red Hot Chili Peppers – The Getaway
The Red Hot Chili Peppers have proven themselves once again to be able to acquire themselves, in a relevant setting, with the times of music. Forming in the grunge rock era, Anthony and crew have evolved into a more psychedelic rock vibe with their current album. I love listening to this album when I feel the need to meditate and chill in an afternoon of writing and editing my projects and sipping on my coffee. The album brings me to another zone of ideology of my poetic thoughts. It falls under the same formality with one of my all time favorite soundtracks of all-time from the TV series of La Femme Nikita. Geek alert!
3. Tech N9ne – The Storm
Here’s a pick for my Hip-Hop readers! For those who are annoyed with the mainstream crap music. Tech N9ne never disappoints his rogue audience. With subliminal lyrics that actually have a message to be said. The music also reveals revolutionary beats to compliment the stories being told on his album. A true poetic rapper in my tastes. I mostly enjoy listening to the likes of Tech N9ne and other brilliant artists like G-Eazy, Hopsin, Eminem, Dappy, Yelawolf, and MGK when I need a motivational boost in my poetry writing. Tech N9ne is also essential in my fitness playlist. What prompts me the most with his lyrics is the fact that he doesn’t fear to expose his viewpoints on today’s issues like in his single, “What If It Was Me” that confronts police brutality in today’s society. I wish there were more fearless rappers that would rap about life outside of alcohol, drugs, sex, etc.. Especially for an introverted audience who see life pass the depressants of society.
2. James Bay – Chaos and the Calm
As a poet, the strength for me to enjoy good music is within the lyrics. James Bay’s songwriting is exceptional when it comes to storytelling. There is a calming within the music even though the songs are based around heartache and love from my perspective of the album. James Bay’s music allows me to dig deeper to find myself reflecting and writing on true love topic. A topic I never really touched up on for the last year or so, but a strength in my writing. As morbid as the album is with the subliminal messages, it still gives me hope in my love antic poetry and motivates me to just read other poets’ works when I hit writer’s block for my own.
1. Shinedown – Threat to Survival
Another album released in 2015, like James Bay, Threat to Survival is another motivational spark for my fitness playlist, as well as, life in general. I have this album on blast usually when I am driving myself to work or on road trips back home up North. The lyrics throughout this album is a 180 from their first album that I discovered, Leave a Whisper, during my own dark days of depression and alcohol abuse. It reveals the growing and maturity of the band and Brent Smith himself as he bettered himself for the purpose of fatherhood. I just love stories of individuals who conquer their demons in this world and work out like a beast instead of partying like a rockstar! So here’s a toast, and crank up the volume, because I am celebrating life with Shinedown!
It’s never easy to pick out my favorites when there is so much good music out there. You just need to know where to look and what bands to follow. Some honorees for this post includes TwentyOne Pilots (Blurryface), Keith Urban (Ripcord), James Blunt (Moon Landing), G-Eazy (When It’s Dark Out), B.O.B. (Elements), Sam Hunt (Montevallo).
If I didn’t have any social anxiety issues, all of these artists would be on my concert list for sure, but due to my anxiety, I’ll just sit here and jam out to these tunes with my headphones on in the gym or with the volume cranked up in my car.