The Album That Changed Music

Remember the song or album that changed the way you listened to music?

Regardless of when or how you heard it, it hit you just the right way at just the right time.

For some people, this just gave them a deeper appreciation for an artist or a genre, even. Some may have picked up an instrument because of it. For other still, it might just be something they go to for a lift, for comfort or for guaranteed fun. It’s that song or album that you know when you put it on, things will be just as they’re “supposed to be”.

This past week I found myself re-listening heavily to mine. I’m talking about MUTEMATH‘s self-titled release.

Mutemath S/T Album Cover

This began an obsession.

Since seeing them in Nashville in 2006, I have counted myself among their most devoted fans – a MUTEMATH-vangelist, going forth & spreading the good word of “Control.”

In discussing this with a friendly recently, he told me, “I’m surprised something earlier didn’t do that for you, because you’d been huge into music long before you heard MUTEMATH.”

He had a point. My deep connection to music is one of the first things you get to know about me. I grew up playing & listening to music at every turn. I had even worked in college radio for a full two years before MUTEMATH entered my life – years defined by musical discovery. But that’s just it. I was always looking to listen to as many different artists and genres as I could – always looking for more, for another, for new.

MUTEMATH (S/T) was the first album I ever found myself listening to on repeat for days at a time, weeks in a row, at all different hours, in all different settings and moods. The music is a synthesis of all the things I love, and many of the bands I love. I like cerebral music that can put you in a trance as much as I like music you blast with your car windows down in the summer. (As Jill will tell you, I also really like drumming on objects and people traveling with me in the car).

I like to be stretched emotionally when I listen to music, but then I like to come down and feel some warm, fuzzy, clap along feelings for a while too. MUTEMATH‘s self-titled album does all of that for me. It’s the combination of it all. It’s an experience, a musical roller coaster that speaks deeply to me.

For more of my thoughts on MUTEMATH see, “MUTEMATH + Music Videos = Mastery

Relistening to the album has helped me relive some great musical moments in my life, and lead to some fantastic musical conversations this past weekend. I’ve decided to begin sharing more of those experiences each week. There will be stories, reviews, and Spotify and YouTube playlists to accompany. I hope this becomes an interactive exercise, that spurs you to share your memories, stories and thoughts on what music has meant to you.

For starters, here are a few responses from friends to the prompt, “What’s the one song/album that when you first heard it, it changed the way you thought about music?” Add yours in the comments below! Also, for more of my thoughts on MUTEMATH see, “MUTEMATH + Music Videos = Mastery

Ray said:

“[Coldplay]‘s Parachutes. That was the first album I listened to that wasn’t angry rock/punk/metal. [I realized] that music had the potential to be multifaceted, multidimensional, and truly artistic.”

Tony said:

Guns N’ Roses: Appetite for Destruction. I never heard such aggression, raw energy, emotion in music before.”

Jesse said:

“The Beatles (White Album).  It was the virtuosity of it and the spectrum they cover. Really amazing.”

Zach said:

“Being cliché here, but seeing as how I fell in love with this band over 16 years ago and follow them around the country, the first album I ever listened to fully was Dave Matthews Band‘s Live At Red Rocks 8.15.95 From then on what I viewed musically growing up was endless. I guess it’s just one of those things where when you hear something, you’re not just listening, you feel something. And you connect.”

What do you say?

Post in the comments below!

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