After much deliberation, I have selected 5 classic albums that I feel only those swimming (or those who have swam) through the miseries of their twenties could truly understand. If you haven’t reached that point yet, you will, and I’d recommend finding one of these albums and having it out with your doubts and pains.
1. David Bowie – Hunky Dory
This album and I have had an ongoing affair for about 5 years now. This album defines the wild and horrifying curiosities of growing up while desperately clinging to your youth. Fill Your Heart and Kooks embody the liberal values of anyone young and naive enough to believe that love and happiness are easy and free. While Quicksand and Changes hint at the struggles of reality setting in. This album is the “Footprints in the Sand”.
Key Tracks: Oh! You Pretty Things, Quicksand, Life On Mars
2. Cat Stevens – Harold and Maude Soundtrack
As if the movie itself weren’t enough of a statement, the soundtrack is the force behind it. This is unlike any other Cat Stevens/Yusuf Islam album to date. The coming-of-age roller coaster is, by far, the first horrible ride (of many to come I’m sure) and this album is targeted towards that very struggle. There is really no way to explain the nausea from all the twists and turns until you’ve felt them. However, fear not, this soundtrack is the Pepto-Bismol for all the embarrassing symptoms you’re sure to endure and it assures that you won’t lose sight of the importance of the small things.
Key Tracks: Trouble, Don’t Be Shy, If You Want To Sing Out
3. Bob Marley & The Wailers – Songs of Freedom
This 3 hour album is worth every second. During those “fantastic” teenage years, you relate to the herbal sensations of Bob Marley, but after that first apartment/reality, you begin to recognize the political clout intertwined with the entire spirit of the music. This album diffuses the nagging cynicism that is sure to find it’s way to anyone who pays attention to the world and just how fucked up it really is. Songs of Freedom is a very comforting reminder that kindness is never futile and life reacts to how you project yourself upon it.
Key Tracks: High Tide or Low Tide, Nice Time, Concrete Jungle
4. James Brown – It’s a Man’s, Man’s, Man’s World
Wow. If you need justification for drinking alone, here it is. Man’s, Man’s, Man’s World nurtures the brokenhearted while still managing to coo the hindered spirit of those learning the actuality of a relationships. Every ounce of pain and personal torment is pumped out at full-volume and catches you before you, yourself fall in to the depths of emotional sorrow. James’ voice can penetrate any barrier of cold-heart you’ve built from bad love.
Key Tracks: I Don’t Mind, It’s A Man’s Man’s Man’s World, Is It Yes Or Is It No
5. Leonard Cohen – Songs From A Room
We have all had those nights where there is nothing to do but curl up in a ball and shake from the inside to the outside. An entire cocoon made of every thread of self-pity you can stitch together. This album licks those wounds with the fervor of ancient medicine men. There is no guarantee you’ll actually feel better but you’ll certainly feel understood and less aberrant. It’s dark, it’s gloomy and Cohen’s voice gives it that perfect edge that depression craves.
Key Tracks: The Old Revolution, The Butcher, Lady Midnight
[This was taken from a blog I deleted, but I have a few 5:35 posts and I hope to resurrect the whole thing here on wordpress]