By DJ Ramirez | Sports Editor
The coronavirus has taken a lot from us in these past few weeks. Sports. Socializing. Our sanity. But one of the few things that remains is music.
My good friend and former Lariat sports editor, Ben Everett, posted a challenge on his Instagram story in which he gave a list of the top ten albums he’d take with him on a deserted island. There are four rules: the albums have to be from different artists, no greatest hits albums, no live albums and you have to listen to the entire album (not on shuffle), so you have to choose carefully.
Inspired by Ben here are the 10 albums that I would take with me on a deserted island.
“Science & Faith” (2011) by The Script
This band made my adolescence since it was one of my earlier introductions to popular music in English outside of Disney Channel soundtracks. It was hard choosing between this album and their debut album, but most of my favorite songs by this band came from this album. The title track “Science & Faith,” as well as the more popular single “For the First Time,” are the standouts of the Irish pop group’s sophomore album, but I could probably make an argument for every song.
“Wilder Mind” (2015) by Mumford & Sons
This was it. This was the album that made Mumford & Sons my favorite band ever. Yes, I liked their older stuff too, but this was the one that grabbed me and didn’t let go. I saw these guys front row at Austin City Limits last October and I still feel like I’m walking on air when I think about it. I believe that in order for music to leave a lasting impression, it has to grab you by the soul and speak to you. Every track blends beautifully into the next without gimmicks or tricks. “Believe,” “Tompkins Square Park” and “The Wolf” are amazing live but “Just Smoke” has sneakily become my favorite over the years. It was a perfect prelude to what would lead into their most recent album, “Delta.”
“Sacred Hearts Club” (2017) by Foster the People
This is another band I would love to see live. After the success of “Pumped Up Kicks” and the fairly catchy tunes of their debut album “Torches,” Mark Foster and company dipped into a more psychedelic sound with “Supermodel,” their sophomore release. Enter “Sacred Hearts Club,” first released as a three-song EP before the full album came out. Foster the People built on their first two releases by combining the sounds that already worked for them while adding a dash of electronic vibes. The title track “Sacred Hearts Club,” as well as “Don’t Pay the Man” from the original EP are hard bops, but “Sit Next to Me” is the song you can’t help but dance to the most.
“Amor Prohibido” (1994) Selena
As a Mexican-American girl from North Houston, I grew up on Tejano music and rancheras, so it would be crazy of me not to include La Reina herself on my list. “Amor Prohibido,” which directly translates into “Forbidden Love,” was Selena Quintanilla’s last album release before her death in 1995. Considering that many of my favorite Selena songs came from this album and that I couldn’t pick a greatest hits or live track list, it was an easy choice. “No Me Queda Mas,” “Si Una Vez” and “El Chico del Apartamento 512” are some of my go-to karaoke picks and favorites to belt out in the car, shower, kitchen or anywhere, really.
“Youngblood” (2018) by 5 Seconds of Summer
Like a fine, fancy block of cheese, 5 Seconds of Summer (5SOS) has only become better with time. They’ve evolved not just sonically, lyrically and visually but also in the way they develop their brand and their craft organically. “Youngblood” has a clear, distinct sound from the first two 5SOS albums while still sounding unmistakably like themselves and was a stepping stone in building their soon-to-be released fourth studio album “CALM.” If I had to pick one album instead of 10, it would be this one.
“21” (2011) by Adele
My mother is probably tired of this album from all the times I listened to it in middle school. Even now, when I’m in one of those moods where I’m super in my feelings, this is the album I go to. I mean “Rolling in the Deep,” “Someone Like You” and “Set Fire to the Rain” are Adele classics. I may not be able to hit all those high notes but that hasn’t stopped me from trying.
“Jonas Brothers” (2007) by the Jonas Brothers
Don’t judge me, this was the very first album I ever owned.
“After Laughter” (2017) by Paramore
Evolution of sound is one of my favorite things when it comes to music. When an artist can look back at what they’ve already done and build on that to change their sound in a way that fits who they are as an artist, it shows that they can grow as a person. That’s the goal, isn’t it? To grow into something better. Paramore’s evolution from their early punk rock/pop of the 2000s into a more mellow ’80s inspired pop rock of the 2010s also shows a new level of maturity in comparison to the angrier sounds of their earlier albums. “Hard Times” and “Caught in the Middle” are quintessential bops while “Tell Me How” is the ultimate sad song, balancing out the album.
“Wild Blue, Part 1” (2019) by Hunter Hayes
Although Hunter Hayes has grown more into that pop country sound rather than a true country sound, like many of the “new country” artists do these days, his latest release is the most heartfelt of his albums. This album also played a key part in my grieving process when my grandmother passed away last summer, so it holds a special place on this list. “Wild Blue,” “Dear God,” “Night and Day” and “Still” are my favorites off this album.
“Bad Blood” (2013) by Bastille
If you tell me that you’ve never sung along to “Pompeii” as soon as you hear it, you’re a liar. The British alternative rock band evolved into more of an electronic sound in their recent releases but their debut album is still by favorite. Full of upbeat melodies balanced by haunting harmonies, this is one of the albums I will never get tired of.