Hello. My name is Oliver Dobrian. I play drums in the band Filmspeed, which is based in Orange County, CA. Recently, I was challenged on Facebook by my father to post the album art of 10 albums that deeply influenced my life without explaining them. I did so, but felt unfulfilled by not being allowed to explain my choices. So after the challenge was over, I typed up all 10 explanations on a typewriter because why not typewriters are fun. Knowing full well that this is a blog and that I’d have to retype it on a computer, I figured this list and those explanations would be a fun inaugural post to whatever this blog post is going to become over the times I remember to write something for it. Strap in, folks.
That being said, to everyone reading this, here is a random list of only 10 albums that are influential to a person you do not know, and why they are important to that person you do not know. Enjoy.
10: Welcome Interstate Managers, by Fountains of Wayne. The production of this record is simply incredibly done. From lyrics to songwriting to orchestration and execution, this thing is a masterpiece and truly a clinic in songcraft. Yes, even “Stacy’s Mom,” you hipster haters. This album meets every goal it sets out to achieve.
9: The Comfort of Home, by Rufio. This album has maybe the best guitar production I’ve ever heard, from the arrangement to parts to performance, the whole album is flawlessly executed and super intuitive. Not to mention the songs are catchy and great too. If the previous record was a clinic in songcraft, this one is a clinic in guitar.
8: World World World, by Asian Kung-Fu Generation. For me, “After Dark,” the first real song on the record, is a perfect song. The songwriting on this album is flawless to an almost scientific degree, as I’ve come to expect from most of the Japanese bands I like. AKFG does it most masterfully here.
7: …is a Real Boy, by Say Anything. This album was instrumental in my shift in music taste from emo to indie. By perfectly blending both, this album has so many things I’ve stolen over the years, from songwriting tricks to lyrical tone to even vocal delivery (overly earnest and intense all the time), that this album is deeply personal to me.
6: Iowa, by Slipknot. I remember getting ready for Little League games and blasting this album to psyche me up. There are many arguments to me made for heaviest album of all time, but this would probably be my submission. To me, this album is anger personified and realized in music form. Which we all need in our lives, and I still use this album today for stress relief.
5: Take off your Pants and Jacket, by Blink-182. Probably the most influential genre of music in my life is pop-punk (if you couldn’t already tell given my choices above), I easily could have made this whole list 10 pop-punk albums. Picking just one was really hard, but I think this one is quintessential to me and a lot of people. So this choice is really a symbol for dozens of other albums too.
4: Who’s Next, by the Who. There’s not much to be explained about this one, other than to say that this album is almost single-handedly the reason I wanted to play drums. Other than that, there isn’t much to gush over that hasn’t already been gushed over, so I won’t get fooled again.
3: …And the Battle Begun, by RX Bandits. This one is hard to explain, or even describe. I heard this album at a very impressionable time in my life, and boy did that impression stick. The arrangement and songwriting of this album really speak to me, and the fact that they tracked it live makes it even cooler. Just the entire loose but virtuosic vibe of this band, in general but particularly on this record, is something I continue to strive for.
2: De-loused in the Comatorium, by The Mars Volta. To me, this album has everything and the kitchen sink. Good tunes, and surprisingly simple songs masked by crazy production and even crazier lyrics. I heard this album at around the same impressionable time as the one above, so the vibes of these two albums really shaped me as a person during a tough time in my life. But boy, this album is just good.
1: Abbey Road, by The Beatles. Really?! Do I have to even say anything here? It’s the best BEATLES album. Argue all you want about which BEATLES album is the best, you’re still talking about the BEATLES. OK. You get it. I’m done.
Thanks for reading this nonsense.
Written by Oliver Dobrian of Filmspeed
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