Category Archives: Music

Tony’s Top 10 Albums

Music.  It’s very personal.  Certain songs and albums provide the soundtrack for our lives.  Not sure why, but today I started thinking about my favorite albums.

I decided to try and come up with a list of my Top 10 Albums of All Time.

It’s hard to narrow down…. but I approached the task like this… if I could only listen to 10 albums for the rest of my life what albums would they be.

Turns out the list is pretty eclectic.  Here they are in no particular order:

  • Eric Church – Mr. Misunderstood – Great album from start to finish.  You can read my review here.
  • Chris Stapleton – Traveller – This is a return to real country music. Relatable lyrics, steel guitar, raw emotion… this album has it all.
  • Billy Joel – Greatest Hits Volume 1 & 2 – If you don’t like Billy Joel I don’t know if we can be friends.
  • Guns & Roses – Appetite For Destruction – Great music that brings back memories!
  • Toby Mac – Alive & Transported – Toby Mac ranks right near the top of my favorite artists of all time.  Choosing one album was difficult but this one has all my favorite songs and captures the energy of his live shows.
  • Skillet – Comatose Comes Alive (Deluxe) Can you tell I love live albums? This one rocks… and the music has a positive message!
  • Barenaked Ladies – All Their Greatest Hits (1991-2001) I have most of the Barenaked Ladies albums… but if I could only have one this would be it.
  • Nora Jones – Come Away With Me – Her voice is smooth as butter.   This album is perfection.
  • Annie – (Original Broadway Cast Recording) – I have a personal connection to this album.  Don’t think I’ve shared it yet.  Perhaps it’ll show up in a Memory Monday post in the future.
  • Casting Crowns – Casting Crowns – This album introduced me to contemporary christian music.  For that I will be forever grateful.
  • Carbon Leaf – Indian Summer – I honestly don’t remember how I came across this album but I’ve listened to it so much I can sing it from beginning to end without missing a note.
  • Jason LeVasseur – The Opening Guy – Live at Eddie’s Attic – I was given this album to put a radio commercial together for a local show. I wasn’t expecting much but loved the sound and music.  So much so that I ended up going to the show. It was awesome!

If you’re counting you probably realized that my list contained 12 albums.  I just couldn’t narrow it down to 10!

What are your: Top 10 Albums Of All Time?

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Album Review: Mr. Misunderstood by Eric Church

Let me start by saying upfront that I’m an Eric Church fan.  I’ve always enjoyed his music… and caught a fantastic performance of his at the 2012 Guthrie’s River Ruckus.

Eric Church concert shot from Guthrie's River Ruckus Show

Even though I consider myself an Eric Church fan I’ll admit that it took me awhile before I spent the time to listen through his entire Mr. Misunderstood album.  Now that I have, the album has been stuck on repeat… in both my head and my speakers.

In the off chance that you’re like me… and late to the Mr. Misunderstood album party… I thought I’d share my review.

Album Review: Mr. Misunderstood

This is a great album from start to finish!  Musically, I feel it builds on Church’s previous albums.  You hear hints of past albums as he continues to push his music forward.

One of the things I appreciate most about this album is the different layers.  Every time I listen to it I’ll hear something new and different. It might be a guitar riff, tambourine, or background vocal… but they are all layered to perfection.

Eric Church carries the “country” label but I’d say this album is more of a country flavored rock album.  I could easily hear pop/rock standouts like Bob Seger, John Mellencamp, and Billy Joel doing versions of the songs found on the Mr. Misunderstood album.

There are even a few brief moments on the album that bring flashes of the Bee Gees and Michael Jackson to my mind.

Of the 10 tracks on the album, here are a few of the standouts for me:

Mr. Misunderstood – The title track speaks to the awkward teen in all of us.

Mistress Named Music – The lyrics start in church and it ends full circle with a gospel choir.

Mixed Drinks About Feelings – There’s a subtly to this song that really highlights Eric Church’s vocals… and the piano.  Susan Tedeschi’s part brings a nice female touch to the song.

Kill A Word – I love the premise and message of this song.  There are plenty of words I’d love to get rid of.

Record Year – This is an interesting play on words and a twist on the traditional “I’ve been dumped and I’m lonely” song.

3 Year Old – This ranks close to the top as one of my favorite songs on the album.  It walks the line between funny, thoughtful, and insightful.  It also makes me remember when my daughters were younger.  There’s certainly something in this song that any parent can relate to.

What’s your favorite song on Eric Church’s Mr. Misunderstood album?

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Memory Monday – Detasseling

Whenever I hear a Guns N’ Roses song I’m instantly taken back to one particular Summer.  A Summer of hard work but one I look back on now with a smile.

I was 14 or 15 and a cousin and I contracted some acres of field corn to detassel.  I can’t remember how many acres or how much we were paid… but I remember it being a lot of money for a teen.

Detasseling is a long, hot, sweaty job.  You start at one end of the field walking to the other side removing all the tassels from the top of each corn plant.  Get to the other side and you start back doing the same thing in another row.Blue sky and white clouds above an Iowa corn fieldOn more than one occasion by the middle afternoon, under the hot sun, we were a little tired.  To keep us going we sang… the entire Guns N’ Roses Appetite For Destruction album… from start to finish.

The mental image of what we must have looked like seems funny to me now.  Two teens walking through an Iowa corn field singing rock songs. In a way… I kind of miss jobs and bonding experiences like that.

What I don’t miss is the corn cuts on my arms and closing my eyes to sleep at night and still seeing corn!

Did you detassel corn as a teen? What was your detasseling soundtrack?

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