Music can change you. I think we’ve all had that moment when we’re down in the dumps, and just the right song pops on the radio or Pandora, and suddenly the day just feels different. My favorite thing about music is the fact that it can shift your mood entirely with just a downbeat. So, I thought it’d be a fun little exercise to put together a list of 7 separate albums that have changed me. I also think that it can help our readers and prospective clients of Jammin’ DJ’s understand the mindset and depth of knowledge that a DJ/performer has about music, and why we choose the music that we do. That said, here is a list of 7 albums (not songs) to live your life to. This collection of albums spans many genres and eras because so do all of you!

In No Particular Order

  1. Kaleidocope Heart – Sara Bareilles: King of Anything, Bluebird, Uncharted… This album is a complete story of adorable optimism and unbridled hope told in 13 songs. I have her lyrics tattooed on my arm for a reason.
  2. Songs in the Key of Life – Stevie Wonder: I Wish, Sir Duke, Isn’t She Lovely… More than an hour’s worth of music, and all of it is spectacular. In my opinion, this is the album that made Stevie Wonder prolific.
  3. Ten – Pearl Jam: Even Flow, Alive, Jeremy… This album IS the early 90’s for me. I wasn’t the cool kid that understood Nirvana right away, so Pearl Jam’s more melodic take on grunge was my introduction into 90’s rock, and I wouldn’t change it for anything. Even with all of the angst it gave me.
  4. Uncaged – Zac Brown Band: Jump Right In, Goodbye In Her Eyes, Sweet Annie… One of the most diverse country records I can recall. With elements of folk, southern rock, and Motown this album has a song you’ll fall in love with even if country isn’t your thing. The harmonies are spectacular, the production is brilliant, and the vocals WILL make you feel something.
  5. Marshall Mathers LP – Eminem: The Way I Am, The Real Slim Shady, Stan… By far his darkest record, this album is lyrically intense. I swear, every time I listen to it I catch something new. 3 of his biggest hits of all time, there’s an amazing variety of fun/light tracks to go alongside the more thoughtful and darker tracks. Also, Stan is my favorite hip-hop song of all time, so I had to throw it a bone.
  6. 24K Magic – Bruno Mars: 24K Magic, Finesse, That’s What I Like… If you want to dance this is the record. Fun, upbeat, and shockingly complex and diverse musically, this record really delivers on those road trip dance parties. There isn’t a bad track, and it’s MEANT to be sung along to. Seriously, if you don’t dance to this album you should be institutionalized.
  7. Are You Experienced – Jimi Hendrix: Foxy Lady, Purple Haze, May This Be Love… This album was Jimi Hendrix’ first compilation record, and in my opinion it basically created its own genre. Psychedelic Rock really wasn’t a thing before Jimi. Made back when everything was recorded live, this album really allows you to FEEL the pain and joy that emanate from his fingers as he plays his guitar. So, all of that AND Foxy Lady might be the sexiest song of all time.

Check these albums out. You’ll be happy you did.