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Follow My Way: 5 music albums my wife introduced me to

Updated on January 6, 2016

In most cases, music taste is something intrinsically personal. Our music tastes are formed since our childhood and shaped as we grow, maturing, shifting, exploring. I can easily trace some of my most notable musical leanings to what my older brothers listened to when I was a kid; be it the crowd-pleasing arena rock of Bon Jovi or Def Leppard, the wild and partying antics of Van Halen, the smooth, laid-back reggae of Bob Marley, or the rhythmic salsa beats of El Gran Combo. As I grew up, my music tastes have shifted, varied, and expanded, but without leaving behind what I learned in my childhood. Those have remained, sprinkled with the ones I discovered on my own.

But the musical growth never stops and I always find myself picking up tips of what to listen along the way. Some random and passing influences, and others stronger and more steadfast. With my brothers on one side of the spectrum of my influences, the strongest influence on my musical taste in recent years has been my wife.

Ever since we met eight years ago, we’ve begun this “symbiotic” relationship where I’ve grown so much in every aspect of my life thanks to her. Aside of the most complicated and personal things, one of the things where I’ve learned from her is in music. Since we were dating, it would be customary to just put some music in the background, whether in the house or the car. And ever since, intentionally or not, I’ve been feeding off her musical tastes like I did with my brothers.

These albums are just some of the ones she has introduced me to, and probably the ones I most frequently go back to.

Bunbury in 2012
Bunbury in 2012 | Source

Flamingos - Bunbury

To start some lists, one has to start at the beginning. And there is no more appropriate start to this list than Bunbury's Flamingos. Because starting with this album is starting when things more or less "started" for me and my wife. Being a fan of Enrique Bunbury for some time, she had mentioned it to me several times before we met, and on our first date, she brought the CD to the car. So listening to this album is listening to our first date "play".

For those that don't know him, Bunbury is a Spanish singer and songwriter that started his career as the singer of the group Héroes del Silencio during the late 80's. After breaking up in 1996, Bunbury began a solo career highlighted by experimentation and a desire to not be typecasted as a rock singer. Although anchored by some rock grooves, Flamingos is not particularly a rock album. It is rich with multiple instruments and varied sounds that infuse the music with an other-wordly sound that goes beyond mere rock.

Favorite songs: "Sacame de Aquí", "El Club de los Imposibles"

Bunbury "Sacame de Aquí"

Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots - The Flaming Lips

Quirky, weird, unique... those would be some words that we could use to describe The Flaming Lips album Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots; or heck, the band itself. With a weird title in itself, the album sets out to present the weird story of a fighter called Yoshimi as she battles a group of pink robots. If it sounds weird it's because it is. The story is weird, just like the sound is weird. That doesn't mean it's bad, but rather one of the most original albums I've heard, and a fun one to listen to.

Held by most fans as the band's peak, the psychedelic album features not only theatrical compositions, but off-key vocals, weird sound effects, and perhaps a child-like vibe that might distract some from the complexity of the music. But in the bottom of it all lies a unique album, quirky, weird, and unique.

Favorite songs: "Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots, Part 1", "Fight Test", "Do You Realize?"

The Flaming Lips "Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots, Part 1"

Chris Cornell in 2005
Chris Cornell in 2005 | Source

Euphoria Morning - Chris Cornell

Chris Cornell is best known as the lead singer of either Soundgarden or Audioslave. But in between each band, he dedicated some time to try a solo career. Two years after the break-up of Soundgarden in 1997, Cornell released his first solo effort titled Euphoria Morning. This album is easily one of the most pleasant albums for me to listen to. It has such an easygoing, lounge-like sound to it that makes it so relaxing.

The album features little to no crunch in the guitars, instead replaced by some twang and laid-back riffs, accompanied by a smooth piano and simple drums, which makes for a very soothing sound. Most of the music feels as if you were sitting at a calm nightclub, with dim lights and slow music. As for the vocals, they flow so effortlessly from Cornell. His voice is impeccable as usual, but with less rasp and more of a soulful vibe.

Favorite songs: "When I'm Down", "Moonchild", "Sweet Euphoria"

Chris Cornell "Follow My Way"

Absolution - Muse

Muse is popular now. In the last few years, the English band has become one of the most popular "new" bands and one of the biggest live shows ever. But back in 2006, this was not the case. At the time I was introduced to them, I had never heard of them. Needless to say, after my wife introduced me to it, it skyrocketed to become one of my favorite bands ever, and Absolution still stands as their best effort.

This is one of those albums that when I put it on, I have to listen whole because once it starts, it feels incomplete to skip a song or stop it before it ends. The energy in the music, the almost ethereal vibe of it, lead singer Matthew Bellamy's switch from soft voice to high-pitched shriek... everything about it is perfect, and makes for one of the most vibrant albums I've listened.

Favorite songs: "Stocholm Syndrome", "Apocalypse Please", "Time Is Running Out"

Muse "Stockholm Syndrome"

Mark Lanegan in 2012
Mark Lanegan in 2012 | Source

Whiskey for the Holy Ghost - Mark Lanegan

Mark Lanegan's second solo album is perhaps the last of these albums that I got into, so perhaps it is suitable to end the list with it. I didn't pay much attention to this album at first, but after giving it a try recently, it has become one of my favorite albums. Period. Like the above-mentioned Bunbury, Lanegan had come from great success as the lead singer of a rock band (Screaming Trees), but after venturing into a solo career, he decided to steer away from the genre people knew him for.

The cover of Whiskey for the Holy Ghost features a table with some whiskey and cigarettes in it, like something taken straight out of a Western saloon. And that's precisely how the album and its music feels. The vibe of it is as if you were sitting in a dark saloon, in an Old West town, listening to the soulful vibe of a drawlin' singer. There are rumors that Lanegan was heavily using drugs during the recording. Perhaps in spite of, or because of, but the album carries a certain raw emotion that draws you into each song. Certainly one that will be with me to stay.

Favorite songs: "River Rise", "Carnival", "Riding the Nightingale", "Sunrise"

Mark Lanegan "River Rise"

So each one of you that reads this Hub, take this as you may: as a musical recommendation, or as a personal ode to my marriage. Truth is that my wife has had an impact in every aspect of my life, including music; and, being the "symbiotic" relationship I mentioned above, I’d like to think I’ve had the same impact on her life as well.

I don’t think it’s necessary for a couple to share musical tastes, as long as they at least share some other common interests, but I can say it’s really cool when the two of us can sit back and enjoy the same songs. It's been 7 years that I've been following her way. Here's to many more.

Have you listened to them?

Which of these albums have you heard?

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    • adecourv profile image

      Alex deCourville 3 years ago

      Thanks are definitely in order for "Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots."

    • IslandBites profile image

      IslandBites 3 years ago from Puerto Rico

      You made me smile. Love you.

      And yes, you have.

      Excellent taste, by the way. lol

    • epbooks profile image

      Elizabeth Parker 3 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

      I didn't know all of these, but I did know some. How wonderful that your wife and you share the same tastes in music now- that is so sweet! Voted up and shared!

    • Thief12 profile image
      Author

      Thief12 3 years ago from Puerto Rico

      epbooks, thanks for the comment! Not that we didn't share similar tastes before; we both like a lot of similar things. But this is an example of artists I didn't even know existed, and was introduced to thanks to her.

    • profile image

      Benjamin Chege 3 years ago

      Hi Theief12. Beautiful. I also love Euphoria Morning by Chris Connel a lot. I am happy you have taken us back into the days when music was music. Voted up, beautiful, awesome and interesting.

    • Thief12 profile image
      Author

      Thief12 3 years ago from Puerto Rico

      Thanks for the comment and the votes, Benjamin!

    • Mel Carriere profile image

      Mel Carriere 3 years ago from San Diego California

      I have to admit that although I like to keep current, my current stopped in the 90s with Rage Against the Machine. My sons really enjoyed Muse, although they were considered a really off the wall band when they first emerged and now are enjoying huge success. Well written hub, and I look forward to exploring some of these sounds.

    • Thief12 profile image
      Author

      Thief12 3 years ago from Puerto Rico

      Thanks, Mel! When you listen to them, please, share your thoughts here!

    • Shinkicker profile image

      Shinkicker 3 years ago from Scotland

      I've only heard 2 of those albums, but I'm Chris Cornell's is a cracker, I need to check it out, Great singer.

      Voted up

    • Thief12 profile image
      Author

      Thief12 3 years ago from Puerto Rico

      Cornell is great. Feel free to check the other videos.

      Thanks for the comment and the votes!

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 3 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Muse is my best of this list I like listening to good music and this list sounds like it.

    • Thief12 profile image
      Author

      Thief12 3 years ago from Puerto Rico

      Muse is an excellent band, but from this list, I've been listening more to Mark Lanegan and Chris Cornell lately. Check out the others and let me know what you think! Thanks for your comment.

    • Carol Morris profile image

      Carol Morris 10 months ago

      I loved reading this hub, especially because of how your love and respect for your wife shines through it.

    • Thief12 profile image
      Author

      Thief12 10 months ago from Puerto Rico

      Thanks Carol I have the utmost respect and love for my wife so yeah, I suppose it shines through what I wrote. Thanks for the comment!

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