No.18 – Bruce Springsteen, ‘Born to Run’

What is it?: The top album from rugged human embodiment of liberal Americana, The Boss.

What’s it like?: I did enjoy ‘Born to Run’… but I think I’d need to be American to really get it.

It’s so earnest, which I’ll admit is refreshing to hear. But every song is so, so earnest, all in the exact same way – although the songs themselves are each listenable and melodic in and of themselves, the lack of variation in mood gets a little tiring.

The title track is still a tune though.

You have to be in a very specific mood to sit down and listen to ‘Born to run’ from start to finish, and unfortunately I was not in that mood – but I bet this album’s a 10/10 when you are.

When to listen to it: On a road trip through the American midwest, windows open and/or top down, sun shining, cactuses or something, I don’t know, I’ve never been to the midwest.

Verdict: Great for your road trip, won’t really work for a morning commute on the Tube.




No.17 – Nirvana, ‘Nevermind’

When it comes to ‘Nevermind’, I’m afraid I am extremely biased: this was the album that got me into rock music.

At the age of 13, I watched the video for ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ on Kerrang channel, all the way through for the first time, and something really clicked. Cut to me a few nights later, listening to my dad’s copy of ‘Nevermind’ on my personal CD player and drinking in every note. It felt phenomenal. It felt like how rock music was supposed to sound like – not like Avril Lavigne or Michelle Branch and all the other crap I’d be contenting myself with. Nirvana sounded like a real band making music that I’d never heard before, that broke boundaries I didn’t even know existed while still giving me something I could sing along too. I came into school the following few weeks just raving about Kurt Cobain, making copies of this album to throw at all my friends.

So, I don’t really feel I can judge this album properly at the age of 26. I still adore it on a very personal level – and the music is amazing regardless. ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ packs a muddy punch, ‘Polly’ haunts, ‘Drain You’ drips with sleaze. It’s an album worth discovering and re-discovering at any age.

When to listen to it: When you don’t want to tidy your room or be a responsible adult.

Verdict: I’ve fallen back in disgusting, grungey love.