Music is my biggest passion in life. Period.
I tend to like grand music. Stuff with feeling, emotion and passion. Stuff on the big scale; pompous and pretentious. I like when people really go for broke with their music. If it's very melodic and complex it's an added bonus. (Eg. Mike Oldfield, Pink Floyd, Marillion, Dave Matthews Band.)
I like real sounding instruments and natural acoustics. (Eg. Coldplay's Parachutes and Starsailor's Love is Here.)
Soothing and beautiful music is good for the soul. (Eg. Eva Dahlgren, Coldplay, Starsailor, Kari Rueslåtten, Sinèad Lohan.)
Overly produced and too heavily processed music finds me ill at ease. (Eg. Eva Dahlgren's En blekt blondins hjärta and The Rasmus's Hide From the Sun. Fine music that would've benefited from less production.)
Anything that sounds commercial or designed puts me off. It feels unauthentic, dishonest and manipulative. (Eg. Almost anything on pop charts.) Sounds snobby and elitist, I know, but just see below what I actually like and you see it ain't so. I just don't know how else to put it.
This is the music that opened my eyes to new things. The stuff that formed my taste. Please understand that in most cases this wasn't music I chose myself, especially early on, but music that I chanced upon because it was around. Listed in roughly chronological order.
- Ami Aspelund: Fågel blå
- Simply beautiful Finno-Swedish music. She has a wonderfully full voice and she makes it sound so incredibly easy.
- Jean Michel Jarré: Oxygene
- My father had a tape of this record. We used to listen to it together in the dark, talking about the images the music conjured up. One of my most fond memories.
- Pink Floyd: The Wall
- It's got everything. It's bombastic, theatrical and fabulous. I think this is the single most influential record for me.
- Mike Oldfield: Crisis
- My single most worn vinyl. (For some reason the CD seems like a different mix altogether, thin and edgy.)
- Marillion (the Fish records)
- Operatic, deep, complex.
- Yello: The Race
- Incredible soundscapes and lush sounds. Haunting melodies. Humour.
- Vangelis: Themes
- Seductive and heart tearingly beautiful. Vangelis really knows how to make synths sing.
- King Diamond: Abigail
- After a tentative introduction to heavy rock, I ended up with the kick-ass rock of King Diamond. This was really smokin'! Metal was to remain with me until the present day and I've actually recently rediscovered the genre with contemporary acts like In Flames, Katatonia, Opeth and Pain - all from Sweden for some inscrutable reason.
Then there is classical music and jazz, which entered my world later on, without any particular works that stand out.
- Where I buy my music. Cheap, fun & surprising. I can thank Jack for many of my most precious records.
- Top 200
- The 200 most important rock & pop records. Food for thought. Some entries are really odd.
- Tietoa tulevista levymessuista.
Finding classicla music is darn hard. There's such a lot of it, and I don't like it all. I have no mentor. I have no supplier. It costs way too much, most of the time. Yeah, I know I'm whining. Anyhow, here's the best resources I've come up with so far. Please please tell me if you've got any good resources.
- The Classical Music Navigator
- This seems like a novel and promising way of finding the stuff you may like. I've yet to explore it, but I'll be back with comments as soon as I've done so.
- Splendid search facilities and a huge database. No shipping to Finland, though. Good for finding stuff.
- Classics Today.com
- Reviews of classical music.
- The Classical Archives
- Really lot's of downloadable classical music. A good way to sample unknown pieces before buying. I have not yet explored this site.
- As they say themselves: "The world's leading classical music label". Lot's of stuff and very informative web site.
- So far the best place I've found for getting the music, once I've hounded it down. The have Finnish translation, Euro currency and postage for a reasonable 3€ at the time of writing. Their search facility is absolutely crap, though.
- Online store in Germany that has all of Naxos. Shipping to Finland is 7,99€. I've not yet ordered from JPC.
Perhaps one way to start when, like me, you're a newbie without a mentor:
100 CDs for Building Your Library (Classics Today.com)
Essential 100 Classical Recordings (ArkivMusic.com)
Records 2 Die 4 (Stereophile)
All Time Favourites
Music I come back to again and again.
- Mike Oldfield: Five Miles Out, Crisis, Discovery
- These records kind of defines music for me.
- Eva Dahlgren: En blekt blondins hjärta
- For some reason gets more spin time than almost any other record.
- Bruce Cockburn: World of Wonders, Nothing But a Burning Light
- My two most worn-out vinyls.
- Hansa: Naturtroget
- The best Finno-Swedish music ever made.
- Sinèad Lohan: No Mermaid
- Finds its way into my CD player with uncanny regularity. Soothing.
- Marillion (The Fish era)
- All time favourites as well as eye-openers.
- Dave Matthews Band (Records 1 to 5)
- Real music by real musicians. Devilishly skilled musicians, complex music and mature lyrics. Here's a piece in Finnish that I wrote about Dave Matthews Band
- Kari Rueslåtten: Other People's Stories.
- Absolutely amazing music. Personal, original, beautiful, well made, transfixing.