Listen Well: My Favorite Album (as of late)

photo via bighassle.com

 I want to be abundantly clear: I am not one of those people who "loves finding new bands" and can talk for hours about my favorite music. I don't. I can't. My Top 20 Most Played songs on iTunes have barely changed in four years.

High school was near-torturous for me--while everyone else was WAY into talking about their favorite little-known, up-and-coming band or how they were totally legitimate fans of X or Y classic rock band, etc. etc., I was more than happy to listen to Top 40 and other popular dance/hip-hop music all day long. However, there's something socially unacceptable in high school about actually admitting that you aren't into music, so I tried to fake enthusiasm (with absolutely no success).

However, like any normal human being, I do like listening to music. And, as I suspect is the case for most people, what's on the radio now doesn't cut it for me the way it did when I was in my teens/early twenties.

So, every once in awhile I will hear a review of an album and I will seek it out because I need more variety in my music selection. Lee Ann Womack's The Way I'm Livin' was one of those albums. It's like her marketing campaign was custom-made to get to me: the album was featured in everything from Fresh Air to Texas Monthly.

I have a very natural affinity towards country folk music (this, by the way, is another entry in the column labeled "signs I am becoming my parents"), so when I heard just a few sad, gritty strains from The Way I'm Livin', I was sold. I downloaded it in December, and spent the entire month listening to the album on loop all day at work until it felt like the background music in my brain. It's sad and beautiful and well-sung--if folk is your thing, I think you'll really like it (although, what do I know, I'm not into music).

And, because I talk about music so rarely and seem to be in a recommending mood, I'm just going to go for it with another suggestion: Jason Isbell's album Southeastern. If my description of The Way I'm Livin' sounds good to you, you will also love Southeastern. 

Finally, to fully prove that mainstream music is my thing, my other favorite albums in 2014 were BEYONCÉ, Ed Sheeran's X, Sam Smith's In the Lonely Hour, and Taylor Swift's 1989. Judge if you must. (But those albums are actually really solid, right?!)

And, little known fact learned while researching this post--Maya Angelou was a HUGE fan of country music, and a particularly big fan of Lee Ann Womack's mega mega mega hit "I Hope You Dance." So much of a fan, in fact, that Lee Ann Womack sang it at her funeral. Isn't that fascinating? I never would have pegged Maya Angelou as a country girl.

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Do you have any music recommendations? I would LOVE to hear them--as you can tell, there is very little musical variety in my life.

Back tomorrow! Have a great day.