Sunshine's Top 10 Favorite Senior Albums

We are finally here! The end of our current Music Ark Series. You’ve seen our favorite debut albums, You’ve seen our favorite sophomore releases. You’ve heard our top 3rd studio albums. Now, we are on to our senior year! Here are my favorite 4th studio albums!

10. Mezmerize/Hypnotize by System of a Down


System of a Down was a strong mixture of thrash and harmonic metal. They played fast and loose with a powerful, brooding heaviness. Add a classically trained vocalist, spitting out thoughtful, anarchist rants and you have the recipe that creates this strong double album, each part released in the same year. It’s quick and agile, leaving a trail of audible destruction.

Favorite Tracks: “B.Y.O.B.”; “Question!”; “Holy Mountains”

9. Confessions by Usher


I think that people forget the impact on music that this album had when it was released. Arguably getting more airplay than any other record at that time, it was futuristic and a game changer in R&B. It also blessed us with one of the greatest dance songs of all time.

Favorite Tracks: “Yeah!”; “Confessions Part II”; “Burn”

8. Bleed American by Jimmy Eat World


Slathered up in pounding riffs, Bleed American was the perfect dose of alternative mixed with a sense of pop/punk. Its driving guitars, compelling lyrics, and catchy melodies helped it soar above the rest of the genre, leading Jimmy Eat World into mainstream relevance and leaving us singing years after being released.

Favorite Tracks: “The Middle”; “Sweetness”; “No Sensitivity”

7. Mother’s Milk by Red Hot Chili Peppers


Still holding true to their funk driven beginnings, Mother’s Milk is where we get introduced to the young gun, Frusciante; forever altering the sound and style Red Hot Chili Peppers. After tragedy, it was in question whether a new lineup could produce the chemistry as the early era of RHCP. Mother’s Milk was proof that they had found that chemistry and it acts as a strong transition from one life to another.  It might not be the greatest Chili Peppers outing but it was one that proved to be important.  

Favorite Tracks: “Higher Ground”; “Knock Me Down”; “Fire”

6. A Night at the Opera by Queen


This album is an over the top adventure. It perfectly blends several genres of rock going from classic, metal to progressive and pop, doing it effortlessly and without losing any luster. It is a gorgeous piece of work that everyone needs to absorb at some point in their life.

Favorite Tracks: “You’re My Best Friend”; “Sweet Lady”, “Bohemian Rhapsody”

5. Tommy by The Who


A rock opera that perfectly blends musicality and storytelling. Townshend conceptualized and created a story that is masterfully told with kick ass tunes from start to finish. Some say that it has lost some of i’s flare over time but I disagree, it gets better with every listen.

Favorite Tracks: “Sparks”; “Pinball Wizard”; “I’m Free”

4. Led Zeppelin IV by Led Zeppelin


Sure, every Zeppelin album is great but IV is downright incredible. Rock anthem after rock anthem lines this majestic album from start to finish and it is nothing short of a religious experience. Each song holds up over the years as they seep into your bones and you are forever lost on one of the greatest musical rides in history.

Favorite Tracks: “Black Dog”; “Misty Mountain Hop”; “When the Levee Breaks”

3. Loaded by The Velvet Underground


I don’t know how to say it other than amazing track followed by more of the same. This album was not a reassembling of new sound, just a strong refinement of everything that came before it. When I think of the spirit of rock n roll, I think of The Velvet Underground and I think of Loaded, plain and simple. It also houses what is arguably my favorite song of all time in “Oh! Sweet Nothin’”

Favorite Tracks: “Sweet Jane”; “Train Round the Bend”; “Oh! Sweet Nothin’”

2. Stankonia by Outkast


This might be the greatest hip-hop album of all time. The innovative duo shined a light on rap and its lyrical emptiness at the time. With no fluff at all, this gem of an album pulled out all the stops, creating a listening experience that hasn’t been matched since. It was a critical success for good reason. It is exciting in its exploration of sound and content, and it changed the shape of hip-hop for everyone who would come after.

Favorite Tracks:“Ms. Jackson”; “Spaghetti Junction”; “B.O.B.”

1. Survival Sounds by Rubblebucket


No it is not a mistake that this album is at #1. Never has an album captured fear, anxiety, and redemption quite like this. A beautiful blend of psychedelic funk and jam band dance, Rubblebucket produces an uplifting experience using unique musicality that no one else is doing, or at least not doing as well. The group tuned their sound into the perfect mixture of funky keys, accent horns, and just pure collective joy. It’s an incredible album and one of my all-time favorites.

Favorite Tracks: “On The Ground”; “Young and Old”; “My Life”