I decided to go with a list this time around. My top five female albums (I have to make the distinction that I only chose solo acts, not bands fronted by a woman or duos...those will have to be separate lists). Here they are, in no particular order:
1. Carole King- Tapestry
If there is any woman out there who has never listened to this album, the time to fix that is right now. Not only is this one of my favorite female albums, it's near the top of my list in general. King has a way of describing love and yearning that I'm positive can resonate with anyone. I didn't know this until recently, but Feel Like a Natural Woman was actually co-written by King on this album and Aretha Franklin made a big hit out of it after the fact. Top tracks: I Feel the Earth Move, Beautiful, Where You Lead.
2. Neko Case- Blacklisted
Where to start with Neko Case...? I guess her voice. Case has this sort of deep, soulful voice, with just a touch of rasp. It's so full and powerful that nearly anything she sings sounds amazing. Add to that her lyrics about life and its tragic sort of beauty (I know this sounds a little emo, but trust me, it's SO not) and you've got gold. This is an album for any mood. Top tracks: Deep Red Bells, Pretty Girls, Runnin' Out of Fools.
3. Regina Spektor- Begin to Hope
I love Regina Spektor because she comes up with such unconventional songs, both in content and structure. She uses her voice as the most unconventional instrument, making strange sounds that add a different layer to each track. I think at times she gets a little underestimated because it sounds sort of precious, but I think there's a kind of genius in it. Top tracks: Samson, Lady, Dusseldorf [bonus version].
4. Fiona Apple- Tidal
Just like with Ms. Case...what needs to be said about Fiona Apple? She too has a deep and soulful voice, but it's also sexy and jazzy. Her lyrics about love and loss are really poetic and mature, especially considering the fact that she was 19 when the album was released and younger when she wrote them. The video for Criminal is just as iconic as the song. Top tracks: Criminal, Shadowboxer, The First Taste.
5. Alanis Morissette- Jagged Little Pill
This album will always be special to me because it was the first cd I ever bought with my own allowance money. At the time I thought I was so subversive because Morissette cussed in the songs and my mom didn't pay attention to the lyrics. I have since realized a more mature appreciation for this album. There is a lot of anger in these lyrics and I think it's rare to hear a woman that angry in music, but it works well for her. This is the perfect album to blast when you are pissed off at a boy...it's cathartic. Top tracks: All I Really Want, You Oughta Know, Hand in My Pocket.
In other news, I have my enzymology final tomorrow and then biochemistry on Thursday. Then my first semester of grad school is over. BOOM. ROASTED.