Music Mondays: because life’s better with a soundtrack. I recommend hitting play before reading further.

I wanted to take the next few Music Mondays to address a few of the albums that have made a deep impact on me. I’m calling them the Formative Five – each one hit me at just the right time in my life and became a part of my formation.

The first and arguably most formative was certainly a result of timing amplifying impact. Sigur Rós’ Untitled album – rendered in print as “( )” – hit me my sophomore year of college. I had what I’d call a rough freshman year, with plenty of roommate drama, watching the World Trade Center collapse on television from my dorm, and contracting an eye disease that I was told could blind and possibly kill me…It was pretty dramatic, to say the least.

I had been sufficiently deconstructed that first year and the beginning of what came next pretty much started with Craig Kilborn (remember that guy?!) introducing me to Sigur Rós.

That changed everything. It was the music of my life for almost a year. Late night conversations with Aaron, Kirk, Shakedown Dave, and JD – about music and faith and life through the haze of nag champa burning. These things felt so profound to me. And the soundtrack to almost each and every one of those nights was ( ).

Each time I listen to this album, it transports me to a time I remember fondly. It takes me to a place of youth and hope. It’s the kind of album that can, quite frankly, bring me to tears on its best days.

What about you? What albums hit you during a formative time and left an impact that they might not have made had you encountered them some other time?

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