It would be impossible to create the ten greatest albums ever for a road trip so I’ve compiled a brief list of ten that are essential for a good trip. While I’m only a kid I’ve had plenty of experience driving my family to Chicago or Escanaba and beyond. Without further ado let the countdown begin:
1) Third Eye Blind – Third Eye Blind
There is nothing like this 90s alternative album. Not only is it full of hits, but each tune makes you sing along and I can guarantee that you will not find your eyelids falling down with this band playing in the car. These are the guys with the hits “Semi-Charmed Life,” “Jumper,” “How’s It Gonna Be,” and “Graduate” all compiled on their debut album. Overall it’s nothing but radio friendly rock that’s both clean and feel-good.
2) The Killers – Hot Fuss
Here is another alternative album by an independent group that has achieved relative stardom. The Killers have gone on to release numerous other albums but their first one, Hot Fuss, remains my top choice for a road trip. Almost every single song is fast paced and throughout the album there is a prevalent feeling of uniqueness you might feel. Each song is radio friendly yet the Killers have a unique sound that is all their own and it’s a good sound.
3) Keane –Hopes and Fears
Not only is Keane a fantastic band hailing from Britain, but every song off of this album is made with nothing but a keyboard and a drum set. That being said, the music on this album has a stripped-down feel while retaining addicting melodies accompanied by a lead singer that can really hit the higher notes. These songs have a deeper, more heartfelt feeling to them which might be better for a thinking mood but nevertheless the album is first-rate.
4) Everclear –Songs from an American Movie Part 1
Everclear is one of those 90s rock bands that were big during that decade and after that they disappeared from the public radar. However, that doesn’t keep this album from being a smooth listen. This album details the romance/happier part of a relationship and with that being said, the songs are bright and euphoric, with one of the better songs having the title “Wonderful.” If you listen to this album you can be sure your mood will pick up and you’ll be more alert for the miles ahead.
5) Cake –Comfort Eagle
Not many people have heard of Cake, with funky music similar to the Red Hot Chili Peppers and a trumpet that plays on most of the songs, but it’s an aesthetic group. Comfort Eagle is easily my favorite album of theirs and it covers a wide range of subjects, from shopping to cancer, all with the same funky beats.
6) Red Hot Chili Peppers –Stadium Arcadium
It’s hard to compile a list of road trip albums without adding RHCP. There are literally hundreds of songs to choose from, a dozen albums to pop into the player, they even have a catchy tune called “Road Trippin’.” Stadium Arcadium makes it on this list partly due to its sheer size-it consists of two full-length CDs of songs-full of hits ranging all the way from the megahit “Dani California” to “Hump de Bump” and lesser known great tunes like “Torture Me.” Either way, no matter what RHCP song you pop into the player on your road trip, it will be worthwhile.
7) Foo Fighters –Echoes, Silence, Patience, & Grace
The Foo Fighters are a no-nonsense rock band with songs great for tapping on the steering wheel while nodding your head to the beat. Everyone knows the single “The Pretender” but the reason this album was nominated for Grammys is because the entire thing is a solid piece. From the first single to the last lamenting tune, the Foo Fighters will have you hooked on the road.
8) Green Day –American Idiot
Being a huge fan of Green Day, I can tell you I listen to this album straight through all the time to this day. Literally every song on this album is blaring alternative rock, an album protesting the suburban culture of America with every piercing lyric. All I can say is that every single song is a good one to listen to and that once you listen to this album once you might just play it back from the beginning.
9) Blind-182-Enema of the State
Punk rock in pop form is what Blink-182 does best which is great because they do it well. These young males craft shorter, snarky songs that make you want to laugh at times and grimace at others if you listen to the lyrics.
10) Matchbox Twenty-Yourself Or Someone Like You
Rounding out the bottom of this “top ten” list is another rock band that doesn’t ask too much from the listener. Matchbox Twenty offers music that sounds good, feels good, and makes for a fitting end to a road trip.