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That one 'Personal' album most artists have.


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Old 21-12-2012, 12:18
danom8
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I think most successful reach a stage in their career where they're ready to release a very personal album. More often than not these albums turn into fan favorites and cult classics. They are usually met with great critical reception but don't always perform so well in the charts.

I love these types of albums, especially when my favorite artists release them. These are some examples I can think of at the moment.

Britney Spears - Blackout. Right in the middle of her public meltdown Britney released a very dark gritty album which became a fan favorite. When I listen to this album I feel like I can almost hear the anguish in Britney's voice. It was daring and dark at the time and I can safely say that every single song was special in some way. The whole album felt rushed and awkward and that's where the magic is. Even the album art was a disaster but as a whole I fell this is what makes Blackout shine.

Kelly Clarkson - My December After Breakaway Kelly had expressed how she wanted to do a darker more personal album. The record company were totally against the idea but Kelly persisted. Although the album was met with a positive reception from critics it was her lowest performing album to date. However most fans I see online agree that it was her best work. After My December Kelly went back to more pop orientated songs but My December set a standard for me which I hope Kelly will live up to again some day.

Rihanna - Rated R Rihanna is often seen as a hit machine that gets songs handed to her and being the 'cash cow' that she is, she rakes in millions for her label. However you can't record 7 albums and not have had any influence or creative input. That's what happened with Rated R. In the wake of her physical abuse scandal with Chris Brown Rihanna was recording Rated R which was a dark gritty affair. Tracks like Cold Case Love, FIreBomb and The Last song showed a more 'rock' influence that we never heard before. Rated R is RIhanna's best work to date IMHO. Although LOUD was a great I don't feel RIhanna's been able to provide that rawness since. I hope some day she'll go completely experimental and give us something EPIC.

Some other noteworthy examples are;

Beyonce - 4
Madonna - Erotica
Avril Lavigne - Goodbye Lullaby
Pink - I'm Not Dead

Anyone agree/disagree? Any examples to add to my list?
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Old 21-12-2012, 12:57
shelleyj89
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Christina Aguilera - Stripped
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Old 21-12-2012, 13:00
HandsClean
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Kylie's - Impossible Princess

I do think it's strange though that shit songs like Run This World (Girls), What The Hell & Rude Boy were the biggest and most memorable singles from each of those albums and not personal at all.
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Old 21-12-2012, 13:04
LandslideBrad
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I wish Rated R was more than just her relationship though, its my favourite album ever but I don't know how personal it really is. I'm waiting for an album called 'Robyn' where it will have songs like Half Of Me on.
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Old 21-12-2012, 13:12
Stephenmarra
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Two that springs to mind are all about raw emotion.
Where Joni is painfully reflective and honest in her lyrics, John had hit self destruct on drugs and drink and the album is full of hurt, regret and anger. Both amazing albums.
Blue ~ Joni Mitchel.
Grace and Danger ~ John Martyn.
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Old 21-12-2012, 13:33
soundstory
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Two that springs to mind are all about raw emotion.
Where Joni is painfully reflective and honest in her lyrics, John had hit self destruct on drugs and drink and the album is full of hurt, regret and anger. Both amazing albums.
Blue ~ Joni Mitchel.
Grace and Danger ~ John Martyn.
aah john Martyn, brilliant
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Old 21-12-2012, 13:36
Hav_mor91
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I think most i hate to say this serious artist derive their music from their life and pain and turn it into art. But in terms of Popstars i agree there comes a time when each needs to evolve and connect on a wider level.

I disagree about blackout great reflection of where she was but she had very little to do with it Britney and ITZ are better examples as she actually wrote and contributed more than vocals.

Like A Prayer, Madonna- Far more personal and in depth than ROL that was about motherhood and spirituality whereas on this she peeled back the layers and left nothing untouched and when she became A true artist.

Kate Bush- The Red shoes perhaps not her best but her most personal a rare side to see her be her and not a concept or story.
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Old 21-12-2012, 13:44
Stephenmarra
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aah john Martyn, brilliant
I didn't think there was anyone here who had heard of him.
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Old 21-12-2012, 13:54
Makson
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Rita Ora - Ora
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Old 21-12-2012, 13:56
Zack06
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Thanks for the laugh...
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Old 21-12-2012, 13:58
soundstory
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I didn't think there was anyone here who had heard of him.
There are a couple of us

Did you see the BBC4 documentary a few years ago?
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Old 21-12-2012, 14:04
Makson
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Thanks for the laugh...
But it is all about the partying and the "drunk sex feeling" she gets....I think it gives us a pretty good insight into her personal life and where Rob Kardashian was coming from with that comment
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Old 21-12-2012, 14:38
Zone_Out
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Usher - Confessions
Eminem`s back catalogue
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Old 21-12-2012, 14:41
little-monster
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I wouldn't class Madonna's erotica as personal. More of a concept

Her most personal album is very much Like A Prayer which was about her divorce from Sean penn, her religious background, her relationship with her father and her mother's death.
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Old 21-12-2012, 15:02
danom8
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Sorry, I meant Like a Prayer as Madonna's most personal, I just happened to be listening to Erotica and typed it by mistake.
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Old 21-12-2012, 15:18
paulbax
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Mariah Carey - Butterfly

An album all about her divorce from Tommy and also her tortured childhood.
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Old 21-12-2012, 16:27
callmediva
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I didn't think there was anyone here who had heard of him.
we're not all spoon fed Radio 1 crap
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Old 21-12-2012, 17:18
rebellion
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Britneys most personal album is In The Zone not Blackout, although The Original Doll wouldve been had it been released.
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Old 21-12-2012, 17:20
Ally_Bowie
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Melanie C - Beautiful Intentions.
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Old 21-12-2012, 18:16
SamMcK
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John Lennon - Plastic Ono Band was the first that came to mind.
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Old 21-12-2012, 18:28
little-monster
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Corinne Bailey Rae - The Sea
About her husband's death and how she coped

Cyndi Lauper - Hat full of stars
First album in her career where she pretty much stuck two fingers up to her label and made an album she wanted to, to discuss issues like domestic abuse, rape etc. Issues close to her heart.
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Old 21-12-2012, 18:36
Josh Pinder
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Sorry, I meant Like a Prayer as Madonna's most personal, I just happened to be listening to Erotica and typed it by mistake.
ALthough you could definitely say Erotica was a personal album from Madonna in many ways through the alter-ego Dita

In fact saying this Madonna has hit personal albums a few times across her legacy.

But i do agree Like A Prayer is most definitely (not just saying this because it is my favourite album...EVER!) her most layered in "issues" and concepts across 11 sublime songs...and the demos/b-sides they touch on the media surrounding her divorce from Penn, her childhood, loss of mother, growth into adulthood, angst, the importance to be an individual, the importance of family and the importance to really stand your ground....it was a very ambitious album and a coming of age powerful recording that set a standard for the years to come.

Erotica, Bedtime Stories (to an extent), Ray Of Light, Music (to an extent) and American Life also i feel hit many times her personal life and her reactions to situations/reflections of herself...through guises and genuinity....powerful records too but also some very personal songs to analyse.

In terms of pop i very much agree with others...In The Zone is Britneys most personal album to date in the sense that it made her explore HERSELF rather than being a Jive puppet/hit maker it allowed her to really explore herself a lot more...and also it felt personal, and as others have said The Original Doll was the masterstroke that never was...had she released it THAT album would have been her most personal and analytic.

Janet Jackson - Rhythm Nation - I feel this is personal in a more media sense and social/political sense, Janet wanted to target minorities and racism on the head and this album (her strongest in her career also IMO) the range of sounds and dynamics really reflects this.

grace jones - Hurricane - At 59 grace was ready to finally unveil her private and personal life to the world....her childhood and "island life" really came into play, she speaks of loss and death and how across her career she achieved goals and ambitions...its a powerful record.

David Bowie - Young Americans - I feel that out of all of Bowies albums this is the album where he got more personal. He reached out and experimented with the "Plastic Soul" sound and spoke out about American politics and reflection from where he came from (He was touring AMerica in support of DIamond Dogs when he recorded this album) its definitely his most reflective work.

Marvin gaye - Here, My Dear - This was a very ambitious album...after a holy trinity of stellar albums Whats going on, Lets get it on, I Want You...Here,My Dear was about his decline from the public, his mental breakdowns and his divorce...it is a very frank album and experimental...so much so when it was released it was panned by near enough everyone until he died when people realised actually...its a darn dark masterstroke....very very frank, dark...with an injection of humour.

Bjork - Homogenic - Bjork reached a superstardom across the 90s...Debut and Post were massive albums from her it was a question where she would head next....she was deeply affected by a massive stalker/fans suicide (which was massively publicised) and she grew sick of the media (she hit a woman paparazzo in the face for saying "hello" to her) she let out all her angst on Homogenic.
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Old 21-12-2012, 18:36
KissesDontLie
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Beyonce - 4 wasn't a personal album. She just wanted it to have a 'classic' feel iirc
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Old 21-12-2012, 18:47
Deep Purple
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John Lennon - Plastic Ono Band was the first that came to mind.
I cant believe there is a more personal album than that to be honest.

Imagine was also a very personal album, but not at the same level. It was easier to listen to in many ways.

The Who By Numbers was quite personal for the way Pete Townshend was at the time.

Pink Floyds The Final Cut was really a Roger Waters solo album, with all his personal stuff coming out. When The Tigers Broke Free is one of the most moving, and bitter songs of all time, covering the circumstances of Rogers Dads death in the war, and goes a long way to explain much of his anti war stance throughout his career.
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Old 21-12-2012, 19:12
Toy_Hero
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Mary J Blige - No More Drama

It had elements of her struggles
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