The 10 albums that changed Andrew Belle’s life

 By Peter Lindblad
ANDREW BELLE. Daffodil Publicity photo
ANDREW BELLE. Daffodil Publicity photo
Not long after releasing his debut EP All Those Pretty Lights, Andrew Belle won the 2009 MTV VMA award for Chicago Breakout Artist of the Year.

Now based in Nashville, Belle is part of this year’s “Ten out of Tenn” tour. His first full-length album, The Ladder, is scheduled for February release.
 
Counting Crows:
August And Everything After

This is the very first record I ever purchased. It was 1999 and although I had been familiar with it for years, it stayed in my first car stereo for months. It was a landmark record for me.

The Killers: Sam’s Town

I almost put their first record, Hot Fuss, on here, but Sam’s Town solidified this band as one of my all-time favorites. It is so refreshing to hear Brandon Flowers try and miss every note he sings, but somehow it came out exactly how the songs were supposed to be sung. Amazing from start to finish.

Brand New: Deja Entendu

After I heard this record, I stayed up ’til 3 a.m. every night for a week writing the first songs I’d ever written. Very influential.
 
Radiohead: Kid A

Another record that was strange to me at first but helped usher in the concept of the existence of intelligent and left-of-center, yet amazing, music.

Further Seems Forever: The Moon Is Down

This was a tricky record for me to get into because it’s so syncopated and complex, but after a few listens I was hooked on the intricate melodies and lyrics.

Coldplay: A Rush Of Blood To The Head

For me Coldplay was just a pretty decent band until I heard this record and then saw them live in the winter of 2003. That is when they became iconic in my mind.

Lovedrug: Pretend You’re Alive

I saw this band play for 60 people at my college in 2004, and they quickly became one of my favorite bands of all time. We used to pull all-nighters writing papers and listening to this record on repeat!

Pearl Jam: Vitalogy

I can remember listening to this disc on my Discman on the way to JV basketball games in high school. “Betterman” was constantly blasting in my ears on all those bus trips to and from away games.

Counting Crows: Across A Wire: Live In New York

I put Counting Crows on here twice because they were most influential on my love for songs and lyrics as a kid. I was amazed at how Adam Duritz and these guys tweaked almost every song on this live record to practically become a completely new song for their fans. This is the art of the live show at its finest. The bridge and ending on the MTV performance of “Round Here” might be the best thing ever caught on tape.Death Cab For Cutie: Transatlanticism
 
Death Cab For Cutie: Transatlanticism

I didn’t understand this band for about a year before it just clicked for me one day. Track 2, “Title and Registration,” helped me learn how to write cleverly — or at least attempt to. 


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