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The Top 9 Lyrically Driven Albums (according to the Brain Candy Team!)

Updated: Feb 23, 2022

Lyrically driven music speaks to our own individualized experiences – it is how we can derive meaning from our lives, with so much being said within the span of a 3 and half minute song. Whenever I listen to a song for the first time, I ask myself what strikes me the most lyrically, and how it constitutes my own multi-faceted, scattered and imperfect life. In doing so, I am able to make sense of the world around me.

Furthermore, I think it’s interesting to look at what songs others feel so strongly towards and how it may fit into their own lives. That being said, for this week’s blog, I’ve decided to ask each of the Brains and this semester’s interns their favorite lyrically driven album, a reason why, and a stand-out lyric. From Alanis Morissette, to Green Day, to Josh Rouse, the Brains had some fantastic picks.

#1) Ayla Kress (Founder & Creative Overlord)

Favorite Album?

The Much Much How How and I by Cosmo Sheldrake (although it's not very lyrically driven it's my favorite album of all time).


It's the perfect combination of my two favorite things – nature and music. Through organic elements and raw nature sounds combined with peculiar instruments, (largely wood instruments) he crafted something truly unique and beautiful. It's also the BEST album to listen to while on a trail run.

Favorite lyric?

There goes that myth again

That all of this is but a machine

- “Pliocene”

#2) Tony Chiarella (Keeper of the Realm)

​​Favorite Album?

The Ecstatic by Mos Def


Mos Def (Yasiin Bey) is considered one of the best lyricists in hip-hop and this album is a testament to his unique approach of storytelling. He is able to craft his stories with almost no cursing, a rarity for this era of hip-hop (2009). He paints a very real depiction on the struggles of life from the perspective of growing up and getting out of the hood - but maintains a positive outlook on what the future holds.

Favorite lyric?

And we are alive in amazing times

Delicate hearts, diabolical minds

Revelations, hatred, love and war

And more and more and more and more

And more of less than ever before

It's just too much more for your mind to absorb

It's scary like hell, but there's no doubt

We can't be alive in no time but NOW

-“Life In Marvelous Times”

#3) Kristen Davis (Creative Brain Operator)

Favorite Album?

Mer de Noms by A Perfect Circle


I believe the album saved my soul more than once in my prime years of growing as a human and made me feel a true release of letting my heart sing through another vessel.

Favorite lyric?

Threw you the obvious

And you flew with it on your back

A name in your recollection

Down among a million same

-“3 Libras”

#4) Tali Izhaky (Commander of Publishing)

Favorite Album?

Jagged Little Pill by Alanis Morissette


I love this album because at a time when labels ran the music industry, Morissette put an album out that screamed screw the labels, I am a powerful woman who will not be told what to do.

Favorite Lyric?

There are so many lines to choose from but one that always gets me is the first line in "Right Through You", a song about getting walked over by men in the industry:

Wait a minute man

You mispronounced my name

You didn’t wait for all the information

Before you turned me away

-“Right Through You

Also, growing up people always mispronounced my name, so that resonated with me haha!

#5) Amber Solheim (Promotional Alchemist)

Favorite Album?

1972 by Josh Rouse


In this album, Josh Rouse is able to evoke nostalgia even for things someone hasn't experienced.

Favorite lyric?

In the dark

So tired of waking up and it's dark

So tired of being stuck on my own here

Norway is cold dear

-"Come Back (Light Therapy)”

#6) Mike (Creative/Digital Marketing Intern)

Favorite Album?

American Idiot by Green Day


It addresses a wide audience and hints at many political and social tensions happening during the same period.

Favorite Lyric?

And there’s nothing wrong with me

This is how I’m supposed to be

In a land of make believe

That don’t believe in me

-”Jesus of Suburbia”

#7) Emily (Artist Management Intern)

Favorite Album?

Nothing Happens by Wallows


This album can hype me up or calm me down, but just the actual artistry that went into making it is so obvious and so strong.

Favorite Lyric?

Standing outside of your house,

It’s pretty dark out

Good thing there’s lights

It’s pretty cold though

I just need you right here

To warm me up this time

-”Ice Cold Pool”

That’s specifically my favorite because it was taken and transformed from a previous song on an EP.

#8) Will (Data Analytics Intern)

Favorite Album?


Wide diversity of songs and musical experimentation.

Favorite Lyric?

The most endangered species, the honest man

Will still survive annihilation

-“Natural Science”

#9) Aya (Music Sync/Publishing Intern)

Favorite Album?

Stranger in the Alps by Phoebe Bridgers


The specificity, uniqueness, and storytelling that Phoebe incorporates into this album, in my opinion, is unparalleled to many songwriters today. She is able to transform the feeling of mundanity in everyday life, into lyrics that translate to very particular emotions and experiences.

Favorite Lyric?

And I have this dream where I'm screaming underwater

While my friends are all waving from the shore

And I don't need you to tell me what that means

I don't believe in that stuff anymore


Each of these albums holds some significant meaning to each member here at Brain Candy. Now that each of the Brains have shared their favorites, comment down below what your top lyrically driven album is!

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