MY 10 FAVORITE ALBUMS: The Fame Riot

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It’s hard to pinpoint the type of music The Fame Riot make. It’s part pop, electronic, alternative…the genre lines are blurry with this duo and it’s for the better. They’re on the come up with a new single, “Heart Stray”, which was released at the end of 2016.
This is one of those bands that make music about having fun again. They prove the point that one doesn’t have to take themselves too seriously to be successful.
Combining aesthetics and sounds of 70’s glam rock, electroclash, and (everything in between) The Fame Riot are a breath of fresh air among so many other artists who seem to just copy whoever came before them.
Although it was tough to narrow the list down, Shazam and Liz each pick their five favorite records of all time.

*Thumbnail photo by @mistahluck

Shazam Watkins:

Club of the Sons- Young Quanta
“This is my favorite album of all time. I never thought I’d ever have one. I was 15 when I discovered the magic of Club of the Sons. I found them on Myspace because I was following MUTEMATH, and COTS was one of their “top friends” yeah… waaaaay back. This album has been with me in every mood imaginable. The textures are tastefully lofi, the music is completely unique, the artwork is in my dreams. I’d strongly recommend this album to everybody in the universe. Strongly influenced by soul and psychedelia. If you want to know where my ears are happiest, this is the record. I’ll stop, or this will take 100 years to explain. Just listen.”

Lou Reed- Transformer 
“Lou Reed and the Velvet Underground are both somewhat recent studies of mine. I only started jamming to his tunes like 3 years ago. When I first heard Transformer as an entity, I couldn’t believe every song could make me feel so strongly. That album is a national treasure. With Bowie on production, and a dream crew of excellent musicians, what could go wrong? Every second of it is interesting, every note in its proper (quite possibly sloppy) place, and so much creativity went into it, I can’t imagine it ever being far from my attention. It swings from start to finish.”

Tyler the Creator- Wolf
“Incredible mind. Inspiring human. The record has everything. Groove, soul, Pharrell, sweetness, crudeness, Earl, JAZZ, truth and mentally challenging statements. Many find him to be controversial, but I see him as the hero every kid growing up right now can identify with. A friend to the outcast, and a journey towards action for the persistent. He’d probably say that was some cheesy ass shit right there. Listen with an open mind because I think the true magic in Tyler is his ability to speak to people’s hearts and make it unique for every individual.”

Ryo Fukui- Scenery
“I love jazz. I understand why many people do NOT love jazz, but I seriously love it. This album was a random YouTube suggestion from like… Woody Allen or something… I put it on and it has since become a constant. I can’t get enough. One of the things that blows me away is that Ryo only started playing piano at 22. This album came out 5 years after he BEGAN. Which is honestly humbling, and I am honored to have found him. He blows me away with his simplicity and charming melodies. Even if you don’t like jazz you may find something here.”

David Bowie- Station to Station 
“I know. Most people would refuse to choose one Bowie album as the clinching proof of his genius. The reason I love Bowie is because I heard “Golden Years” in the movie “A Knight’s Tale”. This changed my life. After that, I couldn’t get enough and I’ve since listened to almost every album multiple times. He was a staggering powerhouse of complete creativity and work ethic. I found out later that this is the one album of his that he had very little memory of making because most everyone involved was realllllllyyyyyy high on some white girl. If that was the case, I thank whoever imported the stash illegally because I feel like this album really encompasses so much of what he gave to the world. He was in a form and an element that he only captures once or twice within his whole discography. I’ve listened countless times and I don’t plan on stopping anytime soon!”

Liz Scarlett:

Michael Jackson- Thriller
“This record defines what true pop is and should be, to me… although it didn’t enter my life until after most of my other favorite records, it quickly rose to the top of my list, after falling in love with the catchy melodies soaring over dance pop grooves that make your heart sing, and your feet shuffle.”

Kings of Leon- Aha Shake Heartbreak
“Really changed my perspective on music. I had heard Only By The Night then went backwards to Aha. It tripped me out.. I’d never imagined vocals being sung with that kind of cadence and tone. Plus, all the songs on this record hold some special space in my heart, nostalgic memories and super catchy latin vibes. I’ve listened to this record on repeat more times than I could count.”

The Darkness- Permission To Land 
“Totally changed my world. The image, the falsetto, the guitar solos, the attitude… it was everything I needed in my life, at the time, musically. It was just enough ridiculousness to push me over the edge. I learned guitar to every song on that flippin’ record. It really encouraged my perspective of infusing my classic rock roots into mainstream environments. I put a lot of blame on this record for dooming me to the pursuit of musical success.”

Mayer Hawthorne- Man About Town
“SUPER rad record. Blew me away. I actually found out about MH through Bobby Caldwell’s last record, Cool Uncle. Man About Town is one of the grooviest R&B/Soul records I’ve heard in years. It’s even pushing some pop elements in it’s sound. Great songwriting, great production, horns, keys, etc.”

Gorillaz – Gorillaz
“Damon Albarn blew my mind with this record. It takes me somewhere only it can go. I used to fall asleep to this record every night, window open, under the California stars, hearing the crickets drone on between tracks… it was a very magical album for me, opening up my world to hip hop, experimental, electronic sounds. Some of the songs on this record don’t vibe as well as others, for me, but it’s winners make it special enough on their own.”

Check out the video for The Fame Riot‘s “Heart Stray” below:

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