Sister Style: Top Five

Emma Chapman Eye patches Emma of A Beautiful Mess Emma Chapman Oui Fresh dress Emma of A Beautiful MessThe other night I was hanging out with a few friends, and the conversation turned to what we would pick if we had to make a list of top five perfect albums. We ended up having quite the varied list, and it was so fun! Plus it reminded me of so much good music I haven’t taken the time to listen to in a while. So I thought it might be fun to share what I said, and hear what you think, Sister. The pressure is on!

Emma’s Top Five:
The Suburbs by Arcade Fire
The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars by David Bowie
In the Aeroplane Over the Sea by Neutral Milk Hotel
The Blue Album by Weezer
The Crane Wife by The Decemberists

You guys should try listing your top five in the comments—it’s really hard! If you get too stressed out, just add a few honorable mentions. 😉

Cute enamel pins Emma Chapman Emma of A Beautiful Mess Boots and tightsEmma’s Wearing: Dress/Oui Fresh (sold out but we have other great stuff avail), Boots/ModCloth, Purse/Rebecca Minkoff (similar here), ‘E’ Charm c/o Fossil, Choker c/o Bauble Bar, Tights/Target (similar) + hat/Target, Jacket/Levi’s, Pins/Big Bud Press and Frank Norton, Eye patches/M&J Trimming

Take it away, Sister!

Elsie LarsonElsie Larson Elsie Larson Elsie Larson Elsie Larson OK, this is a fun idea, but it’s also REALLY tough. Jeremy and I are always talking about how Spotify (which we love and use daily) has kind of made us listen to full albums less and less. When we were growing up (in the 90s) and CDs were the thing, I would often buy a CD where I only knew one song, and in those days I feel like I really got to know albums in a deeper way. I miss those days of knowing every word of every song.

Thank God for Vinyl, because this is a great way to still listen to albums start to finish. So I’ll do a few of my most-listened-to vinyl.

Elsie’s Top Five:
Back To Black by Amy Winehouse
Fly By Wire by Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin
FutureSex/LoveSounds by Justin Timberlake
Where Did Our Love Go by The Supremes
Nevermind by Nirvana

Elsie Larson Elsie Larson Elsie’s Wearing: Top/OuiFresh, Mom Jeans/Swedish Hasbeens, Bag/Madewell (similar here), Sunnies/ZeroUV, Banana Charm/Kate Spade (thanks, Claire!), Louise Clogs/Swedish Hasbeens

Can’t wait to hear some of your favorite albums as well! xx- Emma + Elsie

Credits//Author: Emma Chapman and Elsie Larson. Photography: Janae Hardy and Amber Ulmer. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess actions.

  • vuoi migliorare il tuo stile? Affidati ad una consulente d'immagine a Milano

    The overknee socks are so amazing and the jeans jacket a really must have for sure.
    Great outfit and colours combination.
    Love it so much. well done.

  • Screenshotting so many lists!

    In no particular order:

    Morning Phase: Beck
    Static & Silence: The Sunday’s
    Everybody’s Doing it So Why Can’t We? The Cranberries
    Good Morning Bad Day: TEAM
    This Is Acting: Sia (or any album really)

  • What a fun comment section! I’m excited, too, to listen to some other top 5 albums 🙂

    – David Gray: White Ladder
    – Sam Cooke: Live at the Harlem Square Club
    – James Vincent McMorrow: Early In The Morning
    – Alabama Shakes: Sound & Color
    – Stevie Wonder: The Definitive Collection

  • I actually think I listen to more full albums because if Spotify! I think boaster/iTunes made it more about just the singles for me.

    My top five are:
    Fleetwood Mac – Rumours
    Local Natives – Gorilla Manor
    Taylor Swift – Red
    The Format – Dog Problems
    Vampire Weekend – Vampire Weekend

  • Viva La Vida- Coldplay
    Live at Java Joe’s- Jason Mraz
    Carencro- Marc Broussard
    So Jealous- Tegan and Sara
    Horrorscope- Eve 6

  • Love this, you girls both have great lists with a good amount of variety.

    So tricky! My top 5 albums would probably be something like:

    Simon & Garfunkel – Bridge Over Troubled Water
    Green Day – Dookie
    Broken Bells – After the Disco
    CAKE – Prolonging the Magic
    Taylor Swift – Speak Now
    (OK NEVERMIND top 8 lol too hard!)
    Phases – For Life
    Weezer – The White Album
    Taylor Swift – 1989

  • Led Zeppelin albums I-IV
    Smashing Pumpkins Siamese Dream
    U2 Achtung Baby
    Beatles Abbey Road

  • Appetite for Destruction by Guns N’ Roses (I was 14 when it came out) is still so great! 🙂

  • Top 5:
    Metronomy – The English Riviera
    Black Kids – Party Traumatic
    CSS – CSS
    Beck – Guero
    The Shins – Wincing the night Away

    Honourable mentions:
    Death Cab – Transatlanticism
    Kings of Leon – Youth and Young Manhood

  • I would say:
    Say Anything – …is a real boy
    Brand New – The devil and god are raging inside me
    Jenny Lewis and The Watson twins – Rabbit Fur Coat
    Bright Eyes – I’m wide awake its morning
    Cursive – The Ugly Organ

  • Love Emma’s dress, needs to be in stock haha! Love the top 5 idea too, good way to get to know people 🙂

    Top 5 all-time favorites (in no particular order)

    1. Hatful of Hollow – The Smiths
    2. Picaresque – The Decemberists
    3. Narrow Stairs – Death Cab for Cutie
    4. Under the Blacklight – Rilo Kiley
    5. Tusk – Fleetwood Mac

  • Ahh, love knowing everyone’s favorite albums!

    Electric Lady – Janelle Monae
    Graceland – Paul Simon
    The 20/20 Experience – Justin Timberlake
    The Wild Heart – Stevie Nicks
    Good Grief – Lucius

  • This is fun to think about!

    Radiohead / A Moon Shaped Pool
    Talking Heads / Stop Making Sense
    Lauryn Hill / The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill
    Patrick Watson / Love Songs for Robots
    Sigur Ros / Med sud I eyrum vid spilum endalaust

    I never comment, but am always following. I love reading your blog!

  • I’ve been in such a music rut lately – I love this and seeing everyone else’s favorites!
    My top 5 would probably be…
    1. I And Love And You | The Avett Brothers (really any album by them)
    2. Sigh No More | Mumford and Sons
    3. Barton Hollow | The Civil Wars
    4. Rumours | Fleetwood Mac
    5. Stories Don’t End | Dawes

  • I love Elsie’s outfit! Totally my style! Those shoes are fabulous!

    Paige Flamm
    The Happy Flammily (Latest post)

  • Elsie, your bag is so cute! And I agree, I hardly ever listen to full albums now. Back in the 90s/early 2000s I’d listen to alllllll of Britney’s and N’Sync’s songs. ;p Difficult to pick some now, but I love anything that Regina Spektor does.

  • OMG! Love this! Here is my (mostly european) top five!

    One Breath – Anna Calvi
    We were here – BOY
    If you wait – London Grammar
    Trouble will find me – The National
    Quantum Leap – Serafyn

    Give ’em a listen. They. Are. Good. 🙂

  • Wow, I’ve not listened to most of everyone else’s picks. I grew up with Beatles and a few other bands, but the ones I listen to now are mostly small, independent(ish) artists.
    David Bazan, Strange Negotiations
    Lucie Thorne, Black Across the Field
    Devon Sproule, Colours
    And then oldies like every Beatles album for nostalgia sake
    Fleetwood Mac, Rumours
    If you’ve got time (who does!) i’d highly recommend a look at both Burrows and Cracked Actor, both from Canberra Australia and both brilliant!
    More than indulging in super stardom I definitely prefer to listen local and support talented individuals (rather than multinational record companies!) So going to small gigs around town is such a huge deal to the artists and a great way to discover music that generally flies under the radar.

  • You two are just the cutest! Great album picks… I was thinking for a bit… but I just can’t narrow my faves down! Too hard. ♡
    xx Taylor | | @taylorwinkelmeyer

  • In no specific order but these are my top 5 because I really don’t skip any songs on these albums 🙂
    1. 20/20 Experience – Justin Timberlake
    2. Trouble – Ray LaMontagne
    3. Brothers – The Black Keys
    4. Blood – Lianna La Havas
    5. Self Titled – Sylvan Esso

    and a throwback, Danse Macabre – The Faint

  • Hot Fuss – the Killers
    Watch the Throne – Kanye West & Jay Z
    Megalithic Symphony – AWOL Nation
    Automatic – Kaskade
    Big Whiskey and the Groo Grux King – Dave Matthews Band

  • Love this!

    My Top 5:

    – Nine Inch Nails: The Fragile (Left Side)
    – Finch: Say Hello to Sunshine
    – The Mars Volta: De Loused in the Comatorium
    – Lana Del Rey: Born to Die
    – Placebo: Without You I’m Nothing


  • Oh, great idea! I love reading all the comments, so fun! Here are mine
    (in no particular order):

    – Save Rock’n’Roll: Fall Out Boy
    – Favourite Worst Nightmare: Arctic Monkeys
    – Franz Ferdinand: Franz Ferdinand
    – Vessel: Twenty One Pilots
    – Sweet Disarray: Dan Croll

    That was hard, there are a million more on my list…

  • Love this post! You should definitely do more top five posts!

    My top five (in no particular order):

    1. Nevermind-Nirvana
    2. Sadneccesary-Milky Chance
    3. The Lumineers-The Lumineers
    4. Sigh No More-Mumford and Son
    5. Transatlanticism-Death Cab for Cutie

  • Oooooh! This is hard!! some honorable mentions:

    -Origin of Symmetry – MUSE
    -…Is A Real Boy – Say Anything
    -Yearbook – Sleeping At Last
    -Now That You’ve Found Me – Alison Krauss
    -Soundtrack for the musical “Bridges of Madison County”
    -Give Up – The Postal Service

    Dunno if these are my all time faves…but def up there on the list!!


  • We’re doing something like that with my family right now. We all have to pick out top 25 songs and then we’re going to have listening parties and talk about them. I’m so stoked! (however my list has 214 songs on it…it’s a very hard exercise, so kudos for narrowing it down to 5 albums…)

  • This is obviously quite the challenge, but for me it’s nothing like having to chose favorite books, so I’ll give it a try!

    Paul Simon- Graceland
    The Killers – Day and Age
    JS Bach – Brandenburg Concertos (does it count as an album?)
    Goo Goo Dolls – Gutterflower
    Jesse Cook – Gravity

  • I don’t generally comment on blog posts but I’ll bite because I just had this conversation with my husband last night and because I want to follow the conversation for music suggestions…

    1. Touch Up – Mother Mother
    2. Plans – Death Cab for Cutie
    3. Speak for Yourself – Imogen Heap
    4. Clockwork Angels – Rush (and read the accompanying book by Neil Peart & Kevin J. Anderson)(!!!)
    5. I’m Wide Awake it’s Morning – Bright Eyes

  • Ok first of all, both of your outfits are amazing as usual!

    Top 5 albums is a tough one!! But I’m gonna try…(in no particular order)

    1. Funeral – Arcade Fire
    2. Gorilla Manor – Local Natives
    3. Sound of Silver – LCD Soundsystem
    4. Hunky Dory – David Bowie
    5. Abbey Road – The Beatles


  • Love how you added a denim jacket. Something about plaid and denim is so stylish!


  • ugh how could I have forgotten Tom Petty on my list! I am ashamed! Wildflowers is the best.

  • How fun! Loved scrolling through the comments.

    1. This is Somewhere – Grace Potter and the Nocturnals
    2. Rumors – Fleetwood Mac
    3. The Voyager – Jenny Lewis
    4. Boys & Girls – Ingrid Michaelson
    5. A Rush of Blood to the Head – Coldplay

    Have a great weekend everyone. Happy listening 🙂

  • So true about listening to albums all the way through! My husband and I were just talking about this! Sometimes you need the song before and after to really get into that one they’re overplaying on the radio and it makes it so much better.
    Beyonce – LEMONADE
    Maroon 5 (Before they turned to crap) – Songs About Jane
    We Are Scientists – Brain Thrust Mastery
    Regina Spektor – FAR
    Juliana Theory – Emotion is Dead

  • Love this game! I think about this all the time… #music nerd
    – Fleetwood Mac’s Rumors
    -Calexico/Iron and Wine’s in the Reigns EP
    -Bright Eyes’ Cassadega EP
    -Taylor Swift’s Red (embarrassing but true)
    – Neil Young and Crazy Horse- Ragged Glory

  • Oh man. Just five? 😉

    The Con – Tegan and Sara
    Third Eye Blind – Third Eye Blind
    Speak for Yourself – Imogen Heap
    Melankton – Kate Havnevik
    Far – Regina Spektor

    I could easily write out a top 20.

  • Awe, this is so great. These are my top 5 of all time. Suuuuper hard to decide!

    1. Nevermind – Nirvana
    2. Doolittle – Pixies
    3. Pinkerton – Weezer
    4. Kid A – Radiohead
    5. Transformer – Lou Reed

  • Even though I use Spotify all the time I still seem to listen to full albums a lot.. Here’s my top 5

    Bonnie “Prince” Billy – The letting go
    Talking heads – Speaking in tongues
    Father John Misty – fear fun
    Talk talk – Spirit of eden
    Frank Ocean – Channel orange

  • 1. Ed Sheeran – X
    2. Neautral Mlk Hotel – In the aeroplane over the sea
    3. Postal Service – Give Up
    4. The Beatles – White Ablum
    5. Rumors – Fleetwood Mac

    Love this list idea, you should more top 5!

  • Love this post!

    Bright Eyes – I’m Wide Awake, It’s Morning (really all the albums <3)
    Kishi Bashi – Room for Dream
    Sondre Lerche – Two way Monologue
    Monsters of Folk – Monsters of Folk
    The Postal Service- Give Up

  • I could literally listen to Transatlantism all day, err day.
    (Transatlantism was my wedding song!)

  • This was so much more difficult than I anticipated!
    I think I’ve narrowed it down…although I’ll probably think of even more as soon as I hit “post”

    Like Vines (and) So Sudden – The Hush Sound
    One Cell in the Sea – A Fine Frenzy
    Everything in Transit – Jack’s Mannequin
    Viva La Vida – Coldplay
    Greatest Hits – Queen
    Set Yourself on Fire (and) In Our Bedroom After the War – Stars

    *cue nostalgia*
    *runs to Spotify to create playlist*

  • SUCH a tough one! I’ll give it a go, but I’ll probably think of a few later that I’d wish I’d included!

    In no particular order…

    Wildflowers – Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers
    Babel – Mumford & Sons
    Where Does This Door Go – Mayer Hawthorne
    Dopamine – Borns
    Platinum – Miranda Lambert

  • Let’s see… I’m just gonna go with the first 5 that come to mind, since those are probably the ones that have made the biggest impression on me over the years! In no particular order:

    1. Wildflowers by Tom Petty
    2. Brandi Carlile by (duh) Brandi Carlile
    3. Greatest Hits 1974-78 by Steve Miller Band
    4. Love & Liberté by Gypsy Kings
    5. Tapestry by Carole King

    I can’t wait to listen to some of the other suggestions and maybe discover some new favorites!

  • Love both the outfits, and you just reminded me I should start wearing my Doc Martens again!

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

  • I’m usually not an album person because as a previous commentor noted, my taste is all over the place (Spotify!!) and I usually only like a few songs per artist but there are a few exceptions.
    1. Speak Now -Taylor Swift
    2. Revival -Selena Gomez
    3. American Idiot -Greenday
    4. 1989 -Taylor Swift
    5. No Doubt -The Singles Collection (not an actual album but I’ve listened to this CD COUNTLESS times since I was about 11)

    Wow. I feel like this list is showing my youth. Please don’t judge me. Lol. I like other music too! These just happen to be the whole albums that I enjoy. 🙂

  • Lovely outfits! I love Elsie’s bag even tough Emma’s bag is also really pretty because of the colour, it’s really unique. I can’t possibly pick 5 albums because my music taste is so unique, like one of my favourites is Purpose by Justin Bieber but another favourite is American Beauty/American Psycho by Fall Out Boy and their styles are nothing alike!

  • Wow! I love Emma’s dress, feels pretty punk grunge :p

    Listing my albums was easy because I didn’t think too much about it, I’m sure more will come to my mind as soon as my comment is up XD

    Coral Fang, the Distillers.
    I Bificus, Bif Naked
    Wasting Light/Skin and Bones, Foo Fighters
    Americana, the Offspring
    Hasta la Raíz, Natalia Lafourcade (I think youd’ really like this one)

  • This was so tough. Here’s what immediately came to mind…

    Top 5 Songs:
    1. Soul Meets Body by Death Cab for Cutie OR Crooked Teeth by Death Cab for Cutie
    2. The Lightshow by Plants and Animals
    3. All These Things That I’ve Done by The Killers
    4. Slow Down by The Academy Is…
    5. Two by Ryan Adams

    Top 5 Albums I Listened Through Repeatedly:
    1. Plans by Death Cab for Cutie
    2. So Wrong, It’s Right by All Time Low
    3. A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out by Panic! At The Disco
    4. Can’t Stop Won’t Stop by The Maine
    5. The Marshall Mathers LP by Eminem

  • I’m so the opposite, I hardly ever listen to a full album because my taste in music is so specific and all over the place that I usually only like one or two songs at most from any group. But there are a couple I really like nearly every song on.

    1. Hadestown by Anaïs Mitchell
    2. Panic by Caravan Palace
    3. Happenstance by Rachel Yamagata
    4. Half the Perfect World by Madeleine Peyroux
    5. oh and most of the Buddha Bar albums just for the variety

  • Love your picks, Emma; we have similar taste. Elsie, you’re totally right about vinyl being the saving grace for listening to full albums!

    1. Takk… – Sigur Ros
    2. Rumours – Fleetwood Mac
    3. The Crane Wife – The Decemberists (Just got this on vinyl! All Decemberists albums should be listened to on vinyl.)
    4. Fleet Foxes – Fleet Foxes
    5. Pinkerton – Weezer

  • hmmm love those docs emma!

    mine would be (as of today :-p )
    1.)The Rise & Fall of Ziggy Stardust & The Spiders from Mars- Bowie
    2.)Pretty Hate Machine- NIN
    3.)Baduizm- Erykah Badu
    4.)Horehound- The Dead Weather
    5.)McCartney- Paul McCartney

    Ahh that was hard!! So much good music!

  • OMG i love this: But I couldn’t do less than 7…
    1. My Maudlin Career: Camera Obscura
    2. Transatlanticism: Death Cab for Cutie
    3. Born to Die: Lana Del Ray
    4. Bon Iver: For Emma, Forever Ago
    5. The Shins: Wincing The Night Away
    6. Broom: Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin
    7. Vampire Weekend: Vampire Weekend

    Love you ladies! XO

  • That is tough but fun to think about!!! So here are the five albums that I really ever get sick of and always listen to beginning to end on our record player
    -The XX (XX)
    -Zella Day (kicker)
    -OMAM (my head is an animal)
    -Catfish and the Bottlemen (the balcony)
    -Deathcab for Cutie (Transatlanticism)
    Very cute outfits (Emma you are killing that plaid dress!) and such a fun sister style!!!

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