Music is a memory trigger. Even without the numerous academic studies to prove it, surely from your own life and experience, you know it’s true.
As for me, I have an album that immediately takes me back to happy high school days when I hear it. It’s such a strong trigger in fact, that even just the lead singer’s voice will send me on a time machine trip.
What’s the album? It’s the self-titled, Third Eye Blind.
Factoid: This was the cover art that came with my CD. There were various covers with different color schemes depending on when and where you bought it. The first U.S. release came with a gold-colored cover, but was changed to the cover above after the first 500,000 copies or so. Some European countries continued with the gold cover. Japan even had a cyan (photo negative) cover.
In any case, the album was released just before high school started for me, so it had a very timely connection to that period of my life. I’ve played that album start to finish so many times that it’s a wonder there aren’t holes in the disc from the laser blasting through it again and again.
Though some of the tracks link to very specific memories or events, mostly the album just gives me a particular feeling and sense of being from a time that almost feels like a whole other life to me now. But it’s a good feeling.
Other albums can trigger a similar memory sensation to a certain “chapter” of my life, but none quite as strong as this one.
I have found that while single songs are effective memory triggers, there’s something even more powerful about a complete album listened to a gazillion times, “cover-to-cover.”
What album has the strongest memory trigger for you, taking you back to a very happy time in your life?