Top 20 Greatest OC Albums of All Time: #20-11

Categories: Lists

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18) Matt Costa,  Songs We Sing (2006)
Yes, OC is rife with history in the singer-songwriter arena. And a lot of people will say that history peaked with the likes of Steve Noonan, Jackson Browne and Tim Buckley (aka the Orange County Three). But few bards in recent years have gotten as much shine as Huntington Beach pro skater-tuned-singer Matt Costa. When his homemade demo reached Tom Dumont in 2003, the No Doubt guitarist was instantly inspired to produce and work with the voice on the other side of the recording. Getting together with producer/engineer Phil Ek, Dumont and Costa were able to sew together a woodsy and whimsical folk rock classic called The Songs We Sing. After catching the ear of Jack Johnson, Costa was signed to his label Brushfire Records, toured the world with the likes of Oasis and Ryan Adams. Yet if you catch him milling around outside before a big show and ask him to play an old hit like "Astair," or "Whiskey and Wine," chances are he'll do it. --Nate Jackson

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17)Young the Giant, Young the Giant (2010)
After honing their craft playing local shows for a number of years, the band formerly known as The Jakes were signed to Roadrunner Records in 2009. One name change later, Sameer Gadhia and company recorded and released their self-titled debut in 2010 and became a surprise hit. Catchy sing-a-longs like "My Body" and "Cough Syrup" combined sunny Southern California pop with indie rock and propelled the album up the charts and allowed the quintet to tour all over the world, even winning accolades from the notoriously prickly Morrissey. A departure from the pop punk that defines the area, Young the Giant proved that a band from Orange County could make an album that was both radio friendly and complex at the same time.--Daniel Kohn

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