Immediate 5/5 for me, as it's in my personal top 10 albums of all time list. There's definitely an added bonus when you listen to this album when you come from New Jersey as there's so many ties to the state (even though it's titled after a different one altogether lol), and so many depictions that so masterfully describe scenes that people in New Jersey have had. Like in "State Trooper", where you are driving down the NJ Turnpike and begging for the cop behind you to leave you the hell alone. I think many a young person from NJ has been in this exact setting and shouted those animalistic shouts of joy that Bruce bellows at the end of the song. Or like in "Atlantic City" where a big fight is breaking out on the boardwalk, and a young man yearns for optimism while crooning over his financial shortcomings. The harmonica blows me away every time. The reverberating mandolin that comes in at the first post-chorus (around 00:53) floors me. The vocal harmonies and shouts in the outtro fadeout floor me. It's hard to pick which track is my favorite. "Nebraska" is raw yet somehow beautiful- even though the lyrics are a true story about a man who befriends/kidnaps a girl and murders 11 people with her. "State Trooper" captures a scene as truthfully as the art form ever has. I think ultimately it's "Atlantic City" because this was one of the most formative acoustic guitar driven / singer songwriter songs that influenced me to write this style of music. The album art is just beautiful too, and you definitely can judge this book (album) by it's cover- as that's what you are going to get (sonically). (I only would have maybe preferred if it was a picture of the New Jersey Turnpike, as NJ tends to be more often referenced than Nebraska on the album. But I don't know the album is called Nebraska? Hmmm. I'm conflicted.)
Pros: -Has some absolute bangers, like "Baba O'Riley", "Bargain", and "Behind Blue Eyes" "Won't Get Fooled Again". -Serious trailblazers with their electronic synth work. -The more Roger Daltry lead vocal tracks are good, like "Getting in Tune" is a solid track. Not as great as the bangers above. Cons: -Some tracks are lackluster. "My Wife" flat out isn't good. It's like a funny song about running from your wife and buying a tank and protection? -"Going Mobile" is a nice tune but the drums sound off at times. Not off rhythmically, but there's whole sections where Keith Moon stops playing cymbals and continues a kick-snare and it sounds like the cymbals are missing there rather than a cool stylistic choice.
Pros: - some real bangers on here. "Tonight, Tonight", "Zero", "Bullet with Butterfly Wings" "1979" - Very ambitious - 1979 is one of my favorite songs from the 90s and I think even with all of it's hype it's still one of the most underrated 90s tracks. - production is clean when it needs to be clean, and dirty when it needs to be dirty - orchestral elements are so good and don't overtake the foundational strengths of the songwriting - "Cupid De Locke" has some spoken word in it which is cool as heck Cons: - flow of the album is a little weird right? "tonight tonight" into "jellybelly" is a stark contrast, and "to forgive" is a sad boy track right in the middle of two slammers. Misc: - The only spotify version is the deluxe version which is 92 songs long and 6 hours. I don't really have an interest in "Tonight Tonight's strings parts but pitched down 1 semitone and 3bpm lower v6 FINAL.wav", but I get it- that's for the mega fans. - To me they are the Kings of 90s Cringe. "Love is suicide" is a lyric that is repeated over and over in the track "Bodies". It's cringey; like "wow this is so profound"
Pros: - nice music to do some chores to or have on. it gives you a groove to moove to. - "Apache" is the original version of Sugarhill Gang's song "Apache" and I had no idea. Amazing! Cons: Misc: I really wasn't expecting an album like this on here. It's very surprising! Overall, while I'm sure influential, I don't know if this album to me is a "must" listen to or a top album of all time, so I am going to rank it low.
Pros: - Really brings me back to being a kid in the 90s. I was 4 when this album came out so I probably heard it on the radio. - YOU GOTTA KEEP EM SEPARATED Cons: Misc:
Pros: She's got such a genuine, romantic sound that is so alluring. Cons: Maybe I'm jaded by the prevalence of amazing current soft-female-vocal led indie bands these days but the energy of this album isn't really dynamic and doesn't show much besides the one sound that she has. I know that that's like her sound right? it's soft, piano driven pop-jazz, but even the softest cats in jazz get some fast meows in sometime. The most energetic song IMO is "I've got to see you again" which is a wonderful moderate dance-like track that is perfectly ambiguous with it's lyrics that i have no choice but to steal a few lines for my own songs. Misc: production is very clean and well done. I did hear a blip of clipping on her voice on one track, "one flight down" at 2:42 which is hard to find on any professional mix of the last like 25 or so years.
I know she's highly respected but the album is a little boring for my tastes. It has some nice songs on it but I don't know if it's on my personal 1001 albums.
Pros: - really, fantastically amazing and timeless songs. Cons: Misc: - I thought Dusty Springfield was a 70's male singer. Fuck!
Pros: -It's one of the best albums by probably the best artist in this genre (reggae). -He wrote this after a failed assassination attempt, that's pretty wild. - It has two 100/100 tracks: "Jamming", and "One Love" Cons: - Outside of a few A+ tracks, many of the others are easy to forget. Misc: - hard for me to stay objective because I really don't love reggae. To me, it's like the most background type of music/art ever; more background than a computer's background image of a sprawling mountain vista. More background than the soft jazz that plays 24/7 on the TV guide channel. That's OK though, that's totally ok! It's just not my thing. I think ultimately what hurts the genre for me is that the smaller musical ideas that define the genre are the same things that limit the genre. Like there's a limited pool of rhythms / tones to pull from for reggae songwriters and that keeps the genre in a smaller space. - I'm giving it a 3 but I feel it's more a 2.5. I'm giving it the benefit of the 0.5 to make it a 3 due to the greatness of "One Love" and "Jamming"
Pros: - track one, at like 00:30 there's a wild shuffle- did yall hear that? it sounds like a CD glitch but it's not. It's in the snare and how it "reacts" to the rest of the band. That's really cool!! - Production is really good and the instruments are really distinct for late 80's. In my mind this time period for music was a lot of like maximalist production techniques and a ton of synths, ton of compression, and unnecessary layers because recording tech was getting better and better, but they kept it simple while still interesting and full. GREAT use of panning instruments to left and right ears without overdoing it. - So track 1 is like irish pop punk and track 2 is some middle east folk rock? This shit slaps Cons: Misc: - not naturally what I would be into but it's a cool overall sound right? - impressed overall!
Pros: - very creative melodies. I can see why the taylor swifts / olivia rodrigos of the world exist when someone like her paved the way - very creative random parts too, like second track "my old man" at 1:33 the piano starts playing a scale that is in a different key; almost like something you would hear out of classical music's subgenre "new music". - instrumentation is superb. I'm a sucker for folk instrumentation in pop / singer songwriter contexts - title track is fantastic. - Really enjoying the album Cons: Misc: - I've never actively listened to her which sounds shameful but is also the purpose of this album project.
Pros: A+ songwriting / storytelling A+ instrumentation. Took rock and made it even cooler with Spector-esque wall of sound production and made saxophone a rock and roll instrument Cons: Misc: - Somehow I did not grow up with Bruce and didn't get into him until college and probably because of Jake Ehrlich. My metal friends all made fun of his voice and thought he was too storyteller-y; that he couldn't write a song unless it met a criteria of mentioning A. the road he lived on when he was a kid, B. every car on that road, and C. workin' hard. I've of course since come to the realization that those same friends who would make fun of that would listen to bands that couldn't write music unless it mentioned something like "trampling people with tanks" and had lyrics like "why should the fire be shared by so few, let bombs explode- cause that's what they do. Nuke Mecca, New York, the Vatican too- give me a bomb, I'll drop it on you!" So to that I really say to each their own. Bruce is a true king and no one captures that very specific idea of growing up, leaving your hometown and doing your own thing better than him. And Born to Run probably does it best. Part of the magic of him for me is that his sound is inherently tied to a time period. I'll speculate that it's a reason why people our parents age like him so much; because 5 of his best albums (this, darkness, the river, nebraska, born in the usa) all came out when my mom was between her early teens and late 20s. Of course those are really formative years and he's there singing about New Jersey and growing up and getting out of the town. Hard to not resonate with that. Many of his lyrics are specific to those lived years and that helps that idea of gluing the listener to the songs. Unfortunately I think that it would be hard for future generations to appreciate the artistry in the storytelling due to this deep set tie-in to the time periods, but I am hopeful and optimistic that the music itself would stand the test of time. Part of what made it work for people our age is that a lot of us grew up listening to Bruce on the radio on car rides. For me it looked like this scenario: school ends for the year and it's in late June, it's 90 something degrees out, you're on your way to the Jersey shore, you just spotted the first girl in a bikini of the summer, and Bruce is on the radio. Magic.
Pros: - WOW what an opener. Love the performances, love the production. - Most of the songs are quite good with elements to like from each track. Cons: Misc: - Another artist i have not fully listened to. Haven't heard a full album through, and ashamed to say I've probably only heard around 10 songs of his.
Pros: - Yet another album I have not heard from start to end. I will probably stop mentioning that since it's becoming common. - It's more like in-your-face rock than i remember. I like the energy shift from the first track into the second track. I'm really big on the idea that a good album should have an upbeat song for it's first or second track - Amazingly crisp production. Guess I've never heard "walk this way" on nice speakers/headphones but WOW is it crisp. Cons: Misc:
Pros: - Songwriting is great and unique and fearless, like Prince. No one was like him and I don't think there will be many like him. - I bet if I was 18 in 1982 and I heard this come out I would be like "this is amazing". It's a great amalgamation of ideas and sounds in this unique Prince musical vernacular. - I do think that Prince leans a little toward maximalism in the production; there's so many instrumental layers of little guitar licks, synth licks, vocal "mm yea"'s and super processed vocal layers that all sound cool but at times can be a little annoying. Maybe it's just that this album is now 40 years old and it's age is showing. Overall I'm happy with the mix though. - It's fun music! Cons: - some mix choices are annoying Misc: - I wish I could hear the original mixes on a lot of these albums on spotify. It seems like the service mostly just has official remixes of these 30+ year old albums and they don't offer the original ones. Small gripe but that's for spotify / the record label and not with Prince. - I need to do a deep dive and see what songs Prince played guitar on. He's a legit shredder and I was always curious to see how much of the album songs he actually recorded the guitars for. - 1982 was an interesting time period for music production. New and immediate prevalence of synths meant that there were lots of questionable mix decisions being made and you can hear that across this album. "1999" hard panned to right ear warble synth is a little grating at times. "Let's Pretend we're married" - listen to the delay on the snare. interesting. can't tell if i love it or hate it. At 2:46 I swear you can hear a sneeze. - this album for me is a great reason why there should be more than 5 options/stars to vote for. This is around a 3.5 for me without context. It's a very solid album, and on a list of 1001 albums you have to hear, I would think of it as being a 3, so I'm going to give it a 3. I'm leaning more for a 3 instead of a 4 because the second half has tracks that tend to run on the same ideas.
Pros: - Really funny stuff. I love that "Heinz Baked Beans" is trumpets and very deep timpani. - I Can See For Miles -- a solid track Cons: - while it's a nice album, I don't think it's as good as WHO's NEXT. I'm interested to see how many other artists have multiple albums on this list. - A couple songs tend to run on a little - I'm giving it a 2. It's a nice album, but for me it probably sits in the top 80% of best 1001 albums. Misc: - If I had more time I would have read more about the album. I'm assuming it's kind of a response to them being called sellouts? - so funny to hear a full album in mono. I don't think i'd ever do it but I think it's a good songwriting trick to write / record a song in mono to limit yourself and then pan instruments afterwards. - "Tattoo" is not mono
Pros: - Really beautiful melodies and voice - "Henry Martin" has some great chromatic / out-of-key notes around 00:23 in the melody and it's refreshing to hear. Would have liked more of that. It's haunting! - A song in Spanish was nice! - Covers are really really great. "house of the rising sun" and her variation on "girl of constant sorrow" (i might have missed another) Cons: - I don't connect particularly well with this album for some reason or other. It's a nice album; it's nice to have on and to simply enjoy. She is definitely someone who has inspired many many other artists and is unquestionably important to modern music. Misc: - Kind of limited instrumentation and arrangements, but it's 1960.
Pros: - Exciting free jazz! - While listening, I didn't realize that I had another chrome tab open that had a chess streamer talking in the background at a very low volume. She was talking about pawn promotion and when the songs finished I would hear that faintly and it enhanced the experience! - If you forget to grab a coffee in the morning, just put this on. It'll wake yo ass up! - In the big scheme of abstract music / modern music / new music, this is totally palatable. Cons: - While incredibly dynamic, I would love some dynamicity (had to google that to check) in the tempi! Let's get some slow jams in there. Misc: - John Zorn is a cool wild dude. One of my regrets from when I was in music school was not going to his music venue The Stone ever- which had an arrangement with my school program where we would get reduced/free tickets and then we would get school credit for attending a modern music performance. Friends went a few times and ended up meeting him, gah! the regret! - He's definitely a modern pioneer of free jazz, and the genre is so important to popularizing the idea that any type of music can be free and untamed. I'm speculating, but a large amount of people probably find it novel and/or interesting but maybe without seeing the value beyond a single listen through. But outside of that large amount there's probably a few people that find the concept of this kind of music really intriguing and love it. For that reason alone I think it deserves a place on the list. I genuinely feel that every musician who writes music has a little bit of a duty to do something new with their music that expands music as a whole, even if they are a 99% clone of their favorite artist, if they just do 1% of something new that allows a new younger musician to make something with that 1%, then that is fulfilling a duty to the worldwide community of music. John Zorn is probably more like 75% new ideas and 25% built on the backs of people like Ornette Coleman, so John Zorn is a real one.
Pros: - It's so good. - Her sound checks so many boxes of what I would like for an artist. It's approachable, it has great hooks that are not only catchy but unique, it is confident, it's exploratory, it's memorable. - Her lyrics are so incredible and unique and have a quality that makes them sit in your head long after the song is over. - Amazing for a debut album. It sounds like someone who has been working on their sound for years and years! Cons: Misc:
Pros: - Imagine is probably a top 100 song of all time (right?) so any album that has a top 100 all time song on it should be rated high for atleast bringing that song to the world. - There's a lot of Beatles hangover ideas in here, and it's a cool amalgam of those ideas (the rock-ness early Beatles that comes in "Crippled Inside", a random "and when I hold you in my arms" lyric, the yelling fast psychedelia Beatles sound reiterated on "Gimme Some Truth", etc) and the later John Lennon sound. Cons: Misc: - I feel like there are 4-star albums that are better than this one, so it's a 3.9 for me which I'm rounding to 4.
Pros: - 1994 this came out. Grunge was the shit and they release this wickedly noir, vibey, cool, sickly blend of post rock that's been hanging out with minimalist electronics and somehow make it all work so good that it still makes me wonder ~28 years later how they didn't get asked to do a James Bond theme song. - Sometimes when I have random daydreams about running off to the desert and making an album, the final output in my head ends up sounding like this album and this band. - This is a great mixture of foreground and background music for me. I could have it on while my brain is 99% doing something else, like reading a book. I could have it on while my brain is doing 1% something else, like doing the dishes. - Listen to "Strangers" at the 1:12 mark. The pulse of the song from here on is what sounds like a phone ringing off the hook. How cool is that? Cons: Misc: - It just oozes "cool".
Pros: - One of the most evocative and romantic voices in popular music - This album is less in-your-face than Back to Black, and while I like in-your-face music, I appreciate the contrast in the two albums. This one is more romance from a positive light. - Lots of different \"feels\" on this album which I really appreciate. Cons: Misc: - The only con for me when listening to Amy is that I can't think of her without thinking of the word \"tragic\". I'm cursed. I think/hope in the future that will go away because I completely adore her and her music. To me it's like being a kid on Christmas day and getting the most fun video game console and a few games, but then after a week or so there aren't any new games released for that console. It's still new! It's still amazing and powerful and brings you so much joy! But you have this sadness that there won't be any new games. I don't recall any other artists that I feel this way about who have passed.
Pros: - Has some ABSOLUTE bangers on this album. - "Everybody wants to rule the world" is one of my favorite songs of all time - "Shout" is so moody and such a strong opener. - "Head Over Heels / Broken" - another damn slapping BANGER. - I just love their sound. This was 1985, right smack in the middle of the 80's. They had that weird 80's "we're embracing this new synth world" sound that was weirdly serious and I will forever love that. - The first track is super synth heavy (with all of the limitations of early synths), and then the second track comes in with an evocative and VERY human-y saxophone. Then bongos. Such a cool contrast to start an album. I really can't say how much I love the ground covered instrumentation wise in the first two songs. I don't know if I've ever heard another pop album cover so much ground so quickly while also being effective and now adding timbres for the sake of adding timbres. - LISTEN TO THE INTRO GROOVE ON EVERYBODY WANTS TO RULE THE WORLD. UGHHHH - "Mothers Talk" bass part at 3:48 is literally videogame battle music. - "Listen", the outtro is really so amazing. Lots of moods. Cons: Misc: - It's hard for me to give a quantified star rating for this album. It's a high 4 for me. JUST a 4 is too low IMO but 5 is too high for me. It's an amazing album, with 3 songs that are probably in the conversation of being 3 of the top 25 songs of a decade, which is amazing- specially so because the 80s were such a wild time for pop music. This is really my hardest vote yet. Ok I'm giving it a 5, it's just too good.
Pros: - First time hearing this album (i think) and possibly artist too. Overall the sound is really nice and cohesive; by the time her voice comes in on the first track it was pretty much exactly what I was expecting and my ears wanted to hear to match the instrumentation. - The instrumentation and recording are all really well done. I love that first piano run up in the first song only seconds after the acoustic guitars set the tone. The second track also has some nice behind-the-scenes piano/keyboard lines. - Love the tempo / meter change in the second song about halfway in. Songs that change tempo/feel in pop music are kind of rare these days so it's nice to hear one here that is drastic but still within the overall vibe of the song - really nice flow to the album, the placement of the tracks are really great. that's usually a gripe of mine with any style of music but specifically with singer songwriter-y styles it can be pretty bad at times. Cons: - not a lot of memorability for me Misc: - While it's a nice album, it doesn't have a lot of standouts for me, and in context of 1001 albums you need to hear, I think it's probably in the lower 40% so I'm giving it a 2/5.
Pros: - origin of "let your freak flag fly" - it's a dope classic rock album - it's the best selling album of all members' careers. - Super-group bands I think often have weird dynamics. It's weird but also probably inherently hard to avoid right? These guys don't really have that issue in this act I think. It all gels well. A good example is going from "Teach your children" which is a beautiful, heartfelt song, into "Almost cut my hair" (David Crosby singing) which is very funny and silly, and then finally into "Helpless" (Neil Young singing), which centers around Neil's very soft and distinctly different voice and ambiguous lyrics. You would think that these sounds and sentiments in 3 consecutive songs wouldn't work that well but they really do! - The title track, Deja Vu, is very cool and experimental for them. Starts with an almost-scat part, has some weird chords in there (Gab and i found a GSus4 chord into Emsus2 chord (I think that's how its' written?) and they SING these! That's very experimental! Hard to sing! Lots of tension! It's at 2:37) - "Our House" is way ahead of it's time to me. It's like a modern indie pop song in instrumentation arrangement, even the hook is very modern yet also somehow Beatles-esque. Cons: Misc: - It's tight all around. I've heard this album many times throughout my life but by isolated radio plays of the tracks, and never full through in one sitting. I really like how the album doesn't just start hot, play some hits, and then fades off; it keeps energy throughout the album and keeps the diversity throughout.
I had a writeup that accidentally got deleted so i'm summarizing: It's a really dope album that is definitely deserving of a spot on this list. Production is incredibly tight and the added layers of instrumentation are impressive, quirky, and really elevates the overall album.
Pros: - It's a very unique sound. It's got this 50's ish thing, but the guitars and vocals are more experimental then what they were doing in the 50s. Cons: - One reason why I don't have this up higher is that I think there's something with the songwriting that keeps it from being a 4 or 5 but I can't exactly figure it out. "Dance This Mess Around" for example is a really cool song- it's energetic yet also laid back. The vocals yell in your face while the guitars play a minimalism riff that repeats throughout. It's a great sound, but I can't help but feel like the recording engineer hit the "record" button and they just jammed this track out. What makes it even harder to pinpoint is that the album has tracks like Rock Lobster, which show multi faceted strengths in songwriting; the structure is super well thought out, the instrumentation really great, the lyrics are funny and a little simple but have such a unique theme. It makes me think this song had a lot of thought put into it. Misc: - Overall I enjoy the album and it's a fun listen. I think maybe if it was a little more dynamic and strayed a little further at times from the variables that seem to appear in most tracks: mid tempo / drumset / clean, spanky guitar / fun vocals , then I would rate it a 4. It's always hard to say (write) something like that though because I do understand that this is their sound. Rock Lobster is one of the quirkiest songs of all time.
Pros: - Very cool sound! It's my first time actively hearing this band. They are very dynamic and the overall sound does a lot of things right. - Even though it's 1966, the production is really crisp. - It's a dynamic album while also existing inside of a defined sound. Track 1 is a "tough" psychedelic rock song with a harpsichord shred part. Track 2 is a gushy ballad, Track 3 is another sweetheart track, and then Track 4 is a "The Who" type rabble-rousing shout-off. That's a lot of moving around. Cons: - Some tracks' lyrics are not exactly bad but a little uninspired. - I'm assuming it's a victim of the time period, but man I can't comfortably listen to hard-panned instruments and layers for very long. Track 3, "Que Vida", has the FULL drumset 100% in the left ear, and guitars in the right ear. I'm personally a big believer in symmetry in production and while panning is a great condiment to add to your flavors, you can't have things sound balanced with 70% mustard in your right ear and 30% ketchup in the left ear. Don't put condiments in your ears. Misc: - Interesting that the total length of the album is 36 minutes 9 seconds, and the final track is over half of that, coming in at 18 minutes and 58 seconds. This track is mostly a jam though, as the vocals leave around the 3 minute mark and only come back briefly before leaving again.
Pros: - Opener is a great track. Love the chord progression in the chorus. I can't put a finger on it but the line "I might never reach you" has some great Beatles-y chords under the vocals. - Second track, "The Fear" is like a more modern Neil Young track. Very cool sound. It even has some Radiohead type sounds underneath the vocals too. - SO many chordal mood shifts. I'm hearing a lot of major chords getting moved to minor over the course of a chorus or phrase. - "As You Are" is even more radiohead-y! Cons: - Some songs come across as being pretty like.. medium? I find it hard to describe but there's a very "agreeable" sound to this record. "Inoffensive". I tend to gravitate towards some kind of offending going on in music. Not so much of a knock against them because they do have a great sound and this is very listenable. Misc: - This is pretty new to me, maybe I heard it on the radio as a ~9 year old but I don't recall this album or band name at all. - Great sound! I'm impressed with this a lot. - While it's a nice album, in the context of 1001 albums you need to hear, it is a questionable decision. IMO it lacks memorability.
Pros: - One of the best guitarists of all time. With that should come the notion that any of his albums on his unfortunately short discography could be listed on this. - This album has some absolute slappers. "Crosstown traffic" is super underrated and is the only badass song I know to include kazoo's predominantly. Cons: Misc: It's just great. Some album-flow things are weird, like a "filler"ish 1 minute track after a 13 minute track. Some tracks linger on a bit long. I'm not personally big on albums that are mixes of structured songs and also longer jam sections and this one does that a little, but it's still a classic album.
Pros: - Wow very Bruce Springsteen-y! - Funny how production wise this is a throwback. It was released in 1977 but songs like "No Dancing" sounds totally like a 1950's boogie woogie. The album cover is a throwback too. - On the topic of the album cover, how interesting is the choice of the text on top of that checkered background? Weird isn't it? Cons: Misc: - pretty nice album all around!
Pros: - I really just love moody noir music... and this album feels like it was created out of red wine, cigarettes, a one night stand after a chance meeting in a jazz bar, and the sound of footsteps down a Parisian alley. - Chunga's Revenge - what a name. Love the snare ghost notes that pull the rhythm off-beat. Cons: - It's place on this list is IMO debatable. It's a very cool overall sound but I wonder what albums aren't on this list that this album has taken the place of. Misc:
I lost my notes on this one for some reason. My computer restarted overnight but I always hit "save" but not really sure what happened. Overall, I liked this album, it's very stereotypical classic rock that leans a little more John Denver than Led Zeppelin. My big gripe was that after listening it didn't have much memorability for me. A common strength of classic rock in its unconscious quest for churning out timeless tunes is the memorability factor. So many songs from that era are memorable, catchy, and have remained on radio stations because of that. This album didn't really deliver on that for me.
Pros: - Prodigy has such a cool sound. They are serious groundbreakers. - Yea, let's take glass smashing and make it a rhythmic element. Yea! - Oddly enough, it's great background music. - Drum n Bass is just a great discovery in music. Cons: Misc: - Their follow up album to this, "The Fat of the Land" is also very good, and contains probably their biggest hit, "Smack My Bitch Up".
I lost my writeup (second time this week!) due to a computer overnight restart and the website not saving my text so this will be short. I liked it, I think the big thing with them is that they were THE pioneers of electronic music. What is cool about this album is that it's actually listenable and easy to enjoy though. I think sometimes pioneers of genres are good at making something new but are not always the best at refining the sound, but to me this album sounds breaks that stereotype and gives us music that is not ONLY experimental or new. The only downside is that it's pretty minimalistic and can get repetitive.
Pros: - First track - I love that experimental ending, with all of the instruments just gradually pulling apart rhythmically. Very cool sound! - Then the second track starts with some spoken word! I have to admit though as this track went on that I became a little bored by it. I've mentioned it before but I'm a big believer in albums starting with a song or having their second song be some kind of moderately uptempo / interesting sound regardless of the genre, and this one was really interesting to have the second song be a repetitive 8 minute long spoken word song. - The experimental-ness of the album and overall sound is really intriguing. Specifically experimenting with vocal deliveries is really cool. Cons: - Not every act needs things like choruses and hooks, but I think they could benefit from having some of them? Or more of them? I found myself bored at times with some of the songs. Ultimately I didn't love the album..
Pros: - It slaps! Great grooves on the intro song. - I put this on while doing some chores and it made the chores really really enjoyable. This is a great experience. - The repeatability of the choruses is very fun. - The grooves continue throughout. Very pleased with the grooves. Cons: Misc: - Lack of free time and general unfamiliarity with some albums on this list has stopped me from doing deep dives into the lyrics side. While I love writing about things like production and song structure, I really love getting into lyrics and concepts and I think Bowie is probably a really great lyricist that is hurting me a little to not have the time to dig through. Wah. - Looking at this album solved a mystery for me. One of my favorite bands, Okkervil River, has a song where they mention "TVC16" and I never knew what it meant. The lyricist has some great web-like lyrical themes and sometimes I will listen to one of their songs a few dozen times before actually looking at the lyrical connections because frankly it can be exhausting. In this song, called "Plus Ones", they mention some really specific themes from other bands songs that have numbers in them, and they add a "+1" to each. So they have lyrics like "100 luftballoons" instead of 99, "8 Chinese Brothers" instead of 7, like in the REM song, "51 ways to leave your lover" instead of 50 like Paul Simon wrote about. I feel silly looking at it now, but seeing a track titled TVC15 on this album made me finally turn my brain on and look at the Okkervil River lyric. Mystery Solved! It's pretty obvious now that I think of it.
Overall a tight album, and probably my first time listening to all of the tracks together. Sometimes I think some of these albums from this era are often looked at with rose tinted glasses but this was a great listen for me.
Great originators of emotional rock and roll that is as unpretentious as it gets. They might be the founders of the genre of post-rock too. Which is funny to write. I listened to the heck out of this. It's a high 4 for me.
It's Sabbath! This isn't the best Sabbath album, but it's still jam packed with great tunes. High 4 for me!
Great album, surprisingly sparse? Really didn't expect so much instrumental outtros and intros but I thought it was nice. It's a tight album! I love this super emo kind of sound when taken real seriously and they take it seriously I think.
Pros: - It's an interesting sound. Reggae music with sort of melodic sort of spoken word vocals --<>-- is how I would try to understand it? Cons: - Surprisingly boring for the amount of experimenting and looseness going on? Maybe it's the reggae sort of backdrop behind the vocals?
Pros: After the third track, the lead guitar playing gets kind of weird and experimental in both tone and melody. I like that. Cons: - It feels a little... kitsch-y to me? Listening to the third track, Mr. Spaceman, sounds like some faux classic rock music? Like something Tim and Eric would make in order to make fun of classic rock?... - I kind of felt bored by it and I don't really have a great reason for it being on this list.
I like that right from the start you *get* the sound. It's fun, energetic, electronic, and unique. David Byrne has had several genius moments in this career. Solid album!
It's one of my favorite hip hop albums. I have a black and white t-shirt of this album cover. The songs are weirdly jamm-y and have big instrumental gaps, and yet also have a smattering of lyrics about slavery and race issues on top of music that is fun and energetic. It's a crazy sound.
I tend to innately enjoy raw music but this didn't do much for me. The lead singer's voice sounded kind of boy-ish, like a neighborhood bully trying to act tough. He was 21 when this was released though so maybe that's why. This is Pat Smear's first band which I didn't know! He was the second guitarist for Nirvana's amazing unplugged performance and also is a member of the Foo Fighters. Reading about this band and the singer Darby Crash (great stage names in this band- the bassist was "Lorna Doom") has been enjoyable. Maybe more enjoyable than listening to the album. Darby naturally had a fucked up youth and went to a very weird school that blended elements of scientology and allowed students to make their own classes; so Darby and Pat made a Fruit Eating class where they would go to a market and eat fruit and then return to school. Like most albums, I ended up enjoying this more after reading some background about the band and also hearing it more. Sometimes I write these in a more formulaic way but I find this stream of consciousness way to be fun at the moment so I'm not going to remove my initial thoughts which were more negative than my final thoughts on the album. Overall I think while maybe it was influential at the time, this one didn't do too much for me.
Pros: - Really dig the lead singers voice. I'm going to bastardize it by saying it sounds like bands/singers that are way younger / newer but it's the only way I can describe it. It's like punky while also having an approachable sort of Rivers Cuomo type of sound to it. - I don't know what this lyric means but it's funny to hear "Marshall stacks" in a song. This means really big and loud amplifiers in their biggest form/configuration- something that bands like this really loved. "Everybody's coming from the winter vacation Taking in the sun in a exaltation to you You come running in on platform shoes With Marshall stacks to at least just give us a clue" - I really love the spoken word parts (similar to what they do 2 years later on GOO)- like the track "providence". - I love how the second track "Silver Rocket", just stops around the 2 minute mark. It just falls apart. Experimental structure! Cons: Misc:
The yardbirds are dope because they launched the careers of Jeff Beck, Jimmy Page (I think), and Eric Clapton (fuck clapton). I always thought the band was good but not nearly as great as those guitarists follow-up bands. Regardless, they deserve a spot on this list.
Personal Jesus is a banger. Legitimate slaps. For me personally it brings back memories of being ~14 year old, playing Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, driving around the desert in a convertible, and blaring this song through the car speakers. Enjoy the Silence is also a genuine certified slapper. The ending is very weird. The rest of the album isn't as strong for me and doesn't offer anything in the same level of quality as Personal Jesus and Enjoy the Silence. Either way, the few tracks that stand out on this album warrant a 3/5 at the least as they are staples in this electronic genre.
I was starting to think after around ~50 albums rated that the genre of metal was being forgotten about as I think we’ve only gotten a single other one so far (Black Sabbath). Thankful to be proven wrong here with MOP >:O >:O This album has so many definable characteristics. It is DYNAMIC in its instrumentation. The first thing you hear is Battery, with acoustic guitars that start to increase in harmonic complexity, adding harmony on top of harmony... until you get hit at 39 seconds in, and are given an EPIC soundstage on your ears. then at 1 minute in you get the ENERGY OF THE RIFFFFFFFFFFF >:O >:O And then you are set on a crash course where it’s hard to take a breath without hitting the pause button. I genuinely love this album and I think it's a masterpiece in not only the genre but in music as a whole. Metallica gets an interesting response these days from metal people as they are seen as generic compared to the breadth that the genre has expanded into, but their music is classic songwriting genius- track after track after track. Master of Puppets might be their magnum opus and is in the running for the magnum opus of the genre of metal. It is so dynamic, energetic, surprisingly approachable, monumental, and even catchy. After one listen through you will have parts that you remember. You will remember guitar parts that sound like a cat scratch or tires screeching on a road. You will remember vocal parts! That is so incredibly hard to do in metal, as most metal vocal parts are rhythmic and devoid of melodic qualities or obvious pitches. Somehow my biggest takeaway from this album has always been trying to figure out how a metal band from 1986 has the tracks Orion and Master of Puppets on one album. Both have so many emotions and standout variables for me- with distorted guitar chugfest sections, with soaring guitar solos that are still tasteful, fun offset rhythmic groovy parts (Orion at 2:12 specifically), and yet they are somehow introspective, contemplative, and still unrelenting and epic. This album was released March 1986 and only 6 months later the bus accident occurred where bassist Cliff Burton died at the age of 24. The section in Orion that starts at around the 4 minute mark is one that I’ve always shown to naysayers of the metal genre as an unquestionably brilliant testament that the genre can produce genius level music composition. That section starts with an emotional Burton bass line, that evolves into Bach-like lines at around the 5:40 mark (seriously listen to the bass at 6:00 - with headphones it is breathtaking) and then further evolves into more emotional playing – 6:33 the bass re-enters with distortion with Burton’s infamous no-plectrum technique and then syncs up with the lead guitars. Unquestionable. I’m always a little sad when I hear Orion because of this (and there’s the slightest hint of some chopped onions here as I write this on a Monday morning at 9:39am) but it usually doesn’t take long for me to remember how that song and this album are timeless and will be listened to forever. Easy 5/5 for me and possibly a 6/5.
I feel like there's more to this album than what you first get on a first listen / initial listens of the more prominent tracks. It has standout performances, like the guitar solo on "Stolen Car", and it has songs that are really sonically different and dynamic that show a good strength of songwriting with different tones and timbres. One down side for me is the track list has one little quirk: I'm estimating here but the BPMs are like this per track: 1: 120~ish bpm 2: 90~ish 3: 100~ish 4: 80~ish 5: 85~ish 6: 85~ish 7: back up to 90-100~ish last track (which is a remix): 120~ish bpm To me, this is kind of weird because it starts with a track that moves and then gets a good bit slower for the rest of the album until the last track. Most music acts have "their" sound and don't deviate too much from it, but I find it weird to sandwhich the album with two upbeat tempo tracks and then have a lot of slower tracks in the middle. It's not a terribly bad thing, but for someone like me who likes the idea of logically placing tracks to create a well-paced listen, I think that it's a weaker variable for the album. Overall I liked the album. As I mentioned above it is more than just a singer songwriter thing, and there's some real nice moments on it.
Always loved his playing and never really did deep dives into his albums. He's known as being a (the?) king of alternate guitar tuning / singer songwriter music and this album is really a masterpiece of that style of playing, singing, and overall composition. I love his voice. It's very evocative and yet approachable and not overly dramatic. Biggest gripe is that his music to me can get boring. #shotsfired I know this time period is an interesting mix of 60's and 70's folk music, but I would love for more dynamics or energy in a track here or there. The closest we get to more energetic tracks are in "Poor Boy", which is a bossa nova type track, or "Bryter Layter" which has the faintest hi-hat rhythm that moves the song forward. We hear it a little on "One of These Things First" (which is a lovely song), but his voice is just ~too~ soothing and slow to really push it at all even though the guitar and piano are trying.
He's got one of the best voices in classic rock / rock / folk rock. It's so notable, distinct, and full of emotion. This album starts off with some tracks that have the music underneath his voice sort of meander around and he just kind of "does his own thing" on top. Lots of rubato and free flowing rhythms in his vocal melodies that just sit on top of the chord changes. I'm not sure if the majority of his music/songwriting is like this, but I like it. Sometimes vocalists have such good voices that they really just have the agency to do what they want on top of music without the need for things like structured repeats to enhance the catchy-ness quality of a melody, and this seems like the case with him. He can seemingly just grab a mic and go "lllluuuuuhhhhhh yeeeaaaah" and it sounds great. The one downside of this that I've seen happen is that it makes this sort of disconnect between the vocalist and the band members. I like a certain amount of homogeneity in the vocals and the music; it is just another instrument after all. I don't find it as much of a downside for Van Morrison though because I know that he is a songwriter too and not just someone who gets put on stage in front of a band and told to "do his thing". I think Steve put it well in his review of the last album on the list - (where he ironically mentioned Van Morrison- not knowing that next up on the list WAS Van Morrison lol) this is a great Sunday morning / afternoon album. Put it on while you are drinking coffee and tidying up your place, or put it on while you wait for your grill to get hot and for your friends to arrive. There won't be any objections to the music choice.
Some cool lofi type hip hop type of music. I dig it. This came out in 2001- was this some early inspiration to the lofi hip hop beat youtube genre? I dig it. There should probably be a lofi hip hop sort of album on this list and this one is pretty dynamic. It has some upbeat tracks (Poor Leno), some vocals (Remind Me), some that sound like videogame music (In Space), and overall it was a nice listen!
It's fuggin rock and roll. When I was listening to this band as a boy I would get them confused with "Counting Crows" (because I was probably like 8). I think this band does deserve a place on this list. This album is a solid rock and roll album. I will admit that I listened to it in full background-mode and I think that is where this band shines. The singer has such a great rock and roll voice and some of these songs are bangers but I'm personally biased because I've heard them so much that they are ingrained as backing track music. "Hard to Handle" is one of the best post-1980s rock and roll songs ever. "She Talks to Angels" is as pure as a rock and roll ballad can ever get. I bet these dudes wear a ton of fringe.
I like how this album starts with some energy and keeps it up. Even the third track, "I know it's Over" which is a little slower and somewhat ballad-y, has a drum and bass groove that keeps it moving. Morrissey just has such a great evocative voice. It's sensitive and yet still has a touch of tough-ness to it. Hearing this full through has given me some new tracks to put in my current rotation. I never really gave The Smiths the time of day but I really enjoyed this!
Never heard this band before- I like the sound! - As it was proposed, this makes me think a little about a beach house. Some nervous excitement, some calm warmth, some beauty, some chill. - The first track, "Zebra" is such a lovely buildup. I was really let down by the drum tones/performance when it finally hits though at 2:20. The kick and (more specifically) the snare sound so weak. Regardless, the rest of the track is really nice! Great chord progression and textures. I sort of back-burnered the rest of the album and didn't really focus too hard on elements beyond this first track though. Nice album!
I didn't get into Frank Ocean until this past December (2021) because he got a ton of universal hype across indie review websites and I would always be almost insulted when I would see him atop "Best Indie Albums" lists. I would think- "Is this hip hop guy's album really more monumental for indie music than the Strokes "Is This It"?" or I would question "Frank Ocean is more indie than Neutral Milk Hotel?". But then in December I heard one of his tracks covered live and I was like "oh man is THIS Frank Ocean? The time has come." Frank Ocean is the Fucking Shit with a capital F and S, and Channel Orange is a masterpiece. To me he has that one magical thing about his voice that he could sing literally anything and it would sound beautiful, hip, emotional, contemplative, and cool. His persona only adds to it- he rarely gives interviews and keeps a bit behind the curtain, he's so cool that he performs on SNL and his guitarist in the back - in the dark - is John Mayer, he even announced his sexuality via his personal Tumblr by just saying "4 Summer ago, I met somebody. I was 19 years old. He was too." (It's a beautiful short thank you note that you should check out if you haven't and are a fan. I love how frank he is about it in an environment where being gay or bisexual isn't so widely accepted)... he's just a cool guy. "Thinkin Bout You", "Super Rich Kids", and "Lost" are modern classics! This is an album where I would love to have had a rating system out of 100 instead of out of 5. To me it's hard to say that this album is only a 4/5 because that's an 80/100. It's also not a 5/5 or 100/100 like a few others on this list are, but I think that it's closer to being a 5/5 than it is a 4/5 so I'm going to give it the benefit of the doubt.
This album is a great one to show when showing people Beck. It's a solid representation of him: strong songwriting mixed with outstanding production techniques. Beck is such a stalwart, and I always appreciated his music and the way that he was a gateway musician to a lot of other genres. I think it's easy for a young kid to listen to this album and then get into slightly more abstract sounding indie rock for example, and I love that.
On Steve's bachelor party trip, on the van ride back to NJ there was a discussion about favorite Bob Dylan albums. I listened to him but never played through one of his albums from start to finish (blasphemous for a singer-songwriter). When I was asked, I think I responded with \"Highway 61\" because it was the one that had tracks on it that I actually knew and knew the names of. Someone had said \"Blonde On Blonde\" (Steve? Or was it Steve Fingerhut?) and so the next day or a few days later when I was at work I threw it on and loved it. It's a great album and a strong follow-up to Highway 61 Revisited. It feels fun and energetic compared to the common idea of what Bob Dylan sounds like. The only downside of this album is that it relies so heavy on the blues chord progression, and there's really only so much you can do with that in similar keys and instrumentation before the songs start to blur together and get a little predictable. It's still an amazing album but for someone who has drilled the blues progression a few hundred times, my mind can't help but drift when listening to it in an album format.
This really surprised me, I didn't know what to expect as it's my first time hearing this band and this album. I do have a penchant for 80s acts that write somewhat "cheesy" music but take it really seriously and they appear to fit that bill. Pros: - Great mood shifts in the music. The first song really is blowing my mind with the incredibly interesting layers. The piano starts to shift a pretty "grey" sounding track into happy and sad areas by just changing a few chords- then meandering- then going back to the "grey" and neutral mood. When the children come in in the chorus and sing the callback I was really impressed! Really unique all around. The name of the album is The Colour of Spring, and it's got me thinking about how true they have stuck to that idea and theme. Spring is of course the idea of awakening / rebirth / beauty / change. Across the album I can hear ideas that to me sound like "a fresh start", but I can also hear the rainy days that you get randomly scattered throughout Spring. If I have any critique it's that the vocals are a little low in volume in the tracks across the album. This might be purposeful as there is definitely a focus on the wide instruments. My standout tracks were: "Happiness is Easy", "April 5th" and "Living in Another World". Ultimately I really enjoyed this album. There wasn't a single track that I was bored with, and having a first song that starts out with some really cool mood changes along with instrumentation/voice changes made me have this feeling of "anything can happen" which continued throughout the album listen. Even their more jam-y songs, like "Life's What You Make It" was still interesting throughout. I LOVE the piano that comes in around 2:20.
Solid progressive rock. Production values are very high level, and I think ahead of their time for 1974. This could have come out in 1984 and I would have had the same sentiment. Cons: Even though I mentioned it being great production, I think that synths in the 70s were still a newish tech for bands and acts around this era tended to overdo it. For me, the synth solo throughout the track "In The Cage" really is quite annoying. Synths most often are devoid of any dynamic qualities. They are 100% volume 100% of the time (unless the volume of the instrument is changing at the mixing stage), unlike a piano or a guitar. These solos are blistering runs that lack any kind of interesting layer in them beyond "speed". Not really my thing. Could be my age speaking since I don't really like any kind of solo that's only interesting quality is "fast" "Back in NYC" is really cool. I love the lead instrument. It's repetitive yet really cool and interesting intervals, and tied to the drums to make a really fun groove. "Hairless Heart" sounds like a Final Fantasy video game track. So cool. "Counting Out Time" is very obviously about erogenous zones. Gotta love that. "Colony of Slippermen" is so weird- it's like goblins talking into your ears.t The in between / instrumental tracks are really well placed. This album is an adventure. It really goes places. I thoroughly enjoyed it. The only thing keeping it a 5 is that it doesn't really have any huge memorable / catchy tracks that the band is capable of. Or maybe it's just that it's my first time hearing these. I'm giving it a 4 but it's a very high 4.
Rob Halford has one of the greatest metal voices of all time and this album showcases it perfectly. He does such a good job at everything a rock vocalist could want. Powerful chest voice, legendary shrieking high register yell, incredible finesse with when to release his voice and also when to keep it tame and build the tension. He's also a pioneer for gay men in rock and I think he probably single handedly made the biggest difference in heavy metal fans' outlook on accepting gay people into the culture. He's flamboyant in his own way- he doesn't make it his whole personality or make it a point that sees him stand out from others / take the attention away from the music. And yet at the same time he wears a ton of stereotypical biker leather with spikes (the whole band does as well- and the rest of the band are straight men) and has a "I'm gay, you don't give a fuck, let's jam" attitude. I love it. I once went to an Ozzfest when I was like 14 and Ozzy was set to sing with Black Sabbath, with Priest being the act right before Sabbath. Ozzy was sick and couldn't perform. Rob Halford sang the Sabbath set. One of the most amazing moments for a fan of metal to witness. I simply love this album, this act, and the musicians. When I hear Priest I think nothing can stop me- nothing can fuck with what I'm doing.
Great album, great band that was always being played throughout my life but put on by someone else- like a radio DJ or a family member at a BBQ. The band is really tight and the songs even at their foundations sound really great. There's also this sort of "epic" quality to this album (and probably the rest of the bands music as well) that I really appreciate. It's like the guitarist would go into the studio and say "can i do this huge guitar solo?" and the rest of the band says "hell yes". Good example of this is the track "Poem 58".
This was used in the exorcist! I thought it sounded familiar. Nice album, probably ahead of it's time with modern world music / new age-y sort of feel to it as it came out in 1973. Many of the transitions are kind of blunt in my opinion and don't have much finesse which weakens the overall experience. A good example is halfway into the first track, about at the 13 minute mark it goes from a computer-y dual clean guitar part - to a groovy distorted guitar chunker section for a total of 20 seconds- then immediately into a humming piano part. and it kind of lacks panache. To me it comes across as a million ideas all stitched together without a lot of development.
It's a nice album but it's a little too -backgroundy- for me. It was hard for me to be grabbed by the music without sitting intently and paying attention to everything going on. The vocals being so soft probably played a part in this. The track "XL-30" was cool- I think it's like mimic-ing what a robot would sound like with some early electronic sounds? That was unexpected and while I do like things like that, I think that it's just kind of added to this album for the sake of adding something different? I'd rather they got experimental in the other tracks and throughout the album rather than all at once to try to spice things up. Got nothing wrong with chill music but this didn't do much for me.
I love hearing Neil Young with some electric guitars behind him. This album has a few songs that come across as kind of podunky dad rock though, which isn't always the case with Neil Young. "F!#*in Up" isn't one of them and I appreciate how Neil comes across as a bit cooler and less caring in that track. Production wise this was pretty great for 1990. It's got a ton of grunge tones in the fuzzy, scratchy guitars, and I think it was probably a breath of fresh air for rock and roll fans trying to get away from the 80s. I also like how loose some of the tracks feel. There's a lot of room to breathe and the foundational elements - the bass and drums - tend to be pretty tight throughout. I do think the drums can be a little boring at times, but I think that for this period of rock music there isn't much exploration going on for drummers/ drumset players, so I'm looking at it coming from a place of modernity in rock music where percussion elements tend to be a little more exploratory and a little more engaging. These drumbeats sound like the first ones you hear when you open up a programmed drumset application as a music producer- "Rock Beat 1" "Rock Beat Ballad 3" "Mid Tempo Rock 6" etc. Overall I like the album! Neil Young is great and I love hearing him in a rock setting with Crazy Horse.
It's a tight album. Surprisingly short at 38 minutes for 12 songs. One downside for me is that in the production the vocals are too low in volume. I know that that is sort of their sound (along with a lot of other bands with similar sounds), but I wish the vocals were just a little louder. "Loveless" is often seen as their magnum opus, and it's fun to hear their sound evolve from this record to that one. This album to me feels a little less polished and a little less developed. There's moments where I wonder about their thought process for writing a specific song or even the inclusion of a certain song on the album. The track "All I Need" comes to mind- it's sort of this trance-like interlude that lulls you before one of the more energetic tracks "Feed Me With Your Kiss". It's a typical musical/album-flow idea to have some give and take, but it does make me ponder their thought process when writing that. Did they consider the "sound" that they want to have as a band and include that trance-like track? Or did they just write songs and put them one after another and say "whatever"? There's a lot to consider! Overall, I liked it! I think it has a great raw sound.
Some early punk rockin by one of the best to ever do it. I've actually never been a huge listener of the band but it would be hard to not respect them as pioneers of the genre and at the core even just good songwriters with a dirty sound. Highlights on the album for me: "Janie Jones" "I'm so Bored with the U.S.A." "What's My Name" If London Calling is a 5, then this one is a high 4.
I like this version of The Cure- the more melodramatic side from their earlier records (this is their second) before they started to get more poppy (I like the poppy version of them too). The third and fourth tracks "Secrets", and "In Your House" are good examples of this neutral / grey / mid tempo / lower vocal sound that I find attractive. The downside of this is that the tracks tend to meander a bit and don't often have any climaxes or dynamic changes. The song "Three" is painfully repetitive, and it's not the only one. It kind of typecasts the music for listening while you are a little bit down or on a rainy day. Unfortunately for The Cure, I listened to this on a beautiful late Spring / early Summer type of day and it didn't necessarily parallel my mood! I'll have to save it for the Fall. Ultimately I liked it but I question it's place on this list as there's too many tracks on it that I would consider "filler".
Interesting pock and rock album! Never heard of it or the band prior. Pros: - I like the funny spoken lines. Feels really raw! - Guitar work is really well done for a punk sound. - Lyrics are funny! - Oh dang this came out in 1975! After reading more about it, it's been called a precursor to punk. I'm not surprised! Very ahead of its time. Misc: - I've been following the play counts for every album on this list as they are on Spotify - and I think this one has the lowest counts. Not a single song is at 1 million streams, with the highest being 576k streams, and meanwhile most other albums easily go over 1 million for most tracks.
Interesting early punk / raw sound. I find the production to be very interesting - if you listen to track 4, "Dirt", and then track 5 "1970", there is a huge volume discrepancy between the two tracks. I suspect a different fidelity level too- "Dirt" sounds wider, with instruments panned out further into the L and R ears, and 1970 to be generally less stereo. "LA Blues" is very cool and wild with saxophones - it almost feels like a John Zorn piece in some areas.
Pros: - The production is really interesting. The panning on the first track is super wide and only gets more intriguing as the song goes on. The first minute and a half or so is mostly in the left ear, and then the next minute and a half is mostly in the right. That's something you don't really see too often. - I like the vibey moody sort of world of sounds that this guy is weaving on this album. Misc: Overall I liked it! Cool album from a band/act that I haven't heard of before.
I think this is Jethro Tull's most well known album. I love aqualung (the song), and locomotive breath, but the rest of the tracks don't ever really come too close to those two for me. Still a solid release. It's a great classic rock sound with some impressive genre blending and I think probably the best implementation ever of flutes in rock music.
Really great, timeless album. The hits are there, and I found myself enjoying the non-hits just as much, like "I Got the Blues" (with a great organ solo!), and the finishers "Dead Flowers" and "Moonlight Mile".
Interesting sound, it's like 80's electronic soul funk. Some of the mix / post production decisions are interesting and I find some songs have moments that sound pretty dynamically weak or a little thin. I do like the overall flow of the album; I think the artist did a good job at placing the tracks and there is a great mix of longer songs that explore / develop more, and shorter tracks that hang around a single hook and repeat it often and this was a standout idea of the album for me. Some of these tracks repeat the hook SO much that you can't really help but get them stuck in your head. "Wishing Well", "Seven More Days", "Let's Go Forward"... they are so short, repetitive, and romantic that it kind of feels like a.. love-making album? lol.
Beautiful album that was over before I even knew it. That was a good thing and a bad thing - I was having a great conversation with someone when I started this album and it kept me vibing and energized while in the discussion, but it also didn't have one track that really stood out.
For some reason I usually tend to not like pop music that comes from countries besides the US. I don't know why and I really try hard to not put truth into things like that but I think it might be that it's hard for me to enjoy pop music without understanding the lyrics. Oddly enough I think lyrics in pop music are rarely a standout feature however. But this album I thought sounded great! It had some Ariana Grande moments, and it had some Carly Rae Jepsen - Emotion type moments as well. Overall I enjoyed the album, and I think it's pretty ambitious to do the whole album in both English and French. Well done all around!
One of the best soul records of all time. He was a gift to the world and this record is overflowing with timeless tracks.
Nice dynamic album. I like the arrangements and I think it's overall a nice record to put on and listen through in one sitting. There's some fun production elements here too- like "Death of a Disco Dancer" has some fun little guitar SFX type of plucks happening. I can't say enough about how much I enjoy the pacing. There's such a good mix of songs on the album and it all flows really nicely.
Yikes this album is crisp. The snare and drums in general are super tight. I love this 80s pop sound. I find it interesting to start an album with the track they did - "So Far Away" is kind of like a repetitive chorus followed by a guitar riff that repeats for 5 minutes. I don't love that. "Money for Nothing" "Walk of Life" "Brothers in Arms" Are all solid! But the whole album is very very good.
This album was such a guilty pleasure for me when I was a kid. All of my friends were into heavy metal as was I, but I would listen to these tracks and love them in secret. (side note - guilty pleasures - what a silly thing). It's a great album. Only listening now do I find that this album has some tracks that are very videogame soundtrack-y.
I was waiting for Leonard Cohen to appear on this list. So we all know he has HIS sound, but man does he come across as tired and exhausted on this album. This is my first time hearing it and reading about it and apparently he recorded this in his living room after touring a ton and having medical issues for years. Then the release of this album came out only like 2-3 weeks before his death. It's fitting that the first track's main hook is "I'm ready, my lord." "Leaving the Table" is really amazing. It's such a Leonard Cohen song. Lyrics are really A+ for me. You can tell that he knew this was his last one, and it of course brings a sadness to that fact, but I love his tongue and cheek humorous acceptance. "Traveling light It's au revoir My once so bright My fallen star I'm running late They'll close the bar I used to play One mean guitar"
"Chain of Fools"... is there a better song in the realm of soul music? Oh yea, maybe it's "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman", which is only four songs later on this same record. JEEEZ. I also really liked track 4, "Niki Hoeky", which surprisingly had the lowest amount of plays on the album on Spotify. The bass line pushes the track forward so well. After starting with a bop it really just continues. This album slaps you so hard all you can say is "thank you may I have another." Everything is so well done.
IMO this is one of the best live albums of modern music. The dynamic with him bantering with the inmates is so uniquely strange, energetic, tense, and yet somehow he is comfortable (naive?) enough to invite his wife, June Carter on stage to sing with him for a song. I think the setlist is fantastic, the performance is fantastic, and I think this album is fantastic. It's not only fitting for this list but also is an easy 5/5 for me.
It's a wildly good pop / pop-rock album. Despite it's current place in the world as a meme song, Wonderwall is one of the best pop acoustic guitar songs of all time, and both "Don't Look Back in Anger" and "Champagne Supernova" could be single one-hit wonders that could make another artist's complete career- and Oasis have all three of them on one album. That factor alone makes this album a 5/5 for me, and yet there's still more tracks on the album that are fantastic, like "She's Electric" and "Some Might Say". (side note- if i'm recalling correctly, this is the first time i'm hitting consecutive 5 out of 5's!)
Admittedly I went into this album knowing the name of the band (and that Iggy Pop was in it) but not recalling any of their songs or anything about them so it was mostly a "blind" listen. - Iggy Pop has a great voice on the record. Love the performance and production of it on this album and how it is allowed to shine. - Some of the tracks get pretty repetitive and not really in a good way. I'm a big fan of when rock bands use the 2nd or 3rd tracks of an album as an upbeat one (or at least something that keeps a listener engaged) and while I think it's fine to not follow that tenet, I was pretty dulled out by the third track on this album being a 10 minute repetitive / meditative drone piece. The violin on it is really incredible, but unfortunately it comes in at around 8 minutes and 45 seconds into the piece- too late in my opinion. I do think this track would have been great as the album finisher. - Production-wise, the hard panning (some voices were panned 100% left / 100% right instead of more common 33%, 66%, 75% etc) was a little grating for some tracks and unfortunately its pretty prevalent. I hate for this to take away points because this was a time period where it was being experimented with, and while the execution might not always be there on these early records, I do recognize that we wouldn't have things like panning technology today without the experimentation. - I do think its a great blend of punk and psychedelic rock which has to be two really difficult genres to smash together. I wish there were more songs that had both of those elements together in a more homogeneous way. While the album has plenty of both types of genres, I find it unfortunate that they are almost completely split up. "Here's a punky song." "Here's a psychedelic song.". I would have loved a "Here's a punky song with psychedelic vocals and guitars." or "Here's a psychedelic song with punk vocals."
This album didn't really do too much for me. It had some moments where I found the music and lyrics to be fun, but I felt like so many of the songs being on the shorter end didn't allow me to sit into their melodies and chord progressions enough.
It's a fun album. I wish I was the gunslinger on the album cover. What a man. It was more diverse than I predicted it to be. It's got some nice vocal harmonies and some fun chromatic guitar playing! There's something about American folk music that attracts me at a deep level; it's the depictions of the west, the stories about outlaws, the way that they sing about love in a vastly different era but it surprisingly isn't really that different from modern day love songs. I love it. Overall I liked the album, and I think a record like this deserves a place on this list.
I love MJ and I love this album. I think that "Thriller" is his best but this is probably #2 or #3. The hits on this are just too good: "Bad" "The Way You Make Me Feel" (maybe secretly my favorite MJ song) "Man in the Mirror" "Smooth Criminal"
I like this early Willie Nelson as it is more like Hank Williams sounding country western folk. Willie has never been one of my favorite singers in this style but his influence is unquestionable. This album specifically is probably one of the more enjoyable ones of his for me to go through. Weird that there's the track "Time of the Preacher Theme" which is 1:13 long, and then a few tracks later there is a short little reprise that's the same exact title and is a 0:26 second intro sort of piece to the following track, "Just as I am". "Can I Sleep In Your Arms" is really an incredibly underrated track. Per Spotify it is the 7th most played track out of 15 on the record and I found myself really enjoying it.
Pretty fun album. I love the live philosophical announcement at the start of the record to start dancing. I like how much energy is in the songs, but it does come across as all being one speed and not too dynamic. I don't love how it can be pretty cacophonous at times- like the end of "Rocket Reducer No. 62 - Talk" is just some really discordant and grating guitar riffs. The next one, "Borderline" is more of the same, and maybe even worse because the guitars are incredibly scratchy, panned to each ear, and consistently "off" from the drums which makes it sound like one big vehicle that is crawling towards a destination but the machine is breaking down and parts are flying off as it gets there. I tend to like raw music but this one I think I would really have to be in the right mood to listen to. I'm sure the live show is better than hearing it recorded too.
Great indie alternative rock album. "Where Is My Mind" is such an anthem!
Production is really crisp "Smooth Operator" "Your Love Is King" are two nice album starters. I feel like there are a lot of nice songs on the album and only a few that stand out. I think that's kind of her thing though? Smooth and sultry R&B doesn't usually have big banger tracks. I do wish some of the tracks had more direction to them. Maybe a second half key change, a shift in major/minor tonality, or even instrument changes just to add some excitement.
"Seven Nation Army" is one of the best / coolest / anthemic songs ever written by a rock band. It sounds oxymoronic, but I love how the sound is straightforward and approachable yet also unconventional and unique. It's one of my favorite qualities of this record / the band. It's a high 4 for me.
After reading Steve's review of Cash's "At San Quentin" I realized that there were several of these live-in-prison albums so I was gushing over a different one when I meant to be gushing over this one. They are both fantastic though and I think deserving of their spots in this 1001 list. This album is excellent and has everything that I would want in a country folk singer songwriting record. I love the energy, the banter, the recording quality, and the performance overall is stellar.
What a weird opener track. It sounds like alien rock. I both love and hate the drums being panned so harshly in the right ear. God damnit the drumset is panned again in the second track. It's a pretty dynamic album. The 5th song, "I wouldn't Leave My Wooden Wife For You, Sugar" is totally Beatles-y and shows how experimental the band is trying to be while also sticking to common songwriting structures and forms. The following song shows more of the dynamics, as it is a weird chordal drone piece which totally contrasts the one before it. I liked it more as it went on and I'm definitely intrigued by the band.
This is the fastest yet that I've said "yea that's a 5" after seeing the album title/cover pop up on this list. When I was young I loved Nirvana but I had this rebellious thing where I just couldn't fully embrace something that everyone else did; like famous bands (I would gravitate towards the other 90s grunge acts like STP, Alice in Chains, Pearl Jam), and even the best sports teams (Mets > Yankees cmon now). I think a lot of if not most people have that when they are younger and I'll admit it took me way too long to get over that and love Nirvana but I did, and I do now. Nirvana is just so timeless, and this album is my favorite by them. Who knew that stripped down they would be so good? Usually raw and gritty vocals are enhanced by a shield of distortion behind them. It's scary for a singer to take their perfected vocal timbre and completely change the setting around it and hope it still works. Sometimes I even feel uncomfortable singing using someone else's acoustic guitar; there's certain chords and dynamics that I know I can hide behind on my own guitars when I need it! I read that Kurt was really nervous and also suffering from drug withdrawal and while the drug withdrawal seems obvious now, I have always found it interesting and sad that he was also nervous. A titan of music who is one of the most famous musicians of all time... and he was nervous. The feedback on "The Man Who Sold The World" at 01:55 is one of my favorite moments of music ever. Ugh it's like it was placed there on purpose. The first note of the solo at 02:46 that is the wrong note? Ugh I love it. It's so easy to listen to this album. "Jesus Doesn't Want Me For A Sunbeam" "Where Did You Sleep Last Night" "The Man Who Sold The World" "All Apologies" are all top ~100 songs for me, and "where did you sleep last night" is probably a top 15 or 20. A side effect that this album has had along with some of the other legendary unplugged records is that I think about the people who were present for these shows and the whole event behind the recorded album. They were filmed in New York. If I was ~10 or 12 years older I would have tried to go. The side effect though is that they make me think "what other shows are happening right now that are going to be seen as legendary performances?" Glastonbury always tends to have a lineup that is jam-packed. I've seen some smaller gigs that were amazing for me, but I figure were just the right mixtures of performance + buzzed + a little high + my back feeling OK... all of which are personal variables and not universal. I'm not sure if I've gone to a legendary performance yet. I have so many great memories with this album and I hope that it is as timeless as I think it is.
It's a classic album, very easy to listen to, albeit a bit repetitive. They riff on some similar ideas pretty often. What I find particularly interesting is that there's a lot of melodies in this album that other people took and ran with. There's a lot, like I could spend an afternoon piecing together melodies in this album that have then ended up on other people's records. That's weird right? I feel like that says that this record is pretty influential then.
This is the first time I myself was the one to put on an album by this band, and yet to me they were THE sound of parties in college. Such a good mix of indie rock energy with beats that make you move your feet in a way like you have lost control of them. They are so cool, have such a hip idgaf vibe that makes them stand out out so so well for me. I love on this album that they aren't afraid to squeeze in more layers and textures and synths on top of one another with reckless abandon. All the meanwhile Murphy's soft, high baritone sits behind them and peeks out at just the right times. Everyone has albums that teleport them to periods of time and I think that somehow, and unfortunately, the more you listen to an album that once was cemented as a "teleport" album, the more the concrete bond breaks away- maybe that's why I've avoided playing this album to death because for me it is so strongly tied to college parties at TCNJ and I want to preserve that. Regardless, it's such a killer album.
One of the most attractive voices of all time. I love how the album starts with "Rolling In The Deep". Her voice and guitar are perfect and the kick drum breaking in at full intensity is so badass. She deserves all the accolades. 21 deserves all the praise!
"Yellow" is one of my favorite pop songs. Chris Martin has such a wonderful and wide ranging timbre in his voice and he is a master of matching inflections with emotions in lyrics. The same can be said for many songs on this album, like the opener, "Don't Panic", the down tempo, modal mix piano ballad "Trouble", and even "Shiver" which comes across to me like a poppy Radiohead song. I really like this album and I think people who hate on Coldplay forget that they had some really incredible records.
Pretty interesting album, lots of experimental production techniques that might not stand the test of time / they might conflict a bit with common modern production ideals, but without bands doing this during this period of time we wouldn't have those modern ideals. I read that this was one of the first records to utilize the infamous Moog synth, so that's pretty great! I love the SFX in "Draft Morning" too. I incorporate them into my own music and I rarely hear other musicians use them. As experimental as the album is, I kind of felt like I wanted more excitement in the compositions themselves. A lot of them had similar feels and when they would have an exciting change or shift in the track it was all dependent on the production and sounds rather than the performance- almost like they were leaning on the production oddities to carry the load.
Great album! I never listened to it before despite this band having another song that is a ~top 200 song of all time for me (Golden Brown). I like the arrangements, the performances (very cool synth leads on the first track!), the attitude, and the production. I'm also enjoying how diverse some of the tracks sound compared to the rest of the album - it's very diverse and they don't come across as a formulaic type of band one bit. One standout on a lot of tracks it the bass. The parts are written well, performed well, and mixed very well. I'll be adding a good amount of these tracks to some rotations.
Really enjoyed this! This list has made me into a Pixies fan as I never really listened to them much. The vocals are so straightforward (that sounds like a dig but I swear it's not!) and approachable. I love "Here Comes Your Man" and I thought it was like a 50s cover song but it's not!
"Wake Up and Make Love With Me" as an opener is 1. an amazing title, and 2. amazingly cool. Lyrics are funny as shit and I can't recall the last time I heard something like this as an opener that made me laugh so hard. It's a really interesting album and sound. I love how the second song starts as a slower ballad-type track and then about a minute and a half in it gets a big feel change with the drumset and rock and roll piano. It kind of sets the idea that you-never-know-what's-next for the rest of the album. It's sleazy and sexy in the best possible way.
I enjoyed it- nice folk album with good songwriting and performances. Not a lot of it stood out to me but nothing was too bad. 3.1/5.
It's an OK album, it didn't really blow me away and I didn't really find anything that I didn't like on it. For me it's a 2.5/3 but rounding down to a 2 because it just didn't really grab me.
I love the sample (from a movie or something?) on the first track that comes in around 4:00 minutes into the track. Very cool and surprising. The chords are also pretty unique- they remind me of "everybody wants to rule the world" and totally change the feel of the song at that point. Overall I liked it. Not a lot of standout stuff but I liked a lot of the production they had some tracks that differed enough to stay within one cohesive sound but still be dynamic. It's a 3/3 for me.
The album is beautiful. Everything is really pretty and romantic and also meticulous without sounding too perfect. I really like how polished everything is. I think it has a lovely timeless sound and I think it will get even better with age. Thoroughly enjoyed all around. Just remembering that I randomly heard one of his tracks "Tonight The Streets Are Ours" from a different album and I've been listening to it all year. Pretty cool!
Love that we are finally getting a Tupac album. This is one of his records that I didn't listen to too extensively but he's so prolific that I know I can go into it with high expectations. It's got everything you want from a rap hip hop album and everything you would expect from one of the greatest if not the greatest to ever do it. Lyrics are on point and touch upon many varied and interesting themes as Tupac introspects his life, music, relationships. This album is so good to just put on and enjoy track to track. It's so EASY to listen to. Love Tupac. Love Tupac as not only a rapper and artist but also an actor.
Pretty eclectic, pretty weird, very interesting, very listenable. I enjoyed it a lot! I really liked that they didn't seem to worry about adding unconventional things into the productions, and it seemed to bounce around different emotions and vibes and feels without ever making me as the listener feel like something was off. It is all tastefully done. Will have to listen to this album more than once to pick up on more things though.
Blister in the sun! One of the best guitar riffs / acoustic guitar riffs of all time. So simple and memorable. I didn't realize this album (this band?) was so acoustic-driven. I love the bass sound and performance that pulls your attention throughout the entire album. It is easily the defining voice on this record. Acoustic bass guitars aren't so commonly used and man does it sound great on these tracks. Overall I thought it was great. Blister in the Sun is obviously the standout track and I think the only thing that hurts the record is that there are a few songs that sound kind of similar to that one and it doesn't stray too far in any direction from that one sound.
Instant 5/5. One of my favorite records of all time, easily in my top 10. What a DEBUT! Just absolutely absurd how many hits are on this: - Even Flow - Alive - Black - Jeremy Even the non-huge radio hits are incredible, like: - Once - Why Go - Oceans - Porch - Garden (for real if you haven't listened to these you need to. "Porch" might be my favorite- the unplugged version is A+) It's arguably the best album by one of the best bands ever and easily one of the best rock albums of all time- all in my opinion.
"Everybody Hurts" is a bonafide smash hit. R.E.M. have such a sad sound to me- even their more upbeat and fun songs have a weird tinge of sorrow to them that is always hard for me to fully understand. This album is no different; in songs like "The Sidewinder Sleeps Tonite" there's this obvious melody callback to "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" but I still get this sad/minor tonality throughout it. Listen to the bridge at 2:45- there's about 7 or 8 chord changes and all of them are minor chords except for one. Overall I liked it. I think they are a solid band and this is a solid album.
I'm writing as I'm listening and overall I think it's OK. I don't love it, and I have had this notion in my head that she is a little overrated but with full transparency I have not heard all of her stuff. Is this one of the 1001 best albums of all time? I'm trying to find which parts make this record a standout and deserving of a place on this list. I'm hearing electronic (indie?) pop. Her voice is nice, but I'm not really blown away by it or anything. The production is cool and interesting- it's not formulaic, and has moments of minimalism (1 minute mark of "Hours"), and nice panned elements pretty often. I'm listening on speakers and not headphones, but the speakers are appropriately placed to experience panned sounds, and I get the impression of the sounds being panned for the sake of being panned / doing something different. It's hard for me to be wowed by excessive panning as something extraordinary however. I do really like how in "Video Girl" the chorus slows down tempo. That is very unique. This song and "Numbers" were the tracks I liked most. I did find it unfortunate that the choruses of these tracks were really repetitive vocally and lyrically though. Numbers has some intriguing production on it but it almost feels random to me- like there's no connection thematically to the lyrics or anything like that. It's almost like a video-game battle song. Is there some Gestalt "the sum is greater than the parts" happening? That has definitely been the case with some records on this list, but I'm not sure with this one. The album cover is cool and makes me think. It's like some photos of her real face and then some 3d modeled parts (her right eye, her right cheek, and her right ear). Pretty funky. Maybe there's some kind of connection here to the idea of "sum of the parts" here? I'm giving it a 2/5 because I think it has some interesting things in a few tracks but I wasn't really blown away by it.
I thought it was OK. Not really groundbreaking or doing anything incredibly that really warrants it to have a spot on this list in my opinion. I found parts of it boring and felt myself wanting more.
The Stones are great and this album is no exception. It's a fantastic record to put on while going for a drive, or prepping for a party, or having a BBQ, or doing anything that is fun. I love the energy in it and while I've heard many of these songs many times I don't feel sick of them at all- it's just a timeless sound.
"Le Freak" is really a banger but the rest of the album was a little forgettable for me. I'm thinking a 2/5. "Le Freak" is such a well known song that I feel it probably warrants a spot on this list, but it kind of feels like they just kept throwing darts at a board with trying the same type of song and then hit a bullseye with that one.
Pretty good, groovy album. I know that bauhaus was like an art movement that was very ~cool~ and avant garde, so I was expecting some art rock type of sound here and it's a little more straightforward than what I expected. I guess I thought it would sound more like bauhaus art looks? I so however think the tracks "Ear Wax" and "1. David Jay 2. Peter Murphy 3. Kevin Haskins..." do bit of this abstract sound that I was looking for. I do like the wacky synths on "In Fear of Fear". I do love the piano slams at the end of "Muscle in Plastic". I do like the weird panned plucked instruments (filtered guitars?) at the midway point in "Mask". This whole track is cool and sounds like the band Interpol to me (even though Interpol came out after this band). I do like the mostly~ bass solo track "In Fear of Dub". Oddly enough most of the songs that I like the most on this album are the ones with the lowest play counts on Spotify. I ended up liking the album more the further I got into it.
It's the Beatles, It's Revolver, It's Eleanor Rigby, It's Yellow Submarine! Easy 5/5 record for those two tracks alone. Eleanor Rigby is one of my favorite Beatles songs and is probably my favorite pop song to ever use a modal scale instead of the stereotypical major/minor tonalities that you hear in 99.9% of popular American music. While my opinion on Beatles records tend to shift every few years, right now the Revolver/Sgt. Pepper's/Magical Mystery Tour era isn't really my favorite and I've been loving the early raw pop sound from their first ~3-4 albums, but this one is such an enjoyable listen and entry into their fun experimental phase. I'm so glad that the Beatles have finally appeared on this list for us. People don't sit down and simply listen to them enough even though their music is ubiquitous and I love having a reason to plop my behind down and put them through some good speakers.
It might sound blasphemous but I haven't heard all of her stuff, and this one I found to be great but not like easy 5/5. Her voice is nice, but feels very slur-y, almost in a buzzed/drunken way and a little too loose for me to think that this is some of her best work. It's almost a little too caricature~ish for me to absolutely adore. She's of course a wildly accomplished musician and it's hard for me to criticize her at all because she is often hailed as one of the greatest voices/jazz voices of all time, but I think it's important to be honest in these. I can't help it! It's great songs but not an instant 5/5 for me because I don't love the vocal performance.
Wow I didn't think Q-Tip would have a record on this list! This is such a great immediate lyrical hook that starts the album! "Sometimes I phase out when I look at the screen And I think about my chance for me to intervene And it's up to me to bring back the hope Put feeling in the music that you could quote Not saying that I hate it, cause here I kinda dig it But what good is a ear if a Q-Tip isn't in it?" - Really clean production all around. - There's some stretches across the album where the lyrics get a little dull for me. I suspect that it's because in these moments there's such an emphasis on a rhyming scheme that the cleverness in the message falls a little flat in order to fit the rhyme. Overall I enjoyed the album!
Really amazing. I love the 70's funk cop/thriller sound (secretly always wanted to make an album like this). The songs are great, everything is great. I wish it were longer.
Nice album. I haven't actually listened much to this trio even though their reputation precedes them. It's solid folk rock with a focus on fun, witty lyrics, folk chord progressions, and rock layers. It's a great formula for nice music. "Marrakesh Express" stood out for having a catchy chorus and fun rhythm section. "Guinnevere" stood out for having a really lovely guitars. They sounded very modern here- ahead of their time for 1969. Really nice vocal harmonies here too. "Teach Your Children" is a track that I heard a lot when I first started dating Gab- there was a family friend who played guitar and would always strum this track and sing it. It's lovely! I'm going 4/5 because I enjoyed it but I think I'll have to give it another listen. At the moment I'm not entirely in the mood for this kind of music and while I'm not trying to let that influence me, I am at the same time recognizing it.
At times beautiful, unique, haunting, and weird. I really enjoyed it. Lots of thought and care were put into these tracks, and I think in it Bjork shows that she is an evocative singer with a provocative persona that unfortunately at times takes attention away from her music. There's so much going on behind her voice (which herself is an attention-grabber) that I think it warrants multiple listens and I'm excited to add some of these tracks to some of my more-listened-to playlists.
I like this guys voice more than I thought I would. I went into it expecting it would be like super americana folky-western classic rock, but it's not. Maybe the name through me off. I thought this album was pretty good and I really went into it not being super enthused based off the album cover. I thought the songs were plenty catchy and the singer has some great vocal parts. He kind of sounds at times like Sonic Youth's singer (atleast in the first track). I wish the choruses were a little less repetitive though.
I was a little bored by this album but I do think it has it's place as a background type of experience rather then something you put on and sit and listen to with full attention. I like how moody it is, and I think his voice has a coolness to it that makes the overall sound attractive. Overall though for me it's a 2/5 and I'm not completely sold that it has a place on this list.
The first track, "Spellbound" is cool. I like how it pretty quickly grabs you and gives you this energetic guitar and percussion driven piece. It's a fun opener track for an album. There isn't much that blows me away though. This album came out in 1981 and the sound is pretty early ~1970's ish. I think the lead singer has a cool, slightly shrieking voice but I don't really think it's anything too amazing. The production really leaves a lot to be desired. In the second song, "Into The Light", there's some great weird synth-like electric guitar parts that come in a little before the 1 minute mark but the production sounds really like flimsy? on these instruments. I listened to the remastered & expanded version of the album and it sounded pretty dull production-wise. Sort of flat and uninspiring. I wonder if the remaster was done only a short time after, maybe a few years? Some remastered albums I hear are done decades after the initial release and end up sounding much more modern than this one did.
Yea I don't know it doesn't really do much for me. I'm assuming the big draw of the album, the first track, "Amsterdam" is what makes people put on the record. I'm guessing this because it has 11 million plays on Spotify, with the second most played on the album being "Le dernier repas" with only 846k. The track starts as like a national anthem, with a sort of clear borrowing of the most famous folk song of all time, "Greensleeves", and then it ends on this shouting "Amsterdam! Amsterdam!" motif. It kind of comes off to me as one of those sort of songs that describes someone's personal entity so they have no option but to like it? Like if someone wrote a song about a guy named Dan who wrote songs and was a nerd then how could I personally hate that? Maybe it's a rallying call type of song for Amsterdammers? The rest of the album didn't really do much for me either. Maybe there is some history behind the record that makes it important but I didn't find much when I was doing some internet sleuthing. I want to give it a 1/5 because I'm unsure if it should be on this list but I'm going 2 because I think there is some upside in that the singer's performance is very emotional and energetic.
fun album! little bit of raucous shouting and excitement throughout and overall a good time. Awesome piano playing on the second track, "Nothing's Too Good". Really tasteful and also technical. Love the instrumental "Body and Soul". Horn playing was fantastic! Yea this album was really incredible. 5/5 for me.
Love the drum sounds and performance. It's a pretty interesting album and I think overall I enjoyed it. The most popular song was also my favorite one of the bunch, "English Rose". I really like how it has these acoustic guitar driven tracks in between the more upbeat ones, like this and also "Fly" (even though "Fly" picks up more in the second half of the track). There's a lot of songs that I liked on this, "English Rose" "In The Crowd", "All Mod Cons" "It's Too Bad" all were nice tracks. I'm going to have to come back to this album I think.
Just absolutely beautiful. Probably my favorite or one of my favorite jazz vocalists. My favorite moments: Track 2 - "Oh, Lady Be Good" - the crazy emotional chord at the end of the song right at 3:46, under the lyric "to". All of "Love is Here to Stay" All of "But Not For Me". Not a bad song on the album. Easy 5/5
"It Was A Good Day" is one of my favorite rap songs ever, and growing up in the 90s this was probably the first rap song from a "gangsta rap" artist that I heard that wasn't a lot of stereotypical lyrical ideas like shootings, drug use, partying, etc. I thought it was cool and different. The rest of the album is good, with really good tracks in "Wicked" and "Check Yo Self". Fun fact - I think Korn covered "Wicked" or referenced it in one of their songs?
Never actually fully listened to this album! Overall - I'm surprised by the amount of reverb along with the type of reverbs used; the snare drums often have this big room / cathedral type of reverb patch on them and its really unique when there are other instruments that don't have much reverb on them at all. The vocals are much lower than I thought they would be, and some of the songs are much lower energy than I was expecting. I know this is THE t-shirt you have to have if you are an indie head (I guess I'm not an indie head) and I was expecting a little bit more of an upbeat-moving type of sound that is typical for indie rock music. I don't love love the album but I did enjoy listening to it and I do recognize that it is monumentally influential.
I've been listening to and reading a lot about Nirvana lately. Probably because of my recent trip to Seattle. Man are they so good though. What a damn shame. They are so tight on this record. Everything is really stellar and well done. Performances are all A+, songwriting is all A+, Butch Vig killed it on the production (specifically the drums, UGH they are good). I love that this is a band where you can listen to over the years and go through phases about what songs you absolutely love and then it rotates to another set of tracks. For me right now, "Drain You" has been one of my Nirvana rotational hits. Ultimately, if this album only had "Smells like Teen Spirit" on it, then it would be an immediate 5 out of 5. What an anthem for angst and for youth.
I wrote a lot about this album but I had restarted my computer without saving so I'm bummed about that but I'll re-write a little here: I thought the album was pretty good, and the standout for me personally was "Black Sheep Boy". There's an album by a band called Okkervil River with the same title and I always knew the title track was a cover but I had never heard the original. The Okkervil River album is one of my top 5 or 10 albums of all time and I've heard the song hundreds of times. The original is pretty good as well, but it's a lot lighter feeling. That was the real stand out track for me.
Enjoyed it and was surprised at how good of an album it is because I don't ever recall hearing any of these songs along with the band (although I think this is the 2nd "Love" album on this list). Vocals are nice, but are probably the least impressive element on the album for me- specifically though the vocal performances split from the lyrics. I think the lyrics are great, the instrument performances are great, the songwriting is really surprisingly great (SO many layers and interesting turns). I think I'll have to add this album to a rotation because it doesn't let up or have any boring parts. Lmfao the lyrics. The start of "The Red Telephone" is "Sitting on a hillside, watching all the people die". Overall I liked it a lot!
"Do It Again" "Dirty Work" "Reelin' In The Years" --> are all A+ 10/10 rock songs. Jeez. I didn't know they were all on the same album! What a great album cover too. Obviously surreal and even with the title "Can't Buy A Thrill", I find it hard to understand all of the elements and why they are there. Easy 5 out of 5 for me. This album Slaps with a capital S.
"Fell In Love With A Girl" is my favorite White Stripes song, and is one of my favorite rock songs. So much crazy energy and excitement on top of a flat out simple and incredible song with just the melody and harmony. I love "Hotel Yorba" as a second track. Acoustic guitar driven but still full of movement and upbeat kick drum pedaling that doesn't stray too far from their sound while also giving some contrast. "We're Going To Be Friends" (which I've been misremembering as "I Can Tell That We Are Gonna Be Friends") is amazing. Love this album cover too. What are the people in black doing? This was their last record that was independently released- is there something here with the record industry?
Awesome futuristic jazz album that covers prog, fusion, world music, latin percussion, etc. etc. the list goes on. The (mostly fretless) bass is really the standout for me on this album. The playing is virtuosic, lyrical, technial, and just all around amazing, but that's what you should expect from one of the greatest to ever do it- Jaco Pastorius. Solid 4 out of 5. Some tracks later on tend to track a little.
Solid rock album from a solid rock band. "Been Caught Stealing" is one of the best songs of the 1990's and I would bet influenced a lot of 90's rock (as it came out in 1990). The dog barking as a rhythm is very clever and fun and it's no surprise that it was a radio favorite. More diverse album than I remember, with "Three Days" being a weird down/midtempo track that very slowly builds and contrasts the format of tracks from the rest of the album.
Immediate 5/5 for me, as it's in my personal top 10 albums of all time list. There's definitely an added bonus when you listen to this album when you come from New Jersey as there's so many ties to the state (even though it's titled after a different one altogether lol), and so many depictions that so masterfully describe scenes that people in New Jersey have had. Like in "State Trooper", where you are driving down the NJ Turnpike and begging for the cop behind you to leave you the hell alone. I think many a young person from NJ has been in this exact setting and shouted those animalistic shouts of joy that Bruce bellows at the end of the song. Or like in "Atlantic City" where a big fight is breaking out on the boardwalk, and a young man yearns for optimism while crooning over his financial shortcomings. The harmonica blows me away every time. The reverberating mandolin that comes in at the first post-chorus (around 00:53) floors me. The vocal harmonies and shouts in the outtro fadeout floor me. It's hard to pick which track is my favorite. "Nebraska" is raw yet somehow beautiful- even though the lyrics are a true story about a man who befriends/kidnaps a girl and murders 11 people with her. "State Trooper" captures a scene as truthfully as the art form ever has. I think ultimately it's "Atlantic City" because this was one of the most formative acoustic guitar driven / singer songwriter songs that influenced me to write this style of music. The album art is just beautiful too, and you definitely can judge this book (album) by it's cover- as that's what you are going to get (sonically). (I only would have maybe preferred if it was a picture of the New Jersey Turnpike, as NJ tends to be more often referenced than Nebraska on the album. But I don't know the album is called Nebraska? Hmmm. I'm conflicted.)
"Break on Through (To the Other Side)" and "Light My Fire" are bona fide rock hall of fame masterpieces. A lot of the other songs I have heard but didn't know the names. "Soul Kitchen" is fantastic and driven by yet another catchy organ riff, "Back Door Man" has such a cool chugging pushing ahead train track guitar, and "The End" is a stunning and sonically beautiful piece of music. Definite 5 out of 5 for me. The Doors are amazing. Is this their best album? I have to do some more digging on them. I did read that Paul McCartney wanted this sound to be like an "alter ego" for the Beatles and that it inspired Sgt. Peppers. That's amazing!!
"Holes" is the big opener and second biggest track on here going off of play count on Spotify. I think it sounds alright, has a cinematic sort of chord progression/melody/arrangement with a super pleasing dissonant final chord in each repeating progression. "Tonite It Shows", the second track, continues with the cinematic type of sound. Oboe, clarinet, harp, and pizzicato strings are pretty different for a singer-songwriter type of sound. I liked the album the more that I listened to it. I don't love the timbre of the singers voice, which is something I really hate saying. It simply doesn't grab my ears enough for me to want to listen again after a song finishes. It's not terrible or anything, but I think it's just a little bit uninteresting. The overall sound is nice though and I can tell that there was a lot of effort put into all of the little details on the record. If this was a simple singer-songwriter indie rockish sort of record then it would be a 2/5 for me but production and arrangement bumps it to a 3/5.
I LOVED this album when I was introduced to it (around age 12 or 13 maybe?) as it was a change for Metallica going from the thrash raw metal to a more polished catchy heavy metal sound. (For the record, I love thrash Metallica and post-thrash Metallica completely equally, but the change was refreshing) "Enter Sandman" is one of the best metal songs ever. Probably a top 5 track that people think of when they think of "heavy metal". The lead guitar is an evolution for Kirk Hammett, where he introduces a super wah-wah heavy and pentatonic guided shredfest that matches this change in Metallica's sound away from the blistering thrashy solos that came before and into a more melody driven one. "Nothing Else Matters" is another incredible track. While Metallica has a very ~serious~ sort of sound, this one comes across as even more serious, and a bit sullen. It's so dynamic in the guitar playing and composition and really captures this period of Metallica well- with these huge, epic pieces that still somehow retain catchy repeatable melodies. It's a masterpiece in how to write good metal music. The one downside of this album is that it isn't jam packed with bangers, and a few of the tracks are a little forgettable. Still a 5/5 for me though.
The singer has a similar tone to Michael Stipe of R.E.M. fame but unfortunately he doesn't have the same level of versatility or emotion involved. I feel like the vocals alone come across as kind of flat and uninteresting. The melodies are pretty straightforward and it's a lot of same-note repeating that usually is a good trick for writing a catchy chorus or something like that, but I think this band uses it too much. The most played song on the album, "If I Can't Change Your Mind" is VERY R.E.M. sounding, with the super upbeat drums and acoustic guitars that push it forward. Overall I don't love it and I question it's place on this list.
Great album that I rarely have listened to. Something that I find fucking hilarious is that for as high production as a Paul McCartney record would be, the most popular song "Band On The Run", the bass guitar (Paul's instrument) is out of tune. This happens sometimes and it's usually OK to be just a little bit because surprisingly with vibrato and layers it tends to make things sound thicker anyway, but here it is SO obvious. The song goes through a few different ~vibes~ and the one where it's most obvious is the big catchy part starting around 2:23. (I think the bass is sharp?) It's a nice album!
Excellent album that I'm really happy to see on this list. It really takes you to a place. Good music of any specific culture will tend to do that, but there are some real magical things happening here that transport me to Cuba. I'm pretty sure this is the one album that is played on loop at our local Latin restaurant. Solid all around!
Nice fun album. I think "Come on Eileen" being one of the most recognizable songs of all time helps out the rating, but I feel like it's a fair 3/5. Singer has a great voice with such an interesting primary timbre and he is obviously confident in using it and experimenting with his voice and all of this is great. "Fun" is the word that keeps coming to my head.
There are many mysteries in the universe; like what is the meaning of life? Why do we live on rocks floating around in space? Why and where did it all start? One of the most interesting to me are all of the mysteries surrounding the Beatles. Is Paul dead? Did all the Beatles die and get replaced? How did they pump out 12 studio albums of A++ material in only 7 years of activity? What's going on with this album cover? Shirley Temple is on it several times. Philosophers and psychologists appear on it. The Beatles even appear several times and not even in some hidden easter-egg sort of way. It does appear to be more than just a collage of people right? The music is fantastic. As per usual for a Beatles record it has some bonafide slappers, like "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band", "With a Little Help From My Friends", "Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds", and "A Day In The Life" (which happens to be one of my favorite Beatles songs). Even the not-smash slappers on this album have higher play counts than some other albums on this lists' top tracks. That's pretty telling. All in all, this isn't my favorite Beatles album but it's yet another masterpiece. 5/5.
Lemmy and Ginger Baker were both in this band and that's great. Even from track 2 (which is really the first track as track 1 is an intro) you can hear the big time bass driven sound. Solid rock album. I like the weird in between songs too, like "The Awakening" which is very different than the tracks around it. There's definitely some thematic space / cult stuff going on that is very interesting. This is an album I'll have to hear again to pick up all the details.
Early on in music school I learned that if you want to sound like your influences, then you should listen to your influences influences. This wasn't tied to classical music or anything actually, as this tidbit came from my friend when I told him I want to sing like Eddie Vedder and he said "you should then try to sing like who Eddie Vedder wanted to sing like". It was really interesting to me. This group and album was one of the biggest influences on one of my biggest influences in music school, a guy named Payton MacDonald (and his music group called Alarm Will Sound). The group even has a full album of Aphex Twin covers and I think at some point they worked with Payton and/or he commissioned them to write music for him to perform. Because of that I feel like a sort of connected lineage to the group in inspiration. I love the album, I love their sound, and I'm just into it. The first track, "Xtal" carries so much emotion. Sometimes I think about how limited synths are and digital sounds altogether. They are innately robotic, innately inhuman. I know I'm wrong when I think that, but it pops up in my head sometimes. I think that the next time it does however I'll throw on "Xtal" and prove myself wrong. For videogame soundtracks I tend to write a lot of atmospheric synth music for in between scenes, and I think they capture the mood of "melancholic" really as good as you can do it. Overall, easy 5/5 for me. It's so much more than just an electronic music album.
Very cool sound and not what I was expecting from the album cover. I love it. Very cool and has a tinge of "badass" in that guitar throughout the album. This is a really cool addition to the list and I'd love to hear more of him. "Taj Mahal" and "Ponta De Lanca Africano" are early favorites!
I want to really like this but it doesn't do much for me. I'm sure it was influential at the time but I can't help to have large swaths of boredom throughout. My favorite part was at last 15 seconds of "Sixyten", where there is some syncopated synths that throw off an already established rhythmic set of ideas. Everything up until this point is pretty repetitive, a little predictive, and straightforward. Unfortunately the part only lasts for about 15-20 seconds. I think at the time this might have been more of an exploration of classical "new music" with some minimalism as this is what this sounds like, but a more tame version. I've heard people say that they love this band, so I'm sure they are influential and maybe it's just this album that doesn't blow me away.
Nice album cover. It's very simple but the band name and album title really fit in there perfectly. This surprised me as it came ~out ~of ~nowhere. Never heard of the band or album or any of these songs. It's a nice sound. Came out in 1990 but still has that hangover from the 1980s soft vocals like The Cure. Overall I really liked it.
Beautiful voice, beautiful writing, beautiful music, beautiful album. Absolutely timeless. Enjoyed throughout, wouldn't give it anything but a 5/5.
90's grunge was jam packed with incredible bands. I used to say that "Alice in Chains are the most underrated grunge band" and then I would say "Stone Temple Pilots are the most underrated grunge band" and then I would say "Nirvana are actually the most underrated grunge band" "No wait it's Pearl Jam- yes, the massively famous band Pearl Jam are underrated". All of those statements are true. I have so many great memories with this band and this album. Track 1- "Them Bones" was the first guitar solo I ever learned. Accomplishing it was a true euphoric moment in my life. Track 4- "Down In A Hole" was the teenage depression anthem in my house for both my brother and I in those early teen years. I think it's one of the best songs ever about depression. Track 13- "Would" is so heavy and catchy and MASSIVE sounding. It's also a song that is serious yet the music video has this one funny moment in it - at 3:20 when Layne turns to the camera and says "WOULD" (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nco_kh8xJDs) and my friends and I used to mimic it every time we would say the word "would" There's so much weight in the songs, such a heavy production that compliments the arrangements so damn well. The melodies are genuinely catchy like pop songs, but are in minor keys and covered by distorted guitars and raspy voices. The vocal harmonies are SO impressive and different for grunge/rock music. I have yet to hear a rock/metal band do harmonies like Alice in Chains. Dirt is a 5/5 for me and possibly one of my top 10 albums of all time. Layne was a gift, Jerry Cantrell is a gift, Sean Kinney is a gift, Mike Inez is a gift. AIC is a GIFT!
A+ 5/5 album. Amazing classic rock album that is so important to the history of American rock music. Melodies are timeless, instrumentation, arrangements, and performances are timeless. This is an album for a time capsule. I love CCR and this album is absolutely killer.
Sexy music, very easy to listen to. I think it deserves a place on this list, but the one downside is that it's almost ~too~ easy listening. I find that can be the case with some genres like smooth RnB, and light jazz, and I've heard him before but didn't expect it to be this laid back. It's still a great sound, but the songs all kind of blend together. I think some of it's downfall is the proliferation of choruses where the backup singers sing the main hook and he riffs behind them. It's a great sound but definitely overdone on the album. I think it's a strong 3, like closer to a 3.8, so I'm giving it a 4.
Some of these albums are so susprising to me in many ways, and one of those facets that continues to surprise me is in the play counts. On this record, the first track has 37 million plays (per Spotify). All of the remaining ~20 or so tracks combined don't even come close to that. It makes me wonder if people bought this album, put it on, and then didn't get too far past the first track in both a positive and negative way? Like they enjoyed the track SO much that it was the sole reason for them coming back to re-playing the album, and/or the rest of the album doesn't even come close to comparing to track 1? Other then that not a ton stood out to me. I wonder if this is a cultural folk album that people love? Almost like "Come on Eileen"? I thought the singer had a pretty nice voice but at times it was a little cheesy for me. The drummer had some nice moments as well. Overall I think this might be one of the more forgetful ones on the list for me. Might have caught me at the wrong time / listening mood.
It's a timeless album by a timeless band. I always revered Pink Floyd but also appreciated them at a distance. Personally I love concept albums, but for some reason I never liked how their albums felt like they took effort to understand when you listen. There's always so much space and introductions and outtroductions, and this album is the same.. I think it's just a different time period though; for them, this was the era of vinyl records when the consumer buys one, puts it on the living room record player, and sits and puts most if not all of their attention to it. Nowadays this looks different, as I often listen to these records on this list while doing at a minimum of one other thing, like the dishes or writing emails. Hard for me to be doing the dishes and conceptualize what the helicopter sounds mean without searching the internet for a dissertation on the helicopter sounds. Regardless, these three songs warrant a very high rating for the album. Another Brick in the Wall Pt 2 Comfortably Numb Hey You I think it's a mid 4, like 4.5. Not high enough of a 4 for a 5. Dark Side of the Moon is probably a 5.
Really incredible album that I have not listened to enough. This comes up on "top albums of all time" lists very often, but more when it's like "top 10" or "top 100". The songwriting is so spectacularly great and is my favorite facet of the impressive album. The songs are fun, timeless, and thoroughly enjoyable to hear in any situation in life. Easy 5/5!
Very romantic, and sexy record. Probably the #1 record that most people think of when they think of sexy music. It's in the title. Marvin Gaye has a wonderful, soulful, buttery smooth voice. Easy 5/5
Cool overall sound that can be a little abrasive at times in a good way. Feels like some proto punk type of sound even though this was released in 1979 and probably just towards the end of proto punk. One thing I would have liked more was if they changed their sounds across the board across the album. It sounds like they recorded all of the vocals on the same day, in the same room, with the same energy level, etc etc. This is something I read once about Pearl Jam focusing on- like how they would intentionally change knobs / settings on guitar amps and move microphones even slightly just so that each song would get it's own kind of sonic placement within itself. I love the album cover and the words on it. Very interesting. Middle 3/5 for me.
The first 2 tracks of this album weren't available on Spotify so I went and found them on YouTube. Interesting that this is most likely the shortest album on the list so far, and if it isn't then it's definitely the shortest track-amount wise. Nice album overall, gives off classical "new music" vibes to me. Early synth work in this space with lots of repetition for an output that is meditative and reflective. Slightly boring.
Not a bad album. Kind of like an over the top rock musical event. I think the sound overall is good but I've never been a huge fan of the band and this album continues in that. The singer's voice is a little whimpery and I think that they suffer from this thing that happens in software development- called "feature creep" where they lost in the big ideas a bit too much. It's always been my gripe with the band and this album generally has the same issue.
I totally respect Tom Petty as an icon of American music, but he's never been a favorite of mine. I think a lot of his hits have really similar ideas (particularly in the choruses), and the production- specifically in songwriting elements and arrangements always left a lot to be desired for me. Plus his voice just didn't do that thing for me that it did for so many other people. Man the first song his voice is super grating. Damn. I think it's like some Beatles-homage (early Beatles)? Not a particularly pleasing sound on the ears though. The second track, "Breakdown", is much much more easy on the ears. Got that kind of Thin Lizzy / Phil Lynott sound to it (fun fact I just learned- this album came out only 7 months after Thin Lizzy's most famous album, "Jailbreak"). I think overall it's a strong 3/5 for me. It's hard to write anything negative though while looking at the album cover, what a damn handsome dude.
So many good tracks. Easy 5/5 for me. His cover of "Hurt" is one of the most heart-wrenching songs of all time. I also particularly love the cover of "Personal Jesus". I think he did an amazing job at taking other songs that he didn't write and elevating them in his own way. This was an album I listened to a lot with my brother as we grew up big Cash fans and knew that with every release in this time period he was getting older and closer to death. So sad that his wife June passed less than a year after this was released, and then he passed a few months after her. Two absolute American icons!
Kind of forgettable record for me. There's some Middle-Eastern elements in there that make it pretty unique sounding but overall it doesn't stick much for me. I kind of found it hard to connect with and figure out what they were going for, and this left a gap that made me want more cohesion than I got. I liked "Everyman's an island", which felt like a 90's version of a 70's crime fighting movie music.
Pretty straightforward grungy rock album. Even though it definitely has an indie feel to it I am really let down by the production. It sounds so weak and flat. I felt that in the intro track and was hoping that it was just the intro track being a bit of an appetizer for the rest of the album, but as soon as I heard the second song I felt kind of "meh". Everything was kind of middling and average? I didn't love it.
I didn't love the singing voice but I gotta admit by the end of track 1 I was groovin and jammin a bit! "Couldn't Love You More" is such a wonderful song. I used to listen to a singer named Marcus Foster sing that song a lot and I hadn't heard it in years before this album came up on this list. It was really nice to be reconnected with that track. Interesting album cover. I love the composition of the diagonal line going across the artwork. 3/5!
Really wasn't expecting the first song's medieval folk sound to start and then the switch around the 1:30 mark into a crazy modern neo-soul guitar and drum part and then a minute later into a prog shred fest. Wow this really blew me away! The transitions from there don't really relent, it just keeps pushing forward and kind of doesn't let you get a breath of air. This could be a downside but in my listening experience I really enjoyed it. I don't think it's an album I would listen to frequently but man did I enjoy it. Real surprise for me here as I never heard of this record before seeing it on this list. It's very ambitious and dynamic and exciting. Will gladly go back and put it on randomly.
It's a pretty tight album, I found myself expecting more from it though. It's got that British edge to it at times and also has some beauty in melodies here and there. The singer has a great voice that is so memorable. I really liked "Star Shaped". Like a lot of their songs, the singers voice has this "mocking" sort of tone but it sounds great in this track. The break in this with the acoustic guitar and synth is one of my favorite parts on the record. I kind of felt like I wanted more from the record, which is surprising given that it's 2 hours and 18 minutes long. Maybe it needed to not be spread so far?
Very cool drum n bass rnb record. I enjoyed it. Production was fresh (for a 22 year old album), performances were cool. Hard to try to break it down and understand what was done "in the box" and what wasn't but maybe that's more fun to not know what was sampled and what wasn't. I think drum n bass deserves some spots on this list but I question whether this is one of the best ever. 3/5 for me!
This was really good. I like this band and have only gone through like 20% of their discography but man did I enjoy this one. I've heard some of their records full through and many of their singles on solo plays but actually none of these songs before today/yesterday. There is so much thought put into every detail. Jeff Tweedy is an indie legend and writes so thoughtfully. I feel like for me this is a high 4/5 but I'm realizing that I'm only giving 5/5 to like super legendary albums for me but I think it's time that I round up at times, because the only thing keeping high 4/5 albums from being legendary 5/5's is the passing of time for an album to solidify that status. 5/5 then!
Cool sound, very ~videogame-OST~ sounding. A little dated in it's "coolness" I would say though. This came out in 1994 and these sounds are definitely ones that I would use for a retro videogame type of sound. The songs do flow into each other nicely. Overall it's sort of repetitive. I know that's typical of this genre but I didn't love it. I kind of hate the album cover. The cars surrounding the walkman-person are interesting but the character is just so goofy looking.
"Somebody to Love" and "White Rabbit" are both American classics. I think the rest of the album is good and bordering on great. Because of those two tracks I feel that this album definitely deserves a spot on this list, and is a solid 3/5 for me.
Awesome album. So many Thin Lizzy hits on this record and I was first thinking that it was surprising that if there's only one Thin Lizzy album on this list that it would be a live one, but it makes sense because this set list was jam packed. "Jailbreak" "Rosalie / Cowgirls Song" "Still in Love with You" "The Boys are Back in Town" are all great. I don't think I've heard this record before but I think it's going to become my primary listen when I am like "ooh I need to listen to Thin Lizzy!". Phil Lynott was a king.
I'm specifically giving this a really good deep listen because I've never listened to a Madonna album start to finish. Track 1 starts a little slow but I like the build up around the 4 minute mark. Definitely has some vibe in it and isn't just straightforward vanilla pop which is nice and unexpected. Production is really tight as I figured, and does some cool stuff that again I wasn't considering a Madonna record would have- like how some songs are very "grey" sounding and not so black or white. The second track, "Swim" is a good example of this as it's just vibey and lacks typical pop tension/release elements. "Candy Perfume Girl" had some interesting beeps and boops that I liked, along with some cool static sounds layered with the drumset that really made some sounds stand out. I didn't love the song itself though. Switching to "Candy Perfume Boy" at around the 3/4 mark just seemed weird to me. "Ray of Light" i've heard about a million times on the radio in the late 90's when it came out. Surprisingly I knew all of the lyrics without having heard the song in 15+ years. "Skin" was a low point in the album for me. Corny and awkward lyrics, and a cheesy instrumental behind her voice. Lots of songs sort of glide into eachother without big distinctions in them, which I'm conflicted on if I like or not. 3/5 right down the middle for me. Madonna is an American icon and deserves a spot on this list- I will be interested to see if she has another album pop up.
So many fun & hard hitting songs on this album and it's no surprise that they have such a cult following. Album is solid, not too much that I don't like on it. I feel like they have a few songs that I know that are pretty memorable and when I listened to this album it surprisingly felt like they blended together and it wasn't jam packed with standout moments. That could be just the circumstances of where I was when I was listening to the album though, which is a pretty common concept when album listening on this list. For me it's between a 3 and a 4 but leaning more 3 so 3 it shall be.
Excellent experience. "Song 2" is a modern classic. It's catchy and raucously fun and so memorable. If you were alive in the 1990's or ever watched atleast 5 movies from the 90's (because I wager that 1 in every 5 had this song in it) then you heard this song and thought it was sick. Unfortunately I don't think any other song on the record comes even close to it. "Beetlebum", the opener, is funny and definitely interesting and is the second-most played song on the album, but doesn't capture that magic that "Song 2" does. "Theme from Retro" is trippy in both writing and production. It sounds cool and is a nice contrast from the first 4 tracks as it sounds nothing like them while also remaining consistent inside their overall sound. "Death of a Party" is also similar- as it stands out with some sounds that are foreign to the rest of the record but not so far that it is an unwelcome contrast. Overall I enjoyed it. 4/5 I think? Maybe like a 3.9. It sounds great and is dynamic, but man am I just constantly reminded that nothing on the record comes close to one single song. Is that a bad thing? That a solid band happened to write an incredible song? That sounds like a good thing right?
I've heard this name before but never really listened to the music. To me at times it's like Beatles-y in writing, structure, and production. Which is a good thing! I like the seemingly random production elements - like the sound of machinery?!? in the start of "Driving Along". The songs felt short to me but they were all around the standard ~3:00 minutes in duration. Maybe that's a sign that I was enjoying it! Highlights: "Gotta Get Up" - overall nice song and i love the wacky ending. "Let the Good Times Roll" - big fan of letting good times roll here. "Early in the Morning" feels like a fever dream to me. Just comes across as a short weird repetitive vignette (in a good way!) Funny album title!
Somehow I missed this band and never really listened to them. Highlights: "What Goes On" - specifically the cacophonous guitars around the 1:05 mark. These were cool and the song structure underneath was very typical rock type stuff- with a V-IV-I progression and it was cool to hear some experimental guitars on top of that to contrast. "Pale Blue Eyes" - I think this is the big one and I'm not surprised. Pretty song that continues the drone~y repeats of the previous song, "Some Kinda Love". I really enjoyed the minimalism and simplicity. The album was more low key than I thought it would be. I thought this band was like a raucous, wild, indie-rock before indie-rock-was-a-thing type of band, but maybe that's more in other albums or maybe i was just misled. Either way I liked the sound! I listened to a majority of it loud.
Some of the best rock and roll guitar playing ever! I love the idea of two leads. Their guitarring to me always congealed into a wonderfully solid musical engine, with tasteful playing, strong dynamics, and super lyrical phrasing and bends. I always remember this album as being their first live one, with so much energy and excitement, but also sadly that this was the last release that Duane Allman was on (maybe he was on some later ones for a previously recorded track here or there) because he died shortly after this was released. I restarted my computer and lost some of what I wrote which is a bummer, but long story short I think it's a really solid classic rock album.
The name of this song is "Solsbury Hill?" wow ok! I checked Spotify to make sure it wasn't glitching out and playing a different track hahah. Yea this song is a 5/5. Unfortunately Spotify started this album in shuffle mode so after the wild first track with weird guttural vocals it went to the rockin track 6, "Slowburn". The contrast wasn't bad or anything, and I think it would have been just as much of a leap as track 1 to track 2, "Solsbury Hill". I really hate accidental shuffle. I love the instrumentation on "Excuse Me". Love a good tuba oompah sound. Really enjoyed the album full through!
Though short, I thought it was great! I know Kraftwerk are like THE original influential synth music maker people and I've heard some of their tracks but not this album. It was enjoyable! More listenable than I thought. I figured it would be experimental and minimal but it actually had some great moments- like the fantastic pop song "The Model". high 3/5 for me. Not quite 4 but if I'm sure people who love electronic music LOVE them.
Stunner of an album. "Bridge Over Troubled Water" "Cecilia" "The Boxer" -> are all absolute beautiful and timeless pieces of music. I love how songs from this act / these performers never feel formulaic to me. Sometimes I'll hear one of their hits and be like "man this is so unique inside of their sound". I love it. Strong 4/5 for me
Interesting album, definitely trying to convey one overarching message across the release. I kind of feel like this genre should be called something like "music-to-be-sampled". Each track gives me a vibe like it's meant to have something else on top, like a lead vocal line or even some rapping. The tracks that do have some lead vocals in them come across as pretty repetitive. "Wildfires" was a cool track, with more typical structure of a pop song. I liked the album more as it went on. I think the earlier songs having a more background-music type of sound led me to get off on the wrong foot. It felt long but it wasn't, it just had a ton of very short tracks which kind of validated my idea of music-for-sampling. I think a high 2/5 and close enough to a 3 to warrant it.
Yes is cool. I love the band name of "Yes". I think sometimes they fall into the trap of being progressive for the sake of being progressive and it doesn't always help their songwriting. This is a touchy topic because there's really many arguments for both sides of the argument; like "well prog-rock is their genre, so why shouldn't they be proggy?". I think I agree on both sides but lean towards the former argument rather than the latter. To be fair, I think it's incredibly difficult to be a proggy band and tastefully make progressive music. This album starts with some of the issues that I frequently see in prog music. It's exciting! But it's also manic. Music has so many differences in listening experiences and sometimes I want to groove on a track while focusing on something else, and sometimes I want to sit and listen to a band like Yes and put all of my attention into the music. It's hard to objectively rate an album like this when I'm not in the exact mood that the music ~sort of~ needs. I'm currently sick with a cold that I suspect is more than a cold and I have no energy and it's physically hard to stare at my computer screen and write this while listening to the music because if I put too much thought into the words I'm writing then I'm missing out on a key change or a meter change or a groove change that turns into a keyboard solo. I'm currently writing this at the last 30 seconds of track 1 and it's an Allman Brothers esque guitar shred part that is now turning into an ascending circus synth to end the song and now - it's track 2 and we are immediately onto a folk blues acoustic guitar solo? I can't catch my breath enough to hear any of the melodies and harmonies because my attention is forced onto the tonal qualities and instrumentation. It probably comes across as hating on the band but it's not really my intent. I think this music is really high class performing and wildly impressive for 1971. Ultimately, I enjoyed the album. Personally it's not my super duper favorite, so I'm giving it a 4/5 but it's like a 4.1.
Wow I am thoroughly surprised and elated that Sepultura have an album on this list. I bet if you polled death metal bands/players today, 99% of them would mention Sepultura as being an influence to them. I personally have several old band members that have Sepultura tattoos! They are great. Really amazing. Brazilian trailblazers that brought tribal rhythms to thrashy guitars and guttural, animalistic vocals. This album is the start of a 3-record span of albums that really blew open death/thrash metal- "Arise" "Chaos AD" and "Roots". While I'm REALLY glad there is a Sepultura album on here, I think that "Chaos AD" or "Roots" would have been better choices. Both of those are more refined (in a good way- you can make an argument that says "why would I want "refined" when I'm looking for animalistic thrash music?", but I promise it's better) and I think would have been better picks. SDA- if you never heard of Sepultura, listen to the track "Territory" on Chaos AD- specifically the drum solo intro. To me that captures everything about Sepultura in about 60 seconds of music. Actually listen to the whole track, it's got great lyrics (about tyranny and oppression ofc), guitar solos, everything. Speaking of guitar solos and performances, it's so funny to say but in the realm of heavy metal, this band is so tasteful. None of the members step on eachother's toes, none of them overdo anything and none of them under do (if overdo is a word then why isn't underdo) anything. They understand when there should be breaths in music- something that is the bane of many metal bands. With all of that being said, I think this album is a 3/5, and the two following albums are 4/5's. I would love if "Chaos AD" was on this list in place of "Arise".
Solid Album! "Do You Wanna Dance" is probably a top 100 song of all time for me. I love the timpani- such an unexpected instrument to add in rock music, and it itself adds so much power to the song. "Help Me, Rhonda" slays. It's overall very good. Not the best Beach Boys record ever, but really solid.
Very enjoyable album. Janis Joplin has one of the coolest and most badass voices of all time and she could sing a dictionary to my ear's content. "Piece of My Heart" is one of the best classic rock / rock songs of all time.
I swear, Beastie Boys have been popping up in my life SO much recently. Like four or five times I've heard someone mention them within the past month. Glad we got them on here! This album is killer. "Sabotage" could be a solo song on an album and it would have a spot on this list because of how great it is. Wow, listening to this album I am continually blown away. Genre-bending, exciting, funky, authentic, raw, and fun. It's not even that the music switches genres and it's amazing for doing that; each genre is done so impressively well, and somehow they manage to keep it all in one consistent sound in the context of the rest of the record. This is such an easy 5/5 for me. One of my favorites so far.
Both of these acts are super respected but I never really listened to them too much. I think David Byrne is great and loved what I've heard in Talking Heads. Brian Eno I know less about but I know that he is revered as an experimental guitarist and that is definitely on display on this album. In Track 1, "America Is Waiting", I really liked the minor tonality sad synth that is played behind the wild rhythmic elements in the foreground for the second half of the song. It added a layer of intrigue. I think it comes in around 1:38. Track 2, "Mea Culpa", also has a darker synth layer behind the focal point elements in the foreground. The synth behind these is dark, tense, and full of staccato stabs that push this tension further along- that I think the foreground layers wouldn't totally convey alone. Track 3, "Regiment", was a nice change to the tension. Here we have a very sweet funky bass groove that sits really nicely in the pocket of some reverbed out minimal drums. Vocal riffs were a fun and unexpected change too. After some middle eastern (or Indian? I think that was a Tabla?) timbres in Track 4, by Track 5 I didn't know what was coming next. This concept continued throughout the record and resulted in a really pleasing listening experience! It's a bit cacophonous in a good way, but like most experimental music it is kind of tied to it's time period and as exploration happens, the idea of "experimental" becomes more normal, and after time it turns old experimental art into dated art. I kind of feel that way with this record (and others on this list have had this issue as well). Looking at it from a different vantage point- a "Dan shut up and enjoy it" perspective, I found it to be enjoyable once I shut up and let myself enjoy it. It's silly, goofy, fun, energetic, and still has a surprising amount of depth. This was a great album to put on and go along for the ride. Not quite a 4/5, but a high 3/5.
I've heard of her before but never listened on my own. I felt like the album was just OK. Maybe she is very influential and thus warrants a spot on this list, and this is one of the better of her albums? I really didn't love her voice. There's this concept in singing that I think about sometimes, where the anatomical sum of someone's voice can lead to them just not having an attractive singing voice- regardless of training and practice. It's just that they don't have a voice that attracts people on a more objective level than "well it's just not your preference", and I kind of feel like she has that. I think that a lot of indie rock acts have singers that "put on" a voice in order to make their voice interesting. Which is fine! But with her I just find her voice to be kind of dull, and the music doesn't do enough to pick up the slack. I think this is really prominent in track 4, "Could've Been Anyone", where it has a fun 90's sampled drum n bass groove to start, then a big room drumset rock sound smashes through and the energy quickly builds and then..... oh.. her voice comes in and the air is kind of taken out of the room. It's almost like the band is jamming together in one room and she is in another building. It sounds like it's produced like that and thus, it feels like that. Looking at the album in context, this came out in 1993. Also in 1993 was In Utero, Siamese Dream, Enter the Wu-Tang, Bjork's Debut. Doggystle - Snoop Dogg. Some singles from 1993: "I Will Always Love You" - Whitney Huston, "Can't Help Falling In Love" - UB40, "I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)" - The Proclaimers. Looking at this is context, the sound on this album just feels kind of pedestrian to me. Those other records that came out that year are probably on this list and in my opinion blow this record out of the water. Grasping at some positives here, I thought "4th of July" was a nice track. The downtempo ballad was nice and I liked it here early in the album (but not too early!). Bass playing was really tastefully done, and I enjoyed the other instruments like the synths and vibraphone. Her voice comes across nice here as well. I think it fits these ballad type of tracks better than the rock band arrangements, and I found these tracks to be the better ones on the album, like "Mr. Harris", "I know there's a word", "I've Had It" - which btw how can I not love a song with lyrics like : "And dan came in from jersey He went to get the drums And if buddy ever comes we can get if off the ground" I ended up liking the second half of this album much more than the first half, and I'm not surprised because there's so many more slower ballad like songs on the second half, but I am surprised that the album has such a big "first half / second half" contrast. I tend to write these in a James Joyce-ian stream of consciousness style and I started thinking this album was going to unfortunately be another 1 on the list, but then it built up to a 2, and now I'm giving it a 3. But it's a middling 3, like a 3.0. The second half saved it. I'm going to listen to some of her other music to see if she has more softer arrangements- because the ones with a more rock sound really didn't grab me.
Exciting, fun, and energetic. James Brown oozes stage presence and I feel like without even having the visual component you can still get a sense for what the performance was like. Overall very enjoyable.
Killer album, unfortunately a bit on the shorter end. "Shining Star" "That's the Way of the World" "Reasons" are all slammers. Earth Wind & Fire are always a band that I can put on in any mood, any setting, and enjoy it. Going out with friends? Put on "September" and start grooving while you are getting ready. Romantic night in with your boo? Put on any album. Raging with friends into the early morning? Put on "September" again and scream your lungs out. This album maintains that effect- these songs I could play anytime, anywhere.
I was really surprised to see Sigur Ros on this list! I used to listen to them a lot and really enjoyed their sound. This isn't my favorite recording and is a little straightforward and less dynamic than some of their other records. Regardless, I do appreciate it for what it is. I hope they appear on the list again.
Great opener. I like Dylan when he is louder and showing more energy and I love a good strong opener like "Tangled up in Blue". "Idiot Wind" has some Dylan tropes (for lack of a better word) that I don't particularly like- like these little end-of-phrase SHOUTS at higher pitches that I always found to be kind of annoying. 2:25-2:30 the lyric "are", 2:38 "stars". I think they are kind of like an easy way out of a phrase when he can't figure out what to do with the end of a melody. i do really like the lyrics and performance though and overall the song is too good to be brought down by these little vocal things that I don't personally love. I like the next track, "You're Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go". The guitar work is impressive and uses more color chords (sus2 and sus4's) which is atypical for really straightforward folk singer-songwriter music. The closer, "Buckets of Rain", was a nice track to hear while sitting next to an open window with an all-day rain. Nice to have something related to rain / a rainy day and not be either jazz or gloomy. Overall, this is a great Dylan album. Middle/high 4/5.
Wow I'm really surprised this album is only 36 minutes long. That seems very short. "School's Out" is such a wild, rebellious, youthful anthem. The topic is such a specific one, and I can't think of any song since that captures that feeling better than this one. Unfortunately the rest of the album isn't even as close to as good as "School's Out" but I think that's more of a testament to how good of a song that is moreso than that the other songs are not good. Nice bass playing on "Gutter Cat vs. The Jets"- it's definitely the focal point of this song and very forward in the mix, which was a nice surprise. Great vocals on "Blue Turk" - it almost sounds like a different singer than Alice cooper but I couldn't find more information on whether it was him or a different band member. I really love the piano walkup lines on "My Stars" around the 4:00 minute mark. Really pretty and surprising. The whole ending is great.
Love the blank sheet music album cover. I liked the energy of the first song - it felt like a continuous building of excitement. Loved the full drumset entrance at 7:00 minutes. Really transformed the song. Big fan of the xylophone in "The Sad Skinhead". Also didn't expect vocals- I wasn't sure if this was an instrumental only group. Overall I thought it was OK. 3/3
"Heads Will Roll" is my second favorite Yeah Yeah Yeah's track, and I think it's a seminal song in the world of indie rock. It really captures their exciting, edgy yet clean sound, and excitement from Karen O who I think is infinitely cool and impressive. The rest of the album is tight. I think their hits tend to stand out a bit for this band- more than the average band that has really big songs. I liked it, but maybe not enough for a 5/5.
I'm surprised this is the first U2 on this list! Unless I'm mistaken? I think U2 are great. I think some of their hits are some of the rest rock songs of all time. This album has all of the elements that make U2 great- good groove riffs, super tight performances, heartfelt vocals, outside-the-box guitar playing, and hooks. "One Love" is a great song that anyone who is a fan of any genre can listen to and say "hey yea I know that chorus!" "Mysterious Ways" is a song that I am tormented with that is genuinely stuck in my head on repeat when I hear it for like a year after hearing it so I'm cursed now until 2024. Overall I think it's a high 4/5. It's close to being a 5 but it's just shy of that "legendary" mark that I've been reserving for the 5's.
The whole album is obviously a commentary on some world/societal topics. Lots of lyrics about abuse from cops- I'm up to track 4 and I think I've heard a lyric about that in 3 songs so far. There's this thing that pervades in Frank Zappa projects that just sort of annoys me... so much of his music comes across as weirdly pompous, even though his whole shtick is that he makes experimental music and fights conventionality (which is usually attractive to me). I don't fully understand why I feel this way, and to be honest I've probably only heard maybe like a third of his released material across all of his projects so maybe I'm not well versed enough to give it an objective critique. I feel this in this release too. There's just these overwhelming concepts that I feel like are just being screamed at me from Zappa / the band. "THIS IS ART." "LISTEN TO OUR ART AND FEEL SOMETHING." "OUR ALBUM COVER IS LIKE SGT. PEPPERS." "LOOK AT ME IN A DRESS ON THE ALBUM COVER." Maybe it's because I'm in a great mood and I don't feel like ingesting art that is critiquing everything, but in the simplest form of experiencing music, this just isn't enjoyable for me to listen to. There's a lyric on track 7, "Harry, You're a Beast": "You paint your head Your mind is dead You don't even know what I just said That's you, American womanhood" [then burping pig sounds, cacophonous chimes] "You're phony on top, you're phony underneath You lay in bed & grit your teeth" I just, I dunno man. Maybe if the music here was some amazing melody or some really incredibly written hook or something I would enjoy this part, but I can't help but think "who hurt you?". I do understand the idea that this was experimental at the time, and also could be seen as a form of "punk" music in a rebellious sense and without typical punk timbres like distorted guitars, fast drums, and aggressive vocals. It's outsider (ish)! It's the artists saying "we are seeing things in the world that we don't like and we are using our music as a vehicle to express these feelings" and I respect and appreciate that. It's interesting to me that an overarching theme in this listening project is the listener's context in experiencing the music. On a different day, maybe I would be enjoying this more- even now, I'm listening to track 9, "Absolutely Free", and it is cool sounding. It has meter changes, interesting melodies, instrumentation at times that isn't what I would expect for the 1960's (like the ending 20 seconds of music). But I guess that's just part of the experience and listener context is inherent, ubiquitous, and unavoidable. I read that Jimi Hendrix on the album cover (far right) is actually him in person. I just gotta give it a 1/5.
In continuing the trend of the listener's contextual experience highly influencing a rating, here's Eric Clapton... who I've appreciated my whole life up until the last three or four years, where his anti vaccine anti lock down and rampant racism has soured his legendary persona for me. I like Clapton's sound in both guitar playing and vocals, I really love Cream, but my current context is that I don't like the man and that is almost an immediate barrier that disallows me from giving a high rating. Thankfully this album was just OK and wouldn't have gotten a super high rating anyway. On the positive, "I Shot The Sheriff" is a fantastic cover of the original by Bob Marley. It maintains the reggae fun while adding in some harmonies and more guitarring as you would expect. It's almost a little too faithful to the original- usually I like it when an artist covers a track and deviates more from the original to put their own spin on it. This track is really the highlight of the album, and I'm not sure if this album would be on the list if that track wasn't on it. I would also be very surprised if this was the only Clapton solo album on this list. It's like a 2/5 ish for me.
Production is super tight for 1978 (ah crap I'm listening to the remastered version), and the songwriting is great. I always loved how Debby Harry had this badass-ness about her. Man she is gorgeous too. "One Way or Another" is such an American classic. I feel like I have only ever heard this song through a crappy car radio and never though studio monitors- it sounds so sick! Overall I enjoyed it. I think it's a solid 4.
Solid tasteful album. Monk is a king among kings, and Sonny Rollins is a king among kings. This album is really great and I can't stop saying "tasteful". They use plenty of dissonances but only when needed. They confidently move between modern jazz and classic jazz, with an approach that to me feels like classic structures with modern ideas. I love the vibraphone / idiophone instrument throughout the album, and everything is really stellar.
Really tight, impressive album. Mark Knopfler's guitar playing is legendary and yet still underrated. His guitar tone and phrasing are some of the best ever in rock music and this album showcases that in what I (and probably many others think) is their best song - Sultans of Swing. The album outside of that track is more vibey than I thought and while it's not as immensely impactful as Sultans of Swing, it's still very good. 4/5 but it's like a 4.3/5 on my "actual" score.
"Blitzkrieg Bop" is probably one of the more famous punk songs of all time and is definitely one of the few songs I think of when I think of this era of "classic" punk. Ramones are great. The rest of the album is great but not nearly as catchy. I think the first 4 or 5 tracks are the strongest ones and it kind of falls out after that. Still a really solid record and a 4/5 for me.
Nice diverse album. It starts off strong with arguably the best song as the first one, "I Saw the Light", and then gets a bit weaker as it goes on. Singer has a nice voice that fit really well in this time period. Production is a little hot and cold though- listening to Track 3 "Wolfman Jack" into Track 4 "Cold Morning Light", you can hear a surprisingly audible change in master volume. The record felt a little bit long for me. By the end I was losing a bit of interest. The final track had some interesting lyrics... I found it pretty funny to consider backup singers singing the chorus harmonies "she may be a slut but she looks good to me" like sheesh louish.
Killer American icon band and American classic. Steeped in blues rock and soul and yet still edgy at times and rounded off with the super tight crunchy vocals of John Fogerty - this band is one of my favorites of all time. "Born on the Bayou" and "Proud Mary" are true legendary tracks in rock music. This band and album are just tied into the heart of American sounds and culture and I love it. This is such an enjoyable album to put on no matter what you are doing. Active or passive listening- it doesn't matter! "Good Golly Miss Molly" --> sweet fretless bass. Hard to hear at first! Yea this is an easy 5/5 for me.
This is Gab and I's favorite Christmas album! I also think this is maybe the 3rd album on this list that is a contender for 10 favorite albums for me. (Others- Nirvana Unplugged, Bruce - Nebraska). Gab had a vinyl copy of this (that I think was from her grandmother) that had a wonderful warble to it on a few songs and we 100% hear those warbles when we listen to them out in the wild, like on the radio. We love it and have since gotten a new copy of the vinyl but definitely still love the warbly flaws. I always think about Phil Spector when I hear this album- how pivotal he was to pushing the limits of modern recording technology and how so much of current recording trends are because of him; but at the same time he's a murderer. Yikes. Regardless, this is a 5/5 for me.
JAY-Z's got a great sound. It's super clean and professional and seemingly without any questionable choices; everything fits into his sound and it all makes sense. With that being said I actually very rarely listen to his music outside of the singles that pop up from time to time, so this was nice to sit down and go through one of his albums from start to finish. Overall I thought it was pretty good and the bigger songs "Izzo" "Renegade" "Heart of the City" all warrant a 4/5!
Awesome Bowie album. It's a little bit straightforward(?) for how diverse his sound can get, but I think that that's more of a compliment to have eclectic he was as an artist. Overall it's very enjoyable, easy to listen to, and tightly packed with good ideas and songs.
Fun funk music that grabs you right from the first track. I find it hard to dislike this sort of music and it's a little bit of a double edged sword because I struggle with discerning the good from the bad in this genre often. The positive here is that it makes a lot of funk music (that doesn't have particularly standout elements like experimentation / phenomenal songwriting) good. The negative is that it can make the really great stuff a little watered down for me. Lyrics are definitely dated, with some hard N words thrown around in the second track but hard for me as a caucasian man to say that at the time this was a faux pas or anything. This was also the only track that I didn't really love. I do however really love track 3, "Pap Was a Rollin' Stone". It's got that great 70's wah-wah heavy wacka wacka guitar parts, along with some beautifully intriguing electric piano and rounded off with strings and reverb heavy brass. I could listen to this song every day for a few months without getting sick of it I think. Overall pretty solid effort.
I'm super happy that Outkast has a record on this list. So revered in modern hip hop, so fun, so energetic, so confident without being cocky- there's so much to like. Hearing "So Fresh, So Clean" for the first time in probably like 15+ years I'm actually just slightly little let down though. The chorus is great, but I remembered it being more than just a super catchy chorus. All of the verses and in-between parts are really subpar compared to the great hook. Having "Ms. Jackson" right after on the track list definitely absolves any issues I have hahaha. This track is so good, and solidifies why this album deserves a spot on this list (these two tracks being 2 out of 3 of their best tracks- with the other of course being "Hey Ya!"). Love the vibe in this one, love the lyrics. Overall its really tight. A 4/5 for me.
I really find this MSPAINT-ish album cover to be interesting. It's so grotesquely intriguing. The music was OK and didn't really grab me too hard. I think i'll give it another listen but it's sitting just under a 3/5.
I've heard some of Gil Scott-Heron's stuff over the years but never got too deep into it. Some of his spoken word lyrics I've found to be a little bland actually and I have heard a lot of praise for him so maybe I've just missed some of the better stuff by chance? Or maybe it just never moved me. Sometimes when I look at poetry I wonder if it's normal for people to be as divided on poetry as I tend to be. I find myself reading something that doesn't really do anything for me and I quickly forget about it, or I find something that connects with me on many levels and I will read it every day for a week. And I don't really find myself coming across poetry/spoken word that is in the middle, where I think "hey this is neat", it's usually on one end of the love/hate spectrum. Regardless of that, this album was pretty nice. I liked the music behind the vocals and it seemed like there were plenty of parts where the lyrics were sung on this record instead of strictly in a spoken-word delivery. It might warrant another listen to really dig into everything because this album flew by for me.
Loved that the first thing you hear sounds like a Christmas jazz song. Was totally not what I was expecting hahaha I really enjoyed this little album. For the most part I found it to be like instrumental pop-jazz but not in a boring or bland "radio" sort of way. The instruments all flew around the tunes and it was a great listen from front to back. On Track 7, "The Mountain", at 2:11, the baritone sax(es) are a little flat I think. I don't normally have the ear to pick up on stuff like that always but it was funny to find a moment. I'm not even a hundred percent sure but it does sound a little off. For the record this takes away nothing from the record :)
I've actually never listened to Steve Earle but I listened to the hell out of the music of his son, Justin Townes Earle. Justin tragically passed in 2020 at the age of 38 after falling back in love with drugs after years of sobriety. I was really sad when he passed. Steve Earle was doing this weekly podcast/vlog thing named after this album called "Guitar Town" where he would talk about some of his interesting guitars and assorted music stuff. I didn't really follow it because I didn't really follow him but I tuned in to the one that he did the week that Justin passed because I had heard that they had like an on again off again relationship that ultimately ended with both of them being very close with one another. It's interesting to look at because this was Aug 2020 which meant that the pandemic lockdown was still somewhat early but definitely in that phase when people were starting to wonder about how long this thing would last for, and I think that Steve was doing this vlogcast thing to keep himself busy. In the video towards the end, there's this very short and surreal moment where Steve is playing an old mandolin that he describes and spends like 5 or 6 minutes playing and strumming and then he finishes the video by saying "1910 Gibson Model A Mandolin... Justin Townes Earle, 1982, 2020" and then ends the video. The comments section is filled with people sharing RIP sentiments and the difficulty of losing a child and how much they loved Justin but I was just surprised by how he doesn't mention much besides that. He does allude to Justin's passing earlier in the video because he says that he will do "less of these videos, little bit of a break because we had some bad stuff happen around here" and that's it. (Here's the video with time stamp: https://youtu.be/oa8zJWVpm-0?t=568 ) These folk/country lineages I know are always temperamental and drama filled- like the most famous one being the Hank Williams' musical dynasty. IIRC they all hate eachother, and from my perspective, Hank senior is really legit heart breaking roots country, Hank junior is a crappy conservative rockin country pop act, and Hank 3 is the bassist of one of my favorite heavy metal acts, Superjoint Ritual. So they really do their own things and live their own lives.. Anyway, back to this album hahahah! The songs are definitely more country/folk pop than I would have thought. Not exactly my thing but I can pull out elements that I like, like the guitar playing on the otherwise cheesy song "My Old Friend The Blues" is particularly tasteful. "Fearless Heart" is great. To me it sounds just like a song that Justin Townes Earle would write but with much less of an edge to it. I also hear Justin's mumble inside of the singing in "Little Rock 'N' Roller" which is pretty fitting. Makes me sad and the ending being a lullaby really reinforces that. The "State Trooper" cover at the end was nice. I dug the slower, crawling pace of it. Overall I liked the album. I think it fits on this list. It's probably a 3.3/5 for me.
Really weird intro song. Very unconventional and intriguing in many ways. I don't know if i loved it, but I was definitely interested in pulling it apart and trying to better understand it. I like the guitar playing and the structure. The vocals are weird and feel kind of overly theatrical at times but I don't usually dislike that sort of thing. The second track, "Amateur Hour" I really liked. Another weird one but was fun and the melody stuck in my head even after I left the room to get more coffee. "Falling in Love With Myself Again" continued the weird theatrics but I like it! The guitar breaks really caught me off guard and seemingly don't repeat too much so they just kind of come and go and I dig it. "Hasta Manana, Monsieur" has a really great sleezy guitar riff. "Complaints" has some fantastic moments, like the guitar solo along with the short stabbing all-band stops in the middle of the track. The more I listen to this album the more I like it and the more I find that I like how eclectic it is. It's plenty cohesive but still so diverse in the songwriting that each track feels different in a good way. How manic does "Equator" sound? Same with "Barbecutie". The repeating chorus was cool in Equator but it started to get annoying in Barbecutie.
Nice chill laid back album. "All I Need (feat. Beth Hirsch)" sounds very Portishead-y which is cool. Moments of Fatboy Slim, Daft Punk, and even more Portishead throughout the album made me a happy listener. I really enjoyed it. It's super laid back and one of the easier albums on this list to put on and flat out enjoy.
ALI BABBA AND THE FORTY THIEVES ALI BABBA AND THE FORTY THIEVES sheeesh there's so many good sing-along moments on this record. I've heard this album a ton of times and I am only now realizing that "Fight For Your Right" and "No Sleep Till Brooklyn" are consecutive tracks on an album. That's pretty amazing- both of these songs are so entrenched as legendary tracks that it only adds to their impressiveness that they are right after each other. "Brass Monkey" is such a fun upbeat song. I used to yell along to this song with my heavy metal friends. Same with "She's Crafty". There's many many things about these songs that make them great. You can really pull them apart into enjoyable layer after enjoyable layer. It's a perfect representation of good musicians doing their own thing and their own thing being gold. It's just so good. The beat / tempo change in "The New Style" around the 3 minute mark is serious mastery of expectations in music and how to misdirect a listener in the best way.
So unique and still listenable, so experimental and still conventional. I love Tom Waits, I don't listen to him enough, and this is a solid release by him. On top of his amazing music, I often think about funny quotes from him like this one: TV Network Presenter Host Person: "It's kind of strange to have a guy sitting here with a bottle in front of him." Tom Waits: "Well, I'd rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy"
Some cool proto-punk from 1980. (I think they call it proto-punk?) I like the first track and it's cool how it goes from loose vocals and spanky guitars to a more toned down groove that feels like a Tears for Fears part. That's a cool contrast. Overall I enjoyed listening to it but it didn't particularly move me in one direction or another. It was just kind of there.
I enjoyed it. Songs are easy to listen to and very consistent in quality and sound and that's what I expect from The Kinks. The standout track for me was "Victoria". 3/5
Really beautiful vocal jazz. I've never listened to her but I've been meaning to ever since hearing this lyric in a Father John Misty Song: "We sang "Silent Night" in three parts which was fun 'Til she said that she sounds just like Sarah Vaughan I hate that soulful affectation white girls put on". She does have a beautiful voice and the piano really gels with her performance nicely. That's something that is always trying to be captured in jazz and captured in jazz recordings because so much of what makes jazz good is the chemistry between the performers. Most jazz albums are pretty much "live" anyway right? Just not always in front of a live audience. Definitely differs than other genres (pop, rock) where everything is recorded separately and meticulously worked on. "Stairway to the Stars" really blew me away. Very mysterious and intimate. I love the improvisational approach in "How High The Moon". The lyrics are hilarious! She's like "I don't know the lyrics to this song but I'm gonna sing it anyway. Ella Fitszgerald sings this song real real real crazy. [scat] That's the way she sings it, so I'm gonna try to sing it that way for you so here goes." Incredible!! This album went by way too fast for me. I loved it. Will listen more and I'm now a Sarah Vaughan fan!
Oasis is amazing. I've never followed them so deeply to know them beyond their singles but this list has been great at making me do these deeper dives. And to be honest I don't even think it's so much of a deep dive to check out huge records by huge bands. Just somethin ya gotta do. I love the in-the-pocket laid back drum groove on "Columbia". Really tight and really fun hearing the vocals and drums BOTH feel like they are dragging the song- but they are doing it together and are juuuust aligned enough that the song keeps slithering along. This one apparently has been in a back-and-forth with people when they ponder which Oasis album is the best one. I try not to let outside opinions interject into my thoughts too much on this project but I just read an article that claims that this album has more 9/10 to 10/10 tracks on it- that it's more consistently strong than "(What's the Story) Morning Glory?". I gotta say though- "Wonderwall", "Don't Look Back in Anger", and "Champagne Supernova" all being on ONE record and that record not being the BEST record for a band is wildly impressive. I'm also trying to not let bands other releases change my ratings too much here but to me this isn't as good as "(What's the Story) Morning Glory?". It's a really solid album but maybe not a 5/5 for me. I think it's like a 4.4 and just short of being high enough to round-up. I love this album cover too. I think the 1990s is my favorite era for album covers. They tend to not stick SO tightly to a visual style/aesthetic (like the 70s, 80s albums did), but to me felt more guided by the content inside of the image and what's going on in the scene. Maybe the 90s were more the start of this idea rather than a decade that is unique in this; because now that I consider it I don't think the 2000s or 2010s really were so glued to the visual decade-vibe like the 70s and 80s were. I might not be wording that to well but I think it would be a great discussion to have!
Super cool band and super cool album. I love the sound, and I can hear so much hip hop looking to this act as a foundational source of sound for the genre. I really dig the jazz influence and overall production. I love the flows specifically- they are really so pleasing to sit and focus-in on and also to have in your ear while relaxing and not so focused. I think listening to A Tribe Called Quest in 2023 will make me hear their influence in other hip hop and rap groups that are around today, like Kendrick Lamar is one that pops out as probably being influenced by this them. This album is an easy 4/5 for me.
I'm somewhat surprised Napalm Death is on this list. I definitely see their influence in metal / specifically death metal, but I think it's not nearly as large in magnitude when compared to a lot of other bands with similar sounds (Suffocation, Cannibal Corpse, Morbid Angel). I'm guessing that they are here though because of age- they were around in the early 1980's compared to the mid/late 80s like those other 3 acts that I listed that I personally think are much better than ND. Napalm Death are famous for their super short tracks. It might not be on this album but I think they have one song that has a music video that is 13 seconds or so long. Pretty funny. The song "Scum" has a main guitar riff, and it is essentially the same exact guitar riff as the first guitar riff that I ever wrote. I wasn't aware of Napalm Death at the time and wasn't really listening to this kind of sludgy death metal so I'm convinced it was coincidence, but I think it's funny that this band would have that riff and (regardless of time for the sake of argument) it is so similar to a riff that I wrote after playing guitar for like 4 months. This is a very funny nuance in the psychology of being a musician and I think that it somehow unconsciously waters down my enjoyment of them. "Polluted Minds" into "Sacrificed", tracks 5 and 6, are a good example of why I hesitate to add them to this list. The songs sound very very similar, and there's not much substance in general there. Sure, it's an emotion, and music should convey emotion, but there's not much to get from there. 2/5.
Love the energy in track one. Great start to an album! He's got a nice sound and tone for this style of playing. Not to say that he isn't dynamic because he definitely is, but there is a prevailing tone that he has that really cuts through the mix. It's got an edge to it- almost like a guitar that has just a little bit of distortion on it. Can be heard well on "The Big Apple", which I think is cool. There are many variables in music creation and I'm hoping that this harsher edgier tone is depicting a wintry New York City day. Solid 3/5 for me.
Accidentally had my review removed (I think I closed the tab without hitting the "save" button), but fortunately it wasn't too long. This album is solid, and Little Richard is transcendent. "Tutti Frutti" is a legendary piece of American music / art. I think Little Richard is an influence on so many different styles of modern music and even if an artist isn't aware of this, I think it's still an unconscious factor. 4/5 for me.
Such a great way to start an album. Love the vibe it hits you with. Actually before you even hear music you get to see this magnificent album cover that oozes COOL. Ok one thing I hate- Track 1, the hi-hats are so loud and panned like 90% in the left ear. It's a little grating and annoying to have something that is consistently the fastest element of sound being played (8th notes and more!) only being heard in one ear. Music is great when it is panned well. I'm a firm believer in panning beyond mono as an immediate sound-enhancer. Unfortunately, when done in this manner you get this unbalanced sort of sound, and the right ear feels empty compared to that super consistent and driving left ear hi-hat. It's also so loud in the mix that I heard this on speakers before even having to check on headphones. Song still Slaps though. Track 2 - I have mentioned it before but I'm a firm believer in track 2 or 3's on albums being upbeat / uptempo. There's something about that (roughly) ~3 to 9 minute mark of listening to an album that I think is really impressionable and regardless of the genre I think it often benefits the artist for listener retention if they have some kind of exciting material in that time frame. This album has a tough-love sounding ballad on track 2 and I actually really enjoy it. Maybe because the first track was so grooving and bouncy that it filled that space for me. - Why not let that guitar solo happen at 2:06? I wanted to hear more! To be fair though this was a cool choice in using misdirection. - Damnit the hi-hat is panned super hard to the left on this track as well. There's some real R&B classics on this album. "Summer Breeze", and "That Lady". I really enjoy the flow of the album too- just easy to put on and enjoy.
I don't love the singers voice on track 1 and I feel bad saying it but it just sounds kind of cringey with the super serious lyrics. It sounds almost like over-acted? I hate being harsh on music that speaks on world issues though. The guitar part on Track 2, "Letting Go" is really nice. I love the dynamics in the accented notes. The mix engineer lets those pop out pretty loudly even at the same time as vocal melodies and it's a cool balance. Usually things like that are diligently caught and hidden under vocal parts in pop music. Track 2 overall I liked way more than the first one. Beautiful strings in the intro to "Homelands". Wow and that vocal part around :28 seconds is a VERY cool sound. This whole track was fantastic actually. It's ambitious going from that cinematic track (Homelands) to a rap song immediately following with some interesting synth choices. I don't know if it pays off. Contrasting the first track, I actually kind of like the vocal performance here but on this one I don't really like the music behind, as it feels kind of empty. Maybe it's because this was from 1999 and I'm hearing it after hearing super produced modern records with modern technology like a meticulously engineered Kendrick Lamar album? I could see an argument that the sound explored here set the table for an artist like Kendrick to further explore. "Immigrant" is like a piece from a Linn Manuel-Miranda musical. Awesome tabla raga on track 11. I had a professor in school who specialized in this and would always show me how complex this music form is so I appreciate it every time I hear it. This album is literally back and forth with me and it is messing with my head but maybe in a good way? This album made me think a lot and the on-and-off sea-saw dynamism didn't let me just sit back and listen while I was doing the dishes. It really grabbed my attention. I really appreciate that it is on this list and I think a lot of my critiques are more geared towards the age of the album which is a little unfair but also a reality of the evolution of music production and songwriting. Normally I would give this album a 3/5 because it had several tracks that I flat out didn't enjoy, but the songs that I did enjoy I really did and that is making me think of this as a 4.4/5 rounded to a 4. At the end I really appreciated this album being on the list and I will definitely listen to it more.
So funny to hear a huge roaring rock show crowd and then a church organ piece. Oh dang this is actually the real Pictures at an Exhibition suite by the composer Mussorgsky. I am super intrigued by this and really surprised I never heard of it. It rocks! Ok some of the arrangements aren't really that mind blowing but to be honest I don't really love the prog jam rock sound. I like this. I'm a little bit confused about the concept in a good way. Overall it was fun. At times a little bland for my tastes but I think that is more because its prog from the 1970s.
"Our House" is such a fun funky poppy rocky legendary track. For some reason I thought that song was released in like 1990, and I was surprised to see it was in 1982. It's a lovely song to hear on good speakers. Growing up this song was ubiquitous but always heard on subpar car speakers or stereos and never through a good pair of headphones or studio monitors. Listening now on studio monitors there are so many more elements to appreciate- the guitar tone in the solo around 1:45 and the contrasting sax line to it. The vocals are SO clean, along with the drums. Overall the mix is impressively tight. "Don't Look Back" is a very fun funky song. More great production and performances. I found it interesting that most of the songs on this album were removed from Spotify. This hasn't been the case too often and it's always been easy to find a way to listen to them but it makes me wonder why? Cool album cover. Love the snake charmer!
This album really blew me away. I was force-fed a lot of Elliot Smith by some friends on my recent trip to Seattle and somehow we didn't get to this album- despite one friend having a tattoo dedicated to it. A lot of his music that I've heard has been some pretty "down" stuff but I think that his voice is just so naturally soft that it's really a case of there being more more than meets the eye (ear) and you have to really listen to get it. When I first hear his songs I hear that voice and it immediately colors my view on the overall sound. This record however already starts pretty heavy only a minute and a half into the first track, and surprisingly (to me) it fits his voice wonderfully! I also love the little blues notes that are thrown around in the piano in this first track- it very quickly dispels my idea of "soft, downer" music. This is one of a very few records I've heard so far for the first time from this list that I want to put at a 5/5. I have held onto those 5 stars as a definition of an album that I find truly incredible. I think I'm going to land on a 4/5 for this one but it's a high 4/5. This is also the first album I've put on from this list and when it was finished I started it over again.
The first CD that I purchased with my own money! I love "And Justice"; it's so tight and there isn't a weak song on the album. It is unfortunately overshadowed by the massive "Master of Puppets" but to me it is like 1B to MoP being 1A in best Metallica albums. I'm fortunate enough to have listened to this album a TON at one period of my life and then seldom had revisits, so that these songs still have really strong ties to that one period of my life. I think when that happens, the more you listen to an album outside of that period of time the more the connection weakens. For me, this was me playing Triple Play Baseball on my 11th birthday in 2001 and blaring this album through a CD player. Lars Ulrich always gets hate for his drum sounds (the somewhat more recent album "St Anger" is one of the worst snare drum sounds ever), and I don't really mind them on this record. They feel a little thin, but overall Metallica's sound has always leaned more towards tight/compact and drums that are thinner make this objective much easier. The kick drum doesn't conflict with the bass guitar, the cymbals don't conflict with the guitars, etc. One thing I don't like on this record is that there are times where there are fast double bass hits and it almost sounds like they were overdubbed. The tone is less "clicky" and they overpower the mix when they hit. I wouldn't be surprised if the volume was automated to make them more forward/loud in the mix at those times though because it is a cool hammering effect. Good idea, but dated at this point in metal music production. I love the vocal effect on "Eye Of The Beholder". I'd imagine this was pretty experimental at the time for heavy metal. Metallica's "thing" since album 1 was thrash thrash thrash metal. Fast, low maintenance. Distortion on guitars and GO. That's it! Ok maybe a little bit of wah-wah pedal for guitar solos but nothing else. Since Master of Puppets though (the album prior to this) they definitely started to experiment more with things like reverbs, compressors, and even clean tones. Side note- "One" is one of the best examples of metal music using clean guitar tones effectively. That intro is one of the best intros to a metal track of all time and the tone is as clean as it gets. But back to vocals- this effect is cool, it's a warbly effect that I can't quite place. A quick google tells me that it was a Flanger. I love how long their tracks are. They were never afraid of having a metal song that is long and problematic for radio. I think this is one of the strengths of Metallica- that these long songs allowed them to develop themes and have the songs truly sound epic because of where they start, where they go, and where they end up. The average length for a song on this is 7:27 which is really unheard of.
Wow I love the intro to this album. That overdriven baritone guitar is SO heavy. Then that spooky change at 0:37 was super unexpected but cool. I like this intro a lot. So much intrigue. This album feels like a fever dream to me. The main riff of "Barmy" is like happy~ish and fun and then interspersed throughout the rest of the track is contrasting moments of cacophonous mood shifts into almost satanic sounding parts. Nothing ever really settles before it shifts gears too. I really like the almost-off guitar tunings in "What You Need". The song itself felt kind of boring though. "Spoilt Victorian Child" hahahah what is there to say? What a chorus. This album gave me a lot of reactions and for that I am thankful. I don't know if I loved the music however and that's a pretty important criteria for this list. I gotta dig the music. For that reason I'm giving it a 2/5 that leans close to a 3.
The mix quality really is fantastic from the first second of music. What's funny is that this album is next in the list immediately after "The Fall - This Nation's Saving Grace" which also came out in 1985 but had a completely different fidelity level in the audio quality. This mix feels like walking on grass after crawling through some mud. Everything is so clear and distinct and yet still homogeneous. I'm just realizing now that I'm listening to a remixed 2008 version. My bad. Leaving my comments. Track 2 to 3 is a fun tone shift. Track 5"Jericho" was super cheesy and the vocals didn't feel right. Ok Track 6 I don't like either. I feel like this album got off to a good start and then started to get cheesy? I really don't like the choruses + the bridge "we're talkin bout money money" in this one.. Track 7 goes back to an overall sound that I like. But the last 2 tracks have definitely soured my experience so far! Track 9, "No Direction" is sweet, it sounds like a Living Colour song. ugh and then Track 10 "Picture Book" i really don't like. "We beseech thee, we beseech thee." I hated having a "Money's Too Tight to mention" reprise. It wasn't great the first time. Yea I didn't love this album.
Instant 5/5 for me. "Hells Bells" "Back in Black" "You Shook Me All Night Long" are all in the list of top ~200 rock songs of all time for me. There's an argument to be made for "Shoot to Thrill" as well. Best Australian rock band of all time? Crazy good record.
It feels blasphemous to give any Jimi Hendrix record anything but a 5/5, so I will be giving Axis: Bold as Love a 5/5. There's always been so much talk around Jimi being the greatest guitarist of all time. I don't know if one guitarist can fairly hold that title. Maybe there's a flexible top 10? Or a top 10 for genres or time periods? It's hard for me to say that Jimi is greater than others in different musical spaces, like virtuoso classical guitarist Andres Segovia who is equally as impressive, but plays the guitar so different than Jimi that it's almost a different instrument. Is Jimi even better than someone who doesn't have all of the tools, isn't flashy, but writes amazing music on the instrument? I think the songs of The Beatles are more straightforwardly impressive (in terms of the basic building blocks of harmony + melody) than Jimi's original music, so would that make an argument for George Harrison or John Lennon as being in the same realm of guitarring? This is why I don't really love "who is the best at X" conversations when it comes to music/art but I feel obligated to mention it when Jimi is brought up. I'm struggling a little with where to rate this one. This album is amazing. It has "Little Wing", and "Castles Made of Sand". I don't know if I like it as much as "Are You Experienced?", which has "Foxey Lady", "Manic Depression", "Hey Joe", "The Wind Cries Mary", "Fire", and Jimi's most famous track "Purple Haze". Purple Haze is one of the best guitar riffs of all time- probably a top 10 for me. The 2 huge tracks on this album would also be as equally good as the huge tracks on "Are You Experienced", but I think AYE just has this one beat by the sheer amount of amazing songs. For that reason, I gotta give this album a 4/5. It's a high one- I wish this website allowed for 0-100 ratings. This is a 4.9 in my eyes (ears) and AYE is 5.0.
Nas is one of the most revered rappers of all time, and yet to me I think he is still somehow a little underrated. Production, and beats are of course incredible, but the star is Nas' flow and lyrics. How killer is that slow piano riff on "NY State of Mind" and how killer is it how he dances around it with his vocals? Don't even get me started on his annunciation; every word is audible and precise and yet his innate coolness still remains. I love this line in "NY State of Mind": "I know this crackhead who said she gotta smoke nice rock And if it's good, she'll bring you customers and measuring pots But yo, you gotta slide on a vacation Inside information keeps large niggas erasin' and their wives basin' It drops deep as it does in my breath I never sleep, 'cause sleep is the cousin of death Beyond the walls of intelligence, life is defined I think of crime when I'm in a New York State of Mind" There's so much to unpack there- touching on how to navigate interactions with crack dealers and narcs inside of gangs, and then this legendary rap phrase: "I never sleep cause sleep is the cousin of death". It also just does so much to make you feel like you are a New Yorker and you are there with him experiencing all of these thoughts. The intro track to this album gives you those car horns and NY soundscapes and then blasts you with all of these lyrics that really teleport you there- to a setting that is foreign to me but one that I've attempted to vicariously experience through film and TV. That line "sleep is the cousin of death" can be heard again in rap, like 11 years later on The Game's track "Dreams": "Daydreamin' yesterday, dozin' off backstage I thought I saw Eazy talking to Jam Master Jay So I walked over, heard Jam Master say "It's a hard knock life, then you pass away" They say sleep is the cousin of death, so my eyes wide open 'Cause a dream is kin to your last breath". In reading more about this one particular line, I came across an actual quote from Nas as he was talking about The Game being influenced by this line and he said: "Game also plays on the word “so” which also sounds like “sew”. If he were to sew his eyes wide open he would be able to avoid sleep, and not die." That's really cool. I appreciate this facet of rap so much. When i start to do dives into rap lyrics and these little interconnected ideas that are so easily skimmed over- I get jealous that other genres of popular music don't often have them or when they do it's not nearly as complex or interesting enough of a web to investigate! It truly blows me away. I think that's one of the best things that Nas has brought to rap and to music. Of course it's good songs, but it's also the influence and inspiration to other artists. This is a high 4/5 for me. I'm noticing my strict standards for a clean 5/5 and while I do love this album I think it's just a bit more 4.8 or 4.9 instead of the "perfect" 5. Still an amazing record. One of the best rap albums of all time.
Interesting album cover. It's striking and I'm assuming it's some kind of mixed media? I love the intro and the seamless transition into the second track. I've never heard of this band before now so it's fun to go into an album blind and have no idea at all what the style will be. Even more so as this is a more recent release. Interesting sound. Indie rock-first but there's a lot of influences in there; I think I'm hearing some Beach Boys. Producing is cool too, lots of intriguing layers. The consistent adjective that's popping up is "interesting". It's not music that is really "out-there" but I keep noticing songwriting and production choices that aren't completely the norm for this style of music and I appreciate that. It's adding some nice depth. It made me enjoy the album and the only downsides were that it didn't have many big standout moments. Each track would have it's own idea and live inside of that idea, but then not really take my interest to the next level. "Defaults" is probably my favorite of the bunch. It's nicely diverse and yet still cohesive. They'll have tracks that have electronic drums and instruments in the foreground ("Waveforms", "Zumm Zumm", "Hand of Man"), a delta-blues Nick Drake inspired song like "Firewater", then an straightforward indie rocker track like "Life's A Beach" that you would hear on a Vampire Weekend album. It's cool and eclectic. As this was their debut album, I feel the need to see their direction after this one. Lots of promise. 3.3/5 I think.
Love a good raw 90's album cover. Hate those distorted guitar tones. Ugh it's like it's coming out of a 25$ practice amp that's been living in someone's grandparents attic for decades. Even worse is that the guitars are panned the way they are with the on/off right/left playing. It hurts!! Not unlistenable though. Ok so "Connection" is their big track that I remember. This album was ok, I think it's a 2/5 for me. Not sure if it needs to be on this list.
Hard to put into words how great Queen are. This album is probably their best, and it has "Bohemian Rhapsody" in it- one of the greatest songs of all time. Their music is so exciting, confident, excessive (in the best way), unrestrained, and fun. Goodness this album just flows so well too. It's hard to put Queen into buckets but I think Theatrical Baroque Pop is my favorite way to describe them. When I read that I just think about the infectiously fun bop that you get when you hear their music. Is there a better singalong than "Bohemian Rhapsody"? I don't know. Maybe "Happy Birthday", but somehow it's not as fun. "You're my Best Friend" "Love Of My Life" "Bohemian Rhapsody" Are all STUNNERS. Easy 5/5 for me. Love this so much!
Classic album by a classic band. One of the best voices in rock and roll (crazy to have this album follow a Queen record!) and the instrumentalists are incredibly tight, inventive, and engaging. "Roadhouse Blues" is a perfect rock and roll song. And a perfect guitar riff. And a perfect album starter. Should definitely be one of the first songs you show to someone who wants to hear rock and roll. I never knew "Peace Frog" was the title of this track! Outside of being a perfect combination of blues/funky rock and roll, it also was perfectly influenced by the time period. I love the trippy~ness of this band and record and it doesn't take anyway any of their edge. For me this is a 4/5. There's just so many good tracks on it.
I agree, there's no place like America today. What an album cover. Love the bass guitar on the first track. Song is a bit of a downer though and hit me in one of those "damn im not in the right mood to completely enjoy this" experiences. Unfortunately the second track continued with a similar level of energy than the first. Track 3, "So in Love" was really great though. Lyrics are really incredible, I love the starting lines "So in love You do so many things with that smilin' face". No immediate rhyme necessary, and it's just this wonderful little introductory description of a noted element of the writer's love for someone else. I love it :) The album is only 35 minutes and it really went by quickly. I think I didn't really fully enjoy it as much as the average listener did though so it's a 3/5 for me.
Looking at play counts- I'm assuming this is a 1-hit wonder type of thing where this album has one song that is just so good that it warrants placement on this list (I'll be the judge of that!). The first track has 3 million plays on Spotify and the second highest on the album is 300k. I don't always look at the play counts (they're just so dang visible on Spotify) as I think they have the ability to persuade a listener, but I don't think it's too bad to sometimes know what are the big tracks on a record you don't really know. The first track had a nice riff. "Memories Are Made of this" was pretty good. I liked the chorus. "A Minor Aversion" starting with an A minor chord is really nice for me as a music theory nerd. I feel like this is punk without the attitude? The album was just OK for me.
The first heavy metal band. (Actually I think there was one before them that didn't have a lot of recognition?) This album is so wildly good. Man I wasn't sure if this was going to be a 4 or 5 but after remembering the tracks on it it's an easy 5 for me. Monumental songs that have stood the test of time and will continue to stand the test of time. Iron Man might be the most famous heavy metal song of all time (ok, maybe top3-5). It has one of the greatest guitar riffs of all time. Paranoid is also one of the greatest guitar riffs of all time, and one of the greatest electric guitar + bass "back and forth"s ever. The bass guitar drives you forward like a drumset double bass, and the guitar riff syncopates itself wonderfully off of the bass. War Pigs is one of the best metal-album openers ever. How great is that guitar solo that starts around 6:30? It's so emotional! Super underrated tracks: Planet Caravan (The jazz guitar solo at 2:30 is really amazing and tasteful. I don't remember being this impressed by this solo. It really shows how the talent and eclecticism.) My metal friend group used to love this song. It was probably the most-listened to post-smoking-weed song for the group. I think Pantera's cover though: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X5K_gQLENOs ) Electric Funeral (that guitar riff at 2:20 and subsequent guitar soloing is really A+ rock and roll) Hand of Doom (groove. People don't realize how grooving Black Sabbath are) Faeries Wear Boots (listen to the groove in this one!) I just realized I covered every song on this record except for "Rat Salad" which I don't remember too well. That's really no surprise to me, as this is definitely a 5/5 and one of the greatest albums of all time for me. It's a blessing hearing this album through good monitors + headphones again. It's really been decades since I've heard many of these records through anything other than a car radio. Black Sabbath is just so ubiquitous in playlists of metal heads that you listen to them so much and never want to take the time to sit down and experience them in the best listening-setting possible. And to be directed to do that here is just so pleasant and welcomed. My favorite aspect of Black Sabbath is that they write catchy music. Writing heavy metal music is innately very hard in my opinion- there are specifications that you strive to meet to live in that realm but these can also be seen as limitations. To write melodic music in metal is hard, and to write catchy melodies is one of the hardest things to do in music composition. I really need to plug in my electric guitar and sit and listen to this album and just play along.
Great opener with a really really great chord progression. To me it feels triumphant almost? And having the fade out really locks in that feeling. Interesting to open an album with this one though when I think it would work just as well (better?) as a closer. I never listened too much to Alice Cooper. I think when his music came around to me it just felt a little too theatrical and cheesy for me to fully embrace. I am definitely enjoying this album though. The only down side is that from my experience I hear some of these songs, like "Billion Dollar Baby" and I can't help but think it's a mock-rock Spinal Tap song (for the record I love Spinal Tap but they are obviously satire). "Unfinished Sweet" is a good example. Dental drilling sounds and pained howls at 1:30, and then parts of the theme to James Bond at 2:58? That's quite a valley to cross in a minute and a half. "No More Mr. Nice Guy" is such an amazing rock song. Alice Cooper has such an impressive feel for simple hooks. This one is so straightforward and uses just a slight rhythmic pause to elevate the hook-factor: NO MORE (pause) MISTER NICE GUY That's all it needs! That little pause is really perfect. I don't love the mix on "Generation Landslide". His voice sounds way way too loud compared to the instruments. "Sick Things" also gives me Spinal Tap vibes. It kind of meanders around and doesn't do much for me.. Interesting album cover. A bit perplexed on what it all means though.. Overall it's a 4/5. It has a top 100 rock song of all time in it but the supporting tracks don't do enough to elevate it to a 5.
There's something really intriguing about this period of time between roughly 1988 and like 1992; the end of 80's glam and before the grunge explosion of the 90s. I definitely need to find more top albums from these years and also other years that fall in between the big genre-defining albums. Interesting how the first track is smooth-jazz and is kind of an outlier from the rest of the very blues-centric record. I love the Bonnie Raitt appearance on "I'm in the mood". I actually haven't listened to her much but she sounds really great here. At the same time I find myself getting bored with these sort of songs and the dated lyrics. Saying you are in the mood for love repeatedly doesn't really do much for me. It's already a bit straightforward and predictable because it's a blues chord progression, so the second half of the track wasn't my favorite. I didn't really love this album. I felt underwhelmed by the overall blues sound and it just didn't do too much for me. I liked the first track the most and wish that more of the album sounded like that.
A classic that I am ashamed to say I haven't listened much to. Great jazz rock. Love the vibraphone in "Aja". I love the whole feel of this track and how it has things to say but isn't in a rush to say them. That's a little thesis statement on how I like to live my life. Awesome drumming on "Aja" too. The more you listen the more you can only be impressed by the performances. This is a really solid album and I feel a little sacrilegious to write but it doesn't hit that legendary 5 mark for me personally. Songs are interesting in good ways but not frequently enough get enough excitement in them that elevates them to a truly legendary listening experience. It all gels really nicely but I would love for some moments where the energy really lifts. I didn't feel that tension/release cycle much and I think that's what makes it a clear cut 4/5, like a 4.5.
Oh man, "Groove Is In The Heart" is such a perfect song. So glad that this record is on this list if only just for that song. The rest of the album is pretty tight. Infectious grooves and super fun energy. One of the easier albums to put on and simply enjoy on this list so far. Most facets of the music just fit perfectly- the vocal tones, the vocal performances, the melodies, the production techniques, the compositions, the instruments... it's all just so super well done. The one thing I noticed is that "Groove Is In The Heart" has a bit of extra production "love" in it compared to the other tracks. When listened and A/B'd back and forth between others, it's louder, more compressed, and more saturated. As a production nerd I appreciated the polish on this one but it's a double edged sword because it waters down the other tracks. What makes it worse is that this is one of the more egregious examples of this that I've ever seen (heard) on any album which is a bummer.
Wow I really wasn't expecting Thundercat on this list and this must be one of the more recent releases to appear on this list so far. I got into Thundercat after seeing him on Mac Miller's Tiny Desk concert a few years back- which I've recently been revisiting pretty frequently. Love the meter change in Captain Stupido around 1:00 minute in. There's a lot to digest on this record and I'm glad it's here I think? "Them Changes" is the big one and for good reason. It's a killer tune that uses what I think is 2 or 3 basses- one using a wah-wah pedal which is super weird for a bass guitar as the effect is essentially an EQ filter that rapidly opens and closes and that's a jarring sound for bass. With all of those positives listed, I still wouldn't necessarily say this album needs to be on this list. I think it gets a lot of credit for the flashes of virtuoso bass playing and the fun things like metric modulation and moments of funk-prog.
A secret about me that I don't like to share is that I don't really always like or seek out reggae music. Without over-philosophizing it, I think I have a particular preference towards directional music; music that goes somewhere, that has tension and resolution, that has character development, etc. A lot of people don't believe in the genre-ification of music ("why you gotta put a label on it man?") but I like it and I think taxonomies exist for humans to further explore what they like and don't like and do it systemically. The flip side is that reggae should probably be devoid of incessant thought / analysis / philosophizing and it's been a life-long journey to sit down, shut my brain, and simply enjoy some genres of music that don't innately pull me in, and reggae is one that I'm still working on. So this album I sat down, shut off my brain, and enjoyed this ish. I think it's a 3/5 that leans towards a 5/5. Bob Marley is to reggae what Wayne Gretzky is to hockey- the person who is so above the rest that you can't mention the thing itself without thinking about the person, and this album has "No Woman No Cry" which is an A+ piece of music. His hits are so so so top tier for the genre and it's funny to me that this song isn't even a top 5 for him. Unfortunately for the sake of this list I don't think any of his top top songs are on the same record though.
Interesting sound- I appreciated how fun it sounded as this was a Monday morning listen for me. "Do the Dog" kind of drives me nuts from a mix/master perspective. The bass is so loud, the drums are so reverberant, and the second singer's voice as the "response" voice is SO loud and dry. Very weird. The last song was funny- "You're wondering now what to do, this is the end". I like when artists do these sort of meta moments in albums. It was just OK. Unless there's some angle about this album being influential for a niche genre I'm not really sure if it belongs on the list. I also felt like once I heard 3-4 of the tracks that I knew what to expect from the others which is something that I don't like.
Cool album cover. Makes me think of late teenage / early 20 years living in the suburbs, growing my hair out, and being rambunctious. I definitely am enjoying the sound of the band. I hesitate to call it punk rock but I think it's like indie rock punk. Good choruses and great guitar riffs that blend subgenres of rock nicely. What a weird slowdown in "We're Comin' Out" right in the middle of a guitar solo. This is really a rare idea and it almost sounds like the guitarist was in the middle of it and then the rest of the band + engineer started slowing down without letting the guitarist know. Pretty cool effect that I liked. The speed up in the ending with more intensity was great too. "Androgynous" is fantastic and not what I expected to hear on the record. Cool track with progressive lyric content. "Unsatisfied" sounds like an evolution of a Bruce Springsteen song (this is a good thing!). Nice album! I will be spinning this one a bit more I think.
I feel pretty well versed in rock/punk, and I'm surprised that I really can't recall ever hearing of this band/record/songs whatsoever. The sound is cool, it's like super modern punk rock with ska elements (35 seconds into track 4) that also gets heavier (36 seconds into track 1). The production is very impressively crisp for 1995. The guitars and drums really sync up well and fit together like puzzle pieces. The compositions just felt OK to me and didn't blow me out of the water. I was curious about this band so I looked up the amount of plays per song on Spotify and they were really low- like way below the average for albums on this 1001 list.
This album is a big nostalgia hit for me; my mom used to put this vinyl record on and we would dance around the basement to it for hours. This was most likely my first introduction to music along with car rides in the early 90s with grunge on the radio so I'm particularly fond of this kind of sound (why I haven't made grunge+50's doo-wop pop music yet is a mystery to me). I'm really surprised about the play times on this album. Nowadays a majority of the time you will see any kind of popular music record having most songs be over 3 minutes and this one's longest track is 2:36. It feels like they go by so fast. "That'll Be The Day" is the big hit on this one. Great tune with fun vocal techniques throughout and a super memorable hook. It's a 4/5 for me right on the dot.
Wow it's cool to see Common on this list. I've heard so many good things over the years but I don't think I've ever listened to any of his music. Very cool instrumentation on the first 2 tracks. Love an album that starts with cool stuff like this. "GO!" you could almost tell right from the drop that it was produced by Kanye. I didn't however realize that it was John Mayer doing backup vocals, although I don't really love how the tone of his voice fits in with the rest of the track. Maybe he could have sang something more than an echo'd "go" and it would have fit my tastes better? Overall I think it's a middle 3/5
I'm going to wait until Steve posts his review and I'll just echo that. This is of course a 5/5. Something that I found interesting was how Kanye started to steer the direction of rap away from gangsta rap, although some of that genre's lyrical subject matter also exists here on this album, like drug dealing/addiction, poverty/struggle. This might not have been THE album to do it on it's own, but it definitely was a part of the conversation. "All Falls Down" "Jesus Walks" "Through The Wire" are 3 truly amazing rap songs and easily some of the best to come out of the genre.
I really love this record right from that mysterious first chord. The more raw early Beatles sound is so fun and attractive to me. This record has 3 amazing Beatles tracks on it: "A Hard Day's Night" "And I Love Her" and "Can't Buy Me Love" Each is unique and special in it's own way and some of my favorite Beatles tunes. Probably 3 of my top 15 Beatles songs right there.
In my adult life I've really come to really enjoy serious bands from the 1980s. The decade was bloated with cheesy synths and corny lyrics and I think it was a sound that pretty quickly became outdated. As I have gotten older though I've come to appreciate this sound, and I think if you say to yourself "at first glance this may sound corny, but I'm going to not care about that and get lost in the music" then it's really easy to enjoy all of the other facets underneath the surface. With that being said, The Cure hasn't been one of the standout acts for me. I think maybe I'm missing something, like how influential they were to other bands. This album is a 2/5 for me with not many standouts and I don't think any of their big hits.
I love the vangelis-esque synths in the first song around 1:30 in. I don't remember ABBA having these kind of sounds in the background of their tracks. Fun chromatics in track 2 around the 00:30 second mark. The star of this record as I'm sure is the same for every ABBA album is the vocal performances. I liked this album but I suspect that ABBA shows up again on this list as this one doesn't even contain any of their huge top 5 (or top 10?) hits. Plus, "Waterloo" deserves a spot on this list even just for the solo song itself and that's not on this record soooo....
I really love the drama in these songs. "Four Women" is wild. "What More Can I Say?" has such an incredible buildup. There are a few on this that I don't really love. "Break Down and Let It All Out" really misses the mark for me. The vocal vibrato is so incredibly tight and rhythmic in a weird way. The song itself isn't strong, and I don't love the super quick fade out at the end too. "Wild Is The Wind" wasn't my favorite either. Now that I'm listening I'm realizing that I liked the first half of the album much more than the second, save for the track "Black Is The Color Of My True Love's Hair", a beautiful modal ballad that is a highlight of the second half. Nina Simone is a force but this one isn't one of my favorites. Even with that being said it is a very enjoyable listen. Lovely album cover.
It's so funny to me that this band is "Bad Company", known for the song "Bad Company" off of the album "Bad Company". There's just something humorous about the idea of finding a good name and then running with it I guess. I spent so many hours and hours of my youth sitting in a room with bandmates trying to think of band names and track names and those little revelations that sometimes arise through the weed smoke and beer burps really are magical and I can see how easy it must have been for this band to just keep running with that. I've never been a big listener of this band because frankly their sound always came across as kind of cheesy and that of that classic rock generic-ness. But from the start of the first track I really did feel something... maybe it's because it is a Friday and it's nice out and Spring is just around the corner but I imagined myself being a young rock songwriter and having this release come out in my late 20's and that really made me get a sort of vicarious nostalgia hit. If I was a member of this band I would be really proud of this record. It does what you think it will do, for better or worse. It's a 3/5 for me. Like a 3.4 though; not close enough to round up to a 4.
When this came up and I started looking over the track listing I had to do a double take to check that this wasn't some form of greatest hits or era's-compilation sort of release. It's so good. "Dear Prudence" "Obla Di Obla Da" "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" "Happiness Is A Warm Gun" "Blackbird" "Helter Skelter" "Revolution 1" are all truly amazing and legendary tracks. While My Guitar.. and Blackbird are two of my favorite Beatles songs. Both very different and both highlighting guitar creativity along with the magic that can happen between a perfect vocal and a perfect guitar part. This is a 5/5 of course and is probably one of the highest rated albums on this list for all users.
How about that "The Click Song"? Absolutely beautiful. The little background info before the song started was really great to let other people know more about the song and why they sing it. A little logistical adjustment I would prefer though would be to make that spoken section a separate track on the album right before this song so that you get "just" the music every time you go to listen to the song. Really stunning vocal performances. I think the basses underneath her (specifically nice on "Holilili") are just as sonorous as a sound as her voice. Highlights for me were: "The Click Song" "Holilili" "Mbube" (which is a cover but was also taken and "repurposed" into "The Lion Sleeps Tonight") "Where Does It Lead" which is a fantastic emotionally grey piece of music. "Saduva" This is such a nice album and one of those ones that reinforces how wonderful and fun music is.
Hard for me to listen and not hate the very hard-panning of the instruments. Man is it grating... Yea this album was alright for me, the songs didn't really blow me away but they weren't terrible. The mix choices unfortunately permeated throughout the listening experience.
Cool sound and it's my first time hearing this band. When the TV Show by the same name came out I really loved it- I thought it was such a great and unique name and I didn't know there was a band with the same name that came before it. I guess it's also just a relatively uncommon (but still used) phrase too? I guess I've had a blind spot to the phrase until now. Anyway, this sound is great; it's inherently very positive and fun and easy to put on and groove to. I found that it was a great pick-me-up for an otherwise bland Thursday where I ran out of coffee and was needing something to keep my eyes open and my mind moving. I'm sitting between a 2 and a 3. The songwriting didn't really blow me away and the output of the music is really highlighted by the tone and feels rather than the smaller building blocks of harmony and melody that other times make songs good. For me it's a 2/5.
"Rockin' Stroll" 's vocal melody sounds so familiar to me. In the first verse I'm hearing maybe It's "I Got You Babe" "Confetti" has a great guitar solo around 1:45. It's short but super tasteful and has a great edge-of-breakup guitar tone. "Rudderless" has some really great chords on guitar to start. It's like Stone Temple Pilots -esque. Very dissonant and yet still listenable. The other vocal parts were cool too but each one (the female "response" vocal, and the male harmony) is too loud compared to the main vocals, which is weird. I really liked "Shakey Ground". Nice short ballad about someone having a platonic friendship that their girlfriend wouldn't be happy with. "Mrs. Robinson" is one of those songs that I could listen to every day, much to the chagrin of the people around me who have to hear it over and over. Having a band cover it I think gives me another reason to put it on repeat, because "this time it's different"! This album was good but not great, and I think it's really elevated a little too much by "Mrs. Robinson". When I was listening to the earlier songs, I knew that that was coming up and I think it colored the experience for me. If there was a song that I felt "meh" about, I still had some excitement that such a classic was right around the corner.
I really enjoy the pacing of the first 4 songs. It's like they are in no rush. There's no performance pressure to speed things up when the energy increases, and it's obvious this was recorded really tightly to a click track. It comes across as a really consistent energy in each song and I appreciate that a lot. Great video-game esque synths throughout the album. I particularly like the intro one on "Little 15". Sounds like a distorted gypsy carnival. Solid album. Great pacing, great 80's moods and dramatic inflections.
I never really listened to her and only recently heard a good bit of her music thanks to the use of her song "Running up that Hill" on the show "Stranger Things". It's a nice album. I don't love the overall sound though. The blend of her voice's tonal qualities, performances, with the music behind her is just alright to me. I think this is a 2/5 for me.
Endtroducing is such an interesting album title. I really enjoy the second track, "Building Steam With A Grain Of Salt". Not only am i a big fan of long winded titles but I also like ambiguous titles and boy is this one. The music is equally as intriguing as the title- the weird piano cluster chords with the spoken voice sample over the top somehow actually really transition nicely into the somber piano/drumset/vocal "ooo aaaah"'s section that follows. Very cool track. I love the glitching on "Midnight In A Perfect World". It's a very cool effect that I guess is being created by a sampled sound/recording being scratched on an actual vinyl. Also a different style of glitching than earlier tracks. This was really enjoyable. I've been listening to a lot of this music lately so I'm in a recent-enjoyment-bias but I can also tell that this was an influential album that inspired others. Lots of good ideas in this one. I wish I could give it a 4 but it's more so a high 3 for me.
Ugh oh man this is a hard rate for me. Britney Spears is one of the greatest and most important pop stars of all time- she ushered in the bubblegum / cute blonde sexy schoolgirl / chorus hooks that are literally infectious tonal shift in music and you can't deny the effect that this has had on the majority of music beyond this release. Max Martin is one of the greatest pop songwriters and producers of all time. Really, to me he is possibly as skilled at writing as the Beatles and I don't know if I consider anyone else to be in that area. Reasons why I don't want to give it a 5: It's a team of super producers/minds who created this music in what is essentially a lab. Like scientists mixing chemicals to find a cure for an end-of-the-world virus, this album similarly was genius producers finely crafting a cure for an end-of-the-90s virus (called "The Grunge"). I'm trying to be objective and bias-less in these, but it's hard! And it's really hard for me to not envision Britney Spears leaving her mandatory 6 hour gym dance practice and daily appointment with her nutritionist and going straight to the studio where all the music is ready for her and the lyrics are in their 501st iteration and all they need is her to step up to the microphone and sing. And I hate this image! It's so... manufactured and so far removed from a more natural songwriting environment, like a group of people sitting in a room with instruments and each of them working through a bad breakup by writing a song together. It's funny to me, when this album popped up I literally said "oooh shit" to myself, because this is such a monstrously popular album, but one that I don't really ever think to put on and listen to. After that innate reaction I took a moment to think and realized that it's really just like all the other albums on this list; it's simply a record full of music tracks. Yes, I have like 50 events from my youth where I associate songs from this album very strongly to- and I'm sure there are many other people my age who have the same. It's just funny how once anything gets so ubiquitous and famous it kind of changes, right? Like the name "Britney Spears" isn't two names- Britney and Spears put together, it's one phrase- "Britney Spears". I think what I'm trying to say is that this album has this quasi Gestalt effect where the sum is greater than it's parts, and it's easy to forget that the parts are really just chords and melodies put together, and the album is just songs bundled up and put in a specific order. A younger me would have given this a 4 and felt that was generous, but alas- I am not that same young, stubborn, opinionated music head anymore. I am wiser. I can see this album pop up on this list and say "oh shit, this album ushered in one of the biggest paradigm shifts ever in the industry". I can say "these songs slap, and ultimately that's what music is about- songs that are simply great to listen to. No matter how you get there, you can't deny a slap." It's a 5 for me. The songs are great, and It's just too important of an album to the landscape of popular music.
Ah man. "I Believe in a Thing Called Love" was a really important song for me in my guitar playing / music learning journey. Looking up some dates, I started playing guitar on Dec 8 2003. This record came out July 7 2003, and I'm assuming it didn't take too long for that single to be all over the airwaves. That summer I was hanging out with friends and talking about learning guitar so I could make a band with them on what was probably a daily basis. I absolutely adore that song and that guitar riff. It's so fun and catchy and exciting and yet it also seemed so approachable to learn. I do remember trying to learn it in my first few months of guitar playing and really failing at it as it was just too fast and too much to take on. I actually never tried again to learn that riff so I think I'm going to do that asap because it's really really great. Despite that song, I kind of question whether this album should be on this list. That's a really great song, and is such a fun throwback to classic rock but with a sweet modern feel. The rest of the album is good but not great, and while there have been other albums on this list that have had 1 real show-stopper track, I'm not sure if that's really enough to bring up the rest. "Get Your Hands off My Woman" (motherfucker) is funny as hell. "Growing on Me" was pretty good. The production and mix on "I Believe in a Thing Called Love" is really really great.
I love this intro to the album. Sleazy guitar riff and evocative vocals. I really like how raw this record is. I kind of wish there was another guitar or something though- for some reason it sounds like it has a pretty weak low-end. Like the bass guitar has no bass in it or is way too low in the mix. This was a fun listen. Overall I dig the sound and the mood but it didn't blow me away or anything.
Very energetic with some really interesting chords that push the expectations of raw punk rock but unfortunately the vocals didn't really do much for me. I know Fugazi is an influential band and I haven't listened to them much and re-listening now I'm coming to the conclusion that it's the vocals that always pushed me away. It's a 2/5 for me.