Thu Sep 22 2022
My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
What a way to restart the project. Although not my favourite Kanye album, it's still probably his best, and practically perfect. Really funny in places, catchy, good for a workout, good for introspective thought, good for a party... it's just really good. First run of 5 tracks is incredible, next three v good but not for me, RUNAWAY, and a solid stretch to close.
Fri Sep 23 2022
Some great songs here, but weighed down by a whole load of other dross which sound pretty much the same. Excess is probably the way to describe it; the vocals, the solos, the length of songs. Sometimes the excess makes a great track, as in the first two examples, but the rest of the time, it's a bit annoying.
Mon Sep 26 2022
Pretty decent, better than expected. Catchy and melodic in places which is a nice surprise considering the reputation metal has.
Tue Sep 27 2022
Despite loving jazz rap, this wasn't my favourite thing. There's some amazing tracks here, The Seed (2.0), Sacrifice, Thought at Work, but then there's just too much weird and mismatched other stuff. I admire the eccentricity in jumping all over the place, but not everything lands.
Wed Sep 28 2022
Enter The Wu-Tang (36 Chambers)
Great sampling, some absolute classics here. Few too many skits for my liking
Thu Sep 29 2022
This Is Hardcore
I get what the album is going for, the dirty hangover vibe that follows the fun and upbeat previous album, but I'm just not a big fan. It drags itself around in a haze, and I just want it to end. Sylvia and the title track are my favourites, the former basically eschewing the sound of the album, and the latter doing the rest of the songs better, making them obsolete. Maybe it's just too cool for me.
Fri Sep 30 2022
Red Headed Stranger
Almost ambient in its restraint with background instrumentals, giving it a beautiful and soft tone, despite the multiple murders going on. Short and sweet, proof that country doesn't have to suck. Most of the tracks were written by other people, but picking and choosing songs to fit the story is actually pretty impressive. Nearly a 5 tbh
Mon Oct 03 2022
The Rolling Stones
Just a classic, with every kind of rock and roll you need. From jazz and blues, to acoustic ballads, to excellent riffs. Probably the most consistent stones album.
Wed Oct 05 2022
She's So Unusual
Little bit too 80s for my taste, with synths overwhelming everything else in the tracks. Nevertheless, it's pretty good, fantastic for a debut album. Girls Just Wanna and Time after Time are deservedly well known and popular, but the front half of the album is fantastic, but the second half is much weaker in comparison.
Thu Oct 06 2022
Welcome To The Pleasuredome
Frankie Goes To Hollywood
Went in prepared to hate it as a symbol of the excessive indulgences of the 80s, but I actually got into it. Drums thankfully have a real weight to them which is often a problem with synthy music. Way too long with a lot of fluff in the back half. The Springsteen cover was basically pointless except to remind me that I probably prefer that kind of music to this. The big bombastic style is brought down by weird deviations in sound (San Jose) and the skits. I can understand why someone would love this, but for me, its just pretty decent.
Fri Oct 07 2022
Court And Spark
Little bit disappointed considering the reputation Mitchell has. The pop-jazz combination fails to be either jazzy enough to be authentically cool, or poppy enough to be catchy and fun. Lyrics are still good, but need to be read alongside the listening. Some nice tracks, but a lot of weird choices.
Mon Oct 10 2022
A total surprise, in the best way. It's impressive how the sounds can conjure different places and vibes for different people; a 70s spacestation bachelor pad, a stylish spy film score, a safe zone in a 90s video game. For me, it's the sound of a cool house party, where you're swapping between a fun and crowded party downstairs, and a cool quiet bedroom upstairs to recharge. It's fantastic that an album can vividly take me to such a place, as well as do the same to other people in different ways. Feel bad giving it 5 stars, since it's not revolutionary or anything, but I really like it.
Tue Oct 11 2022
It's got classwarfare against the upper classes, catchy indie rock riffs, witty lyrics, a 90s culture and drugs vibe: basically everything I love. Very little I dislike here, in comparison to the album that follows this. Compared to This is Hardcore, this is cooler, catchier, more meaningful and more enjoyable by a long way.
Wed Oct 12 2022
Slightly too noise-rocky for my tastes, but still very good. First two tracks have a fantastic post-punk grunge feel, but maintain a kind of optimism.
Thu Oct 13 2022
Bat Out Of Hell
It's growing on me. Completely ridiculous and bombastic, but done with a proper sincerity rather than a smug ironic detachment which saves it imo. Catchy as hell, and pretty enjoyable for what it is. Also finding out it released in 77, rather than the 80s as I had assumed lends the album an air of originality, almost as a model for the arena rock of the 80s.
Fri Oct 14 2022
The concept is very cool, but that's about it. I'm glad it's on the list, and don't actively dislike it, but the failed potential here is really disappointing. Takes a long time to get going, and yet never feels like it gets to the final destination.
Butterfly is sick, cool 90s beats with classical Indian melodies- v good
Mon Oct 17 2022
Since I Left You
Meticulously brilliant, and with enough catchy tunes to keep you listening to complexity here. One to revisit on a sunny pool party kind of day.
Tue Oct 18 2022
The White Stripes
It's indie rock, so I'm very biased in favour of it. Nevertheless, biases notwithstanding, this is a fantastic album. 7 Nation and Button to Button are great head banging catchy tunes, two nice stripped back tracks in the middle. More bluesy than I expected, not entirely unpleasant.
Wed Oct 19 2022
Very enjoyable, and holds up well even today, despite being the origin for a whole new genre. Almost like a Tribe Called Quest's British cousins. A lot of tracks are better suited for background listening, ambient music, but that's fine with me. Starting to realise I have a lot of nostalgia for British albums from the 90s, despite only living a week in the decade.
Thu Oct 20 2022
Another example of why I love this project. I can understand why this album could seem like a total hodge-podge mess of sounds, but I really like that chaotic mix of genres. It keeps you on your toes, never bores, and is pretty catchy. From Latin American rap, to Arabic beats, the sounds of the world feel more cohesive than something like OK.
N.B - Really difficult to find this album online which is a shame. Also the whole debate on separating art from artists is a hot potato, but it's nice to see a band promote positive political movements like workers' rights from their inception 20 years ago to the present day.
Fri Oct 21 2022
Big Brother & The Holding Company
Glad to have heard it, but not one I'm likely to return to. The cover is fantastic, some of the coolest illustrations to ever grace the cover of an album. Joplin's voice perfectly matches the scratchy, wild guitars.
Mon Oct 24 2022
Fear Of Music
What I love about Talking Heads is that it's a band that can reconcile the weird, literate, often pretentious, but clever music with fun, radio-friendly, catchy music, all without ever losing their identity. This album achieves that, somewhere between enjoyable and funny (Animals is hilarious), and unsettling and nervous. The title is really fitting, as it's just about fear. Fear of achieving perfection, to urban life, to the air we breathe.
Tue Oct 25 2022
Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere
Neil Young & Crazy Horse
Not sure on this one. Nothing I dislike, but nothing I adore either. This might be a side-effect of only ever hearing how good Young is, but never actually having heard a single song of his. Cinnamon Girl is pretty cool, an ancestor to music I prefer.
Having listened a bit more, it's more enjoyable. Guitar solos are tastefully done, skilful without being ostentatious. I actually really like the long tracks, they never feel boring or unnecessary. That can't be said for every song on the album, but the album itself is short enough that even the weaker songs in the back half don't ruin it. Overall, pretty good, just needed some more time with it.
Wed Oct 26 2022
Ritual De Lo Habitual
Very poor introduction. The artwork, vocals, and first 3 songs in general really grated with me. A lot of it reminds me of the worse examples of 2000s pop-punk, which is probably unfair to say, considering how this sound influenced so many great and terrible bands from that period.
Three Days is good, not as good as I had expected based on the reputation it has. Obvious is ok, but the other tracks are either short and annoying, or long and meandering.
Overall, big disappointment considering I'm really fond of alt-rock, grunge and most 90s sounds. Feel bad giving it a 1, probably not fully deserved, but there's nothing here for me to return to, and I just did not enjoy it at all.
Thu Oct 27 2022
Cee-Lo Green... Is The Soul Machine
Cee Lo Green
You really don't need to listen to this before you die.
Why is this on the list? It's over an hour of either irritating or just bland music. Vocals get annoying very quickly. Cee Lo does not suit hip hop, so why not include his next album, the shorter, better one, the poppier one, the one with the big hits? Now I'm embarrassed of showing my Cee Lo Green discography knowledge.
Fri Oct 28 2022
In The Wee Small Hours
Absolutely essential listening. It's the work that not only birthed the concept album, but the concept of the album itself, as a cohesive piece of art. It also re-ignited Sinatra's career, and formed the basis for the break up album. I love albums that capture a time and place, and for me this is a late-night, rainy-day, drinking-alone-in-a-city album, and I love it. Maybe a bit long, but it works well as a background piece you can dip your attention in and out of at will.
Tue Nov 01 2022
Back At The Chicken Shack
Very solid, funky fun. Despite quite liking jazz, I'd never heard of Jimmy Smith prior to this, and that now seems like a shame. It doesn't reinvent the wheel, but it does what it does really well. Something to groove to at an intellectual dinner party, or a chilled study session.
Wed Nov 02 2022
Before And After Science
It's pretty good. It feels a bit trapped between Talking Heads new wave, and Eno's later ambient music, and consequently doesn't really reach the heights of either style imo. Still fairly catchy, enjoyable, and tranquil towards the end. My key criteria of an album creating or transporting you to a place is kind of met, as Eno mentions it's an ocean album, which I can dig.
Thu Nov 03 2022
It's got at least 2 bangers in Stars and Medication, so the album gets at least a 3 for them. I expected a bit more from this as I'm pretty fond of Primal Scream, not to mention that 90s British drug vibe. Never felt fully cohesive as an album, with the sounds and influences jumping around too much to form a strong centre. Didn't dislike it though, and it kind of creates an an atmosphere, as the band describe it as 'an anarcho-syndicalist speedfreak road-movie record' which I personally don't entirely feel or understand.
Tue Nov 08 2022
Not a big MJ fan, and really not a fan of 80s pop with all its excessive indulgences. But, this is pretty good. Hard not to groove along. The main problem I have with it, is a lack of emotional connection. The intention of the album was to create an album with each track being as good as the main single, which it probably achieves. However, as a result it feels a little mechanical, creating tracks to appeal to as wide an audience as possible.
As much as it doesn't sit well with my biases and opinions on the artist, it absolutely belongs on the list, its influence is undeniable, and so it has to get at least 4, pretty close to 5.
An album to play at a Halloween party, not the strongest atmosphere for a whole album, but it works.
Wed Nov 09 2022
It's got some great new-wave post-punk tracks, but I'm less keen on the ambient gothic rock sound, which is a shame considering I like ambient instrumentals. I like quite a few parts of the album, it just never comes together in the way I was hoping it would, which I guess is fair enough considering it's their 2nd album, and first to capture what we all think of as The Cure.
Thu Nov 10 2022
Pretty good, about what I expected. I quite like the 2000s neo-soul Soulquarian sound, and this fits into the genre well. Way too long, and the second half loses the fun upbeat sound of the start, but the jazzier vibes aren't bad.
For me, this is an album for a summer bbq that goes on from the mid afternoon into a cool relaxed evening, something to play before going out.
Fri Nov 11 2022
Way better than expected, since I was anticipating crusty dad-rock, and was ultimately greeted with catchy poppy hooks, and a fun balance of synths and guitars. My head started nodding, and it didn't really stop.
It's short and sweet, very little filler or bad tracks to be found here.
Appropriately, it's a driving album, windows down, sun out, volume to the max.
Mon Nov 14 2022
Me Against The World
Probably some of the better gangsta rap I've heard, some great tracks coated in those 90s hip-hop beats I really like. Another album that suffers due to length, could be cut down a bit, but no skits thankfully.
For me, this is an album for driving round a big American city in the 90s, probably around the evening turning to night.
Tue Nov 15 2022
Dig Your Own Hole
The Chemical Brothers
90s drugged up Britain strikes again, and I eat this up every time. It balances the psychedelic sounds with big beats really well, and despite being over an hour long, it doesn't drag due to the nature of the album as more of a dancefloor piece, a place where time dissolves. Love both the vocal tracks, great in different ways.
This is to me is a club album, but with different stages of the night out. For some reason, I get a basement club atmosphere for this. The last two tracks feel like the quiet walk back, and the planning for the next night out respectively.
Thu Nov 17 2022
Pet Shop Boys
A better, shorter, more clever, more enjoyable version of Welcome to the Pleasuredome. I also way prefer Neil Tennant's vocals, unique but not distracting.
The LGBT, anti-Thatcher and general synths position this as almost a soundtrack to films and series like Pride and obviously It's a Sin, so that's the kind of atmosphere I'm feeling.
Thu Nov 24 2022
Songs From The Big Chair
Tears For Fears
Some fantastic songs, but they don't seem to go together in a cohesive way. First half much stronger than the back. Can't feel a place or a time from this album, since it jumps in tone so often.
Tue Dec 06 2022
Not entirely my cup of tea. It's got some good and catchy pieces, but the overall atmosphere is far too melancholic for my tastes. Considering its a concept album about a heroin addicted couple as parents, that's unsurprising.
Fri Dec 16 2022
Bringing It All Back Home
Prior to this, I never really got Dylan beyond appreciating he was an important figure. Now, I think I'm a convert. Dividing the album between the rock and folk styles varies the sound without losing cohesion, and is a great intro to someone like me. I still don't get the lyrics but I feel them, which is arguably better. Tbh it's a 5 if only for Subterranean, Tambourine, and Baby Blue.
As for a location, I listened to it in a city on a bright winter's day, so it fits for me. Going from festive, fun and upbeat, to a slower, more melancholic, but never lacking in hope, as the day comes to an end.
Mon Dec 19 2022
It's easy to be snobby about this era of hard rock, but for all it's worth, this is a proper good time. Nothing unexpected, but clearly very influential for other bands that would follow in their footsteps. Solid all the way through, and super brisk at 35 minutes. It's an album for a fat car on the way to the gym to lift some heavy weights.
Sun Dec 25 2022
The Hour Of Bewilderbeast
Badly Drawn Boy
Bit of a disappointment. Early 2000s British indie singer-songwriter should be perfect for me, and yet it's just slightly annoying. It erratically jumps from sub Nick Drake to more uptempo stuff, but there's an atmosphere of snobishness that rubs me the wrong way. Some decent tracks, but not something to revisit.
Wed Feb 08 2023
Stuck between 3 and 4 here, in that it's I'm quite fond of the style and of course 90s British rock, but I recognise the fact that it's not really that original or clever. I'm not 100% sure it belongs on the list, but I'm glad to have found it here regardless. As for the place and time, I get a cool punky bedroom on an autumn afternoon, and I have no idea why.
Thu Feb 09 2023
Bubble And Scrape
Just give me Dinosaur Jr, or Nirvana, or Pavement, or Pixies. This just is nowhere near as enjoyable as those examples, with a bare few tracks that I actually liked. Another one where its presence on the list is in question for me.
Fri Feb 10 2023
Elvis Costello & The Attractions
Very dense, intricate and clever. When you can get into it, you'll be rewarded with catchy pop and new wave at its best, but unmemorable OK-ness at other points. Love the album art too. It's kind of like a dinner party at a very fancy house, with very intelligent people who are intimidating, but then someone makes a great joke and stuff starts to click, and then the fun starts.
Sat Feb 11 2023
It's not even my favourite Radiohead album but it still achieves the 5. I don't really have much to add to the discourse on it; yeah it's prophetic, yeah it bridges their two styles really well, yeah it's hugely influential. It's just very good. It feels like an album for public transport on a cold day, surrounded by people, but still alone.
Sun Feb 12 2023
I shouldn't have been so cynical upon seeing country-pop as the genre tags. In fact, this whole album basically refutes the concept of cynicism in favour of a kind of melancholic hope. With slight psychedelic and electronic sounds coming through, similar to Porter Robinson imo, it keeps things interesting, but not quite enough for me. It's for sitting in the garden in the sun with a slight breeze and a good drink.
Thu Feb 16 2023
A Girl Called Dusty
It's about as good as an album of covers can ever be, for better or for worse. Some excellent picks to cover, with a decent variety of styles. Stuck between 3 and 4, but it's not quite good enough to justify the lack of anything original. It captures the sound of the 50s/60s pretty well, and makes me think of working in a dinner in that era (which working at Frankie and Benny's is pretty close to).
Fri Mar 03 2023
Points for the sheer absurdity of mixing 80s Queen and pop, with industrial metal, and a theme of fascism. It fails to hold attention beyond the first half, and essentially devolves, but still worth a listen. The concept is clear- the anthems of a victorious, industrial, fascist autocracy.
Sun Mar 05 2023
Mr. Tambourine Man
It's got a lot of covers, but my God, they're good covers. The absolute balls to open with Mr Tambourine Man and then end with We'll Meet Again with jangly, British invasion styles is incredible. The sheer influence of the album can't be denied, especially in my favourite genres, and it's a great time to boot. Definitely a summer album, maybe smoking a joint in a back garden.
Mon Mar 06 2023
Exactly the kind of thing I want to get from this project. Good but not one I'd revisit, and I'd probably enjoy it more as just instrumental pieces. A chill warm orange sunset.
Fri Mar 31 2023
I recognise that it's just not for me. My first Miles album of the list and I dont know what I think of it. Maybe I need more time with it, but I can realise its good, without really loving it. It's like being in a car crash, and every one of your senses is being violated. Definitely not bad though.
Sun Apr 02 2023
American IV: The Man Comes Around
The good stuff here is absolutely incredible, but there's a fair bit of unmemorable filler in my opinion. Cash's Blackstar is emotional and heartbreaking at points, but a glorious swansong. A cold look back at one's life and what will come next.
Tue Apr 04 2023
Very much meh, a disappointment considering how famous the Grateful Dead are, as well as the fact that this is supposedly their best studio album. Solid opening with someone upbeat country rock, but soon falls into unmemorable and slightly dreary, homogenous 70s Americana.
Thu Apr 06 2023
I Am a Bird Now
Antony and the Johnsons
I hate the vibrato. I'm sorry, but the vocal performance here is just not for me, to an extent that it renders most of the album a chore, if not a pain, to listen to. Another example of where instrumentals only would be preferable. It's also a bit too bleak in terms of lyricism for me, but definitely not bad. Some cool guest features I'll concede.
Fri Apr 07 2023
Another great example of why this project is so fun. Despite loving jazz, I'd never ventured into Afro-Cuban Jazz and yet it's really fun. A cool blend of American big-band, with African rhythm, and Cuban melodies. Some complain that it's a bit one note, without enough variety, but I find the tempo and tone changes sufficiently exciting while maintaining a consistent theme for the album. It's an album for cooking, then enjoying a nice meal, then chilling with a cocktail, and maybe having a little dance.
Thu Apr 13 2023
Are You Experienced
I can appreciate it as a seminal piece of art, hugely influential, incredibly talented, but honestly I didn't love it. I can only take so much psychedelic before it turns into a bad trip and make me ill. I liked a lot of the songs, but I wouldn't necessarily revisit the whole album.
Fri Apr 14 2023
Reggatta De Blanc
My unconscious dislike of Sting and The Police (with a few exceptions) is pretty much confirmed by this album. I feel as though every song has moments I really like, but then really irritating vocals and white reggae (which is just plain embarrassing at points) rear their heads, and repeat ad nauseam. The opening track and Bring on the Night are very enjoyable. The rest, however, is not.
Mon Apr 17 2023
It's like Nick Drake fucked Van Morrison in a jazzy, bluesy atmosphere, and it's amazing. Tonally inconsistent, but still able to retain a cohesive identity of a chilled nightime, looking out on a city vibe. A real treasure to discover.
Tue Apr 18 2023
At Newport 1960
Technically impressive in terms of sound quality and influence. It sounds as good as a studio album ten years down the line. Pretty enjoyable, and nothing to dislike, but nothing that grabbed me. A live album creates a unique atmosphere though.
Thu Apr 27 2023
Way better than expected, especially with my fairly neutral stance on the title track. The chilled folk rock are surprisingly entertaining, with a few more upbeat songs sandwich he'd between. It's like a road trip through America, jumping between the optimism of the 50s and 60s and the darker folkier side of the 70s.
Sat Apr 29 2023
It's good but I wish it were better. It jumps too often between garage, psychadelica, surf, lounge pop, blues, and so on to be really consistent. I liked the songs but I wish they were slightly tighter, either with more catchy and accessible hooks, or more obtuse and intellectual. But I'm now very excited to hear their next album on this list.
Fri May 19 2023
It's pretty much perfect, banger after banger, with something for everyone. It's not the most creative or groundbreaking album ever, but it is consistently fantastic, and likely to please everyone around you. Best suited for a garden party or bbq with family in good weather, something for everyone here.