I don't hate the music. I get the appeal. I love the blues. But if you take away the music they blatantly stole from African Americans with inadequate recognition, there's nothing left. 2/5 - 2 only bc there are some good guitar licks
Amazing first track. It propels forward like a train locomotive. There is something surprising here, despite the simplicity.
Dang, I wish I knew about this album back in 1997! It would've been right up my alley! I love the opening track. The album is long but really fun. Gives me Guided by Voices/early Blur/Dandies vibes in all the best ways. Really enjoyed this, I may add it to my rotation.
I haven't heard this album since the 90s and I had forgotten how excellent this music was. Great musicianship, jazzy fun funk grooves with a 70s feel, hard not to dance to. I might listen to this one again.
I loved this album when it came out, and I still love it. A really cohesive, beautiful soundtrack/album.
This is one of those albums I know really well even though I never intentionally listen to it. I must admit, I just don't get why this is so beloved. I don't hate it but I find it a bit of a sleeper.
I had never heard of Louis Prima, but his voice and several songs on this album were familiar to me. It's kinda impossible not to like this - this musicianship is amazing, the songs irresistibly upbeat, swingy, and fun.
This album isn't available on Spotify so I listened to it on YouTube. This is such fun era of English ska and the musicianship is excellent. Lively, fun, and upbeat. I'm not likely to be drawn back to it again bc that era of my music obsession has passed but I would have loved this in the 90s!
Full disclosure: this album came out when I was an impressionable 14 year old and I was never a major fan. Radios then proceeded to overplay this album for the subsequent 30 years. It seemed like every third song played on my radio stations was Pearl Jam. I am beyond bored by this music at this point. So that's where I was coming from listening to the album today. Thoughts: it is just as self pitying and whiny as I remembered; the album is actually very cohesive and every song is strong - there's almost no filler; the musical skill and songwriting are there and I can see why this album blew people away; but basically, I just don't really like it/it was ruined for me by overplaying a whiny ex boyfriends who were obsessed with it. Still, it was an interesting exercise listening to it from beginning to end. All those years of hearing singles, I never appreciated how well the album holds together.
That first track is sooooo freaking good. Does the rest of the album keep to that high standard? Alas, no. But this did come out just when concept albums got hip again, and it did try. Struggling between 3 and 4 here ...
I guess these guys invented grunge rock? I might have thought this was kinda fun at age 13 for the sole reason that it would annoy my parents. At my current advanced age, however, it just gives me a headache and seems hopelessly monotonous. Not my thing.
SUCH AN AMAZING ALBUM. Muddy Waters is a fantastic vocalist and guitar player and every song is just perfection. I love the sense of fun and the unrestrained masculinity (mojo!). One of my all time faves, everything this man touched was gold in my book. 5/5
Wow. Such a good album. I know many see it as not as good as his first album (Songs of Leonard Cohen), I would take a sophomore effort by Leonard Cohen over the vast majority of albums out there. Powerful, austere, spiritual, melancholy. It's hard to date by its sound because the production is so minimal and therefore always feels fresh and relevant to me. 5/5
Getting all the way through this album requires ... grit. The first six tracks are very weird and non-melodic but you feel like, ok, this is cool even if it's pretty hard to listen to. You probably need to be stoned out of your mind to appreciate it, and even then you'd prefer to listen to something more ... musical. But ok. The track seven comes and it's just absolutely horrendous noise - l it's a really bad trip and your drugs were laced with poison. I mean I'm sure these guys were technically good but this is just too much! I emerged a little shaken, glad I survived. I won't be listening to this one ever again if I can help it.
I had never heard of this one but it's right up my alley with the gorgeous lounge vocals and sweet electronic vibe. I will listen again for sure! This album is slick.
There are some really fun, exuberant tracks of this album, songs I'm always happy to hear come up on a song list or the radio, but the rest of the album just doesn't live up to them. I'd give it a 2.5 just bc those tracks are legit fun and good but as an album it's pretty forgettable.
I had never heard this album, and was only aware of a couple of singles by Simple Minds. This album started out a bit meh for me but then really grew on me. I really enjoy the vocals and there is some good songwriting. Overall enjoyed this listen but not sure I'll seek it out again.
Oh gosh. I just pretty much suffered through this album and hated every moment. My 10 yo daughter asked me why anyone would listen to this, and I suggested it would annoy your parents and that could be fun? "Poor parents!" she said. Even to annoy my parents I couldn't listen to this.
This is light and fun and you can see why people loved it. Too bad it was basically all stolen goods.
This may come as a surprise from someone who HATED Tago Mago, but I love this album. This is how I enjoy my experimental electronica - in a lush soundscape with some actual melodies. It is what it is and I'm not going to apologize. This album helped turn me onto electronica circa 2002 and I still have a big soft spot for it. I listened to this twice yesterday and it still holds up for me. The first tracks are the best but there are good moments throughout. The album is wonderfully cohesive, which I love. I'd give it a 4.5 if I could, bc not every track is amazing. But it's so solid.
Nina Simone is flawless, powerful, confrontational, amazing. Everything she touches turns to gold. Four Women knocked me over, and Lilac Wine is of course fantastic. Break Down is a fantastic song I don't think I had ever focused on before and it's a new favorite. My only minor criticism of this album is that it's an odd assortment of songs and doesn't feel cohesive. But with Nina this almost seems like a positive thing - she really keeps you unsettled and guessing here. 5/5
Well this album is completely bizarre. It mostly consists of loud clanging sounds, grungy guitar, and baritone screaming and grunting in French. That said, I hated it quite a bit less than the Pantera album I was recently subjected to. At least it was mildly entertaining. Definitely not my thing, and I will not be seeking out French industrial music again, but it was weird and interesting and not PURE torture, hence 2/5.
I have a difficult relationship with this album. I love everything that LCD Soundsystem did for electronica. I think this is a great album from a musical standpoint. So many of my favorite musicians list this album as a favorite and I get it. But I just don't love it. For me, it's a touch too cerebral and self-aware, the exact qualities that other love about it. It just doesn't touch me in any emotional way at all. It's undoubtedly a great album but it's not my favorite album. 4/5
I had never heard this album before - I liked it, and I feel like I could grow to like it quite well. Breezy, stylish, 80s Brit-pop with sophisticated instrumentation (a little disco/jazzy). I liked Bonnie and When Love Breaks Down. I agree with other commenters that the album cover doesn't fit the vibe of the music at all. 3/5
I was pretty much expecting to dislike this - early punk is not my thing at all, although I do love a lot of later 90s punk-influenced music, especially Sleater Kinney and Sonic Youth. But those early days when you went to a punk show in order to get trashed and brawl? Yeah, not my thing. The Germs were so notorious for shows that ended in violence they were banned from clubs in LA and had to change their name to (GI) to get gigs! All that said, I was surprised by how much I liked this album. I think it's the crisp production that makes it so compelling to listen to. Apparently this is not how they sounded live and listening to some live recordings confirmed that. But here each instrument comes across clearly and there is a surprising amount of skill here ... It's still not my thing but I couldn't bring myself to hate it at all. 2.5/5
This album is a classic and I don't dislike it, but it's just not my thing. I just find Sinatra a cut clean and perfect and biting. At the end of the album Spotify recommended Nat King Cole and I immediately perked up, bc BLUESY. Sinatra feels square in comparison. Yawn. 2.5/5
I had not heard this before. This album is strange and interesting and I could imagine it might grow on me over time. The production and musicianship is excellent despite it being recorded live. I'm not completely converted by the high theatrical sound and humorous lyrics but definitely intrigued ...3/5 for intrigue
Superficially, this has many features I often love - European bubblegum pop/electronic with LGBTQ leanings. But I found it so boring and unmemorable. I liked the French part of the album better in large part bc the lyrics in English are terrible. Sadly, this was a "MEH" for me.
As far as the Byrds go, this is a fun, different, and interesting album. They move away from poppy folk (which to me sounds anodyne and overplayed at this point) to more psychedelic vibes here. They also get points for directly crediting black sources of musical inspiration in their interviews. I'm not likely to listen to this again on purpose but I can see its importance and impact.
Even though many of the songs on this album have been horribly overplayed, this album is just so solid. I'm reminded of what great musicians these guys were and the production is just so clean and well done. The songwriting is cohesive, every song but one is a stand out, just a fantastic album. 5/5
I really like some of the more synthy jazzy prog of the early 80s, but this is just too "doctor's office music" for me. Super elevator-y and unmemorable.
This is a mellow, dreamy, cozy album with 40s crooner vibes. I didn't love it at first but it grew on me as I listened. It's unusual enough to catch my attention while being eeeeeeasy to listen to. It's not revolutionary but it is well crafted and enjoyable.
I don't love this album - the lyrics are so aggressively violent and misogynistic, the sound is old fashioned and uninteresting to me (with the exception of the track Express Yourself, which is really good) - but I can appreciate the impact and importance of this album and I've enjoyed several NWA spin-offs far more than the original. 3/5 for legacy/import.
Bjork is really on the cutting edge here - this album is unusual, experimental, and understated. I personally prefer the raw emotion of Homogenic but there is no question in my mind that this is an excellent album, deserving of being on this list.
This is one of my favorite albums. It was so prescient when it came out - it became one of those iconic albums which perfectly aligned with the zeitgeist. The songwriting is cohesive and so beautiful. The Thom Yorke tracks kill me every time. I know it isn't everyone's favorite PJ album but it's definitely my personal favorite.
Oh dang, this is such good stuff! I loved this album, especially Clint Eastwood, of course, when it came out and it was my happy soundtrack for a while. Just. So. Good. So happy to be reminded of this one. 4/5
This was - totally fine. I liked it. It didn't blow my mind in any way, though. I'm not sure why it's on the list but there are some good tracks here. My love of pretty vocals over electronic sounds is well known. Overall, I'd give it a 3.5 but I'm rounding down because it didn't strike me as particularly original or the best of its genre.
Meh. Not only isn't this my thing (it's not), but I think these guys are quite a bit less talented than some of the other folks playing this genre (which is not my thing). Overall: boring and monotonous.
This was new to me and very cool. While I don't love the emphasis on/glorification of drugs and suicide in the lyrics, I loved the experimental psychedelic electronica vibes, and when I looked them up I realized Spacemen 3 were a precursor to Spiritualized (who I love) which makes sense and explains a lot. So this was awesome, would definitely listen again.
Well this was just fun! Like listening to the soundtrack of B movies from the 70s - I mean this as a positive. Lively, upbeat, bongo-centric 70s jazzy musak - what's not to love? Seriously, I would listen to this again, it would be great party music, I love the vibe.
I am not an Elvis fan! At all! In large part because he stole music from black people without providing the appropriate credit, and because he only seemed "original" to white people at the time bc the music world was so segregated. But this is such a well produced and thoughtfully conceived album, a return to the soulful roots of Southern rock. So I'm a bit torn! I'd give it a 4 for production and concept, but a 2 for originality. So I guess it's a 3 ...
Not my favorite Neil Young album - as he got older, his songs became more and more didactic, and the overall feeling is one of being lectured. That said, I love love love the crunchy country guitar and I have a major soft spot for his voice. A good album, if not the greatest. 3.5/5 rounding up to 4 because Neil Young.
Um, no. I love Sitar music but this is just terrible. Sitar covers of Rolling Stones songs and Light My Fire?? I just ... can't. I can get into some music fusion, but why these terrible songs?! In case this didn't come across (lol), this is not my thing AT ALL. But I will acknowledge (barf) that this album might have turned some bland white people onto sitar music. So sad.
I had not heard this one before, but I came to it completely prepared to dislike it because it's late 60s psychedelic and I thought my hippy parents kinda burned me out on this whole genre (although I adore Jimi, Janice and any number of hippy era artists so this is probably one of those dumb prejudices that has no basis in reality). Indeed, I loved this album! So much that I'm giving an album I had never heard until yesterday FIVE STARS. That's serious stuff. This album is hard to put words to, but it's a richly layered Cajun/zydeco cacophony. Extremely well produced, super fun songs, amazing musicianship. I listened to it twice and want to listen to it again right now.
I listened to this album CONSTANTLY in the late 90s, to the point where my CD version got beat up and scratched and started to skip, but I just kept on listening. Now when I listen to it on Spotify my brain expects it to skip at a couple points and I am viscerally surprised that it doesn't. Which is to say, this is an all time favorite, changed my outlook on music, was the soundtrack to a pivotal time in my young adult life, defined an era, etc. etc. Listening to it 20+ years later, it holds up pretty dang well. In retrospect this was a transitional album as Radiohead started to move away from guitar and into electronic music, and away from sad sack introspection to bigger philosophical themes around technology, late capitalism, postmodernism, etc. It was because of that latter transition that this album captured the zeitgeist and mood of the moment so perfectly. How did they nail that existential millennial anxiety so perfectly? Or did they actually create it? Either way - goosebumps! An important album and one of my all time favorites. 5/5
Such an amazing and personally important album for me. In 2010 when it came out, we were still in deep recession, I had a one year old son (but if it's too much to ask, send me a son), and I was experiencing parenting in a hyper-vigilant culture in a big city in an underwater house. This album powerfully described all of the above, pulling me into lyrics thick with nostalgia for my feral 1980s childhood "screaming and running through the yard." Of course the suburbs of my childhood had problems too, and this album doesn't shy away from them. The truly poetic lyrics plus driving guitar-heavy rock interspersed with moments of soft pathos and amazing catchy melodies- this album is so freaking addictive. Since getting it as my album I haven't wanted to hear anything else. It ends with this piece of pure poetry and philosophy: If I could have it back, All that time that we wasted, I'd only waste it again. If I could have it back, You know I'd love to waste it again and again and again.
I enjoyed this album a lot. It has those rich layers I always love, lots of variety and experimentation, always with solid grooves and great instrumentation. I feel a bit out of my depth reviewing and rating an album that isn't in English, though - as one reviewer put it, I have no idea what he's saying but I have no reason to doubt it! I definitely enjoyed the he listening experience and will be playing this again! For the excellent instrumentation and overall coolness factor 4/5
This is totally not my thing. My knowledge of this genre is admittedly nil. But even as R&B goes, I do not find anything especially good or different about this album. On the contrary I can think of a lot of R&B I like a lot better than this. I don't hate it, but it's big MEH for me. 2.5/5, rounded down bc it's just so unremarkable.
This album is very cool, especially when you realize it came out in 1977. Definitely on the cutting edge at that time. I love the exploration of electronic and ambient sounds. Overall the album is a bit downbeat and at times, sad, speaking to David Bowie's personal struggles. I find it slightly disjointed as an album, but that may have been intentional. A great album, albeit not one of my personal all time favorites.
This was another new album to me. Fun very early 80s Brit pop/rock. I could see how this album could grow on me, and I could definitely hear the influence of the Byrds on these guys and the later influence this would have on REM or even later stuff like Pixies and Pavement. It didn't totally blow my mind but it is fun fun fun rock and roll. I could see myself returning to this. 3.5/5 rounded up to 4.
I can definitely hear the similarities to Radiohead on this album but despite listening to it twice, I just could not get into this. It wasn't horrible but it just never really caught my interest. 2.5 rounded up bc I didn't actively dislike it, it just didn't do anything for me.
There are too many Byrds albums on this list in my not-so-humble opinion. I like them fine but I'm not a mega fan and - it's a lot. I can absolutely appreciate the influence they had on British pop and folk. The harmonies are really pretty and the musicianship is good. It's just not really my thing. To my mind it has not aged as well as some other music from the same era, although I know many would disagree. 3/5
My love of shoegaze is well known. This isn't my favorite of that genre (my favorite is My Bloody Valentine of course) but I do love the shushing, whooshing, whirling vibes. I'd much rather listen to this than probably 75% of this list. Therefore it gets a 4/5 from me. Solid, interesting, and enjoyable, but not my all time favorite.
This was a super fun surprise. A lively and upbeat cacophony of different instruments and samples and musical styles. I especially love the opening track but Hero is also top notch. The style is difficult to pin down but I'm reminded of the best parts of later Blur as well as the more obvious 70s references. So good! I will definitely return to this. 4/5
I can appreciate this album, with its roots in British folk, but I've never fallen in love with it. I guess that sweet Byrds style of vocal harmony just isn't my thing. Still, this is a good album, very listenable, great musicians, cool layers of psychedelic folksiness. 3.5/5, rounding up in an attempt to be fair to good musicians.
I just couldn't get past how much like Radiohead this sounds, and not my favorite Radiohead either, but the earlier stuff I never liked that much. I listened to the album twice, hoping to hear more nuance, but it didn't happen. Why would I listen to this when I could listen to actual Radiohead? 2.5/5 rounded up bc I don't actively dislike it.
I can't provide an unbiased review of this album because it was formative to my musical development. I was obsessed with it from at least the early 90s and listened to it regularly for 10+ years. Hearing it again for the first time in 20 years, it holds up well! I had forgotten how long the album is, there is definitely some filler in there, but also some great tracks mixed in right up to the end. I love the diversion into Yeats towards the end. I still have a soft spot for folksy rock. A beautiful, rich, complex album that formed my tastes. 5/5
This album is a mood. Soft, almost whispering voices, downbeat, fuzzy bass-tones, minimalist, pared down. It is definitely unique and immediately recognizable. I love it, although I'm not sure I'd characterize it as an all-time favorite. But it is the perfect music for a quiet day at home, working on a project, perhaps with the pattering of rain on the roof. 4.5/5 rounding down because I am not sure it has lasting power.
I have mixed feelings about this late recording of Billie Holiday ... I prefer her earlier recordings, when her voice was more dynamic and the instrumentation less heavy. This album is heartbreaking, a picture of Billie at the end of her life, beaten down by drug and alcohol abuse and life circumstances. She sounds so beaten, tired, and sad ... Yet, I'd rather listen to my least favorite Billie Holiday album than 98% of music out there. It is not possible for me to give her less than 5 stars, ever. And listening to this again, I'm wondering if I should give it more of a shot. There is something so poignantly powerful in this effort.
Reggae is not one of my regular, go-to genres and in many instances I would probably say, "it's not my thing." BUT, I do appreciate the subversive political message of some reggae, and this album hits that mark on the head. Far from the stereotype of laid back party music to listen to while you smoke pot on the beach, this album is edgy and angry, with a powerful political message. Musically, I don't like it as well as Bob Marley (but that's a high bar), but perfect production and instrumentation isn't everything. This album is very cool, and I can see why it's on the list. I'd probably give it a 3.4-3.7 if I had more granular options, but I'll round up to 4/5 because it's different and cool.
This is some classic American rock. I had not heard this whole album from beginning to end, although I had obviously heard the singles. I like Tom Petty, although as far as this "genre" of "heartland rock" goes I'd choose Bruce Springstein every day of the week. This album is solidly rocking and upbeat. I enjoy it but it's not a favorite - still, it's better than a lot of albums on this list in my opinion. 4/5
As suggested by the title, this album is a bit edgy. It's only three songs, with the first song being 18 minutes long. I like Yes, I think they do a good job of melding experimental sounds with melodic pieces, and their long songs don't offend me. But this album is edgier than later works, and a bit harder to follow. But, holy noodles, there is some great guitar work here. Whoa. I have mixed feelings - it's not the most cohesive album, it's weird and only borderline listenable, but it IS borderline listenable, and there is some great stuff there. Going with 4/5 despite some uphill slogs because it's cool.
I was not familiar with this particular album, but I really love Youssou N'Dour, so this particular assignment came as a "heck yes!" for me. As mentioned in a prior review, it's a bit hard to rate albums that aren't in English because I can't compare songwriting when I don't understand the lyrics. But dang, I love the SOUND of this album. The drums are amazing, the layers of guitar and brass, the sound of the vocals. Just wonderful. Wikipedia tells me that this album was criticized for the use of synthesizers? I like the synth sounds! So there you go. Love it. 5/5
This album is so cool and unique. Listening to it, I can't help but wish I had been older in 1980 and able to appreciate it when it came out. Oh, to have been conscious of the music scene at that point! It must have been so exciting and different. This album sounds like nothing else recorded, either before or after. According to Wikipedia, David Byrne and Brian Eno were influenced by Fela Kuti and African music, which makes sense - the rhythms are unusual and there is a rambling feel to the vocal melodies that definitely reminds me of Fela. (Of course, Fela was influenced by jazz and funk!) Super unique and cool. Could listen to it over and over and still discover new depths. 5/5
This is my third Byrds album in 66 albums so far, which seems insane (in contrast I haven't seen a single Beatles album yet), so I am feeling like they are really overrepresented on the list, especially since I am definitely not a hard core Byrds fan. That said, this is my absolute favorite of their albums, and that is because it's really more of a Gram Parsons album with a little Byrds on the side, and I can get behind some Gram Parsons. You can hear the influence this had on country and alt-country, and the album is packed with great songs (even if, ironically, I prefer other versions of those songs, but again, I'm not a huge Byrds fan!). While there are arguably too many Byrds albums on the list, this album deserves its place on the list in my opinion. 4/5 for importance and impact.
Oh thank goodness for the Clash! These guys brought punk to the popular consciousness with a skillful blending of harsh mosh pit punk rock with pop, including reggae and ska. This album is such a classic, with one classic tune after another. Angry but totally upbeat at the same time, which is embodied in the two sets of vocals - angry and gruff juxtaposed with sweet and melodious. Really, these guys were brilliant. A favorite (although I like their later work even better).
This is a fantastic album, my favorite R.E.M. album, and one of my favorite albums ever. This is where their music got a bit sadder, a bit deeper, a bit more grown-up. Every song is good - there is no filler in sight here, and some of the best songs come at the very end. Poignant, crystaline, well-conceived song-writing, from beginning to end. I love the instrumentation, too, especially the strings - absolutely beautiful. Of course, I would remiss if I didn't mention that this album, along with several other R.E.M. albums, was the soundtrack of my life at a very formative time and was very personally significant to me. A great band at the peak of their talent. 5/5
Before I listened to this album, I expected that my review of this album would note the absolutely sensational blockbuster hit, "Hello," but then find the rest of the album wanting, because surely the rest was a mere afterthought, right? But in this I was completely mistaken - there are a lot of great songs on this album; moreover, there is a cohesive thread of songwriting through the album. The songs are about getting older (the old, old age of 25) and learning about life, for better and worse. Of course, Adele's voice is just stellar and her vocals have an authenticity that transcends genre - she is a real talent. Now that I've dispelled my first notion that "Hello" was the only song worth listening to here, I will come back to this album and listen more.
There are some fun hits on this album, and overall, I think was a more mature effort than previous RHCP albums. In my opinion, it has not aged particularly well, however. Another reviewer mentioned the fidelity being terrible, and although I don't remember noticing it at the time, I agree it's a fuzzy mess! And not in a cool lo-fi way. It must have been less noticeable when hearing these songs on the radio in my old 1972 VW bug, flying down the freeway with the windows open ... There are some fun, even good, tracks on this album, especially in the first half, but the second half is boring and unmemorable at least until the last track. It hasn't held up super well over the decades, and what felt subversive in 1999 now feels obnoxious and crude to my (older, more matronly) ears (clutch pearls, lol). Still, I have fond memories, so 3/5.
I mean. Obviously. 5/5. Grunge is not one of my genres. I do not subscribe to Nirvana or Kurt Cobain fandom. At age 14, I even pretended to dislike this album when it came out, because it was SO POPULAR, and I wanted to be cool and different and like different things. But let's be real here - this album stopped the world, or at least my world, in its tracks. We all looked up and said, "what?" when this came out. Now that I'm older and can accept that I love many popular things (some things are popular because, um, they are good), I realize just how amazing this album was. It is genre-shattering, cohesive, well put-together, had a consistent message to impart. Whatever you think of that message, you have to admit: THE CRAFTSMANSHIP. Holy crap. Nirvana went on to make a lot more music, some of which I enjoyed and think is good, but nothing ever topped this album. Not one of my personal favorite albums ever but any list of influential music would laughable without it.
I confess, I'm just not a big Elvis Costello fan! His lyrics are clever, but musically, his work generally just doesn't have enough interest for me. I have respect for him and his fans, it's just not personally my thing. For this reason, I was a bit overwhelmed to learn that there are six of his albums on this list ... My favorite track on this album is 20% Amnesia. Kinder Murder is another stand-out. Otherwise, it's just all the same to my ears.
This album came onto the scene to assert that rock and roll is not completely dead, which of course it is not. It is not my favorite album of theirs, but it is pretty fun. I am not sure that we'll all be listening to it still in 40 years, though. Fun but ultimately not a stand out for me in terms of musical skill, songwriting, or composition.
Confession time: I don't really "get" Pink Floyd (or a lot of prog rock, for that matter). But I do understand how important this album is in rock history and it's place on this list. There are a couple of great songs on this album, including Comfortably Numb, which is a total classic. The rest of it I find strangely boring, and I don't understand the hype. But I'm not going to argue it wasn't a turning point in music; it clearly was. If I was on a dessert island, cut off from contact with the larger world, and this was all about me, I'd give it a 2. But I'm not, so it's getting a 3.
I don't get why this is on the list. It's just ... not that great. Inoffensive, but also uninteresting.
California Dreamin' is undeniably a fantastic song, and as a life-long Californian myself, I FEEL this song on a visceral level. But the rest of this album is something I basically suffered through. With only a few exceptions, I am not a fan of the 60s folk-influenced vocal harmonies, which I find to be too sweet and lacking in any interesting dissonance. Several bands fall into this category for me, including the Byrds (so well-represented on this list) and the Mamas and the Papas. It's fine, it's just not my thing. I feel like I can feel my teeth start to ache after three or four songs ...
Well, this was interesting. I had never heard of this artist or this album. In learning more about the artist, I understand he wrote much of this album while in a mental hospital after having a delusional episode, which is heartbreaking. This album starts out with a country twang, and I thought I knew what I was dealing with, but it quickly devolves into something very different - soft, mumbling, almost comprehensible vocals over soft, almost low-fi guitar. The production is very minimal (I understand these were recorded all at once, and it does sound quite raw.) The guitar playing is quite good. As the album evolves/devolves, you can suddenly hear something almost like Elliot Smith or Bonnie Prince Billy emerging from what started out as a country rock/folk album. It's weird, it's sad, and it's interesting. I am not sure I would want to listen to it frequently but I will say - it's not boring. It's hard to know whether this album influenced later indie sounds, given that I had literally never heard of it, but perhaps Skip is a musician's musician and this has been an important album? It made it onto the list. I am giving this four stars for waking me up and shaking me up a bit. It's definitely an interesting selection. I might come back to it.
Several very fun and dramatic songs on a not-so-cohesive album with quite a few filler/so-so songs. In other words, a Queen album! They were more of a singles/best-of band on the whole. But, you have to appreciate their flare for drama and of course, the fact that they achieved mainstream success as LGBTQ artists when that wasn't the norm. Overall, I would not go out of my way to listen to this an album, but it has some banging tracks.
I was a die-hard Pavement fan back in the day - they sounded so different, so fresh, and really launched the whole lo-fi indie rock sound of the 90s and early oughts. Their fuzzy guitar and clever vocals strongly influenced my music taste for two decades or more. This holds up pretty well on relistening, although Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain is the better album in terms of cohesive sound and lack of filler. This earlier effort is less polished, but that's a good thing in this genre. I don't love every song, but it's full of good songs.
Well, it' s Jimi Hendrix. He was an amazing musician and will always get 5/5 out of me. And this is just the most iconic, era-defining Hendrix album. One amazing song after another. Irreverant, challenging, beautiful lyrics, amazing musicianship, and beautifully and minimally produced. I wouldn't want to listen to it every day, but there's no question that it deserves its place on this list. An important and striking piece of art.
Strongly reminds me of Velvet Underground, Lou Reed, and then, later, a lot of 90s lo-fi indie rock. I have always liked Jonathan Richman's music. Although I wouldn't want to listen to him everyday, there is something really refreshing about his simple, upbeat songwriting and delivery. In a world of jaded, cynical artists, he is so - not jaded. This is cool and different. I can see why it's on the list. It's not going to be one I'll be listening to frequently, but I am glad I heard it.
I get why this is on the list, and there are several great/iconic/blockbuster tracks on this album, but as an album it's grating and headache-inducing for me. Not enough variation in the loud guitar metal to keep me engaged, and lots of unmemorable filler tracks. For cultural import and good songs, I'm giving this a 3/5 although my personal review would be more like 2.5.
This is an album where I understand the cultural importance, and I really like a couple of the tracks, but as a whole, the album doesn't do much for me. Still, I get why it's here, and people who know and understand this genre better than I do appreciate this album. I would probably give it a 2.5/5 but I'm rounding up in recognition of its place in the history of hip hop. I do love hearing hip hop in Spanish and these guys do it well.
This was fun. I had never heard of this one, but I really like the opening track and there are a few other good songs on this album. Interesting Scottish post punk synthy 80s pop. A lot to like there! I don't think this will be going on my repeat list but I'd be happy to hear it again. 3.5 rounded up to 4/5.
I don't know how to review this one. It's definitely not my genre (metal), but it has its catchy, rockin' moments. The album is cohesive, very well produced, and the drums are stellar. Compared to other metal albums on the list I've heard so far, I actually quite liked this one. Not like I'll go out of my way to hear it again, but there is a fun driving energy in this album. For me, it's a 3 - it's not my thing but I like it.
I can't believe I'd never heard of Bert Jansch. This is exactly the sort of thing I love and seek out, and apparently he influenced many of my favorite musicians. This is classic cafe singer-songwriter music, a voice over guitar, but wow, what guitar playing! I can hear the influence on artists like Donovan, Nick Drake, Simon & Garfunkle, and even Elliot Smith. A really lovely album I will definitely be coming back to. A surprising 5/5 for me despite never hearing it before now.
There is a lot to like about this album, which I think I listened to off and on when it came out. British indie with nice layering/depth, good lyrics, some solid tracks. But I just don't like it nearly as well as other albums in the genre that came out around the same time. To me it is just not particularly groundbreaking. I enjoyed it, but I wouldn't be inclined to put it on again. 3.5 rounding up in recognition of solid musicians.
This is not my genre at all (I think it's Southern Rock/blues mixed with a bit of metal and grunge?), but I enjoyed this album full of big hits, catchy songs, and driving energy. I can see why it had such a commercial success. I'm not sure it's super original, and after all their greatest hit was an Otis Redding cover, but they seemed to have shown appropriate respect for their sources and it's a fun album. Sort of like comfort food in music form. It's hard to choose 3 or 4 for this one - but I'm going 3 because it was not groundbreaking in anyway.
I did not know about Phil Spector or the "Wall of Sound" before listening to this. Setting aside the fact that this is a compilation of some of the most cheerful, fluffy, and earwormy Christmas carols, I must say that the musicians are excellent and the production is super cool/good. After this album, I listened to some other Phil Spector-produced music and his style is really distinctive and cool. Unfortunately it sounds like he was plagued by mental illness, traumatic head injury, and was probably a murderer. But I can see why this album is on the list and I learned something new to boot. 4/5 for great production and musicians. I can't give it 5 just because - oof, christmas carols!
Such a fantastic album. Cohesive, powerful, thematic, iconic. One of the best albums of the 90s, and still one of my all-time favorites. Lauryn shows us how it's done. Transcendent, woman-centric hip hop. 10/10
This is light-hearted and funny 90s hip hop. Not my genre (to be honest, the funniness is as much "not me" as the hip hop, I often don't relate to "humorous" lyrics) , but it's easy to hear that the production was richer and lusher than earlier 90s hip hop and this would have been a precursor to some of my favorite hip hop sounds. I like the layering of samples, the different voices, the jazzy vibes. That said, I probably won't be listening to this again, the language is crude and the humor doesn't speak to me.
Another album I had never heard. This is a fun, genre-bending, late 80s album that I probably would have really dug back then if I had been aware of it. I had no idea that members of the MINUTEMEN went on to do other things, including fIREHOSE, but that explains the cleverness and amazing musicanship on this album. An interesting and hard to pin down piece of work.
Totally not my thing! I'm learning that R&B is really one of my least-understood/appreciated genres, but I never want to be unfair to good musicians just because I don't get a genre. The musicianship here is good, but the production is schmaltzy beyond belief. It's almost a stereotype of early 80s easy-listening, borderline muzak style production. That said, it is, in fact, easy to listen to and I rather like Bobby's soulful voice. 3/5
I love Royksopp, and I really like this album. That said, I would have chosen some different electronica albums to be on the list over this one (Daft Punk, Discovery, obvs), so that was a bit tough for me. I like this album but I'm just not sure it is groundbreaking enough to be on the list. But, but, I really like this album! Soft, mellow, downbeat electronica with strong 70s influences - in other words, one of my favorite sub-genres! A great album that I love, even if I'm not sure it's one of the 1001 best ever (but of course, there are a lot of albums on the list I find questionable).
Another album by a British musician I had never heard of. This was definitely an interesting discovery! I would characterize this as soft, mellow, experimental prog-jazz-folk-rock? Whatever it is, it's cool, and I like it. Very cool guitar playing. I would absolutely listen to this again. Love the album art too.
Heck yeah. Trio is just magic. The combination of voices (personally, I'm especially partial to Emmylou Harris, but you can't fault Dolly or Linda) is better than any of them alone. To Know Him is to Love Him is an absolute stand out. Yes, some of the songs are a bit corny, and many of them have been overplayed. It's an 80s country album with 80s overdone production (and seriously, Emmylou, what were you thinking with that HAIR?), but this is ICONIC. Smashing good album.
This is fun! I'd call it proto-punk, proto-Brit pop from the late 70s. The lead singer has a very distinctive, almost drawling voice which I think you either love or hate (I like it). The opening track is great. It has some Velvet Underground vibes for me. I would definitely listen again.
I mean, this is amazing. Duh! The opening track, Brilliant Corners, is jaw dropping. The rest is perfect for weekend afternoon mellow chilling out vibes.
Tina is fantastic. Absolutely stellar. She wails, growls, sweetly croons, then back to bluesy growling again. Her voice is so versatile and she exudes talent! There are some banging hits here, too, although the album suffers from 80s overproduction, and at points the instrumentation is a bit painful. Overall a great album.
Punk is totally not my thing, not my genre. That said, I can see the charm in this short, obscene, bratty, adolescent album. Since I was listening to a later remastered version of the album, I found it pretty hilarious when the band members are heard arguing about what approach to a song would sound best on one of the rehearsal tracks, when anyone listening to this album would imagine that they couldn't care less about how anything sounds. But I guess even that takes work! I don't like punk, and I would never listen to this on purpose, my favorite thing about it was how short it was, but I didn't totally hate it. Buried in the crunching and screaming are some noticeably melodic tunes. 2/5
If you don't find yourself bopping along to this album, you need to check your pulse! So many classic dance hits here, it's unreal. And as an album, it's surprisingly cohesive - even operatic - and holds up really well even now. This is an excellent album.
This is clearly an important album that belongs on the list. No question. I might find the vocals a bit too cleanly harmonic (these 60s harmonies lack interest and dissonance!) and the tunes ridiculously overplayed (remember, I was a child of hippies and overexposed to this stuff from birth), but there is a lot to like about this album - especially the instrumentation and the cohesive themes. It is quintessential flower power, but you really can't help but groove along with it. 4/5 despite the fact that I'm pretty tired of this stuff.
I was not familiar with this one, but this is some solid 90s NYC rap/hip-hop. You Can't Stop the Prophet and Ain't the Devil Happy were my favorite tracks. I don't know that I'd listen to this again, but I feel like it filled in a gap in my 90s hip hop education. Definitely solid stuff. Would probably give it 3.5/5 if that was an option but will round up because it's cool even if it's not daily listening material for me.