“Rolling” was the immediate standout track. “I’ve Been Dazed,” “Piano Joint (This Kind of Love,” “Final Days,” and “Hero” were also favorites. Would listen to again.
Standout tracks on first listen: Cecilia Ann, Ana, Dig for Fire. Interesting mix of surf rock with alt/goth rock. Slightly abrasive in a mostly good way.
Favorite Tracks: Freddie’s Dead; Ma and Pa; Question of Life; Bonin’ in the Boneyard. Solid 4.
The percussion and piano on this album are constantly interesting and make the album a 5/5 for me. Favorite Tracks: Under the Table, Shameika, Heavy Balloon.
Favorite track: “Love from Room 109 …”
Favorites - Track B and Track C (first half)
Favorite - Pretty Green; That’s Entertainment
Very mellow, soft music. Nothing so catchy as to be distracting but still pleasant to listen to. Favorite - Used To Be.
Favorite - TV Party.
Favorites - Song 2, Movin’ On. Album is a solid 3.5 or 4.
Favorites: Kashmir, Down by the Seaside,
This was a fun listen.
Favorite track: Captain Soul.
Songs I Liked: Breaking the Girl, Funky Monks, Under the Bridge. 2/5 - mainly because I didn’t really like the rap-style delivery on many tracks.
Favorite track: Once in a Lifetime.
The album is consistent and cohesive in its 80s new wave, synth sound, making for an enjoyable front-to-back listening experience. Nothing quite reaches the high of Sweet Dreams, but it’s placement in the middle of the album creates a good build up and cool down effect. Solid 4/5.
Favorites: Afraid of Everyone, England, Vanderlyle Crybaby Geeks. Enjoyable album, though nothing really jumped out about it. Just … enjoyable.
My pet peeve is when I need to look up the lyrics to a song because the vocalist is mumbling or marble-mouthed. On this album, the music is so subdued/minimal that I shouldn’t have had a hard time understanding the vocalists, yet I did. The arrangements were pleasant, though. If I had to pick a favorite: Night Time.
With the caveat that I don’t know what the lyrics mean, this is a 5/5. The jazz-funk-rap production was really interesting and the vocal delivery is smooth.
I liked the variety on the album.
“Damaged Goods” is one of the catchiest songs I’ve heard from this list of albums so far.
Favorites: Human Behaviour; Venus as a Boy; Big Time Sensuality; The Anchor Song.
This album has so many things going for it: - The concept: country/folk/western songs reworked into pop/soul/jazz is genius, in my opinion. And the execution is great. - The instrumentation: the orchestra! The piano! Beautiful arrangements. - The voice: his voice makes the whole thing work. My only complaint is that it’s a little on the long side to listen as a whole. Doesn’t detract from the actual music though.
It’s a 4.
“The Rage” has a cool funk/reggae intro which was surprising in a metal track. “Grinder” is really catchy. Album: 4/5.
Finding albums like this-which I likely never would have discovered on my own-is exactly why I am doing this.
Fantastic except I didn’t care for the last track.
Good album all-around but Chris Cornell’s vocals are the highlight.
Favorites: The Dangling Conversation, Scarborough Fair, Homeward Bound, Feelin Groovy, and For Emily. 4/5.
A purely fun listen all the way through. 5/5.
It was a 5 when I heard it as a kid and it’s a 5 now.
Album title is misleading because this is not “chill”. Lots of energy across the album. The strong vocals are a standout. Favorites: Tracy’s Flaw; Good Things Don’t Always Come To You. Solid 3/5.
Experimental and eclectic in the best way. The remix album of this — titled “Drank” — is also fantastic. 5/5.
Good execution of the genre. Nothing too creative or noteworthy, but enjoyable for what it is.
I was surprised to learn that the singles from this album - Just What I Needed; My Best Friend’s Girl; and Good Times Roll - didn’t chart very high, because they are played a lot on the radio and at events still today. Everyone seems to know these hits. I was further surprised to learn that “You’re All I’ve Got Tonight,” and “Bye Bye Love” weren’t singles at all, because they seem just as universally known/recognizable to me. Maybe my perception is skewed from my parents’ listening habits. This album is full of hits. And it was the band’s debut. It gets a 5 from me.
Finley Quaye's best song (“Dice”) isn’t on this album, but this album is just as perfectly mellow. Wonderful listening experience.
Songwriting and Joplin’s ability to emote on this album warrant the 5 star rating
Overall, this is an enjoyable album. It’s inoffensive but became a bit uninteresting at points - I loved it as background music, though. It is interesting that some of the songs went on to be covered by other famous artists - clearly there is some draw to these songs. Favorite tracks: A Place In The Sun; It’s Love. 3/5.
This album is just nonstop grooves, which can make it surprising when you dive into the serious lyrical content on some of the tracks. There’s a lot in here. Ms. Jackson might be one of the stickiest, catchiest choruses ever. Looking back, Ms. Jackson was just a sign of the massive hits to come on OutKast’s next album. Favorite tracks: B.OB.; Ms, Jackson; Red Velvet; So Fresh So Clean; Stankonia; Toilet Tisha. 5/5.
The only thing I will say about this artist or album is that other artists have recorded great covers of some of these songs.
The album is quiet and relaxing. The folk music with string accompaniment creates a nice atmosphere. Lost a few stars because the music is so calm that it fell to the background too often while I was listening. 3/5.
This album has so much energy. The bass lines were really fun. I’m glad I read the other reviews and learned that “New York City Cops” was taken off the U.S. version of the album - it was worth the listen. Overall a cohesive and consistently solid album. Favorite tracks: Soma, Someday, Last Night. 5/5.
On this album, Lana takes a more diaristic approach to lyrics and an almost spoken-word approach to singing. The album is good, but it stripped back some of the reasons I enjoy Lana’s vocals and music. It is difficult to rate this album in isolation especially when it was Lana’s next release after “Norman F*****g Rockwell!” - her Grammy-nominated album which I consider to be her best album. But given that context, it also isn’t surprising that Lana decided to switch thing ups a bit for “Chemtrails.” If it was up to me, “Norman” would replace “Chemtrails” on this list. My favorite track on the album is probably Yosemite, which is unsurprising because it was originally written for one of Lana’s earlier albums and has some of those LDR hallmarks. I also enjoyed the country-inspired tracks Breaking Up Slowly, Dance Till We Die, and For Free. A great album for a mellow, rainy afternoon. But not necessarily a “must listen” in my opinion. For that reason, 3/5.
A wild ride of an album the whole way through - the tracks switch things up from one another such that I never knew what to expect next. Really enjoyed the variety. Favorite tracks: I Bleed, Here Comes Your Man, Hey, Silver.
Favorite tracks: Carcass; Mirage 4/5.
Great mix of country and folk-rock. Favorite: Strength of Strings.
It sounds like you had to be there to enjoy it. 3/5.
Fantastic disco album from start to finish. Easily a 5/5. Favorite Tracks: Happy Man, Le Freak, Sometimes You Win, I Want Your Love.
Incredibly theatrical and dramatic in terms of vocal delivery and instrumentation. The wall-of-sound orchestral backing is really rich but became almost too much two-thirds of the way through — kind of like eating one too many pieces of a really rich chocolate cake, it starts off good and I think I want more but then it suddenly becomes just too much.
Eclectic mix of 90’s electronic music and hip hop with the very pleasant surprise of saxophone and jazz flute throughout. The album worked better than I would have expected. Had no difficulty listening all the way through. The only detractor would be the vocals, although they fit into the mix well on here. Favorites: Fade Away; Connected. 4/5.
Favorite track: All apologies.
Inventive, surprising, and almost unlistenable. This album goes out of its way to create extra tension so the resolution feels much more satisfying - I’m not quite sure if that’s a positive quality or not yet. Certainly unique and hard to describe, so it gets a 3/5 for eccentricity.
Metal generally doesn’t do a whole lot for me, but I’ll admit that the guitar riffs sound complex and technically well-executed. So, points for that. Standout: Good Mourning / Black Friday. 2/5.
The decision to root the majority of this synth pop album in piano is what makes it feel timeless yet very much a product of the 2010s. It works really well. The album art captures the essence of the album in its composition and color choice. Favorite tracks: Almost impossible to choose, but likely between Liability, The Louvre, and Loveless. 5/5.
Minimalist, repetitive, and catchy. I can see how this was inventive for its time, although it can feel a bit dated amongst electronic music now. Overall, a cohesive album and enjoyable listen. Favorite tracks: Showroom Dummies, The Hall of Mirrors. 4/5.
A wild ride.
Consistently mellow ambient psychedelic-britpop. The 4 singles - Bittersweet, Sonnet, The Drugs Don’t Work, and Lucky Man - are fantastic. Easy full listen.
This 1979 guitar-driven ska clearly sounds like the blueprint for so much of the 1990s ska punk revival. Fantastic album. Favorite Tracks: Monkey Man, Stupid Marriage. Absolutely a 5/5.
Synth-rock with country influences. I really enjoyed the sound of this album, and the balance of grit and polish. The saxophone on Your Latest Trick was a treat! It’s difficult to ignore the use of a homophobic slur on the otherwise catchy Money for Nothing, though. While sung from the perspective of a character and not necessarily the artist/band, it is jarring and seems ill-intentioned. Also unnecessary in the songwriting.
Acoustic 1st half vs. electric 2nd half was an interesting experience.
This album has an antsy, can’t-sit-still energy to it that was jarring at first but ended up working well in the context of the whole album. Wildly imaginative and experimental, jumping between 1 minute ideas and 5+ minute songs. Zen Archer was a trip. But “I’m so proud / ooh baby baby / la la means I love you / cool jerk” was a top notch 10-minute soul journey that came out of nowhere. 5/5.
Grunge, noise-rock isn’t normally thing, but this album scored points with the guitar playing and how modern it sounds for being released in 1988 (I would’ve believed it was released in the early 00s). The vocals lost points. 3/5.
Bleak (but sometimes whimsical) psychedelic folk rock. Reading the background of how this album came to exist is quite sad, and it’s easier to understand the album in that context of mental health issues. Some good melodies in here and the lyrics are almost humorous if not depressing. The vocals are very hit or miss for me - I It’s In You was notable in how much I disliked the vocals.
Dark and moody, but a vibe. Favorite tracks: Black Steel; Hell Is Round the Corner; Aftermath; Brand New You’re Retro. 4/5.
Jazz funk. 5/5.
Hill’s voice is incredibly versatile which helps makes this album so interesting. It’s a long album, but it doesn’t feel like it. Standout: Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You. 4/5.
This is excellent jazzy pop music. Standout: New Frontier. 5/5.
The vocals are a standout because they work even when they shouldn’t. Favorite track: Vamos (Surfer Rosa); Gigantic. 4/5.
Standout: All We Have Is Now. 5/5.
The disco rhythms mixed into the rock instrumentation works really well. This album is a fun listen. Standouts: Mind; Life During Wartime;
All killer, no filler. In context, this album being released around the time one member of PSB came out publicly adds heavy weight to the lyrics of many songs. Yet the music remains upbeat and bright throughout. Hard to pick a favorite, but I’ll say “To Speak Is a Sin.” 5/5
Noisy experimentation, but in a good way.
It doesn’t have quite the high moments as Daydream (Fantasy, Always Be My Baby, One Sweet Day), but it clearly builds on and experiments with the success of those hip-hop/soul-influenced-pop formulas. Honey is a smooth album all the way through. Standout: Fly Away was a fun moment. 4/5.
Wild concept, but very charismatic performance. Standout: Jackson. 5/5
Theatrical with great melodies. Standouts: Shangri-La; She’s Bought A Hat …; Nothing to Say. 4/5.
I listened to “Pretenders” right after Blondie’s “Parallel Lines,” which made for an interesting comparison. “Pretenders” is an edgier version of the pop-punk-rock-new wave combo, also with a talented female vocalist. A great debut album, but less instantly catchy and memorable tracks than Blondie. Standout: Precious; The Phone Call; Brass in Pocket. 3/5.
A lot of raw emotion packed into a Lo-fi sound. Standouts: Man-size.
Big fan of the hip hop production, vocal delivery, and writing on this album. It’s a long album but never got boring. Standouts: Rhythm; Go Ahead In The Rain; Bonita Applebum; Can I Kick It? 4/5.
This album effortlessly mixes punk, new wave, and pop elements (and disco too!). The vocals are excellent and vary enough to give different personalities to each track. The massive hits (Heart of Glass; One Way or Another) are fantastic but the rest of the album holds up just as well. Standouts: I Know But I Don’t Know; Sunday Girl; Pretty Baby; Heart of Glass. 5/5.
Standouts: Lily of the Valley; In the Lap of the Gods…Revisited; Killer Queen. 4/5.
Very easy listening. *Note - I need to re-listen. Standout: Sparkle City
Anthemic bar songs. Great for what it is.
This is a great French electronic album with rock influences. Standouts: Genesis, Waters of Nazareth, D.A.N.C.E. 4/5.
Fun album. Very 90s. Standouts: Girls & Boys; London Loves; Trouble in the Message Centre; To the End.
Standouts: California Dreamin; The ‘In’ Crowd
Suddenly I am wearing all black and eyeliner. Standouts: all 46 minutes. And the album artwork. “This Corrosion.” 5/5.
A really enjoyable blues-rock album. Great length, never got boring. Standouts: Jealous Again; She Talks to Angels. 4/5.
Never listened to this album in full before. It was enjoyable, and a strong debut album, though I prefer the band’s later music.
The album starts out really strong with the synth-rock “Zero” and “Heads Will Roll,” but loses steam after that. I think I expected more of that same energy for an album titled “It’s Blitz!” (On that note, I really enjoyed the iTunes-exclusive tracks “Faces” and “Clap Song” because they had that upbeat synth-funk-rock sound.) “Skeletons” and “Dragon Queen” are standouts among the remaining tracks. Overall, the use of synths in a more rock-oriented way (as opposed to dance) kept the album interesting even on the lower-energy tracks. Also, the album art is great. 3/5.
The jazz elements/influences and Apple’s vocal delivery really stood out and made this album attention grabbing.
Excellent album. Very funky. Standouts: The Cisco Kid; The World Is a Ghetto.
Melancholic indie rock. Overall a consistent album, almost to the point of the songs being indistinguishable (especially the drum parts). But also easy to press play and sit back. Standouts: Red Eyes; Burning; Eyes to the Wind; In Reverse. 4/5.
With the caveat that this type of hard rock rarely does anything for me, there were moments on this album when the vocals were a bit clearer and I really started to appreciate the melodies and hooks. I’m rating this a 4 because it overcame my natural disinterest in the genre. Standouts: Rooster; Rain When I Die.
A pop album masquerading as hard rock / soft metal, but in a great way. Mutt Lange production is insanely catchy.
The production on this album, largely by Jam City and Arca (with Ariel Rechtshaid! which meant I was very likely going to like this album), really shines. So much so that Kelela’s vocals—which are good and add a quality of tenderness to the brash-at-times production—take a backseat to the production. Ultimately, I preferred the Jam City-produced tracks over Arca’s. LMK and Truth or Dare we’re highlights. This album made me want to switch over to Tinashe’s 333, so that’s what I’m listening to now that I’ve finished Take Me Apart. 3/5.
I really liked the bass lines and percussion on this album - a lot of interesting stuff happening. The vocal delivery here is just so odd, yet it doesn’t feel too out of place with the music, which is a feat of its own. I ended up being quite fascinated with how it all works together. Standouts: I’m Not In Love; Take Me To The River.
Groovy, funky, and way too short.
Moody, gothic, and hypnotic. The instrumentation was beautiful. Standouts: Prayers for Rain; The Same Deep Water As You; Disintegration. 5/5.
The fact that this album was recorded with an in-studio audience to create the atmosphere of a jazz club live performance is very effective.
This was a surprise treat! Brazilian psychedelic rock with bossa nova influences. This hit the spot in a way I wasn’t expecting.
The punk-rock-country fusion was a bit jarring at first but eventually won me over. This album sounds a lot more modern than a 1985 release. Standouts: Hard to Be Human; Last Dance.
Standout: Flowers feat. Michael Kiwanuka (whose album was the 2nd album I listened to way back at the start of this list).
I really enjoyed the soul vocals over 80s pop production on this album. Standouts: Seven More Days; If You Let Me Stay.
Standout: Sunshine of Your Love.
Fantastic blues album from start to finish.
Down By the River and Cowgirl In the Sand were enjoyable.