A top 3 Bowie album for me, without a doubt.
With only cursory knowledge of Cooper's music and stage persona, I wasn't sure whether I'd enjoy this listen. But this collection of tunes is fun, weird -- and at times, even beautiful.
Joni's voice is one of the beautiful sounds in this world. Her gift for melody, her ability to effortlessly blend pop with jazz and elevate the singer/songwriter genre to high poetry is why she is still being spoken with with such reference today. Blue is a shining moment in her discography.
The bridge between early and late Beatles albums. The sound of discovery. Always a great listen. I don't even dislike "Run For Your Life".
A good overview of why he's considered one of the greats of his time.
While I have heard and enjoyed a few of PJ's earlier albums, none left much of a lasting impact on me. This one had me from the start.
Never been a big fan of Spector's "wall of sound" production style. But hard to deny the talent of the artists he's assembled here, as well as the quintessential recordings of these classics that they produced.
Nu-metal was never my thing, though I understand the influence this album held for the genre, and for music in general at that time. Chester was a voice for the misunderstood, angry youth, and as such was beloved by many. The lyrics here strike me as borderline juvenile, and the music, while powerful, belongs to the early '00's. An important album, but just an okay listen for me.
As Rubber Soul proved to be a transition period for the Beatles, BIABH is Dylan's equivalent. And equally good, at that. Some of his most rollicking tunes accompanied by some of his most profound poetry. When I found myself relating to his political points nearly sixty years later, I shivered.
A fine country/western album. The only reason why it's rated a little lower is because it doesn't seem to offer much variety from other country albums of its time. Unsure what makes it stand out amongst its ilk -- can't even find much other proof online of its particular influence.
The rap and metal combo is sorta douchey as is, but no one has ever made it douchier than Kid Rock. This album is so lame.
I mean...what's to say about this album? Quite an achievement from a band at the height of their powers -- that said, I think it's overrated. Ambitious, but overstuffed. Some of Floyd's greatest moments are present here, but so are their most excessive.
It feels almost sacrilegious to rate something so new so highly, especially after refusing several classics of that honor. But the immediacy of this album warrants it. A stunning listen from the get-go, but an album that has also grown on repeated listens. Beautifully written and composed. I don't think I could tire of this one.
I'm not too into 90's rap, to be honest. I missed that scene, and it's no longer as groundbreaking from today's vantage point as it may have been then. That said, I see what this album did for those who were influenced by 2Pac. Kendrick, my favorite rapper, regularly references him, and it's clear that Kendrick's earlier works owe a lot to albums such as these. So while I have respect for Pac, this album doesn't do much for me. Lyrically, it's strong, but nothing that hasn't been said before or after. Musically, it's pretty abysmal. An alright listen, but not something I'm personally interested in revisiting any time soon.
Gainsbourg is the epitome of cool. This album is rocking and sexy and suave, and doesn't outstay its welcome.
A lovely album that is sure to grow on me with time, as have several of the Byrds' albums. Although he wasn't WITH the Byrds by the time that band started exploring this style of cosmic country, I'd argue that Gene does it better himself here. Fantastic arrangements that evoke everything from gospel to proto-disco to western.
Lowkey might be my favorite Jimi album? Virtuosic but fragile, Jimi delivers here some of his most memorable licks.
The singles are undeniable. The rest is hit and miss. It might be shrugged off as inoffensive -- or even cheesy -- lounge rock by those less prone to letting their musical guards down, but there's a lot to groove to here.
An interesting listen! I'm not familiar with Elis Regina or her body of work, but I understand that this is a posthumous compilation (that also includes works by other associated artists?) There was enough here that I could groove to, though I wish I could understand Portuguese, as the slower songs suffered from my inability to comprehend precisely what she was singing about. But even without understanding the lyrics, the musical arrangements were enough to chalk this up as a good listen, if not one I plan to return to regularly.
The altar at which punks kneel. Loud and fast as promised, this one is packed with snarling guitar riffs and Rotten's sneering vocal delivery. It's never been an essential listen for me, but hey -- I'm no punk. And it's still pretty damn great.
I've heard OF the Mekons, but can't say I've ever actually heard them. I wasn't sure what to expect from this album, but it wasn't this. I thought they were a punk band, but this ranges from art rock to alternative country. A very interesting listen, and I have no doubt, one that could easily grow to be a favorite.
I was a little biased going into this one, as an album that I've already loved for years. But it truly is one of the high points in the discography of a creative and innovative band. They continue to push sonic boundaries here, but without sacrificing the beauty or fragility intrinsic in these compositions.
Ethereal but grounded. Incomprehensible but clear in their messages. The Cocteau Twins are one of the most antithetical bands I've come across, and this may just be their masterpiece. Elizabeth Fraser is such a unique talent.
Well this is a fun little pop album, isn't it? I might be off-base, but sounds a bit like a 90's Sgt. Pepper's. I'm really into this on first listen, I'll have to make a point to revisit it soon, because it sounds like it'd be a lot of fun to sing along to. Plenty of hooks, which is how I like my music.
Look, I have nothing against this album. But by today's standards...it's quaint. There isn't much showmanship. Frank didn't write his own songs. It's just a fella doing crooner karaoke. The songs are lovely and easy listening, but it just doesn't move me the way I'm told that it should.
A dang good 90's alternative album. "Drive" remains one of my favorite R.E.M. tracks, and is a great, dark way to enter this album. Exiting on the one-two punch of "Nightswimming" and "Find the River" is a beautiful, classy goodbye. Sure, some of the hits like "Everybody Hurts" and "Man on the Moon" have been played to hell over the past 30 years, but the rest of the album overshadows them. I always enjoy a listen of this one.
Cohen's storytelling is second to none. This album was my introduction to him, towards the end of high school -- his lyricism is so vivid and cinematic that I couldn't help but love him. Musically, I was initially bored, but there is so much more going on than it may appear at first glance. The horns and strings and guitars that embellish his poetry and guitar playing can be subtle overdubs, but make all the difference. Truly a Canadian legend, and songs like "Suzanne", "Master Song" and "Hey, That's No Way to Say Goodbye" will always hold a place in my heart.
What's to say that hasn't been said?
Yeah, some of it is a little corny. Some of it doesn't age well. But I've always loved it anyways. I've probably listened to the 2112 song suite itself -- all 21 minutes or so -- a few dozen times at least. And it holds up. An early Canadian rock epic by THE Canadian rockers.
I was surprised to see this one on the list. The Killers have never really struck me as critical darlings, and I don't even necessarily think Hot Fuss is their best work. But I guess if you're going to give it up to a '00s pop-rock album, there are much worse options. "Mr. Brightside" has joined the likes of "Sweet Caroline" and "Don't Stop Believin'" as an overplayed anthem, but other tracks, like "All These Things That I've Done" and "Jenny Was a Friend of Mine" may be underrated, if anything. This album is a lot of fun, really, and as someone who was nine when it dropped, I can't NOT give it up.
They sure know how to be economical with their songs, eh? 14 in about 15 minutes...they don't come much faster than that. Fast and angry is about all these songs are giving me, though. Not much depth here, but hey baby, that's punk.
Maybe Iggy's finest collection of tunes, thanks in no small part to music composer, producer, and friend David Bowie, who also provides backing vocals and keys. He lets himself bask in the sun here, not hitting the darkness of the Stooges and some of his other solo stuff, and it suits him!
Look. The Eagles get a bad rap. It seems a lot of "serious" music fans find them corny or annoying. But I am an unabashed Eagles fan. Their harmonies, their tasteful playing...all of it, great. There are more pop-rock masterpieces on this album than most artists have in their entire discographies. It goes down SO smooth. I genuinely think this is a 4.5 star album, but as we can't use half stars on this site...
I'm not a big psychobilly guy. It always sounds borderline novelty to me -- like Halloween music. But there's no denying the Cramps do it right. This album is fun in its "twisted", silly way. Punky surf rock that doesn't outstay its welcome. I would probably give this 3.5 stars, really, but I'm going to round down because after this one, I don't really have any interest in checking out the rest of their discography.
This is not what I thought Everything But the Girl sounded like at all! I thought they were a rock band, not a drum and bass trip-hop thing! Interesting. Pleasant enough background music, but to be honest, it doesn't do much for me. It sounded very '90s, and not in any way that is nostalgic to me in any way.
CCR is always an easy listen. At under half an hour, nine songs, almost half of them stone-cold classics, this is no exception. Even the lesser-known songs here have that familiar CCR sound that grant them an air of familiarity. An album like a hug.
I just don't respond to this aggro industrial stuff. It doesn't speak to me in any way, shape or form. Repetitive noise that's more likely to give me a pounding headache than anything. A few thrashy grooves here and there that I can get behind, but the screaming and the distortion is just so unpleasant to me that I have a hard time looking past it and focusing on the more technically impressive aspects.
This album seemingly owes a lot to the Clash...err, the artists that influenced the Clash. But hey, it's fun! It sounds like a pizza party. Very skankable for sure.
I've never been a big rap fan, but Public Enemy has always been an act that I've respected. Their flow, their lyricism, their sampling, always great. Powerful yet funky. Their collab with Anthrax here is a great forward-thinking mashup.
I'm biased from years of loving this album, but I think it's Joni's masterwork. Though definitely her attempt at mainstream success, her jazz influences shine through, making it a crowd-pleaser with true artistic integrity. Songs like "Help Me" and "Free Man in Paris" are among her greatest singles, still staples of oldies radio, and songs like "Down to You" are as beautiful as anything you'd find on her perceived best, Blue.
It's a nice album. Kind of surprising that it made the list, to be honest, because it doesn't seem to be *that* highly regarded, in the grand scheme of music history. But the writing is often clever, and the melodies are pleasant, if teetering on the edge of saccharine. The lyric "if you were a horse, I'd clean the crap out of your stable" got a laugh out of me, though. That's true romance.
Like many others, I'm not particularly familiar with a-ha's oeuvre, outside of one song in particular. But I know they're a bigger deal in Europe, and as this list seems to be quite Eurocentric, I'm not surprised to see them here. This album, while very much a product of the '80s, is a glimpse at why they're more revered across the ocean -- a lot of really good tracks here. I love the title track; hearing them slow things down after years of being subjected to the sugar rush that is "Take on Me" is revelatory.
I love the Kinks. Everything they did throughout the 60's and 70's was great, and no exception here. "Waterloo Sunset" is one of Ray Davies' greatest works, and his brother's "Love Me Till the Sun Shines" is a favorite of mine as well.
It sounds like every other Merle Haggard album I've listened to. But that's a good thing. The outlaw country artists are the only ones that really resonate with me. They're storytellers, above all else. They don't fall into the same three or four clichés that modern country stars seem to. And even when they do, well, they originated it, so can't be too hard on them. This is a 3.5 star album to me, but I'm going to round down this time, because a few days after a very pleasant listen, not much about it has stuck in my mind.
Huh, this was a cool listen. Kind of like a rougher, rowdier Rolling Stones. Like, if they recorded all their stuff in a well-equipped garage. Bluesy and folksy in equal measure. I've never heard of them before, but this album makes me wonder why not.
A fantastic album. It flows so well from song to song. Some of his best are here - "Scenes from an Italian Restaurant" is maybe the best song he's written, and "Vienna" isn't far behind - but it loses a bit of steam after those first seven classics, ending with two tunes that would be pretty great on their own, but become forgettable in the context of following mega-hit after mega-hit. Imagine it ended after "She's Always a Woman"? Talk about all killer, no filler! Still, I can't really give it less than five stars.
Harry Nilsson, what a character. All sorts of styles are presented by him here, all done beautifully. His gorgeous rendition of Badfinger's "Without You" being immediately followed by the zaniness of his self-penned "Coconut" tells you all you need to know.
Good album. The version of "No Woman, No Cry" here doesn't stand up to the live version on Legend. But other tracks, like "Lively Up Yourself" and "Bend Down Low", are great little reggae tunes. Light up under the sun and and enjoy this nice, breezy listen.
I've always liked the Dead Kennedys, more than most other punk acts of their time. Their debut album is probably their best album (compilations excluded), and so this was a fun listen. Fast and riffy, with Jello's signature vocals.
Once again, I will be unable to be impartial about Joni. She's fantastic, and this is another one of my favorites of hers. Songs like "Amelia" and "Coyote" have so much feeling to them. Her jazz influences continue to be more strongly felt than on her past works, maintaining the trajectory that she had been on, and due in no small part to Jaco Pastorius' fretless bass playing. This is maybe her last "perfect" album, but it's a perfect closer to an incredible run.
Three incredible artists gather to share their talents, and their voices blend here perfectly.
Iggy's introduction to the world, and he came out swinging. The first two songs here still sound so modern. Things hit a brick wall with "We Will Fall", featuring John Cale. I have nothing against drone music per se, but this song goes nowhere. Following it, though, things pick right back up, and feature the Stooges doing what they do best.
I was an Elvis fanatic as a kid. But I only had the greatest hits collections. Hearing this collection of deep cuts (like, not a single hit here) reminds me that Elvis was just another crooner of his time. Nothing here really hits the way any of his hits do. They're just pretty well-done renditions of songs written by others.
Widely hailed as Radiohead's masterpiece, this one proved that The Bends wasn't just a fluke. As relevant as ever, and still sounds fresh over 25 years later. This is one of those classic albums that should age very well, and remain a mainstay for music fans for decades to come.
This is the kind of punky new wave music I can behind. Loud and fast, but without being repetitive or boring. This is weird shit. Devo were ahead of their time. This is probably a 4.5 star for me, and I've chosen to round down, but I could have gone in either direction on this one.
I admit to not being familiar with the works of Jean-Michel Jarre, but this is groovy stuff! Early synths sound so good to me. The sound of waves on the final part of the album transported me to a beach while sitting at my office desk. I wish I had listened to this album while lying down in a dark room.
Yeah, this is CCR. You kind of know what you're getting going into a CCR album, and this one doesn't disappoint, per se. But it's also not one of their best. "Bootleg" is a nice deep cut that I wasn't familiar with, but otherwise, this is just a decent addition to CCR's discography. Not so much something you NEED to hear before you die. I think I'd just point inquiring minds towards Chronicle, their greatest hits compilation. Outside of the aforementioned "Bootleg", it's got everything you need from this one.
I went into this album not expecting much. "Waitin' on a Sunny Day" is maybe my least favorite single of Bruce's career, and I'm not crazy about "Lonesome Day" either. But there are enough great moments here to consider this album a success. The back half of this album particularly worked for me -- the slower cuts like "You're Missing" and "Paradise" really work for an older Boss, and songs like "Mary's Place" have all the E-Street swagger and pomp that we expect from a Springsteen album. This probably gets a 3.5 from me, in actuality. But what the hell, I'll bump it up.
I had never heard of Lambchop, and don't know what I expected from this album. And, I won't lie, I wasn't laser-focused on the album for the entire running time. But what I heard, I liked a lot more than I expected to. Alt-country with chamber pop influences. Very well-written melodies. An overall "throwback" sound. I will definitely be giving this one another listen.
Part of Wonder's "classic period", and all five albums released during that period live up to their reputation. This might be one of the less notable releases of that time, and it still has absolute anthems like "They Won't Go When I Go", and funky little numbers like "It Ain't No Use". Always a fantastic listen.
I know Biggie is a legend, but I've never really been sold by his rapping style. It doesn't do it for me. And this is a looooong album, so there's a lot of him here. It's fun in parts, repetitive in others, and all the sex noises on the skits are goofy. A true mixed bag, but nothing transcendent here in my opinion.
Man, I gotta listen to more Kate Bush. Maybe it's because this album came later than the other albums of hers that I've heard, but this sounds so sonically full. Some of the instrumentation sound a little "80's", but it really works. This album sounds so good.
This is early Beatles, which has never been my favorite era of one of my favorite bands. They weren't yet breaking down walls, or writing all of their own songs. But there was a lot of potential clearly visible here as well. Some fab originals, like "All My Loving" and "It Won't Be Long", are previews of the powerhouse that is Lennon-McCartney. And even George gets his first songwriting credit on "Don't Bother Me". Their harmonies shine on all these tracks, and their playing is tight. Not among their best, but a very enjoyable sign of things to come.
This is a fun listen. I like that, as someone who isn't familiar with ZZ Top's catalogue outside of the big hits, I had only heard "La Grange". It allowed me to enjoy this as a straight-forward southern rock/boogie album, without any of the baggage that comes with ubiquity. They sound real good for a three-piece, and Gibbons is a better writer than songs like "Legs" and "Tush" ever really allowed me to appreciate.
The first glimpse of greatness from Radiohead. Coming out of the gate with the mediocre Pablo Honey, fans must have been stunned by this, their sophomore effort. Although I'm a big Radiohead fan, I came into this listen expecting to give it 4 stars. I don't think it's their best, but it's a great collection of songs. Listening again though...I can't not give this 5 stars. Every song is pretty perfect.
While I love Indian music, this album outstays its welcome by a bit. It essentially boils down to a 45 minute sitar solo, with a few educational bits in between. Honestly, the educational bits are probably the most interesting part, as Shankar explains the basics to Western listeners unfamiliar with Indian music. As a lesson in Indian music, I'd give this 4.5 stars. As an album? Maybe 3.5...and I'm going to round down.
Man...I came close to giving this four stars, as some elements of the production scream 2012, and I think To Pimp a Butterfly is overall better. But damn. His flow is unreal here, even relatively early in his career. The songwriting, while not yet at its peak, is still really strong here. And "Sing About Me, I'm Dying of Thirst" remains one of his best. Kung Fu Kenny is the best rapper of our generation, and this is our first piece of evidence.
I didn't know this was a house album, so it was kind of a weird way to start the work day. Sitting in my office but my mind is at a rave. This isn't really my kind of music to begin with, to be honest. It's very repetitive, which I guess is the point. It's very danceable, and therein lies the problem -- I don't dance. But overall, not terrible background noise either.
"The Killer"! I'm not crazy about his voice, to be honest, but there's no denying he can get those keys rollicking. And the album certainly doesn't outstay its welcome, at a tight 22 minutes (edit: I see now that the album should be 37 minutes, but it appears Spotify is missing five tracks). A decent listen, if not something I'll be rushing back to listen to.
Right up front: I went in with reservations. LS are associated with a demographic that I don't really vibe with. But this album kinda kicked ass? The songs are pretty great, and the musicians are impressive. And when your closer is "Free Bird", it's sorta hard to walk away disappointed.
I've always enjoyed the "one-hit wonder" that is "Novocaine for the Soul", so I was excited to hear this album. And it stands up to that single quite well! I'll admit that I can't remember many details about this right now, as I listened a few hours ago, but I know I really enjoyed this and definitely intend to listen to it again.
It was alright - nothing about the songwriting did all that much for me, but some great bass parts. I do appreciate that this is his first work to be fully written by him, as well as some film references that he worked in. But not sure this left enough of an impact for me to check it out again any time soon.
Well this is a fun little one, isn't it? Under half an hour of good ol' 60's psych pop. I'm sort of surprised I've never heard of this band, as this falls right into my wheelhouse. I really liked this listen.
The early countrified Eagles aren't really my thing, though I know many feel the opposite. But as such, this album isn't a favorite of mine, though even here, the Eagles show themselves as more than capable of writing a decent pop song here. Hearing Randy Meisner and Bernie Leadon each provide lead vocals on songs here is a bit jarring. But also I just watched Marcel the Shell with Shoes On this past weekend, in which Marcel sings "Peaceful Easy Feeling", and that alone bumps this to a 4.
One of Bowie's top 5 best, and the first truly great album in his discography. This is one of the Bowie albums I go back to the most often. It fits a lot of great songs into a short runtime. Nothing to complain about here.
The Smiths at their best. Morrissey is a bit of a twat but his songwriting here is impressive, and his band is A1. Johnny Marr might be one of the most distinctive guitarists, and he comes up with some of the most catchy riffs of all time on this release.
This wasn't bad. A little noisy. Some of the longer tracks went on a little too long, but the shorter ones were fun little bursts of energy. The math-rocky elements were fun to hear.
I'm not a Metallica fan in any way, but this album is pretty cool. The symphony adds such a cinematic layer to the band that keeps the songs interesting. The originals would probably only earn 2 stars from me, but the twist for this performance bumps it up to about 3.5. I'll round down for the auto-tune on James' voice.
Hard to believe she was only 18 when she dropped this album. The lyrical honesty exhibited here is far beyond her years, even if her melodies can sound a little samey on some tracks. A fantastic debut from an incredible artist.
There was a time when I would have given this a 4, and maybe even a 5. But I've grown to find the sound of Anthony Kiedis' voice difficult to handle, especially when the lyrics it's conveying are at the level they are at. That said, RHCP will always be sorta fun. The musicianship is pretty fantastic, and I've gotta appreciate a mainstream funk act. This album is front-loaded with a lot of singles and other popular cuts, but I think "Scar Tissue" and the closer "Road Trippin'" are the only two songs I can still enjoy without rolling my eyes just a little bit. Don't get me wrong, it's still one of their better albums -- top 5 for sure. But the good stuff here has been overplayed.
I'm a Coldplay apologist. I don't care for most of their new output, but I grew up with these early albums, and I still like them a lot. I really enjoyed listening to Parachutes today. The first 60% of the album is particularly strong, and "Shiver" and "Sparks" remain favorites of mine. The only songs I don't care for as much are the short transitional title track, and the closer "Everything's Not Lost". That said, really strong pop record, and a great debut for them. I'd like to see them return to a more rock-oriented sound in the future, and please, for the love of all that is holy, stay away from EDM.