astorminheaven
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06.21.13 Top 15 Favourite Albums

Top 15 Favourite Albums

My 15 favourite albums as of June 2013.
1The Verve
A Storm In Heaven


10/10: The most satisfying, beautiful, deep and involving album I have ever heard, and one that with each listen remains just as impressive and emotional as it was the first time. Not a single weak track; at least half of the album contains some of my favourite songs of all time. BEST TRACKS: "Already There", "Beautiful Mind", "Virtual World", "Butterfly", "See You In The Next One"
2Radiohead
In Rainbows


10/10: Radiohead at their most consistent, controlled and free. Their music roams an infinite soundscape of raw feeling. The finest album of the 21st century so far. BEST TRACKS: "Nude", "Weird Fishes/Arpeggi", "All I Need", "Reckoner", "Videotape"
3Radiohead
Kid A


10/10: A game-changing and life-altering record that revolutionized popular electronic music in a manner reminiscent of Aphex Twin's "Selected Ambient Works 85-92". Balancing delicately between energetic art rock and twisted techno experimentation, it's a miraculous achievement. BEST TRACKS: "Everything In Its Right Place", "The National Anthem", "How To Disappear Completely", "Idioteque", "Morning Bell"
4Rhian Sheehan
Standing In Silence


10/10: Perhaps not the most original or challenging album to come from the ambient genre, Standing In Silence is nevertheless an album I find consistently pleasing and regularly evokes some of the strongest displays of emotion music has ever brought from me. BEST TRACKS: "Part 3", "Part 4", "Part 6", "Part 11", "Part 12", "Part 13"
5Wire
Chairs Missing


10/10: The post-punk landscape was left in the dust with the emergence of a darker grunge rock in the late 80s, but long before, in 1978, Wire released the second of three masterpieces, and their career opus. Chairs Missing delicately rocks through some of their heaviest, most traditional work and some of their most intriguingly experimental, the highlight being the superb back-to-back brilliance of "Heartbeat" and "Mercy". BEST TRACKS: "Practice Makes Perfect", "Heartbeat", "Mercy", "I Am The Fly", "Too Late"
6Boards of Canada
Music Has The Right To Children


10/10: A magnificent, landmark achievement in easy-listening ambient techno, Music Has The Right... combines elements of the Eno/Aphex Twin influence of the 80s and 90s with their own nostalgic glee for youth and open spaces. This is a beautifully free record existing in a continuum of space all its own, a stellar debut and the soundtrack to the most pleasant dreams. BEST TRACKS: "An Eagle In Your Mind", "Telephasic Workshop", "Turquoise Hexagon Sun", "Roygbiv", "Aquarius", "Happy Cycling"
7Pink Floyd
Animals


10/10: A challenging and dark album laden with scorching guitar solos and bitter, viscous lyrics from Roger Waters at his most troubled and relentless. He roars and screeches away at a corrupted system with more vigour and determination than we may have thought possible from him. BEST TRACKS: "Dogs", "Pigs (Three Different Ones"
8Pink Floyd
Wish You Were Here


9.9/10: Though everyone knows the story it takes away none of the potency; this ode to troubled and lost soul Syd Barrett is some of the saddest music ever recorded. Nastily cynical with a dash of mindless humour and introspective reflection, it is arguably the finest harnessing of all the group's talents and their softest achievement. BEST TRACKS: "Shine On You Crazy Diamond (Parts I-V)", "Wish You Were Here"
9Pink Floyd
The Dark Side Of The Moon


9.8/10: One of the highest-selling albums of all time and still wonderfully recognizable to even those not well-versed with Pink Floyd, Dark Side contains some of their best and tracks and universal themes, a concept album that defined a generation. BEST TRACKS: "Time", "The Great Gig In The Sky", "Money", "Us And Them"
10M83
Dead Cities, Red Seas and Lost Ghosts


9.8/10: A dreamy synth playground oozing with beautiful odes to youth, sex and drugs ("Run Into Flowers", "Noise") as well as scarring pain (the emotional and intense "Gone", which reaches the simplest of climaxes, yet one of the most effective I have ever heard), M83's sophomore record (or as I like to call it, "softer, more") is one of the most astounding I've heard. BEST TRACKS: "Run Into Flowers", "America", "Be Wild", "Gone", "Beauties Can Die"
11Sigur Ros
Valtari


9.7/10: An understated and underrated LP, Sigur Ros' softest, dreamiest and simplest record seeps with the most emotion and beauty they've ever put on display. Their trademark climaxes relegated to the sidelines for all but one track, the group delight in wandering through dreamlike worlds of vague memory, a pleasing experiment. BEST TRACKS: "Ekki Mukk", "Varud", "Vardeldur", "Fjogur Piano"
12Mogwai
Young Team


9.8/10: A record that screams "influential post-rock" so loudly it's almost deafening, Young Team is an able that will have some hurling away in frustration and others sinking deeply into the wondrous endlessness of the group's sound. Though the rich rewards reaped from this sort of simple but straying experimentation were never as successful again for Mogwai, at least we have this astonishing debut. BEST TRACKS: "Like Herod", "Tracy", "Summer (Priority Version), "R U Still In 2 It?", "Mogwai Fear Satan"
13Godspeed You! Black Emperor
Lift Your Skinny Fists Like Antennas...


9.8/10: An 85-minute trip that seems never to end, delightfully as we don't want it to. Through four astoundingly lengthy, expansive tracks, Godspeed perfect their emotionally evocative and feverishly intense sound, the apotheosis of which is the glorious climax of "Static"'s central movement. BEST TRACKS: "Static", "Antennas To Heaven"
14LCD Soundsystem
Sound of Silver


9.8/10: The highlight of James Murphy's decade-long "experiment" is an album so flawless and engaging it seems designed for the heart of the dancefloor and the dancefloor with heart. Consisting of nine tracks which couldn't be more different, Silver experiments with various genres in strange manners, but always incorporating Murphy's defining vocals and a more than decent helping of cowbell. BEST TRACKS: "Get Innocuous!", "Someone Great", "All My Friends", "New York I Love You, But You're Bringing Me Down"
15Animal Collective
Strawberry Jam


9.7/10: Though the more recent Merriweather Post Pavilion is the one being heralded as one of the finest albums of the past decade, it is Strawberry Jam for me that most clearly defines many facets of Animal Collective's sound through nine utterly perfect and devastatingly emotional tracks, sung with grit, soul and the unmistakable lungs of Avey Tare and Panda Bear. BEST TRACKS: "Chores", "For Reverend Green", "Cuckoo Cuckoo", "Derek"
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