conradtao
Conrad Tao
Emeritus

Reviews 60
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Soundoffs 39
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Last Active 09-22-12 1:03 am
Joined 11-24-09

Forum Posts 75
Review Comments 2,090

 Lists
07.09.13 2013.5 11.22.12 Conrad's Top 50 Albums Of 2012
06.15.12 2012.5 03.23.12 2012 Q1: The Unsung (and The Less So)
03.19.12 Conrad Made An Album. 12.07.11 conrad presents 25 from 2011
06.11.11 The 2011 List You Probably Haven't Hear 05.01.11 Fuck Elitism.
01.19.11 Albums That Changed The Way I Listen 12.08.10 Conrad's 2010: Top 25 (with Description

Albums That Changed The Way I Listen

Also known as my 5s. But each of these albums are 5s because they somehow changed the way I listen to music.
1Animal Collective
Sung Tongs


Sung Tongs is Animal Collective's most human and affecting album, the album
in which you really got a sense of who they were. (Which is kind of odd when
you think about it, since it was recorded completely by Panda Bear and Avey
Tare.)
2Belle and Sebastian
If You're Feeling Sinister


Belle and Sebastian's best work transcends "twee" and shoots straight for the
sublime. "Nobody was saying anything of interest / she fell asleep" is one of the
most heartbreaking statements of apathy ever put on record.
3Bjork
Vespertine


Arguably the album that showed me that pop music could feel genuine,
Vespertine is the sound of winter, infused with warmth. When her voice cracks
ever so slightly as she repeats "I love him", over and over, you feel something
inexplicably powerful, and when she sings "let's unite tonight" in the stunningly
lush closer, you feel encompassed by her love for humanity.
4David Bowie
Hunky Dory


Me and this album go way back. I can still remember the first time I heard "Life
on Mars", how weirdly moving it was. Or the first time I listened to "Andy
Warhol" with headphones, trying to make something out of the inscrutability of
the opening. Now, whenever confronted with a conundrum, I say to myself,
"Warhol. As in holes."
5Kanye West
My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy


This sticks out like a sore thumb, since it's such a recent album. But My
Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy is the sound of resurrection (hello, that's a
PHOENIX on the album cover), every ugly and narcissistic aspect of it. It's the
sound of West baring his soul. And then tweeting about it.
6Radiohead
Kid A


Every little sound on this record, every indecipherable lyric, is more important
than any of the extramusical bullshit people have piled onto Kid A. Not that that
bullshit is completely irrelevant, but come on, Radiohead have always been
frightened of technology while embracing it, warning of the impending
apocalypse while writing gorgeous soundtracks to it. And so instead of hearing
all of that, I just listen to the music, because that's what really sets Kid A apart.
"That there, that's not me." No, but it's beautiful.
7 Sigur Ros
gtis Byrjun


With their second album, Sigur Ros created something both visceral and slow-
burning. Every extended vowel sound and bowed guitar burrowed deep into our
heads and captivated us. I still lie in the dark playing "Svefn-g-Englar" as loud
as I can, getting completely lost in the sound of it. Absolutely sublime.
8Steve Reich
Different Trains/Electric Counterpoint


I first heard "Different Trains" in 2005, at a live performance with the Kronos
Quartet. It was accompanied by a film, which felt extraneous but didn't detract
from the intensely emotional qualities of the music. At first, I was struck by the
novelty of using spoken phrases as melodic roots, but slowly, as the piece
unfolded, I became more enamored with the way this music breathed, the way
it felt so naked and uninhibited while retaining a distinct, rigid edge.
9The Avalanches
Since I Left You


The kind of record that sounds like everything in the world, and nothing else.
10The Beatles
The Beatles


The White Album was my first Beatles album, and although it was at first an off-
putting listen (no one's going to deny that it's a bit of a slog at times), I now
feel lucky that it was my introduction to the band. Had I started with, say,
Abbey Road, I might have approached The White Album with more trepidation.
Instead, I dove right into the thorny, immersing myself in "Revolution 9" and
"Wild Honey Pie" and loving every moment of it. A diverse musical collage if I
ever heard one.
11The Knife
Silent Shout


Everybody makes a big deal about how Karin's voice is altered in Silent Shout,
but nobody ever really mentions the lyrics, the way they evoke the
claustrophobia of everyday existence, the way they capture vaguely feminist
sentiments without beating you over the head with them. Silent Shout is a
harrowing listen, yes, but it's also an enlightening one.
12The Microphones
The Glow Pt.2


This strange patchwork quilt of an album is absolutely beguiling. You try to
comprehend it, to figure it out, but it doesn't really matter, because it's
gorgeous in its inscrutability. This is music that you live in, that you don't just
hear with your ears but that you feel in every fiber of your body. I'm left with
my heads pressed between speakers, crying, laughing, swept away by
something beautiful and haunting and moving and absolutely fucking amazing.
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