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01.19.11 Best Emotionally Desperate Albums

Best Emotionally Desperate Albums

Musicians have been infusing their music with emotional desperation for centuries. But in the rrealm of rock music, it wasn't until the Birthday Party came along in the early 80's that nearly rpsychotic levels of emotional turmoil were sonically unleashed into the world. Since then, rthere have been a number of albums that are perfect for those times when you want to die or rget a lobotomy. (Interestingly, none of the titles on this list are emo, even though I like a fair ramount of emo music) Comments are desperately wanted, because I am an emotionally rdesperate person
1 The Birthday Party
Mutiny/The Bad Seed


When Nick Cave repeatedly screams the word "Love" in "Fears of Gun" you can feel that he is simultaneously revolted by that emotion and desperately desirous of it. "Swampland" features the most feral, soot caked and throat scorchingly long scream I have ever heard
2 Dazzling Killmen
The Face of Collapse


Nick Sakes is the only vocalist who has almost matched Nick Cave in terms of soul strangling intensity. Here he is backed by a musically dextrous band that constructs claustrophobic dungeons of sound where your personal demons hunt you down and dare you to stab them in the face. The last thirty seconds of this album make you feel like you are being strangled to death (minus the physical pain, of course)
3Modern Life Is War
Witness


When you're 16 you don't know what forever means. When you are 23 you couldn't be more sorry to say. That after all this growing up together all the good has gone away. Sometimes the boys that should be yours best friends become strangers with familiar faces. Just don't tell me that it's all too far gone... That they weren't meant to live on... And don't let go.
4Swans
Swans Are Dead


On this monumental double live CD, Swans took older songs that were already heart wrenchingly beautiful and inflated them to operatic lengths. Multiple 15+ min epics make this one of the only albums I own that is desperate and sorrowful for the entire duration, with no "upbeat" moments or strange detours. This is the kind of album I need when I want full immersion into the haunted regions of my past so that I may understand their meanings
5 ...And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead
Source Tags And Codes


Not their best (that would be "The Century of Self"), but their most emotionally desperate. See, Trail of Dead didn't fall into the trap of making emotionally desperate albums past the age of thirty, as that usually doesn't seem to work (there are exceptions, some on this list). I'm looking at you Dave Grohl and aging metal core bands.
6Interpol
Turn on the Bright Lights


More majestically melancholy and soul stirring than any Joy Division album or song (and Paul Banks is a much better singer than Ian Curtis)
7Spiritualized
Ladies And Gentlemen We Are Floating In Space


Drug fueled highs alternate with hell scraping comedowns, but always always always there is the resplendent romantic longing. "Cop Shoot Cop" sounds like a hymnal voodoo dirge for the funeral of an entire rehab clinic
8Isis
Oceanic


The waves are crashing all through the city. Let them envelop you and whirl you down into the beatific depths of aquatic catatonia
9Damien Jurado
On My Way to Absence


A lot of this album is fairly laid back, but there is always a profound desperation boiling beneath the surface. And the songs "I Am the Mountain" and "A Jealous Heart Is A Heavy Heart" could not be more achingly haunting
10 Norma Jean
The Anti-Mother


Not necessarily their best, but their most self-mutilation friendly
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