Andrew K.

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09.03.14 Privacy09.03.14 Privacy
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Albums That Age Well

These are some albums that I think have done an excellent job of withstanding or will withstand the test of time. No particular order. What are some albums that you believe have aged particularly well? What do you think makes an album "timeless"? What are some albums that you think are going to be hailed as "classics" (not necessarily by the general populace), say, 50 years from now?
1Kayo Dot
Choirs of The Eye

Perhaps the only "ranked" item on this list, I believe that this album will forever sound modern. It combines so many elements of various styles and has such a clean, precise sound. As a whole, the album is very forward thinking compositionally and does not feel like a product of any particular generation. I would believe that this was released in the 80s as easily as I'd believe it was released this week.
2King Crimson
In The Court of The Crimson King

With its positively massive sound, admirable diversity, iconic production, and progressive songwriting, this album sounds just as relevant today as ever. It's amazing just how BIG the riffs sound, how tight the drums sound, how fantastically powerful the vocals sound, and really just how it sounds. Though it shows its age, it does not sound any less contemporary than it probably did nearly fifty years ago and from a compositional standpoint is basically textbook progressive. Not to mention that album cover.
3Mr. Bungle

Rarely does experimentation and accessibility see eye-to-eye. Even though California isn't exactly a marriage of the two, it does effectively tinker with diverse songwriting (especially in the vocal department) and retain an element of accessibility by never getting overindulged in its own obscurity whilst also providing enough fresh ideas to amuse and bemuse even the most seasoned music listeners. Not to mention the production is simply angelic. This album effectively unites two typically dichotomous characteristics (heavy experimentation and accessibility) and compacts them into an album with an atmosphere that remains outstanding and likely will continue to be for a long time to come.
4The Prodigy
The Fat of The Land

This album maintains qualities of dance music that are enduring and definitive and ramps them up to nearly absurd heights whilst putting a personalized spin that differentiates it from releases that attempt a similar gimmick. With big beats, bigger beats, and a pinch of WTF sprinkled in, The Prodigy manages to craft an album that practically bathes in its own glory to the point of drowning. So long as there is dance music (forever), this album will be relevant.
5My Bloody Valentine

Sporting a guitar tone that cost more to achieve than the roof you're probably living under, this album is basically legendary. It features some of the spaciest, most dreamlike sounds and tones to ever be crafted, and topped off with vocals that could probably lull a rampaging gorilla, you've got yourself a recipe for success and ultimately innovation. As timeless as it is Loveless, everything about this album screams - or perhaps moans, and sighs - to be heard from here to who knows when. By the time flannel shirts fall out of style, come back, fall out again, and then return again, people will still be talking about how great of an album this is.
6Aphex Twin
Selected Ambient Works, Vol. II

Many ambient albums could arguably be "timeless" since ambience really is not bound to any era, but this album stands out as an extensive, lengthy, and absolutely iconic piece of ambient music that captures tranquility and otherworldliness that so many other artists have fallen short of reaching. Although a great many people would argue that Selected Ambient Works 85-92 may be the better choice here, I would respectfully disagree. While it may be the more well-known and more liked album (heck I have it at a hard 5.0 and this one at a 4.5), it lacks the true focus on softness and ambiguity that this album embodies so thoroughly. And did I mention its length? Nearly three hours of near-perfect ambient music - how can it ever get old?
7Simon and Garfunkel
Bridge Over Troubled Water

What a group, what an album. This folk piece strews together the simplicity of folk music with a time-blind catchiness and poppiness all highlighted by vintage sounding production to great success. In another genre, these characteristics may be looked at as less "timeless", but in a genre like folk that tends to hold very tightly to its roots, this album fits right in and does so better than possibly anything else - after all, it gave folk a pretty good reason to want to hold on to works of yesteryear.
Traced In Air

Hold up dude, you spelled Focus wrong. Actually, no, I spelled Traced In Air exactly right. Compared to focus, this album is smoother around the edges, clearer at the centre, more polished, and if you believe it's possible, even more progressive. If Focus was the first true wedding between jazz and extreme metal, then this is that same couple fifteen years later. They're more experienced, they're more wise, they understand each other better, and their future looks as bright as it did on that first day the bride and groom slipped the rings onto each others' fingers.
9Gamma Ray
Somewhere Out In Space

If there's anything that I hope power metal always is, it would be fun. I don't think too many people go into power metal looking for a concept album about the state of humanity unless that concept also involves some dragons and the words "Heaven" and "Hell" mentioned at least four times per track. This album mixes together quality songwriting, cheesiness that isn't overwhelming, a refreshing theme, and extraordinary performances in every department. While it may not have been as influential as Keeper of The Seven Keys or even the band's earlier effort in the form of Land of The Free, it is more consistent, more metal, and more fun. And what's more timeless than fun?
10maudlin of the Well

It wouldn't be a list of mine if it didn't have this album. Not gonna splooge all over this because that would take all week. So I think that production, not necessarily influence but uniqueness, blindness to trends of any particular era, and of course overall quality are the most important characteristics (in no real order) of a "timeless" album. Great albums come along more often than we often realize, but albums that hold up to the test of time? Those don't even come by the fingerful.
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