|My Required Favorite Albums List |
I am aware that this list is probably really derivative and many will write me off as just another rrrindie kid. That's ok though, because it's probably true. Alphabetical order.
I've always like Ounsworth's vocals and songwriting a whole lot, but the
instrumentation here works much better for me than most of his Clap Your
Hands output. I hope he revisits this sometime.
Merriweather Post Pavilion
I know that many Animal Collective fans prefer the wild, noisy earlier albums to
this one, and I like those fine, but these songs are just too perfect to deny.
Beautiful and catchy while still maintaining that AnCo "feel".
|3||Arcade Fire |
The intense hype around this album should probably kill it for me, but every
time I play it, I can't help but fall in love with it all over again. The songs are all
amazingly well-realized and the lyrics get across the perfect "sad, but willing to
take action to make things better" mood.
What can I really say about this one? All the tracks are classic, and the ending
medley is one of the most perfect pieces of music that has been recorded. The
ultimate career retrospective.
The blend of strings and electronics makes me swoon anytime a song from this
album comes on. Also features some of my favorite Bjork vocals. Joga and
Bachelorette are two of my favorite songs of all time.
|6||The Blood Brothers|
Burn Piano Island, Burn
Never dove too deep into hardcore, but this album's manic energy and fast pace
make it easy to go back to and listen to over and over. It doesn't help that all
the songs are killer as well. And that ending just gives me chills every time
(I don't know why).
An absolute beast of an album. It seems to just constantly lurch forward, but
you're transfixed on it, no matter how slow it moves sometimes.
|8||The Dismemberment Plan|
Emergency & I
There's a reason this one's remembered fondly by so many people. The lyrics
seem to really speak to people of a certain age, and they are delivered in a
unique (at the time) way with excellent songs backing them.
Every single second that this album is playing, I find it hard to think of anything
else. It switches moods so often and Shadow uses his samples so well, that it
just grabs me and never lets me go.
|10||The Flaming Lips|
The Soft Bulletin
Simply a great collection of songs. Obviously very personal and heartfelt, but it's
still the Flaming Lips, so there's a layer of off-ness that keeps that heartfelt-
ness from becoming overly sentimental.
Apparently this gets described as a difficult album? I'm not trying to brag or
something, but I never understood that. From the first time I listened to this
album I was so fascinated by what Ellison does that I couldn't imagine
putting it down. It still sounds so mysterious while still being accessible, that it
seems to remain almost new.
|12|| ||Godspeed You! Black Emperor|
Man, this album might kind of terrify me a little. The picture it paints is
incredibly bleak, but it paints it so well that it is impossible not to admire the
artistry on display.
The Blueprint is the album that taught this white, suburb-residing kid
that it was okay to like this whole "rap" thing. Is that probably overly-
stereotypical of me or something? Sure, but that doesn't change the fact that
the production on this album was the greatest thing I'd ever heard at the time,
and Jay-Z used to be a pretty damn good rapper.
Have One on Me
I know lots of people think this album (these albums?) is (are?) too long, but I
find it hard to complain about having too much awesome. Really love Newsom's
improved voice and the songs on this thing are universally gorgeous.
The Lonesome Crowded West
Sound of Silver
I'm totally a sucker for analog-sounding electronics, and James Murphy did it
better than anyone. Great tunes that are fun, but have more going on under
the surface for those that want to look.
We Are Beautiful, We Are Doomed
Brevity is the soul of wit, or whatever. This album is both of those things, and
great for it. Doesn't overstay its welcome, and Gareth's sharp lyrics are in the
spotlight, as it should be.
If the Blueprint was the album that taught me that it was ok to like hip-hop,
Madvillainy was the album that made me fall head-over-heels for the genre.
Madlib's beats are rough in all the right ways and the lay the perfect
groundwork for DOOM to spit the best rhymes of his career.
Perfectly crafted. Amazing songwriting.
My favorite metal album, probably because it borrows so much from non-metal
genres. It blends so many styles together to form this massive beast (haha) of
an album that is epic (in the traditional sense) and hits hard with a great sound.
Kind of Blue
Yeah, yeah, yeah, it's the best jazz album of all time, whatever, we've heard it
before. But no seriously you guys, Kind of Blue is an incredible listen, and if you
deprive yourself of it, you deserve whatever horrible things happen to you.
Everything just builds and shifts so perfectly and it's just so tight and great and
go listen right now.
|22||The Mountain Goats|
All Hail West Texas
One man and a guitar, recording himself on a not-great boombox. Regardless,
this thing is full of stories that we can all relate to or know someone who could
relate to them. You can't help but listening to something like "Fall of the Star
Running Back" and think of that one popular jock in high school that you
couldn't stand. This whole conceit could easily fall apart, but it helps that John
Darnielle is one of the best storytellers of this generation.
|23||Neutral Milk Hotel|
In the Aeroplane Over the Sea
Yeah, this one's here too. I know it's talked about too much and on too many
lists, but I love it regardless. In the Aeroplane is memorable from start to finish
and is one of the few albums to genuinely move me emotionally.
|24|| ||Nosferatu D2|
We're Gonna Walk Around This City...
Yet another album about ennui and dissatisfaction, imagine that. This one
features some really great lyrics and a cathartic, loud drum-n-guitar combo. It's
a shame this was the band's only album.
At least three songs on this album are absolute classics. The rest of them are
pretty good too though, and the chemistry between Andre and Big Boi is never
better than this. The only downsides are the skits, but even those can generally
be overlooked in favor of the great tracks.
Person Pitch didn't leave my car for two months straight after I bought it. This is
a big deal for someone who's usually extremely music ADD like me. But it's so
chilled out and smooth that it's perfect to just let it play over and over and
marinate in the sound.
I love this reason for most of the reasons everyone seems to dislike it. It's long,
it's scattershot and all over the place, and it doesn't flow well. Those are all true,
but with a band like Pavement, I think expecting too much of them from an
organizational perspective will just let you down, and the songs here are some
of their best. A little variety never hurt nobody.
Another album that scared me when I was younger. Less because of a sense of
well-planned foreboding dread than the fact that Frank Black is kind of just a
creepy vocalist. I stuck with it though and eventually discovered the incredible
melodies and great sound the band had put together here.
Though the sounds are warmer and more intimate than its brother Kid A, Amnesiac
still manages to turn them into something more cold and alienating. This is an off-putting album,
and I love it for that. Not something I want to listen to all the time, but when I
do, it still has a great deal of power in it.
The Air Force
I see this one get unfavorably compared to Fabulous Muscles a lot, but I've
always preferred this one. Has the right balance of the sweet Xiu Xiu with the
completely abrasive Xiu Xiu for my tastes.