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01.07.19 2018: A Year In Review07.10.18 2018 1/2
12.25.17 2017: A Year in Review 12.19.16 2016: A Year in Review
12.15.16 2016 is...10.03.16 2016 3/4
03.31.16 Sputnik PSA PART II 12.16.15 2015: A Year in Review
05.16.15 Ed's top 100 albums part 203.15.15 Ed's top 100 albums part 1
12.25.14 2014 A Year In Review 12.14.13 2013 A Radical Year

Ed's top 100 albums part 1

1000 ratings on sputnik. What a testament of spending your time wisely. Let's indulge a bit more in that time wasting behavior. I decided to make a needlessly long list about my favorite albums of all time, just because you know... reasons. Big thanks to everyone who's been awesome to me on this site, I hope y'all keep coming back to this site like I do. Cheers to you if you make the effort to actually read all this drivel.
50Modest Mouse
The Moon & Antarctica

# 100: I got to admit, that this may only squeaked its way on this list, because I'm on a giant Modest Mouse high right now. Be that as it may, there is no denying that The Moon & Antarctica is a cornerstone of 2000s indie-rock and in my opinion this album does more than enough to justify its high status among music-lovers. The first three songs in particular are a tour the force of everything that makes Modest Mouse a unique band. Incredibly inventive lyrics, catchy guitars, Isaacs’s trademark lisp and generally out-there vocal performance; the Moon & Antarctica has it all.

Best Songs: 3rd Planet, Dark Center of the Universe, The Stars are projectors
49Paul Simon

# 99: Simon and Garfunkel were never my kind of my music. While I respect them for their storytelling and simple yet effective lyrics, they never managed to keep me interested for long. When I decided to check out Graceland, I didn't expect very much. Boy was I for a surprise. Paul Simon managed to transport his undeniable abilities as a storyteller into a completely different sound. In many ways Graceland reminds me of "Remain in Light" by Talking Heads. While the albums don't sound alike at all (with the only connection in sound being the African-influences), they feature the same sense of wonder and adventure. Simon recorded this album at a difficult point in his career and stated in interviews that he knew that this album would make or break his solo career. That's why he decided to go all out on this album, which features some of the most inventive and carefully crafted pop songs I have heard in my entire life.

Best Songs: The Boy in the Bubble, You can call me Al
48Jose Cid
10,000 Anos Depois Entre Venus E Marte

# 98: An ambitious 70's progressive album from a Portuguese Pop-Idol? Yes. Indeed. Jose Cid is (outside of his home country) basically only known for 2 things. He performed in the Eurovision song-contest. And he decided to make a fantastic prog-rock album in 1978. 10,000 anos is a concept album about humanity having to leave Earth and then returning to it 10.000 years later. Not that I could tell you much about the concept, because I don't speak the language. This album makes my list not because of the sci-fi concept, but simply because it's full of impressive melodies, ideas and build ups. Cid, who’s been a Portuguese pop-singer for most of his career, is one of the best vocalists I've ever heard sing on a progressive Rock band and the album is engaging from start to finish.

Best Songs: O Chaos, Vida (Sons do Qoutidiano), Mellotron o Planeta Fantastico
47Julee Cruise
Floating into the Night

# 97: Sometimes people claim, that this album is overrated, because people mainly love Twin Peaks which featured a lot of the album. Well I never watched Twin Peaks, (don't kill me) and I still think this one of the best dream-pop albums of all time. Cruise's gentle, almost ghostly voices, the jazzy percussion and slick song progressions immediately struck a chord with me, and since I stumbled across this album, it has been a mainstay on my play lists. The mood and atmosphere on this album are just incredible, while it's really pleasant and accessible on the one hand, the melancholy just pours out of every track as well. Do yourself a favor and check this album if you like Dream-Pop, even if this is way jazzier than other dream pop. (Trespassers William, Cocteau Twins)

Best Songs: Falling, Rockin back inside my Heart, The World Spins, Floating
46Stevie Ray Vaughan
Texas Flood

# 96: To me, this album is the pinnacle of electric-blues-rock. I probably don't have to tell you much about Stevie Ray Vaughan's insane guitar skills, he's widely considered to be one of the best guitarists of the 20th century. Vaughan manages to fuse every note he plays with passion and delivers as a vocalist as well. What really makes this album work is the fact that it is very much centered about Vaughans ability as a guitarist, but never sacrifices the song in favor of technical wankery. Instead of boring the listener to tears with 4 minute long guitar solos, Vaughan keeps it short and sweet most of the time, while still finding enough room to establish himself as one of the all-time greats at the Guitar.

Best Songs: Texas Flood, Pride and Joy

# 95: So. How is that band name working out for you Isis? Too bad that they broke up a few years ago, I would have been interested to see them change their name because of some Fox-News hate campaign or something. While I'm not that much into metal and especially not into growling or screaming, I'm very much into Panopticon. It's held in very high regard on sputnik, so you probably already know why. Isis managed to craft incredibly dense and atmospheric postrock/postmetal songs who take you on a tour de force on everything that can be great about postrock. Technically Isis were one of the best post-rock outfits around and they put their skill to great use on this album and constructed vast soundscape's I frequently come back to and rediscover.

Best Songs: So did we, Backlit, Syndic Calls
Go Tell Fire to the Mountain

# 94: Explosions in the sky meets vocals by my dog. Good thing I love my dog. Seriously, WU LYF were just a beautiful anomaly, that were only possible in the days of the internet. Fusing elements of Post-Rock, Indie and psychedila would have made for an adventurous record on its own, but WU LYF decided to go one step further and decided that their main singer would basically be shouting gibberish (the lyrics are actually in english and kinda make sense, but you won't understand much) over the whole album. What sounds like a an awful idea on paper made for one of the best albums of 2011. Read Adam Downers Review on this album, it's one of my favorite reviews on this site.

Best Songs: Cave Song, Heavy Pop, Concrete Gold, Dirt
43The Notwist
Neon Golden

# 93: My home country, Germany, unfortunately doesn't have a very healthy music scene(anymore). The Notwist is one of the few bands that are actually worth checking out. Neon Golden is a very emotional, mostly depressing album, the melancholy comes packaged in painstakingly crafted, indie rock songs which feature a lot of electronic influences. The biggest strength of this album is, how restrained the whole band is. Every note, every sound gets enough room to breathe and the band strikes the right balance between sound and silence. A quality only very few bands (Spoon) possess is to make their songs better by stripping them down, without taking away the good stuff and thereby making the songs threadbare. On Neon Golden the Notwist managed to do just that.

Best Songs: Pilot, Consequence, Pick up the phone
42The Feelies
Crazy Rhythms

# 92: Probably the most upbeat post-punk album of all time, The Feelies debut album manages to harness the qualities of late 70s early 80s post-punk and put a more poppy, upbeat spin on it. While the lyrics deal with anxiousness and other similar themes that could be the center of a joy division song, the music is much more immediate and accessible. The Feelies proved that you can have fun, even be silly at time without loosing substance. The percussion on this album is maybe it's biggest strength, the album is called crazy rhythms after all.

Best Songs: The Boy with the perpetual Nervousness, Everyone's got something to hide (except me and my monkey)
Welcome To The Night Sky

# 91: I really can't tell you why I like this album so much, that it qualifies for my top 100. The canadian indie-rock outfit definitely has a lot of good things going for them, they are solid musicians, Paul Murphy is a good frontman, but if you asked me what makes them stand out from the butt load of early 2000s indie bands, I would struggle to answer that question. Every other album I decided to check out by them was just kinda alright or pretty bad. Welcome to the Night Sky is definitely on the grittier, more aggressive side on the indie-rock spectrum and it features a lot of memorable guitar-work, as well as some interesting surrealistic lyrics. But I don't like it so much because it does anything new or outstanding; ultimately I love this album because I love every single song on it. The band just managed to fascinate my on every song with passionate performance after passionate performance.

Best Songs: Oblivion, Weighty Ghost, Laser Beams, Murderers
40Nick Drake
Pink Moon

# 90: For some reason it took me quite a while to appreciate this album as much as I do now. Can't tell you why, because not only is it obviously brilliant but also very accessible. Just a man and his guitar, singing very simple songs about his feelings. As clichéd as that may be, there is hardly anyone who can claim to have done it as well as Nick Drake. What differentiates Nick Drake from your average whimpy "white boy with acoustic guitar" you may ask? Everything, i would answer. First of all, Nick Drake doesn't recite trite clichés about emotions instead he really pours out his heart, secondly he's a very accomplished guitar player who plays deceptively simple stuff most of the time. Nick Drake probably doesn't need me defending his work, because Pink Moons is widely acclaimed as one of the best folk albums of all time. And it sure is one of my favorites as well.

Best Songs: Road, Pink Moon, Know
39Kanye West
My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy

# 89: Oh kanye. Why. Why? WHY? Why on earth are you such a frustrating mess of an artist. Can't you just make your mind about sucking or being amazing? So i can put you in a little box like all the other artists? No? Fine. What's left to say about this album that hasn't been said 2000 times? It's amazing, from a production standpoint it's probably the most adventurous hip-hop album of the 21th century, even Kanye's lyrics are pretty good most of the time. I don't know why it had to be downhill from here, but this album will still be relevant when Kanye is done.

Best Songs: Dark Fantasy, Gorgeous, Runaway, All of the Lights
38John Frusciante
The Empyrean

# 88: Well this list is getting more and more frustrating. John Frusciante, another maddeningly inconsistent artist, definitely reached his high point as a solo artist on this album. From the Funkadelic Cover to krautrock to low key, atmospheric indie-ballads, Frusciante jumps between styles and influences and manages to put his own spin on all of them. While the Empyrean is a jumbled mess of a vast variety of styles, it steels feels strangely coherent, because Frusciante is very consistent in his general mood and atmosphere. While his solo career took a nosedive after this album, The Empyrean sounds just as fresh as back in 2009 and is a must have in my opinion.

Best Songs: Unreachable, Before the Beginning, Song to the Siren, Central
37Joe Hisaishi
Princess Mononoke

# 87: Contrary to Frusciante or Kanye West, Joe Hisaishi has yet to produce anything bad in his life. The go-to ghibli composer is one of the best composers in the business and has received widespread acclaim for almost every of his soundtracks. Obviously it's hard to judge a OST without going into the movie it accompanies. I won't deny that I love the movie very much and that this will have colored my opinion of the album as well. But regardless of that I think that this record just features sublime song after sublime song. Hisaishi crafted every song with a staggering amount of attention to detail and fuses classic orchestra with some ancient asian tribal music, it's astounding really.

Best Songs: The Journey to the West, The Legend of Ashitaka, Lady Eboshi
36Boards of Canada
The Campfire Headphase

# 86: This choice may raise some eyebrows, because conventional wisdoms dictates, that Geogaddi and Music has the right to children are the more influential and ultimately better albums. (Spoiler: They won't feature on my list) While I agree that those albums were probably more influential, because they really helped to push electronic music to a new level, this list is about albums that I personally enjoy. The Campfire Headphase is the album that I always come back to. In my opinion it features some of the most interesting songs BoC have ever released and creates a awe-inspiring, hazey atmosphere.

Best Songs: Dayvan Cowboy, Chromakey Dreamcoat, 84 Pontiac Dream

# 85: Tindersticks are the band that ultimately paved the way for one of my favorite Bands, "The National". The similarities are astounding really. From the deep, dark voice of Stuart Staples, the brooding lyrics and atmosphere, the variety of classical instruments that are carefully woven into the indie-rock/post punk songs.... I could go on. Their first album is a marvel and everyone who remotely enjoys The National definitely needs to check this out eventually, not only because it's similar in style but also similar in quality.

Best Songs: Whiskey and Water, The Not Knowing, Blood, City Sickness
Plastic Beach

# 84: Another Opinion that I could see many people disagreeing with: Damon Albarn's best work is the stuff he did with the gorillaz. Especially this album. Plastic Beach is in many ways, such an ambitious record, that it was destined to fail. Think about how it sounds on paper: "We will start the 16-track long concept album with a symphonic intro, followed by snoop dog, then transition into another rap song with classic instrumentation, before immediately switching gears into classic-gorillaz territory with rhinestone eyes. Oh and the album will be a pop album and continue to be commercially successful"
The thing is, somehow they made it work. I don't know exactly how, but the loose narrative is just strong enough to keep the album together. While the album does allow itself a few missteps in the second album, I'm still in love with it to this day.

Best Songs: Rhinestone Eyes, Stylo, On Melancholy Hill
Raising Your Voice... Trying to Stop an Echo

# 83: I’ll admit that this album is a bit cheesy and clichéd and features a lot of dreamy post-rock tropes. Ultimately I don't care. Ultimately I loved the slightly cheesy piano and the almost wimpy jangle guitar the second I heard them and I will continue to do so. While the album may be a small tad to long for its own good, it keeps me engaged the whole time and the atmosphere they managed to create keeps awestruck every time I listen to this.

Best Songs: I can almost see you, T/T, The house were we grew up

#82: You probably heard exactly two Faunts songs in your life. "M4 Part II" and "Das Malefitz" who were the epilogue songs to Mass Effect 1 and 3 respectively. The M4 EP is centered around the monumental M4 song, which is split into two parts, both of which are amazing. Faunts manage to mix elements of post rock, spacey indie-rock and electronic even dream pop into a glorious triumph of a song. The remaining song's on the EP don't reach the legendary quality of the two part title track, but still very much hold their own. While the Canadians never managed to really wow me on their LPs, this EP is just fantastic.

Best Songs: M4 (Part I and II), of Nature
31Iggy Pop
The Idiot

# 81: After he burned out all his energy on three great Stooges records, Iggy Pop went into full self-destruction mode, and by 1977 it seemd like his career was all but over. It would have been a fitting end to a short career filled with destructive energy, but it was not to be. Helped by friend and collaborator David Bowie, who in 1976 had reached a similar point in his career, Iggy Pop got back on his feet in 1977 and released "The Idiot". While his work with the stooges relied on raw power and energy, Iggy (and Bowie) decided to slow it down a bit and instead of banging every song on full throttle, Iggy brings a lot of slow burning, dark, krautrocky post-punk songs to the table who still feature the odd stooges riff here and there. Needless to say, like nearly everything Bowie touched in the 70s, it turned out to be amazing, Iggy Pop delivers the strongest vocal performance in his career and every song on this album is great.

Best Songs: Sister Midnight, Dum Dum Girls, China Girl
(What's the Story) Morning Glory?

# 80: What's left to be said about the Gallagher brothers or their first two albums? Not much in my opinion. Yes. They are huge twats. Yes. Their music is pretty derivative. No, Noel Gallagher is not the best lyricist of his generation. No it doesn't stop this album from having some of the best songs of the 90's.

Best Songs: Don’t look back in Anger, She’s Electric, Champagne Supernova, Morning Glory
29The Beatles

# 79: Ah... the Beatles. Probably the most iconic and beloved bands of the 20th century. My relationship with these icons of pop-music has always been kinda mixed. If I'm completley honest, I can't say I love them as much as most people and I think their quite a few albums of theirs didn't really stand up to the test of time as well as other records from the 60s and 70s. With that said, I'm 100% in the Beatles camp when it comes to this marvel of an album. From the opening notes of Taxman, you know you're in for something different than you were used to by them, and throughout the album the band successfully switch between different ideas and styles without ever letting the album dissolve into a hopeless mess. Obviously every album that has McCartney and Lennon on it, has it's fair share of memorable melodies and choruses. In my opinion this is just their most consistent and ultimately best effort.

Best Songs: Taxman, Love you to, For no one, Dr.Robert
28Gustav Holst
The Planets, Op. 32

# 78: Do you like John Williams? Or more specifically do you like the Star Wars Soundtrack? If the answer to those questions is yes, you need to check out the album that (probably, I'm just going with my own beliefs on this one) inspired a lot of the famous Star Wars themes. The Planets is somewhat of a concept "album" with every suite being (obviously) one of the planets. Every suite has a very distinct feel to it, and every suite dazzles the listener with incredibly beautiful arrangements who are also very accessible for suckers like me who usually lack the patience for classical music.

Best suites: Mars, Saturn, Neptune
World Music

# 77: Describing "World Music" is a pretty tall order. How does it sound? Like some swedes listened to an ungodly amount of 70s heavy psych, got really really really high, threw some afrobeat in there and decided to theme their band around Goats. Sound's fun? Well it is. World music is one of the most refreshing album's I've ever come across, even though its mostly a throwback to psychedelic music, the band managed to fuse it with so many other elements that something unique was the result. You really owe yourself to listen to this. Their second album is pretty great as well, but this album is just unbelievably good, as the bands just piles incredible idea on incredible idea.

Best Songs: Disco Fever, Goatman, Goatlord, Let it bleed
26David Bowie

# 76: Remember how I told you, that everything Bowie touched in the 70s turned into gold? "Low" is my exhibit B. Even before 1977 he was known for his ability to adapt to different styles, on Low however, Bowie completely reinvented his sound. He traded in the lush, warm and funk-rocky sound of "Station to Station" and instead opted for his very own version of krautrock and while I'll personally think "Station to Station" is an even better album than "Low", that's not to say this change didn't pay off. Inspired by bands like Kraftwerk and Faust, Bowie introduces electronic antics to his formally very guitar driven approach and instead of his usually very emotive and sometimes over the top vocal delivery, he sounds cold and disillusioned on "Low". The songs on this are constructed very tightly and never overstay their welcome.

Best Songs: Broken Glass, Sound and Vision, Warszawa

# 75: Hard Rock is not usually my kind of genre, but I gladly let a band convince of the opposite. On "Rising", Rainbow do just that. The brain child of legendary rock-guitarist Ritchie Blackmore and legendary metal vocalist Dio comes swinging right out the gate with "Tarot Woman" and never really slows down for one second over it's 40 minute Runtime. Blackmore manages effortlessly adapts to the grittier, slightly more aggressive style that a vocalist like Dio needs to really shine, and the supporting cast delivers top notch work as well. This album is very very impressive on the technical side but never sacrifices immediacy or melody for the sake of showing off. A must have for everyone who ever liked a rock song in my opinion.

Best Songs: Tarot Woman, Run with the Wolf, Do you close your eyes, Stargazer
Marquee Moon

# 74: I used to think that Julian Casablancas was somewhat original. Then I listened to Television and realized that hes pretty much a lesser version of Tom Verlaine on this very album. Marquee Moon is another pretty unique album, as it strangely manages to combine the adventurous instrumentation and song structures of progressive rock with the immediacy and urgency of punk music. The sadly underappreciated Robert Lloyd provides some of the most punchy and catchy guitar work I've ever heard and Tom Verlaine comes through with an engaging vocal performance, (although he can't sing at all) Then there is the title track, which on its own is good enough to justify all the praise heaped onto this album.

Best Songs: Marquee Moon, Prove It, Elevation
23DJ Shadow

# 73: Entroducing..... is widely regarded as one of the most important albums of the last 30 years or so. Hell, it's acknowledged for being the first (noteworthy) album build entirely out samples. So I really shouldn't have to convince anyone to check this. I myself can only fall in line when it comes to this album, it's about as great as everyone says. DJ Shadow (what a terrible name) conjures a thick dark atmosphere that you can loose yourself in and that you will want to come back to time and time again.

Best songs: Building Steam with a Grain of Salt, What does your Soul look like (Part 4), Midnight in a perfect World
Metaphorical Music

# 72: A fusion of Jazz and Hip-hop is something that many artist have tried to some extend over the years, to varying degrees of success. To me, producer Nujabes managed it perfectly. "Metaphorical Music" is one of the most pleasant album on this list, which is quite surprising since hip-hop (especially good hip-hop) is rarely pleasant. Quite the opposite, often times hip-hop is really great when it's uncomfortable and challenges difficult ideas, often with an abrasive sound or abrasive lyrics. "Methaporical Music" is nothing like that, it floats by like a summer's breeze and I love every second of it. Nujabes was a creative genius and his gorgeous arrangements carry every song, even though the rapping on most of them is merely pretty good, and never amazing.

Best Songs: Blessing it, Horn in the middle, F.I.L.O
21Elvis Costello
This Year's Model

# 71: This album takes everything that was already great about Costello's debut "My aim is true" and amps it up to the max. Costello comes through with an unbelievably high amount of hooks, his trademark snarky observations on popular culture and his peers mixed with moments of self-deprecating honesty. While he's definitely another one of my favorite singers who can't really sing, it never really bothered me at all. His vocal performance, while a bit out there, never distracts from the pitch-perfect pop songs he crafts on this album.

Best Songs: Pump it up, Little Triggers, Radio Radio
Sounds of Salvation

# 70: I still remember the moment I discovered this album through the Last.fm radio, when it randomly played "Tin Man's Throne" and I immediately fell in love with it.... Cassino would probably argue that they don't belong on a list that features the likes of David Bowie, The Beatles, Elvis Costello etc. On my completely subjective list however, they do belong. "Sounds of Salvation" is just a low key folk album with some of the most beautifully simple songs I've ever heard. Nick Torres is a very subtle songwriter and a great vocalist, and I hope the band will one day release a third album "Sounds of Salvation" stuck with me for years now and I'm not one bit less in love with, than I was at the start.

Best Songs: The Old Year, The Gin War, Tin Man's Throne, Governor
19 Typhoon
White Lighter

# 69: Is a band that features 11 fixed members and a various number of regular collaborators still a band? Or are we talking about a collective at this point? However that may be, Typhoons sophomore record, despite the numerous people involved in its creation, is a deeply personal record. Frontman Kyle Martin really spills out his guts and tackles mortality, parenthood and issues from his past. He does so one a diverse and challenging indie-rock album, that is comparable to the earlier works of Arcade Fire in its passionate delivery.

Best Songs: Artifical Light, Morton's Fork, Hunger & Thirst
Clockwork Angels

# 68: Most Rush fans will probably laugh at me, for choosing this album as my favorite, since they wrote classics like "Moving Pictures" and "Hemispheres". But while I like 70s and early 80s rush a lot, never have they blown me away as much as on "Clockwork Angels". Almost 40 years in their career, the band really had nothing left to prove, but decided that they wanted to prove a point regardless. While they always have been one of the most technically impressive bands around, I wouldn't have thought that they could write songs as sublime as "The Gardener". While this album has it's far share of hard hitting rock songs it's in his more quiet moments where it really shines.

Best Songs: T/T, The Gardener, Halo Effect, Seven Cities of Gold
Misplaced Childhood

# 67: Remember when I called Jose Cid one of the best vocalists who ever sang in a progressive rock band? (Probably not, who reads all this shit anyways? Well "Fish" (Dereck Dick), founder and main vocalist of Marillion, is hands down the best in my opinion. Compared to most prog-rockers his voice is way more impassioned and he really could have been in a successful pop band i reckon. Instead he chose to write complex (and heartbreakingly sad) prog-rock concept albums which in my book is a good thing. What makes "Misplaced Childhood" stand out among the plethora of good progressive rock albums? Compared to most prog-albums it's very emotional, not just because of the vocals, but because the whole songwriting is both very personal and effective, especially Steve Rothery's guitar work pulls at my heartstrings time and time again.

Best Songs (album could be described as one continuous song really): Heart of Lothian, Lavender, Bitter Suite, White Feather
The North Borders

# 66: This album was one of my first serious attempts at trying to get into electronic music and that may be one of the reasons I hold it in such high regard. But it would be a disservice to this marvelous album to chalk it up to nostalgia (especially since its still only 2 years old). The North Borders is the very best thing Bonobo has done, he overcame the consistency issue that plagued his older releases and finally delivered a consistently enjoyable album. Most of the tracks revolve around a very nice, crisp and almost hypnotic beat and classy vocal samples and many songs are almost pristine in their understated beauty. You can’t go wrong with this album if you care for electronic music at all.

Best Songs: Jets, Sapphire, First Fires, Don’t wait, Cirrus
15The Veils
Nux Vomica

# 65: Just read Rudy Ks review on this one. It sure made me check it out and it completely encapsulates everything I have to say about this, but does so way more elegantly. This album is just one man’s raw emotions pressed on a CD.

Best Songs: Jesus for the Jugular, Pan, A Birthday Present, Under the folding branches
14Cocteau Twins
Heaven or Las Vegas

# 64: This album, some may say the whole band, is really carried by one voice. Elizabeth Fraiser delivers with some of the most mesmerizing vocal performances I’ve heard on any album in this genre and keeps me engaged for the whole running time of this album. While she’s definitely the star of the show, multi-instrumentalist Robin Guthrie delivered a lush, charmingly 80s, framework for Fraiser to shine. The whole album sticks to a very distinct, warm sound and atmosphere and is just a joy to listen to.

Best Songs: Heaven or Las Vegas, Cherry-Coloured Funk, Wolf in the Breast
13Massive Attack

# 63: Remember that Song Teardrop. Great song, huh? Now guess who is the vocalist on that track. Elizabeth Fraiser, that’s who. While Teardrop is rightfully ingrained into the collective memory as one of the best, most atmospheric songs to come out of the 90s, this album has so much more to offer. From the creepy opening synths and shrieking guitar of Angel to the hypnotic trip-hop rhythm on Black Milk, Mezzanine just sucks you into a bleak, dark world and never lets up for one second. Together with “Entroducing….” and “Dummy…” this album defined what trip-hop can do; sadly nothing much has been able to touch this trifecta of awesomeness in that genre.

Best Songs: Black Milk, Teardrop, Angel, Inertia Creeps
Hurry Up, We're Dreaming

# 62: I have a hard time believing that this album is already 4 years old at this point. I remember the first time those glorious synth-riffs on “Midnight City” blasted into my eardrums so vividly. (Sounding like my grandfather right now, but whatever) I was immediately excited and needed to listen to the whole album. And I wasn’t disappointed. While it does fall into the double-album trap once or twice, it’s an engrossing, upbeat, incredibly fun album to listen to every time. The more euphoric moments make you want to jump up and dance like a madmen, only few albums have that ability. (at least for me) Even less albums have that ability without losing substance or emotional impact.

Best Songs: Midnight City (best song ever), Reunion, Wait, New Map, Ok Pal, SteveMcQueen
11The Gaslight Anthem
The '59 Sound

# 61: Look, I get it. This album (and this band) does not have an original bone in its body. “59 Sound” is basically a celebration of Springsteen with a few punk-rock elements thrown in for good measure. Many bands have tried to do this americana based rock sound that Springsteen mastered and most of them are completely forgettable. But this album is a reminder, that sometimes perfect execution is more than enough. Every song on this album is bursting with melodies, crisp instrumentation, heartfelt vocal performances and memorable choruses, and the album flies by in no time as a result.

Best Songs: 59 Sound, High Lonesome, Film Noir, The Patient Farris Wheel, Meet me at the Rivers edge
10Bruce Springsteen
Darkness on the Edge of Town

# 60: From a giant Springsteen nostalgia trip, to the boss himself. Very few artists who had so much pathos like Springsteen, (believe me, the late 70s and 80s had a lot of pathos in rock music) have aged himself as Bruce. Is it because he’s a better songwriter and storyteller, or because he’s one of the best vocalists to ever grace rock music, or because his E-Street band was an (often overlooked) collective of great musicians? Yes, all of those points. But most of all, Springsteen doesn’t pretend to give a fuck. He does not act. He’s sincere in all his grandiose emotions and statements. At least that’s what I choose to believe. Darkness on the Edge of Town so often tiptoes the line between amazing and cheesy, and never gets caught on the wrong side. It’s as much of an emotional rollercoaster as it was in 1978 and represents everything that’s great about Springsteen.

Best Songs: Darkness on the Edge of Town, Badlands, Adam raised a Cain, Candy’s Room
9Guthrie Govan
Erotic Cakes

# 59: Wank Wank Wank. I love me some great guitar-antics every once in a while. And while Guthrie Govan is definitely a six-string magician, that alone wouldn’t propel his only solo effort this high on my favorites list. Erotic cakes is not only a technical marvel, it features some of the best songwriting I have heard on a purely guitar focused album. Guthrie has no interest in wanking his giant skills around just for the sake of it (only exception maybe Rhode Island shred); he instead uses them to create some of the most impressive instrumental songs I have heard in my life. Check this out, even if you’re usually skeptical of stuff like this.

Best Songs: Waves, Wonderful slippery thing, ner ner, eric, hangover
8Arcade Fire
The Suburbs

# 58: Arcade Fire has always been a band that shoots for the stars, and while they are always interesting they are frequently scatter-brained and inconsistent. (ahem… Reflektor) “The Suburbs” is probably their most realized, fleshed out album conceptually. Many people may point too their debut, but I think “The Suburbs” really tells more of a (semi)coherent story. Will Butlers singing has improved notably on this album, he finally learned to restrain his voice every now and again so it hit’s way harder when he’s letting go of that restrain. While the album is maybe a bit too long for its own good, (ahem… Reflektor) it features so many of my favorite songs and delivers on the concept, that I can’t help but love it.

Best Songs: Empty Room, Half Light II, Suburban War, Deep Blue, Sprawl (Mountains beyond Mountains)
Blast Tyrant

# 57: Spearheaded by frontman Neil Fallon and riffmaster Tim Sult, clutch have their foot on throttle for the entirety of this album and the result is one of the most infectious and catchy Rock albums in my library. The bands “all killer, no filler” philosophy is what really elevates this album above others. Every song on this album is full of energy and power, the instrumentation is very solid and tight and not a second is wasted. Another big strength of the album are the lyrics, because Clutch don’t hide the fact that they are not taking themselves too seriously, some lyrics read like the ramblings of an angry homeless person. One of the few straight up rock albums I always come back to.

Best Songs: Subtle Hustle, La Curandera, The Mob goes wild, Spleen merchant
6Fela Kuti

# 56: It’s a sad reality, that even in the days of the internet; most of my musical taste is firmly grounded in Western Europe and America. Very rarely do artists who really break the bounds of what is expected in western music bleed over into my conscious. Fela Kuti managed to do just that. If you’re unaware of the political activist, world class saxophonist and father of afrobeat, I can’t blame you, because he’s not very well known outside of Africa. (Although he is very well known in Europe/USA when compared to other artists in that genre) “Zombie” is the sound of an uprising, while the bouncy guitar, tribal drums and upbeat saxophone may deceive you at first; the political overtones are crystal clear once the trademark “call and response” vocals set in. Do yourself a favor and broaden your horizon with this album.

Best Songs: Zombie, Mister Follow Follow, Mistake
Si on avait besoin dune cinquieme saison

# 55: Probably the lushest prog-rock album I have heard in my life. Harmonium took the folk-rock sound from their debut and transported into a full on progressive rock album about the four seasons. (While the fifth song is a made up fifth season) Since the lyrics are in French, I don’t understand them, but the music on the vocal delivery are more than enough to transport the theme they were going for. The album is notable for its almost complete lack of percussion, which is a thing I didn’t even notice for a really long time, because the songs don’t really lack percussion, they don’t need percussion. Serge Fiore delivers some outstanding vocal performances and the instrumentation is just so varied and perfectly constructed, that I never grow tired of this album.
Mr. Beast

# 54: Most people probably consider “Young Team” to be their best effort, but to me Mogwai really reached their peak on “Mr.Beast”. The album is a notable departure from the (already pretty varied) sound on their earlier albums, mainly because they introduce the piano as a key component to their songs. Mogwai really set themselves apart from other post-rock bands because they were always willing (and able) to challenge their sound and didn’t stick to the same formula they helped to invent. (looking at you: Explosions in the sky) “Mr.Beast” in many ways is a testament to that, it features a lot of pretty short post-rock songs who straddle off the beaten path and often times abandon the tried and true formula of building up slowly and exploding in the end.

Best Songs: Auto Rock(which is funny, because that song is just a giant build up, and very traditional in that sense), Friend of the Night, Acid Food, Team Handed
3The National
High Violet

# 53: In many ways, The National completely perfected their sound on “High Violet”. I urge you to listen to this album and point out a moment that isn’t perfectly constructed. I can’t find any. The instrumentation is subtle and varied, the drumming especially is grandiose at times, Matt Berninger has never sounded better than on this album, the lyrics are meaningful and often times poetic. But, without wanting to spoiler the second part of the list, this is not my favorite The National album. In their quest for perfection, The National lost a bit of the intial spark that made “Boxer” and “Alligator” such incredible album, a bit of the desperate drive in their songs is gone. A trend that unfortunately intensifies on the (still wonderful) “Trouble will find me”. Still, it wouldn’t be on this list if I didn’t think that it’s amazing.

Best Songs: England, Vanderly Crybaby Geeks, Anyone’s Ghost, Bloodbuzz Ohio, Conversation 16
2Blue Sky Black Death

# 52: This is (along with “North Borders”) the second album that got me into electronic music big time. Many consider “Noir” to be pleasant, albeit somewhat boring. I couldn’t disagree more. Very few albums are able to make an hour seem shorter to me, than this album. It has such a warm, inviting atmosphere, features some of the best song progressions I’ve ever heard (Gold in Gold out, omg) and just piles great idea on great idea.

Best Songs: Sleeping children are still flying, Falling Short, Gold in Gold Out, Fire for Light, Sky with Hand
Old Raves End

# 51: Capping of the first part of my list is a album that received cult status on sputnik and sadly not really anywhere else. “Old Raves End” is about as far away from “Noir” as you can get, while still being in the same genre. Where “Noir” is warm and inviting, “Old Raves End” is cold, desolate and haunting. This is another one the albums, where I urge you to read the review on sputnik, if you’re interested in it. Deviant’s review has helped this album to cult status on this website already, but if you haven’t checked it, please do.

Best Songs: T-1000, Sky below sea, Roulette, Flickr of your Eyes, Bison
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