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|Asleep's Top 100 Albums|
In hindsight, a top 100 list was a pretty dumb idea, ridiculously time consuming and arguably a futile project given that a perfectly accurate ranking is basically impossible as my enjoyment of music is dependent on so many fluctuating variables (my mood, the weather, what I have and haven’t been listening to recently, how attentive the listen is, et cetera et cetera). Still, I’m really glad I cobbled this together for it was a fantastic and enlightening experience and (I hope) a halfway interesting read. So, I present Asleep’s loosely ordered top 100 list to celebrate over 2 years on sput and (basically) 1000 ratings. Ta da.
Asleep In The Back
Wow this took a long time to make. I'll just add, I don't really expect anyone to read this whole thing (in before td;dr). This was mainly for me. BUT if you do in fact read the whole thing I'll love you forever.
A few honourable mentions: pg.lost - It's Not Me, It's You!; Ween - GodWeenSatan; Stars of the Lid - And Their Refinement of the Decline; Foxing - Albatross; The Wonder Years - The Greatest Generation; Dire Straits - Brothers In Arms; The Notorious BIG - Ready to Die; Metallica - Ride the Lightening; Linkin Park (half of discog); Mount Eerie (discog); The Microphones (discog); The Who - Who's Next?; Refused - The Shape of Punk to Come; The Lawrence Arms - Oh! Calcutta!; Miles Davis - Kind of Blue; Touche Amore - Stage Four.
When Ween of all bands go serious it really is something pretty special. It’s like when your closed off and reserved friend opens up about their feelings in a way you never thought they could or would; the whole thing feels so much more impactful because you know how hard it must have been for them to come out with it and that it must mean a whole lot to them. Whilst Ween have always, I feel, let their emotions shine through their veil of humour subtly, its wonderful to see that veil lifted, even if briefly.
About half of the Mount Eerie discography could be placed in this spot, but my personal favourite of the bunch at the moment (bar one: see below) is Lost Wisdom. It’s Phil at his most straightforward and folky, a smorgasbord of lush instrumentation and philosophical lyrical nuggets that I just gobble up. The icing on the cake are these harrowing female vocals from (I believe) Julie Doiron that I wish we saw more from Phil’s work as they’re simply beautiful here, perfectly at home in Phil’s secluded world. I’ll stop gushing now, but seriously, the Mount Eerie body of work is a neglected one that I wish more would dive into.
|98||The Postal Service|
Pretty much the king of musical dichotomies, stitching together the human with the electronic and the happy with the sad to form a bubbly and glitchy hybrid mush that I just can’t stop spinning.
The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me
An album that sput introduced to me, and also an album that sput kind of ruined for me. Too much blind praise, too much blind hate and too much meme-age; at some point I think my own thoughts got lost amongst the mass, for I find it hard to remember what made this resonate so strongly with me in the past, the record’s spark having dissipated through tired arguments and overdone debates. However (and this is an important however), I still maintain it’s a damn fantastic album, albeit not top 5 material as it would have been a year ago. A sturdy 4.
A sad bubble of soft blues and greys that’ll tear you to shreds if you’re not careful.
Caught in the Strange
The perfect soundtrack for long secluded walks during the early hours of the morning.
A soaring jazz gem; vibrant and bubbly but tinged at the edges with melancholy; generally quite composed and restrained, but still explosive when it needs to be; technical without compromising on emotional impact; a flurry of keys to nourish the soul.
Harmony in Ultraviolet
Few records just take me away from the world as immediately and wonderfully as Harmony in Ultraviolet. A snap of Hecker’s fingers, the rising wall of delicate noise that is ‘Rainbow Blood’, and I’m gone.
Consolers of the Lonely
Jams interspersed with more jams interspersed with more jams. Just jams really, so anyone who loves ‘Seven Nation Army’-style The White Stripes should love this. Oh, and there’s ‘Carolina Drama’, what a phenomenal closer.
As old as Moanin’ is, it really doesn’t show its age. It's still got a spring in its step and spark in its eye, resolutely firey and still swingin’. Really it’s as good evidence as any for why you should respect your elders.
|90|| ||Ichiko Aoba|
Fragile, serene, haunting and enigmatic folk magic. Like staring into a koi pond on a warm summers night, blurred specks of yellow reflecting back amidst the shimmering blues and greens.
|89||Empire! Empire! (I Was a Lonely Estate)|
What It Takes to Move Forward
An incredibly delicate record, making great use out of those twinkly guitars and utilizing silence and space to build tension and anxiety. Whilst an overtly solemn affair, I find What It Takes To Move Forward exudes a surprising amount of warmth, a dainty little fireplace to warm the toes of the weary.
Chaos is Me
Chaos is Me is an unwavering wall of noise; it’s also surprisingly intricate. Chaos is Me is abrasive, unforgiving and initially incomprehensible, only becoming more abrasive, more unforgiving and (paradoxically) more comforting in its catharsis with further listens. Chaos is Me is a climbing favourite of mine and it could be yours to – stick with it, its quite good.
An Awesome Wave
Charismatic, creative, gentle, and still one of the best things to rise to the top of the British mainstream in a long while.
Darkness on the Edge of Town
Springsteen’s life long battle of depression really boils to the surface on Darkness on the Edge of Town, from his pained yelps on ‘Something In The Night’ and ‘Streets of Fire’ to his beautifully soft croons on ‘Racing In The Street’, to even the bitter edge with which he spits out lines on ‘Adam Raised a Cain’. It’s pretty heartbreaking, but I’m glad it’s as prominent as it is; not only does it make for a potent record, it also provides the somewhat reassuring realisation that even men as towering and seemingly bulletproof as The Boss bleed just like the rest of us. And yes, that sucks, but it’s something I need to be reminded of every once in a while.
|85||The Dear Hunter|
The Color Spectrum (Complete Collection)
We’re into the 4.5s friends, kicking them off with a record that is very much a ‘more than the sum of its parts’ record. It’s a bit too polished, a tad too contrived, a smidge too derivative and a ‘jack of all trades, master of none’ kind of deal, but who cares; the colossal 36 track epic nails its underlying ‘colour spectrum’ concept and provides a moving journey through the world of rock and the mind of visionary Casey Crescenzo. Basically it’s really, really cool and I like cool things.
Death Grips demonstrate how to breathe life into old ideas, retrieving a bunch of rusty parts scattered across a musical career and bolting them together into something new and interesting. With the catchiness of The Money Store and a plethora of production tricks and sonic textures picked up from No Love Deep Web through to The Powers that B, Bottomless Pit provides a wonderful contrast from the bands recent experimental streak in a welcomed return to an easier sound. What’s great though is that their use of these new tools mean Bottomless Pit doesn’t sound like a mere rehash of their earliest works; its very much its own thing. Guitars roar, drums pound and bleeps bloop in a cacophonous but digestible mound of noise and hooks. Certainly not an album to convert the Death Grips cynic, but for the Death Grips fan this was just the kick in the teeth that the doctor ordered.
Dust and Disquiet
When I say Caspian have nailed Post Rock for the impatient, I really do mean it as a compliment. I don’t always (read: I basically never) have the time to devote to the standard post-rockian affair, those meandering monoliths that jerk tears and shatter planets. I adore them, but sometimes I need my shot of euphoric beauty in a more immediate package to fit around, well, life. Whilst Caspian can compose 12-minute epics like the best of them, they’ve also cracked the art of the concise and undemanding with the elegantly simple and simply elegant Dust and Disquiet.
You Will Never Be One of Us
An album to pummel your own face to, it’s that edgy.
|81||Sun Kil Moon|
A beautiful collection of songs about life and death that I haven’t had enough time to bond with yet. Expect to see this one soar.
To Pimp a Butterfly
Conceptually speaking, TPAB is practically unparalleled. I’ve not sure I’ve ever seen an artist so elegantly and seemingly effortlessly execute a project quite this ambitious. It’s awe-inspiring to say the least. The only thing holding it back, funnily enough, is its inconsistent mastery of the basics. As technically proficient as Kendrick is and as gorgeous as the beats can be, sometimes the individual components don’t produce enthralling songs, sometimes meandering a little too long, sometimes feeling more like tools of the concept rather than engaging individual tracks. However, the key word here is sometimes. It’s, of course, still a stunning project, a monolith in the world of modern hip-hop that deserved its spot at the top of many 2015 lists.
Leaves Turn Inside You
A hazy, swirling, rockin’ pool of purples and blues
|77||Psychedelic Porn Crumpets|
High Visceral Pt. 1
Psychedelic Porn Crumpets are the best kinds of crumpets. It's true, I swear. I'll hand you over to my good buddy conman here to explain why: http://www.sputnikmusic.com/review/74512/Psychedelic-Porn-Crumpets-High-Visceral-Pt.-1/
|76||The Mountain Goats|
The Sunset Tree
I really should get around to diving into more of The Mountain Goats colossal discography. I really should move on, but I haven’t. I can’t help it; The Sunset Tree has captured me and won’t let go.
I’m quite new to screamo/crust, so I’m sure this’ll get bumped down when I find a band that does it better, but my god this tears me to shreds every time and I have no idea why.
|74||My Chemical Romance|
The Black Parade
I’ll CAAAAARRRRRYYY OOOOOONNNNNN, I’ll CAAAAARRRYYYYY OOOONNNNNN loving this album even though I’m probably way to old for it. I suspect this one may attract cries of ‘Gasp! You ranked that piece of commercialised emo drivel above X!? You dumb?’ Probably, yeah
The Heat Death of the Universe
Sing it with me fellas: NEVER SAY / EVERYTHING / WILL BE / OK. This should probably be rated higher than it is but I just don’t often want to listen to it. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a jagged, bleak masterpiece of a skramz record that does what it sets out to near perfectly, but prolonged listening puts me in a mental state that I’d rather avoid.
Close to the Edge
Close to the Edge is a funny one. Everything about it screams ‘god, this is a pretentious, campy green booger of an album that Asleep will despise’, yet I love the crap out of it. I still don’t really know why, and I hate that.
Houston: We Have a Drinking Problem
I think I have a drinking problem. Also, this is a fantastic album. It’s easy listening stuff, a restrained and subtle pop rock endeavour that’s catchy as hell whilst containing a potent and cold emotional undercurrent in contrast to its generally bright aesthetic. It’s a fantastic pairing, a complimentary tag team of consonance and dissonance that allows both elements to shine.
Classic riff after classic riff after classic riff after classic riff ad infinitum
|68||Every Time I Die|
New Junk Aesthetic
The most fun you can have with drop D, probably
|67||The Story So Far|
Under Soil and Dirt
Rarely does a pop punk project ever sound quite this angry, quite this fuming, quite this … well, punk. Parker Cannon spits venom over 11 glorious, jagged pop punk jams that I always seem to come back to whenever my love life goes tits up again.
‘Best dad rock’ official titleholder
Axe to Fall
Converge’s most straightforward effort Axe to Fall pulls no punches, slamming the listener’s face into the tarmac from the get go. It lets up briefly halfway through with ‘Worms Will Feed’, only to smirk and sneer ‘Did you really think this was over?’ before dropkicking you down a flight of stairs. So yeah, it’s exactly what you’d want from Converge.
The Dream Is Over
With guitars screeching, bass booming and drums pounding, The Dream Is Over blazes as brightly as the flaming sofa that adorns its cover. Lace over the top the manic cries of one of the most characterful vocalists I’ve heard in some time and you’ve got yourself something pretty special.
Dance Tonight! Revolution Tomorrow!
I feel like the yellow flash in the pan that is Dance Tonight! Revolution Tomorrow! is the easiest Orchid LP to overlook. It isn’t the blazing inception of Chaos is Me, adored (quite rightly) for kick-starting with vigour the career of one of screamo’s most beloved; nor is it sprawling Gatefold, the band’s nuanced curtain call, praised for its elegant evolution into uncharted territory for the genre. Indeed, one could argue Dance Tonight! Revolution Tomorrow! is actually quite uninteresting (relatively speaking), merely a leaner and cleaner version of what the band already achieved with their debut. Such thinking is dangerous however, for it could lead one to miss out on a real treat, a flaming, spiralling tornado that’s about as far from a sophomore slump as you could get. For me at least its as good as Orchid got, which is to say very, very, very good.
You Fail Me Redux
Shatters faces whilst shredding heartstrings
|61||Sons Of Granville|
Sons Of Granville
Go read my review for this little hidden gem, it explains it all. Please. Pretty please?
|60||The World Is a Beautiful Place...|
Whenever, If Ever
A masterclass in revivalism, demonstrating perfectly how to carefully blend old and new to create something unique.
Cohesion isn't a word I usually associate with genre-hopping duo Ween, nor something I generally look for in their albums, but The Mollusk certainly proves that one doesn't have to stick to what one knows (or what others expect from you) to create something wonderful. Of course this is still Ween through and through - ever jovial and playful, dazzling and delighting with music that seems a lot simpler than it actually is - it's merely lashed together a bit more tightly than usual with fishing line and anchor chains.
TL;DR: Ween under the sea = best Ween.
A bizarre and wonderful collection of musical oxymora.
I’m not sure I can listen to the opening 3-chord barrage of ‘American Idiot’ without smiling, picturing 16yo me screaming his lungs out in the front row at Leeds Fest. I’m not sure I can put ‘Wake Me Up When September Ends’ on without thinking of that awkward time I sung it for some god-awful music assignment at school. I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to play ‘Boulevard of Broken Dreams’ without recalling how me and my old roommate used to jam it together repeatedly as a guitar and keyboard duet to the (very vocal) distaste of our neighbours. I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to perceive American Idiot as an album, nor appraise it with any sense of objectivity, for it really is better described as a bundle of memories. It’s bottled nostalgia, and I love it.
Hybrid Theory is another stubborn favourite, an irremovable keystone of my musical journey as the second CD I bought and the first album I ever loved. It honestly surprises me that I still love it as much as I do, and not just a nostalgic love but a genuine ‘damn, this is actually a great album’ kind of love. However, I’m under no illusions; I know this is a simplistic, commercialised pop album in loose nu-metal clothing; I see its obvious flaws. Yet, clearly I couldn’t care less. Maybe I just have awful taste, or maybe that’s just the unconditional love we reserve for a select few old friends; I think that would make sense, for Hybrid Theory is pretty much the oldest musical friend I have.
Warm, boisterous, mathy jams tinged with post rock. See my review for more.
|54||Rage Against The Machine|
Rage Against The Machine
52 minutes of aggression and swagger; easy to love and hard to put down
Sloppy and sincere. Encapsulates the spirit of the genre perfectly.
|52||The Front Bottoms|
The Front Bottoms
Awkward, fumbling basement pop punk. Essentially a hook machine with a heart.
|51||Run the Jewels|
Run the Jewels 2
Banger after banger after banger for 40 glorious minutes. Also, the placement of this above pretty much every hip-hop ‘classic’ I can recall really does show my noob status when it comes to the genre. I’ll get around to fixing that eventually, I promise.
As Mr. Toh Kay so eloquently put himself, "Something to put your feet up to, when you're not quite in the mood for the ball of frenetic energy that is Streetlight Manifesto."
I don’t think a thrash record has ever quite as genuinely moved me quite like Terminal Redux does. Also, the dude makes “SKREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE” sounds every once in a while, so that’s cool.
Everything Goes Numb
I might ruffle a few feathers in ranking this below the bulk of Tomas’ other work, but eh, my list. A vital pillar within 3rd wave ska for good reason, sporting some of the best lyrics of any Streetlight project and containing enough energy to level a small village and put it back together again. It’s everything the genre should be really.
The Money Store
Something this abrasive should not be this catchy. An amalgamation of this many different genres and styles really shouldn’t feel this natural, nor cohesive. A project with such poetic, abstract, bleak and disturbing lyricism has no right to be this fun and (relatively) accessible. The Money Store has no right to work; plain and simple, it just shouldn’t. But it does, so yay.
Like comfort food, but music.
|45||Tigers on Trains|
Rustic is the best descriptor for Grandfather I could think of, you know, ‘cause it’s really frickin’ rustic. Every step just feels so natural, so rootsy, so warm and gentle that it feels like it couldn’t have happened any other way; and I’m glad it didn’t, as the journey through the thicket with Tigers on Trains is as touching and comforting as they come.
It's astounding how well I feel like I know Julien from just 30 minutes or so of music. I mean, of course I don't know her at all, not really, but that's the magic of Sprained Ankle; it radiates, exudes and sparkles Julien, all her wishes, her beliefs, her flaws and her persona lain out; it almost mimics a face to face encounter, a heart to heart chat over a pint. It's thus easy to feel like you've met Julien, and just as easy to relate to her confessions on life and loss. I guess this explains why Sprained Ankle worked it's way so swiftly and devastatingly into the dusty depths of my chest. It's the musical mirage of a friend, another struggling soul to hold hands with as the ship goes down. Jeez I'm melodramatic. I'll end with this: I hope you're doing ok Julien, sincerely.
A Crow Looked At Me
I’m so sorry Phil.
If poetry set to a careful blend of emo, indie rock and country sounds appealing to you then jam this, jam this so hard.
|41||The Smith Street Band|
No One Gets Lost Anymore
Self-destructive self-deprecation has never sounded quite this anthemic.
England Keep My Bones
Whilst England Keep My Bones contains some of Frank’s best crowd pleasers, it’s the deeper, more creative cuts that have always interested me the most. Sure ‘I Still Believe’ and ‘If Ever I Stray’ are fantastic belters, but they don’t compare to the heart retching heartbreak of ‘Redemption’, to the adorable b-side ‘A Song For Eva Mae’, or to the dark rocker ‘One Foot Before The Other’. Heck, there’s even a poem, ye old England style in the form of ‘English Curse’. It’s this odd balance between easy listening radio candy and braver forays into very un-Frank styles that makes the record such an interesting one for the Frank fan and why it’s so damn easy to love.
American Football’s s/t is a fading Polaroid, a blurry almost-image with just enough detail to bring forth a flood of memories. It’s twinkly, summery goodness, dripping nostalgia, overflowing with the comforting hue of days gone by. It’s lovely.
People Who Can Eat People are the Luckiest People
I love people. I love life. I also hate people and hate life. AJJ get that. I love AJJ.
|37||Jordaan Mason and The Horse Museum|
Divorce Lawyers I Shaved My Head
If Dali had played in a lo-fi indie folk band it probably would have sounded something like this. Predictably, it's reeallyy weird. Though enigmatic and pretty hard to decipher, Divorce Lawyers… appears to be a musical exploration of the self, a tale of gender dysphonia and unstable sexuality within a cracking marriage that pertains more generally to the underlying characteristics of identify crises. It progresses as an almost-story - personified and conversational with clear characters and events - yet it never solidifies, never entirely comprehensible. Indeed, it often feels like a shadow of a narrative, an obtuse collection of fragmented experiences and emotions. The accompanying instrumentation compliments, rootsy guitar work peppered with suitably quirky horns and keys. While Divorce Lawyers... is a cryptic and contorted mess, it can be a surprisingly comforting retreat for those undergoing deep internal conflict. I speak from personal experience: it helps.
Sleep Is For The Week
An undemanding and cosy helping of rootsy and relatable folk goodness.
It Never Goes Out
Poetic, passionate, personal, political, potent pop punk. Alliteration is fun.
|34||Godspeed You! Black Emperor|
Lift Your Skinny Fists Like Antennas to Heaven
One of the few records in existence that I think deserves the (quite overused) title of ‘masterpiece’. Would be higher if only I listened to it more.
Crazy on the Weekend
Zak said it best I think: “Do you want to hear music made by one of us?” Heart-shattering stuff.
In Rainbows is a record I find it hard to talk about in any depth. Of course, that's not because it's a bad record (I mean duh, this is a top 100 list), more that I just don't want to. It so effortlessly thrills and soothes that I feel little need to dissect it. It just is; it just does; it just works, no assembly required, no deep analysis necessary. Try it. Let it wash over you and pull you in. It's lovely, I promise.
The Hands That Thieve
Streetlight shake off the shackles of 3rd wave ska to do whatever the hell they feel like on The Hands that Thieve and it’s awesome. Not that the band have ever let themselves be confined by the genre they reside in, but Streetlight really do go a bit haywire here. The record zips every-which-way, picking up influences as it goes and mushing them together to form a characteristically poignant and rallying package. Side note: yeah this is weirdly highly placed, I didn’t see it coming either. Ah well, it floats my boat.
The Bends simply rocks. Solemnly and reservedly, sure, but it rocks all the same and that’s all you need to know.
I don’t really feel anymore when I listen to Hospice. It used to shake me, forcing a lump in my throat regardless of my mood. Now it just makes me feel numb.
Kid A is an easy record to love for the way that it replicates and complies a bunch of emotions and sensations of the everyday. This makes it a fantastic record to live with; a companion to go through daily turbulence with, to laugh and cry with. It doesn’t require much explanation really. Listen to it; if you’re alive you’ll probably get it.
All We Got Is Each Other
Ghost Mice play sloppily, sing shakily, and can’t produce a record particularly well. Of course, none of that matters as All We Got Is Each Other still destroys me every single time in spite of (and partially because of, I suppose) its flaws. Every other line is a punch in the guts in an album that deserves to be ranked up there with the Carrie & Lowells and Benjis of the last decade. It’s simply folk punk as it should be: charismatic, passionate, and utterly human.
An unwavering, unadulterated and uninhibited mess of an album that literally bounces of the walls like some kid who’s eaten one too many candy bars. It’s an endearing mess though, like it’s your little scrapper of a kid causing chaos rather than your neighbours’ screaming brat that you just want to dropkick through a window.
Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space
If you’ve ever wanted to be privy to a guy losing his mind amidst drugs and heartbreak then this is your album. It helps if you can relate, so go get your heart trodden into the ground and then grab a crate of beer; it’s worth it, I promise (well, you know, other than the ‘having your heart broken’ bit, ‘cause that sucks).
No Drum And Bass in the Jazz Room
Clever Girl’s first and only ep makes me happy. Honestly, it’s hard for ones spirits not to be lifted a smidge when this little thing embraces you with a big warm hug, horns tooting and guitars merrily noodling. It’s carefree, jovial and a comforting companion. Wish these dudes made more music.
The first truly m/ metal record I ever loved and still pretty much my favourite. Some may sneer at its placement above pretty much all the metal ‘classics’ but eh, this just hit the spot for me; a perfect mix of proggy thrash and death metal with a few sprinklings of black metal here and there, topped with a nutcase of a vocalist who I adore and just the right amount of cheese to be palatable.
Fuck Your Emotional Bullshit
A screaming little bottle rocket of an emo ep that I’ve destroyed my vocal chords yelling along to on more occasions than I’d care to recall. Charming and cathartic, sloppy and sincere, messy and moreish – what more could you ask for?
Who knew a collection of beeps and boops with some nut singing / shrieking over the top of it could make me feel quite so much. Only under the masterful guiding hand of Animal Collective could it be done, I guess.
On the Impossible Past
Just go read Art’s review for this; says exactly what I want to say but better than I ever could: http://www.sputnikmusic.com/review/74314/The-Menzingers-On-the-Impossible-Past/
Crime as Forgiven By
Crime is an utterly captivating EP. Its folk punk through and through: brash and passionate, sloppy and sincere, young and angry. It’s not well produced, its not instrumentally complex and its not really all that well written, but it doesn't need to be when overflowing which such unwavering vigour and emotion.
|18||Godspeed You! Black Emperor|
Slow Riot For New Zero Kanada
Fight me if you think there exists a better post-rock climax than that found in ‘Moya’. Don’t actually, you’d probably win, for I’m the type of dude to tear up to a crescendo and talk for hours about song composition and pacing (lets just say I don’t even ‘lift’, bro). Whether I can fight for it or not, the point still stands: this is a bloody good post-rock album. Delicate, cathartic and uncharacteristically concise, it is one of those few albums that I wouldn’t change a second of for fear of causing the whole thing to cave in on itself and lose that ‘thing’ that makes it quite so magical. Although I believe Post-Rock still has a lot to give (and I’m quite sick of those still gleefully waiving the ‘post-rock is dead’ banner), I’m pretty sure we’re never going to get another Kanada.
|17||Captain, We're Sinking|
The Future Is Cancelled
“I’m lonely now, and that’s ok” … ‘cause I have this album to keep me company. There is comfort in shared isolation I guess.
For Emma, Forever Ago
A cosy acoustic forest of sad things that I’ve had a few too many nights alone with for my own good
Few albums so readily induce such a wide range of emotional responses simultaneously as Against Me!’s acoustic EP. Not only is it the spiralling-yet-reserved, frantic-yet-composed, and anthemic-yet-solemn peak of their career, its also the peak of folk punk (so far as I’ve seen).
I like you Regina. You’re quirky and you make me happy. I don’t know why make me happy, for you sing about a lot of sad stuff. But you do, so thanks.
Ey, we’re into the 5s. If you’ve actually read everything up to this point then you have no life, but I love you. As for this, well, this is Jane Doe. ‘Nuff said really.
Tape Deck Heart
Simple, sappy songs about the ups and downs of love, companionship and life with hooks that’ll melt your face clean off. There isn’t much to say really; this simply grabbed me and wouldn’t let go, introducing me towards my now favourite artist and worming its way into my tape deck heart as it did so (sorry, had to do it).
Born to Run
A classic in every sense of the word really: fantastic and varied musicianship, unrelenting hooks, utterly genuine vocal delivery, wonderfully (and deceptively) simple yet effective lyricism, relatability, timeless style, undeniable influence and an undeniable legacy ... the list goes on and on and on. Also, the dude is such a nice chap, incredibly humble and still making music. He’s a true legend, and this is a truly legendary record.
...Is a Real Boy
Max used to be an awkward and damaged chap. It probably sucked to be in his head in 2004 and I’m certainly glad he’s better now, but in a twisted way I kind of miss the broken guy that produced … Is A Real Boy, the ugly and sporadic by-product of the man’s woes and idiosyncrasies. Obviously I don’t really want another human being to go through some personal crisis just because I might get a good album out of it, but when the results are this characterful, charming and creative it’s a disturbingly easy thought to have.
Carrie and Lowell
I don’t cry. I used to, I think, quite a lot, and often when it was unwarranted. Life slapped me around a bit. I’m sturdier now. I don’t cry. Yet, after dozens and dozens of listens I can’t sit through this without welling up.
|7||Neutral Milk Hotel|
In the Aeroplane Over the Sea
An album that’s been talked to death about – through memes and mockery as much as genuine discourse – so I shan’t waste too many words here. I’ll just add that I appreciate In The Aeroplane Over the Sea because it’s a work of art. I don’t use such words to imply it’s flawless. Far from it, what I mean is I admire and adore its dedication to whatever the hell vision the band had when they made it. It’s music for the sake of music, art that exists for its own sake only and doesn’t care if you understand what it’s trying to say or not. Indeed, the disparate interpretations it has led to and the (arguably futile) search for the meaning it has inspired from so many listeners are what make it just so bloody fascinating and one of my favourite records. And yeah, I suppose it helps that it sounds phenomenal too.
|6||The Tallest Man on Earth|
The Wild Hunt
The Wild Hunt is many things, most of which are quite unexpected and contradictory: it’s possibly the most fundamentally human album I’ve ever heard – unkempt and raw, struggling but determined – even though Kristian’s brittle croons can sound anything but human at times; it’s instrumentally lush, with each strum brushing against heartstrings, surprising given how I find instrumental intricacy prone to overpower and undercut emotional potency; it’s an album I used to despise, but now it’s one of my favourites. Weird, huh?
|5||Car Seat Headrest|
Teens of Denial
From the painfully singable hooks to the gorgeous instrumentation to the intricate and varied song structures, this pretty much has everything I look for in a record. Above all though, the lyrics came at just the right time in my life to hit me like a train, but also to give me a hand up. The way the record honestly and brazenly tackles the trials that most all 20 something year olds go though has this brilliant message of ‘Yeah it sucks, but don’t feel embarrassed or ashamed to feel like crap sometimes; we all go though it and come out the other side the better for it’. Will bares his soul for us, and I for one am incredibly grateful.
The Glow Pt. 2
This record elicited the strongest and most inexplicable emotional response from me on first listen that a record ever has. It’s uplifting and yet unsettling, it induces anxiety and claustrophobia whilst interspersing this with comforting snippets of beauty; the contrast is exquisite. The delicate vocal delivery, the natural and enigmatic lyrical content, the lo-fi elements and the ingenious recording/production all build to create a truly unique experience. In sum: Phil is God.
Somewhere in the Between
There haven’t been many times where I’ve put on a record and its reshaped my entire appreciation of music, but my first listen of Somewhere in the Between did just that. It’s somehow delicate and poetic whilst also relentless and visceral, technically brilliant yet still emotionally devastating. I still don’t know how they made such contradictions work but they most certainly did. Whilst I no longer label it my favourite album, to say it still means a lot to me would be an understatement. Indeed, it’s an album I often credit with getting me into music, and leading to me becoming an avid Sput user and a reviewer (yeah, sorry about that, now you guys are stuck with me).
Love, Ire & Song
If you know me then you probably know I love Frank. He and his music inspired me to pick up a guitar (as much as my neighbours and wallet probably wish he hadn’t), which has led me to pretty much my favourite hobby (whoo). The singer-songwriter is also a prolific, humble and chill dude who sings his bloody heart out and is someone I never cease to relate to. Love, Ire and Song is his peak, the blueprint for pretty much any music looking to work its way under my skin. I won’t try describing it, for the experience it provides is an inherently individual one that you ought experience for yourself with no spoilers. Go on. Shoo. Listen to it. Stop reading this boring ass list.
Home, Like NoPlace Is There
So apparently this is my favourite album. Slightly unexpected, but it makes sense. I first listened to this when a 2 and a bit year relationship of mine crashed and burned. It helped then and continues to help me cope with life and things now. Not that the grief that the record grapples with is that kind of heartache, but the sincerity and sorrow with which The Hotelier confront loss is something that obviously struck a chord with me. Thankfully my dependence on the record continues to lessen as things continue to get better, as I move on and become a more stable and grounded individual. Still, I think it (and records like it) will always be necessary crutches for me occasionally. And that’s okay. Music is a vital companion for so many of us for a reason, something to look forward to at the end of a hard day and a slice of whatever you need to pick you up when you’ve fallen down. For me, there’s no record that executes that concept quite as well as Home.
|Feel free to gawk at my shoddy music taste. Cheers to anyone who gives this a skim.|
|Can already tell this is great stuff, will read it when I have the time. Only heard 18 of these...|
|I like it|
"I’m not sure I can put ‘Wake Me Up When September Ends’ on without thinking of that awkward time I sung it for some god-awful music assignment at school."
Lmfao that's awesome
"A cosy acoustic forest of sad things that I’ve had a few too many nights alone with for my own good"
|Cool list man. That was really fun to read. Nice job having your own opinions and sticking to them. |
|holyyyyy shit Asleep fantastic job, feature worthy for sure. only read the ones I was v familiar with but I'm bookmarking to sift through all of these. |
|also thanks tons for the shoutout (:|
|some good shit on here|
out of curiosity, would YFM be on the list if they hadn't done the Redux?
|Was a good read, will come back for the few I didn't totally read because I do like the descriptions and many of these I need to check out for my self.|
On 68, "The most fun you can have with drop D, probably" I really liked that comment lol
|Cheers guys, appreciate it more than you know. |
Yeah hesperus regular YFM would be on here if it weren't for redux, but I think redux is generally an improvement and I didn't see the need to put both up
|Also I'll forever love whoever was responsible for the feature, thanks a bunch |
|Ween is on here twice and gets and honorable mention?|
|73 -'but prolonged listening puts me in a mental state that I’d rather avoid'|
Yeah that is why I avoid skramz these days, even though it's one of my fav. genres.
|man, i love this list. so much good stuff. cant wait to check out all the stuff i havent heard of. |
|nice work asleep, i'll have to check some of these out|
|loved reading this, Asleep.. we've got different tastes in some regards, but this sort of list always makes me happy.. labour of love..|
|A good read, lots of nice picks here |
|I rec'd you 37. :D glad it's one of your favorites now|
|yeah tons, TONS|
1 is such a 5, glad to see so many albums on here it'd be pointless to list em all
|Agreed with some things, disagreed with plenty more but tons of effort and heart is here and that's all I can ask for in a Sput list. Great job dude.|
|Awesome list, descriptions, choices, etc|
|Lotta good shit here, man, nice. Cool to see you can appreciate all diff kinds of rock; punk emo indie prog (you got the right Yes album) and even some Bungle in there. Good stuff|
|"If you’ve actually read everything up to this point then you have no life..." :(|
"but I love you." :3
Such an impressive job, Ben. Your number one was a surprise, but not too much of a surprise. Some very great descriptions here as well.
|Just finished reading the whole thing and...this is amazing, Asleep! Really love the high amount of folk on here especially, and the wruteups are superb.|
|By the way, given that 98 is ok here, and considering the styles of a lot of the other stuff here, you should really check out Death Cab For Cutie - Transatlanticism. It would fit right in on this list (and it's a top 10-15 album ever for me ;-D )|
|Thanks everyone, love you guys, especially those who seem to have read the whole thing, you guys are the best|
Let me know if you give any of them a go Minty, mate.
Yeah Sandwich 37 is an absolute gem of a record, thank you!
Yeah Boney I'll make sure to get on that, you know, after checking the handful of things you've already recd me in the last few days ;)
Seriously though, the overall attitude of respect for, and appreciation of, diverging tastes in these comments is awesome to see
|excellent work ben, love personal reads like this and it helps that you're a great writer :~)|
|oh hell yeah, love lists with descriptions like these. some pretty interesting picks as well, great job dude.|
|Beautiful writing Asleep, makin' me want to do one of these soon haha|
"Good album." 
|Incredible effort and great list, my dude!|
|WHEN WE FALL, WE WILL FALL TOGETHER|
|NO ONE WILL CATCH US SO WE'LL CATCH OURSELVES|
Thanks a bunch jack / Round / neeka / ash, much love
|Also yeah Neeka do one!|
|Love Ire & Song yes dude fantastic record, never got into much of his stuff after that unfortunately|
|It's a wonderful record yeah. That's a shame, his discog is a goldmine in my opinion (as if that didn't come across in the list haha)|
|glad to see a fan of the boss |
|He's one of the greats yeah. His non-'Born to Run' stuff needs more love on the site, even though Born to Run is his best imo.|
|Cool list. 6 and 10 would be in my top ten as well.|
|Cheers pal. Yeah they're both easy picks for me |
|Respect for 21, 33 and 81|
|Thanks fellas |
|Incredible list. Nice to see #95 and #45, in particular.|
|yeah the promise, nebraska, the rising, live 75-85, darkness, the river etc all need more love. he has a great discog but they're all overshadowed by born to run, which is def a classic.|
Definitely fox, though I'm guilty of not having got around to all of those myself. I'll need to fix that
|I really need to properly get into Springsteen, I'm a casual fan having heard his stuff on the radio and just around in general but I've never really actively jammed his stuff. |
|I've listened to enough Springsteen to know he'll never go to the level of being a favourite for me unfortunately|
|From what I know of your taste Boney it certainly wouldn't hurt to give Born to Run a go. Very easy listening but a lot deeper than it first appears. If it's a bit too pristine for you, maybe delve into Darkness.|
|Nebraska actually always seemed the most interesting one to me, that one is constantly being referenced as a touch point for a ton of albums I listen to.|
|Fair play. Dive in wherever really. Planning on checking War on Drugs today by the way, where to start Boney?|
|I'd say go with Slave Ambeint or Lost in the Dream first. The newest might not be the best place for a first time listener. |
|'Nebraska' is the one I own - I'm finding it's real good, but not a life changer so far.|
|We'd get along|
|I take it you'll love me forever now, Asleep.|
|Neat WalkinDude, lets do that. Sup.|
And why is that Unique?
|"BUT if you do in fact read the whole thing I'll love you forever."|
for the reference
|ffs, now I have to love Unique of all people forever. Thank you though, sincerely. |
|Yeah, I made you ma bitch!|
The list is dope tho.