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10.24.20 Dance Gavin Dance Albums Ranked

Dance Gavin Dance Albums Ranked

My first DGD album was Mothership, so nostalgia isn't guiding these rankings much. This might be different than my ratings for the albums, I'm not even bothering to check those. Not including the instrumentals or remixes either.
9Dance Gavin Dance

Probably not much justification needed here. When I first listened to ArSe, I thought "huh, this is a bit different and I'm not sure I like it," but I came around in the end. When I first listened to Afterburner, I thought "wow, they really phoned it in." I'm not opposed to experimentation, but Afterburner just seems like a downgrade. Everything is watered down and less compelling, as if the album was written with substantially less effort and care than past releases. In my view, this is the only DGD LP that isn't an excellent album in its own right, but perhaps my opinion will change.
8Dance Gavin Dance

Never been a huge fan of Happiness. The absence of Jon really hurts the album, and the sound strikes me as a bit same-y and dull. I don't particularly enjoy the softer, more rock-oriented and carefree style either. I can certainly see why others love this album, but it's just not for me.
7Dance Gavin Dance
Downtown Battle Mountain

This might be controversial, but without any nostalgic connection to DBM, I struggle a bit to get into the album. Production has definitely not aged as well as some of DGD's other releases, nor has the instrumentation, nor have the vocals. But Times New Roman and Backwards Pumpkin Song are still some of my favorite DGD tracks.
6Dance Gavin Dance
Acceptance Speech

In my view, this album is sort of an intermediary between DBM II and Instant Gratification, and it's not quite as good as either. Tilian doesn't sound as good as later releases, and there are some lackluster songs, but it's still a very good album.
5Dance Gavin Dance

Mothership is the album that introduced me to DGD -- at the time I was a big prog metal fan, so the excellent instrumentals on this album really hooked me. I think Mothership reclaims some of the energy from DGD II, but in an entirely different fashion. But, for some reason, I don't find myself coming back to Mothership as often as the above albums.
4Dance Gavin Dance
Artificial Selection

At first, I didn't like this album, but it's grown on me quite a bit once I shed my expectations from Mothership. The sound is definitely a bit of a departure, being a bit groovier and softer, maybe trending towards prog rock/pop? But it's a stylistic change that feels focused and deliberate (unlike Afterburner) -- you get the sense DGD enjoyed writing in this style. Also, Tilian's vocals on this album cut through the mix and sound stellar.
3Dance Gavin Dance
Instant Gratification

Acceptance Speech exemplifies the best aspect of the Tilian era, boasting super catchy songs that retain that infectious, frantic DGD vibe. Definitely the one I'd use to introduce someone new to DGD, almost everything on here is great but it's a bit less varied than death star and DBM II.
2Dance Gavin Dance
Dance Gavin Dance

Zoloft, Alex English, and Uneasy Hearts are some of DGD's all-time best songs, and really there's nothing weak on this album. The sound is a bit different from DGD's other stuff, but in a good way -- I think this album has some of DGD's most varied and interesting songwriting.
1Dance Gavin Dance
Downtown Battle Mountain II

DBM II jams the hardest, really all there is to say. Tons of catchy songs, instrumentals are energetic invigorating, and I prefer Jon's vox from this era. The rougher, more chaotic style combined with Craig's cleans is the epitome of what makes DGD great.
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