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08.20.08 10 Exceptional Albums

10 Exceptional Albums

A short list of ten albums which in my opinion are severely underated and deserve a sputnikmusic 5.0! Albums that make this list have been played countless times by me, either because of exceptional musicianship from the artist(s) involved or simply because the music conveys great emotion for me. Anyway...enjoy!
1X Japan

What is there to say about Dahlia? The final studio album from X is incredible, both in terms of musical genius and evoking an emotional response from the listener. I understand only very little Japanese and yet songs like 'Tears' are still incredibly touching. Toshi's english is also surprisingly good! My favorite album...EVER!
2Blink 182

Ok, so while Mark and Tom may not be the most skilled of musicians (Travis' drumming is besides the point!) Blink's final album was full of a maturity no one had ever experienced from the band. Many fans hated it but the poppy punk ballads 'I Miss You' and 'Down' were truly great songs, and to me the catchy riffs and thoughtful lyrics had such a genuine feel of emotion to them, that I just couldn't help but love the album! Certainly for me, Blink's sound is unrivaled by many bands who fit into the same genre.
3X Japan
Blue Blood

I was concerned that I would put all the X albums into this list! (Hopefully that won't happen!) Mind you, Blue Blood really was a turning point for the band. Vanishing vision was great, but somewhat forgettable, but with ballads like 'Endless rain' and 'Unfinished' to symphonic metal (Kurenai) this album really fits the criteria for Top Ten.
4Death Cab For Cutie

Great lyrics and soft acoustic guitars are usually winners and no band gets it right quite so well as Death Cab. One of those easy listening albums which never gets dull.
5Dir en grey

Experimental even by Diru standards! Kisou has everything - depessing rock ballad (Embryo), acoustic ballads (Mushi, Undecided), heavy metal (Zomboid) and surprisingly, a happy pop punk track (Jessica). Sure it's a mix of genres but it flows brilliantly, plus I wouldn't expect any less from Diru. Another brief point, Kyo is a truly awesome vocalist!
6 hide

Has a song for every mood. hide is a fantastic guitarist and singer and this album always makes me feel good. If you like hide's style then you can't go far wrong with this - he is sorely missed.
Morning View

The softest Incubus album and certainly the most easy listening. Although there is a distinct lack of the heavier tracks found on the others, Morning view is my favorite. Tracks like 'Wish You Were Here' and 'Echo' really show off the band's talent.
Period: The Best Selection

If you like Japanese wrong and somehow haven't listened to LUNA SEA, this album is a great place to start. You'll find alot of singles here all of which are great songs. I'd recommend 'Storm', 'I For You' and 'Tonight' in particular. This album really shows off why LUNA SEA remain one of the most influencial and well-loved J-Rock bands of all time.
9 Jay Chou
November's Chopin

Well I don't understand any Traditional Chinese whatsoever and yet Jay Chou's fifth studio album is still a favorite. Jay's voice carries plenty of emotion and the songs are quite accessible even to Westerners. You'll find slow songs, hip-hop and optimistic pop songs here and the whole mix just gels very well - highly recommended.
Start Something

Musically the songs here are pretty average but then again they are so catchy and this easily makes up for any doubts about the band's skill. No one does mainstream rock music better than Lostprophets and songs like 'Last Train Home' and 'Last Summer' always bring back good memories. If you're in a band or write your own rock songs then Lostprophets are bound to inspire (If you're under 21 that is...)
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