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09.22.13 The Blacklist

The Blacklist

Top X Records of all time, by yours truly, in the order of recall. I call my best-of the Blacklist since I suspect most would consider my taste to be.... questionable at best, contrarian subjective snobbery at worst. Objectivity knocks on the door on occasion, however.

This is an obvious choice if one were to pick from his discography, but the perfection of "Lady Cab Driver" often I feel is overlooked. It's difficult to not be overshadowed on this album, though. "Little Red Corvette" remains one of the few songs that's been overplayed, but it's never gotten annoying to listen to.

The title track remains one of his best. "Private Joy" is infectious. "Let's Work" is also a highlight.
9The Cure

One of the bleakest, nihilistic, & coldest albums ever to grace the mainstream, The Cure are dragged deep down into the Black Hole, but take their simple & effective post-punk approach along for the ride.

With an album that delivers both ominous pleasure ("The Hanging Garden") & drudging existential imagery ("Siamese Twins"), Pornography remains a subtly versatile album for this Cure-head.

It's can be the walking album during a twilight evening, the audible catharsis one craves after a break-up, or the music for an after party for a funeral or wedding, if the situation differentiates between the two.

Inexplicably, just as how Robert Smith will probably never remember the actual recording sessions due to excessive cocaine use during this era, I will never figure out why this is also one of the most cathartic, & correspondingly one of the most listened to, albums in my collection.
8Black Sabbath
Master of Reality

That moment when you first hear "Children of the Grave" & never look back.
Ride the Lightning

I was never a fan of the amateurish Kill Em All, & Master of Puppets actually has too much filler for my tastes. But while an entire fan-base prepares me for the guillotine, this in my mind represents the band;s first true effort.

Add in what to me me amounts to an obvious concept story of a prisoner being sent to the electric chair, & songs that document his last moments of breath, to the creeping death, & eventually meeting Cthulhu, this remains their most interesting & listenable release, imo.
6Lana Del Rey

Where Ultraviolence was an eye opener, Honeymoon is an outright upgrade & expansion of that album's excellent production, & heady songwriting. And in the end, this simple fact is what makes her third album her best release so far.
5Dir En Grey

The first album where the band tries their hand at production & peeks beyond the veil of visual-kei: serene, extended forays into progressive rock, flashes of metal & tweaks of funk & folk seeping into the compositions, with stunning & quite frankly beautiful results.
4David Bowie

One of many of his records that will be on this list, this is his final album released only days before his death. Probably one of the hardest albums I've listened to due to it's bittersweet nature of not only it being his last album, but quite arguably his best album.
Demon Days

Perfect album, & D-Sides is a very good candidate for an almost as ambitious & only slightly flawed sister album. Plastic Beach is over-rated, & their self-titled under-rated.
2Marilyn Manson
Mechanical Animals

Coming soon, but this is the first & only Manson album I had for a long time until giving in & getting the other two entries in the triology, "Hollywood" & "Antichrist Superstar". MA is still the best album of the three, imo.
1Bad Religion

Not as legendary as No Control, nor as reputable as Against The Grain, Generator sees the band pump the brakes & explore emotional depths amid the dark tail end of the Cold War (the anthemic, yet timeless ’Atomic Garden’); more storytelling vs. mini-manifesto.

The 1st track hits you w/ a ton of metaphysical bricks. Three decades later this song is an epic live staple w/ a slow opening until the chorus blasts off. “Two Babies in The Dark” shows their penchant for catchy melodies & ozzin ahh’s reaching new heights, & I dare you to not enjoy the line: “‘I’l put you to sleep at night / Like a foreign movie…” while the instruments cease & resume w/ a machinery like efficiency. “Chimera” let’s the rhythm section & new drummer Bobby Schayer stretch in the limelight, & “Only Entertainment” cynically but crucially laments that limelight vs. greater culture.

This was the band's 1st effort at an all member live recording, & the chemistry clicks instantly like a solid state battery.
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