lz41
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Reviews 49
Approval 79%

Soundoffs 526
Album Ratings 565
Objectivity 71%

Last Active 12-21-21 11:53 am
Joined 08-22-11

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Average Rating: 3.66
Rating Variance: 0.63
Objectivity Score: 71%
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5.0 classic
Amy Winehouse Back to Black
For all her sass, dark humour and sloppy, what-kind-of-fuckery-is-this schtick, "Back in Black" is the sound of Amy Winehouse realising life's joke was on her.
Arcade Fire Funeral
When all of 'Funeral's ideas - delicate melodies bedded with tinny guitars and emotionally perfect depictions of all the moments of childhood that stand out as we become adults - come together, Arcade Fire can claim to making one of the most powerful albums of the last decades.
Arctic Monkeys Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not
Awesome, brash songs with cartoonishly spiky guitar work and brilliant lyric writing, the Arctic Monkeys' debut album captures being 19 better than any other artist of their time. However, it is the narration of Alex Turner that elevates 'Whatever' to a classic: sometimes an observer and sometimes directly involved in his songs, Turner declares "there ain't no romance around here"- and whether he's talking about boys thinking with their smaller brain in clubs or bands putting their image before their message, he's right.
Beastie Boys Paul's Boutique
When was the last time an album made you laugh out loud?
Bob Dylan Blood on the Tracks
'Blood on the Tracks' is ten love songs. None of them are soppy. Or cliched. Or self-absorbed. Each one of them says something true about the human existence, and it is truly remarkable that Dylan constructed an acoustic masterpiece, his first since 'The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan'. One of the best three albums of his legendary career. Best songs are 'Tangled Up In Blue', 'Idiot Wind', 'If You See Her, Say Hello' and 'Simple Twist of Fate', but, in all honesty, an album whose worst song is the excellent 'Lily, Rosemary and the Jack of Hearts' deserves its classic status wholeheartedly.
Bob Dylan Highway 61 Revisited
Finishing and ending with a masterpiece, 'Highway 61 Revisited' smoothly combines folk and blues to offer such works as 'Like A Rolling Stone', the soft, sad-eyed 'It Takes A Lot To Laugh, It Takes A Train To Cry', the sly 'Ballad of a Thin Man' and the majestic 'Desolation Row', possibly Dylan's greatest work. The smirking garage rock on 'Tombstone Blues', 'From A Buick 6' and the hilarious Biblical 'Highway 61 Revisited' ensure that the album isn't too serious, and only add to the greatness.
Bob Dylan Bringing It All Back Home
Political satire has never been more blisteringly, hilariously cynical than 'Subterranean Homesick Blues', 'On The Road Again' and 'Bob Dylan's 115th Dream'.
Bob Dylan The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan
Just Dylan tickling and plucking his acoustic and breathing through his harmonica, yet his lyric writing is truly masterful: these songs, of which seven are genuine greats, are simultaneously documents of their time and applicable in the world of today. Watch this kid, he could go somewhere.
Bruce Springsteen The Legendary 1979 No Nukes Concerts
I hope the jackass in the audience with the air horn is still alive and suffering these cursed times.
Counting Crows August And Everything After
David Bowie Low
'Low' is a masterpiece. A breakthrough in production, intent, orchestration and styles. Joy Division, 80s synth-pop artists and Radiohead have surely listened.
Godspeed You! Black Emperor Lift Your Skinny Fists Like Antennas to Heaven
How the hell do you rate this album? Get to the end of one song and I can't even remember how the damn thing started.
Gunther Pleasureman
If you love Spanish guitar fills I have the album for you
Jeff Buckley Grace
Joy Division Unknown Pleasures
'Depressing', 'brooding', 'isolated', 'minimalistic'. These are the common tags that get stuck to Joy Division's debut album, yet rarely applied is the most fitting one : ghostly. This is like listening to ghosts. From the wide, sparse 'Candidate' to the bone sawing guitars on 'Day of Lords' and 'New Dawn Fades' and the pulsing, undead basslines on 'She's Lost Control' and 'I Remember Nothing', "Unknown Pleasures" is as cold, industrial and threatening as an abandoned asylum.
Kamasi Washington The Epic
Kanye West Late Registration
Few hip-hop albums can boast to having successfully pulled off such an ambitious mix of drive, message, talent and production: nearly every song on this album - the tossed off 'Celebration' aside - combines a profound message - sometimes obvious, sometimes subtle - to go with the sophisticated jazz-soul composition. West's lyrical breadth captures endless overlapping complications of life in modern society and the precarious craziness of fame, which is why it makes perfect sense for him to lament African-American social hardship on 'Heard 'Em Say'and then skewer its glorification in the skits, or take a step outside of basking in adulation on the poignant 'Drive Slow' then thrust himself spectacularly into it with wide open arms on 'Bring Me Down'.
Kendrick Lamar good kid, m.A.A.d city
Lamar creates enduring cityscape images of characters with the desperate need to escape the limitations of gangs and poverty but no means to do so.
Led Zeppelin Led Zeppelin II
A great in the Led Zeppelin catalogue. From Page and Plant's glowering opening on "Whole Lotta Love" (Jimmy later smashes the song with his impossibly precise, tight blues solo as Plant howls around him) to the beautiful "Thank You", this is definitely one of the most even works across the board by the English greats. The soft-loud blues of "What Is And What Should Never Be" and "The Lemon Song" remain fan favourites while Page assures his place in guitar immortality with his unaccompanied solo on "Heartbreaker". Bonham squeezes every last beat out of his drumkit on "Moby Dick" and Jones, working in light and shade on his bass for the whole album, plays that wonderfully evocative synth solo on "Ramble On" (for full effect, try listening to the solo with your left headphone in only). Bowing out with the muffly blues of "Bring It On Home" that explodes with a ridiculously Zeppelin-y riff, Led Zeppelin II showcases the complete package of rock's greatest ever band.
Led Zeppelin Led Zeppelin IV
A triumph of rock so great it's almost improbable. The lightning lumber guitar work of 'Black Dog' opens the album guns ablazing, followed by Bonham's full tilt drumming and Jimmy's swaggering riff on 'Rock and Roll'. The mandolin driven, unashamed Lord of the Rings commentary of 'Battle of Evermore' is followed by the greatest song of all time with the greatest solo in rock history. Of 'Stairway To Heaven,' enough has been said, so I'll say no more. 'Misty Mountain Hop', powered by Jones' keyboard work, is one of the funniest LZ songs ever, followed by the beautiful rainy day poetry of 'Going to California' and the towering, hard blues of 'When The Levee Breaks.'Six five star songs on an eight song album. End of story.
Led Zeppelin Physical Graffiti
Leonard Cohen Songs of Leonard Cohen
Wonderful songwriting. The sparse string arrangements and Cohen's minimalistic vocal range merely support the beauty of his songs.
Maroon 5 Jordi
Objectivity ratings are for the weak.
Meghan Trainor Thank You
Took this from a 1.1 to a 1.2 Meghan Trainor I expect a thank you letter
Miles Davis Kind of Blue
When I was 5, my father told me that one day - one day - I would love Miles Davis. I can still remember the day that the doors grooved open and I finally did.
My Bloody Valentine Loveless
Vocals croon like a whale in an endless sea of feedback. Having a way with pure noise and sounding angsty is one thing. Having a way with pure noise and sounding beautiful is another.
Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds Abattoir Blues/The Lyre Of Orpheus
This or 'No More Shall We Part'? For variety, it's undoubtedly ABLO: the Bad Seeds attempt and succeed at everything from gospel rockers to strummy folk to medieval ballads to grunge and swirling string 'n piano epics. This double album brings together, transcends and perfects everything Cave has attempted throughout his career.
Nirvana MTV Unplugged in New York
Nirvana Nevermind
Patti Smith Horses
Smith writes punk for intellectualists: the extended, T.S Eliot style poet-pieces 'Birdland' and 'Land' capture the D.I.Y individualism and resistance to conformity of the Ramones or the Clash, but her music is more of a pounding, rollicking rock 'n' roll and her lyrics make her the female Dylan.
Pink Floyd The Wall
A masterpiece and the most self indulgent album of all time. The two can, as it turns out, co exist.
Pink Floyd The Dark Side of the Moon
How do you spell m-a-s-t-e-r-p-i-e-c-e? Undoubtedly one of rock's finest, most intriguing, moments.
Radiohead OK Computer
Rage Against The Machine Rage Against the Machine
Uncompromising, musically literate and politically engaged. Essential.
Ramones Rocket to Russia
The Ramones give some more so-stupid-it's-smart, hilarious punk. 'Sheena Is A Punk Rocker', 'Rockaway Beach', the faux-arrogance of 'I Don't Care' and 'Teenage Lobotomy' in particular are brilliantly clever and great for head banging to. And I'm a strong believer that, had the Trashmen not gotten there first, the Ramones would've made 'Surfin' Bird'. It is just their perfect song.
Sex Pistols Never Mind the Bollocks, Here's the Sex Pistols
Liars. No Feelings. Problems. Submission. Pretty much sums up mid 1970s Britain. It needed a shock, politically, socially and musically, and the Sex Pistols, bringing a new genre (political punk) to the UK, dropped the bomb. Dealing with Communism on 'Holidays In The Sun', abortion on 'Bodies', political staleness on 'God Save The Queen' and a simply sinister sneer of impending violence on 'Anarchy In The U.K', the Pistols became the most hated and loved band in England, and set out a ripple effect of punk clones.
Stevie Wonder Songs in the Key of Life
Finds the overlap in all religion, spirituality and fulfillment for a truly special listening experience. Joy inside my tears indeed.
Television Marquee Moon
It is exceptionally difficult to settle on a rating for 'Marquee Moon' simply because, as with Sonic Youth's 'Daydream Nation', one of the many artists inspired by Television's alt-rock guitar heroics, it defies easy categorisation. An album released in 1977 'should' be in one of two polarised camps: classical prog rock or raw punk rock. Somehow, Television take a little of both whilst being indebted to neither - their heads are in the dizzying stratospheres of artistic, poetic, 'serious' rock yet their feet are firmly in the neon-lit, nightcity grime that punk crawled out of. Their stunning musical ability and very real, clear intensity makes them existential extraterrestrialists. "Elevation, don't go to my head", Verlaine croons, and indeed that balance between the real world and a liberating void is what makes each song here start from the ground up and take off until it sounds like it's floating. Each song gives the listener an embarrassment of tiny guitar riches: during the bridge, during the gloriously endless solos, during the intros, even during the choruses, when the focus should - that word again - be on the song's lyrical message, the twin Fenders of Verlaine and Smith interplay for dazzling trickery. The solos are as spectacular and transcendent as that of Pink Floyd's, yet they are unadorned by effects and overproduction, instead favouring crisp tone and naked virtuosity. 'Marquee Moon' is truly like, as Verlaine himself says on the title track, "hearing something else."
The Clash The Clash (US version)
A political punk album as dogged, punchy and sharp as 'Never Mind The Bollocks', but whereas The Sex Pistols were rotweillers charging everything with blazing machineguns, The Clash are fiesty terriers, using carefully constructed pieces of protest to get their message across; Joe Strummer's intense bark perfectly set against the edgy, tense guitar and throbbing choruses. England's every fault, political, industrial and social, is picked apart here: over-Americanisation ("I'm So Bored With The U.S.A"), businesses manipulating workers ("Career Opportunites", "Remote Control"), prevailing boredom ("London's Burning"), race ("White Riot"), increasing drug addiction ("Janie Jones") and conflict in the streets ("Hate & War", "Police and Thieves"). The style of music blends from biting punk on "Clash City Rockers" to impressive reggae on "(White Man) In Hammersmith Palais" and rampaging 1960s blues on "I Fought The Law", and finishes with two songs that link up to the oncoming Seattle grunge movement: "Jail Guitar Doors" and "Garageland." An excellent album, and one far more direct in thought and clearer in construction than "London Calling".
The Jimi Hendrix Experience Are You Experienced
Decades after its release, 'Are You Experienced' is now regarded, thanks to its complex, magnificent songs that brings an entirely new, ready-made textbook on rock, psychedelia and guitar, as the debut that all debuts must be measured by.
The Notorious B.I.G. Ready to Die
"Back in the days our parents used to take care of us/Look at 'em now, they even fucking scared of us." That was the moment I knew this was a serious album
The Rolling Stones Exile on Main St.
You can just smell the overpowering, intoxicating, ecstatic stench of rock n roll.
The Rolling Stones Sticky Fingers
One of the finest drug albums of the '70s, if not THE finest, 'Sticky Fingers' features the Stones sounding exhausted and jaded throughout, with weary, worn-in, shuffling pieces such as 'Sway', 'Wild Horses' and 'Moonlight Mile' capturing the soul-crushing grind of their hedonistic lives while 'Sister Morphine' and 'Dead Flowers' are two of the more powerfully nihilistic, nasty drug songs in their catalogue. In between, the chest-thumping grooves of the 'Can't You Hear Me Knockin'', 'Bitch' and the lascivious 'Brown Sugar' feature typically strutting performances from Jagger with tough, uncompromising dog-fighting from Richards and Taylor.
The Smashing Pumpkins Siamese Dream
When gritty, loud D.I.Y grunge was the sound of the day, the unashamed, layered beauty of 'Siamese Dream' was a deliberate act of individuality. That it so contravened the attitudes of its day makes its success not only remarkable but a relieving testament to the fact that great music outlives its day. Glorious, cathartic and dark yet tinged with moments of optimism and hope.
The Smiths The Queen Is Dead
A masterpiece that established the Smiths as Britain's greatest indie rock group, Marr as one of music's finest guitarist-architects and Morrissey as the absolute King of the Two Liner ("If you're so clever/Why are you on your own tonight?"). A flawless culmination of anthemic urgency ("The Queen Is Dead"), deathly angst ("There Is A Light That Never Goes Out"), beautiful grace ("I Know It's Over") and grandiose melodrama ("Never Had No One Ever").
The Stooges Fun House
'Fun House' is rock n roll of the most exciting, violent kind. The entire album is run on the sound of smashing glass, primals screams, shaking walls and scorching adrenalin, with fiery lashes of saxophone defining the chaos perfectly. No one who entered the Stooges' Fun House would have made it out alive, but it's hard to pretend that it wouldn't have been a delicious way to go.
U2 The Joshua Tree
U2 Achtung Baby
U2 War
U2's first great album, and their most unashamedly political. The youthful spirit of 'Boy' is here, as well as the tempered, mature darkness of 'The Joshua Tree'. Best songs? 'Sunday Bloody Sunday', 'Seconds, 'New Year's Day', 'Drowning Man' and "'40"'.

4.5 superb
AC/DC Back In Black
AC/DC Highway To Hell
AC/DC Let There Be Rock
The mock Old Testament album title ain't kidding: AC/DC unleash a stampede of rock on this one. From the thundering blitzkrieg 'Let There Be Rock' to the mean, red eyed decadence of 'Problem Child' and 'Bad Boy Boogie' (with Angus' tense slamming on that one note in the bridge lifting the rage) and made-for-concert songs like 'Hell Ain't A Bad Place To Be' and 'Dog Eat Dog', "Let There Be Rock" is the unsung rough diamond in the AC/DC catalogue. The album ends when the fat lady screams with the absolute brain-blowing 'Whole Lotta Rosie'. A good rockin' out to this one (and an air guitar to the call-and-response between Angus and the rest of the band in the bridge) is the most fun you can have listening to music.
Aretha Franklin Lady Soul
Stone cold classic soul. What more needs to be said? Time after time, Franklin finds a way of capitalising on her greatest weapon - her voice - to render her performances anew and intoxicating. You've got the brassy 'Chain of Fools', tastefully groovy 'Nikky Hoeky' and 'Sweet, Sweet Baby', swooning ballads 'You Make Me Feel' and 'Groovin'' and reassuring lullaby closer 'Ain't No Way'.
Billy Joel The Stranger
A cool, smart rock 'n roll album that knows when to knuckle down and when to throw out the flash and theatrics. Joel discusses the temporary nature of modern life from work to ambition to identity.
Billy Joel Turnstiles
Maybe I'll come across a more underrated album before I die. I'd be delighted to, but I'm not sure that I will.
Black Sabbath Paranoid
"Paranoid"'s greatest achievement is not its influence but the fact that it established heavy metal as a genre with its own aesthetics and credibility.
Bob Dylan Blonde on Blonde
"Thin, wild, mercury sound." This is the ecstatic description of 'Blonde on Blonde' coined by Dylan himself and, nearly fifty years after its release, it is still an insurpassably spot-on summation. The songs here are rock 'n' roll, but not as we know it: the cluttered, rollicking, roadhouse sound is the product of Dylan leading a perfectly eccentric band to create songs that are, at best, original, spectacular and inimitable. From the smoky blues of 'Pledging My Time' to the white-hot guitar bite of 'Leopard Skin Pill Box Hat' to the sweeping, regal lines of 'Sad Eyed Lady', this is the album that may define the 'classic Dylan sound.' And note: don't believe the hype that declares that Dylan is only surreal in his lyricism here. There is meaning to 'Visions of Johanna' and 'Just Like A Woman' that is enthralling to investigate and evokative to realise.
Bruce Springsteen Born to Run
'Inspiring' is a word that is almost a veiled criticism today, aligned with chick flicks and 14 year old talent show winners. But 'Born to Run' really is one of the most inspiring rock records ever.
Bruce Springsteen Nebraska
Much darker and nastier than anything Springsteen had done prior... self-destruction instead of self-fulfilment, despair instead of hope, painful nostalgia instead of looking forward. "They declared me unfit to live/Said into that great void my soul be hurled/Then they ask why I did what I did/Sir I guess there's just a meanness in the world."
Bruce Springsteen The Rising
A set of stirring anthems about living through the worst and hoping for the best set to compact, dense rock 'n roll. So pretty much the 9/11 concept album you would expect from Bruce Springsteen.
Cold Chisel Circus Animals
Containing two of Chisel's three greatest songs-'Bow River' and 'When The War Is Over'-as well as the barnestorming 'You Got Nothing I Want', 'Circus Animals' is a brilliant album.
Coldplay A Rush of Blood to the Head
Coldplay sound so much bolder on 'Rush of Blood' than 'Parachutes': opening with the humungous piano of 'Politik' and finishing with the chilling title track and the heartbreaker 'Amsterdam', Coldplay hit the big-bang button and end up with some of the best songs of their career, including 'The Scientist' and 'Clocks.'
Crowded House Crowded House
A sublime pop album from a group at the top of their game.
David Bowie The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars
'Ziggy's greatest strength is its ability to pull together issues such as androgyny, materialism, messiah complex, homosexuality, institutionalised inequality and mortality in a 3-4 minute pop song with great hooks. A breakthrough in pop's presentation but also in pop's power in concise song writing.
David Bowie Station to Station
Songs are generally overlong but I rate the way in which he relates his dehumanisation under cocaine addiction: straight up love songs 'Stay', 'Golden Years' and 'Word on the Wing' are performed with his bizarre, glacial soul voice. EDIT: Now one of my favourites.
Funkadelic Maggot Brain
George Harrison All Things Must Pass
Exile on Main Street (original family friendly version)
Guns N' Roses Appetite for Destruction
Harold Budd The Pavilion of Dreams
Movingly beautiful and immersive from the first listen.
INXS Kick
One of the greatest Australian rock albums from the 1980s. Absolutely bursting with hits like "Devil Inside", "New Sensation", "Never Tear Us Apart", "Need You Tonight", "Kick" and "Mystify".
Jay-Z The Blueprint
Hey, I actually really like this one. I've always thought Jay-Z took his bullshit too seriously but there's enough panache - and more than enough killer hooks - for 'The Blueprint' to really work.
Jeff Buckley Live at Sin-é (Legacy Edition)
'Sin-E' is one of the more fascinating performances of a musician's talent and potential as well as his character, one that just gets better with retrospect. Buckley's artistic influences, from Nina Simone to Led Zeppelin, are here, yet it is the interaction with the audience - warm, honesty and witty - that rounds out the exploration of the charming man that Buckley was. Hardly any of the tracks from 'Grace' are what they would ultimately become - 'Lover, You Should've Come Over' is a nine-minute experimentation with several previously unheard verses, whilst the stripped back 'Grace' blazes with a gaunt ferocity. Buckley performs both French and Pakistani folk songs, proudly revealing his own passions. And, of course, that magnificent, searing voice and gorgeous, precise guitar is a pleasure to listen to. There are flaws, but not as you know them. After all, it takes a special kind of musician to take a Led Zeppelin song and make it overly ambitious...
Johnny Cash At Folsom Prison
Cash's best collection of simple, catchy melodies and simple, compelling, wonderful stories. And yes - it is most badass.
Joy Crookes Skin
I was all in on this about halfway through my first listen of 'Feet Don't Fail Me Now'.
Joy Division Closer
Beautiful, dehumanised, sad. Like walking through an abandoned castle.
Led Zeppelin Led Zeppelin III
Led Zeppelin The Song Remains the Same
Six minutes of 'Dazed and Confused' could have been cut... and it's astonishing how far people have taken those six minutes and called this, one of the most mind blowing live sets ever, an average album.
Lou Reed Berlin
What is most confronting about 'Berlin' isn't its themes or plot, it's the fact that there is no character here that we would want to relate to. Even the music mocks our vulnerabilties and unease: until the album's conclusion, it dances along decadently without regard to its characters' suffering.
Lou Reed New York
Urban "Nebraska". Reed steadily draws back from the mean and hopeless city streets as the album progresses to condemn the international puppeteers who engineer so much misery. An ugly and pessimistic album but perhaps his best solo work.
Massive Attack Mezzanine
Bad-trip-hop. Scary, dissonant and a dystopian view of the future.
Mazzy Star So Tonight That I Might See
Blissfully immersive. My Bloody Valentine playing Beatles songs. Hope Sandoval is an irresistible vocalist.
Metallica Master of Puppets
Midnight Oil Diesel and Dust
Uncompromisingly passionate, intelligent and (above all) important, 'Diesel and Dust' brings both the suffering and spirit of Australia's indigenous people to life with songs of belonging, recognition, identity and the struggle to achieve all three.
Miles Davis Bitches Brew
Ultimately, "Bitches Brew" is heavy listening. It's hard to question the talent, creativity and quality that is in the music, yet it's harder to question that it may have been practical to shorten the massive piece lengths and balance out the crazy - quiet ratio. Listen to one piece at a time - and, trust me, it can be any one of these six - and you'll love 'Bitches Brew'. It's just waaaay too much for a single sitting.
Missy Higgins The Sound of White
One of the deepest, most dynamic albums written by an Australian female artist.
Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds No More Shall We Part
Because he's a writer who composes music and not a musician who writes, Cave's work has improved with age as he continues to create. 'No More Shall We Part' is a magnificent work of adult relationship ballads.
Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds The Firstborn Is Dead
Cave once described 'Firstborn' as "steeped in the blues, but didn't really have anything to do with the blues on a musical level." 'Firstborn' does invert and pervert traditional blues for a greater sense of silence and emotion - the ominous midnight shimmer of 'Blind Lemon Jefferson' and 'Knockin' on Joe' and the unrelenting heat of 'Wanted Man' against the oppressive, percussion heavy 'Black Crow King'... with the epic 'Tupelo' bringing all this together. Who would've thought that an Australian band could have so accurately captured the mythology of the Southern US from a Berlin recording studio?
Nirvana In Utero
A corrosive, nihilistic torpedo that, while being a dark, primal suicide note filled with gritty instrumentals and Cobain's murderous growls ('Rape Me', 'Frances Farmer Will Have Her Revenge On Seattle,' 'Scentless Apprentice'), also manages to be sad enough to have the tender farewell of 'All Apologies' without feeling forced or out of place.
Oasis (What's the Story) Morning Glory?
An album bursting with rich, flowing keyboard and guitar, and youthfully wise lyrics, ''What's The Story?" is truly one of the greatest works of the 1990s. From the ridiculously Beatles-y ('Roll With It', 'She's Electric', 'Don't Look Back In Anger') to deep statements of what it means to be a man ('Cast No Shadow') and euphoric triumphs of youth ('Wonderwall', 'Champagne Supernova'), Oasis construct a soulful, artistically satisified album.
Oasis Definitely Maybe
Overflowing with uncontainable yet short lived talent, 'Definitely Maybe' is packed with vocal hooks and big dream songs like 'Rock 'N Roll Star', 'Live Forever' and 'Supersonic'.
Patti Smith Easter
A criminally underrated album. You've got the wild, primal poetess of 'Babelogue/Rock n Roll Nigger', the glorious, spectral artiste of 'Easter', the chart-smashing ode to spirituality and sex of 'Because the Night'. If "Horses" is the better album for its consistency and revolutionary impact, "Easter" is more noteworthy for its unexpected and wildly successful turns.
Pavement Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain
Sweeter than ever, Pavement remain the coolest cats on the block by not even sweating being cool at all. However, far from capturing the optimistic beginnings of Gen X's alternative movement, 'Crooked Rain' is full of cinematic farewells to the burst pipedream: ''It's a brand new era, but it came too late" sighs Malkmus sadly on 'Newark Wilder.'
Pavement Slanted and Enchanted
As lazily melodious as it is meticulously sprawling, 'Slanted' remains the absolute peak of indie rock: song after song that proves Dylan's paradox that the best way to connect with a disillusioned generation is to stop making sense.
Pete Murray See the Sun
'See The Sun' is a climb out of the dark, gritty depths of 'Feeler' for Pete Murray. The music is prettier, which saw a boost of FM Radio hits, and the tone is happier-such beautiful pieces as 'Fly With You', 'Opportunity' and 'Better Days' show a man living again. Yet there are still dark nods to a troubled past with 'Lost Soul' and 'This Pill'.
Pink Floyd Animals
'Animals' is quite possibly the most intellectually satisying album in rock history.
Pixies Doolittle
Surreal yet accessible ('Here Comes Your Man'). Tense yet enjoyable ('Gouge Away'). Original in many parts, perfectly mutated and mutating in others ('Mr Grieves'). Something went very right.
Powderfinger Vulture Street
Powderfinger Internationalist
Powderfinger Odyssey Number Five
Primal Scream Screamadelica
A great big, delicious, carnival ride of an album splashing so many great ideas together that it's impossible to not enjoy.
Prince Purple Rain
Luxuriously indulgent in its production, reverence-inspiring in its vision.
Public Enemy Fear of a Black Planet
The narratives and examinations of intersectionality are presented in exciting and compelling songs with the Bomb Squad presenting a soundscape as groundbreaking as that of "Nation of Millions".
Radiohead The Bends
Before and after listening to "The Bends", I considered "OK Computer" to be the best Radiohead album. What changed is that "The Bends" is so big hearted, warm, honest and soulful that it makes the hairpin guitar twists and spacey mood of "OK Computer" look clinical, ruthless and inhuman by comparison. Best tracks are 'High and Dry', 'Fake Plastic Trees', 'Just', 'My Iron Lung' and 'Street Spirit [Fade Out]', but there isn't a bad song on the album. An undisputed classic.
Radiohead Kid A
Kid A is Thom Yorke seeing how well he can sing without his mouth. Kid A is Johnny Greenwood playing guitar without plucking a note. Kid A is Phil Selway drumming around the beat, suggesting more than he states. In short, Kid A is Radiohead wondering if brainpower alone can make a great album.
Radiohead In Rainbows
Beautiful, colourful, artistic: In Rainbows is the sound of Japanese spirtual mantras and 21st century hippies from a group whose ability to continually surprise the world makes them the greatest band since Nirvana. However, this is also the classic 'Happy Melody, Horrible Theme' album: unrequited love ('All I Need'), jaded despair ('Nude', which opens with the line "Don't get any big ideas"), (untypically) brawny lust from Yorke ('House of Cards' says 'I don't wanna be your friend-I just wanna be your lover') and the absolute heartbreaker 'Videotape', the best song about the agony of celebrity life since, well, 'How To Disappear Completely'.
Ramones Ramones
The album and band who showed that you could be heavy and fast, tough and funny, simple and original. Tightest line up ever, and such sheer fun to listen to.
Slint Spiderland
Malevolence has never sounded so accessible. Inexplicably good.
Sonic Youth Daydream Nation
The holes in the apartment are oozing pale freaks who play guitar as luminescent as a neon. The pale freaks take long trips on cheap glue and slash their guitar strings with screwdrivers. The ripped strings bleed open and unchecked electricity floods out of the amps, filling the open city with a light so bright that the 3 am city darkness recedes. The sound is concrete and decay and it is glorious. Yeah. It's not a bad album.
The Angelic Process Weighing Souls With Sand
Sounds like the album cover: an ominous, oft-overwhelming reach between this world and the next
The Beatles Abbey Road
If we will all be honest with ourselves, none of the Beatles albums are the classics they were declared to be upon release. 'Sgt Peppers'? An over-produced, under-realised rainbow mess. 'Rubber Soul'? Little more than the foundations for love songs that were then outwritten by a thousand bands. 'Revolver'? 'Rubber Soul' with psychadelic production. 'The White Album'? Enjoyable, but with far too many forgettable songs to seriously be considered great. 'Abbey Road', whilst having some flaws (there is something not quite smooth about the flow and the medley would've been better off as a single extended song), is their greatest album. Their musicianship is at a sophisticated peak, as is McCartney and Lennon's innovative lyricism.
The Beatles The Beatles
Double albums should embrace a sense of freedom and be a little wild. 'The White Album' is best when it does so, getting all pro-metal on 'Helter Skelter' and menacingly psychedelic for 'Happiness Is A Warm Gun'. But the endless trite of "oh yeah, that was a nice song... and that one... and that one... and that one" makes you realise that this is actually one of the LEAST daring doubles ever. So why the hell can't I stop listening to it?
The Jimi Hendrix Experience Axis: Bold as Love
Tricky, twitchy, delicate, libidinous and imbued with absolute wizardry. However, for all his rule breaking complexities, Hendrix still has time to show the power of simplicity on his solo of the album closing title track.
The Pogues If I Should Fall from Grace with God
Reasons "If I Fall" is the Pogues' best album: there are experiments on here that would
have seemed like ludicrous ideas beforehand - these Irish folk gremlins doing a mariachi
dance song? Or a Disney-sounding strings & keys ballad? Or an Arabic-tinted battle
march? Wonderful exploration of the Troubles in Ireland and the UK during the 1970s &
1980s. 'Birmingham 6' is the most explicit but the traditional songs make it clear the
depth and history of the conflict. No weak songs. No song that you just go along with
because you're Irish. No song that's actually crap but you pretend it's good because it
annoys your normy mates.
The Saints Prehistoric Sounds
'London Calling' for the Saints, embracing rockabilly, swing, brass and soul.
The Seven Ups The Old World
Cannot express how awesome this album is! Rocks, grooves, soothes, unsettles.... everything. My AOTY.
The Smashing Pumpkins Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness
Nothing short of spectacular - like turning a child's picture book into a moving mural. Arguably the most impressive thing about 'Sadness' is the amount of songs that feel so passionately hard-wrought, despite both the recurrent dreamy, twilight atmosphere and the sheer number of tracks.
The Strokes Is This It
The Strokes must hate whoever it was that first compared them to the Velvet Underground, and loathe Rolling Stone (who rated 'Is This It' the eighth greatest debut album ever). When you pump an album up to a dizzyingly high pedastal, it only takes a slight gust of wind to send it crashing down. Nonetheless, 'Is This It' is an excellent album, whose sparseness reveals a maturity and originality that is very cool indeed. The twin guitar line-up is dry and flickering, allowing Julian Casablanca's reflective murmur to take on a life of its own; it's as if he's that one guy who has gotten to the top of the scene and can now look down to see all of its flaws and irrelevancies. He captures single images of cities and the night-lives of their young inhabitants: the title track is the sound of your own agonising realisations as you sit on your bed at 2 am of the worst Saturday night out ever, whilst the carefully framed self-contradictions of 'Hard To Explain' ("I like it right here/But I cannot stay") show a moment when you can't articulate and spit out how you really feel and why. Meanwhile, classic 60s pop songs like 'Last Nite' and 'Someday' are, somehow, not so imitative to be beholden to their creators - instead, their crisp simplicity is just impossible to dislike. Even if you really want to hate the band because they didn't turn out to be the Velvets. So what?
The Velvet Underground White Light/White Heat
The Whitlams Eternal Nightcap
Tim Buckley Greetings From L.A.
Of all the things that doe-eyed Jeff inherited from his father, sensitivity sure wasn't one of them. 'Greetings from L.A' is fifty-cent decadence, lust and sleaze: in short, it's classic American 1970s late-night city music, with pulsing rhythm n blues that could've inspired five or six more song scenes in 'The Blues Brothers'.
U2 The Unforgettable Fire
'The Unforgettable Fire' is the U2 album that should have more recognition than, say, 'Zooropa.' Beautifully spiritual and artfully produced, songs like the religious faith of 'A Sort Of Homecoming', 'Pride', 'Indian Summer Sky' and the evocative lullaby 'MLK' are vintage U2 while the majestic, chilling 'Bad' may be their greatest song. Even the filler 'Promenade', as relaxed as a Sunday stroll over hills in a shunshower, influences the final product, which is one of U2's greatest albums.
U2 Boy
A strong debut filled with the Edge's simple, ethereal melodies and Bono's empowered vocals that marry New Wave and Irish folk, with a set of youthfully exuberant, meticulous songs, the most impressive of which are 'I Will Follow', 'Out of Control', 'A Day Without Me' and 'An Cat Dubh'.
Weezer Weezer
The masters of awkward. The jerky transition between strummed acoustic and thudding electric guitars perfectly compliments the way Rivers Coumo conjurs up endearing, honest lyrics that express much in a handful of words. The band was ultimately proven cursed by spending the rest of its career trying to live up to such a good debut.

4.0 excellent
AC/DC High Voltage
A brilliant hard rock, blues album from Australia's greatest band. "It's A Long Way To The Top (If You Wanna Rock 'N Roll)" remains a staple of Aussie FM radio to this day: the lyrics about the pitfalls of life on the road as a band are spot on, and Bon Scott gives a Herculean effort as vocalist/bagpipe player that made him almost pass out onstage on several occasions. Bon's shock-filth humour lyric writing sleazes through on the hilarious half pace rhythm-and-blues pieces "The Jack" and "Little Lover", while the lighter "High Voltage" is a worthy predecessor to Back In Black's "Rock 'N Roll Ain't Noise Pollution." The outlawish "T.N.T", with Angus Young's frenetic, mercury exploding solo, remains an AC/DC classic. One could argue that High Voltage comes very near to beating Highway To Hell.
AC/DC '74 Jailbreak
The only EP AC/DC ever did, but a must have for fans anyway: the title track remains a live staple and one of AC/DC's finest singles, and the nasty "You Ain't Got A Hold On Me" is an undiscovered gem. "Baby, Please Don't Go" showcases the velocity and potency of Bon Scott's voice and is a rare love song in the AC/DC catalogue. And what do you think an AC/DC song called "Soul Stripper" is about? Wrong, it's about Adam's first encounters of Eve in the Garden of Eden and his being shaken to the core, questioning everything about himself from his masculinity to his purpose in life, as he falls under her feminine charms, but I like your style.
AC/DC Powerage
How does this one duck under the radar of attention? 'Rock n Roll Damnation', 'Down Payment Blues', 'Riff Raff', 'What's Next To The Moon', all top AC/DC songs, with a development of lyric writing better than 'Let There Be Rock' and even 'High Voltage'. The production is better than any preceding AC/DC album, with the sound gritty, downtown and menacing yet clean, colourful and bluesy. So what's missing? Well, unlike previous AC/DC albums, there's no classic song on here, no 'It's A Long Way To The Top' or 'Whole Lotta Rosie.' And, because the band focuses on song writing with the instruments as back up, there are no great solos from Angus, not a 'Let There Be Rock' or 'T.N.T', or even, to be honest, a great riff like a 'She's Got Balls' or a 'Bad Boy Boogie', apart from 'Sin City'. Nonetheless, this album is still a cracker.
Adele 21
10 years on and it's still the best Adele break-up album.
Adele 30
The Spotify shuffle function is evil and must be punished.
Arctic Monkeys Tranquility Base Hotel and Casino
So I've actually decided I like this one. It's an album long wink with all its pompous, whooshing space-age chic - only a couple of tracks stand out, but it is very cohesive. Alex Turner is one of the few writers clever enough to get away with playing word-salad for an entire album and his dirty-money act reincarnates Vegas-era Elvis. If anyone was wondering how the Arctic Monkeys would handle drifting into the 30-something middle-age-dom of rock, "Tranquility Base Hotel and Casino" declares that they're determined to ride the wave, not dive under it.
Aretha Franklin Aretha Now
Caught on the back of Franklin's two biggest studio albums, "Aretha Now!" is a significantly overlooked LP. Groovy and sexy, "Aretha Now!" supports Franklin's performances by providing more memorable melodies.
Augie March Moo, You Bloody Choir
Sufjan level for excellent songs with stupid names
Barefoot Spacemen Cabin Fever
The introduction of a funk wah-wah guitar effect is the most obvious of several steps forward the Melbourne five-piece has made in their strongest EP yet. Best tracks: 'Yes/No', 'Paranoia', 'Foc Yen'
Beach House Teen Dream
Beastie Boys Ill Communication
Buried vocals? Flute samples? Live-in-the-garage recording? Friggin' Tibetan throat singing? Who thought this could ever work? Then again, who thought the Beastie Boys as a whole would ever work?
Big Thief Masterpiece
Comforting, warm and loveable. "Masterpiece" succeeds at everything it tries to be.
Billie Eilish When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?
"Might-seduce-your-dad type" is the funniest line I've heard in a pop song in ages.
Black Country, New Road For the first time
Whacky and exciting. Combination of jazz, post-punk and garage with wonderfully unhinged vocals.
Black Sabbath Black Sabbath
Black Sabbath Master of Reality
For all of their supposed Satanic reputation, 'Master of Reality' heavily showcases a religious side of Sabbath. Indeed, if you take out 'Sweet Leaf', the sluggish ballad to weed, 'Master of Reality' could be the soundtrack to the Sunday session of a Gothic Church, with the songs here dealing with either damnation ('Children of the Grave', 'Into the Void') or salvation ('After Forever', 'Solitude' and 'Lord of This World'), with a couple of brief, filler instrumentals to boot for whilst the Priest is announcing a hymn.
Black Sabbath Vol. 4
The more experimental fourth album in the Sabbath cannon. Its curveballs are generally good and always admirable in boldness. 'Wheels of Confusion', 'Supernaut', 'Cornucopia' and 'Under the Sun' keep the sludgy, world-ending rifforamas coming. Given a little more time to gestate, this could have been a classic.
Bob Dylan Modern Times
Throughout his remarkable career, Bob Dylan has seemed so indifferent to the force of time. No man who fears his dwindling days deliberately alienates his audience, and few can make such an excellent album in their late sixties. The songs here are uniformly great: wild West opener 'Thunder on the Mountain', impassioned ballad 'When the Deal Goes Down' and bitter, deathly epic 'Ain't Talkin'' are all among the finest Dylan songs. Dylan's raspy snarl is perfectly complimented by his band; it's a mix of the Western Americana styles of 'The Basement Tapes' with the gentle murmur of 'Blood On the Tracks' and the sharp tone of 'Blonde on Blonde.'
Bob Dylan Desire
Who needs a double album worth of prog-rock to be sprawling when it's possible in nine songs? Well, when you cast your lyrical and musical influences net as far and wide as Dylan does in 'Desire', that is. His narrative stance swerves wildly from civil rights activist ('Hurricane'), epic poet laureate ('Joey'), silent Western warrior ('Isis') and, uh, tourist ('Mozambique')...but an outlaw, always an outlaw, be it from the fuzz ('Romance In Durango'), from his own society ('One More Cup Of Coffee') or from his own wife ('Sarah').
Bob Dylan Time Out of Mind
A return to the travelling bluesman persona Dylan embraced earliest in his career. 'Time Out of Mind's great strength is the clarity of focus in the songs.
Bob Dylan The Bootleg Series Vol. 8: Tell Tale Signs
Most consistent of Dylan's bootlegs. Although it doesn't offer many great new songs (''Cross the Green Mountain' and 'Most of the Time') it does show Dylan's tapering and mastering of the blues over his twenty year late career hot streak.
Bob Dylan Tempest
The fourth chapter of Dylan's late career Americana hot streak is his most lyrically potent. This is not the work of a man with one eye on pulling on the rabbit slippers and sighing contentedly in his armchair. It's not even the work of a man playing pin the tail on the donkey with his previous greatness. This is the work of pop's greatest ever songwriter still developing his trade. Best songs: 'Scarlet Town', 'Tin Angels', 'Long and Wasted Years'.
Bob Dylan Rough and Rowdy Ways
Bob is BACK. He is BACK and he is BACK to tell you yo cock small
Bob Dylan and The Band The Basement Tapes
Fuelled by cheap cigarettes and a lotta moonshine and played in a dingy basement lit by flickering lightbulbs, 'The Basement Tapes' rolls together blues, country, folk, rock and a touch of jazz to create music that is truly 'Americana': the sounds here will take you from the sweltering deep south to waterfronts to cavernous cities to roadhouses on lonely desert roads. The songs are tall tales, travellin' stories, sea shanties, humorous anecdotes and slick soliloquys. Their general consistency is quite impressive, given the shambling bleariness of the recordings, and even the rare average ones have a charming, drunken warmth to them.
Bruce Springsteen Born in the U.S.A.
Although the sound flirts perilously close to being the sickly-sweet link between John Mellencamp and Bon Jovi, Springsteen did not sacrifice his storytelling for commercial appeal. The title track is one of his most important songs, 'Dancing in the Dark' an outstanding first effort at discussing the life of the superstar, 'Darlington County' an unexpectedly funny cut and 'Bobby Jean', 'Downbound Train' and 'My Hometown' all neat repackaging of the sounds and themes of "Nebraska" and "Darkness on the Edge of Town".
Cold Chisel Cold Chisel
Coldplay Parachutes
A beautiful, big hearted album full of radiant guitars and soulful piano. Standout tracks are 'Sparks', 'Yellow', 'Trouble', 'High Speed' and 'Everything's Not Lost.'
Coldplay Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends
Not the band's best album but definitely their most daring and satisfying.
Courtney Barnett sometimes i sit and think, and sometimes i just sit
"Sometimes" is Barnett embracing what she does naturally and also deliberately breaking pop convention - choruses appear once and then disappear never to be seen again, rhyme structures change mid-verse and it's not until the hidden track on 'Boxing Day Blues' that her voice is anything you could call pretty. Her wit is finding the humour and identity in playing dumb, being cynical and procrastinating whilst being aware that the joke is always on you.
Courtney Barnett MTV Unplugged (Live in Melbourne)
Her version of 'So Long, Marianne' is worth the price of admission
Creedence Clearwater Revival Cosmo's Factory
Both CCR's definitive and most distinctive set, "Cosmo's Factory" is the work of a band at their well-honed peak. Fogerty pays tribute to his teachers on 'Ooby Dooby' and 'I Heard It On The Grapevine' before etching his own name in the annals of American pop history with 'Run Through the Jungle' and 'Ramble Tamble'.
Crowded House Woodface
D'Angelo Black Messiah
Runs rings around TPAB - all that restraint and precision.
David Bowie Aladdin Sane
If Bowie had his time over, he would probably exclude all Ziggy from 'Aladdin Sane'. The joyous gender-bender anthems are few and far between, with the Apocalypse Soon vibe of L.A ('Panic in Detroit', 'Watch That Man', 'Cracked Actor')running alongside a sound closer to the heavy blues of 'The Man Who Sold The World'.
David Bowie Blackstar
What SalteyBacon said.
David Bowie "Heroes"
Yeah, so you've got the title track. It's Bowie's greatest work and perhaps the greatest love song ever written but let's go beyond that because its straightforward, open-hearted nature makes it a real outlier on this album that draws together varied soundscapes. 'Beauty and the Beast' is decadent S&M Berlin, 'Moss Garden' an ancient Greek myth soundtrack, 'V2 Schneider' a dance-off for the machines and 'Secret Life of Arabia' a creepy red herring.
David Bowie Young Americans
On the cusp of a cocaine addiction that would take him almost too far along the route to insanity, it's no surprise that there's a real love-hate relationship with America on "Young Americans" - or, more specifically, the America of Los Angeles in which Bowie immersed himself. The title track is the closest he would come to socio-political commentary; it's the sound of poor people being run over by a man in a Buick on his way to the bright lights of LA.
Dirty Three Horse Stories
Turner, White and Ellis all combine to make a heartfelt and powerful album that sounds like a ragged flag waving its strongest and final hurrah.
Eminem The Marshall Mathers LP
At its best, MMLP is a transfixing and technically outstanding work that balances social hypocrisy, personal nihilism and a nasty wit.
Fiona Apple Fetch The Bolt Cutters
So brutally furious and instrumentally percussive to be abrasive on first listen (and several listens after), "Fetch the Bolt Cutters" is a confronting, difficult but undeniably excellent album.
Fleetwood Mac Rumours
The band hated each other so much that every instrument had to be recorded with only its player in the studio. Somehow, it not only came together in production but counts as one of the most superb sounding records of its time. Best songs: 'Dreams', 'Go Your Own Way', 'Songbird', 'The Chain', 'Oh Daddy'.
Foo Fighters Concrete and Gold
Nominating a Foo Fighters' record for Album of the Year. It's a funny world we live in.
Gang of Youths The Positions
So I started listening to Gang of Youths because this girl I liked said they were great and I gave this and their EP a listen and now I like Gang of Youths more than her and y'know what she's going to Europe in June anyway and I think it's better off that I just stay here.
Gang of Youths Go Farther in Lightness
"The Positions" is a tricky album to follow up. Not just because it was so good but because it was such a finished product - introduction, thematic discussion, resolution - that Gang of Youths were obliged to start afresh with a distinguished sophomore. "Go Farther in Lightness" is still a bloody heavy listen, rolling around in songs about depression, suicide, break-ups, crises, boring changes and not one but *two* long dirges about kids dying, but it fixes its sight on spiritual salvation. Helpfully, cathartically passionate frontman David Le'aupepe decided he would rather write a musical novel than an album. These relentlessly immediate pieces contain a prose that you just don't see in pop music. To all who wondered if they could fall for Gang of Youths' emotional heft and relative obscurity a second time - the well is yet to run dry. Best Tracks: 'Fear and Trembling', 'Do Not Let Your Spirit Wane', 'Persevere', 'Let Me Down Easy', 'The Heart is a Muscle'.
Godspeed You! Black Emperor Slow Riot For New Zero Kanada
I once had a housemate who believed everything this album says.
Grace Cummings Storm Queen
Dramatic, versatile and powerful beyond her years and ouevre.
Green Day Dookie
Green Day American Idiot
Herbie Hancock Head Hunters
I love the spindly lines and the twists between groovy, sexy and enthralling so much that I am forgiving the monstrosity that is "Watermelon Man". That flute can go die.
Hole Live Through This
"I don't really miss God but I sure miss Santa Claus." Worth the price of admission.
Hoodoo Gurus Stoneage Romeos
Hoodoo Gurus Mars Needs Guitars!
Iceage Seek Shelter
Iceage Plowing into the Field of Love
You know that feeling when you're really tired so you have a coffee but you're still tired and now you're anxious as hell
Iggy Pop Lust For Life
Part garage chug-along, part campy Hammerstein cabaret and part whatever struck Iggy's (and Bowie's) fancy, "Lust for Life" is a mixed bag. Best songs: 'Lust for Life', 'Tonight' and 'Success'.
Iggy Pop The Idiot
Effectively a test run for Bowie's futuristic masterpiece "Low", "The Idiot" is a dystopian, alienated album full of stylised burn-outs. Bowie's production and arrangement fully override Pop's own performances. Given that the Detroit native owed his life and career to the chameleon (Bowie would later split royalties for his smash hit version of 'China Girl' with Pop), he was probably happy to let that slide.
J. Cole 2014 Forest Hills Drive
Cole's good heart and mature outlook and the clean pop beats make "FHD" a thoroughly enjoyable album.
Janis Joplin Pearl
There are no wistful farewell tears on "Pearl". There is no devil-may-care shrug to the demons that claimed the life of its lead singer. Instead, there are cracking R&B, blues and funk numbers from a band at peak, workmanlike efficiency and a diverse, well-controlled spread of performances from Joplin. Best songs: 'Me and Bobby McGee', 'Cry Baby', 'Trust Me'
Jimi Hendrix Live at the Royal Albert Hall
There is (unsurprisingly) some amazing guitar work on this album. Vintage Hendrix like 'Little Wing' and the slow burning 'Wild Thing', as well as the extended jam pieces 'Bleeding Heart' and 'Room Full Of Mirrors', sounds wondrous in Royal Albert Hall, so it's irritating that, once again, 'Purple Haze' sounds like it's being played in a tin can. The stunning seven minute instrumental version of 'Sunshine Of Your Love', with lyrical phrasing from Jimi, is magnificent, but the horrible white noise 'Smashing of the Amps' is perhaps the worst piece of 'music' that Hendrix ever put his name to.
Jimi Hendrix Band of Gypsys
If nothing else, 'Band of Gypsys' displays Hendrix's voracious appetite to prove himself as a guitarist in all facets. An essential for 'Machine Gun' alone.
Johnny Cash American III: Solitary Man
Cash bridges modern contemporary classics like 'One' with the century old tune 'I See A Darkness' and tips his hat to Nick Cave on 'The Mercy Seat'. Two of the finer cuts in 'Nobody' and 'Before My Time' are his own. And don't tell me his mortal version of 'I Won't Back Down' doesn't just take the cake from the original.
Johnny Cash American IV: The Man Comes Around
In a dream, Queen Elizabeth told Johnny Cash he was "a thorn tree in a whirlwind". "American IV" is the final stop on the mighty career of one of the most revered and self-destructive figures in American music and it is full of masterstrokes of gravity, sorrow, defiance, wry humour and - above all - dignity. Best songs: 'The Man Comes Around', 'Hurt', 'I Hung My Head', 'Sam Hall', 'Personal Jesus'.
k.d. lang Ingenue
With a heavy touch of French romanticism and crooning strings, this is Lang's best album even if it doesn't fully show off her voice.
Kamasi Washington Harmony of Difference
The bigger, the bolder, the better. I love Washington most when his arrangements threaten to crack the walls of the room I'm listening in and wail out into the sky like a celestial jazz opera.
Kanye West My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
First off, full credit to West's attitude on this album - instead of caving in to public pressure and indignance with some soft, sorry little puppy piano ballads, he met the army of raging critics with an overload of unrepentant arrogance. However, the heart and genuine creative brilliance of 'Late Registration' is neglected in the deliberately divisive songs. This is West's 'me' album and he challenges you to either roll with the jokes or fall into the trap of getting outraged as he complains about flying economy being a manifestation of racism: 'Your girl don't like me, how long has she been gay?' gets flicked for 'Kiss my whole ass/And kiss my asshole' .
Kanye West Graduation
Having mastered R&B hip-hop on "Late Reg", West moved into becoming a full-on pop star on "Graduation". Synth hooks and bouncing, hands-up choruses abound on one of his most effortlessly enjoyable albums. Best songs: 'Homecoming', 'Stronger', 'Champion', 'I Wonder', 'Can't Tell Me Nothing', 'Everything I Am'
Kendrick Lamar Mr. Morale and the Big Steppers
My favourite theme of "Mr. Morale" is Lamar reflecting on the nature of being a father. Sonically, Lamar's fifth album is his best yet: expansive and superbly controlled.
Kylie Minogue Fever
Once you've banked 'Can't Get You Out of My Head', 'Come Into My World' and 'Love at First Sight' in one album, you're allowed to let the boilerplate horny dance-pop roll off the conveyor belt. 3.8
Lauryn Hill The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill
Reassuring, sassy, wise, vulnerable and endearing.
LCD Soundsystem Sound of Silver
It's absolutely a slow grower but the sleek, linear grooves, immersive production and occasional killer one-liner make for a fun album.
Little Simz GREY Area
Do you know how good a rapper you have to be to get away with having an English accent that thick?
Little Simz Sometimes I Might Be Introvert
The arrangement of the bass, horns and piano are the dramatic step forward for Little Simz. Best songs: 'Introvert', 'Point and Kill', 'I Love You, I Hate You'
Lorde Melodrama
Lorde makes the best album about being the worst person at the party.
Lou Reed Transformer
Keeping his chugging Velvet chords, 'Transformer' is Reed's bohemian, theatrical, classy and bitchy interpretation with New York. And he must have had a good old chuckle when 'Perfect Day' and 'Walk on the Wild Side' Trojan Horsed their way into the charts.
Meat Loaf Bat Out of Hell
If you don't think 'For Crying Out Loud' is one of the greatest love songs ever written you're wrong.
Metallica Metallica
Every sub genre of music has pretentious and haughty fans obsessed over whether or not a band is still creating 'real' music when it changes style. "The Black Album" is fkn sweet, never mind that it is more contemporary and hard rock than Metallica's previous work.
Metallica Ride the Lightning
The improvement that led Metallica to its magnum opus "Master of Puppets" is Hetfield's of lyrics to the feel of a song. While twin epics 'For Whom the Bell Tolls' and 'Fade to Black' stand as marriages of lyrical concept and incredibly dynamic musical composition, the remainder of "Ride the Lightning" feels like an extended showboat of guitar virtuosity with undeveloped lyrics plonked on after the fact.
Metallica ...And Justice for All
What should have been the pinnacle of the first phase of Metallica's career is hollowed and cramped by squirrelly production.
Midnight Oil 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1
'10 to 1' opens with a line both beautiful and chilling: "There's a wind on the Eastern side/Ghost gums dance in the moonlit night/Mopoke warns of racketeers." That song, 'Outside World', reflects an infestation in Australian culture, in both the natural land and suburban towns. Few albums have been as committedly critical of their national culture, yet so popular, as Midnight Oil's third: working class oppression and indulgence is railed against here, as well as Australia's unthinking commitment to foreign war efforts. Pub rock with punk's intensity but an original intelligence, '10 to 1' remains one of the greatest catalysts of Australian rock.
Missy Higgins On a Clear Night
Higgins the piano pop/rock artist returns with the stirring 'Where I Stood' with 'Steer' and '100 Round the Bend' the suitable follow-ups to 'Scar'. She branches out with the bluesy shuffle of 'Peachy' and 'Secret'.
Moby Play
A tremendous amount of fun. One of those albums that turns sampling into its own art form.
N.W.A. 100 Miles and Runnin'
Excellent EP with MC Renn stepping up to fill the void left by Ice Cube particularly on the mighty title track. However, the misogyny that has been swept under the carpet in NWA's legacy again crops up with 'Just Don't Bite It'.
Nas Illmatic
I like the cinematic appeal of the sparse beats and there's nothing wrong with the album. And... yeah.
Neil Young Harvest
I hate to be one of those guys that values an artist's darker, less mainstream work over their most commercially successful one... but 'Harvest' just feels unfocused at times.
Neil Young On the Beach
Long, gloomy songs that aren't disillusioned: it's the sound of a man who never believed watching everyone else's hopes and dreams come crashing down via the Manson family, Watergate and social greed.
Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds The Boatman's Call
Written when Cave's wife had left him and her vacancy had been filled with grief, isolation and heroin, 'The Boatman's Call' is wracked with despair and disillusionment bordering on insanity. It takes a scary level of bitterness, and Gothic wordsmanship, of course, to write something like 'People Ain't No Good' or the tortured and torturous 'Where Do We Go Now But Nowhere?'. On the other hand, it takes a special artist to write the poignant 'Into My Arms', regardless of how bad love is for your health.
Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds Let Love In
Most artists sing about their personal struggles with the Devil. The Devil sings about his personal struggles with Nick Cave.
Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds Dig, Lazarus, Dig!
Lean, mean and slinky, almost like Cave doing Bowie. Mythical and Biblical characters pop up in modern urban settings and Cave has a helluva lotta fun with their utter disorientation.
Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds Tender Prey
Probably the most powerful of Cave's Gothic-Hellfire albums. There's something looming horribly in every song, pushing 'Mercy' and 'Deanna' to greatness. When that horror is overstated - on 'Up Jumped the Devil' and at times on the excellent but overlong 'Mercy Seat' - it sounds like Cave parading in his image.
Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds Skeleton Tree
The uncomfortably bleak nature of the first half is expected, even if its arrangement is new. The second half is beautifully sad. Well done Nick.
Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds Push The Sky Away
A post-modern album that reinvents the Bad Seeds' early take on menace and confirms Ellis' position as their most dynamic player. Cave's oddest, most intellectual album and - weird lyrical fixation with mermaids aside - one of his best.
Nirvana Live at Reading
As Kurt rolled onto the Reading stage in his wheelchair and hospital gown and and 'collapsed', music lovers everywhere were reminded that, beneath the turmoil and pain, Nirvana were still a band with a slickly barbed sense of humour. And this set belies any notion that Kurt was about to crack: opening with a murderous treble of scorching grunge ('Breed', 'Drain You', 'Aneurysm') and closing with the so-not-made-to-close-concerts 'Territorial Pissings', this is Nirvana firing on all cylinders and at the top of their game. The trolling humour continues in 'Sliver' (with Kurt laughing through the opening verse), 'In Bloom' (Kurt's just-got-out-of-bed groan in the verses) and 'Teen Spirit' (Kurt absolutely monstering the solo). Apart from a surprisingly clumsy 'Polly', the boys don't miss a beat in this concert, tearing up Reading Festival and sending the crowd into a frenzy. Special mention to the way Kurt brings out the bounce in the mosh-pit choruses of 'Smells Like Teen Spirit', 'Lithium' and 'Blew'.
Norah Jones Come Away with Me
It's remarkable how engaging Jones' arrangements are even as they remain faithful to lounge jazz. I wish she had written more of them but when the best song of the album ('Nightingale'), ah well.
Paul Kelly Gossip
Although its song-to-song quality is merely fair, "Gossip" was a massive breakthrough for Australian songwriters. Its strong use of domestic iconography and debunking of standard topics was highly influential.
Paul Kelly So Much Water So Close To Home
If Kelly's arrangements are fairly modest on "So Much Water", then his words did a fine job justifying their centrepiece position. 'Careless' is the best song here but the Raymond Carter-inspired 'Everything's Turning to White', Indigenous outlaw ballad 'Jandamara' and the genuinely grand ode to the tour roads of the US 'Cities of Texas' are equally memorable.
Pavement Brighten the Corners
The only time Pavement ever made cohesive sense in their lyrics was on ' Crooked Rain' , which (ironically enough) made a mockery out of the petty, self-indulged world of fame. Seemingly, non-sequiturs are the only way to make sense in an inexplicable world, which is why 'Brighten the Corners' opens with the line "Pigs they tend to wiggle when they walk/The infrastructure rots and the owners hate the jocks." Happy, woozy, melodic and totally subjective in its bafflingly mysterious word play.
Pearl Jam Ten
A wonderful album that showcases Pearl Jam's ability to make tough alternative rock without effort. The lyrical content has the dark side of American adolescence with anger ('Once') incest ('Alive'), search for identity ('Why Go') and high school shootings ('Jeremy'). The explosive anger of Vedder's shaky growl and snarl burst through on 'Alive', 'Why Go' and 'Deep', then he brings it back on 'Black', 'Oceans' and 'Release' against Mike McCready's powerful guitar work.
Pete Murray Feeler
The dark grit of 'Feeler' makes it an album of ordinary angst told large. The grim, violent relationship tale 'No More', the depressive 'My Time', the futile wisdom 'So Beautiful' and desperate reach out 'Bail Me Out', 'Freedom' and 'Please' are songs that will zero in on the hearts of anyone who has dealt with the problems that Murray has, yet the absolute heartbreaker 'Ten Ft Tall' is an overwhelming tale of love and death that is Pete Murray's greatest song.
Phoebe Bridgers Punisher
Bridgers is a blossoming and innovative storyteller. Best songs: 'Garden Song', 'Chinese Satellite', 'Graceland Too'. 'I Know The End'
Pink Floyd Wish You Were Here
Do you people realise what you've done?! You've taken an album with two great songs, two good songs and an average song and turned it into the greatest of all time!
Pink Floyd The Piper at the Gates of Dawn
At its best - 'Astronomy Dominie', 'Lucifer Sam', 'Matilda Mother' and 'Interstellar Overdrive'- Pink Floyd's debut album comprises of startling gear changes between regal psychadelics, stretched-out lounge jazz, wiry freakouts and childish, oddball lyrics, all taking place somewhere between LSD era London and outer space. At its worst - 'The Gnome' and 'Bike' - it is embarrassing. I'm sure there was a good reason this pair made it on and spoiled what could have been a classic album. I just don't know what it is.
Pixies Come On Pilgrim
The songs of 'Come On Pilgrim' are far stronger than those of 'Surfer Rosa': a better balance between melody and madness means that each track at least arrives at its intended destination, generally laced with the cleverness that has always been the Pixies strongest trait.
PJ Harvey Stories From The City, Stories From The Sea
Tense yet somehow atmospheric, "Stories from the City" is an album of personal dissection and charisma. The music isn't expansive and is even oft-muted yet this works with Harvey's unblinking vocals to create an engrossing listen. Best Tracks: 'This Mess We're In', 'Horses in My Dreams', 'We Float', 'This is Love', 'Beautiful Feeling'.
PJ Harvey The Hope Six Demolition Project
Let America Shake. Her cleverest narrative move is to constantly position herself as the outsider who is able to observe systemic injustice but unable to affect change and, therefore, eventually unable to even feel empathy.
Portishead Dummy
The plush, night crawler club sounds are beautifully haunting and spacey, designed to lure you to sleep, particularly on 'Mysterons', 'Sour Times' and 'Glory Box', but there's something about Beth Gibbon's temptress sigh, "like a jaded Bond girl", as Rolling Stone so brilliantly put it, that makes you think that if you do nod off, she's going to slither through the speakers, move in and take you. A really soulful, engaging album, one that anyone and everyone can enjoy.
Powderfinger Double Allergic
Mid-90s rockadelica 'Finger: tonight, one album only!
Queen Queen II
Awesome. Virtuosity and whimsy, ambition and ludicrousness and there's no other way this could have gone to be a success.
Queen Sheer Heart Attack
The dizzying ambition and showboating, whilst not sustained throughout the album, makes "Sheer Heart Attack" the worthy second part of the one-two punch with "Queen II".
Ramones Leave Home
Second album, same as the first. Only, not quite. The production is softer, with a more rounded, less edgy sound to Johnny's jackhammer chords and a topical move from glue sniffing to carbona sniffing, but these are the only changes that are reflected in the 'spread your wings' album title. The cartoonishly exaggerated themes of punk, good times, goofiness, drugs, late summer nights on the town and B-grade horror movies are still here and many of the songs sound like rotated subs from 'Ramones': 'Blitzkrieg Bop', 'Judy Is A Punk', 'I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend', 'Havana Affair', 'I Don't Wanna Go Down To The Basement' and '53rd and 3rd' are switched for 'Pinhead', 'Suzy Is A Headbanger', 'I Remember You', 'Commando', 'You Should Never Have Opened That Door' and 'You're Gonna Kill That Girl'. In short, if you loved 'Ramones', you'll like 'Leave Home,' but the undecided will have to wait for 'Rocket To Russia.'
Robert Johnson The Complete Recordings
Even the casual rock listener can hear the Stones, Cream, Zeppelin and Dylan coming out of Johnson as if he's hard wired to a time machine. His guitar playing is excellent - he frequently holds his own rhythm AND lead - but it's advisable to take this in album in small bites, given that many of the structures are quite similar. Nonetheless, this is Rock 'n Roll's Old Testament.
Sharon Van Etten We’ve Been Going About This All Wrong
Tremulous and glorious with dark swathes of guitar and synth. Minimal arrangements, maximal performances.
Sinead O'Connor I Do Not Want What I Haven't Got
All about Sinead and this is her most accomplished and emotionally engaging album
Sonic Youth The Eternal
'The Eternal' is the Youth's most consistent album in years with luminous sonic interludes and walls of transcendent, spiritual guitar.
Sonic Youth Sister
"Sister" is both understated and extremely exciting. Moore and Ronaldo blend conventional but eerie indie jangle with their infamous power tool barrage for an album that is subtler than the follow-up "Daydream Nation" but more evocatively textured. Best songs: 'Schizophrenia', 'Beauty Lies in the Eye', 'Pipeline', 'Pacific Coast Highway'
Sonic Youth Confusion Is Sex
Nerve-jangling and threatening. Highlights: 'She's In a Bad Mood', 'Protect Me You', 'Confusion is Next', 'Kill Yr. Idols'
Soundgarden Superunknown
An album of internal and external dystopia and one of the best classic rock guitar records of the decade. Best Songs: 'Fell on Black Days', 'Black Hole Sun', 'Limo Wreck', 'The Day I Tried to Live'
Sparks Lil' Beethoven
Shards of disconnected media formed to create something new - think Talking Heads doing "Abbey Road". The brothers knew what they were doing and, smirking audibly as "Lil Beethoven" does, they knew we knew it too.
Stevie Wonder Talking Book
'Superstition' is just about the best riff ever. Throw in 'Maybe Your Baby' and 'Big Brother' for additional top shelf tunes with the sweet 'Sunshine of My Life' and 'I Believe' showcasing Wonder's increasing subtlety.
Stevie Wonder Innervisions
Strong, funky and consistent. Somewhere between the oft-cloying schmaltz of his early days and the awestruck grandeur of "Songs in the Key of Life".
Stevie Wonder Fulfillingness' First Finale
No day spent listening to Stevie Wonder in his early 70s golden run is a bad one.
Sufjan Stevens Carrie and Lowell
The boy in Sufjan Stevens who never grew beyond the grief of his mother's absence and illness meets the artist mourning her death. An uncomfortably and unremittingly sad album.
Sufjan Stevens Illinois
Stupidest fkn song titles of all time how the hell am I supposed to tell people how moved I was by a song called 'The World's Columbian Exposition ? Part II: Carl Sandburg Visits Me in a Dream'
Sweet Trip A Tiny House, In Secret Speeches, Polar Equals
Tiny House's sophomore is more typical of traditional shoegaze and is an easier, prettier listening experience for it. If this makes it sound like they've created a less creative album, trust me - you won't miss the jump scare electronic attacks.
Tame Impala Innerspeaker
Better than the smug, pretentious 'Lonerism' with stronger, simpler, more disciplined songs, but there's still the wishy-washy, bloated prog leanings that turn three minute songs into five without any additional substance.
Tash Sultana Flow State
My main concern with Tash Sultana's debut was whether or not the pretensions of her EP would unbalance her work. This was not allayed by the first glimpse of either the title or artwork of "Flow State" but I am delighted to say that the artist we first met on "Notion" was just getting started. Sultana commits herself so heavily to the DIY arrangements that you actually can't tell it's DIY at all - every track is laden with tricky, immersive instrumentals layered upon layered, lending to a dream-like atmosphere. The breadth of Sultana's musicianship goes far beyond the "next big guitar hero" mantle into which she could have comfortably nestled as piano and trumpet are regularly deployed. One of the best albums of the year and one of the best debuts by an Australian artist.
The Beatles 1
The highlight of "1" is the way that it shows the development of the Beatles' sound: from the exuberant white boy blues of their early days ("Love Me Do","She Loves You", "I Want To Hold Your Hand") to more wordly, wiser songs ("Yesterday", "Eleanor Rigby", "All You Need Is Love") and the mature, solemn works of their final days ("Let It Be", "Hey Jude", "Come Together"). Definitely one that will hook the new generation onto the Beatles.
The Church Starfish
The mysterious fields of jangled guitar and murmured/chanted vocals make for a beguiling album.
The Clash London Calling
''London Calling" is, without a doubt, the greatest myth album of all time. It is an album that has come to represent fearless fragmentation, bar-stool poet observations and faith in rock 'n' roll, past and future, to beat back the worst of life. However, whilst this is all true, the vast majority of the music does not stand up. The ska and skiffle are classic, straightforward and textbook: the Clash's usual habit of wearing-in new genres to make them their own is absent. This makes the widespread genre-dabbling endearing rather than great. Certainly, no album can be called great when there are nearly as many terrible songs (''Jimmy Jazz", ''Lover's Rock'' and ''Revolution Rock'') as greats (''London Calling'', "Spanish Bombs", ''Lost in the Supermarket'', ''Guns of Brixton'', ''Death or Glory'').
The Clash Give 'Em Enough Rope
Unfairly demoted to a ''sell-out'' album, ''Give ''Em Enough Rope'' acts as a commendable bridge between the raw anger of ''The Clash'' and the sprawling fragmentation of ''London Calling''. The UK punk scene is still audible here; indeed, the heavier sound of the production gives several songs a pounding sense of importance and fury, most notably ''English Civil War'', arguably the band's most incendiary song. There are a couple of songs that are seemingly hesitant over whether to be raw or sophisticated, but ''Give ''Em Enough Rope'' is nonetheless a strong album.
The Clash Sandinista!
'Sandinista!' is the definitive Clash album because it captures why they were such a great band: their fearless and relentless innovation that treated music as a do-or-die mission with no time for a second thought.
The Clash Live at Shea Stadium
How many bands have the balls to play a song about low-income employment before a crowd of 72,000? Or to do so when they are the opening act? In a foreign, powerful country? And then dare to heckle the audience? The answer is The Clash, the band who, probably more than any other in rock history, understood that the dollar was a low priority in comparison to achieving everything that you can and dogfighting for your views and beliefs. 'Shea Stadium' may not be the best document of the Clash live (their diversity is limited and the sound is sometimes a flat wall of bass, guitars and drums) but it is nonetheless incendiary in its raw energy and boasts songs ('Spanish Bombs', 'Clampdown') that can withstand even an average run through.
The Clash The Clash
It's excellent but you're kidding yourself if you think it's better than the US version.
The Flaming Lips Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots
Happy, radiant guitars with braindead-philosophical moments that stretch across beautiful, picturebook panoramas painted in watercolour backdrops. It's a weed trip that you don't need the weed for.
The Go-Betweens 16 Lovers Lane
"There's a cat in my alleyway/Dreaming of birds that are blue/Sometimes girl when I'm lonely/This is how I think about you."
The Jimi Hendrix Experience Electric Ladyland
The Killers Pressure Machine
I tell you what I did not expect 'Killers for pop AOTY' out of 2021. Best Songs: 'West Hills', 'Terrible Thing', 'Desperate Things', 'The Getting By'
The Pogues Poguetry in Motion
Two very heavy hitters and two throwaways. I love 'Body of an American' and 'Rainy Night in Soho' enough to just shrug off 'London Girl' (the closest thing the band did to a straightforward love song) and the immemorable instrumental 'Planxty Noel Hill'
The Pogues Rum Sodomy & the Lash
The whirling dervish numbers are now joined by ragged ballads and pick-a-part genre exercises. Loss, bondage and violence abound as Shane MacGowan writes every loser you can imagine into the album. Unlike many of "Rum, Sodomy"'s characters, the singer's alcoholism was not yet out of control and songs like "The Old Man Drag" and "A Pair of Brown Eyes" are still moving. Much was made at the time about the Pogues' defiance to standard '80s pop but by album's end, you're convinced that the septet would have been out of sync in any era. You're also convinced that such distinctiveness means "Rum, Sodomy and the Lash" would have been a relevant work with any release date.
The Rolling Stones Get Yer Ya-Ya's Out!
The energy is fantastic and that loose rawness makes 'Live With Me' and 'Love In Vain' both better than their studio versions. Jagger's interraction is sleazy and brilliant and there is no better version of 'Street Fighting Man' than the hot-blooded, in-the-moment cut here. But 'Stray Cat Blues' is, as all of their early career blues covers were, too heavily indebted to its original creation, and why oh why is 'Sympathy For The Devil' walked through as a standard rock song?
The Saints (I'm) Stranded
Taking the frenetic pace of the Ramones, the simple hooks of the Stooges and the frayed energy of the Sex Pistols, the Saints' debut album remains the greatest Australian punk album to date. The full throttle rev of the title track and the epic, extended white noise of 'Nights In Venice' make the album a textbook punk classic, but neither the Ramones, Stooges, Pistols or Clash recorded a ballad as brilliant and ragged as 'Messin' With The Kid.'
The Smashing Pumpkins Gish
At its best ''Gish'', foreshadows the transcending beauty that the Pumpkins would later master ('Rhinoceros', 'Crush', 'Snail') as well as pummelling, percussive rhythm section that ('Bury Me', 'Siva', 'Tristessa') anchored Corgan's cathartic angst. However, there aren't enough genuinely excellent performances here to elevate ''Gish'' to a debut that etches itself into history of significance.
The Smiths The Smiths
A remarkably bold, innovative and strong debut. Morrissey's flat out neuroticism comes across with deceptive poeticism, most notably on 'Still Ill' and 'Pretty Girls Make Graves', whilst it would take years for the group to top 'Reel Around The Fountain.' If I had any complaints, it would be that the album is just too soft and slow in parts: I would've liked to have seen 'I Don't Owe You Anything' subbed out for something jauntier and more acerbic like 'This Charming Man', a ravingly narcissistic gem that does the Jam better than the Jam ever, ever did.
The Smiths Louder Than Bombs
'Louder Than Bombs' marks a rite of passage for latter day Smiths fans: you can have the studio albums, but to get swept away in the scene of what it must have been like to hear the Smiths, and, of course, their contrast to big/empty '80s pop, in their heyday, you need 'Bombs.' Unforgettable singles are here, songs that combine misery, humour, acerbic wit and painful self-consciousness...so we can easily forgive the presence of 'Golden Lights.' Maybe.
The Smiths Strangeways, Here We Come
A bittersweet finale in which Morrissey's louche cattiness can't mask his pain and longing as the Smiths splinter around him. Best tracks: 'Death of a Disco Dancer', 'Last Night I Dreamt That Somebody Loved Me', 'Paint a Vulgar Picture'.
The Stooges The Stooges
Pinching the lick-lipping teenage sexuality of the Stones and rolling it into something new, loud and sparse called 'garage', the Stooges' self-titled debut is pounding, minimalistic yet catchy. The muffly buzzsaw of Dave Asheton's solos on 'Ann' and 'I Wanna Be Your Dog', the hand-clap riffs of '1969' and 'No Fun' and the unsettling black magic of 'We Will Fall' and 'Little Doll' are all amplified, uncomplicated hooks that make the songs.
The Tragically Hip Road Apples
It takes a while for 'Road Apples' - or, to be more precise, the way in which its strength is so consistently sustained throughout all twelve songs - to not sound like a perpetual fluke. However, there will be a point, and you'll be delighted to welcome it, where you'll decide that these lads are the best thing to come out of Canadian music since Neil Young. Bad luck, Nickelback.
The Velvet Underground The Velvet Underground & Nico
The Velvet Underground The Velvet Underground
There are two possible interpretations of the Velvet Underground's self titled third album. The first is that the soft, gospel-folk sounds are the band selling out to a more mainstream audience. The second is that the radical change from 'White Light/White Heat' proves the ability and musical intelligence of the group. Indeed, the change of instrumentals may make this the darkest VU album; as sinful as 'White Light' was, the average Joe can't relate to 17 minute, dissonant avant garde pieces about heroin fuelled orgies, whereas unrequited love, isolation and faith, common themes found here, are far more likely to hit home.
The White Stripes Icky Thump
'Icky Thump' completely blindsides the listener and makes every other White Stripes album look one-dimensional. The eclecticism and variety here give Jack White a whole new character - one that he should have been flirting with while he was churning out textbook blues.
The White Stripes White Blood Cells
What a kickass garage album! The first half nine songs are as exciting and promising as any in the second half of the 90s, with the stunning drama of 'Dead Leaves And The Dirty Ground', 'Expecting', and 'The Forever', adorable goofiness with 'Hotel Yorba' and 'We're Gonna Be Friends', the punk nugget 'Fell In Love With A Girl', the tender 'Same Boy You've Always Known' and the downright deadpan hilarity of 'I'm Finding It Harder To Be A Gentleman' ("Then you said "You almost dropped me"/ So then I did/And I got mud on my shoes"). But as high as the highs are, the lows really, really stink. The 50 second 'Little Room' is so pointless it's infuriating, and 'Aluminum' is a scrapy, sludgy waste that sounds like White's attempt to be Cobain. But he isn't; he lacks the great man's way with noise. The submissiveness of the album's final few songs is also disappointing, making us think that the album could've been thinned out a little. But look out for the light-stomp of 'Offend In Every Way' and the Bavarian murder-mystery 'I Think I Smell A Rat', which is as operatic as garage rock can get. Overall, "White Blood Cells" is good, but not good enough to guarantee a critics n fan surrender, merely good enough for us to hungrily await its follow up.
Tom Waits Rain Dogs
"After rain all the dogs that got caught in the rain, the water washed away their whole trail and they can't get back home so about 4 in the morning you see all these stranded dogs on the street and they're looking around like, won't you help me get back home, sir, please? Excuse me sir? Can you help me find my way back home? All makes and models, the short ones, the black ones, the tall ones, the expensive ones, the long ones, the disturbed ones, they all want to get home. So that's a Rain Dog. It's like falling asleep somewhere and you thought you knew where you were and when you woke up, they changed the furniture and the walls and windows and the sky turned a different colour and you can never get back. Most of the stories in this record have to do with people in New York who are experiencing a considerable amount of pain and discomfort."
Tom Waits Mule Variations
Although "Mule Variations" zig zags far too often to be the sort of concept album for which Waits has made his name, it is full of memorable and winning tunes. 'Big in Japan' is a lecherously catchy guitar groover. 'Cold Water' sounds like the best song that the Exile-era Stones never did. 'Picture in a Frame' and 'What's He Building?' are the sort of songs that only waits could do - the former a wearily depressive piano ballad and the latter a Red Threat suburban paranoid horror story that only Waits could do - and doesn't he sound like he loves it?
U2 All That You Can't Leave Behind
U2 return to form with their fifth great album. However, this is not the stadium rock album it is purported to be: 'Beautiful Day' may be made for mod-radio but more common are introspective, unobtrusive songs like 'Wild Honey', 'Grace' and 'In A Little While', which take measured cues from folk and gospel and are more made for late night cafes. 'ATYCLB' is U2's most subtle album.
U2 Under A Blood Red Sky
Capturing U2 between with all of their youthful exuberance and ambition without the burdens of expectation, 'Blood Red Sky' is transfixing and simply exciting: the humongous, soaring version of 'Gloria' and the hot-blooded 'Sunday Bloody Sunday' are the hallmarks of a band still reaching for the summit, not filling time being there. Admittedly, the rest of the album is just good and you can see why 'Party Girl' remained a B-side.
U2 Zooropa
Aimlessness, for better or worse, defines "Zooropa". Its introspective modernism sees its protagonists walk through life with metaphorical guns to their heads ('Stay', 'Daddy's Gonna Pay For Your Crashed Car', 'Dirty Day') or cast aside all certainty in 'The Wanderer' and the glorious title track, which quite literally declares, "I have no compass/I have no map/I have no reason, no reason to get back." On the other hand, the album's modest origins and rushed finish give us obviously unfinished pieces and over-parodic experiments.
Wolfmother Wolfmother
The Zeppelin and Black Sabbath influences have been well documented, but Wolfmother still do a brilliant job of carrying it off. Borrowing the soaring guitar, mysticism and drug references of Zeppelin (there's a song called "White Unicorn", for God's sake) with the grooving rhythms of Sabbath and AC/DC, "Wolfmother" unleashes such gems as 'Joker and the Thief'(arguably the most popular Aussie modern rock song), the beautiful, shimmering tales of 'Colossal', 'White Unicorn', 'Where Eagles Have Been' and pocket rocket 'Woman'. Watch out for the Highland warcry riff on 'Tales From The Forest Of Gnomes' and the ramble on lift of 'Vagabond.' The only lowlights are the glam rock attempt 'Apple Tree' and 'Witchcraft', in which they take the old rock thing too far, pinch Deep Purple's 'Black Night' riff and then throw in a flute solo. Overall, a cracker of an album. And let's face it-Zeppelin is the greatest rock band ever, so what's so bad about a band who sound like them?
Wu-Tang Clan Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers)
Fun, grimy, tough. I could listen to the 'Method Man' beat all day, if I wasn't spending all day listening to "Do you think, your Wu-Tang sword, can defeat ME?"

3.5 great
AC/DC The Razors Edge
AC/DC's strongest album since 'Back In Black', with the humongous, irresistible anthem 'Thunderstruck', the menacing 'The Razors Edge' and 'If You Dare', which are both as beastly as the band has been since the high hell days of Bon Scott, and the buoyant, joyous 'Moneytalks'. Unfortunately, the stupid stuff like 'Mistress For Christmas' reminds you of the fact that they will never be as good as they once were and that Brian Johnson was never as good a vocalist as Bon Scott. Also, in the case of 'Fire Your Guns', 'Are You Ready' and 'Rock Your Heart Out', there's a feeling of recycled material.
Adrian Younge The American Negro
How do you rate the album when its most striking and memorable parts are the spoken word sections interspersed in between the music?
Amyl and the Sniffers Comfort To Me
"That band name sucks" - Bob Geldof c. 2021
Anderson .Paak Malibu
What's the go with the full stop in his name
Arcade Fire The Suburbs
Arcade Fire reflect on the decaying, soulless world of suburbia through stuck youths growing old on their realisation of the emptiness of their dreams. It's weighed down by the number of tracks that repeatedly hammer said point with diminishing returns, but it's still a good album.
Arcade Fire WE
WE is the best Orcade Foya album since Suburbs innit
Arctic Monkeys AM
'AM' is effectively divided into two contrasting halves: the first five songs, in which sparse, icy guitars and bass edge around the slow, driving drums, are songs for staring into a flat Lager at 1 am in an empty bar as longing for a lost love morphs into something more dangerous. However, just as the darkness of these songs seems ready to become definitive, a wash of easier listening pop comes over: the Elton John-inspired 'No 1. Party Anthem' and the jauntier 'Why'd You Only Call Me When You're High?' and 'Knee Socks'. What hurts 'AM' is that the first five songs work well as a whole... the second half does not.
Arctic Monkeys Suck It and See
The Arctic Monkeys have never taken the simple short cuts since their phenomenal debut. 'Suck It And See' is an incursion into creamy pop songs with Alex Turner's lyrics that give the two-fingers to anything even slightly resembling a cliche. As a consequence, the album is harmless and mildly enjoyable, although only 'That's Where You're Wrong' and maybe 'Reckless Serenade' could be considered an addition to the 'classic' canon.
Arctic Monkeys Humbug
The Arctic Monkey's debut album was astonishing. Since they released it, subsequent LPs have acted like it never existed: their music has never been as jagged and chaotic, their lyrics have never been as straightforward. 'Humbug', which changes the sound of 'Nightmare' from skeletal to sexy and just gets weirder with its words, is another good album.
Aretha Franklin Aretha Live at Fillmore West
The performances? The energy? The unbridled manner in which Franklin straddles the divide between preacher and singer? Amazing. The songs? Well, after a red hot start they just become organ-dominated jams. Good but should have been better (Franklin performing 'Bridge Over Troubled Water' should have been the easiest W of her career, but what the HELL did she serve up?)
Aretha Franklin I Never Loved A Man The Way I Love You
"I Never Loved A Man" is too restrained and mellow to fully showcase Franklin's talents. It gets off to a flyer with 'Respect' and 'Drown in my Own Tears' and Franklin's own material towards the end of the album is far more engaging but the indistinct nature of the middle section runs the treadmill to a stop.
Barefoot Spacemen Aquaphobia
A love of 90s stadium rock informs the maiden EP by the Spacemen with the powerful riffage on 'Be a Boy' and 'Good Day' the highlights.
Barefoot Spacemen Barefoot Spacemen EP
The five-piece develops a sense of space in their arrangements as well as a healthy whack of funk
Beastie Boys Hello Nasty
Bernard Fanning Tea & Sympathy
One of Australia's biggest pop stars of the day steps back from his band to record a super chill country-folk-bluegrass album. He even scored another memorable pop hit with 'Wish You Well'.
Bernard Fanning Civil Dusk
Fanning's balance of mainstream rock and Americana folk continues with an album that's interesting enough without delivering a truly great song. Best: 'Emerald Flame', 'Reckless', 'Belly of the Beast'
Big Thief Dragon New Warm Mountain I Believe in You
Big Thief show they're playing for keeps by not having an album cover that looks like a college kid's Insta dump. Keen for this
Black Sabbath Heaven and Hell
"Heaven and Hell" is chock full of wanker guitar solos, Ronnie James Dio's over-the-top-yet-tongue-in-cheek-metal-hero vocals, enough Biblical and mythological references to sink a ship and power-chord dynamic shifts. It's awesome.
Bob Dylan Love and Theft
It's called "Love and Theft" because during recording Dylan loved to steal from early bluesmen.
Bob Dylan The Bootleg Series, Vol. 1-3 1961-1991
Dylan fans will love listening to the man's songwriting, structuring, ideological and philosophical development and processes. Note that I said Dylan fans.
Bob Dylan The Times They Are A-Changin'
Colder, duller and folkier than 'Freewheelin''. There's just a touch too much 'we're the people, they can't keep down the people', but the title track, 'With God On Our Side' and 'The Ballad Of Hollis Brown', his most chilling song until 'It's Alright Ma (I'm Only Bleeding)', are among his finest ever.
Bob Dylan John Wesley Harding
The calm after the storm of three wildly electric, eclectic albums, 'John Wesley Harding's understated, mellow nature is just as unsettling as it is surprising. Whilst the songs are largely good and consistent, the album's attempts to achieve greatness are ultimately left to a handful of excellent songs. There's nothing REALLY wrong with it, it just doesn't measure up to Dylan's mercurial standards.
Bob Dylan The Bootleg Series Vol. 4: Live 1966
After a stupefyingly dull acoustic set, the tension of the electric half is just thrilling - all those incoherent yells, intimidating claps and swelling mutterings amidst Dylan's bumptious rhythms and tight, sharp spirals. This is the definitive album for the Dylan legend because it captures his absolute faith in his temperamental genius.
Bob Dylan Oh Mercy
With Daniel Lanois onboard, Dylan steadily regained his footing after his career nadir. Lanois' dry, guitar-heavy sound regained an old, late night Americana atmosphere. The marriage between man and music is an uneasy one and Dylan still had a long way to go before recapturing the writing voice of "Time Out of Mind" (he was not on a good day when he stuck "Roses are red, violets are blue" into 'When Teardrops Fall') but "Oh Mercy" is an understated work in the man's oeuvre and his best album of the 1980s - obviously. Best songs: 'The Man in the Long Black Coat', 'Ring Them Bells', 'Most of the Time'.
Bob Dylan Saved
The one seriously underrated album in Bob Dylan's catalogue. A rollicking, warm and fun gospel experience.
Bob Dylan Planet Waves
A clash between Dylan the family man happily settling into being a dad and Dylan the artist raging against being a rock star. Best songs: 'Dirge', 'Wedding Song', 'Forever Young', 'Going, Going, Gone'
Bruce Springsteen Darkness on the Edge of Town
I've never really been convinced by the whole "Baby-let's-blow-this-town-before-it's-too-late-and-here's-my-car" thing.
Bruce Springsteen The River
What could have been a great album - 'The River', 'Independence Day', 'Stolen Car' and 'Point Blank' are among The Boss' best - is stymied by a baffling slew of cheap, superficial numbers.
Bruce Springsteen Wrecking Ball
Consider this the follow-up to "The Ghost of Tom Joad", wearyingly disillusioned at the plight of the average American and the gulf between dreams and the exploited reality of their daily grind.
Bruce Springsteen Tunnel of Love
Springsteen's ability to develop his sound goes underrated. "Tunnel of Love" deviates slightly from the MTV sheen of "Born in the USA" with the incorporation of soothing synths and Latino-inspired acoustic plucking. Best songs: 'Cautious Man', 'Brilliant Disguise'
Buena Vista Social Club Buena Vista Social Club
The first two thirds of BVSC are fantastic; groovy, fun, cool and festive, as well as being fantastic demo lessons for aspiring Latin guitarists. It does, however, fade late. Or maybe the lyrics are amazing. Dunno.
Carole King Tapestry
G whiz the rest of her LPs have 30 votes combined...
Counting Crows Butter Miracle Suit One
A surprisingly enjoyable album but it got released on the same day that my city went back into lockdown so balance that on the win-loss ledger.
Courtney Barnett Tell Me How You Really Feel
Well, the way forward for Courtney Barnett is clear. After her Dylan-does-Seinfeld debut album revealed a fun and original lyricist, her sophomore shows a slower, more insular and emotional writer... sometimes. Because when it doesn't, we're just left with some thin "Sometimes I Sit" leftovers.
Courtney Barnett Things Take Time, Take Time
Creedence Clearwater Revival Willy and the Poor Boys
Focusing on country and blues singalongs, "Willy & the Poor Boys" is a hokey, homey, friendly album. With the notable exception of 'Fortunate Son', which is about as unfriendly as Fogerty ever got.
David Bowie Hunky Dory
Classics aside, 'Hunky Dory' is marred by stupid missteps that Bowie never made again.
David Bowie Let's Dance
Bowie sets the joint on fire with the first 3 tracks and after that is content to just let 5 more roll off the conveyor belt. He mastered pop with "Ziggy Stardust" anyway.
David Bowie Diamond Dogs
The second best 1970s album by a major English artist based on a George Orwell novel using dogs for symbolism. Best Songs: 'Diamond Dogs', 'Sweet Thing Suite', 'Rebel Rebel', '1984'.
David Bowie Lodger
The first light-hearted Bowie album as he dances from country to country trying on different sounds. Russia, Africa, Germany and the UK all wind their way into his pallet in this about-face that hasn't become an established classic ? but was never meant to. "I am the DJ/I am what I play."
David Bowie The Next Day
It might be a strong contender for worst album cover of all time and a shoo-in for laziest, but "The Next Day" is a fine late career peak for Bowie. Best tracks 'Heat', 'Love is Lost', 'You Feel So Lonely You Could Die'
David Bowie Heathen
The spectral ballads and trippy percussion that led to "Blackstar" started here. Best Songs: 'Sunday', 'Slip Away', '5:15 the Angels Have Gone'
David Bowie Reality
Fun and confident Bowie returns with a contemporary but lively zig-zag between mod-rock, lounge jazz and garage. Best Songs: 'Bring Me The Disco King', 'The Loneliest Guy', 'New Killer Star'
East Brunswick All Girls Choir Teddywaddy
EBAGC's second LP heavily employs the raw, anti-hero guitar grandeur that is fast becoming the calling card of their label Milk Records. The music of "Teddywaddy" has bipolar settings: strung-out, spacey jams and screeching, dig-your-heels-in garage rock. If the sound can get a little samey, it is redeemed by an opening track that shows just what this band can do when everything comes together. 'Steeple People' starts on a depressive note and then buries its way downward, marrying a building paranoia to Marcus Hobbs' despairing bray to deliver one of 2018's best singles.
Fleet Foxes Shore
An adolescence well spent listening to the Beach Boys.
Gang of Youths Let Me Be Clear
Bloody hell they wear their hearts on their sleeves, these lads.
Gang of Youths Angel in Realtime
After two wonderfully emotionally over-wrought albums, Gang of Youths pull a move that's
both surprising and in keeping with their pain-and-love-Springsteen-U2-kids-in-a-garage
ethos: a slower, mellower and (only occasionally) Islander-inflected elegy to singer Dave
Le'aupepe's deceased father. While it never threatens to reach the heights of "The
Positions" or "Go Farther in Lightness", the exploration of new avenues on "Angel in
Realtime" shows that Gang of Youths have negotiated their nascent superstardom and the
departure of guitarist Joji Malani to move towards the next stage of their sound.
Godspeed You! Black Emperor 'Allelujah! Don't Bend! Ascend!
The more I listen to GY!BE's discography, the higher my rating for "Skinny Fists" gets.
Godspeed You! Black Emperor G_d's Pee AT STATE'S END!
The most accessible GY!BE album... just good music, never mind that it is very much a retread from the highlights of "Skinny Fists".
Iceage Beyondless
A more restrained punk sound than the truly upsetting predecessor. Elia Ronnenfelt remains a writer whose words engage and excite me.
Jackson Browne Running on Empty
A rich, easy-listening ode to the touring lifestyle
Japanese Breakfast Jubilee
Jeff Buckley Sketches for My Sweetheart the Drunk
Disc 1 is an accomplished album - the mosh-pit anthem 'Yard of Blonde Girls', the uncharacteristically light-hearted 'Witches' Rave' and the absolutely terrifying 'You & I' stand out. It does sound far more contemporary than "Grace", which raises the question over whether Buckley had the strength and courage to back himself in following up the greatest debut album ever.
Jonathan Richman I, Jonathan
Nothing but respect for this endearingly speccy, nerdy dude who just wanted to be a Velvet Underground superfanboy but became a relevant musician.
Joy Division Substance
'Substance' suffers from what you might call an unavoidable weakness: Joy Division's progression from scrappy punk band to artistic alt-Goth band is a crucial part of the band's story. Therefore, you've got to stick in those tinny early recordings that, by burying Curtis' voice, eschew the band's greatest point of difference from every other punk band. They may be a chore to sit through, but they show the divine, sophisticated inspiration of later pieces like the glistening, peaceful 'Atmosphere'.
Kanye West Yeezus
This was the final phase in the transition between man and monster for Kanye West the artist: a steely, hi-tech, alienating android of an album sprouting fangs and a devil's tail. Lyrically aggressive and sonically abrasive, "Yeezus" may well go down as the last important Kanye album. Best Songs: 'Hold My Liquor', 'Black Skinhead', 'On Sight'
Kanye West 808s and Heartbreak
As important to West's development of his arsenal and emotive messaging as any album he did. Best songs: 'Welcome to Heartbreak', 'Love Lockdown', 'Heartless', 'Say What You Will'
Kurt Vile Bottle It In
Imagine lush, twitchy, creatively composed, sublime guitar lines that dissolve into themselves again and again with Mr Rogers singing over the top.
Led Zeppelin Led Zeppelin
There'll never be another 'Led Zeppelin'.rNo seriously, it's illegal. We have copyright now.
Led Zeppelin Presence
This is where the downhill slide begins. Despite classics like 'Achilles Last Stand' and 'Tea For One', "Presence" can't balance out the number of average songs that can be found on here.
Leon Bridges Coming Home
Wholesome. 11/10 would take this album home to my Dad. 3.7.
Lorde Pure Heroine
When 'Royals' dropped you could hear the collective pop community gasping "God we needed that one!" At a time of over sampled over imitative hip-pop the track was a perfect statement of minimalism: real, talented, purposeful. There's not much else that comes close on "Pure Heroine" except 'Team' and 'Tennis Court'. Move fast Lorde. The world is watching.
Lucy Dacus Historian
Dacus' quavering, tremulous vocals pair well with her heavier, slow-burning guitar tracks. Best songs: 'Night Shift', 'Yours & Mine', 'Timefighter', 'Pillar of Truth', 'Historian'
Mac DeMarco Salad Days
What music junkies listen to when they're done listening to music
Mac DeMarco Another One
If "For Emma, Forever Ago" had been recorded in a beach shack instead of a wood cabin it would sound like this.
MC5 Kick Out the Jams
Let down by a weak recording that finds the vocals falling into a pit in the middle of the mix but nonetheless a good time combining high octane floorboard rippers with the more subtle touches of the set's final sprint.
Midnight Oil Place Without A Postcard
'Postcard' has most of the pieces that would make later Oils classics: Garrett's controlled yell against driving, post-punk/pub rock and lyrics that punch and bite against myths and delusions of Australian culture.
Midnight Oil Red Sails in the Sunset
A tale of two albums - the first half a stripped down, hard-hitting passage dominated by Hirst's drumming with the band's angriest, bluntest social commentary yet spanning from the military industry complex to nuclear annihilation and the genocide against Australian Indigenous people. The second half is full of songs with instrumental frippery, distracting from the issues raised on 'Kosciusko', 'Who Can Stand in the Way' and 'Helps Me Helps You'.
Miles Davis Sketches of Spain
'Concierto de Aranjuez' is, of course, just amazing but it's the only thing here that delivers with style.
Mudhoney Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge
Neil Young Barn
'Welcome Back' is the modern Young guitar classic that showcases the way he takes what seems to be a series of mistakes and makes it work - the piercingly sharp tone, way too high in the mix, the hiccoughing stop start notes.
Neutral Milk Hotel In the Aeroplane Over the Sea
It's been a month since I first heard "ITAOTS" and I still can't think of a better description than 'a marching band on acid'.
Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds Murder Ballads
The rich, evocative narratives of 'Henry Lee' and 'Where The Wild Roses Grow' and the cackling psycho freak outs 'The Curse of Millhaven' and 'O'Malley's Bar' are the successful executions of Cave's explorations into the dynamics, moralities and neuroses of murder. Then you've got inaudible mumbling and repetitive storylines over bummed-out backtracks. And then to close it there's 'Death is Not The End', which is the funniest of the lot whether it means to be or not. Seriously, Monty Python couldn't have thought of a better closer than Cave and his guest artists joining hands and singing the Goth equivalent of kumbaya.
Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds The Good Son
Moving away from the rib-rattling Gothic blues of their first decade, the Bad Seeds took the creative risk of an album lushly layered with piano and vibraphone. The songwriting had not taken a similar leap with Cave's Biblical parables and preaching still providing the narrative. The most significant advance is 'The Ship Song', a strong contender today for the Australian's best ballad.
Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds From Her To Eternity
A slapdash, unfinished sketch of an album in which Cave works his way from the Birthday Party's abhorrent legacy. A claustrophobic conceptual thread is evident in 'Avalanche', 'Cabin Fever!' and the primal ode to voyeurism and sexual obsession 'From Her to Eternity', the Bad Seeds' first great song.
Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds Your Funeral... My Trial
Cave developed his sound further from the shock and awe of his first two albums with "Your Funeral... My Trial". While the results are still a little formative, there is a greater subtlety both musically and lyrically to songs like 'Sad Waters', 'Jack's Shadow' and the Tim Rose murder ballad 'Long Time Man' that Cave would only develop from hereon in.
Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds Henry's Dream
While a solid and at times excellent album, "Henry's Dream" doesn't develop a
distinction in Cave's discography: it's a mellower "Tender Prey", a harder "The Good
Son" or, most accurately, "Let Love In" set in a wild frontier past. Just as thorny are
Cave's lyrics, his most impenetrable to date that have set fans debating over whether or
not "Henry's Dream" is a concept album. 'Papa Won't Leave You Henry', 'Loom of the Land'
and 'Jack the Ripper' are the album's best showcases yet its finest song is
unquestionably 'Straight to You'. Marrying images of Biblical catastrophe to one of the
most sumptuous ballads of the Bad Seeds' new phase, 'Straight to You' is the masterpiece
of "Henry's Dream" but also stands jarringly from the broiling unease and violence of
the rest of the album.
Nilufer Yanya Painless
Nirvana Bleach
'Bleach' is evenly divided: seven songs ('Blew', 'Floyd the Barber', 'About a Girl', 'Love Buzz', 'Paper Cuts' and 'Scoff') show the band's control over noise, sense of pop vocal melody and unique song writing ability. The other six just remind you that they were written literally the night before a $600 recording.
Oasis The Masterplan
Largely good songs that sound like a band with one eye on the hourglass.
OutKast Stankonia
I can't get over how 'Bombs Over Baghdad' went from a how-ya-goin metaphor for committing to anything properly to a hawk anthem when Bush invaded Iraq. Stiff
Paloma Faith A Perfect Contradiction
How much will you like it? Depends on how much you're willing to overlook the Aretha-Donna Summer-Amy cheat sheet.
Parquet Courts Wide Awake
Friendly and quirky. Every experiment shoots, hits and leaves. "Wide Awake!" is fractured and fun.
Paul Kelly ...nothing but a dream
One of Kelly's most consistent and interesting albums. Best songs: 'Midnight Rain', 'Just About to Break'
Paul Kelly Hidden Things
An odds and sods collection with unexpected pearls (the far superior waltz version of 'Sweet Guy', the cover of 'Reckless', the cut of 'Yil Lull' from the Messengers' "Spicks and Specks" performance) and an otherwise nonchalant spread of acoustic and full-band songs. Kelly speaking on behalf of Indigenous people on 'Special Treatment', 'Rally 'Round the Drum' and 'Yil Lull' is a poignant reminder of a man whose social conscious is very much lacking in Australia's pop scene today.
Paul Kelly Stolen Apples
Kelly chances his arm on "Stolen Apples" and produces an album that is as wildly disparate in quality as it is in style. Opening with one of his most experimental pieces in the eerie, Eastern-influenced 'Feelings of Grief' is a statement, as is the second track 'God Told Me To', a furious and scary rocker written from the perspective of a murderous preacher that owes as much to the Stooges as to Nick Cave. Heart-stirring ballads 'You're 39' and 'Please Leave a Light On' are the latest additions to Kelly's tottering pile of classic love songs.
Paul Simon Graceland
A smooth blend of African and American roots music, with neither too overstated. Although I don't find any of it truly great, Simon never sounds like he's missing the mark. Best tracks 'Homeless', 'Graceland', 'The Boy in the Bubble'.
Pavement Wowee Zowee
The least-focused of the five Pavement albums. Borrowing heavily from breezy stoner rock, 'Wowee Zowee's best songs are generally chilled, lackadaisical and vaguely hypothetical ('Rattled By The Rush', 'Grounded', 'Motion Suggests Itself', 'At & T'), with its worst stirring themselves up to lo-fi, sludge-rock.
Pink Floyd Meddle
Pink Floyd have delivered a great album ('Animals') and an excellent album ('Wish You Were Here') in five songs. 'Meddle', although it's better than 'Atom Heart Mother' is only quite good. 'Echoes' is genuinely spectacular, a powerhouse masterpiece with its ambitious and cinematic scope, as is the impressive, twisting 'Pillow Of Winds', the jazzy 'San Tropez' and 'Fearless', which is, next to 'Another Brick In The Wall Pt 2', Pink Floyd's most anthemic song (even if that tribal soccer chorus in the outtro is a little self-indulgent). However, with six songs there's no margin for error, and the overrated, underrealised 'One Of These Days' and misplaced yawnfest 'Seamus' really hurt the album as it looks towards its legacy.
Powderfinger Golden Rule
Powderfinger deliver a fittingly strong album for their departure. While there is the odd piece of filler ('Jewel', 'Poison In Your Mind') and uninspired piece ('Stand Yourself'), they are redeemed by joyous, exuberant rockers like 'Burn Your Name' and 'Iberian Dream', the latter being Powderfinger's sexiest song. The touching farewells of 'Awake', 'Think It Over', 'A Fight About Money' and 'Sail The Wildest Stretch' ( a dedication to teen sailor Jessica Watson) and off-into-the-sunset Spanish strings of 'The Golden Rule' are classic Powderfinger, and ensure that one of Australia's greatest artists ever go out in style.
Public Enemy It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back
First half: Don't believe the hype.
Second half: Oh you better believe it.
Radiohead The King of Limbs
FINALLY- Radiohead go where even the most devoted electro-nuts are too scared to follow. However, 'The King Of Limbs' is a quintessential listen-closer album: 'Feral' and 'Little By Little' are as beautiful as 'In Rainbows' underneath the flickering drums and murmured lyrics.
Radiohead Hail to the Thief
Following 9/11, the Iraq invasion and the fear that had crept over the world, 'Hail To The Thief' was the jagged, paranoid apocalypse of 'Kid A' dragged from its artfully obscure quiet and thrown kicking and screaming into the real world as Thom Yorke's silent 'I TOLD YOU SO.'
Rodriguez Cold Fact
"Cold Fact"'s genre dabbling and stirring left-wing rally cries make for an enjoyable album. I wish it had pushed out its ideas a little more as too many tracks fall short of three minutes before they've fully realised their potential.
Sinead O'Connor She Who Dwells In The Secret Place...
I love O'Connor's attitude to her music, the passion and the eclectic style. Once you
sort out the psuedo-meditation music and dickier Irish stuff, there are 10 magnificent
songs here that would comfortably fill out the singer's best songs.
Stonefield Far From Earth
Kicks ass. Reminds you of the excitement of the first time you heard a pure, heart-pumping guitar riff as a kid. And Amy Findlay is an otherworldly singer.
Talking Heads Stop Making Sense
You've heard the classics on radio but I would definitely recommend diving in for the version of 'Swamp'. As for the rest of the album, there are times when Talking Heads debased reassessments of modern life are truly so 'clever', so 'stop making sense', that they genuinely cannot pose a coherent question.
Tame Impala Lonerism
Seems Syd Barrett has been a little more successful upon resurrection...
Tash Sultana Terra Firma
Pretty good considering the album cover looks like a psychedelic Limp Bizkit parody
Tash Sultana Notion
Finally Melbourne can live down being the city that invented the deconstructed coffee.
Television Adventure
I'll be fair and not rate "Adventure", which is a good rock album studded with Verlaine's and Lloyd's wonderful guitar work, by how it measures up to "Marquee Moon". Whilst the songs are sturdy and display similar structures and sounds to "Marquee Moon", there is no denying that the style, transcendence and vibe that made their debut so remarkable wasn't quite captured here. Best Songs: 'The Fire', 'The Dream's Dream'
The Avalanches Since I Left You
Lushly produced, gorgeously arranged and with crafty melodies and beats. Just puts a smile on ya dial.
The Avalanches Wildflower
For a while, it seems like "Wildflowers" has done the impossible: overcome more than a decade of hype to deliver an album better than "Since I Left You", full of a delightful, Disney-style vibrance with stronger and hookier songs. Then it just inexplicably runs out of gas and limps to the finish line in a sigh of deflating ambient noise. I like it a lot but it's a missed opportunity.
The Band Music from Big Pink
Indisputably good musicians, The Band are too homely to find the darkness in 'Tears of Rage' and 'The Long Black Veil'. Whilst this is a good album, it's hard to identify what distinguishes The Band from any other roots act, past or future.
The Band The Band
I can understand why The Band were important at the time of release... hearing 'The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down' at a time when America was being hurled headlong into a future that never eventuated must have been a decent reality check. But why they've endured? Well, they can thank Bob Dylan for that.
The Birthday Party Mutiny!
Hard yes to 'Jennifer's Veil' (the most Bad Seeds sounding song in the Birthday Party oeuvre) and 'Mutiny in Heaven'.
The Black Keys El Camino
'Lonely Boy', 'Dead And Gone' and 'Gold On The Ceiling' are blues-garage gems and 'Little Black Submarines' is their tribute to Zeppelin. No other tracks have the swagger and confidence of these four, despite some admirable riffage on 'Mind Eraser' and 'Sister.' However, 'Stop Stop', the Christmassy 'Nova Baby' and others are fairly uncool.
The Black Keys Rubber Factory
The highs are typically excellent - the heavy sludge of 'When The Lights Go Out', the gorgeous 'The Lengths', 'Stack Shot Billy' and the tight, groovy 'Keep Me.' However, there's a couple of songs that sound like the Keys are ripping themselves off.
The Black Keys Brothers
Better song-writing and more diverse, interesting sounds than the previous goose-stepping blues-garage three chord stuff.
The Cure Disintegration
Oh pretty boy, can't you show me nothing but surrender?
The Doors The Doors
'The End' is a geniune masterpiece, a dark-psychadelic take on the end of the 1960s. 'Break On Through' is a tight, whisky soaked gem and 'Light My Fire' has the type of shadowy vocals and spidery music that The Doors would become renowned for. However, there isn't much else and, despite general perception, it isn't a touching-the-zeitgeist masterpiece.
The Pogues Red Roses for Me
"All this fiddling, hollering, use of alcohol as a narrative drive - are these the things we think of when we think of the Irish?"
The Rubens The Rubens
A solid debut album that proves that pop, or least a certain aspect of it, can be good music. The tightly wound 'My Gun' is an absolute killer, and gives the band a solid foundation from which to develop for their next step. There are moments when the lyrics are a little too polite and the music steps a little too cleanly - 'Elvis' is the best example - but I can honestly say that 'The Rubens' is one of the best Australian mainstream albums of 2012.
The Smiths Meat Is Murder
'The Smiths' delivered self-pity with enough wry humour to have you humming Morrissey's neurotic one-liners all lonely Saturday night long ("Does the body rule the mind or does the mind rule the body? I dunno"). 'Meat Is Murder', however, is unbalanced in its po-faced, Mancurian misery. Opener 'Headmaster Ritual' is more like an OH & S officer's report into child abuse than a song: none of Morrissey's abstract wit is here. But it's nowhere near as bad as the preachy, hammy 'Meat is Murder', which wrings every heavy-handed vegetarian cliche "This beautiful creature must die/And death for no reason is MURDER!'') into six stuffy, solemn minutes. It is so unsubtle and unclever that, with only slight tweaking, it would be magnificent parody. Ultimately, the less promoted songs carry 'Meat is Murder', particularly in its strong middle order: an injection of life into the gloom with 'I Want The One I Can't Have' and 'That Joke Isn't Funny Anymore', with the completely raving 'Nowhere Fast' superbly flipping the bird to Britain's cheerless grey.
The Stone Roses The Stone Roses
Nothing is great, nothing is anything more than mildly creative, but I'll be damned if it doesn't put a smile on my dial.
The Stooges Raw Power
Despite the rude quality of 'Search and Destroy', 'Gimme Danger' and 'Your Pretty Face Is Going To Hell', the overamplified rock and production is just a little too raw and single minded: 'Death Trip' and 'Penetration' are classic examples.
The Velvet Underground VU
Wiry, staccato guitar attack making a bridge to the 80s underground bands like Black Flag and the Pixies with the sweet, mellow doo-wop that the Velvets employed on their subsequent two albums. Best songs: 'I Can't Stand It', 'Foggy Notion', 'Ocean', 'One of These Days'
The White Stripes Elephant
Step 3 in blues evolution: kicking the travellin' bootsman persona of Robert Johnson with the lean grit of the Stones, Jack White has assumed the mantle of King of the Blues - from his own garage. "Elephant" contains two of his greatest anthems: the gritted-teeth-and-sweat of 'Seven Nation Army' and the massive, precise 'Ball and Biscuit'. But there's more than re-vamped cliches here: the ballad 'I Don't Know What To Do With Myself' comes (gloriously) out of nowhere, as does the barely-restrained punk-nugget 'Black Math.' Thinning out - or, rather, a lack of it - is still White's weakness, as well as an inability to differentiate between novelty and irrelevance ('Little Acorns', 'It's True That We Love One Another').
Tim Buckley Look at the Fool
Consistently good white-boy soul. His voice isn't as good as on previous albums.
Tim Buckley Goodbye and Hello
Uneven but with an intoxicating atmosphere. Buckley's voice sounds somewhere between a '60s psych-trip and a medieval minstrel.
Tim Buckley Tim Buckley
U2 Rattle and Hum
Although the arrogant and misguided gospel-soul-blues hollow the feeling slightly, there is no doubt that the music on 'Rattle and Hum' has genuine quality. 'Desire,' 'Angel of Harlem,' 'When Love Comes To Town' and 'All I Want Is You' are four of U2's biggest and best songs, and the live versions of 'I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For' and 'Bullet the Blue Sky' are excellent. The covers ('Helter Skelter,' 'All Along The Watchtower') are simple minded yet fair, and if you plumb the depths far enough to find the beautiful 'Van Diemen's Land,' the gritty 'Silver and Gold' and the poetic, touching 'Heartland,' good for you. While the crowd interplay is butt-clenchingly embarrassing at times on 'Helter Skelter' ("This is a song Charles Manson stole from the Beatles-we're stealing it back"), 'All Along The Watchtower' ("All I got is a red guitar, three chords and the truth...the rest is up to you"), 'Silver and Gold' (Am I buggin' you? Don't mean to bug ya") and all of 'God, Pt 2', which hurt the finished piece slightly, you have to remember that, without this slightly misguided field trip there would've been no 'Achtung Baby.'
U2 No Line on the Horizon
The last exciting U2 album. Also the last album where they sound excited at the potential of what they could create rather than too afraid to risk stumbling.
U2 Songs of Innocence
U2 revisit their old failings for 'Songs of Innocence': numb electro, unabashed pop worship and overwhelming sincerity. And nail it.
Various Artists Back in Black (Redux)
A fun listen. 'Givin' the Dog a Bone' is no one's favourite on the album but Smoking Lightning's treatment is the best cover here.

3.0 good
ABBA Voyage
A lot of people telling on themselves as having only ever listened to Gold by criticising the number of meh tunes here.
AC/DC High Voltage (Australia)
Get the US version instead-the songs that the Australian version doesn't have are the deal breakers.
AC/DC Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap
A solid debut effort from a band that would go onto become one of the greatest hard rock acts ever: 'Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap' shows the full range of height and tone in Bon Scott's voice, 'Ain't No Fun (Waiting Round To Be A Millionaire)' proves, through its street-smart schemin', that these boys weren't just sleazy boneheads and 'Ride On', a slow, woozy tale of regret, but not reform, highlights their ability to play slow and still have real power. The average stuff like 'Rocker', 'Love At First Feel' and 'Squealer' brings it down however.
AC/DC Stiff Upper Lip
Who woulda thunk it? After years of trying too hard with mediocre albums, AC/DC tone everything down to make their best album since 'Back In Black.' Full throttle intensity and macho bluster make way for a more menacing blend of unsettling quiet and sudden roar, with a couple of comparatively lighthearted (!) tracks. No, it's not a great album, but it breathes fresh air into a band suffocating under its own image and will hopefully carry momentum over into a new album.
AC/DC Power Up
I don't know if I was just in a good mood when I listened to this but "Power Up" is fun. No single song stands out but the album is simply consistent, harmonic, hard rock sing alongs. I'll probably never listen to it again but the cultural institution that is AC/DC will make a lot of their fans happy with "Power Up" and, nearly 50 years into the band's existence, there's really not much else that matters.
Arcade Fire Reflektor
Far from calling "Reflektor" a bold sonic change that falls short, I actually think Arcade Fire didn't do their homework on club and dance music enough to make this stylistic shift convincing.
Beastie Boys Licensed to Ill
Once they had ramped up the manic spirit and hit a rich vein of samples - i.e., wider than Sabbath & Zeppelin - the Beastie Boys became world beaters. Their debut is a base in every sense of the word.
Beastie Boys Check Your Head
A 180 turn from "Paul's Boutique". "Check Your Head" is a far subtler work than its predecessor. Just because it's more modest doesn't make it a flop by any means but there are few memorable stand out songs; enjoyable as the more laid-back vibe and the slow explorations of funk, jazz and metal are, "Check Your Head" does not demand regular rotation.
Beyonce Beyonce
Billy Joel 52nd Street
Joel chanced his arm on "52nd Street" and the resulting mixed bag is both the worst and most eclectic album of his mid-'70s hot streak. After 'Big Shot' gets the go-to Joel classic out of the way nice and early, the kooky and enervating 'Zanzibar' and 'Stiletto' reap the rewards of experimentation. At the other end of the spectrum is the borderline inappropriate calypso 'Rosalinda's Eyes' and the cheesy 'Until the Night'.
Black Midi Schlagenheim
Black Sabbath Sabbath Bloody Sabbath
The synthesisers are fine. The fact that Ozzy sounds like them is not.
Bob Dylan Shadows in the Night
Bob Dylan has been many adjectives to many people. But this album is a new one: unambitious.
Bob Dylan Slow Train Coming
It's bizarre how much Dylan's fan base freaked at his first "official" religious album given that the good book had been a source of inspiration for his songs since 'Masters of War'. And while "Slow Train Coming" ain't great, it's definitely a good solid album. Best Songs: 'I Believe In You', 'Slow Train' and 'Do Right To Me Baby'
Bob Dylan Infidels
A mildly groovy rock album with Dylan's most focused geopolitical songs since "The Times They Are A-Changing". Whilst the grotesque production once again makes Dylan a misfit on his own work, "Infidels" is an enjoyable listen. Best Songs: 'I and I', 'Union Sundown'
Bob Dylan World Gone Wrong
"World Gone Wrong" is a pleasant enough listen even if it is immemorable. Probably not released at the optimal time of Dylan's career, but an optimist could say that it pointed the way to his third wave revival starting on "Time Out of Mind".
Bruce Springsteen The Wild, the Innocent, and the E Street Shuffle
Bruce said that one of his main goals in making 'Born to Run' was to strip down the dialogue, which was probably a reference to how too much of 'WIESS' does a lot of talking to cover very little ground ('Kitty's Back', 'Wild Billy's Circus Story' and 'New York City Serenade' being the most glaring offenders).
Bruce Springsteen Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J.
Until 'For You', 'Spirit in the Night' and 'It's Hard to Be a Saint in the City' pick the album up and carry it on their collective shoulders, "Greetings from Asbury Park" lacks the energy, spirit and excitement of Boss renown. And yes, Manfred Mann's version >. Fight me.
Bruce Springsteen The Ghost of Tom Joad
There's no way to listen to the dark, acoustically arranged "Tom Joad' without comparing it to its far-superior 1982 predecessor "Nebraska". The stories are grim and its distinctive nature appealing but the melodies are far weaker.
Bruce Springsteen Letter to You
My lasting memory of "Letter to You" is of the album's midsection: Bruce Springsteen the cheesy God-fearer with patchy vocals and a weak bottom end to the album's mix. However, the first five songs and 'Ghosts' are good.
D.D Dumbo Utopia Defeated
The man sure can craft a melody out of not much. Clever.
David Bowie The Man Who Sold the World
For a proto-metal album so full of lyrics referencing Nietzsche and existentialism, 'The Man Who Sold The World' still makes its listeners come to the conclusion that it's one of Bowie's more carefree works. Unfortunately, it's also his most imitative.
David Bowie Pin Ups
Right album, wrong time. A fun set of tracks with good performances and so-so production that was released somewhat head-scratchingly at the height of Bowie's first wave of stardom.
David Bowie Space Oddity
Boom, 'Space Oddity'. Boom, 'Letter to Hermione'. Bowie's first real album has its fair share of meandering, quasi-philosophical songs that very much mark the record as a late 60s one but the near-misses of 'Cygnet Committee' and 'Wild Eyed Boy' are nonetheless exciting to get lost in.
David Bowie The Buddha of Suburbia
The two beautiful instrumentals 'The Mysteries' and 'South Horizon' are the stand-outs. Bowie's best work of the 90s.
Dr. Dre The Chronic
Fall Out Boy Infinity on High
There's some good stuff, most notably 'Golden', but they don't give you the impression of a longterm, talented band.
Flume Flume
Gang of Youths Total Serene
Le'aupepe's open-heartedness has always been endearing but seriously Elbow worship c'mon...
Green Day ¡UNO!
Yes, it's dumb. Yes, Billie Joe is twice the use by date of a punk rocker. Yes, this album should not have been made because they should have stopped. But there is just enough good stuff on here ('Oh Love' is an absolute gem) to cover up the flat and mediocre and scrape 'UNO!' up to a pass.
Green Day International Superhits
All the crucial singles pre -'American Idiot' are here. Which still leaves a bunch of stragglers, but hey - you'll get what you paid for.
Guns N' Roses Use Your Illusion I
Featuring the only geniunely great song off the double album ("November Rain"), 'Use Your Illusion I' has the more accomplished musical composition and variety than 'II', such as the shuffling rock of 'Dust 'N Bones', the psychadelic labyrinth of 'The Garden', the swaggering 'Double Talkin' Jive' and the absolutely-stoned-off-its-face 'You Ain't The First'. However, the overblown production, pretentious song length ('Coma' is ten minutes of filler), transparent aggression and uninspired instrumentals of others ('Back Off Bitch', 'Bad Obsession', 'Garden Of Eden') becomes a genuine drag.
Harry Styles Harry's House
'As It Was' is absolutely delightful (for all its very pointed uber-fame loneliness), 'Grapejuice' is a taut, brawnier rocker and 'Love of My Life' is the anti-ballad to blow out the candle on the album.
Illuminati Hotties Let Me Do One More
The 90s high school surf-punk-pop tunes are tolerated rather than enjoyed but one suspects that the slow, introspective songs would not quite hit home the same without them.
Jay-Z The Black Album
Two thirds of 'The Black Album' is humourless, indulgent self promotion. The late revival of 'Moment of Clarity', '99 Problems' and 'Lucifer' pull together elements that previous tracks didn't even attempt.
Jay-Z Reasonable Doubt
No average songs but no great ones either. His rhyming and flow are technically excellent but damn he's dry... too serious to be exciting.
John Lennon Imagine
A little too much "sugar in the urine", I'm afraid.........
Johnny Cash American V: A Hundred Highways
The Cash-Rubin collaboration stares death in the eye and responds with pathos, vulnerability and humour. The audible collapse in the singer's voice is cleverly embraced and although the use of weeping strings does become an obvious cover up by album's end, "A Hundred Highways" is another fine effort in Cash's remarkable late-life/career turn. Best Songs: 'Help Me', 'God's Gonna Cut You Down', 'Like the 309', 'Evening Train'.
Kanye West The College Dropout
Missing the heart and humour of 'Late Registration' as well as the musical breadth of 'MBDTF', 'The College Dropout' nonetheless boasts some of the songs that would later turn West into Kanye. Its biggest problem is the frequent skits that don't only lessen the album as a whole but arrive at the most inopportune times and prevent it from establishing a decent flow.
Kendrick Lamar To Pimp a Butterfly
I know you're angry but what do you want, Kendrick? Racial equality? White genocide? Peace? War? Violence? Overthrow of the White House? Forty acres, a mule, a piano, a guitar?
Led Zeppelin Houses of the Holy
Although Houses Of The Holy delivers some exceptional works of music, its message and orientation is at times confused, which detracts from the experience. For example, the spring-water chilled "The Rain Song" fits perfectly into what we expect from the album whereas "The Ocean", which was one of their best live staples and would've sounded better on Physical Graffiti, sounds a half step away. The ghostly Viking funeral pyre "No Quarter", with British 20th century war messages ("They carry news that must get through/To build a dream for me and you") is the highlight, with Jones' dark, cold ripple on keyboard and Page's doomy outbursts. The annoying "D'Yer Mak'er" and "The Crunge" are arguably the only failures at new genre attempts Zeppelin had done to that point, while "The Song Remains The Same" fails because of the title. It sounds almost like a reassurance, which is Zeppelin uncharacteristically unconfident . The Irish folk "Over The Hills And Far Away", with the wonderful acoustic chime outtro, is another highlight that fits the bill and pushes the album up to a 3.5.
Led Zeppelin Celebration Day
With a set list like this, Zepp could have killed it in their sleep. Unfortunately, it sounds like they tried.
Lorde Solar Power
Not me trying to vibe to Lorde's hot girl summer album while my mental health gets raw-dogged by 200 days of lockdown. Best Songs: 'Fallen Fruit', 'Stoned at the Nail Salon'
Marvin Gaye Here, My Dear
Playlist: R&B Funky Easy Listening Sadboi Elevator Groove
Midnight Oil Midnight Oil
How many bands start off twisted, unsettling and mysterious and become a pub-hard rock band, virtually conventional by the comparisons of their origins? Midnight Oil did. Their debut self-titled takes cues from both Lou Reed and Pink Floyd as they sound frayed, edgy and hyper-energetic. This is arguably their least lyrically focused album - subsequent releases would be a photo negative.
Midnight Oil Head Injuries
This is the album where Midnight Oil threw their exhilarating punk sound to the wall and said, "That's good, but what ELSE can we do?" Whilst "Head Injuries" is far from a great album, the emergence of electro-dabbling, proto-metal chug and fleet-fingered riffing would inform their sound for years. For Midnight Oil, nothing would be the same after this.
Muse The 2nd Law
Neil Young After the Gold Rush
Harmless and unobtrusive, "After the Gold Rush" features all the pieces that would later make "Harvest" floating past each other just out of reach.
Neil Young Zuma
A clumsy mixed bag. Trying to slap a smile on his face after his unbearably depressive ditch trilogy, Young attempts some daggy country-rock numbers that are disappointingly thin. Redeeming the eye-rolling cringe is the no-fuss pistol shot 'Drive Back' and two of Young's best and most definitive guitar epics in 'Danger Bird' and the truly transcendent masterpiece 'Cortez the Killer'.r'
Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds Kicking Against The Pricks
Doing a covers album for the band's third LP was bizarre. What was stranger still was that this album-long foray into Americana sounds less competent than "The Firstborn is Dead", a highly impressive foray into Americana released just a year earlier. Best Song: 'The Singer'
Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds B-Sides & Rarities
Imagine not having a place for "Time Jesum" good God in Heaven...
Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds B-Sides and Rarities (Part II)
Part I gave us way too much in the way of alternate versions and outtakes. Part II is more streamlined to previously unheard songs. Doesn't have the same peaks but 'Steve McQueen', 'Vortex', 'Lightning Bolts' and 'Opium Eyes' will impress.
Patti Smith Radio Ethiopia
Smith's often hard to distinguish vocals and the limited garage rock make for an immemorable album.
Paul Kelly Under The Sun
"Under the Sun" packs a strong hand of classics in 'Dumb Things', 'To Her Door' and 'Bicentennial' but is guilty of running well past its welcome with songs that really are just generic pub-rock songs.
Paul Kelly Professor Ratbaggy
Middle-aged white Australian male entertainers who diverged into hip-hop/dub for a light-hearted and enjoyable one-off: Paul Kelly ? Robert Walls
Pink Floyd Ummagumma
A massive mixed bag between live cuts of previously released songs and multi-track suites. Some is inspired, some is imminently skippable.
PJ Harvey Let England Shake
LES would have been better if Harvey had expanded more on her themes or narratives. The album's protest nature can be summed up as "War is bad."
Powderfinger Unreleased (1988-2010)
It feels like the first ten tracks before they hit their strides in the "Vulture Street" sessions. 'Say It So I Know' goes alright.
Radiohead Amnesiac
Good music, for the most part, but lacks the cohesion that has been Radiohead's calling card. An unnecessary album, and they could've saved several of the tracks as flavour pieces on 'Hail To The Thief' or 'In Rainbows.'
Radiohead A Moon Shaped Pool
Nondescript, muted, shy... this is a Coldplay album.
Sade Diamond Life
It's smooth enough but what is "Diamond Life" trying to be? No single element stands out from the mix: the music is awaiting an outstanding vocal from Sade and Sade is awaiting some ear-catching music. Neither come.
Slayer Reign in Blood
The repetitive drumming is the weakness. I said what I said.
Sufjan Stevens The Ascension
Tame Impala Currents
Taylor Swift Folklore
Standing next to a guitar in a park that you probably own does not hide the fact that structurally your music is identical to what came before and lyrically your evolution after your 8th (!!) Fucking album is minimal
The Avalanches We Will Always Love You
For all its isolated sadness, "We Will Always Love You" is the Avalanches' album that is most easily understood in translation. Its run home is the strongest part.
The Beatles Rubber Soul
'Rubber Soul' is simulatenously extremely influential and the most overrated of all the Beatles' 'classic' albums. The mature love songs here have served as a base for bands over the last fifty years, many of whom, such as the Smiths, U2 and, dare I say it, Coldplay, have made their own mature love songs with far better lyrical and musical sophistication.
The Beatles Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
Today, 'Sgt. Pepper's' stands as more a landmark achievement of symphonic production than musicianship. Nonetheless, the opening is the sound of rock's rules being broken, limits being transcended, and 'A Day In The Life' is the sound of minds being blown.
The Beatles Revolver
Conventional pop songs, more or less. A normal pop song in 'She Said, She Said'? OK, now let's put in some reverb. A normal pop song in 'Here, There and Everywhere'? OK, now play the guitar parts with a sitar. The Beatles were the first pop band of all time, not the most innovative.
The Beatles Help!
If you can swallow the many nursery rhyme pop songs, the top end of "Help!" makes the album the best of the first half of the Beatles' career.
The Birthday Party Prayers on Fire
Sick. How sick? Imagine the sound Satan would make in his death-throes.
The Birthday Party The Bad Seed
Hard yes to 'Sonny's Burning' and 'Fear of Gun'.
The Black Keys Magic Potion
An almost inevitable frustration for the fans of the two man blues-garage duo. Good riffs become suspiciously repetitious as the nervous hesitance to mix up the Zeppelin-via-Howlin' Wolf blueprint, and are consequentially lost in a muddied blur. Arguably, the most galling aspect of 'Magic Potion' is that the one song that DOES take the risk of stepping outside the comfort zone - the slow building, subtly shaded 'The Flame' - is by far the best.
The Black Keys Thickfreakness
With a heavier, growling, grungy whump to their sound, Auerbach and Carney create a chest-beating, hot-blooded blues album that underlines a developing confidence in their grooves. In keeping with their previous works, the album goes a couple of songs too long with the miserable 'I Cry Alone' and 'Have Love Will Travel', yet another stock-fare-garage-plodder, but when 'Everywhere I Go' - six epic, slow-burning minutes that the pair are unlikely to top - features, they are imminently forgivable.
The Black Keys Dropout Boogie
Beth v Billy for the Best B Gibbons feature of 2022
The Clash Combat Rock
"Your greatest weakness is an excess of your greatest strength." I don't know who said that, but it pretty much sums up the fall of the Clash. The fearless, fanatical innovation that made 'London Calling' and 'Sandanista!' is here proven to be only successful if good ideas can canvas the sprawl. An Arabian dance number ('Rock the Casbah'), a Kinksy-pop rock piece ('Should I Stay Or Should I Go?') and a haunting Eastern masterpiece ('Straight To Hell') are the sole songs here that keep up with the relentless demand of the Clash's creativity. They are uniformly unsupported.
The Flaming Lips The Soft Bulletin
'The Soft Bulletin' recovers from a very poor start to be a just-ok album. The first five or six songs are lyrically weak and very poorly produced; whinging keyboards and clumsily loud drums with jarringly mixed vocals abound.
The Go-Betweens Before Hollywood
It's not my bag although I can see why people would like it. The lyrics are poems - non rhyming, non linear, obscure, no choruses - and the music matches the vocal melodies with unusual time signatures. 'Dusty in Here' is the best song.
The Living End The Ending Is Just The Beginning Repeating
A classic example of a band failing due to a lack of awareness of their limitations. The Living End's strongest music has been through pop-punk gems like 'White Noise' and 'Prisoner of Society'. "Ending" is their attempt to broaden their image through mimicking Muse's anti-establishment paranoia, but the Melbourne trio just aren't Muse. Musically they just aren't innovative enough, but the irrelevancy of this album lies in the credibility, or lack thereof, that we can give them. A band coming from the easiest living city in the easiest living country in the world just can't write convincing anti-establishment, revolutionary songs, and it is for this reason that songs like "In The Morning," "Heatwave", "For Another Day" and "Song For The Lonely" just lack any bite. The album is not without its high moments, however: the chilling title track is the only time that all the pieces come together as the jaded politics really hit home, "Ride The Wave Boy" holds a stark realism to the endless loop of drug addiction that precious few Australian acts have had the guts to do in recent years and "Away From The City" bites with its backhand on the (Un)Holy Grail of fame and notoriety. It's sad that such good songs are lost in the pretentious, stuffy seriousness of the rest of the album.
The Pogues Hell's Ditch
You know it all by now - your enjoyment on the Pogues' fifth album all depends on how willing you are to overlook the alcoholic in the room. Musically, there is a lot to like about "Hell's Ditch", which was the band's most delicate album yet and comfortably incorporated Asian and Latin influences. Best songs: 'Sayonara', title track, 'Lorca's Nova', 'Summer in Siam'
The Pogues Peace and Love
Restrained and with an obvious propping up of the decreasingly functioning MacGowan. Best tracks: 'Lorelei', 'Gridlock', 'Tombstone'... all of which do not have the nominal lead singer.
The Pogues Pogue Mahone
The Pogues rouse themselves for a finale bolder, lovelier and more confident than the morose "Waiting for Herb".
The Raconteurs Consolers of the Lonely
The Raconteurs Broken Boy Soldiers
The Rolling Stones Let It Bleed
The Rolling Stones may have been the first 'greatest rock n roll band in the world', to quote their 1969 tour manager, but, listening to 'Let It Bleed', that title may have been a default thanks to a lack of competition. The Stones' greatest albums - 'Exile', 'Sticky Fingers' and 'Ya-Yas' - marry their blues origins to an original, biting rock n roll sound. Here, they are too often heavily indebted to their influences ('Love In Vain', 'You Got The Silver', 'Monkey Man') or else gross imitations of their genres. 'Country Honk', lads? Seriously?
The Saints Eternally Yours
The Saints' sophomore album distinguishes itself from their eponymous debut with the subtle employment of brass and Bailey's mean-spirited, pithy tone. With morale audibly splintering in the Saints' camp, it's hard to believe that they not only recorded another album but made it their best one.
The Smashing Pumpkins Adore
No one could ever claim that the recording sessions of a Smashing Pumpkins album sounded fun. The results - magnificent during their early career- were in many ways a testament to that dysfunction. However, the sessions that made the distracted 'Adore' must have been crushing. Moments of greatness are outweighed by the numbing repetition of an unsure songwriter playing for time.
The Strokes Angles
It's tough to follow a great debut album. Few bands know this like the Strokes, who made not only a great debut album but a sparse debut album. Following it is tricky. 'Angles' has that flickering guitar-and-drums line up, it's just dressed up in a jigsaw of odd sounds: forays of varying quality into disco, electronica and pop. They'll probably never top 'Is This It?', and certainly don't with 'Angles.'
The Velvet Underground Loaded
With the exception of "Sweet Jane", "Oh! Sweet Nuthin'" and the delightful "Who Loves The Sun", 'Loaded' is a string of average, uninspired songs. The fact that Lou Reed was absent for much of the recording is partly an excuse for its lack of quality, but this also indicates that he perhaps covered up for the cracks in the rest of the band.
The Vines Highly Evolved
U2 Songs of Experience
It absolutely, positively, 100% is not allowed to be boring. That is my preview. EDIT: They've bought themselves enough time for another album.
U2 Pop
A missed opportunity. "Pop" is at its best when it marries the zenith of U2's remarkable electronic phase with its extinguishing: the gyrating 'Discotheque' running into the black gut vomit of 'Wake Up Dead Man' by way of the star privilege guilt of 'Gone'. Unfortunately, there are too many songs forgotten once heard.
U2 October
This widely disliked sophomore features Larry Mullen jr's most show-stealing work, some whacky Edge guitar trickery and even provides a couple of solos for Adam Clayton. All of this was necessary because Bono is in fine voice on songs that too often really are about nothing. Best Songs: 'Gloria', 'Tomorrow', 'October'
U2 How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb
It's got some tunes but this is the first album where U2's message stretched from the universal towards the anonymous as they struggled to maintain a purpose and goal in their music.
Weezer Pinkerton
The unexpected success of Weezer's debut album left the band's task of a sophomore follow-up a tricky one. When being your simple, dorky, honest self works so well, where do you go next? Ultimately, 'Pinkerton's best songs are, for better or worse, continuations of the best of 'The Blue Album': 'Across The Sea', 'The Good Life' and 'El Scorcho' use the loud-pop simplicity with painfully personal American teenage short story lyrics. However, the cracks of uncertainty and indecision nonetheless begin here for Rivers Cuomo: the self-focused, grumpy gripes of 'Why Bother?' and 'No Other One' are poor emo-fare that would become all too common in the years to follow.

2.5 average
AC/DC Ballbreaker
When people talk about bands who should have broken up a long time ago, AC/DC get a lot of sympathy votes. The law of diminishing returns has meant that the well of hard-lovin', hard-livin', hard-rockin' blues ran dry albums ago. Moreover, they accomplished their mission of becoming the best hard rock band in the world, without a note of compromise and with the death of their iconic original lead singer, with 'Back In Black.' That was in 1980. Call it a day, boys. We can all agree you've done everything you can.
AC/DC Rock or Bust
Aretha Franklin Amazing Grace
This confirms my theory that 'Amazing Grace' is always better coming from the saved sinners than the puritans. An hour and a half of Aretha turning one syllable words into five.
Billie Eilish Happier Than Ever
I am not comfortable with people this much younger than me being this horny and angry.

EDIT: Without expanding on the sound and style of her debut album, Eilish has created a
defiant response to her fame, particularly the scrutiny and sexualisation she has faced
in the media. Is the low energy 56-minute album, which only delivers the previously
released 'Therefore I Am' and 'NDA' in the way of irresistible bops, a struggle to sit
through?
Yeah, it is. Best Songs: 'Therefore I Am', 'NDA', 'Oxytocin', 'Your Power'
Bob Dylan Fallen Angels
"It's been done" - George Harrison
Bob Dylan Another Side of Bob Dylan
So yeah, this is Dylan's "trying new things" album. It's a bridge from the counter-culture artist to the counter-counter-culture - "the rebel rebelling against the rebellion", as Elvis Costello eventually described it. In between the classic 'It Ain't Me Babe' and direction teasers 'Chimes of Freedom', 'Motorpsycho Nightmare' and 'I Don't Believe You', there are so many long, godawful tuneless tunes.
Bob Dylan Street Legal
A generically RnB, lifelessly produced album that was the beginning of a run of Dylan consigning himself to a misfit on his own songs with music and sounds that did not suit his voice. Best songs: 'Senor', 'New Pony', 'Changing of the Guards'
Bob Dylan Nashville Skyline
That gap between the crook of his elbow and his head looks like the play button. Bobby D, over 40 years ahead of his time even on this harmless and ineffectual country debut.
Bob Dylan New Morning
"Build me a cabin in Utah/Marry me a wife, catch rainbow trout/Have a bunch of kids who
call me Pa/That must be what it's all about" - Sign on the Window

I was ready to tear "New Morning" a new one until this verse softened my heart and
favoured my perspective. Between his amphetamine-wired rock star era and the latter-
decade divorce that ushered in the "Blood on the Tracks" era, this is Bob Dylan in the
happiest mood he has ever been on record: just a content and quiet family man.
Unfortunately, it makes for a lukewarm album.
Bob Dylan Shot of Love
The sound and production on "Shot of Love" - thin and compressed - almost kills it in the crib. 'Shot of Love', 'Dead Man, Dead Man' and 'The Groom's Still Waiting At the Altar' strut with enough restless energy to give the album a bit of life.
Coldplay Everyday Life
The first half of "Everyday Life" sounds like a band finally clicking on the failed experimentation of the last six years. However, 'Guns' brings the album to a crashing halt and it spends its mediocre second half drifting in stunned horror at that track's unbelievably lazy attempt at protest. Best songs: 'Arabesque', 'Church', 'Trouble in Town'
Coldplay Music of the Spheres
Coloratura isn't epic. It's just long.
David Bowie Scary Monsters (and Super Creeps)
"Low" was a weird great album. "Scary Monsters" tries to be a great weird album. Full of clutter and frippery like weird vocal performances, overly busy arrangements and jarring production, "Scary Monsters" is the first time Bowie missed the mark between experimentation and output.
David Bowie Earthling
"Earthling" is certainly a faultless execution of bass n drum. However, what it lacks to make it an enjoyable dance album is space in its grooves.
David Bowie Outside
You know when you're having trouble with your computer and you just lose your mind and start screaming and slapping the keyboard? Practically it's not going to work but part of you is asking the computer to feel the emotional drama of what's going on up your end and just... fly right. And that's what "Outside" is: a frustrated Bowie throwing the absolute kitchen sink at an album. It makes for a baffling listen that is admittedly a more valid statement than anything he had made since "Let's Dance".
Elvis Presley The Sun Sessions
Historical interest, musical disinterest.
Gang of Youths MTV Unplugged: Live in Melbourne
Do you love Gang of Youths but wish that every song had the wedding reception string quartet treatment of 'Le Reel'?
Guns N' Roses Use Your Illusion II
Much less interesting and much more lightweight than 'I'. The excellence of 'Knockin' On Heaven's Door', '14 Years' and the furious 'You Could Be Mine' are drowned by the dismissable 'Shotgun Blues', 'Pretty Tied Up', 'Locomotive' and 'So Fine' and utter crap like 'Get In The Ring' and 'My World.' 'Estranged', an attempt to make 'November Rain 2', is just long-winded and pretentious at 9:24. The album's most fascinating moment is 'Civil War': a band that was a walking civil war trying to write an anti-war ballad? Well, they give it absolutely everything: a 7:45 running time, humungous sound, changing dynamics and agonised lyrics ensure that they pull it off, but it isn't enough to save the album.
Kanye West Jesus Is King
Say what you want but it's pretty mad that he rhymed Visas with Jesus.
Kanye West Donda
My sudden fear that Marilyn Manson and DaBaby will jump-scare up on a feature makes "Donda" an auditory horror house.
Kate Bush Hounds of Love
I have never understood a classic album less than "Hounds of Love".
Kendrick Lamar Section.80
Yes he's talking, but is he saying anything? Not really, no.
Kendrick Lamar DAMN.
"Hear me out: imagine the hip-hop version of "Kid A" except every song is 'Idioteque'. EDIT: OK, the first half is actually quite good. But man does the back-end stink. Listen to 'Fear'. Is this really the same man who wrote 'Money Trees'?
Led Zeppelin In Through the Out Door
By 1979, Led Zeppelin had destroyed Led Zeppelin. The hedonistic, chaotic lifestyles the band had led for years had caused Page and Bonham to sink into a sea of cocaine, heroin and psychological issues, while Plant was mourning the death of his son and the disillusionment of his life. 'In Through The Out Door' is therefore a Jones album. Brainy though he was, Jones couldn't cover up the audible decay of his bandmembers: his strings and keys were forced to carry much of the orchestration of the album. Consequentially, arrogant and godly is out and sappy is in ('I'm Gonna Crawl', 'All My Love'). Page's solos are fitful, simply a handful of notes spat out schizophrenically; his absence and fall is noticed most painfully on the schmaltzy 'Fool In The Rain' and the embarrassing Kentucky hoe-down 'Hot Dog'. 'In The Evening' may give us the last great Zeppelin track, but it's sad to think that the tepid, tame 'I'm Gonna Crawl' is the final hurrah of rock's greatest group.
Liz Phair Exile In Guyville
Lucy Dacus Home Video
Dacus strips away the guitar grandeur of "Historian" and leaves in place a boring and hookless album that feels like a painfully adolescent attempt at capturing the brilliance of Phoebe Bridgers' "Punisher" or even Lana Del Rae.
Lupe Fiasco Food & Liquor
'Food and Liquor' is often underwhelming, not helped by Fiasco's frequent self-contradictions.
Midnight Oil Bird Noises
An energetic but primitive garage rock EP that does not fully develop its one move to expand the band's sound ('Wedding Cake Island').
Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds Ghosteen
Why do I dislike one of my favourite artist's albums while everyone else loves it?? What is this cruel trick!
Nirvana With the Lights Out
Once you cut out the previously released songs, the terrible recordings, the unfinished jams and the gags, you are left with 'They Hung Him on a Cross', 'If You Must' and 'Grey Goose'.
Oasis Dig Out Your Soul
Unfortunately, there is a grim appropriateness to the album's title.
Paul Kelly Comedy
Paul Kelly Syndrome: the musician's practice of de-prioritising the consistency and cohesion of albums in lieu of simply bundling together everything you record and accumulating a high number of great songs across a career without every releasing a great album.
Pink Floyd More
Here is the reason that Pink Floyd's status as a great band sometimes comes under fire-the era between Barrett's dismissal and 'The Dark Side of the Moon' is bloated with awful, cinematic soundtrack pieces. 'More' is the worst.
Pixies Surfer Rosa
Going into 'Surfer Rosa', the Pixies were seemingly opposed to any idea of making anything that resembled 1988 pop. Tick, bold start. Sadly, it all ends there. The album feels half-finished. Several songs make good starts, but, by the time you get to the album's end, you realise they were just the same piece dressed up in different clothes. Tellingly, the album's best songs - 'Bone Machine', 'Break My Body', 'Gigantic', 'River Euphrates', 'Where Is My Mind?' and 'Cactus' - all fuse the band's raw sound and weird lyrics to pop sensibility and melody.
Ramones Subterranean Jungle
Tommy was gone, Dee Dee was singing lead...not sure if Ramones album or shitty tribute band.
Tame Impala The Slow Rush
"My attorney has never been able to accept the notion that you can get a lot higher without drowning your songs in dissolving effects than with it. And neither have I for that matter" - Kevin Parker
The Stooges Metallic K.O.
The best, worst, ugliest, punkiest, meanest live album ever.
Van Halen Van Halen III

2.0 poor
Aphex Twin Come to Daddy
I hated the percussion samples on this so, so much.
Bob Dylan Bob Dylan
An uncomfortable hiccup of the young Dylan finding his way around blues interpretations, sounding like a man trying on clothes that don't quite fit. His proto-grunge vocals on 'House of the Risin' Sun' are the album highlight; far from the haunting grandeur of the Animals' definitive version, this is a stark acceptance of defeat.
Coldplay Ghost Stories
Coldplay, as they proved with 'Rush of Blood' and then again with 'Viva la Vida', are at their best with muscular, confident arena rock. So why are they intent on making ambient mediation music? Quaffing from the same numbed electro well that Muse drowned in on 'The 2nd Law', 'Ghost Stories' is their shyest, dullest album.
David Bowie Hours
The only thing that this sluggish, boring album does commitedly is stand as one of Bowie's absolute worst albums.
Fontaines D.C. Skinty Fia
You guys ever wanted to hear what an automaton would sound like if it was Irish?
Forest Of Harambe Under The Sign Of Harambe
Stop. STOP, HE'S ALREADY DEAD!!!!
Godspeed You! Black Emperor F♯ A♯ ∞
Sputnik, this pseudo-avant-nothingness cost me $38. I'll be putting up the link to my Go-Fund-Me page in a sec.
Jack Johnson To the Sea
Utterly unremarkable and sadly unambitious in structure, sound and lyrics. Just far too safe.
Jeff Beck Live in Japan
Kanye West ye
What poor calls crazy, rich calls genius.
Kid Rock First Kiss
Neil Young Tonight's the Night
Genuinely the least fun listening experience ever. If I was to rate the album on execution of a concept - being the music a man makes when he's too deep in the talons of grief to care about what hits the vinyl - then I'd say it's pretty good.
Pink Floyd Atom Heart Mother
There's just too much bloated prog-pompousness; a 23 minute track stuffed with cinematic effects and a 13 minute 'oh-look-how-much-drugs-we-take' psychadelic whale bookend the album.
The Birthday Party Junk Yard
This is shit. And it's particularly galling because you can hear that with minor adjustments it could have been good. Until a late effort to make the album accessible, the jazz licks, raw tantrums and groundbreaking soundscapes are ruined by music that is off-key, off-time and out of tune. You may persist with "Junkyard" - indeed, the Birthday Party as a whole - as a show of faith in Cave, but at some point you come to the uneasy realisation that he is the worst part of the ensemble with his lazy and indulgent performances and unintelligible lyrics that when studied on paper read like they were written by someone who had learnt English for all of an hour. Had The Bad Seeds not carved out such a superb career, The Birthday Party would be forgotten today. As it is, they are a novelty act at best.
The Clash Cut the Crap
If only they had! 'Cut The Crap' has some of the worst production I have ever heard. 'This Is England', the Clash's last great song, is a tragically perfect fit that reflects upon the failures of British society....and possibly the band's realisation that they could never change the cultural decay.
The Fall Slates
Terrible mix and maybe a few of the songs are OK but God I wanted this album to end long before it did.
The Notorious B.I.G. Life After Death
Who knows what sort of people BIG had around him as he recorded his second and final album. I'm willing to bet he didn't have anyone employed on quality control to tell him that he was accruing some genuine stinkers. Puffy Combs was way too keen to get the twinkly, airy sound that would plague numerous hip-hop artists in the years to come onto "Life After Death".
The Pogues Waiting for Herb
It's hard to believe that the Pogues would have so nosedived after cutting the weight of MacGowan but "Waiting for Herb" lacks not only the songwriting brilliance of the band's heyday but also the arrangements. Many songs are mundane, straight-ahead rock.

1.5 very poor
Bob Dylan Triplicate
Why Bob why Bob why Bob why Bob why Bob why Bob why... EDIT: Found this on sale at JB Hi-Fi for $55.
Kurt Cobain Montage of Heck: The Home Recordings
A look into Cobain's mind
If by 'look' you mean 'he-invited-us-into-the-mental-equivalent-of-his-downstairs-toilet-locked-the-door-before-we-realised-what-was-going-on-and-then-ran-away-laughing-bitterly'
The Mothers of Invention We're Only in It for the Money
So... a parody of Sgt Pepper? For 40 minutes? I honestly spent nearly 20 minutes waiting for the album to start before realising that these tuneless nursery rhyme soundscapes are all that "We're Only In It For The Money" are.
will.i.am #Willpower

1.0 awful
Death Grips The Money Store
I am utterly, utterly stumped at how anyone could like this band, unless, of course, you are so committed to the idea of rebellion that you want to rail against the smug well-being of your ears.
Justin Bieber My World 2.0
Justin Bieber represents everything wrong with 21st century Western mainstream music: appearance is more important than talent and kids get free rides to the top.
Lou Reed Metal Machine Music
Wow, you guys really weren't exaggerating.............
Nicki Minaj Pink Friday
For as long as Minaj is on this planet, I don't want to be.
Nicki Minaj The Pinkprint
Wow, this porno soundtrack is really quite terrible.
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