Wow. Sprang Break, I’ve been too busy, and I apologize, let’s get back to business though…
40. Girl Talk- Night Ripper
This album was ultimately the brain child of Gregg Gillis, and he’s got a pretty collective brain if you ask me (just check out the lists of songs he uses for each! song on NightRipper). This easily became one of my top albums of last year, most easily stated, because of its addictiveness, each song pulls in emotions previously held about one of the many songs that the actual track on the disc holds snippets from. Each song has at the least 2 snippets that catch your attention and make you get into the song. And after more than a few listens, you realize this album isn’t only fun, but remarkable and unforgettable, and probably one of the most impressive works you’ll hear to date.
mp3: Girl Talk- Warm It Up (Favorite mash: Annie and Fergie, “Feel My Hearthumps”)
mp3: Girl Talk- That’s My DJ (Favorite mash: Right when it’s about to go into “Blinded By the Light”)
mp3: Girl Talk- Once Again (Favorite mash: Ying Yang Twins and the Verve, “Bittersweet Whisper Song”)
mp3: Girl Talk- Summer Smoke (Favorite mash: “It’s Magic” and “Gold Digger”)
39. The Strokes- Room On Fire
What I believe to be the band from Manhattan’s greatest album to date. This effort is flawless in the way that every song is what you want it to be: Full of energy, scratchy vocals, pretty and neat guitar and drum medlies, and that alternative sound that gives these guys the name that when people hear it, automatically hear that new era rock and roll. There are so many memorable songs on this disc it’s not even funny, if I want to just sample the glorious ”What Ever Happened”, I find myself getting myself caught in a labyrinth of this album, and it consumes me, making me take pit stops at every track, making me bask in everything coming from the stereo speakers, getting me lost in a world of rock bliss.
38. Sufjan Stevens- Michigan
The voice of Sir Sufjan Stevens simply makes me tremble. And it is broadcasted beautifully over one concentrated genre for this state. Sufjan focuses on simple folk music (with bells of course) while traveling through Michigan, and he captures this sound perfectly. He cements his voice and his style, making it easy to understand that the talent present is overflowing, and calling for attention, because it deserves it. This album contains some of my favorite acoustic songs I have ever had the pleasure to listen to, and it produces the great overall effect a Sufjan album will always produce. Complete sound, and a more than solid consistency with songs, the excellence is almost spread out to cover every track on the disc, even though it doesn’t need to be, because each track holds its own personality, it’s own special little catch, Mr. Stevens does that for you. He creates so many little experiences that build up and build up to make one giant phenomena of a record. This thing is bursting with talent and entertainment and joy, and is just a fine example of excellent modern music.
37. Josh Rouse- 1972
This album…was another road trip album, and it was a fun one. I seriously thought that Josh Rouse was just obsessed with the year 1972 when I first heard the noises and lyrics coming from my headphones, he sang with such emotion and belief. He was positive and funky and happy and cool and made songs that were kind on the ears. The album divides into different experiences and stories of Rouse’s mother (or is it?), fake relationships (he was born that year, and babies can’t have complicated relationships, but yet again they are probably modern relationships with a twist called the past…Touché, Mr. Rouse), and the vibrations of love. Now that I think about it, It’s pretty much an album of disco and lovemaking with the sounds of alternative singer/songwriter guiding these bizarrely random themes. A quality listen nonetheless.
36. The Beatles- Abbey Road
I still don’t understand the whole paulisdead thing, but also, I am not as cool or talented as the Beatles…not for millions of miles. Anyway, that whole shazz made this album cover one of the most famous of all time. But that isn’t even the focus of thought right now, just a little side note, this album is remarkable, and is the Beatles album that has taken hold of me the most. So much energy is laid out on every turn of the album, that crisp Beatles sound just echoing throughout your head, you lay dazed and dreaming after a few listens, you lay mesmerized and changed after a few more. You are a huge fan after one listen. The Beatles almost perfect everything on this album, and manage to spark a conspiracy theory in making one of the most flawless and needed rock albums of all time.
mp3: The Beatles- Octopus Garden
mp3: The Beatles- Golden Slumbers/Carry That Weight/The End (p.s. stupendous)
35. Harry and the Potters- The Power of Love
Like I said earlier about the first Harry and the Potters album, this stuff is creative and hot. And I’m not trying to diss the Hogwarts squad, but their stuff in the early stages sounded kinda rough and not of good quality, it didn’t make the music not good, it just made it not as good as it could be, and that is why I was so joyful to hear of this masterpiece. It was a great idea, with great music, and now WITH GREAT QUALITY, and more experience. In this album the band is finally molding into final shape, and that is the shape in where I begin anticipate any single release by the group, and I begin hovering over any recent news snippets of new albums/compilations/soundtracks/remix albums/ect.. From this point on it doesn’t get normal, this band is on radar and is at a place with this album that they are becoming killer at what they do, and perfecting their style and building their individual sound. Awesome.
mp3: Harry and the Potters- (Not Gonna Put On) The Monkey Suit
mp3: Harry and the Potters- Smootchy Smootchy, Pukey Pukey
mp3: Harry and the Potters- The Phoenix Song
mp3: Harry and the Potters- Felix Felicis
34. Stars- Set Yourself on Fire
This is just a good album. I mean there is a lot more to say, but that needs to be known. This is a wicked good album. The voice of Torquil Campbell is the first angelic quality tagged to this band that I will bring up. His voice sounds so sophisticated and heartfelt, filled with stories of broken hearts and relentless love, all the while staying cool and understanding that is was for the better. Second is the vocals that guide by Amy Millan. She adds a certain evenness to every song, playing each track out like a captivating duet. Overall this album will rock your socks off, it unleashes track after track of good song, each containing their own special flow, making this one of my favorite albums.
33. Modest Mouse- We were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank
Modest Mouse does not fail when putting out a disc of songs they’ve made. They just do not. And in this case, they do more than just not fail, they excel quite tremendously. On first listen, I wanted to take time, listen to each song one by one over and over again. I successfully did this with about 5, then I just needed more, because the 5 I listened to were unbelievable. I enjoyed listening to ”Fire It Up” so much on repeat that I listened to that one for about 4 days straight, listening to that one only. ”Spitting Venom” was like a symphony of indie rock, just parading through different twists and turns and kicking ass as doing this wonderfully. My favorite Modest Mouse release because It captures all the bands’ elements at the perfect moments, and presents the listener with just a buffet of unbelievable muzak.
32. R.E.M.- The Reckoning
This was one of the only albums from the 80s that my parents actually welcomed (into our record player in the living room of my old house). This album collected everything that was R.E.M., bottled it up, and poured it into not only my ears, but my heart and my memory, indulging me with a landmark band of alternative music. Their laid back alternative flow was just so endearing and personal. Personally, this album just struck a good nerve for me, it related to me then, and to this day, the youth of the band, the optimistic look into the future that echoed through every track. Also, the album cover may be one of my favorite of all time, and although that is not an aspect I have spoken of much to this point, it is definitely an important one, it is one that drives the listener to listening to the artist’s disc, and it is one that should summarize the disc’s mentality.
mp3: R.E.M.- Harborcoat
31. Elliott Smith- Either/Or
O Boy. Getting to the Elliott. This is an artist who I have been very into for the past 2 years. I find almost everything he does near flawless, and he is dead, so that makes everything just so much more precious. Either/Or is an excellent Elliott Smith album. It captures the edge of Elliott’s side of darkness and paranoia, but also shows his side of certainty. The sound Elliott captures is different from anything else, it controls the imagery of a personal favorite day dream of mine, the woods (cabins, lakes, being secluded from everything that is decided, all that good stuff), and it is conveyed wonderfully in this album, almost powerfully. Elliott steps up to the plate with this album with knowing exactly what he wants to accomplish, and does that, with flying colors.
30. Big Star- #1 Record
This album is most likely the most influential individual album on indie muzak today…in my opinion. Big Star just put together the hooks that people didn’t expect to hear, the hooks that people weren’t hearing at the time, and strangely enough, people accepted these songs, and oh yeah it was damn good noise too. The name of this album almost literally (if it were completely literal it would be my number 1 record on this list), this album carries a tracklist full of classic songs that will bring you back to times you had experienced or spark dreams of experiences that will be had. BS just captures this sound that is so remarkable and so unique that you almost know within one listen that this is a record that could change someone’s life, a record that is needed in the world of music.
29. Of Montreal- Sunlandic Twins
Basically every Of Montreal album is excellent and great and spectacular and makes you dance, but the edge that Sundlandic Twins has lies in the power of one song, and basically the way that song reflects onto the rest of the album. That song is ”The Parties Crashing Us”. It makes you jump out and instantly become mesmerized by every element of it, and this brings in the attraction that paves the way for appreciation and attention to the outright perfection of the album. I was kind of lying before, it is not only one song that separates this from other OM albums (just in this very moment I realized that ”Requiem for O.M.M.” means Requiem for Of Montreal Member…stellar), this whole album stands out. Power, energy, catchiest damn tunes I’ve heard in a while (all of OM’s are, but I mean, this is just…Oh my, oh my).
28. Death Cab for Cutie- Transatlanticism
I’m kind of sad that this is the only DcfC album I have included in the list, but all the others were swimming at the edge. Anyways, this is a wowee zowee album, not in the Pavement way, but in the way that you say, “Wowee zowee! That album was good, who is this band? Can I rock with them? All the time?” But basically, yeah, something along those lines. Not that comedic though, this album is heart wrenching. It sings of heart break and despair and love and friendship and questions the world and questions everything else in the world while staying to the roots of them being the most quintessential indie band in business right now. Each track is memorable and power filled with sounds that just make you bob your head and make it impossible not to ask who the artist singing the song is. Basically, this band sounds good, and the best through this album- the most experienced, mature, and well put together.
27. Cloud Cult- Advice from the Happy Hippopotamus
I seriously want to yell this band’s name at the top of a mountain with this album playing as the soundtrack so people can understand how talented and (excuse my language, but it’s needed) fuckin’ kickass this album is. The drum beats almost smash you in your face while listening, and each songs go to places where you would completely not expect, but after comprehending the indescribable change, your glad it went there, real glad. And as you continue listening to this album from start to finish, you begin actually hoping that it’ll get worse, because you’re scared of how good each song is, it seems impossible, but this troupe from Minnesota do it. They really outdo any expectations with this as well, which is just so refreshing, they could’ve went with less tracks and done a mediocre album to put them on the map, but they took the risk, went deep and long, with risky movements, and I believe this paid off. For they have made a timeless and epic album of alternative indie rock and roll, all of those.
26. Arcade Fire- Funeral
This is where it all began. With Arcade Fire, our generation is witnessing first hand account a band that will make history as being one of the best. This is their debut. A straight up masterpiece, and nothing less than that. Its pretty obvious why this album succeeds in being widely accepted and enthusiastically welcome, the risky lyrics that stick deep beneath the surface of things, the eerie mumbles of Win Butler, the shouts that accompany in the background, the feeling their sound evokes, this remarkable sensation from knowing exactly what is happening while listening, and being blown away by that feeling. With this being their debut album, they show unforeseen potential, and on the album they show signs of no improvement needed, they could simply make albums like this their entire career and be listed as one of the greatest bands to walk the face of the earth (or beneath).
25. The Grateful Dead- Anthem of the Sun
Since childhood, I have been practically force fed Grateful Dead from my father, and in most cases I will thoroughly enjoy the stuff, but that enjoyment will never really stick and develop into love or need. Key word in that sentence was really, because Anthem of The Sun did stick. I’m not sure what made it stick. IT could be the immaturity that results in what sounds like a very fun time in the recording studio, a very free time, and a very magical and experimental time. That is what the Grateful Dead was about, having fun with trying different things and making an extraordinary final project. Anthem of the Sun captures all the regular Grateful Dead qualities (songs like ”That’s It For the Other One) while mixing it up and just jamming and having great loads of fun (songs like ”Alligator”). I mean even if you are not a big Grateful Dead fan, this album is still surprisingly fun to listen to.
24. Built to Spill- There’s Nothing Wrong With Love
This is purely a great indie rock album of the 90s. I was told about this album from a friend (Courtesy of the Gold Soundz) and I have yet to pay him back rightfully because of how unbelievable this album is. This is just solid indie rock, flawless indie rock. Each song goes over my expectations and surprises me, pleasantly surprises me. From start to finish you just want to listen to this album, you don’t have to really pay attention to much because it’s all right in front of you, laid out simply with all attractive qualities accessible and smack right in your face. BTS over the years has developed into one of the best indie rock bands ever, and were a pioneer for the genre, this album bottles this up better than any other of theirs (even though ”Velvet Waltz” is my favorite Built to Spill song and on my top 10 of all time).
23. Sebadoh- III
Sebadoh got it so right. So right. They jumped into this whole scene, planted a seed for their own type of lo-fi plant, and that plant grew and gave birth to other seeds that created a whole new species of plants. Enough with the metaphor, this album kicks tail. From the song featured in the creepy last scene of Kids, to the just plain old brilliant ”Violet Execution”, this album flows, and there is so much to the album, so many songs that you can just sit back and relax too, but also to think about. Just listening to the emotion that drains from each effort on this album, the listener can’t help but be amazed. The quiet shiver of Barlow’s voice over the scratchy recording creates this warm and fuzzy feeling when you listen, it gives you the goose bumps because you feel like everything’s happening right there with you, everything is about you, everything is surrounding you, and everything is clear. An excellent album, calling it a classic would be granted an understatement.
22. Kings of Leon- Aha Shake Heartbreak
Never have I seen more spunk from a group of Southern rockers, and it mashes with their homeland traits beautifully! The KOL create a very special thing here, a disc that you can tap your feet too, sit confused for hours over the mumbling of Caleb’s vocals, dance to, think to, dream to, all in one effort. Aha Shake Heartbreak really excels in the way that it is a new style of good listen, a new way to enjoy the music, and that is rarely seen these days. If you want to best explempify the experience that is received when listening to this album, take ”Kings of the Rodeo”, from beginning to end it explodes with a pop sensation and clever catchy rhythms. That is how this album is, catchy, addicting, southern, popish, hard rocking, and at times very intellectual (although you don’t expect it). Just a great sounding record in every track and in the soul that screams out for attention.
21. The Clash- London Calling
This is my prime example of an album that is just so unbelievable as a whole (Wait, make that second to most prime example, most prime example is sitting high and mighty in the number 1 spot). This album flows with themes and punk rock pioneering that blows any contemporary attempting this feat out of the water. The sound is so unique that you cannot help to love it, also, the band, being as cool as they were, contributes greatly to the enjoyment. The Clash is a band you can love, with music that backs that feeling. London Calling captures that essence the best, it catches them at their peak, just rocking and rolling through any other bands at the time. Also The Clash were part of that whole Brit Punk thing, which made it even more appealing. But the most appealing of this band has to be the sound. Impeccable punk rock, some new thinkers, and bam, there you have it.
Ok. One more to go. Fun fun for everyone. Always with love…BK