As noted above, you can’t really talk about Moz or Smiths without dealing with the singles. This is why I have Bona Drag as number 1. It feels like an album and it is amazing. I also have to say I can’t talk about Your Arsenal without mentioning Glamorous Glue and Tomorrow, two of his best. Oh Mozzer.
They are just great and I think every single one of their albums has a lot of value (I haven’t heard the Nilsson one). This is a bummer, but if they are all working on music, good for them.
I think that a lot of the feelings abut Sgt. Peppers is maybe that it is overplayed, or maybe the hype really was kind of solidified with the 1987 Rolling Stone list of best albums of the “last 20 years” and all the anniversaries of the “Summer of Love” and what not. Contrarianism pushes it down the list, but it really is excellent, but Revolver is amazing without the concept. I know that the “Sgt. Peppers” concept didn’t really run through the entire album, but it always kind of felt like that- each song always felt like a short story in a book of short stories, where Revolver feels like the Beatles being the Beatles, but totally optimized and perfect in almost every song.
I don’t mind most of this list, I would just say my Top 3 are:
2. Sgt. Peppers
3. Abbey Road
I love but don’t love the White Album, so maybe it is 4 or 5? I definitely think Revolver is the best, but I always used to just assume it was Sgt. Peppers. Revolver really just convinced me that it was the best over the last five years.
I remember liking it but being disappointed (it is actually excellent). I was so in love with Oh, Inverted World, it took me years to pivot, and I think it is still my third favorite Shins album. Weirdly, I loved Wincing the Night Away immediately, and Chutes Too Narrow is really nicely transitional between that and Oh Inverted World.
I’ve always liked this one best. Ten staled on me because the guys in the dorm hall upstairs played it non-stop. I’d always wondered why PJ blew up but I had a what I thought was a secret crush on Gish instead. I really did not predict Pumpkins were going to blow through the roof with Siamese Dream shortly thereafter.
Elderly Woman Behind the Counter in a Small Town. Phenomenal.
Uh, he said you are their new bassist. Oh crap, Michael N is in for 20 years of hazing.
Hey Doug- I was just noting that this is one of the few lists that probably came across as what would have been voted if everyone voted and we tallied them up. That is just rare for this feature- really rare. Nothing on you. Your personal choices kind of match what I think most people would go for- that is totally cool. We all love Stereogum! Sometimes the lists are very iconoclastic, and sometimes a lot of editorial voices here are pop is OK and different is OK. Just was making a note that this particular piece was like Orthodoxy whereas sometimes others are less so- and metal fans are very sensitive to How Metal Should Be (and I know why they are like that- it was just a scene and it had a pantheon. I think Metallica probably made it pretty easy to go with the favorites. Their speed/thrash albums are by far the best, most interesting, and engaging. They did it amazingly well where even people not really into 8 minute metal epics would kind of appreciate it. You might even make a case that Metallica kind of added a little bit of I don’t know, proto math to their prog/thrash. Compare a Metallica epic to a Maiden epic. Both are very technical, but Metallica comes across as less wanky and more crushing yet still a melodic machine, and somehow the lyrics almost seemed cool back when Hetfield wasn’t growling.
when Neko goes “my ever-loosening grip”- I lose it.
Ha, that is the only three star song on that album for me- I skip it just to anger my friend who loves it. They also have played it in concert a lot and I am all nooooooooooooooo. ;)
This is the safest possible order for Metallica, and probably the consensus order for these records. Load is not the Metallica that anyone would want from them, but calling a relatively finely crafted song like “Hero of the Day” insincere country rock is kind of off kilter. I think this just comes across as a rope-a-dope for the S-Gum crowd. Constant refrain of the charms of Taylor Swift and K-Pop all over the ‘Gum, and then complete Orthodoxy for the Metallica list. St. Anger I think is their worst, and I would probably agree with the idea that Load was better than Death Magnetic. Death Magnetic is bland and by the numbers, Load they tried to do something different but I think they still were invested, even if it was a calculated play. The first three albums were just completely effortless, and s/t was monolithic- it is slow- but is still completely Metallica- though it was more slick than fast, and heavy in its own way, and yet it doesn’t sound like Def Leppard. This was them in the mainstream without becoming unmoored. Load was them in the mainstream but unmoored. St. Anger was them unhinged, but the drums make it unlistenable, and it isn’t technical, it is just grating. Death Magnetic is them floundering, and the fact that they would allow it out sounding like that suggests that might not care in the same way.
I feel like Jackie Dressed In Cobras is the most fun Bejar song, but they miss a lot of his other ones on this list (I would go with Cobras and “Testament to Youth in Verse”)
I need to add probably “Star Bodies” and “The New Face of Zero and One” for consideration, but seriously, Miss Teen Wordpower is so good.
Nobody knows the wreck of the soul the way you do.
Twin Cinema is unbelievably stacked. Their previous albums to that were ultra strong and yet they still built up to that pinnacle, and since then they’ve fallen off, which is weird because they could do no wrong on the first three. Challengers seems like a missed opportunity and I really feel like it is the direction Carl was going. Some good songs but some misfires. Together just seems flat even though it is more “New Pornographers-y” than Challengers.
1. Letter From an Occupant
Top 10 missing tracks:
1. Testament to Youth In Verse [should have replaced Myriad Harbor]
2. Bleeding Heart Show
3. Miss Teen Wordpower
4. Spirit of Giving [second alternate for replacing Myriad Harbor]
5. Bones of an Idol [boot the good "Sing Me Spanish Techno" replace with the excellent "Bones of an Idol" or "Falling Through Your Clothes"]
6. From Blown Speakers
7. My Slow Descent into Alcoholism
A bunch more that I will have to get back to. My computer was so upset about this list that itunes crashed and is mad, and the internet is slow with defiance.
Nowhere Near is just unbelievably gorgeous.
Your Lips are Red and Marrow are my two faves- but they are a certain style. The live version of “Your Lips…” she did for the DUMBO series is just so killer.
(A) Silver Gymnasium is phenomenal. “Walking Without Frankie” and “Down Down the Deep River” and “Lido Pier Suicide Car” and I am sure the rest will keep growing.
(B) I don’t see how “The Stand Ins” is half-baked at all. “Singer Songwriter” is so over the top in its amazing wordplay, and is a masterclass of lyrical play, and “On Tour With Zykos” and “Calling and Not Calling My Ex” are very affecting. I think it is a great sequel to “The Stage Names”.
(C) I do love “The Stage Names” and “Black Sheep Boy”- these guys are really really good.
I just had to go watch “U Got the Look” for something that befits Prince and the word electric. “I stand corrected” says world.
I WANT IT THAT WAY.
Sorry, down voters. I didn’t mean to leave off the following options:
C) they are all crap
D) LARGER THAN LIFE!
Tom be trollin. The entire teen pop era? You mean better than Genie in a Bottle, or Hit Me Baby (One More Time), or Oops I did it again? Or do you mean that wave of just boy bands? Better than Bye Bye Bye or Backstreets Back? What are the criteria here? What is the evidence of universal acclaim? Indisputably? In the Mirror Universe? Where everyone has goatees? What planet is this?
Do people actually remember how cheesy “One More Time” sounded when it came out, and the anime video of ultra cheese? Or do they just remember how awesome it was? The French do sincere where everyone else would do ironic. These are French robots. We can’t understand them. I do think their meticulousness gets them a lot of credit as tastemakers. It says a lot about the current staleness in pop music that there seems to be a desire for a universally enjoyed but still tasteful pop godzilla that everyone can love without guilt or shame of judgement.