Find Me On:
I know Shearwater is liked and respected, but I feel like they should be HUGE. Rook was an absolute monster album, flawless front to back, Animal Joy was nearly as good (Golden Archipelago a nice palette cleanser at the very least), and these covers are all nice pieces. I don’t know, maybe their style isn’t en vogue these days or something. Either way, I’d put these guys up with just about any other band recording right now.
1. The Amazing – Gentle Stream
2. Mount Moriah – Miracle Temple
3. Vampire Weekend – Vampires of the City
4. Laura Mvula – Sing to the Moon
5. Rhye – Woman
6. Medicine – To The Happy Few
7. Eleanor Friedberger – Personal Record
8. Daft Punk – Random Access Memories
9. These New Puritans – Field of Reeds
10. Whetever. I don’t even like music.
Tennessee Williams’ “The Glass Menagerie,” as performed by music blog commenters arguing over their Best Albums of The Year list.
Oh, and lastly (not like anybody is even reading this), despite all that, I do think “Cherub Rock” is their best single song.
Also, I feel like Mellon Collie is almost entirely devoid of influence. It is 100% a Smashing Pumpkins album, and sounds like nothing other than Mellon Collie & the Infinite Sadness. Siamese Dream (and Gish), while still quite ‘unique’ sounding, still has a whiff of some of its contemporaries like Hum or Dinosaur Jr or Slint or My Bloody Valentine or Jawbreaker, whatever. Mellon Collie to me was SP melding completely into their own, which really only lasted for one glorious double album.
I know it’s an unpopular opinion (although seeing other people say it here makes me think otherwise), but I think Mellon Collie is heads and shoulders better than Siamese Dream. Better songs, richer production, more variation, heavier, lighter, more aggressive, more melodic. More everything. And my god, it’s one of the only double albums of its era that actually WORKS, front to back. I like Siamese Dream, but if I could only have one SP album for the rest of my life, I’d choose Mellon Collie without a second thought.
I’ll add also that the Black Album, and its critical reception in serious music circles, reminds me of Dark Side of the Moon in a way. It’s a slickly produced, gargantuan mega-hit that happened well after the band’s creative genesis and appeals to the throngs of of ‘unfavorables’ (i.e. frat boys douche bags) that make the ‘real’ fans feel a little alienated. So it gets cast aside a little in favor of the earlier ‘real’ records (in this case, Ride the Lightning or Kill ‘Em All, on in Floyd’s case, Piper or Meddle), when in fact, if you really just sit and listen to it, it’s a practically flawless and hugely satisfying piece of work. Really, it’s an unbelievable feat that either band was able to come from where they came from and eventually created these huge, universally beloved records. We shouldn’t be so fast to criticize them for it. Still:
5. Kill ‘Em All
6. Load (see comment above)
7. HUGE GAP
8. Death Magnetic
9. St. Anger
I’ve given up being ashamed of this a long time ago: I think Load is a very good album, and probably the most unfairly maligned records I’ve ever heard. I’m not saying it’s their best or anything, but it’s totally solid; it’s just saddled with all the BS baggage that people brought to it. ReLoad, however, is junk.
The thing with the Bleeding Heart Show, when you really listen to it under scrutiny and judge it based on the merits of pure pop songwriting, is that it’s a little disconnected and clunky. Yes, it’s emotionally stirring, it’s anthemic, it has some goosebump-inducing harmonies and some kick ass drumming, but solely as a song, it leaves a bit to be desired in a way that many, many other Pornographers (and AC Newman solo) songs don’t. So I can understand how it might not make somebody’s list. That said, it’s at least in my top 5.
I LOVE Midlake’s “Occupanther” album. I like the Courage of Others alright. That said, I feel like if your lead singer and main songwriter leaves the band, you maybe shouldn’t try to continue as ‘that band’ anymore (unless you’re Pink Floyd). What I’ve heard from this new album isn’t bad, but it seems like an uncomfortable lie.
Ugh. Sorry to go all crabbypants there. As you were.
Stereogum’s 38 Bands Nobody Will Give a Damn About 5 Years From Now, and 2 That Might Maybe Actually Pan Out.
Yeah, wait a second… “Rightfully met with sideways glances”??? Ouch!
Also, since it’s received no love on this thread yet…. “Valerie Plame”! Holy cow, what a song. Sort of a knock off of “16 Military Wives,” but better, IMHO.
Snark aside, I just have to mention that, having been a fan since their Hush Records days (at least the original release of Castaways and Cutouts), I think the best single song they’ve put together is “Grace Cathedral Hill.” A lot of their more drama-school moments can get in the way of seeing how good of a songwriter Meloy can be on the most basic level, and “Grace Cathedral HIll” is simplicity at its best. Clearly whoever put this list together prefers their more ‘epic’ side, and that’s fine, but in the end, I get way more out of their 2-3 minute pop songs than I do from their big adventure tales.
Getting this list right is an impossible task. And this one is impossibly wrong.
Agree with the comment above… ranking Oldham is an impossible task. No one will get it right (other than the fact that, yes, I See A Darkness is the best). However… Master And Everyone is absolutely better than 14. It’s my #2 behind Darkness, actually. I get how it’s not as dark or desperate as his other stuff, but I think song-wise it’s really, really strong. But, yeah, 100 different people will come up with 100 different lists with Oldham.
Either way, there’s no question that there’s a MMJ phase 1 and phase 2. I can’t empathize with the experience of anyone who jumped on board during the second phase… seems foreign to me. To be honest, you could scrap their whole catalogue, give me a couple hours of “Bermuda Highway” on repeat and I’d be happy.
I was going to argue that At Dawn ought to be #1, but when I really scrutinize it, there’s a lottttt of filler on there. It has their highest peaks, but also drags. So in stead I’ll go ahead and argue that It Still Moves should be #1. Everything after Z (which is fine) is a mess.
Stream Low, Sweet Chariot.
I hate to say it, because I love everything about the Fiery Furnaces (Blueberry Boat is an all-time classic as far as I’m concerned), but I think this tune and the entire “Last Summer” is heads and shoulders better than the last 2 or 3 Furnaces records.
Maybe he can convince her to record Newsom Sings Nilsson Sings Newman. http://www.facebook.com/pages/Newsom-Sings-Nilsson-Sings-Newman/220237878018078
I have to say, it’s a testament to the near Beatles-esque quality and consistency of Outkast’s catalogue that there is SO MUCH disagreement among the commenting horde here. They just have so many songs that appeal to so many people for so many different reasons, it’s incredible. Like, how many other artists could put out a song like “SpottieOttieDopalicious”, and then a song like “Hey Ya”, and have people argue with equal passion for both?
Sasha Thumper would not approve.
Well, here I am complaining about an online list in the comment section. But I can’t let this go without comment: The Soft Bulletin. It’s #1. There is no argument. It’s not even close (and I LOVE Clouds Taste Metallic, if that says anything). Anyhow, congratulations, you received my clicks and ad revenue.