Here we are again. This week we continue with my dream project of revisiting old columns and remixing them. Rather than last week’s more exploratory remixing, this week it’s pretty much straightforward.
Three years ago I lamented the passing of a time when people actually listened to the entire album as opposed to just selected cuts. I also offered up some Hip Hop albums that could be listened to from beginning to end without skipping any tracks (here’s the column enter at your own risk.).
This time around I’ve decided to offer up some non Hip Hop albums that I find myself going back to time and time again. These are albums that I’ll put on that can soothe me to sleep. These are albums that I’ll put on when I shave my head or mop the floor. These are ten albums that I can put on and know that there’s nary a track to be skipped.
The Avalances – Since I Left You
I’m a sucker for clever and creative sample and this album is a pastiche of samples and possibly one of the best documents for showcasing the art of sampling. This is one of those rare albums that’s running time is over an hour, yet it leaves you wanting more.
The music fills the air with buoyant fun, it’s really hard to accept the album is over and let go of that feeling. And it just occurred to me that this album would make a pretty good soundtrack for a shag.
Badly Drawn Boy – The Hour of Bewilderbeast
I’m on record with my love for Badly Drawn Boy’s full-length debut. It’s tracks range from quirky to poignant to haunting and not every song feature lyrics. But every track attracts the ear and draws the listener in. Badly Drawn Boy crafted an airtight debut that leaves an impression that lasts long after the last track is done.
Beck – Midnite Vultures
Not everyone digs this album, but I’ve got some good memories to this one. Jason and I used to just chill out to this album and bug out listening to Beck’s lyrics. Sure I’ve got favorites, but it’s not like I skip over any tracks. It’s pretty simple; Beck + Electrofunk = A great album.
Doves – Lost Souls
This is one of those “rainy day” (or now that I live in Las Vegas “lazy day”) albums. It’s mellow and kind dark, but it’s a “dope chill” out album. It’s a cool album to read or play video games to. I’ve even had it on while writing. It’s got sweeping guitars and haunting lyrics of lament. You put this album on and your head will nod as you enter a zone. This is a stellar debut.
Portishead – Dummy
Yet another “rainy day” album it’s dark and moody and I wouldn’t have it any other way. This is the soundtrack to an overcast summer day. Yes, Sour Times was played out years ago, but don’t skip over it; hearing it now you notice everything your younger ears missed then. Listening to this album, you can almost forgive the failed experiment that was Rap/Rock, because this genre bender was so successful.
Queens of the Stone Age – R
I’m not really a “rock” dude. It doesn’t strike the right cords with me, but this album is what I put on when I’m in the mood to rock out. It’s got enough testosterone to satisfy my rock craving, yet it’s melodic enough to be enjoyable. And the lyrical hedonism provides just the right amount of escapism. This is the album that I listen to on the few occasions that I wish I wasn’t myself.
Radiohead – The Bends
I know, I know;; everyone (especially critics and music writers) proclaims Ok Computer to be the greatest Radiohead album ever. But I prefer The Bends. I dig the emotional quality; this is a much more passionate album. I also dig the variety of songs. As a fan, I’m going to say that every Radiohead album is skip-proof, but this is my favorite Radiohead album.
Elliot Smith – Elliot Smith
Sometimes I’m just in the mood for quiet low-key album and I put this on. Elliot Smith’s lyrics are so powerful that they make one consider the life of a junkie. His voice is filled with such strained emotion, you can’t help but relate. Every song is mournful, yet beautiful. This is an album that I like to have on in the background on the days I don’t want to get out of bed.
Unkle – Psyence Fiction
I dig collaborations. This album is full of stand out tracks that flow seamlessly together. The beats are as mesmerizing as they are melodic. And the vocalists never disappoint as they perfectly match DJ Shadow’s beats. This is one of those experiments that sounds cool on paper and better in reality.
Weezer – “The Blue Album”
I’ve always loved this album, though it sounds much better now, especially considering how much Weezer currently sucks. This is yet another classic debut that’s completely free of filler. I can’t say anything about this album that hasn’t been said before. If you haven’t heard this album by now, nothing I’m going to say is going to change your mind.
And there you have, these are albums that I know I can fall back on. I know that I can put them in and relax knowing that I’m guaranteed a great listening experience without having to skip any songs.
DRAMATIS PERSONAE (Borrowed Edition)
Tom covers Rob Zombie.
Jeff had bad news, but he’s also got good news.
Gloomchen has a holiday that I think everyone can get behind.
Ian has some of this year’s best albums as well as some Doves news!
Phil digs Xtina and gives props to Alex Toth.
Five Artists Who I Really Wish Would Drop Sophomore Albums
1. Cody ChesnuTT