Tokyo Jihen introduced me to Ned Doheny with a blistering cover of “Give It Up for Love”. Doheny’s original is far mellower but epitomizes his blue-eyed soul. This album wasn’t a success at the time, but the collector’s market all but demanded a reissue.
Soundtrack, Schoolhouse Rock: Grammar Rock
When I was a kid, I dug the Schoolhouse Rock shorts between cartoons because they were catchy. As an adult, I find the Schoolhouse Rock songs rather sophisticated. Strip the didacticism from the songs, and you get pop music every bit as durable as anything in the American songbook.
PJ Harvey, 4-Track Demos
I have a TASCAM four-track recorder from 1991 that still works, but I’ve never really perceived it as a very robust tool. Then I heard this album, and I wonder if I can push it’s capabilities. I’m nowhere near the performer of Polly Jean, though.
Mr. Bungle, The Raging Wrath of the Easter Bunny Demo
My interest in Mr. Bungle pretty much started and ended with the self-titled debut, although I did own California for a brief time. But I couldn’t pass up hearing the band’s earliest work re-recorded with Slayer’s Dave Lombardo and Anthrax’s Scott Ian.
Propellerheads was one and done, but Decksandrumsandrockandroll was good enough to garner a Mercury Prize nomination. My introduction to the band happened in a gay bar in Chicago.
I don’t really care for the album cover, but it doesn’t take away from the music.
Camouflage, Methods of Silence
For some reason, I had it in my head that this album was boring compared to Voices and Images, but I was mistaken.
SARS-CoV2. Silicon Valley companies would give their left tits to emulate the kind of disruption you’ve wrought.
The spring release schedule was slowly coming together when the virus shredded the calendar. Dates have always been subject to change, albeit never with this level of uncertainty.
Mandy Barnett, A Nashville Songbook , Aug. 21
Barnett has a wonderful voice that often has served unspectacular music, so the things that would sink this album are uninspired arrangements. A single of “It’s Now or Never” bodes none too well.
Johnny Hates Jazz, Wide Awake, Aug. 21
Magnetized was a favorite in 2013, so I’m looking forward to this long-awaited follow-up.
Prince, Sign O the Times (Deluxe Edition), Sept. 25
I’m actually going to settle for the remastered regular edition. I’m still waiting for any news on the Love Symbol album.
Jónsi, Shiver, Oct. 2
Does Sigur Rós even record albums any more? I know they’ve released collaborative projects, but what about a boring, traditional album with at least 10 tracks and a total running time around 40 minutes? No? I guess a Jónsi solo album it is.
The Replacements, Pleased to Meet Me (Deluxe Edition), Oct. 25
I might check this one out, but I’m totally dropping cash on deluxe editions for Tim and Let It Be.
Kylie Minogue, DISCO, Nov. 6
Intriguing though the idea of Kylie in Nashville may have been, I couldn’t actually bring myself to get Golden. In fact, I’ve passed over the last two albums. I’m hoping DISCO is not the third.
Guided by Voices, Alien Lanes (25th Anniversary), Aug. 21
I had this album on CD, but I didn’t keep it. Then I downloaded it from eMusic. Why am I interested in this vinyl edition?
PJ Harvey, Rid of Me, Aug. 21
I nearly bought a bootleg version of this album on vinyl.
I bought this album back in high school, before I had any inkling of how to listen to jazz. I didn’t understand it and sold it for cash. Now that I’ve had rudimentary schooling in jazz, I picked it up again at the library book sale. I get it now.
Johnny Cash, American Recordings
I remember the accolades heaped upon this album at the time of its release, but I hadn’t gotten into country music yet. So I had no interest in Johnny Cash. Now that I know more about his life and music, I see what all the fuss was about.
This album was listed in the book 1,000 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die. I found a copy of it at the thrift store. I liked it enough.
PJ Harvey, Rid of Me
To Bring You My Love gets the highest praise among PJ Harvey’s albums, but I couldn’t get into it. I much prefer Rid of Me.
Pop Will Eat Itself, This Is the Day … This Is the Hour … This Is This!
This album got good reviews in all the magazines I read as a teenager, but I hesitated on getting it. I would eventually find a ratty vinyl copy selling for cheap decades later. Teenaged self should have been the one to take that plunge.
Sly and the Family Stone, Stand!
Too many tracks on this album have been licensed to sell products, but somehow, that doesn’t seem to diminish them. Or maybe we’re just more chill about music licensing these days.
Tom Tom Club, Tom Tom Club
I totally forgot that “Wordy Rappinghood” was a Tom Tom Club track. I dug that track so much as a kid, I annoyed everyone around me by singing it.
Weezer, Weezer (Teal Album)
The meticulousness this covers album takes in reproducing the originals is ridiculous and admirable.
A decade ago, I wrote a series of entries ranking my favorite albums from 1985 to 2004. My collection has expanded greatly since then, particularly in the last five years. So I wanted to see what has changed in 10 years.
I’m flabbergasted by the idea that, as of this writing, the year 2000 is nearly 20 years ago. As much as I lionize the music I heard in high school, the music of my late 20s has been incredibly influential, perhaps professionally as well as personally. Thus, we don’t see much change from the original list.
Shiina Ringo, Shouso Strip
NUMBER GIRL, SAPPUKEI
eX-Girl, Big When Far, Small When Close
Sleater-Kinney, All Hands on the Bad One
Idlewild, 100 Broken Windows
FEED, Make Every Stardust Shimmer!
Tomosaka Rie, “Shoujo Robot”
Sade, Lovers Rock
Other favorites from the year:
Do As Infinity, Break of Dawn
Yaida Hitomi, daiya-monde
PJ Harvey, Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea
OBLIVION DUST, Butterfly Head
At the Drive-In, Relationship of Command
Bonnie Pink, Let Go
MISSILE GIRL SCOOT, Fiesta!
Smashing Pumpkins, MACHINA/The Machine of God
m-flo, Planet Shining
Juanes, Fíate Bien
Emmylou Harris, Red Dirt Girl
U2, All That You Can’t Leave Behind
La Ley, Uno
Sinéad O’Connor, Faith and Courage
Soundtrack, High Fidelity
BBMak, Sooner or Later
At the time of its release, I was just glad All That You Can’t Leave Behind was not a continuation of Pop. The recent vinyl reissue of the album, unfortunately, reveals its shortcomings. Thus, it loses its original ranking in the Favorite 10.
Plot twist: I panned 2004’s How to Build an Atomic Bomb, but that album has endured far better than All That You Can’t Leave Behind. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Idlewild’s 1000 Broken Windows takes the spot vacated by U2.
Do As Infinity probably could have held onto its place in the Favorite 10 on the strength of “Raven” alone. At the time, most J-Pop I had encountered relied heavily on keyboards and drum machines, so a karaoke-ready band with crunchy guitars felt novel to me.
I can’t say I love Break of Dawn as much now. It’s rare that singles displace albums for the Favorite 10, but all three tracks on “Shoujo Robot” hint at an awesome album I wish Shiina Ringo and Tomosaka Rie recorded.
The extended list is really just all the titles that could have legitimately competed for that bottom spot on the Favorite 10.