January 28th, 2007


My start-to-finish all-time favorite albums

I bought The Shins' new album, Wincing the Night Away, last week and I haven't been able to stop listening to it. It got me thinking about the other albums that I can listen to over and over again, all the way through, and never get tired of them. Here are ten, in no particular order.

This Year's Model, Elvis Costello
Every song on this album is great. Not just good, but great. It has all the power and energy of My Aim is True but has a more mature sound. Hand in Hand, Lip Service, and Lipstick Vogue are the strongest tracks but there are absolutely no weak points here.

OK Computer, Radiohead
For my money, the greatest rock album ever. Listening to it is like watching Citizen Kane. It hits all the perfect notes with Let Down, Electioneering and No Surprises and ends amazingly with The Tourist.

Gordon, Barenaked Ladies
Energetic and quirky, Gordon is a lot of fun. This album has many well-crafted pop songs like Hello City, Enid, Grade 9, Brian Wilson and Be My Yoko Ono, but the best thing about it are the clever inside jokes like when they play a bit of Rush's Tom Sawyer in Grade 9.

The Queen is Dead, The Smiths
The Smiths' most brilliant and consistent album. With such songs like Cemetry Gates, Bigmouth Strikes Again, There Is a Light That Never Goes Out, this is Morrissey at his best.

Odelay, Beck
Eclectic and inventive. I especially like Novacane, Ramshackle and Where It's At.

Ben Folds Five, Ben Folds Five
This album is so refreshingly unpretentious. Philosophy, Where's Summer B.? and The Last Polka are my personal favorites.

Extraordinary Marchine, Fiona Apple
Fiona Apple always struck me as someone who takes herself too seriously, but then I saw the video for Not About Love where Zach Galifianakis dramatically mouths the words to the song while she looks on. Other great songs here are Better Version of Me and Oh Well.

Fountains of Wayne, Fountains of Wayne
This album has always reminded me of watching Saturday morning cartoons. Fountains of Wayne specialize in writing clever, funny pop songs and this album is chock-a-block with them. Radiation Vibe, Joe Ray, and Survival Car are a few of my favorites.

London Calling, The Clash
It has classics like London Calling, Train in Vain and Lost in the Supermarket but some of the other, less well-known songs like Koka Kola, Wrong 'Em Boyo, and The Card Cheat are what makes this album great.

A Day at the Races, Queen
The couple of weak points on the album (White Man, You Take My Breath Away) are more then made up for by the brilliance of The Millionaire Waltz, Somebody to Love, Good Old-Fashioned Lover Boy and Drowse.