Bat Out of Hell – Meat Loaf, Jim Steinman

What absolute legends Meat Loaf and Jim Steinman are. There is no songwriter in the world who could put together an epic that worms itself into your heart like “Bat Out of Hell”, and there is no singer in the world who could pull it off. Meat Loaf’s heldentenor (“heroic tenor”) vocals are so muchContinue reading “Bat Out of Hell – Meat Loaf, Jim Steinman”

OK Computer – Radiohead

This is the kind of album that it’s easy to get lost in; it’s completely earned its legendary status as a complete must-listen. Sure, it begins with the rough guitars of “Airbag”, but it continues through with sounds that are entirely smooth, alluring like the sirens of legend. The standout track is, of course, “ExitContinue reading “OK Computer – Radiohead”

The Pick of Destiny – Tenacious D

This is a weird album. It’s the soundtrack to a movie that I’ve only seen clips of. Just listen to the first song, “Kickapoo”, a theatrical overture featuring vocals from both Meat Loaf and Dio with Phrygian mode mixture and The Who-style riffing, and you’ll be hooked on this band. You’re going to have toContinue reading “The Pick of Destiny – Tenacious D”

Patience – Mannequin Pussy

This album is a personal favorite. I actually only discovered this band because I know one of the band members’ mom, but I fell in love with them the moment I heard “Drunk II”, and I bought tickets to a completely different show just to see them open. This band’s guitar work is beautiful andContinue reading “Patience – Mannequin Pussy”

The End is not the End – House of Heroes

I cannot praise this album enough, as it contains too much depth and joy to address fully here; just go listen to it. My personal favorite of the album is “Baby’s a Red”, their joyful, silly anthem about dating a communist under McCarthyism, with its bouncy shout-filled chorus and Beatles-esque solo, but you may wantContinue reading “The End is not the End – House of Heroes”

“Awaken, My Love!” – Childish Gambino

My personal favorite funk album, “Awaken, My Love!”, was a total departure from Childish Gambino’s other work; the cerebral cinematic rap of because the internet and the hard-hitting bars of Camp don’t really set the stage for this album, and Gambino’s work hasn’t since stuck to these magical retro synth sounds, layered melodies, or broken-upContinue reading ““Awaken, My Love!” – Childish Gambino”

The Devil – Blue Stahli

My buddy Mike introduced me to this electronic metal album when we were in high school, and it is just bop after bop. It’s a little bit poppier than Blue Stahli’s self-titled album, with more immediately satisfying harmonies and more energetic, anthemic hooks, but that’s not a bad thing here. The electronic instruments feel aliveContinue reading “The Devil – Blue Stahli”

Jaime – Brittany Howard

This is an album of constant innovation, a prog rock slamdown full of otherworldly harmony and perfectly calibrated rhythms. From the constantly interesting guitar grooves of “History Repeats” to the cinematic zoom-out of “Run To Me”, this album is perpetually confusing and always pleasing to the ear. Playing jagged harmonies with gentle synths, sweet guitarContinue reading “Jaime – Brittany Howard”

Appetite for Destruction – Guns N’ Roses

The members of Guns N’ Roses have an intuitive understanding of music that has never had an equal. Just listen to “Mr. Brownstone”- clearly, there’s some kind of tonality to the opening riff, but it’s not anything I recognize, or anything I can parse through. The swing rhythm of that song focuses hard on theContinue reading “Appetite for Destruction – Guns N’ Roses”

‘Cuz I Love You (Super Deluxe) – Lizzo

Lizzo’s second album is incredible. That was never up for debate. It’s some of the best modern pop you’ll ever hear, immediately calling listeners to attention with the beautiful grooves and vocal harmonies of “Like a Girl”, but, from “Crybaby” on, the album takes a sharp left turn and goes full Prince (but better). IContinue reading “‘Cuz I Love You (Super Deluxe) – Lizzo”