The Dark Side of the Moon – Pink Floyd

I almost didn’t include this essential album because it’s very well known, but I feel like it needs to be included. Let me reiterate one of the central ideas of this little blog: the album is a good and important form within music, and there is something unique you can get from sitting down, focusing,Continue reading “The Dark Side of the Moon – Pink Floyd”

Spider-Man: Rock Reflections of a Superhero – Various Artists

This is certainly an odd recommendation, not just because of what this album is, but because not all of the album is good. While it’s got some fantastic tracks I’ll take with me, some of the album is baffling! I laughed out loud listening to “Gwendolyn”, which opens with a piano playing the tonic chordContinue reading “Spider-Man: Rock Reflections of a Superhero – Various Artists”

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”