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Editor Picks 53: Ultimate Albums by alexandrakish
November 12, 2008, 5:08 am
Filed under: Editor Picks | Tags: , , ,

Since I haven’t gotten my hands on a lot of new music lately, I’ve decided to describe my favorite albums OF ALL TIME.  These ones will forever be on the most-played list on my iTunes.


1. Saves The Day–Stay What You Are

I received this album from an ex-boyfriend when I was in ninth grade, it pretty much changed my musical outlook. Back then, my favorite bands were Taking Back Sunday and Brand New.  But the opening track on “Stay What You Are,” when lead singer’s Chris Conley high, nasal vocals were soon replaced with a poppy, guitar driven riffs that just fucking HOOKS YOU–I fell in love.  Although the first track is definitely the best on the album, the rest of it never lets down.  Tracks like “Cars and Calories,” “Jukebox Breakdown” and “Freakish”–the eeriest track on the album–keep you listening all the way through.  The best part about this album is its total incongruence between the music and lyrics.  Conley pairs really dark subjects–like a girl losing her soul when she moves to L.A. in “Cars and Calories” or when he sings about crucifying his girl on “As Your Ghost Takes Flight”–with light, poppy tracks that give the album a dark, sarcastic tone.

After listening to this, I started getting into other whiny boy indie bands, like Death Cab, Dashboard and Belle and Sebastian.  And even though “In Reverie” made me wanna throw up, I still always love this band, forevs.

2. Radiohead–Amnesiac

Although my roommate and I will always fight over our favorite Radiohead albums (she still thinks “Kid A” is number one) I definitely think this one is a one of the most overlooked releases from the band.  Unlike “The Bends” or “Kid A,” Radiohead chill themselves out on this record, and use more minimalist electronic mixing, piano and horn samples to make an overall relaxing and beautiful album.  Tracks like “Pyramid Song”–which I totally remember Beck playing during Bonnaroo in 2006 before announcing he was TOTALLY stoked to see Radiohead–and “You and Whose Army?”  showcase more of Thom Yorke’s amazing vocal range than the band’s arrangement.  Yet, “Knives Out,” which features one of the most beautiful guitar lines in music, remind Radiohead fans that Johnny Greenwood is the mother-fucking MAN.  But my favorite track is definitely the last one, “Life in a Glass House,” in which the eeriest, minor trumpet solo compliments Yorke’s low, breathy vocals, making one of the most moving songs I’ve ever heard.  Granted, Yorke is talking about starving people and the lynching on the track, but the tracks’ dark jazz vibe is enough to make you cry.  I know I do when I’m alone in my car listening to this song.


3. The Beatles–Rubber Soul

You know that album your mom always played in the car when you were in a kid?  Well, this was this album for me.  And even though I appreciate “The White Album” and “Sgt. Pepper” a lot more now that I’m older, I’ll never forget the pop perfection of songs like “In My Life,” “Girl, “I’m Looking Through You,” and “Nowhere Man.”  Granted, this album is definitely a transition album–The Beatles weren’t tripping yet but defintely doing something (smoking the reefer, I believe)–and it’s not as edgy as their future albums, but it marks The Beatles transition to music gods.  Gotta love it.

– Alex Kish, Reviews Editor

1 Comment

Saves the Day and Taking Back Sunday were MY favorite high school bands too! [Along with Dashboard Confessional and The Get Up Kids, of course]. I’m glad you mentioned them, but what about the pure angst of Through Being Cool?

Comment by Alison Baitz

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