Sunday, March 22, 2015

Index of posts #1-600

A week shy of five years since I started this thing. Crazy.

ALPHABETICAL INDEX
KEY: [A+] / [hr] = highly recommended / [r] = recommended / [c] = caution / [NO] = avoid

(Keep in mind, we're using iTunes alphabetization here. I am well aware that from a cataloging standpoint that's total bullshit, but it keeps me from having to deal with surname ambiguities. I'm a library assistant in real life so I know this is offensive, and all I can tell you is... I like pissing you off.)

STUDIO ALBUMS
10,000 Maniacs: In My Tribe (1987) [c]
10,000 Maniacs: Blind Man's Zoo (1989)
10,000 Maniacs: Our Time in Eden (1992) [c]
13th Floor Elevators: The Psychedelic Sounds Of (1966) [hr]
13th Floor Elevators: Easter Everywhere (1967) [r]
2 Many DJ's: As Heard on Radio Soulwax, Pt. 2 (2002)
3 Mustaphas 3: Soup of the Century (1990) [c]
65daysofstatic: Wild Light (2013)
The 6ths: Wasps' Nest (1995) [hr]
The 6ths: Hyacinths and Thistles (2000) [r]
...And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead: Source Tags & Codes (2002) [c]
A.C. Newman: The Slow Wonder (2004) [r]
A.C. Newman: Get Guilty (2009) [r]
A$AP Rocky: LongLiveA$AP (2013) [r]
Actress: R.I.P. (2012)
Adam Green: Jacket Full of Danger (2006) [r]
Advance Base: A Shut-In's Prayer (2012) [hr]
Aesop Rock: Labor Days (2001) [r]
Against Me!: Transgender Dysphoria Blues (2014) [r]
Air: Moon Safari (1998) [hr]
Al Green Gets Next to You (1971) [hr]
Al Green: Let's Stay Together (1972) [hr]
Al Wilson: Show and Tell (1973)
Alanis Morissette: Jagged Little Pill (1995) [r]
Alexander "Skip" Spence: Oar (1969) [hr]
Alexi Murdoch: Time Without Consequence (2006) [hr]
Ali Farka Touré (1988) [r]
Allo Darlin': We Come from the Same Place (2014) [r]
alt-J: This Is All Yours (2014) [r]
AlunaGeorge: Body Music (2013) [r]
Ambrose Akinmusire: The Imagined Savior Is Far Easier to Paint (2014) [r]
Anal Cunt: I Like It When You Die (1997)
Andrew Bird: Noble Beast (2009) [hr]
Andrew Bird: Break It Yourself (2012) [r]
Andrew Bird: Hands of Glory (2012) [hr]
Andy Statman: Nashville Mornings, New York Nights (1986) [r]
Andy Stott: Luxury Problems (2012)
Andy Stott: Faith in Strangers (2014) [r]
Angel Olsen: Burn Your Fire for No Witness (2014)
Angelique Kidjo: Logozo (1991) [c]
Angelique Kidjo: Eve (2014) [r]
Angie Stone: Black Diamond (1999)
Animal Collective: Sung Tongs (2004)
The Animals: Animalism (1966) [r]
Annie: Anniemal (2004)
Annie Lennox: Diva (1992)
Anouar Brahem: Barzakh (1991) [r]
Antietam: Rope-a-Dope (1994)
The Antlers: Hospice (2009)
The Antlers: Burst Apart (2011) [hr]
The Antlers: Familiars (2014) [r]
Antibalas (2012) [r]
Antony & the Johnsons: I Am a Bird Now (2005)
Any Trouble: Where Are All the Nice Girls? (1980) [c]
Aphex Twin: Selected Ambient Works 85-92 (1992) [hr]
Aphex Twin: Syro (2014) [c]
The Apples in Stereo: Fun Trick Noisemaker (1995) [r]
The Apples in Stereo: New Magnetic Wonder (2007) [r]
AraabMUZIK: Electronic Dream (2011)
Arab Strap: Monday at the Hug & Pint (2003) [c]
Arca: Xen (2014)
Arcade Fire: Funeral (2004) [hr]
Arcade Fire: Neon Bible (2007) [hr]
Arcade Fire: The Suburbs (2010) [hr]
Arcade Fire: Reflektor (2014) [r]
Archers of Loaf: Icky Mettle (1993)
Architecture in Helsinki: In Case We Die (2005)
Arctic Monkeys: Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not (2006) [c]
Aretha Franklin: I Never Loved a Man the Way I Love You (1967) [A+]
Ariel Pink: Worn Copy (2005)
Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti: Before Today (2010) [hr]
Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti: Mature Themes (2012) [NO]
Ariel Pink: pom pom (2014) [NO]
Art Blakey: Moanin' (1958) [hr]
Art Brut: Bang Bang Rock & Roll (2005) [r]
Artful Dodger: It's All About the Stragglers (2000) [r]
Asgeir: In the Silence (2014) [hr]
Atlas Sound: Logos (2009) [r]
Atlas Sound: Parallax (2011) [hr]
The Avett Brothers: I and Love and You (2009) [hr]
The Avett Brothers: The Carpenter (2012)
The Avett Brothers: Magpie and the Dandelion (2013)
Azealia Banks: Broke with Expensive Taste (2014) [hr]
The B-52's (1979) [hr]
The B-52's: Wild Planet (1980) [hr]
Badbadnotgood: III (2014) [r]
Bassekou Kouyate & Ngoni Ba: I Speak Fula (2010) [hr]
Bassekou Kouyate & Ngoni Ba: Jama Ko (2013) [hr]
Bat for Lashes: The Haunted Man (2012)
Baths: Obsidian (2013) [r]
The Bats: Free All the Monsters (2011) [r]
The Beach Boys: Surfin' Safari (1962) [r]
Beach House: Devotion (2008) [r]
Beach House: Bloom (2012) [hr]
Beastie Boys: Hot Sauce Committee Part Two (2011) [r]
The Beatles: Please Please Me (1963) [A+]
The Beatles: With the Beatles (1963) [A+]
The Beatles: A Hard Day's Night (1964) [A+]
Beck: Morning Phase (2014) [c]
Belle & Sebastian: The Life Pursuit (2006) [hr]
Belle & Sebastian: Write About Love (2010) [r]
Ben Frost: Aurora (2014)
Ben Watt: Hendra (2014)
Best Coast: Crazy for You (2010) [r]
Beyoncé (2014) [hr]
Big Boi: Sir Lucious Left Foot- The Son of Chico Dusty (2010) [r]
Big Star: #1 Record (1972) [A+]
Big Star: Radio City (1973) [A+]
Big Star: Third / Sister Lovers (1978) [A+]
Bilal: A Love Surreal (2013)
Bill Callahan: Dream River (2013)
The Bird and the Bee: Ray Guns Are Not Just the Future (2008) [hr]
Björk: Selmasongs (2000) [hr]
Björk: Volta (2007) [r]
Björk: Biophilia (2011) [r]
Black Milk: No Poison No Paradise (2013) [r]
Blank Realm: Grassed Inn (2014) [r]
Blood Orange: Cupid Deluxe (2013) [r]
Blur: Think Tank (2003) [hr]
Boards of Canada: Tomorrow's Harvest (2013)
Bob Dylan: Together Through Life (2009) [r]
Bob Dylan: Tempest (2012) [hr]
Bob Mould: Beauty & Ruin (2014) [r]
Bon Iver (2011)
Bonde do Role: Tropical/Bacanal (2012) [r]
The Both (2014)
Braid: No Coast (2014) [c]
Brian Eno: Here Come the Warm Jets (1974) [hr]
Brian Eno: Lux (2012) [r]
Brian Eno & Karl Hyde: High Life (2014) [r]
Brian Eno & Rick Holland: Drums Between the Bells (2011) [c]
Broken Bells (2010)
Broken Social Scene (2005) [hr]
Buddy Holly: The "Chirping" Crickets (1957) [hr]
Buddy Holly (1958) [hr]
The Bug: Angels & Devils (2014)
The Byrds: Fifth Dimension (1966) [hr]
The C.A. Quintet: Trip Thru Hell (1968) [r]
Cake: Motorcade of Generosity (1994)
Cake: Fashion Nugget (1996) [c]
Cake: Prolonging the Magic (1998)
Cake: Comfort Eagle (2001)
Calexico: The Blacklight (1998)
Camera Obscura: Biggest Bluest Hi-Fi (2001) [r]
Camera Obscura: Underachievers Plaese Try Harder (2003) [hr]
Camera Obscura: Let's Get Out of This Country (2006) [hr]
Camera Obscura: My Maudlin Career (2009) [c]
Camera Obscura: Desire Lines (2013) [r]
Caribou: Our Love (2014) [hr]
Cass McCombs: Wit's End (2011)
Cat Power: The Greatest (2006) [hr]
Cat Power: Sun (2012) [r]
ceo: White Magic (2010) [r]
Charles Bradley: Victim of Love (2013) [r]
Charli XCX: True Romance (2013)
Chatham County Line: IV (2008) [hr]
Chatham County Line: Wildwood (2010) [r]
Chatham County Line: Tightrope (2014)
The Chemical Brothers: Further (2010)
Chromatics: Kill for Love (2012) [r]
Chuck Berry: After School Session (1957) [hr]
Chvrches: The Bones of What You Believe (2013) [r]
Ciara (2013) [hr]
Cities Aviv: Come to Life (2014) [hr]
Clark (2014) [r]
The Clash (1977) [A+]
The Clash: Give 'Em Enough Rope (1978) [r]
clipping.: CLPPNG (2014) [hr]
Cloud Nothings: Attack on Memory (2012) [c]
Collette: When the Music's Loud (2013) [r]
Conor Oberst: Upside Down Mountain (2014) [r]
Crystal Castles (2008)
Crystal Castles (2010) [hr]
Crystal Castles: (III) (2012)
Cults (2011) [hr]
Cults: Static (2013)
Curren$y: Jet Files (2009) [r]
Curren$y: Pilot Talk (2010) [hr]
Curren$y: Pilot Talk II (2010) [r]
Curren$y: Weekend at Burnie's (2011) [r]
Curren$y: Muscle Car Chronicles (2012)
Curren$y: The Stoned Immaculate (2012) [r]
Cut Copy: In Ghost Colours (2008) [r]
Cut Copy: Zonoscope (2011) [hr]
Cut Copy: Free Your Mind (2013) [hr]
Cymbals: The Age of Fracture (2014) [r]
D.L. Byron: This Day and Age (1980)
Daft Punk: Homework (1997) [r]
Daft Punk: Discovery (2000) [r]
Daft Punk: Random Access Memories (2013) [hr]
Damien Jurado: Brothers and Sisters of the Eternal Son (2014) [r]
Damien Rice: My Favorite Faded Fantasy (2014) [c]
Danny Brown: Old (2013) [hr]
Darkside: Psychic (2013)
Das Racist: Relax (2011) [hr]
David Bowie: The Next Day (2013) [hr]
Dawn Richard: Goldenheart (2013) [r]
De La Soul: The Grind Date (2004) [r]
Death Grips: The Money Store (2012) [NO]
The Decemberists: The Hazards of Love (2009)
The Decemberists: The King Is Dead (2011) [hr]
Deerhunter: Microcastle (2008) [r]
Deerhunter: Halcyon Digest (2010) [hr]
Deerhunter: Monomania (2013) [c]
Dent May: Do Things (2012) [r]
Dent May: Warm Blanket (2013)
Depeche Mode: Sounds of the Universe (2009) [r]
Depeche Mode: Delta Machine (2013)
Delorean: Subiza (2010) [r]
Destroyer: Kaputt (2011) [hr]
Devo: Something for Everybody (2010) [NO]
DIIV: Oshin (2012)
Dilated Peoples: Directors of Photography (2014) [r]
Dirty Beaches: Drifters / Love Is the Devil (2013) [NO]
Dirty Projectors: Swing Lo Magellan (2012)
Disclosure: Settle (2013) [r]
DJ Koze: Amygdala (2013)
DJ Quik: The Book of David (2011) [c]
DJ Rashad: Double Cup (2013) [c]
Drake: Take Care (2011) [NO]
Dum Dum Girls: Too True (2014) [r]
East India Youth: Total Strife Forever (2014) [r]
Eels: Tomorrow Morning (2010)
eels: Wonderful, Glorious (2013) [r]
eels: The Cautionary Tales of Mark Oliver Everett (2014) [c]
Elbow: The Take Off and Landing of Everything (2014)
El-P: Cancer 4 Cure (2012)
EMA: Past Life Martyred Saints (2011) [r]
EMA: The Future's Void (2014) [r]
Emeralds: Does It Look Like I'm Here? (2010) [c]
The Essex Green: Cannibal Sea (2006)
The Everly Brothers (1958) [hr]
The Everly Brothers: Songs Our Daddy Taught Us (1958) [hr]
Ex Hex: Rips (2014) [r]
The Extra Lens: Undercard (2010) [r]
The Faint: Blank Wave Arcade (1999)
Fairport Convention (1967)
Faith No More: Angel Dust (1992) [NO]
Faithless: Reverence (1996) [c]
Fang Island (2010)
Fantasia: Side Effects of You (2013) [hr]
Fatboy Slim: Better Living Through Chemistry (1996) [NO]
Feist: The Reminder (2007) [hr]
Feist: Metals (2011)
The Field: Looping State of Mind (2011) [r]
The Field: Cupid's Head (2013) [r]
Fiona Apple: The Idler Wheel... (2012) [hr]
First Aid Kit: Stay Gold (2014) [r]
FKA twigs: LP1 (2014) [NO]
The Flaming Lips: Embryonic (2009) [hr]
The Flaming Lips: The Terror (2013)
The Flaming Lips and Heady Fwends (2012)
Fleet Foxes: Helplessness Blues (2011) [c]
Flying Lotus: Cosmogramma (2010)
Flying Lotus: Until the Quiet Comes (2012)
Flying Lotus: You're Dead! (2014) [hr]
Forest Swords: Engravings (2013) [c]
Four Tet: There Is Love in You (2010) [r]
Four Tet: Beautiful Rewind (2013) [c]
Foxygen: We Are the 21st Century Ambassadors... (2013)
Frank Ocean: Channel Orange (2012) [r]
Frankie Rose: Interstellar (2012)
Fuck Buttons: Slow Focus (2013) [c]
Fucked Up: David Comes to Life (2011)
Fucked Up: Glass Boys (2014)
Future Bible Heroes: Partygoing (2013) [hr]
Future Islands: Singles (2014) [r]
Galaxie 500: Today (1988) [hr]
Galaxie 500: On Fire (1989) [hr]
Galaxie 500: This Is Our Music (1990) [A+]
Gang Gang Dance: Eye Contact (2011) [r]
Gang of Four: Content (2011) [r]
Gerard Way: Hesitant Alien (2014)
Girls: Father, Son, Holy Ghost (2011)
Godspeed You! Black Emperor: 'Allelujah! Don't Bend! Ascend (2012) [NO]
Goldfrapp: Head First (2010)
Goldfrapp: Tales of Us (2013) [r]
Gonjasufi: A Sufi and a Killer (2010)
Gossip: A Joyful Noise (2012) [c]
Great Lake Swimmers: Lost Channels (2009) [hr]
Great Lake Swimmers: New wild Everywhere (2012) [NO]
Grimes: Visions (2012)
Grizzly Bear: Shields (2012)
Grouper: The Man Who Died in His Boat (2013)
Gruff Rhys: American Interior (2014)
Handsome Boy Modeling School: So... How's Your Girl? (1999) [NO]
Haim: Days Are Gone (2013) [r]
Hamilton Leithauser: Black Hours (2014) [r]
The Haxan Cloak: Excavation (2013) [c]
Herbie Hancock: Head Hunters (1973) [hr]
Hercules & Love Affair: The Feast of the Broken Heart (2014) [r]
Hiss Golden Messenger: Lateness of Dancers (2014)
Hookworms: The Hum (2014) [r]
Horse Feathers: Cynic's New Year (2012) [r]
Hospitality: Trouble (2014) [hr]
Hot Chip: Made in the Dark (2008) [hr]
Hot Chip: One Life Stand (2010) [hr]
Hot Chip: In Our Heads (2012) [r]
How to Dress Well: Love Remains (2010) [c]
Hundred Waters: The Moon Rang Like a Bell (2014)
I Break Horses: Chiaroscuro (2014) [r]
Ice Choir: Afar (2012) [r]
Iceage: New Brigade (2011) [r]
Iceage: Plowing into the Field of Love (2014)
Ice-T: O.G. Original Gangster (1991) [r]
Ida Cox & Coleman Hawkins: Blues for Rampart Street (1961) [hr]
Imani Coppola: Chupacabra (2011) [r]
Information Society (1988) [hr]
The International Submarine Band: Safe at Home (1968) [r]
Interpol (2010) [c]
Interpol: El Pintor (2014) [r]
Iron & Wine: The Shepherd's Dog (2007) [hr]
Iron & Wine: Kiss Each Other Clean (2011) [r]
Iron & Wine: Ghost on Ghost (2013) [c]
J Dilla: Donuts (2006) [A+]
James Blake (2011) [r]
James Yorkston: Cellardyke Recording and Wassailing Society (2014) [c]
Jamie Lidell (2013) [r]
Janelle Monae: The Electric Lady (2013) [hr]
Japandroids: Celebration Rock (2012) [NO]
Jay-Z: Magna Carta Holy Grail (2013)
Jay-Z & Kanye West: Watch the Throne (2011) [r]
Jesse Boykins III: Love Apparatus (2014) [r]
Jessie Ware: Devotion (2012) [r]
Joanna Newsom: Ys (2006) [hr]
Joanna Newsom: Have One on Me (2010) [A+]
John Coltrane: Giant Steps (1960) [A+]
John Coltrane: Ballads (1962) [A+]
John Coltrane: A Love Supreme (1964) [A+]
John Maus: We Must Become the Pitiless Censors of Ourselves (2011) [r]
John Talabot: fIN (2012) [r]
Johnny Cash: With His Hot and Blue Guitar (1957) [hr]
Jon Hopkins: Immunity (2013)
Josephine Foster: I'm a Dreamer (2013) [r]
The Joy Formidable: Wolf's Law (2013)
Joyce Manor: Never Hungover Again (2014) [c]
Julia Holter: Ekstasis (2012) [c]
Julian Lynch: Mare (2010) [r]
Julianna Barwick: The Magic Place (2011)
Julianna Barwick: Nepenthe (2013) [c]
The Julie Ruin: Run Fast (2013) [hr]
Justin Timberlake: The 20/20 Experience (2013)
Kaki King: Everybody Loves You (2003) [r]
Kaki King: Legs to Make Us Longer (2004) [hr]
Kanye West: 808s & Heartbreak (2008) [hr]
Kanye West: My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy (2010) [A+]
Kanye West: Yeezus (2013) [A+]
Kasey Musgraves: Same Trailer Different Park (2013)
Kate Bush: 50 Words for Snow (2011)
Kate Tempest: Everybody Down (2014) [hr]
Kelis: Food (2014) [r]
Kendrick Lamar: good kid, m.A.A.d. city (2012) [hr]
Killer Mike: R.A.P. Music (2012) [hr]
King Creosote: From Scotland with Love (2014)
The Kinks (1964) [r]
The Kinks: Kinda Kinks (1965) [hr]
The Kinks: The Kink Kontroversy (1965) [hr]
The Kinks: Face to Face (1966) [A+]
The Knife: Shaking the Habitual (2013)
KT Tunstall: Invisible Empire / Crescent Moon (2013) [r]
Kurt Vile: Smoke Ring for My Halo (2011) [NO]
L7 (1988)
L7: Smell the Magic (1990) [hr]
L7: Bricks Are Heavy (1992) [hr]
L7: Hungry for Stink (1994) [r]
La Bouche: Sweet Dreams (2014)
La Roux: Trouble in Paradise (2014) [r]
Lake Street Dive: Bad Self Portraits (2014) [hr]
Lambchop: Mr. M (2012) [r]
Laura Cantrell: No Way There from Here (2014) [r]
Lee Fields: Emma Jean (2014) [r]
Leonard Cohen: Songs of Leonard Cohen (1967) [A+]
Leonard Cohen: Songs from a Room (1969) [hr]
Leonard Cohen: Dear Heather (2004) [hr]
Leonard Cohen: Old Ideas (2012)
Leonard Cohen: Popular Problems (2014) [hr]
Lisa Germano: No Elephants (2013)
Little Richard: Here's Little Richard (1957)
London Grammar: If You Wait (2014) [r]
Lone: Reality Testing (2014)
Lord Huron: Lonesome Dreams (2012) [r]
Los Campesinos!: No Blues (2013)
Lotus Plaza: Spooky Action at a Distance (2012)
Love: Forever Changes (1967) [A+]
Lucinda Williams: Down Where the Spirit Meets the Bone (2014) [r]
Lupe Fiasco: Lasers (2011) [NO]
Lupe Fiasco: Food & Liquor II (2012) [c]
Lydia Loveless: Somewhere Else (2014)
Lykke Li: Wounded Rhymes (2011) [r]
Lykke Li: I Never Learn (2014)
Lyla Foy: Mirrors the Sky (2014) [hr]
M. Ward: Duet for Guitars #2 (1999) [r]
M. Ward: End of Amnesia (2001) [r]
M. Ward: Transfiguration of Vincent (2003) [hr]
M. Ward: A Wasteland Companion (2012)
M.I.A.: Matangi (2013) [r]
M83: Hurry Up, We're Dreaming (2011) [c]
Mac DeMarco: 2 (2012)
Mac DeMarco: Salad Days (2014) [c]
Madonna: Hard Candy (2008)
Madonna: MDNA (2012)
The Magnetic Fields: Distortion (2008) [hr]
The Magnetic Fields: Love at the Bottom of the Sea (2012) [r]
Male Bonding: Nothing Hurts (2010) [hr]
Male Bonding: Endless Now (2011) [r]
Manic Street Preachers: Futurology (2014)
Marianne Faithfull: Give My Love to London (2014) [r]
Marissa Nadler: July (2014) [c]
Mark Lanegan Band: Phantom Radio (2014) [c]
Marnie Stern: The Chronicles of Marnia (2013)
Marvin Gaye: What's Going On (1971) [A+]
Marvin Gaye: Let's Get It On (1973) [A+]
Marvin Gaye: I Want You (1976) [hr]
Mates of State: Mountaintops (2011)
Matthew Dear: Black City (2010) [r]
Maya Jane Coles: Comfort (2013) [r]
The Men: Open Your Heart (2012) [r]
The Men: New Moon (2013) [r]
Metronomy: Love Letters (2014) [r]
Metz (2012) [c]
MGMT (2013) [r]
Midnight Juggernauts: The Crystal Axis (2010) [hr]
Midnight Juggernauts: Uncanny Valley (2013)
Miguel: Kaleidoscope Dream (2012) [r]
Mikal Cronin: MCII (2013)
Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool (1950) [A+]
Miles Davis: Walkin' (1954) [A+]
Miles Davis: Relaxin' (1958) [hr]
Minor Alps: Get There (2013) [r]
Mirel Wagner: When the Cellar Children See the Light of Day (2014) [c]
Moby: Destroyed (2011) [r]
Moonface: Julia with Blue Jeans On (2013) [r]
Mount Eerie: Clear Moon (2012)
The Mountain Goats: The Life of the World to Come (2009) [hr]
The Mountain Goats: All Eternals Deck (2011) [hr]
The Mountain Goats: Transcendental Youth (2012) [r]
[Mr.] Twin Sister: In Heaven (2011) [hr]
Mr. Twin Sister (2014) [r]
Muse: The 2nd Law (2012) [c]
Mutual Benefit: Love's Crushing Diamond (2013) [r]
My Bloody Valentine: Loveless (1991) [A+]
My Bloody Valentine: mbv (2013) [r]
My Brightest Diamond: This Is My Hand (2014) [r]
Nana Grizol: Love It Love It (2008)
Nana Grizol: "Ruth" (2010)
Nas: Life Is Good (2012) [hr]
The National: Trouble Will Find Me (2013) [hr]
Neil Young: Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere (1969) [hr]
Neil Young: After the Gold Rush (1970) [A+]
Neko Case: The Worse Things Get... (2013) [r]
Neneh Cherry: Blank Project (2014) [r]
The New Pornographers: Challengers (2007) [r]
The New Pornographers: Brill Bruisers (2014) [hr]
Nicolas Jaar: Space Is Only Noise (2011) [hr]
Nine Inch Nails: Hesitation Marks (2013)
No Age: Everything in Between (2010) [c]
The Notwist: Close to the Glass (2014) [r]
Oasis: Definitely Maybe (1994) [hr]
Of Montreal: Lousy with Sylvianbriar (2013) [r]
OFF! First Four EPs (2011) [r]
Okkervil River: I Am Very Far (2011) [r]
Okkervil River: The Silver Gymnasium (2013) [r]
Old 97's: Blame It on Gravity (2008) [r]
Old 97's: The Grand Theatre, Volume One (2010)
Old 97's: The Grand Theatre Volume Two (2011) [c]
Old 97's: Most Messed Up (2014) [r]
Old Crow Medicine Show: Tennessee Pusher (2008) [hr]
Old Crow Medicine Show: Carry Me Back (2012) [c]
Old Crow Medicine Show: Remedy (2014)
Omar Souleyman: Wenu Wenu (2013) [r]
Oneohtrix Point Never: Replica (2011) [r]
Oneohtrix Point Never: R Plus Seven (2013) [hr]
Otis Redding: Otis Blue (1965) [A+]
Otis Redding: The Otis Redding Dictionary of Soul (1966) [hr]
Ought: More Than Any Other Day (2014)
OutKast: Idlewild (2006) [r]
Over the Rhine: The Long Surrender (2011) [r]
Over the Rhine: Meet Me at the Edge of the World (2013) [r]
Owen Pallett: In Conflict (2014) [r]
The Pains of Being Pure at Heart: Belong (2011) [r]
Panda Bear: Person Pitch (2007) [r]
Panda Bear: Tomboy (2011) [c]
Pantha du Prince: Black Noise (2010)
Parliament: Osmium (1970) [hr]
Parliament: Up for the Down Stroke (1974) [hr]
Parliament: Chocolate City (1975) [hr]
Parquet Courts: Sunbathing Animal (2014) [c]
Passion Pit: Gossamer (2012)
Patti Smith: Horses (1975) [A+]
Paul McCartney: New (2013) [r]
Paul Simon: So Beautiful or So What (2011)
Perfect Pussy: Say Yes to Love (2014)
Perfume Genius: Put Your Back in 2 It (2012) [r]
Perfume Genius: Too Bright (2014)
The Pernice Brothers: Goodbye, Killer (2010)
Pet Shop Boys: Please (1986) [hr]
Pet Shop Boys: Yes (2009) [hr]
Pet Shop Boys: Elysium (2012) [c]
Pet Shop Boys: Electric (2013) [hr]
Peter Gabriel: Up (2002) [hr]
Pharmakon: Bestial Burden (2014)
Phil Spector: A Christmas Gift for You (1963) [hr]
Phosphorescent: Muchacho (2013) [c]
Pink Martini: Get Happy (2013) [c]
Pistol Annies: Annie Up (2013)
PJ Harvey: Let England Shake (2011) [hr]
Polar Bear: In Each and Every One (2014) [r]
Prince: Dirty Mind (1980) [hr]
Prince: Controversy (1981) [hr]
Prince: 1999 (1982) [A+]
Prince: Purple Rain (1984) [A+]
Protomartyr: Under Color of Official Right (2014)
Purity Ring: Shrines (2012)
Quakers (2012) [r]
Queens of the Stone Age: ...Like Clockwork (2013) [c]
R.E.M.: Murmur (1983) [A+]
R.E.M.: Reckoning (1984) [hr]
R.E.M.: Collapse into Now (2011)
Radiohead: In Rainbows (2007) [A+]
Radiohead: The King of Limbs (2011) [hr]
The Range: Nonfiction (2013)
Ratking: So It Goes (2014) [hr]
Ray Charles: Genius + Soul = Jazz (1961)
Ray Charles: Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music (1962) [A+]
Real Estate: Days (2011) [r]
Real Estate: Atlas (2014)
Red Hot Chili Peppers: I'm with You (2011) [r]
Reigning Sound: Shattered (2014) [c]
The Replacements: Sorry Ma, Forgot to Take Out the Trash (1981) [r]
Rhye: Woman (2013) [hr]
Rick Ross: Mastermind (2014) [r]
Robin Thicke: Blurred Lines (2013) [c]
Robyn: Body Talk (2010) [r]
Rodney Crowell: Tarpaper Sky (2014)
The Rolling Stones: England's Newest Hit Makers (1964)
The Rolling Stones: 12 x 5 (1964) [r]
The Roots: Rising Down (2008) [r]
The Roots: undun (2012) [r]
The Roots: ...And Then You Shoot Your Cousin (2014) [r]
Rosanne Cash: The River & the Thread (2014) [r]
Royal Baths: Better Luck Next Life (2012) [c]
Run the Jewels (2013) [hr]
Run the Jewels 2 (2014) [hr]
Saint Etienne: Words and Music By (2012) [hr]
The Saints: (I'm) Stranded (1977) [hr]
The Saints: Eternally Yours (1978) [r]
The Saints: All Fool's Day (1986) [hr]
Sally Shapiro: Somewhere Else (2013) [r]
Sam Cooke: Cooke's Tour (1960)
Sam Cooke: Night Beat (1963) [A+]
Saturday Looks Good to Me: Fill Up the Room (2007) [hr]
Saturday Looks Good to Me: One Kiss Ends It All (2013) [r]
Savages: Silence Yourself (2013) [hr]
Schoolboy Q: Habits and Contradictions (2012) [c]
Scott Walker & Sunn O))): Soused (2014)
Sepalcure (2011) [r]
September Girls: Cursing the Sea (2014) [hr]
Shabazz Palaces: Black Up (2011) [hr]
Shabazz Palaces: Lese Majesty (2014) [hr]
Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings: Give the People What They Want (2014) [r]
Sharon Van Etten: Are We There (2014) [c]
She & Him: Volume Two (2010) [r]
The Shins: Wincing the Night Away (2007) [A+]
The Shins: Port of Morrow (2012) [c]
Sleaford Mods: Divide and Exit (2014) [NO]
Sleigh Bells: Treats (2010) [NO]
Smith Westerns: Dye It Blonde (2011) [hr]
Smith Westerns: Soft Will (2013)
Smokey Robinson & the Miracles: Make It Happen (1967) [hr]
SOHN: Tremors (2014) [hr]
Speedy Ortiz: Major Arcana (2013)
Spiritualized: Sweet Heart, Sweet Light (2012) [r]
Spoon: Transference (2010) [r]
Spoon: They Want My Soul (2014) [r]
St. Vincent: Strange Mercy (2011) [r]
St. Vincent (2014) [r]
Steve Gunn: Way Out Weather (2014)
Stevie Wonder: Music of My Mind (1972) [hr]
Stevie Wonder: Talking Book (1972) [hr]
Stevie Wonder: Innervisions (1973) [A+]
Strand of Oaks: Heal (2014) [NO]
The Strokes: Angles (2011) [r]
The Strokes: Comedown Machine (2013) [hr]
Suckers: Candy Salad (2012) [hr]
Suede: Bloodsports (2013) [r]
Sufjan Stevens: Illinoise (2005) [hr]
Sufjan Stevens: The Age of Adz (2010) [hr]
Sun Kil Moon: Benji (2014) [c]
A Sunny Day in Glasgow: Sea When Absent (2014) [c]
Surfer Blood: Pythons (2013) [c]
Suzanne Vega: Tales from the Realm of the Queen of Pentacles (2014) [r]
Swans: The Seer (2012) [NO]
Sylvan Esso (2014) [r]
T.I.: King (2006) [r]
Talking Heads: 77 (1977) [hr]
Talking Heads: More Songs About Buildings and Food (1978) [A+]
Talking Heads: Fear of Music (1979) [A+]
Talking Heads: Remain in Light (1980) [A+]
The Tallest Man on Earth: There's No Leaving Now (2012) [hr]
Tame Impala: Innerspeaker (2010) [hr]
Tame Impala: Lonerism (2012) [r]
Teddy Thompson: Bella (2011) [c]
Tegan and Sara: Heartthrob (2013) [hr]
Television: Marquee Moon (1977) [A+]
Television: Adventure (1978) [hr]
Tennis: Cape Dory (2011) [r]
Terry Malts: Killing Time (2012) [hr]
Terry Malts: Nobody Realizes This Is Nowhere (2013)
The-Dream: Love King (2010) [r]
These New Puritans: Field of Reeds (2013) [c]
Tim Hecker: Ravedeath, 1972 (2011) [c]
Times New Viking: Dancer Equired (2011) [r]
Tinariwen: Emmaar (2014) [r]
Tinashe: Aquarius (2014) [hr]
Titus Andronicus: The Monitor (2010) [hr]
Titus Andronicus: Local Business (2012) [hr]
Todd Terje: It's Album Time (2014) [hr]
Toro Y Moi: Underneath the Pine (2011)
Toumani Diabate: Toumani & Sidiki (2014) [hr]
Trey Songz: Trigga (2014) [c]
tUnE-yArDs: BiRd-BrAiNs (2009) [hr]
tUnE-yArDs: whokill (2011) [A+]
tUnE-yArDs: Nikki Nack (2014) [hr]
TV on the Radio: Dear Science (2008) [hr]
TV on the Radio: Nine Types of Light (2011) [hr]
TV on the Radio: Seeds (2014) [r]
The Twilight Sad: Nobody Wants to Be Here and Nobody Wants to Leave (2014)
Twin Shadow: Forget (2010) [r]
Twin Shadow: Confess (2012) [hr]
Ty Segall: Slaughterhouse (2012)
Ty Segall: Manipulator (2014)
The Underachievers: Cellar Door (2014) [hr]
Vampire Weekend (2008) [r]
Vampire Weekend: Modern Vampires of the City (2013) [A+]
Vashti Bunyan: Heartleap (2014) [r]
The Velvet Underground & Nico (1967) [hr]
The Velvet Underground: White Light / White Heat (1968) [A+]
The Velvet Underground (1969) [A+]
Vessel: Punish, Honey (2014) [hr]
The Walkmen: Everyone Who Pretended to Like Me Is Gone (2002) [hr]
The Walkmen: Bows + Arrows (2004) [hr]
The Walkmen: A Hundred Miles Off (2006) [hr]
The Walkmen: You & Me (2008) [hr]
The Walkmen: Lisbon (2010) [hr]
The Walkmen: Heaven (2012) [hr]
The War on Drugs: Slave Ambient (2011) [NO]
Warpaint (2014) [r]
Washed Out: Within and Without (2011) [r]
Wavves: King of the Beach (2010) [r]
Waxahatchee: Cerulean Salt (2013) [r]
We Are Scientists: Barbara (2010) [NO]
Weekend: Jinx (2013) [r]
White Lung: Deep Fantasy (2014)
Wilco: The Whole Love (2011) [hr]
Wild Beasts: Present Tense (2014) [r]
Wild Nothing: Gemini (2010) [r]
Wild Nothing: Nocturne (2012) [r]
Willis Earl Beal: Acousmatic Sorcery (2012) [r]
A Winged Victory for the Sullen: Atomos (2014) [r]
Wire: Pink Flag (1977) [A+]
Wire: Red Barked Tree (2011) [r]
Wire: Change Becomes Us (2013)
Woods: With Light and With Love (2014) [r]
WU LYF: Go Tell Fire to the Mountain (2011) [NO]
Wussy: Attica (2014) [r]
Wye Oak: Civilian (2011) [r]
The xx: Coexist (2012) [hr]
Y.G.: My Krazy Life (2014) [r]
Yeah Yeah Yeahs: Mosquito (2013) [c]
Yeasayer: Fragrant World (2012) [r]
Yo Gotti: I Am (2013) [r]
Yo La Tengo: I Can Heart Beating as One (1997) [A+]
Yo La Tengo: Popular Songs (2009) [hr]
Yo La Tengo: Fade (2013) [hr]
Yoko Ono: Take Me to the Land of Hell (2013) [hr]
Young & Sick (2014) [r]
Young Fathers: Dead (2014) [r]
Youth Lagoon: The Year of Hibernation (2011) [r]
Youth Lagoon: Wondrous Bughouse (2013) [NO]
Yuck (2011) [r]

REMIX ALBUMS / MIXTAPES / FILM SCORES
A$AP Rocky: LiveLoveA$AP (2011) [hr]
Aimee Mann: Magnolia OST (1999) [c]
Big K.R.I.T.: Return of 4Eva (2011)
Björk: Selmasongs (2000) [hr]
Chance the Rapper: Acid Rap (2013)
The Chemical Brothers: Hanna OST (2011) [r]
Curren$y: Return to the Winner's Circle (2011) [hr]
Curren$y: Verde Terrace (2011)
Curren$y: New Jet City (2013)
Curren$y: The Drive-In Theatre (2014)
Curren$y & The Alchemist: Covert Coup (2011)
Das Racist: Sit Down, Man (2010) [r]
Gil Scott-Heron & Jamie xx: We're New Here (2011) [r]
Kelela: Cut 4 Me (2013) [hr]
Lupe Fiasco: Friend of the People (2012) [c]
The Mountain Goats: All Survivors Pack (2011) [r]
Radiohead: TKOL RMX 1234567 (2011)
The Weeknd: House of Balloons (2011) [r]

EP's
Advance Base: The World Is in a Bad Fix Everywhere (2013)
Alexi Murdoch: Four Songs (2002) [hr]
Andrew Bird: I Want to See Pulaski at Night (2013)
Animal Collective: Fall Be Kind (2009)
The Antlers: (together) (2011)
The Antlers: Undersea (2012) [r]
Arcade Fire (2003)
The Avalanches: At Last Alone (2001)
The B-52's: Party Mix (1981)
Burial: Kindred (2012)
Burial: Rival Dealer (2013) [r]
Colleen Green: Cujo (2011) [r]
Crystal Stilts: Radiant Door (2011) [hr]
Darkside (2011) [r]
The Decemberists: iTunes Session (2011) [r]
The Decemberists: Long Live the King (2011) [r]
Destroyer: Five Spanish Songs (2013)
Dum Dum Girls: End of Daze (2012)
The Flaming Lips: With Neon Indian (2011) [r]
Girls: Broken Dreams Club (2010) [r]
Hot Chip: We Have Remixes (2010) [r]
James Blake: CMYK (2010)
MØ: Bikini Daze (2013) [r]
Nicolas Jaar: Don't Break My Love (2011)
Okkervil River: Golden Opportunities 2 (2011)
Oneohtrix Point Never: Commissions I (2014) [r]
PAPA: A Good Woman Is Hard to Find (2011) [hr]
R.E.M.: Chronic Town (1982) [A+]
Radiohead: TKOL RMX 8 (2011)
Sufjan Stevens: All Delighted People (2010) [r]
Surfer Blood: Tarot Classics (2011) [r]
The Tallest Man on Earth: Sometimes the Blues Is Just a Passing Bird (2010) [hr]
Terrry Malts: Insides (2014) [r]
TNGHT (2012) [r]
Vampire Weekend: iTunes Session (2011) [r]
Vince Staples: Hell Can Wait (2014)
Yo La Tengo: Stupid Things (2012) [r]

COMPILATIONS
The "5" Royales: All Righty! The Apollo Recordings (1951-55) [r]
The "5" Royales: Complete King Masters (1954-60) [A+]
? & the Mysterians: Best Of- Cameo Parkway (1966-67) [hr]
101 Strings Orchestra: 20 Years of Beautiful Music (1969) [hr]
1910 Fruitgum Co.: Best Of (1968-70) [hr]
Aaron Neville: A Collection of His Best (1966-2006) [NO]
The Action: The Ultimate! Action (1964-68) [r]
Adam and the Ants: Stand and Deliver- Very Best Of (1977-95)
Adriano Celentano: Best (1975-99) [r]
The Adverts: The Singles (1977-79) [r]
Afrika Bambaataa: Looking for the Perfect Beat (1980-2001) [hr]
Al Green: Definitive Greatest Hits (1967-2007) [hr]
Al Martino: The Ultimate Al Martino (1952-79)
Alabina: L'Essentiel (1996-2000)
Alan Lomax: The Alan Lomax Popular Songbook (1933-59) [r]
Albert Ammons: The Boogie Woogie Man (1936-44) [r]
Albert Ayler: Free Form Jazz (1963-69) [hr]
Albert King: Best of (1968-73)
Alex Chilton: A Retrospective (1967-95) [r]
All Saints: All Hits (1997-2001) [r]
Amos Milburn: Bad Bad Whiskey (1947-55) [r]
The Andrews Sisters: Best Of (1937-50) [hr]
The Animals: Best Of (1964-65) [hr]
Ann Peebles: The Complete Ann Peebles on Hi Records Vol. 1 (1969-73) [r]
Archie Bell & the Drells: Tightening It Up (1967-79) [hr]
Aretha Franklin: 20 Greatest Hits (1967-74) [A+]
Art of Noise: Best Of (1983-92) [c]
Arthur "Big Boy" Crudup: Complete Recorded Works Vol. 2 (1946-49) [r]
Arthur "Big Boy" Crudup: Complete Recorded Works Vol. 3 (1949-52)
Arthur Alexander: The Ultimate (1961-75) [A+]
The Artwoods: 100 Oxford Street (1964-66)
Ashford & Simpson: Best Of (1973-90) [r]
At the Drive-In: This Station Is Non-Operational (1997-2000) [c]
B.B. King: His Definitive Greatest Hits (1951-93)
B.T. Express: Best Of (1974-80) [r]
The Beach Boys: Summer Love Songs (1963-71)
Bo Diddley: 20th Century Masters - The Millennium Collection (1955-62)
Buddy Holly: Greatest Hits (1957-59) [A+]
Cabaret Voltaire: The Original Sound of Sheffield (1978-82)
Carl Perkins: Original Sun Greatest Hits (1955-57) [A+]
Chuck Berry: The Great Twenty-Eight (1955-65) [A+]
Earl Bostic Blows a Fuse (1946-58) [r]
The Everly Brothers: Cadence Classics- 20 Greatest Hits (1957-60) [hr]
The Everly Brothers: Walk Right Back (Warner Years) (1960-69) [r]
Faces: The Definitive Rock Collection (1970-75) [NO]
Fat Boys: All Meat No Filler (1984-89) [r]
Gene Vincent: Best Of (1956-63) [A+]
Hall & Oates: The Essential Collection (1974-2001) [NO]
Hank Locklin: RCA Country Legends (1956-68) [r]
Hank Williams: 40 Greatest Hits (1947-53) [A+]
The Impressions: Definitive (1961-68) [hr]
J.B. Lenoir: Vietnam Blues (1965-66) [hr]
Jack Nitzsche: Hearing Is Believing (1962-79) [hr]
James Brown: In the Jungle Groove (1969-86)
K.C. & the Sunshine Band: Best Of (1974-89) [hr]
Oasis: The Masterplan (1994-97) [r]
Otis Redding: Very Best Of (1962-68) [r]
Ray Charles: Ultimate Hits Collection (1953-90) [hr]
R.E.M.: Eponymous (1981-85)
Sam & Dave: Sweat 'n' Soul- Anthology (1965-71) [A+]
Sam Cooke: Portrait of a Legend (1951-64) [A+]
Sam the Sham & the Pharaohs: Pharaohization (1965-67) [hr]
Smokey Robinson & the Miracles: Ooo Baby Baby- The Anthology (1961-72) [hr]
Taj Mahal: Best of (1967-74) [r]
Talking Heads: Sand in the Vaseline- Popular Favorites (1975-92) [r]
Talking Heads: Bonus Rarities and Outtakes (1975-92)
Van Morrison: Best Of (1965-89) [r]
The Yardbirds: Ultimate! (1964-69) [hr]

BOXED SETS
The Beach Boys: The Smile Sessions (1965-67) [c]
Big Star: Keep an Eye on the Sky (1970-74) [r]
Billie Holiday: The Master Takes and Singles (1935-42) [A+]
Chuck Berry: The Chess Box (1955-75) [r]
James Brown: Star Time (1956-84) [A+]
Little Richard: The Specialty Sessions (1954-60) [hr]
Phil Spector: Back to Mono (1958-69) [A+]
Sam Cooke: The Man Who Invented Soul (1957-61) [hr]

BOOTLEGS
Oasis: The Early Years (1992-95)

SINGLES & MISC. TRACKS
non-LP cuts: #

LISTS & COMMENTS ETC.
List of Lists 2014
The Best Records of 2014
Format change info
List of Lists 2013
The Best Records of 2013
Revisions & Changes / Index
The List of Lists 2012
The Best Records of 2012
Top Artists + Index
The List of Lists 2011
The Best Records of 2011
Top 100 Music Videos + Index
All-Time Top Albums + Index
The List of Lists 2010
The Best Records of 2010
Welcome & Introduction

***

SPECIAL RESEARCH UNIT
Originally this was going to be a list of artists that I'd advise the reader to investigate elsewhere because I had made up my mind about them unfavorably long before starting this blog and thus none of their releases were ever likely to be explored and evaluated here. But why would you expect this blog to be some sort of canon? Music is even more colored by personal biases than movies or literature, and it would be bigheaded of me to think that some such cataloging would be of any use to anyone. Plus it's the lazy method of acknolwedging those bands and artists in the rock idiom that, alas, I just don't get. So I thought we would make this a challenge instead -- I would roll down the same list, starting with R&R HOF inductees (it's just handy), and give them one more shot in hopes of articulating just why I don't enjoy them... or who knows, maybe discovering that I've changed. They'll be rated on the usual scale but I would ask you to please not consider them as along the lines of my usual reviews; I'm listening to them only once for this post.

The Four Seasons
The Very Best of Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons (1962-78)

(Rhino)

!! CAUTION !! * I guess I should stand by my emphatic defense of the Distinctive Frontman, but something about the way Frankie Valli exercises his larnyx never has sat well with me -- I feel like the strain is all I can hear. (Compare "Big Girls Don't Cry" to Brian Wilson's lead on "Don't Worry Baby" for some clarification.) Personal bias but I also find the vocal arrangements unbearably cloying and always have; growing up on oldies radio, this was one of the only groups that ever prompted me to change the dial. All that said, bless them for introducing "Working My Way Back to You" so the Spinners could make something of it. Must say I do slightly rate the promiscuous disco "December 1963 (Oh, What a Night)," though perhaps that's because I rate promiscuous disco in general. This set also contains a few of Valli's solo cuts, the only significant one being "Can't Take My Eyes Off You," significant strictly because it was later interpolated by my favorite promiscuous disco group.

Jimi Hendrix Experience
Are You Experienced (1967)

(Reprise)

I'm well aware of the depth of this blasphemy and there's no one not in my repertoire whom I want to love more than Hendrix; whether it's the amount of time that's passed or some allergy to the specific stylistics or some other external factor, I've tried dozens of times and failed to find his albums endearing. (Monterey Pop or Woodstock footage is a different matter.) I used to own this, Electric Ladyland and Smash Hits and I've played Axis three or four times. Trying to pare down my problems with this, I can only make it nebulous: the heaviness of the riffs doesn't wash with me -- this is strongest on "Manic Depression," which is unmistakably influential but has more in common with subsequent rock I hate than the stuff I love. But it's also true of "Foxey Lady" and "Purple Haze"; I suppose they are both so familiar that I can't hear their idiosyncracies, though I don't know why I have no such problem with someone as iconic as, say, the Beatles. That said, I have evolved on a few levels -- namely, I like Hendrix's vocals quite a bit, of course I respect and enjoy his guitar technique, and I think his version of "Hey Joe" is probably the best of all (though I do also admire the Creation's). But the big surprise was "May This Be Love." The back half of the record sort of numbs me, but "May This Be Love" sounds like some signal from a wholly different planet and I love every second of it. That track alone brings me close to putting this down as a "recommended" title (an arbitrary distinction, of course, as anyone who cares about rock music surely doesn't need this recommended to them, least of all by me); instead, I think next time we do this I will give Electric Ladyland another shot.

Cream
Disraeli Gears (1967)

(Atco)

!! CAUTION !! * This is one of two albums in this little project that I had not previously heard in full. My broad impression of Cream from limited exposure through the years seems to hold. It might be a tentpole but "Strange Brew" sounds to me like the most generic of psych-rock excursions. "World of Pain" is "As Tears Go By" only with wah wah. "Sunshine of Your Love" might employ one of the most famous riffs in rock history but does it really go anywhere with it? The rest: more riffs, more psychedelic barbership, more drugged-out drudgery. I don't hear the good in it.

The Doors
Greatest Hits (1966-71)

(Elektra)

!!!!! AVOID !!!!! * I feel justified in thinking of the Doors as an awful band, more than anything because they enabled a schmoozing wino like Jim Morrison to achieve fame. Some of their songs are catchy, though in the case of something like "Light My Fire" they completely ruin the hooks with their meandering seven-minute jam; most of them are hilariously stupid, like "Break on Through" and the immortally icky "The End." Plenty of those hooks are cribbed from other people anyway, even disregarding the time they stole an Ajax jingle; "People Are Strange" is just the Turtles turned upside down, "Break on Through" plagiarizes Ray Charles, "Hello, I Love You" (their most shamelessly pandering pop single) is a direct lift from the Kinks. (Please play it all the time though, cause Ray Davies gets all the money when you do.) But much worse than the music itself is how it provides a platform for Morrison's mixture of empty new age philosophy and self-mythologizing bullshit; he is everything disgusting about the egomaniacal, Jesus-complex side of rock & roll -- the uncredited father of Scott Stapp, Sting, Steve Perry and Richard Ashcroft. It figures that their best song by a hundred miles is the genuinely enjoyable "Touch Me," on which they admit to Morrison's true soul: as a future has-been nightclub singer in the vein of Tom Jones, suntanned and shameless, full of expired sensuality and sugary strings. It's pure Vegas, and -- on the "I'm gonna love you..." chorus, it is literally the only time in Morrison's entire career that he didn't sound like a lying macho prick.

Grateful Dead
Workingman's Dead (1970)

(Warner Bros.)

I never bought the love-the-band/hate-the-fans conceit many folks applied to this group; the Deadheads I knew in high school were typically fine people and you had to admire their level of commitment to a single artist. Complain about tape collectors if you wish but acquiring hundreds of live shows is no different than habits of mine: the acquisition of hundreds of Beatles bootlegs or every Clash, Talking Heads and Yo La Tengo live show I've been able to find. And none of those habits brought me closer to a friendly community. My exposure to the Dead's music was mostly incidental to observances of this phenomenon. I don't think I ever heard a full studio album -- only a bunch of live shows. But the structure of their music didn't appeal to me, though I rather liked Jerry Garcia's Roger McGuinn-like drawl. I don't mind the guitars, I don't mind the twang, I don't even mind the length of these eight songs which are all pretty brief. The writing just doesn't inspire me; it's pleasant enough. So as much as I might make fun of things for resembling the Dead, they really aren't anything I find objectionable. Boring, maybe, but there are worse things to be, and maybe someday I will want this particular sort of droning on in my life.

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