Thursday, May 3, 2007

The Best Albums of the 90s: 10-6

10. Yo La Tengo - I Can Hear the Heart Beat as One
If you were to sit down and construct my perfect album, a good place to start would be this one. Pop songs flushed out with mind numbing distortion. That I came to this album some 9 years late only makes me feel sorry that I didn't have it earlier. It's hard to pick my favorite moment, but their cover of the Beach Boys ranks up there. Mostly I just think of that distortion.

9. Oasis - What's the Story Morning Glory
It's passe, not cool, maybe not even correct. Sure Oasis, but this one?

My girlfriend loves this album. My friends do to. Play it at a bar and everyone fucking loves it. I'm not sure how long we have to go on pretending this isn't a great album. Maybe because it's stacked with sappy ballads, Oasis aren't even remotely cool, or the lyrics are shite.

For years I have intensely defended Definitely Maybe as the superior album, considering it both cooler and a more solid collection of songs, and it probably is. But in a straight up times listened to challenge there isn't even a contest. I'm not talking about when I was junior high, but last year. Have you listened to "She's Electric" recently?

8. Primal Scream - Screamadelica
I don't know why I listen to this album. I started listening when I lived in London for a while and every fucking copy of Mojo claimed this album as the greatest ever. I don't go to raves, I've never even heard this played at a bar. Maybe I just love the cover (Isn't it great?!).

7. Wilco - Sumerteeth
The power of Summerteeth, and why I listen to it constantly no matter what mood, is the way it wraps heartbreaking lyrics with some of most driven, gitty music imaginable. I'd like to congratulate Jay Bennet. Synth here. Hand claps there. The deeper it burrows into the pain of Twitty the more Bennet lays on the schmaltz. It's a dangerous record, one that can make a shot in the arm seem joyous. But in terms of sheer listenability, it's a stunning achievement.

6. Sigur Ros - Agaetis Byrjun
Having your mind completely fucked everyone once in a while is important, and for me it all began with Sigur Ros, a band completely different than anything I had everything I had witnessed before. Sure there was Radiohead. Sure I've listened to more difficult music. But Sigur Ros, especially on this album, produces sounds I'd never known before, and ones that I never thought I'd love so much. This album has powers.

Freshman year, Austin and I would fall asleep to this almost every night. I probably have listened to it more in my dreams than on my computer.

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