Tuesday, 23 December 2008

Of My Favourite Albums

Alright I feel like one more blog before Christmas. Really I should start writing up by blog posts for after Christmas, but I'm lazy and work better a) when I can be arsed and b) at the last minute. Surprisingly neither of them occur at the same time ( A. normally happens afterwards). So randomly I have decided to list my favourite albums of all time. This isn't songs, this albums, also one of them happens to be from this year so we'll see if that changes over time. So on with the list.

5. Oh, Inverted World - The Shins

Oh, Inverted World is The Shins first album. I would say that it is there best. Chutes Too Narrow and Wincing the Night Away are both great albums, but I feel that Oh, Inverted World shows the sound of The Shins off the best. Now you might have heard a song of this album without even realizing it ("New Slang" is featured in an episode of Scrubs' first season), however the biggest way that The Shins showed up was in Garden State when *shockhorror* one of the characters mentions the band by name!!! I will admit that this where I heard of the band first and that I feel sort of band for hopping on the bandwagon (albeit an awesome bandwagon). Oh, Inverted World is one of those indie pop albums that sort of hearkens back to the 60s, but it was written in the 00s and I would say remains one of the best albums of the past decade. Whilst probably not for everyone The Shins are just a good sunny day record. It makes me think of the summer even during these winter months.

Recommended Songs: New Slang, Caring is Creepy

4. The Midnight Organ Fight - Frightened Rabbit

If you can't tell I've really fallen for Frightened Rabbit. I only heard them a few weeks ago and I already heart them more than most bands. In this their second album, Frightened Rabbit have perfected their sound. Whilst their debut Sing the Greys is a good album it just doesn't compare to this. This is probably due to the fact that The Midnight Organ Fight is far more "intense" than Sing the Greys, however any band that says that they're about "heartache, blood donation and fucking". Whilst this probably paints them as some sort of deathcore band, Frightened Rabbit are in actually an indie rock band...who happen to swear, a lot. You may have heard them in Chuck with two (yes two) of their songs have been used to finish episodes, and since Chuck has an awesome soundtrack, I think that speaks for their awesomeness.

Recommended Songs: Modern Leper, Keep Yourself Warm

3. The Red Tree - Moneen

Ahhh Canadian rock. Whilst Canadians are normally the but of many peoples jokes (see How I Met Your Mother for proof), they make damn awesome music. I mean the country that can produce Arcade Fire, The New Pornographers, Alexisonfire, Sum 41, Nickelback, Avril Lavigne, Hawksley Workman and Tegan and Sara are bound to be quite talented (I don't actually listen to all of those bands, if you can guess the ones I do you get some internetz). Moneen are just one of those random bands that I picked up randomly (through Lost actually). I didn't think I'd like them and in fact I'm not a big fan of their other stuff but The Red Tree is just a superb album, it's less math rock than the other two albums and it's just an awesome rocky/punky album. Probably wouldn't appeal to everyone but it's wormed its way into my all time favourite albums.

Recommended Songs: The Day No One Need To Know, The Song I Swore To Never Sing

2. Plans - Death Cab for Cutie

Death Cab are indie gods for a reason. Whilst many people think that Narrow Stairs or Transatlanticism are better than Plans, I would say that not only is Plans their best all round album, but it also has some of their best songs. In fact it has quite possibly my favourite opening track to an album ever in "Marching Bands of Manhattan" (Along with "Modern Leper" and "The New Year" on Transatlanticism). Whilst many people get turned off by Death Cab for Cutie's name for seeming "emo", once you get past it you realise what awesome music they make. The lyrics are superb and song beautifully by Ben Gibbard. The lyrics, whilst often depressing, are the highlight of the album as there really is no faulting them. Death Cab are one of my favourite bands ever and this is their best album. I would say that no album is better but there is, just one and I think if you've read my blog before you'll know what it is.

Recommended Songs: I Will Follow You Into The Dark, Marching Bands of Manhattan

1. Pinkerton - Weezer

Weezer recorded a perfect debut album with their Blue Album. Then two years later they recorded a more perfect album. This album was Pinkerton. Pinkerton is just incredible. In a completely different turn from their debut, Weezer went emo. In no way is this a bad thing (I actually have no problems with emo as a genre or a culture), it especially isn't a bad thing because it is perfection. Whilst at the time of release it was derided mostly because it was so different to what was being listened to at that time, and then came hindsight. Pinkerton is not heralded as one of the best albums of the 90s and I would say that's the best album of all time. Rivers Cuomo just bares his soul on this album which is more or less a biography of his time after recording their debut. How he gets tired of the sex with groupies, enrolls back into college after a painful surgery on his leg, not being recognised by people wandering around with Weezer shirts on, the letter from a Japanese fan and the end of his writers block are all documented in this album, all done in the style of Puccini's Madame Butterfly (it's an opera). Pinkerton is raw, the guitars are distorted and the album benefits. There's the odd random sound from Matt Sharp (especially on "El Scorcho") and it just makes the album that much better. There isn't a single note I would ever dream of changing on this album and whilst Weezer haven't released an album to stand up to this one in the 12 years following its release, I can rest happy knowing that they have recorded the perfect album.

Recommended Songs: THE ENTIRE THING!!!

So I'm going to wrap by wishing you all Merry Christmas. I'll be back on Boxing Day with the start of my favourite shows of 2008. Speaking of which those living in the UK remember to check out the last episode of Charlie Brooker's Screenwipe tonight. Also I hope to have reviews of the new Doctor Who, Wallace and Gromit (YES THEY'RE BACK!!!) and Slumdog Millionaire (it's a movie not Christmas television) up soon. Probably in the middle of my favourite shows thingy. Damn I'm going to be busy.

BTW tomorrow = presents.

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