“Safe Travels” by Jukebox the Ghost (No. 11)

Jukebox the Ghost set the bar high with their debut album Live and Let Ghosts, and their follow-up Everything Under the Sun. With Safe Travels they completely clear the bar, and then some. Jukebox the Ghost is a relative newcomer on the music scene, especially compared with a lot of bands on this list. Their … Continue reading “Safe Travels” by Jukebox the Ghost (No. 11)

“Bloodletting” by Concrete Blonde (No. 12)

Bloodletting gets tagged with the "gothic rock" genre, which is a bit unfair to Concrete Blonde. Sure, it's got a wee bit of goth about it, but it's not all gloom and doom lyrically or musically. In fact, Bloodletting is every bit as energetic and rock & roll as Free, or their first (self-titled) album. … Continue reading “Bloodletting” by Concrete Blonde (No. 12)

“Who’s Next” by The Who (No. 13)

On Tommy The Who sought to stretch beyond the confines of single songs to a cohesive, two-album work. With Who's Next, The Who deliver nine incredible specimens of classic rock and roll. From the first notes of the primitive A.R.P. synthesizer on "Baba O'Riley" to the final flourish of "Won't Get Fooled Again," Who's Next … Continue reading “Who’s Next” by The Who (No. 13)

“Speak for Yourself” by Imogen Heap (No. 15)

After developing an addiction to Frou Frou, it's not much of a surprise that I'd branch out to Imogen Heap immediately. Her second solo album, 2005's Speak for Yourself is everything I enjoyed about Frou Frou and then some. There's not a huge difference in overall sound between Frou Frou and Heap's solo work. Not … Continue reading “Speak for Yourself” by Imogen Heap (No. 15)

“Hypocrisy is the Greatest Luxury” by Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy (No. 17)

True to their name, The Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy were one and done. They left behind one album, Hypocrisy is the Greatest Luxury, a damning cultural critique of U.S. culture over a unique synthesis of hip hop, industrial, jazz poetry, and punk. My only beef with the Heroes is that they only stuck around for … Continue reading “Hypocrisy is the Greatest Luxury” by Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy (No. 17)

“Whatever” by Aimee Mann (No. 18)

A word of caution before listening to Aimee Mann's Whatever – it may very well cause you to recalibrate your standards for songwriting. If you're setting your standards by this album, it's almost unfair to most other bands. Almost. Released in 1993, Whatever was Mann's first solo album – but certainly not her first time … Continue reading “Whatever” by Aimee Mann (No. 18)

“Document” by R.E.M. (No. 19)

For Document R.E.M. picked up a much harder edge than previous albums. Sure, Life's Rich Pageant dabbled a bit with more aggressive guitar, but Document has a much harsher sound throughout. And it sounds so, so good. Document practically kicks you in the face with the opening track, "Finest Worksong." A whip-crack snare and then … Continue reading “Document” by R.E.M. (No. 19)