“Element of Light” by Robyn Hitchcock and the Egyptians (No. 7)

If Robyn Hitchcock hadn't gone into music, perhaps he'd have become a novelist like his father. His penchant for storytelling shows through heavily in Element of Light. Hitchcock has a pretty solid catalog of music as a solo artist, with his backing bands The Egyptians and The Venus 3, and (of course) with The Soft … Continue reading “Element of Light” by Robyn Hitchcock and the Egyptians (No. 7)

“Rubber Soul” by The Beatles (No. 8)

Famed Rock critic Robert Christgau called Rubber Soul "when The Beatles began to go arty." Reductive, perhaps, but also true. Rubber Soul is not as adventurous as Sgt. Pepper or The Beatles, but it brings in elements that the band couldn't reproduce on stage. And it also deals with some more mature themes than previous … Continue reading “Rubber Soul” by The Beatles (No. 8)

“Strangeways, Here We Come” by The Smiths (No. 10)

The final album by The Smiths, Strangeways Here We Come is a fitting close to a brief but brilliant career. The Smiths' star shone brightly and burned out quickly, but they were prolific as Hell for the brief time they were together. Strangeways is their fourth and final album, released in 1987. That's four albums … Continue reading “Strangeways, Here We Come” by The Smiths (No. 10)

“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)