#6-10 ~ Matt's Top 20 Albums of All Time

Don't forget to read the qualifications regarding how my top 20 is chosen. (For those that are too lazy to click--see directly below for a brief description) 

Music -- What is the musical quality of this album?
Freaking awesome -- How many freaking awesome songs are on this album?
Memory -- Was there something that ingrained this album into your being in your past?
Wild-card -- Just as it reads.

See the rest of the list at these links:

Muse -- Origin of symmetry (2001)

   This is the second showing for Muse in my top 20. (hint...it's not the last)  This critically acclaimed 2nd album is so diverse.  Diverse synth sounds, drums, guitar, and even an organ. 
Where was I from 2001 to 2008 before I had started listening to this band?  Am I a late-comer to jump on the band-wagon?  Hell yes...in fact, I slit the driver's throat and I am now behind the wheel.

Music -- Very few male singers can pull off good falsetto. (I'm talking to you creepy Kurt on Glee)  Matthew Bellamy is an exception to this rule.  He's almost inspirational.  I'd like to see Muse re-mix Ave Maria.
Awesome Songs -- If you do not get goose bumps when you hear the guitars come in on "New Born", you are a chump.  Plus the song is 6 minutes long.  Bonus.  I would have it playing at my wedding if I could go back and do it again.  "Micro Cuts" is sick.  I'd like to hear it live to judge how much producer editing went on.
Memory -- I would daresay this is my wife's favorite Muse album.
Wild Card -- Adam Lambert sang "Feeling Good" from this album on American Idol.  I believe this is the only reason he did well on the show.

Midnight Oil -- Earth and sun and moon (1993)

   Think this is a head-scratcher?  Think again.  At one time this album was in my top 5.  I know what you're thinking:  Poor singer...not even their best album...every song is about Australia...really?!
While not an enormous Midnight Oil fan, this album grabbed hold of me like no other.  The bass-heavy songs and metallic guitars are fantastic.  Plus I don't mind Garrett's scratchy voice.  It grows on you.

Music -- Catchy harmonies complement the major/minor key transitions through many of the songs.  The sound is electric and bright throughout the album.  The replay-a-bility is enormously high.  Who doesn't like anthems about country?!  (Even if they about Australia)
Awesome Songs -- The bass run to start off the album with "Feeding Frenzy" is great.  The title track has fantastic guitar work as well. "Truganini" and "In the Valley" are solid, but the monstrous highlight of the album is "Outbreak of Love."  I love everything about this song.  I've strained my falsetto many times trying to sing along.
Memory -- After high school, I traveled to Alaska to work in a salmon processing plant.  It was hard work.  16 hour days for a couple weeks straight.  On your feet, in cold weather, throwing fish guts around.  I loved it.  At times, you didn't feel like talking to others in the assembly line.  Drifters with 3 remaining teeth, college kids from BYU on some "great spiritual discovery."  No thanks.  Unfortunately, headphones were not allowed on the processing floor.  I did not follow this rule.  With my Sony Walkman hidden discreetly under layers of clothing, and smallish hard ear buds hidden beneath a wool hat, I listened away.  For you young ones, each cassette tape was the entire album, with half the songs on each "side" of the tape.  Luckily, my Walkman would "skip" to the other side automatically, meaning that in one 4 hour shift, I would hear this entire album 3x.  Good times.
Wild Card -- After the band disbanded, Peter Garrett went into a life of politics.  I didn't know a law-less country had politics. (I kid)

Weezer -- Weezer (The Blue album) (1994)

   This is the greatest sing-a-long album ever created.  Even my kids know the words to most of these songs.  I have no deep-seated attachment to the message in these songs...no deeper understanding of my personal being...just screaming out "and when you're out of fuel, I'm still afloat!"
I get really "geeked" at these nerd-rock bands.  Ben Folds Five, They might be Giants, Barenaked Ladies...wait--not that last one.

Music -- Great concert music.  Great Party music.  Great driving music.  Not good sex music.
Awesome Songs -- Every song is worthwhile on this album.  It's not very long, so the best course of action is to listen straight through....singing along the entire time.
Memory -- Weezer is one of only a small handful of bands that I've seen live multiple times.  They are FANTASTIC live, especially if you can see them in a small venue.  I still wear my Weezer concert shirt when I mow the lawn every Saturday. (I paid $30 for it...I need to get my money's worth)
Wild Card -- Cuomo used to have one leg shorter than the other.  He had surgery to lengthen it.  No word on if it was his third leg.

INXS -- Kick (1987)

   There are rare moments in time when everything aligns perfectly, and greatness is created.  The end result for Michael Hutchence and a gaggle of Farriss boys was the album Kick.
INXS was riding decent success from previous albums, but music featuring a saxophone really didn't play well to the masses. (Calm down Kenny G fans..yikes!)
INXS brought dance beats to couple with Hutchence's silky voice and created one of the greatest "Top40-esque" dance albums of all-time.  The follow-up albums never quite had the same impact, and then Hutchence moved on to the great "Guns in the Sky."

Music -- There is a lot going on during an INXS song, least of which is Kirk Pengilly's creepy facial hair.  Despite the fact that it seems like INXS has more band members than Arcade Fire, their most simple songs on this album work the best.  The vocals and underlying bass/beats really carry this album.
Awesome Songs -- Their "greatest hits" albums is basically just a re-release of Kick.  "Guns in the sky", "New Sensation", "Devil Inside"...I could go on.  One of the top 20 songs of all-time resides on this album though--"Need you Tonight" is hands down amazing.  Plus it spawned the greatest "extended song that is really another song" with "Mediate."  I've seen that music video almost as much as Faith Hill's "Breathe."
Memory -- After the death of Hutchence, INXS faded from my musical consciousness.  Despite abhorring most reality TV shows, when "Rockstar INXS" hit television, I was instantly hooked.  I wondered--was this just a publicity stunt, or could a viable singer replace the amazing Hutchence?   By the end, INXS settled on JD Fortune.  A 20-something punk from Canada who was a magical crooner.  It was eerie.  He sang INXS songs with the band, and his likeness vocally to Hutchence was spot-on.  Musically, he was a fantastic fit for the band.  But that was about it.
It was rumored that Fortune spent most of his time snorting coke lines off the bathroom floor of every Denny's between LA and Atlanta.  Despite a solid first album release with the band (switch), they parted ways, and Fortune went back to living in a van...down by the river. (no really...look it up.  He lived in a van down by the river)
Wild Card -- It's fairly impressive that a group full of guys who look like they could be managers at a bank could be so musically talented.  It's like a magic show while watching them live.  You hear really good music, but you see a group of mechanical engineers pretending to play instruments.

Muse -- The Resistance (2009)

Muse is the anti-Weezer.  I'm not saying either is bad, but that the intent and result of the music is completely different.  Weezer creates fun songs that would be good at a party or to sing along with in the car.  Muse creates music that takes your mind elsewhere...creates a sense of another world.  It's kind of like the Dungeons and Dragons of the music world. 
Muse creates music that could be played as a score to most movies.  The music tends to create and drive feelings and emotion rather than just listening for enjoyment.  Misguided as it may be, I suppose I can believe that Stephanie Meyer had some sort of emotional creation while listening to Muse.  How that translated into the creepy house-wife porn that is Twilight is beyond my understanding.

Music -- While not their most popular or highest reviewed album, the Resistance is the perfect harmony of Muse's classical influence, industrial sound, and vocal talent.  There is very little let-down on any of the tracks, and culminates in the greatest musical ending of an album ever created. (more on that in a moment)
Awesome Songs -- There is only one "downer" on this album. (Guiding Light)  Other than that, this is a music-gasm of epic proportions.  "Uprising" and "Unnatural Selection" are 2 of highlights.  The piano work on "United States of Eurasia" is fantastic.  But the overwhelming highlight of this album is the 3-part "symphony" at the end of the album.  Titled "Exogenesis", it is some of the best music I've heard in years.  Each of the 3 songs are so unique and captivating.  I went back and forth over which of the 3 is my favorite, but realized that the group must be viewed as one "work."
   In a sideways-bizarro-musical-montage-world, I fight for survival in the zombie apocalypse. In one key scene, I channel my inner "intersect" and destroy scores of zombies in a musical montage featuring Prodigy's "Smack my @#$$ up".  After overcoming riotous groups of looters and surviving numerous challenges where friends and family are lost, I overcome all adversity to lead a group of people to a "safe zone."  This montage will be underscored by Muse's "Exogenisis", and will culminate in the final scene where I lead a group of starving people to the "safe zone."  As I walk over a grassy hill towards the walls of the compound, the sun is rising behind me and I can barely hold my Katana sword.  A small child clings to my pant leg as we stare at our future.  Helicopters fly over-head, while armed sentries man patrol stations at regular intervals on the wall----HOLY CRAP!!  See what I mean??  I was totally in the zone there.  Muse music creates an entire different world and generates emotions hard to explain.
Memory -- Did I mention that Muse music goes well for those "romantic interludes?"
Wild Card -- This album continues to climb in my top 20 list.  I suspect it will be in the top 5 in the next couple years.  Did I mention that the whole Twilight-Muse connection really irks me?


MeatWad said...

Remarkable, simply remarkable. With the exception of INXS this is hands down the worst music ever put to track. I can't wait for the top 5 though because you have got to be out of horrible bands. Statistically speaking, you will have to pick something of merit in the next 5...unless you just pick more crappy albums by these same crappy bands.

Twitter Delicious Facebook Digg Stumbleupon Favorites More

Powered by Blogger
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...