Older Album Capsules (with Twitter Restricted Length)



The 13th Floor Elevators - The Psychedelic Sounds of (1966): 76.
A very thick, layered sound with a brilliantly integrated electric jug.

The 13th Floor Elevators - Easter Everywhere (1967): 75. Slightly less distinct than their debut but also less disjointed and a better flow.


The 24-Carat Black - Ghetto Misfortune's Wealth (1973): 69.
Another soul/funk concept LP about surviving poverty and hunger In The Ghetto.


ABBA - Arrival (1976): 70.
Strong pop album with great hooks and plenty of memorable tunes. Unpretentious and fun.


AC/DC - High Voltage (1976): 34.
Really tedious rock without memorable riffs or much primal force to sustain their overlong songs.


David Ackles - S/T (1968): 77.
Nearly great debut from one of the great forgotten singer/songwriters of the late 60s/early 70s.

David Ackles - Subway to the Country (1969): 84.
A very isolated album about living & struggling on the road. Title track is a masterpiece.

David Ackles - American Gothic (1972): 75.
An album of displaced & disillusioned people. "They suffer least who suffer what they choose."


The Act - Too Late at 20 (1981): 69.
Above average power pop with strong influences from Elvis Costello & reggae/dub. Very catchy.


Air - Moon Safari (1998): 79.
Bookending trippy instrumental songs are the highlights, there's more filler in between than I'd remembered.


Alice in Chains - Dirt (1992): 65.
A love letter to the joys of heroin with a far too polished production & occasionally idiotic lyrics.


Allah-Las - Catamaran / Long Journey (2011): 78. Two terrific surf/garage nuggets from one of the best local bands going right now. Can't wait for more.

Allah-Las - S/T (2012): 81. You hear the influences (60s garage, psych & surf) but this is about capturing a vibe more than paying homage.

Allah-Las - I Had It All / Every Girl 7" (2013): 82.
Both songs are great but the B-side is a stone classic, godhead garage nugget.



Luther Allison - Bad News is Coming (1972): 76.
Allison original "Raggedy & Dirty" is show-stopper & makes me wish for less blues standards.


Alvarius B - Baroque Primitiva (2011): 77.
Lo-fi, spare arrangements of Ennio Morricone & Brian Wilson. Lovely stuff. Best cover art of 2011


Laurie Anderson - Big Science (1982): 68.
"O Superman" and "From the Air" get the mixture of humor & beauty just right and they're sublime.


Angry Samoans - Back From Samoa (1982): 36.
Hardcore punk with incredibly juvenile sense of humor ("They Saved Hitler's Cock").


Angst - Mending Wall (1986): 80.
Frank Black wrote a love song about this band and they clearly deserve way more love. This is essential.


Animal Collective - Strawberry Jam (2007): 72.
Wildly inconsistent; contains their best back-to-back tracks but also some obnoxious filler.

Panda Bear - Tomboy (2011): 78.
A slight disappointment given how much I love PERSON PITCH but still hypnotic, ethereal & occasionally brilliant.

Avey Tare's Slasher Flicks - Enter the Slasher House (2014): 67.
Choice cut was lead single "Little Fang" rest is solid but unexceptional.


Arab Strap - Monday at the Hug & Pint (2003): 74.
The boozy atmosphere is thick but thankfully the sadness is spiked with wicked humor.


Archers of Loaf - Icky Mettle (1993): 74.
A less awesome version of Pavement; complete with spiky guitar licks & fun wordplay.


Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti - Mature Themes (2012): 70.
Mostly very good with only a few of those annoying, jokey filler songs.


The Ar-Kaics - She Does Those Things to Me (2013): 68.
Reverent to 60s garage nuggets but lacks the weird factor that made those standout.


Ed Askew - Imperfiction (1984): 85.
Stunning lo-fi record with delicate phrasing, odd instrumentation & thoughtful lyrics. Essential reissue


Atlas Sound - Parallax (2011): 73.
Not quite up to the freakishly high standards of Bradford Cox's recent output. I guess he's human.


Avey Tare's Slasher Flicks - Enter the Slasher House (2014): 67.
Choice cut was lead single "Little Fang" rest is solid but unexceptional.


David Axelrod - Songs of Innocence (1968): 75.
Very cool set of instrumentals that remind me of Bacalov or De Angelis' Poliziotteschi scores.

David Axelrod - Songs of Experience (1969): 68.
More cinematic music from Axelrod. A bit less rewarding than SONGS OF INNOCENCE.


Roy Ayers - Coffy (1973): 59.
The instrumentals are decent but the tracks with vocals are pretty useless with divorced from the film.


Aztec Camera - High Land, Hard Rain (1983): 83.
A side is absolutely flawless jangle pop, B side is a little uneven. More stunning than not.


The B-52's - S/T (1979): 69.
Campy send-up of 50s pop culture into ironic dance music. Very fun for first side, diminishing returns on B.


The Babies - S/T (2011): 80.
This doesn't flow together as well as I wish it would but there isn't a loser in the bunch and it's crazy addictive.

The Babies - Here Comes Trouble / My Tears (2011): 72. "My Tears" is kind of a throwaway but "Here Comes Trouble" is a great pop nugget.


Baby Huey - The Baby Huey Story (1971): 69.
400 pounds of Soul. His three Mayfield penned songs are terrific, instrumental tracks are filler.


Baby Teeth - Boss (2011): 42. The promise of their 2007 LP THE SIMP continues to be unrealized by this empty, tossed-off writing exercise.


Luis Bacalov - Milano Calibro 9 (1972):
Terrific instrumental soundtrack is a fusion between psychedelic rock, funk & jazz. Sample heaven.

Badfinger - No Dice (1970): 74.
No mistaking that I'm in the 70s now with that distinct guitar distortion. A very strong power pop album.


The Band - Music From Big Pink (1968): 81.
"I Shall Be Released" is one of the most beautiful songs of the 1960s. Rest is lean & lovely.

The Band - S/T (1969): 75.
No songs written by Dylan this time out but the band sounds tighter and funkier than on their debut.

The Band - Moondog Matinee (1973): 66.
An odd cover LP in a year full of them. This is Band doing mostly R&B and it's fun but inessential.

Bob Dylan & The Band - The Basement Tapes (1975): 88.
Near-peak of Dylan's creativity brings out the best of The Band on these jam orphans.


Bangles - S/T (1982): 71.
"How is the Air Up There?" is choice cut but there's not a bad track on this jangle pop EP.

Bangles - All Over the Place (1984): 69.
Strong power pop debut with jangle guitars & great harmonies. Opening & closing tracks esp strong.


The Bats - Daddy's Highway (1987): 71.
Very solid jangle pop effort that took a few plays to click because the pleasures are pretty subtle.


The Beach Boys - Today! (1965): 78
. First half is frothy 50s pop, second is introspective & pretty. Studio experiments occasionally detract.

The Beach Boys - Pet Sounds (1966): 93. Flows way better than I remembered and lulls between singles apparently imagined by younger me.

The Beach Boys - Smiley Smile (1967): 72. The songs that don't really work are inventive & alive; the great songs are explosively brilliant.

The Beach Boys - Wild Honey (1967): 70.
A collection of interesting miniatures that could have been expanded upon. A very good rough draft.

The Beach Boys - Friends (1968): 68.
Finds the Boys settling down into straight Sunshine Pop. "Busy Doin' Nothin'" is highlight and thesis.

The Beach Boys - 20/20 (1969): 70.
Not a complete coherent statement by any means but side B (especially) has some really great moments.

The Beach Boys - Sunflower (1970): 85.
Dennis really comes alive here as a major songwriting talent, esp "Forever." All the songs work well.

The Beach Boys - Surf's Up (1971): 57.
SUNFLOWER suggested they were heading somewhere better and more exciting than this. Very minor work.

The Beach Boys - Carl and The Passions "So Tough" (1972): 59.
Regroups a little with both side-closing tracks but still a weaker efforts.

The Beach Boys - Holland (1973): 68.
All of the members contribute some strong material to this LP. Better than its reputation suggests.

The Beach Boys - Love You (1977): 78.
Oddly fascinating LP with contrasts between Wilson's shattered voice, childlike lyrics & moog synths.

/The Beach Boys - Love You/ (1977): 83.
This has grown on me in the last few weeks. Very precarious mix of childlike and world weary.


Beach Fossils - What a Pleasure EP (2011): 73.
An improvement over their good but forgettable debut LP, with stronger sequencing & control of tone.


Beastie Boys - Licensed to Ill (1986): 75.
Much better than I remembered; does a tremendous amount with spare samples & puckish humor.

Beastie Boys - Paul's Boutique (1989): 85.
Party atmosphere comes through in wild samples & rhymes but I found it occasionally grating this time.

Beastie Boys - Check Your Head (1992): 68.
Transitional LP skewing away from the samples of PAUL'S BOUTIQUE and towards a live rock sound.


The Beat - S/T (1979): 71.
Very solid, catchy power pop. A lean 13 tracks, 30 minute album that never fails to bring the fun.



The Beatles - Meet the Beatles! (1964): 66.
"It Won't Be Long" is the only track that really transcends the formula. B side is mostly dire.

The Beatles - Help! (1965): 69.
Uneven and poorly sequenced but there is a nice intensity to the album and it's quick and unpretentious.

The Beatles - Rubber Soul (1965): 85. A transitional album that found John stretching to more personal writing while Paul tried to keep up.

The Beatles - Revolver (1966): 91. A huge leap in terms of studio experimentation and eccentric songwriting. Songs are as disparate as S/T.

The Beatles - Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967): 88.
This used to be my favorite Beatles album, but I have cooled on it with time.

The Beatles - Magical Mystery Tour (1967): 74.
Tracks 6-9 are all choice cuts. "Fool" is strong but hurt by an overly whimsical arrangement.

The Beatles - S/T (1968): 84. Too mishmash & overlong for me to fully embrace. However, It does have several of the best Beatles songs.

The Beatles - Abbey Road (1969): 99.
The most perfectly sequenced album of all time. The end medley reprising earlier motifs is genius.

The Beatles - Let It Be (1970): 61. An afterthought released after The Beatles' actual final album ABBEY ROAD. Mostly inessential.


Jeff Beck - Truth (1968): 80.
Jeff Beck just eviscerates the guitar here and Rod Stewart hadn't yet had the operation to remove his balls.

Jeff Beck - Wired (1976): 71.
Jazz-Rock album has strong musicianship from all players but mostly for the sake of their own virtuosity.


The Beets - Stay Home (2011): 67. "Just a Whim" is highlight on this very lo-fi collection of fragments that recalls early Guided by Voices.


The Beguiled - Gone Away (1988): 75. A garage rock stew with ingredients including surf, punk, goth and swampy blues. Very impressive debut.


Chris Bell - I Am The Cosmos (1992): 81. A slightly less depressing sister to Big Star's 3RD with several tracks that completely kill.


Bettie Serveert - Something So Wild / What Friends? (1995): 61. Definitely not bad but this does little to inspire further listening...

Bettie Serveert - Crutches (1995): 53. Only "Entire Races" seems notable here and the rest is bland, anonymous Alt Rock.


Beyoncé - Lemonade (2016): 71. Peaks early and loses momentum but this is far and away the best album Beyoncé has put out.


Big Black - Atomizer (1986): 70. Completely unique combination of suburban horror with the unholy forces of hardcore, noise & industrial.

Big Black - Songs About Fucking (1987): 74. More sonically interesting than ATOMIZER and equally perverse lyrically. Side A just kills it.


Big Boi - Vicious Lies and Dangerous Rumors (2012): 64. Not in the same league as his terrific solo debut but still has some great moments.


Big Country - The Crossing (1983): 61. Big, bold rock music from the producer of early U2 and featuring similar bombast. Not to my taste.


Big Star - #1 Record (1972): 78.
A side is stacked with terrific songs but B side is a little underwhelming (saved by "Watch the Sunrise").

Big Star - Radio City (1974): 81. Now minus Chris Bell, this album has more straight-forward rock feel and some really stellar tunes.

Big Star - 3rd (1978): 87.
1st time with original LP (order & length). Tone still varies but it feels more manageable & each side ends warm.


Big Youth - Screaming Target (1972): 77. Apparently political but I can't understand most of what he's saying, but good flow is universal.

Big Youth - Dread Locks Dread (1975): 78.
A side shows off BY's toasting, B side shows off his excellent band. Great engineering by ET.


Bitch Prefect - Big Time (2012): 73.
Lo-fi twee / jangle pop with wonderfully whiny vocals that aims for the heart of Flying Nun fetishists.

Bitch Prefect - Adelaide 7" (2013): 58.
Both songs are fine but either would have been a low-point on their previous album.


Björk - Debut (1993): 68.
Much less musically adventurous than her later works but her vocal performances are still top notch.


Black Devil - Disco Club (1978): 81.
Space disco that combines krautrock, library electronic & disco elements into a party album for freaks.


Black Flag - Damaged (1981): 75. A side is divided between straight-forward anthems & stabs at satire. B side is intense but uneven.


Frank Black - S/T (1993): 70. Opening track and several others are among Black's best solo work but album feels overlong & oddly shapeless.

Frank Black - Teenager of the Year (1994): 83. There's some filler, especially on the second LP but the first LP is of Pixies-level quality.


The Black Lips - Arabia Mountain (2011): 70. Not as glossy as Ronson's name would suggest; pretty sure the money went to coke & random horns.

The Black Lips - Underneath the Rainbow (2014): 64. This epidemic of The Black Keys dudes producing garage rock albums needs to be stopped.


Black Sabbath - Paranoid (1970): 52.
Pretty damn goofy & simple-minded. Some of the riffs have stuck but they're not especially impressive.


Blake Babies - Sunburn (1990): 67. The two center Strohm songs are my favorites, I appreciate the occasional tougher edge to this sunny pop.


James Blake - S/T (2011): 68. Blue-eyed soul dressed up as twitchy dubstep which creates some odd tension that's equally irritating & compelling.


Blonde Redhead - Melody of Certain Damaged Lemons (2000): 84.
A startling reminder that I need to spend a lot more time with BR's catalog.



Blondie - S/T (1976): 67. Girl pop with punk guitar lines & bratty vocals. A lot of indie rock darlings now are following formula in lo-fi.

Blondie - Parallel Lines (1978): 69.
Infectious pop album blends together punk and disco influences with 60s girl pop structures. Solid.



Blouse - Into Black / Firestarter (2011): 71. A side is especially strong. Another notable dream pop artist in rich Captured Tracks stable.



The Blue Aeroplanes - Swagger (1990): 72. Strange marriage of jangle guitar and almost spoken vocals. Final track is exceptional.



The Blue Nile - A Walk Across the Rooftops (1983): 88. A very precarious walk that could easily fall off into schmaltz but instead is dazzling.

The Blue Nile - Hats (1989): 84.
Smooth, easy listening pop with heavy reliance on synth is a lot to overcome and this does it effortlessly.



Blue Öyster Cult - Agents of Fortune (1976): 52.
"(Don't Fear) The Reaper" is the highlight and it's a modest one.



Colin Blunstone - One Year (1971): 67.
The baroque, dreamy atmosphere keeps getting thrown off by haphazard sequencing. A great EP is here.



Bon Iver - Bon Iver, Bon Iver (2011): 79. Side A is masterful with an expansive, dynamic sound similar to late Talk Talk. B flirts with lesser 80s.



Boston - Boston (1976): 47.
Probably as influential on Punk as RAMONES but in a violent, let's destroy this slick crap kind of way.



David Bowie - The Man Who Sold the World (1970): 68.
Title & opening tracks are terrific. The rest is transitional and minor.

David Bowie - Hunky Dory (1971): 100.
Seems explicitly about Bowie's 1960s: artistically (Warhol, Reed & Dylan get songs) & personally.

David Bowie - Ziggy Stardust (1972): 81.
Bowie's readings are sometimes too dramatic for me on this but the songs are mostly excellent.

David Bowie - Aladdin Sane (1973): 83.
Superior sequel to ZIGGY (dubbed "Ziggy goes to America") with propulsive rock & avant-garde influences.

David Bowie - Pin Ups (1973): 65.
Bowie covers 60s British Invasion tunes and does a respectable job of it. I'm just not sure why.

David Bowie - Diamond Dogs (1974): 58.
Post-apocalyptic glam rock nonsense lacks memorable tunes, other than the riffalicious "Rebel Rebel."

David Bowie - Young Americans (1975): 70.
Bowie incorporates soul into his sound & the results are pretty strong, esp masterful title track.

David Bowie - Station to Station (1976): 79.
Transitions from the soul of YOUNG AMERICANS to the electronic/experimental Berlin Trilogy.

David Bowie - Low (1977): 89.
Intriguing structure courts dissatisfaction by inviting you in with song fragments & paying off with hypnosis.

David Bowie - "Heroes" (1977): 69.
Another Bowie/Eno LP of contrasting sides but I think this one suffers from inevitable comparison to LOW.

David Bowie - Lodger (1979): 81. His third with Eno brings a Talking Heads sounding African fusion and guitar work by Belew. Underrated.

David Bowie - Scary Monsters (1980): 74. Less unified than the Eno collaborations but still occasionally terrific ("Ashes to Ashes").

David Bowie - Let's Dance (1983): 76.
Replace "Without You" with "Cat People" and A side would make a masterpiece EP. B side mostly weak.



Charles Bradley - No Time for Dreaming (2011): 74. Very solid retro-soul LP with great gritty vocals & strong groves by Menehan Street Band.



Billy Bragg - Life's A Riot With Spy Vs Spy EP (1983): 87. Bragg alone with an electric guitar. Quintessential LP about a man in early 20's.

Billy Bragg - Brewing Up With Billy Bragg (1984): 73. Bragg did more with less on previous year's EP. Still passionate and funny as ever.

Billy Bragg - Talking With the Taxman About Poetry (1986): 74. Sex > politics in terms of insight. Sound is nicely filled in from early lo-fi.

Billy Bragg - Peel Sessions (1987): 80. Worthy companion to LIFE'S A RIOT with excellent cover of Cale's "Fear" which Bragg makes his own



Braids - Native Speaker (2011): 74. Very nice atmospheric textures with hypnotic blips and bleeps that somehow feel warm & non-mechanical.



The Breeders - Pod (1990): 81. A really great sounding record; arranged as a departure from Pixies' sound & expertly produced by Albini.



The Brilliant Corners - What's in a Word (1986): 74. Unfairly obscure jangle pop with smart lyrics & plentiful hooks. Great cover art too.

The Brilliant Corners - Somebody Up There Likes Me (1988): 68. Doesn't quite live up to the promise of first LP but still bright & catchy.



James Brown - Sex Machine (1970): 77.
Very good live & pseudo-live album from Brown. Title track is one of the all-time great funk jams.

James Brown - Get on the Good Foot (1972): 63.
Some great funk grooves but you have to skip through some awful filler and weak remakes.

James Brown - The Payback (1973): 79.
James Brown double LP that actually brings the funk, the whole funk and nothing but the funk.

James Brown - Hell (1974): 67. Overlong with some odd cover choices and inexplicable Gong hit to separate songs but it does bring da funk.

The J.B.'s - Damn Right I Am Somebody (1974): 73.
Taken from PAYBACK sessions this doesn't flow like an album but it is good funky fun.



Jackson Browne - S/T (1972): 67.
Better than I remembered it being but not nearly as lyrically advanced as his next two LPs.

Jackson Browne - For Everyman (1973): 74.
Browne expands to more philosophical material and provides a definitive version of "Take It Easy."

Jackson Browne - Late for the Sky (1974): 88.
Side A is a masterpiece of eloquent, philosophical poetry, Side B is just very good.

Jackson Browne - The Pretender (1976): 68.
Some very strong songs but too often the arrangement/production undercuts them.



Jeff Buckley - Grace (1994): 80.
Voice so beautiful that you can't believe a word he says, but it sure sounds great when he says it.



Tim Buckley - Happy Sad (1969): 70.
A very loose LP with jazzy doodling on the edges of every track & Buckley's sublime, vacillating vocals.

Tim Buckley - Lorca (1970): 72.
Bends the already loose structures of previous LPs into a more brooding, mysterious direction. Captivating.



Brian Eno/Harold Budd - Ambient 2: The Plateaux of Mirror (1980): 69. More melodic than 1, almost occasionally song-like. Good for sleep.



Bill Direen & the Builders - Beatin Hearts (1982): 79. Dirty ass rock n roll, weird lyrics, lo-fi production & terrific vocals.



Built to Spill - There's Nothing Wrong With Love (1994): 82. Martsch taking role of singer/songwriter with very personal & touching lyrics.



Vashti Bunyan - Just Another Diamond Day (1970) 80.
A lovely collection of ethereal folk songs. Could soundtrack Rohmer's Astrea & Celadon.



Kate Bush - The Kick Inside (1978): 82.
Bush made this when 19 and it sounds young & exuberant. Also melodically complex & often jazzy.

Kate Bush - The Dreaming (1982): 70. One of Bush's more experimental LPs but the melodic rewards are less than those of HOUNDS OF LOVE.

Kate Bush - Hounds of Love (1985): 81. Each side is self-contained stylistically: first is pop, second is experimental suite. Both terrific.



Butthole Surfers - Hairway to Steven (1988): 65. Some nifty tape manipulation & distortion make for a very elaborate joke LP, not much more.



Buzzcocks - Spiral Scratch (1977): 69.
4 song EP as a shot of adrenaline straight to the heart. Brash, loud and snotty.

Buzzcocks - Another Music in a Different Kitchen (1978): 77.
They're probably best known for the singles but this LP is very strong catchy pop punk

Buzzcocks - A Different Kind of Tension (1979): 75.
Buzzcocks stretching out their sound and finding great success on 7 minute "I Believe."



The Byrds - Fifth Dimension (1966): 58.
Some impressive guitar work but I found this album oddly listless and dull this time around.



Brian Eno & David Byrne - My Life in the Bush of Ghosts (1981): 78. Primitive & futuristic fused together to create unnerving conflicts in texture.



John Cale - Vintage Violence (1970): 76.
Better than I remembered. "Gideon's Bible" and especially "Big White Cloud" suggest PARIS 1919.

John Cale - Paris 1919 (1973): 87.
A major discovery after my frustrating previous visits to solo Cale. Literate lyrics & pop orchestration.

John Cale - Fear (1974): 83. "Fear Is A Man's Best Friend" going from calm piano to psychotically erupting bass hits sets tone for whole LP.

John Cale - Slow Dazzle (1975): 74.
Cale's nightmarish take on "Heartbreak Hotel" is highlight but the rest is similarly dark and tawdry.

John Cale - Helen of Troy (1975): 69.
Easily the weakest of the Island Trilogy but it is interesting to hear his take on "Pablo Picasso."

John Cale - Animal Justice EP (1977): 78.
Side A is ferocious punk and the 8 minute "Hedda Gabbler" that takes up B is one of Cale's best.

John Cale - Mercenaries (Ready for War) 7" (1980): 67.
Two aggressive single only released tracks that resemble A side of ANIMAL JUSTICE.

John Cale - Honi Soit (1981): 64. Cale's first LP in six years is a very odd, eccentric record. Punk thrashing with classical pop melodies.

John Cale - Music for a New Society (1982): 77.
A musical departure for Cale with prevalent keyboard tons of empty space. Related to BERLIN.

Lou Reed & John Cale - Songs for Drella (1990): 72.
Loving, complex portrait of Andy Warhol overcomes occasionally feeling like an exercise.



Camper Van Beethoven - Telephone Free Landslide Victory (1985): 70. Cowpunk played to highest degree of stoned absurdity. Too many instrumentals.



Can - Monster Movie (1969): 75.
Later Can sounds futuristic, this is still very indebted to VU. Hypnotic & tense but grounded in garage.

Can - Soundtracks (1970): 81.
The whole thing is strong but "Mother Sky" is really next level stuff. One of their best songs.

Can - Tago Mago (1971): 78.
Visionary experimental drone record with funky beats and crazed, sometimes annoyingly crazed, vocals.

/Can - Tago Mago (1971)/: 83. Come for the masterful concentrated Can on first LP, probably stay for the dissonant jam Can on second LP.

Can - Ege Bamyasi (1972): 76.
I have mixed feelings about the two long, dissonant jams. The rest of the album is tense, melodic & terrific.

/Can - Ege Bamyasi (1972)/: 90.
Everything I've come to love about Can. Constant funky groove, weird textures, unpredictability & dangerous

Can - Future Days (1973): 71.
Precise and measured (as if by a machine) but with odd tropical influences. Vocals almost removed from mix.

/Can - Future Days (1973)/: 87.
The most spaced out and leisurely of the Can records but still full of great grooves and intense passages.

Can - Soon Over Babaluma (1974): 68.
Transitional, largely instrumental and less fun to puzzle over than the previous Can LPs.



John Carpenter - Assault on Precinct 13 (1976):
Never realized that the main theme was a lift from "Immigrant Song." Still tense & terrific.



Carpenters - Close to You (1970): 44.
I mildly enjoy both of the huge singles but they botch the other Bacharach tunes & massacre "Help."



James Carr - You Got My Mind Mess Up (1967): 83.
A major discovery. A violent soul album with stunningly tortured vocal delivery. Wow.

James Carr - A Man Needs A Woman (1968): 80.
Double-dips two best songs from previous LP but the rest of the material is simply great soul.



The Cars - S/T (1978): 71.
Should have made the Onion AV's list of "Good Albums That Could Have Been Great EPs." Keep 1, 2, 3 and 8.



Clarence Carter - Patches (1970): 70.
B-Side is considerably stronger than the A-Side. Love songs are lyrically reminiscent of Sam Cooke.



Neko Case - The Worse Things Get...(2013): 77. Case writing with emotional clarity rather than metaphor which limits her playfulness & color



Peter Case - S/T (1986): 69. VD Parks arranged "Small Town Spree" is highlight. Technical credits are stellar & sound is polished but tight.



Johnny Cash - At Folsom Prison (1968): 75.
Definitive versions of several Cash classics and great banter with the prisoners. Good energy.

Johnny Cash - At San Quentin (1969): 65.
Cash's sequel to FOLSOM is basically a retread and lacks the energy & inspiration of the original.



Cat Power - The Covers Record (2000): 83.
Exceptional interpretations with abridged lyrics changing tone; arrangements & vocals superb.

Cat Power - You Are Free (2003): 84. Probably Marshall's most consistently compelling material, although side B could use a upbeat track.

Cat Power - Sun (2012): 71. Front-loaded but very exciting stylistic departure from Marshall, her best album since YOU ARE FREE.



Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds - From Her to Eternity (1984): 67. Never really known what to do with this sinister early Cave. Very thick atmosphere.

Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds - The Firstborn is Dead (1985): 68.
Opening track "Tupelo" is clear highlight & establishes many Cave motifs.

Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds - Your Funeral ... My Trial (1986): 78.
A major breakthrough for Cave in nearly every way. Excellent structure.

Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds - Tender Prey (1988): 83.
Perfectly measured to fit style & tone to the subject matter. Cave enters peak years.

Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds - The Good Son (1990): 86.
Cave re-imagined as a balladeer. Lighter in tone without surrendering atmosphere.

Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds - Henry's Dream (1992): 80.
Another consistently great outing from Cave with morbid, acoustic rockers.

Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds - Push the Sky Away (2013): 83.
Cave doing mostly lovely ballads but with his typical underlining dread. Essential



The Cavemen - ...yeah (1986): 56.
There's a nice laid-back quality to the performance and production but almost no staying power.



Cerrone - Supernature (1977): 84.
Weird disco godhead. Atmospheric and trippy psychedelics with catchy disco hooks. Essential.



Cheap Trick - S/T / In Color (1977): Both 71.
Strong pop songwriting with big guitar riffs. Propulsive fun with standout cuts in deep.



Chelsea Light Moving - S/T (2013): 61.
Moore clearly didn't lose the Sonic Youth sound in the divorce but this is second rate SY at best.



Vic Chesnutt - North Star Deserter (2007): 72.
Intimate, fragile bedroom folk with terrifically evocative accompaniment by Silver Mt Zion.



The Child Molesters - The Legendary Brown Album (1994): 72.
If Captain Beefheart fronted Pere Ubu and thought punk meant offending everyone.



The Chills - Submarine Bells (1990): 66.
"Heavenly Pop Hit" & "Singing in My Sleep" are highlights. Derivative of R.E.M. to a fault.



Alex Chilton - Singer Not the Song (1977): 80.
Chilton adapting his musical persona to the punk scene with startling success. Essential.



Chvrches - The Bones of What You Believe (2013): 42.
I guess people must be starving for synth pop or something? This is not very memorable.



Circle Jerks - Group Sex (1980): 62.
Beyond breakneck paced hardcore punk LP (EP in length) is well played & controlled. Anthem as slogan.



Dillard & Clark - The Fantastic Expedition of Dillard & Clark (1968): 76.
Not really my style but the songs are so strong that it won me over completely.

/Dillard & Clark - The Fantastic Expedition of Dillard & Clark (1968)/: 84.
Underrated this on first listen. Short and completely addictive.

Gene Clark - White Light (1971): 80.
Downcast and lovely, this collection is never less than very good and sometimes it's truly exceptional.

Gene Clark - Firebyrd (1984): 68. An oddity that glimpses greatness ("Rain Song") while trying to cash in on Byrds legacy. Strangely moving.



The Clash - S/T (1977): 85.
UK version. Quality dips a bit on B Side but this is The Clash at their most focused, primal and punk.

The Clash - Give 'Em Enough Rope (1978): 68.
A midway dip in quality between the S/T debut and LONDON CALLING. Certainly not bad though.

The Clash - London Calling (1979): 84.
Like EXILE ON MAIN ST. this is more about capturing a mood than being an all killer, no filler LP.

The Clash - Sandinista! (1980): 64. Fatigue sets about 90 minutes into this 145 minute LP. Great tracks sprinkled throughout this weird slog (but less so on LP3 - which was apparently a collection of out-takes that The Clash lied into inclusion at their own financial loss).

The Clash - Combat Rock (1982): 75. First side is excellent, second side is very disappointing. A very eccentric sell-out album.



Jimmy Cliff et al. - The Harder They Come (1972):
This LP and LEGEND are great primers for reggae newbies. A really terrific soundtrack.



Cloud Nothings: Attack on Memory (2012): 76. Great choice having Albini record this; it really jumps out at you and sounds great played loud

Cloud Nothings - Here and Nowhere Else (2014): 75.
Not quite up to ATTACK ON MEMORY but that might just be the Steve Albini deficit.



Coachwhips - Get Yer Body Next Ta Mine (2003): 71.
Very distorted garage rock with terrific riffs but I wish the vocals marginally coherent.



Cockney Rebel - The Human Menagerie (1973): 82.
Somewhere between prog & glam but with a violin used like an electric guitar & punk vocals.

Cockney Rebel - The Psychomodo (1974): 84.
Demented circus music from deranged psychotics. Vocals are lovechild of Ray Davies & David Bowie.

Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel - The Best Years of Our Lives (1975): 80. Harley/Cockney is steadily proving a terrific discovery. Glam Kinks.

Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel - Timeless Flight (1976): 77. "Red is a Mean, Mean Colour" is clear highlight on this transitional, strange LP.

Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel - Love's A Prima Donna (1976): 69.
Harley continuing exploring outer limits of pop with this 60s throwback.



Cocteau Twins - Head Over Heels (1983): 67. Sound is very consistent in tone with little variation but when they do mix it up, they stumble.



Leonard Cohen - Songs of Leonard Cohen (1967): 94.
Like early Dylan, these are timeless folk songs that feel passed on & lived in.

Leonard Cohen - Songs from a Room (1969): 72.
Mildly disappointing followup to his debut. Very odd arrangement. Way too much jew's harp.

Leonard Cohen - Songs of Love and Hate (1971): 78.
Some of his best songs but approx 25% is weak filler ("Diamonds in the Mine").

Leonard Cohen - New Skin For the Old Ceremony (1974): 82.
Cohen's best collection of tunes since his debut. Side A is just about perfect.

Leonard Cohen - Death of a Ladies' Man (1977): 76.
Cohen's most casual, lurid songs adorned with Spector's wall. Much better than reputation

Leonard Cohen - Various Positions (1984): 74. Cohen's first synth LP and I don't love some of the arrangements but there's not a bad track.

Leonard Cohen - I'm Your Man (1988): 85. One of Cohen's very best LPs. Even the synth production can't hinder these masterpieces.

Leonard Cohen - The Future (1992): 61. Doesn't really follow through on the apocalyptic vision of the opening track & the production hampers

Leonard Cohen - You Want it Darker (2016): 65.
Not a BLACKSTAR-level swan song, but much more tastefully produced than recent Cohen albums.



Come - Car / Last Mistake 7" (1991): 77. Dark brooding grunge with heavy dose of muddy blues and lots of snarling attitude. Very exciting.

Come - Fast Piss Blues / I Got the Blues (1992): 74.
"Fast Piss Blues" is the stand out track and a spot on description of their style.



The Comsat Angels - Waiting for a Miracle (1980): 68.
Another anxious post-punk LP with guitars ringing out like sirens. Solid.

The Comsat Angels - Fiction (1982): 67. Atmospheric post-punk with very good sense of dynamics. Joy Division meets The Blue Nile.



The Congos - Heart of The Congos (1977): 74. Perry's production is tops and Congos vocals are very soulful but the whole LP is far too long.



Constant Mongrel - Everything Goes Wrong (2012): 69. Total Control-lite. Too much running in place but both sides end with killer tracks.



Alice Cooper - Killer (1971): 61.
A band that needs to hit quickly and move on ("Under My Wheels" & "You Drive Me Nervous"). Prolonged=DEATH



Elvis Costello - My Aim is True (1977): 80.
I prefer Costello's next two LPs but "Allison" & "Watching the Detectives" are among his best songs.

Elvis Costello - This Year's Model (1978): 94.
Angrier and more sustained than the debut with a punk tone that suits the songs perfectly.

Elvis Costello & the Attractions - Armed Forces (1979): 90.
Not as fierce or perfect as THIS YEAR'S MODEL but still confident and great.

Elvis Costello & the Attractions - Get Happy!! (1980): 73.
Several great Costello tracks but the LP is overstuffed and overlong.

Elvis Costello & the Attractions - Trust (1981): 71.
A lot of strong songs but the LP is so restless and genre-hopping it becomes tiresome.

Elvis Costello & the Attractions - Punch the Clock (1983): 66.
Costello with a new pop sheen but in service of his most mediocre songs to date.

Elvis Costello & Burt Bacharach - Painted From Memory (1998): 76.
Captures the same feel as Woody Allen's EVERYONE SAYS I LOVE YOU...Unapologetically sappy and old fashioned with built in limitations that somehow make it very emotionally resonant. Loving homage to unhip.



Cowboy Junkies - The Trinity Sessions (1988): 72. Stoned cowgirl music indeed but also a clear influence on much 90s Lilith Fair bland.



The Cramps - Gravest Hits (1979): 78.
Alex Chilton production is raw & exciting as is their crazed take on "Surfin' Bird" & "The Way I Walk"



Cream - Disraeli Gears (1967): 42.
The riffs are too straight-forward and the lyrics are pedestrian. Bruce's bass is the only bright spot.



Jim Croce - I Got a Name (1973): 53.
Croce's GREATEST HITS got a lot of play in my childhood, so I won't say a bad word about him here.



Mikal Cronin - S/T (2011): 80.
A great solo debut for Cronin but you can feel Ty Segall's looming large like Bowie did on 70s Reed & Pop.

Mikal Cronin - Tide / You Gotta Have Someone (2011): 78.
One of the most exciting emerging artists in 2011. B-side is a delicious pop nugget

Mikal Cronin - MCII (2013): 75. Now veering more towards power pop and away from more aggressive garage rock debut. Very strong melodies.



David Crosby - If I Could Only Remember My Name (1971): 70.
Relaxed, dreamy harmonies with very loose guitar expressing a post-60s malaise.



Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young - Déjà Vu (1970): 63.
Young's "Helpless" is choice track. Side B significantly weak, both sides pretty dull.



Cults - S/T (2011): 74. A girl pop party attended by the Manson family; darkness seeping into music via lyrics, ambient noise & cult voice samples.



The Cure - Pornography (1982): 74.
Cheer up, emo kid.

The Cure - The Head on the Door (1985): 77.
Atmosphere & theatrics surrendered to pop and several of The Cure's best songs are the result.

The Cure - Kiss Me Kiss Me Kiss Me (1987): 66.
As the title suggests, this double LP is just excessive and should have been cut down.

The Cure - Disintegration (1989): 74.
I prefer off-kilter THE HEAD ON THE DOOR to this more straight-forward pop. Several great tracks.



Cut Copy - Zonoscope (2011): 58.
A serviceable dance/synth pop LP with plenty of hooks but the beats are not compelling and neither are the lyrics.



The D.O.C. - No One Can Do It Better (1989): 80.
Offers more evidence of Dr. Dre's production genius than the more acclaimed N.W.A. records.



Daft Punk - Random Access Memories (2013): 79.
Or, a collection of everything Daft Punk loves. Should end with a bus to free milk & cookies.



Karen Dalton - It's So Hard to Tell Who's Going to Love You The Best (1969): 81.
Stunning folk/blues hybrid that feels ancient & authentic.



Damaged Bug - Hubba Bubba (2014): 65. Music shaped to fit the Realistic Concertmate MG-1 and not the other way around. Weird & exhausting.



The Damned - Damned Damned Damned (1977): 86.
Fast, loud punk rock from a band that is actually really good at their instruments.



Danzig - S/T (1988): 58.
A bluesy take on hard rock with a few lifts from Led Zeppelin's guitar playbook & vocal lessons from Jim Morrison.



Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich - S/T (1966): 71.
Tight garage rock with propulsive beat and plentiful vocal harmonizing. Even the ballads work.



Betty Davis - They Say I'm Different (1974): 68.
Gritty, nasty funk. Her voice is rough but so is her subject matter (bondage, prostitution)



Miles Davis - Kind of Blue (1959): 86.
Chill jazz epic with plenty of lovely flourishes for all of the all star players involved.



The dB's - Stands for Decibels (1981): 77.
Nearly great power pop album that influenced countless college rock bands of the 80s.

The dB's - Repercussion (1982): 76.
Very strong sophomore effort with a great A-side, let down slightly by B. I listened to the German LP.

The dB's - Like This (1984): 69.
Jangle now with heavy dose of roots rock and synth fills. A step down from first two but still pretty good.



Dead Kennedys - Fresh Fruit For Rotting Vegetables (1980): 57.
Warbled, annoying vocals kill this for me even though I appreciate the satire.



Dead Moon - In the Graveyard (1988): 83.
Excellent debut that brings strong country & blues influences into a gritty, lo-fi garage sound.

Dead Moon - Unknown Passage (1989): 86.
More forceful & confident than the debut. "Dead Moon Night" & "54/40 or Fight" are especially great



Deakin - Sleep Cycle (2016): 80.
Expands the troubling trend of Animal Collective solo efforts easily out-shining their proper LP output.



The Decemberists - The King is Dead (2011): 45.
This reactionary follow-up to ambitious failure is a much less ambitious failure. No signs of life.



Deerhoof - Deerhoof vs. Evil (2011): 55.
Never been a fan. Feels like there are about 200 ideas per song, I wish they'd stick with the good ones.



Deerhunter - Monomania (2013): 63.
A rare inessential Deerhunter record. Feels overly fussed with and much too reliant on strange effects.



De La Soul - 3 Feet High and Rising (1989): 77.
Very quirky lyrics with clever rhymes but I would prefer it shorter with better sequencing.

De La Soul - De La Soul is Dead (1991): 74.
Dark follow-up to very sunny debut is still too long, unfocused & poorly sequenced to be great.



The Delfonics - S/T (1970): 66.
"I didn't know you liked The Delfonics." "They're pretty good."



Del Tha Funkee Homosapien - I Wish My Brother George Was Here (1991): 80. Funky Conscious Hip Hop is flip-side to the Gangsta Rap in vogue.

Del Tha Funkee Homosapienn - No Need For Alarm (1993): 62. No need at all. Mostly battle raps that show little of the promise of his debut.



Iris DeMent - Infamous Angel (1992): 73. "Let the Mystery Be" & "Our Town" show how great this concise songwriter can be at her peak.



Sandy Denny - The North Star Grassman & the Ravens (1971): 60. A mixed bag despite some highlights and great guitar work from Thompson.

Sandy Denny - Sandy (1972): 57. More ornate arrangements play up folksiness in a way I find emotionally chilly. Thompson buried in clutter.



Derek & the Dominos - Layla & Other Assorted Love Songs (1970): 75.
"Bell Bottom Blues" is Clapton's best song & the album is uniformly strong.



Descendents - Milo Goes to College (1982): 64. An album I might have appreciated more during my teenage rebellion years.



Destroyer - Streethawk: A Seduction (2001): 87.
Bejar's warmest and user friendly LP, mostly featuring various pop riffs on glam Bowie.

Destroyer - Kaputt (2011): 87.
Bejar's best work in years. Spaced-out sophistipop arrangements shouldn't be this sexy. Melodies develop and evolve.



Devo - Duty Now For the Future (1979): 61.
"The Day My Baby Gave Me A Surprise" is highlight. Feels transitional & uncertain after debut.

Devo - Freedom of Choice (1980): 65. "Whip It" and "Gates of Steel" make this slightly better than previous LP but far below their debut.



Dick Diver - New Start Again (2011): 78. Warm & soft guitar rock in the vein of Television's ADVENTURE & countless great 90s Matador bands.



Dickies - The Incredible Shrinking Dickies (1979): 68.
Punk as parody. A cartoon version of the Ramones (who were already cartoonish enough)



The Dicks - The Dicks Hate the Police (1980): 90. Pulls of the incredible feat of being socio-political punk and not sucking. Best of genre



Died Pretty - Free Dirt (1986): 66. Some stellar guitar work in this odd genre bender but the muddy production keeps me from embracing it.



Dillard & Clark - The Fantastic Expedition of Dillard & Clark (1968): 76.
Not really my style but the songs are so strong that it won me over completely.

/Dillard & Clark - The Fantastic Expedition of Dillard & Clark (1968)/: 84.
Underrated this on first listen. Short and completely addictive.



Dinosaur Jr. - You're Living All Over Me (1987): 78. Splashes of abrasive guitar noise with disaffected vocals & folk progressions: Hello grunge.

Dinosaur Jr. - Bug (1988): 76. A solid follow-up to YOU'RE LIVING ALL OVER ME that only sounds forced on the raw, noisy final song.

Dinosaur Jr. - Green Mind (1991): 69. More polished sounding and pop oriented than previous LPs. Could use more variation in mood & tempo.

J Mascis - Several Shades of Why (2011): 79. A very full sounding acoustic LP with songs every bit as good as they were on FARM, just a lot quieter



Bill Direen & the Builders - Beatin Hearts (1982): 79.
Dirty ass rock n roll, weird lyrics, lo-fi production & terrific vocals.



Dire Straits - Brothers in Arms (1985): 67. Wanders around stylistically between bad 80s soft-rock impulses & Dylanesque sly wit.



Dirty Beaches - Badlands (2011): 73. Psychobilly meets No Wave makes for a very stark, dangerous vision. Lo-fi recording brings out lovely textures



Dr. Phibes and the House of Wax Equations - Sugarblast EP (1990): 71. Muscular psychedelic with exceptional rhythm section. Oddly obscure.



Dodos - No Color (2011): 74.
Not a return to VISITER levels of invention but I'm glad they returned to that original recipe with minor evolution.



Dolly Mixture - Demonstration Tapes (1983): 77.
Twee pop with jangly guitars & 50s girl pop melodies. Long & shapeless but very compelling.



Donovan - Sunshine Superman (1966): 65.
Both side-openers are very strong as is the closing track; the rest a cloud of psychedelic muddle.

Donovan - Mellow Yellow (1967): 65.
Surprisingly solid and more diverse than previous Donovan. Title song is ridiculously catchy.



The Doors - S/T (1967): 62.
There's little denying Manzarek's keys or Krieger's guitar but they are sisyphus and Morrison is the boulder.

The Doors - Strange Days (1967): 59.
See previous tweet. I like the eerier vibe to the music here but the songs are weaker than the debut.



Nick Drake - Five Leaves Left (1969): 98.
One of the best debut LPs ever. Truly haunting stuff. "Fruit Tree" could be Drake's epitaph.

Nick Drake - Bryter Layter (1970): 93.
Warm & ingratiating. Brilliant sunny arrangements failed to capture an audience & led to PINK MOON.

Nick Drake - Pink Moon (1972): 95.
Spare to the point of being thrifty but just as haunting as FIVE LEAVES LEFT and lovely as BRYTER LAYTER.



Dr. Dre - The Chronic (1992): 71.
A great party album for most of the first half, then the weed comes out and everyone gets a little dull.



The Dream Syndicate - The Days of Wine and Roses (1982): 72.
I don't love Wynn's Lou Reed impersonation but Precoda's guitar work is stellar.



Doris Duke - I'm A Loser (1969): 71.
A tragicomedy Soul concept album that follows a woman dropped by a man, her rebound marriage & divorce.



Dum Dum Girls - He Gets Me High EP (2011): 65.
Four obsessive love songs performed at a relaxed pace. Hopefully not a permanent departure.



Duran Duran - Rio (1982): 62.
I would have been among the puzzled partygoers mildly annoyed that coke-fueled Greenberg put on Duran Duran.



The Durutti Column - LC (1981): 69.
Post-punk meets ambient with shimmering guitar textures & distant vocals. Atmospheric but sleepy.



Bob Dylan - The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan (1963): 84.
Some of Dylan's most brilliant early compositions and a few merely good ones.

Bob Dylan - The Times They Are A-Changin' (1964): 74.
Dylan as dour, humorless protest singer. "Hattie Carroll" is a masterpiece though.

Bob Dylan - Bringing It All Back Home (1965): 90.
Effortlessly shifts gears from brooding intensity to playfully humorous. A masterpiece.

Bob Dylan - Highway '61 Revisited (1965): 100.
"If Salvador Dalí or Luis Buñuel had picked up a Fender Strat to head a blues band..."

Bob Dylan - Blonde on Blonde (1966): 96.
Slightly overlong but I am hard-pressed to pick a song to exclude. "Johanna" may be Dylan's best.

Bob Dylan - John Wesley Harding (1967): 85.
Initially I thought this too slight and wrote it off. Now it seems, in its way, just about perfect.

Bob Dylan - Nashville Skyline (1969): 83.
Dylan fully embracing the country sound he previously hinted at and radically changing his voice.

Bob Dylan - Self Portrait (1970): 67.
An angry, perverse album of mostly covers which are in turns funny ("The Boxer"), brutal & ramshackle.

Bob Dylan - New Morning (1970): 79.
Casual & tossed-off. Much better than SELF PORTRAIT, even if it also practically begs to be dismissed.

Bob Dylan - Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid (1973): 73.
"Knockin' On Heaven's Door" is one of Dylan's greatest songs. I also love the "Billy" theme.

Bob Dylan - Dylan (1973): 60. More puzzling than SELF PORTRAIT but apparently compiled without much Dylan input. Not bad but inessential.

Bob Dylan - Planet Waves (1974): 80.
Dylan with The Band makes for some spirited country-tinged fun. Several top level Dylan songs here.

Bob Dylan - Blood on the Tracks (1975): 95.
His best 70s album in a walk. Intense, bitter & seemingly personal (although Dylan denies it).

Bob Dylan & The Band - The Basement Tapes (1975): 88.
Near-peak of Dylan's creativity brings out the best of The Band on these jam orphans.

Bob Dylan - Desire (1976): 86.
A throwback to the expansive protest songs Dylan worked with in the 60s with a renewed interest in wordplay.

Bob Dylan - Street-Legal (1978): 61.
Drenched in both horns & female background singers, this still has moments ("Secor") but they're rare.

Bob Dylan - Slow Train Coming (1979): 73. Underrated Dylan finds Jesus record has passionate vocals; great guitar textures by Mark Knopfler.

Bob Dylan - Saved (1980): 66. Knopfler gone. Female background singers back and taking us to church. Never bad, sometimes great ("Pressing On").

Bob Dylan - Shot of Love (1981): 66.
"Every Grain of Sand" qualifies as a late-era Dylan masterpiece but the rest is uneven & uneventful.

Bob Dylan - Infidels (1983): 81. Dylan back with Knopfler for one of his best late period LPs. Downplaying religion & utilizing more guitar.

Bob Dylan - Oh Mercy (1989): 81.
A somber, ethereal return to form for Dylan that lays out the groundwork for his sound in the next decade.

Bob Dylan - Under the Red Sky (1990): 62. Disappointing follow-up to OH MERCY seems rushed & overproduced. Some fine songs slip through.



Eagles - Hotel California: 44. A very cynical pop LP that inadvertently sounds like the decadent corruption it purports to be criticizing.



Earth Opera - S/T (1968): 71.
Lyrically strong & musically adventurous. Very much of its time but also remarkably less dated than most peers



Echo & the Bunnymen - Crocodiles (1980): 68. Echo sounds like Joy Division fronted by Jim Morrison on this debut. Better things to come.

Echo & the Bunnymen - Ocean Rain (1984): 74. A less moody Echo album with great cuts like "The Killing Moon" & "Seven Seas."



EMA - Past Life Martyred Saints (2011): 68. Very noisy folk music with heart on sleeve emotionalism; lyrics not quite up to snuff.



Brian Eno - Here Come the Warm Jets (1974): 90.
Eno employing some avant garde studio wizardry to make brilliant, propulsive pop music.

Brian Eno - Taking Tiger Mountain (By Strategy) (1974): 85.
Not as immediately palatable as WARM JETS but nearly as awesome once it reveals itself.

Brian Eno - Another Green World (1975): 99.
Feels coherent & uniform even though it snakes between pop songs and moody synth instrumentals.

Brian Eno - Before and After Science (1977): 73.
The weakest of Eno's first four mostly because it's let down by the languid B Side.

Brian Eno - Ambient 1: Music for Airports (1978): 62.
Title is accurate. This is music made for impersonal, sterile spaces. Not human.

Brian Eno/Harold Budd - Ambient 2: The Plateaux of Mirror (1980): 69. More melodic than 1, almost occasionally song-like. Good for sleep.

Brian Eno & David Byrne - My Life in the Bush of Ghosts (1981): 78. Primitive & futuristic fused together to create unnerving conflicts in texture.



Roky Erickson & the Aliens - S/T [Five Symbols] (1980): 78. Psychedelic pop songs about vampires, zombies & demons with great guitar leads.

/Roky Erickson & the Aliens - S/T [Five Symbols]/ (1980): 82. Even better than I initially thought. Songs unexpected and very memorable.

Roky Erickson & the Aliens - The Evil One (1981): 81.
Overlaps 5 songs with the UK S/T release, but the 5 new songs are all fairly terrific.

Roky Erickson - Clear Night for Love EP (1985): 78. An EP about love and not zombies or aliens. Great clarity to the writing & playing.

Roky Erickson - Don't Slander Me (1986): 75. Shoddy production (especially compared to previous year's CLEAR NIGHT EP) but terrific songs.

Roky Erickson - Gremlins Have Pictures (1986): 73. Compilation with live & muddy studio cuts. Essential for "Heroin" cover & new originals.

Roky Erickson - The Holiday Inn Tapes (1987): 77. Acoustic, very lo-fi recordings of Erickson doing 2 Buddy Holly covers & originals. Great.



Eric's Trip - Love Tara (1993): 75.
Atmospheric use of lo-fi with melodic pop melodies on top of crunchy bursts of noise. Warm & exciting.



Donald Fagen - The Nightfly (1982): 60.
Music for Airport Bars. Fagen writes about the 50s/60s without any love for the music of that era.



John Fahey - Requia (1967): 64.
All the A-Side primitivism is terrific, the B-side tape manipulation with guitars yields mixed results.



Faith No More - The Real Thing (1989): 65.
Probably did more harm than good but side A is pretty strong. "Epic" was my fav song at age 9.

Faith No More - Angel Dust (1992): 68.
Incorporates many more genres into the mix but I often feel like its just a exercise in style.



The Fall - Live at the Witch Trials (1979): 60.
Sloppy punk with a very odd mix and loose, deconstructed song structures.

The Fall - Grotesque (After the Gramme) (1980): 54. Obviously influenced music I love from Pavement but I can't find much to embrace here.

The Fall - Hex Education Hour (1982): 57. Structureless, roaming madness that I just can't wrap my head around.

The Fall - This Nation's Saving Grace (1985): 77. A straight line from this LP to Pixies & Pavement. More accessible & much less annoying.



The Fall-Outs - S/T (1992): 69. Straight forward bluesy garage rock with a nice groove. Not bad but not essential.



Bill Fay - S/T (1970): 74.
A provisional grade because I plan to come back to this soon. Bold arrangements & smart lyrics, might be great.

Bill Fay - Time of the Last Persecution (1971): 78.
Very strong singer/songwriter album confirms promise of debut. Great guitar fills.



John Fahey - Days Have Gone By (1967): 67.
Another solid collection of guitar instrumentals from Fahey. Nothing really mind-blowing though.



The Feelies - Crazy Rhythms (1980): 92.
Clean guitar lines surrounded by tons of jittery percussion. Songs built on tiny fluctuations.

The Feelies - The Good Earth (1986): 88.
Like Television's ADVENTURE, doesn't try to repeat debut tension is instead relaxed & lovely.

The Feelies - Only Life (1988): 77.
Still pretty great despite retreading the sound of THE GOOD EARTH with very little new invention.



Feist - Metals (2011): 57.
The occasional eccentric flourish or unexpected arrangement help keep this from being completely underwhelming.



FIDLAR - DIYDUI EP (2011): 75.
A brash, raucous 8 minutes of punk with killer pop hooks. WAKE. BAKE. SKATE. Indeed.

FIDLAR - No Waves / No Ass (2012): 72.
A-Side is a scorching love song to aimlessness, B-Side is their first song that feels like a B-Side.

FIDLAR - S/T (2013): 77.
Less punk than their EPs & live shows but that fits snugly into the theory that they are actually The Replacements....and this is their SORRY MA, with their LET IT BE presumably not far off.



The Field Mice - For Keeps (1991): 67.
Pitchfork's "psychedelic earnestness" tag seems proper, I wish it wasn't always such a blunt object.



Field Trip - Headgear (1990): 73.
Overlooked cowpunk/power pop outfit with considerable talent & music tightness. Search discount bins.



The Fiery Furnaces - Gallowsbird's Bark (2003): 76.
Blues based rock allows for some invention within formula but little sign of leap in '04

Eleanor Friedberger - Last Summer (2011): 80. An open & completely engaging pop album works with a variety of sounds without feeling shifty.

Eleanor Friedberger - Personal Record (2013): 76.
Her most conventional record by a wide margin but still warm, poppy and very well written.

Matthew Friedberger - Napoléonette (2011): 71.
MF obstructed down to just piano & vocal is actually very revealing look into his manic processes.

Matthew Friedberger - Meet Me in Miramas (2011): 73. Some of MF's longest compositions with innovative guitar use to provide percussive spine.



The Fixx - Shuttered Room (1982): 66.
"Stand or Fall" and "Red Skies" are choice cuts on this debut which was unfairly savaged by critics.



The Flaming Lips - In A Priest Driven Ambulance (1990): 74.
Much better than I remembered. "Five Stop Mother Superior Rain" is highlight.

The Flaming Lips - Transmissions from the Satellite Heart (1993): 76.
A pop breakthrough in ways not just limited to outlier single "Jelly."

The Flaming Lips - The Soft Bulletin (1999): 89.
Lovely balance of evocative, experimental textures with poignant lyricism. Still their best



Fleet Foxes - Helplessness Blues (2011): 56.
This generation's CSN. Innocuous, pretty harmonies in service of mostly pedestrian lyrics. Yawn.



Fleetwood Mac - S/T (1975): 68.
"Rhiannon" is major highlight here, I wish the whole album mimicked the production on that track.

Fleetwood Mac - Rumours (1977): 67.
The vocal overdubs are annoying and some of the lyrics are quite dumb but I've gradually warmed to it.

Fleetwood Mac - Tango in the Night (1987): 68.
Dated 80s production actually enhances the material on this slightly underrated LP.



Flipper - Flipper Twist / Fucked Up (1992): 54.
Rick Rubin's production undermines the sarcasm of "Flipper Twist" & channels 80s butt rock.



Robert Lester Folsom - Music & Dreams (1976): 80.
"Dreaming in the summer sun" is right tone for this bright pop with a psychedelic twist.



The Four Tops - Second Album (1965): 75.
A singles band and the three singles here are tremendous; the rest is surprisingly solid and tight.

The Four Tops - Reach Out (1967): 65. Songs penned by Holland-Dozier-Holland are searing but many of the covers (Monkees!?) are misguided.



Foxygen - We Are the 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace & Magic (2013): 80. Freewheeling approximation of 60s pop from the kids these days.



Aretha Franklin - I Never Loved a Man the Way I Love You (1967): 69.
A powerful voice & great backing band, but I'm curiously unmoved by it.

Aretha Franklin - Lady Soul (1968): 62.
The singles are great but she botches "People Get Ready" by slowing it down; arrangements too MOR.



Michael Hurley, The Unholy Modal Rounders, Jefferey Frederick & The Clamtones - Have Moicy! (1976): 90.
Neo-hick party music. Demented fun.

Jeffrey Frederick & the Clamtones - Spiders in the Moonlight (1977): 66.
Funny songs from HAVE MOICY alumni but misses Hurley's grounding.



Eleanor Friedberger - Last Summer (2011): 80.
An open & completely engaging pop album works with a variety of sounds without feeling shifty.

Eleanor Friedberger - Personal Record (2013): 76. Her most conventional record by a wide margin but still warm, poppy and very well written.



Matthew Friedberger - Napoléonette (2011): 71.
MF obstructed down to just piano & vocal is actually very revealing look into his manic processes.

Matthew Friedberger - Meet Me in Miramas (2011): 73. Some of MF's longest compositions with innovative guitar use to provide percussive spine.



Fugazi - Margin Walker EP (1989): 69.
This is good. However, I've always preferred the idea of Fugazi to actually listening to their music.



Funkadelic - Maggot Brain (1971): 77.
The opening guitar solo is very impressive. Funk songs are fun. "Wars of Armageddon" is juvenile trash.

Funkadelic - One Nation Under A Groove (1978): 66.
Brilliant title track but many others are too long or too annoying (or both).



Future Islands - Before the Bridge / Find Love (2011): 73. Both songs are very strong and add to my strong anticipation for the upcoming LP.

Future Islands - On the Water (2011): 74. High point is "Give Us the Wind" which is also the least thematically reminiscent of previous LP.

Future Islands - Singles (2014): 62.
Where I play the part of the longtime fan disillusioned by increasing tendency towards common pop sound



Galaxie 500 - Today (1988): 82. Subtle guitar god music with everything drenched in reverb & paced for a dream (pop). Perfect in its way.

Galaxie 500 - On Fire (1989): 86.
A dazzling album. I'm going to move this to my ipod for the next 2 AM beach bonfire; it will be perfect.

Galaxie 500 - Blue Thunder EP (1990): 81. Presumably from the same sessions as ON FIRE, this is essential. Excellent cover of Joy Division.

Galaxie 500 - This Is Our Music (1990): 84.
They went the ADVENTURE route and created their most relaxed, human album. Vastly underrated.



France Gall - Baby Pop (1966): 75.
Infectious pop album with gorgeous, playful arrangement. Three Gainsbourg songs are especially strong.



Game Theory - The Big Shot Chronicles (1986): 74. Power Pop very reminiscent of Big Star but with whiny, less confident vocals.

Game Theory - Lolita Nation (1987): 78. Very ambitious blend of genres into a double album power pop confection bursting with fruit flavors.

Game Theory - Two Steps From the Middle Ages (1988): 70. Less ambitious & adventurous than LOLITA NATION but still full of fun power pop.



Gang of Four - Entertainment! (1979): 83. Jagged, angular guitar riffs and funky bass lines make for very nervous dance punk.



Jacco Gardner - Cabinet of Curiosities (2013): 76. Beautifully executed psychedelic pop that has ingested the spirit of Syd Barrett.



Marvin Gaye - The Moods of Marvin Gaye (1966): 66.
Both of the big '65 singles are terrific; the rest is uneven but occasionally inspired.

Marvin Gaye - What's Going On (1971): 91.
The cohesive sequencing on Side A is exhilarating. Side B is more interested in contrasts.

Marvin Gaye - Trouble Man (1972): 60.
Funky instrumentals with occasional vocals. A step below the best blaxploitation OST but not bad.

Marvin Gaye - Let's Get It On (1973): 69.
Title track is clearly the main event here and the rest just tries to duplicate its greatness.

Marvin Gaye - I Want You (1976): 66.
Like LET'S GET IT ON, tries to recapture WHAT'S GOING ON song flow but just feels repetitive.



Genesis - Selling England by the Pound (1973): 43.
I'm clearly in the minority here but I didn't find much to like in this proggy excess.



Gentleman Jesse - Leaving Atlanta (2012): 82. Is this too poppy? 200 plays later I can confirm it is not. B-side flags a bit, but whatever.



Astrud Gilberto - Look to the Rainbow (1966): 67.
Bossa Nova has to be one of my most neglected musical genres but this is some smooth, sexy music.



Girls - Father, Son, Holy Ghost (2011): 64. I really like the first side and the second side is not bad, I never want to listen past that.



The Gladiators - Trenchtown Mix Up (1976): 82.
Atmospheric roots reggae with great vocal harmonies, tight rhythm and occasional dub trips.



Glass Eye - Bent By Nature (1988): 63. Hard to pin to a genre & always surprising offbeat chord progressions; K. McCarty's tracks are best.



The Go-Betweens - Lee Remick 7" (1978): 91. Two great songs about girls, the first is light and funny pop, the second one a bitter raveup.

The Go-Betweens - People Say 7" (1979): 87. Very immediately accessible jangle pop that must have been quite a revelation in 1979.

The Go-Betweens - I Need Two Heads 7" (1980): 83. Their first single that feels of it's time, but still in a good way, encroaching on Wire.

The Go-Betweens - Your Turn, My Turn (1981): 79. A moody ballad and a punkier rocker, very hard to pin down their sound or influences.

The Go-Betweens - Hammer the Hammer (1982): 75.
Jangle pop but heavy punk influence on both tracks, weaker than first four still very good.



Godspeed You! Black Emperor - 'Allelujah! Don't Bend! Ascend! (2012): 68. Needs more haunting beauty mixed in with the unsettling builds.



Gorky's Zygotic Mynci - Bwyd Time (1995): 68.
Bizarre, zany psychedelia with only hints of their later more conventional melodic instincts.

Gorky's Zygoic Mynci - Spanish Dance Troupe (1999): 76.
The zany psychedelic pop is now limited to one per side; the rest is lovely folk-pop

Gorky's Zygotic Mynci - How I Long to Feel the Summer in My Heart (2001): 83.
Weirdness mostly gone; replaced by ethereal, lovely melodies.



Grateful Dead - Workingman's Dead/American Beauty (1970): Both 70.
Surprisingly jam-free & melodically driven folk pop. These are good dead.



Green - S/T (1986): 81. Terrific power pop from Chicago with gritty, versatile vocals. Completely underrated and ripe for rediscovery.



Al Green - Al Green Get's Next To You (1971): 79.
The heir to Otis Redding's Soul. "Tired of Being Alone" is highlight, many close behind.

Al Green - Let's Stay Together (1972): 72.
Title song and Bee Gees cover are the two clear highlights. Not as compelling as surrounding LPs.

Al Green - I'm Still in Love With You (1972): 84.
Smooth soul with tight musicianship and some very cool organ (esp in "Love and Happiness")

Al Green - Call Me (1973): 80.
I'm in the minority but I think this is a slight step down from STILL IN LOVE but still damn near peak Green.

Al Green - Livin' For You (1973): 71.
Solid but a lesser album from Green that feels like it contains leftover tracks from CALL ME sessions.

Al Green - Al Green Explores Your Mind (1974): 71.
Green fusing spiritual and romantic with "Take Me To The River" & "God Blessed Our Love."

Al Green - The Belle Album (1977): 80.
A major comeback for Green who had been slipping into pleasant but boring soul. Hideous cover though.

Al Green - Higher Plane (1981): 67.
Green is no longer smuggling the church sermon into the soul music but it's somehow still a sexy LP.



Guided By Voices - Forever Since Breakfast EP (1986): 73.
Channels the sounds of R.E.M. & suggests Pollard was a pop genius at starting gun.

Guided By Voices - Devil Between My Toes/Sandbox (1987): 65/63.
More flashes of brilliance but they're clearly still trying to find their sound.

Guided By Voices - Same Place the Fly Got Smashed (1990): 76.
A concept LP about drunkenness from a band that knows plenty on that subject.

Guided By Voices - Propeller (1992): 73. Less cohesive than SAME PLACE THE FLY... and some of the lo-fi experiments detract from the songs.

Guided By Voices - Vampire on Titus (1993): 72. GBV getting really good at the song snippet and getting a lot out of their lo-fi production.

Guided By Voices - Fast Japanese Spin Cycle EP (1994): 78. 8 lo-fi songs in 10 minutes; more than half make a strong impression.

Guided By Voices - Bee Thousand (1994): 83. A collection of fleeting moments of genius with a sketchy texture but considerable impact.

Guided By Voices - Alien Lanes (1995): 81.
More coherent flow than BEE THOUSAND but fewer individual tracks of obvious pop brilliance.

Guided by Voices - Motor Away / Color of My Blade (1995): 76. One of GBV's best anthems (slightly prettied up) and an essential B side.



Guns N' Roses - Appetite For Destruction (1987): 73. Savage, gritty hard rock that is still remarkably visceral. Possibly best of genre.



Haim - Days Are Gone (2013): 54. Probably hits the spot for those who wish Dirty Projectors were less weird, but I like my pop weird.



Half Japanese - Our Solar System (1984): 75.
The sound of the criminally insane. Whiny, obsessive rants over psychotic noise punk assaults.



Hall & Oates - Abandoned Luncheonette (1973): 55.
"She's Gone" is a great nugget on this otherwise pleasant but forgettable pop/soul album.



The Halo Benders - God Don't Make No Junk (1994): 67. Far too much Calvin Johnson baritone for my taste, much better when Martsch takes lead



Peter Hammill - Over (1977): 64.
A bit of a drama queen with the overly fussy arrangements and theatrical vocals but still very distinctive.



Hapshash & The Coloured Coat - Featuring the Human Host and the Heavy Metal Kids (1967): 50.
Proto-krautrock jams that were doubtlessly influential. Ahead of its time, but unfortunately as exciting as a long stoner drum circle.



Cockney Rebel - The Human Menagerie (1973): 82. Somewhere between prog & glam but with a violin used like an electric guitar & punk vocals.

Cockney Rebel - The Psychomodo (1974): 84.
Demented circus music from deranged psychotics. Vocals are lovechild of Ray Davies & David Bowie.

Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel - The Best Years of Our Lives (1975): 80. Harley/Cockney is steadily proving a terrific discovery. Glam Kinks.

Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel - Timeless Flight (1976): 77. "Red is a Mean, Mean Colour" is clear highlight on this transitional, strange LP.

Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel - Love's A Prima Donna (1976): 69.
Harley continuing exploring outer limits of pop with this 60s throwback.



Roy Harper - Folkjokeopus (1969): 64.
Maddeningly uneven but when it's good (the long ones: "McGoohan's Blues" & "One for All"), it's great.

Roy Harper - Flat Baroque and Berserk: 83.
A huge leap for Harper. "I Hate the White Man," "Don't You Grieve" & "Another Day" are terrific.

Roy Harper - Stormcock (1971): 87. Hats off to Roy Harper for this brilliant album with four terrific extended tracks (all over 7 minutes).

Roy Harper - Lifemask (1973): 63.
Some guest guitar work from Jimmy Page helps out what is otherwise surprisingly lifeless & unfocused.

Roy Harper - HQ (1975): 75. A more rock oriented sound than Harper's previous outings. His band is incredibly tight in this incarnation.



PJ Harvey - Dry (1992): 69. Works well as straight ahead rock and as a feminist twist on grrl rock but I prefer the tone of her later work.

PJ Harvey - Dry (1993): 71. An exposed nerve that works the loud-quiet-loud dynamics well but hysterical tone is exhausting.

PJ Harvey - Let England Shake (2011): 75. Harvey's best work in over a decade but I still miss the fiery passion of her 90s work.



Lee Hazlewood - Requiem for an Almost Lady (1971): 68.
A breakup album that would make a good double feature with Doris Duke's I'M A LOSER.



Heavenly - Heavenly Vs. Satan (1991): 85. Very addictive twee pop with sugary sweet melodies driven by propulsive guitar hooks.

Heavenly - Le Jardin De Heavenly (1992): 78. Charming follow-up to VS. SATAN adds keys which flesh out sound but takes away from guitar.

Heavenly - Atta Girl (1993): 79. Heavenly mixing a little acid into their sugary twee cocktail with a delightful song about rape. Too short.

Heavenly - The Decline and Fall of Heavenly (1994): 70. Title mostly accurate although there are still minor gems here.



Jimi Hendrix - Electric Ladyland (1968): 65.
Overlong & structurally flawed but dazzling in weird use of instruments & production technique.



Gary Higgins - Red Hash (1973): 77.
Joins Perhacs and Bunyan as lost 70s folk figures greatly deserving of recently revived interest.

Gary Higgins - A Dream A While Back EP (2011): 76. Most of these intimate & intense songs would sound at home on Higgins' wonderful RED HASH.



Robyn Hitchcock - I Often Dream of Trains (1984): 78. Well sequenced with dysfunctional A side & meditative B side. I gravitate towards A.

Robyn Hitchcock and the Egyptians - Fegmania! (1985): 83. Lighter & more pop oriented than TRAINS with several of his most memorable songs.

Robyn Hitchcock and the Egyptians - Element of Light (1986): 73. Beatles-esque melodies rule the day on this subdued, calming LP.

Robyn Hitchcock and the Egyptians - Globe of Frogs (1988): 67. Mixed effort with some notable songs ("Balloon Man" & "Flesh Number One").

Robyn Hitchcock and the Egyptians - Queen Elvis (1989): 74. "Madonna of the Wasps" & "One Long Pair of Eyes" are as good as Hitchcock gets.

Robyn Hitchcock - Eye (1990): 71
. Overlong return to I OFTEN DREAM OF TRAINS minimalism. Probably five great songs here out of eighteen.



The Hit Parade - More Pop Songs (1991): 63. Charming but slight twee that is strong whenever the tone is light; it stumbles on melancholy.



The Holy Modal Rounders - Indian War Whoop (1967): 72.
The Anthology of American Folk Music as it might sound if you were tripping on acid.

Michael Hurley, The Unholy Modal Rounders, Jefferey Frederick & The Clamtones - Have Moicy! (1976): 90.
Neo-hick party music. Demented fun.

The Holy Modal Rounders - Last Round (1978): 65. Always refreshing to hear HMR do their LSD flavored folk but this feels like a minor work.



The Hoodoo Gurus - Stoneage Romeos (1984): 71.
Power pop meets garage rock with rockabilly riffs and absurd lyrics. A lot of fun this debut.

The Hoodoo Gurus - Mars Needs Guitars! (1985): 66. Repeats much of the formula of the debut but without as much charm or successful humor.



Keith Hudson - Pick a Dub (1974): 77. Spare dub with only fleeting vocals and guitar punctuating the prominent trippy drums & cloudy bass.

Keith Hudson - Flesh of My Skin: Blood of my Blood (1975): 73.
Thematically dark and political but this is a chill, soulful revolution.



Human Eye - They Came from the Sky (2011): 66. Proggy sci-fi concept with thick garage acid delivery & incredibly heavy guitar fuzz.



The Human League - Reproduction (1979): 72. Cold, emotionally detached LP with robot synths and drums like a soldiers' march. Kraftwerkian.

The Human League - Dare (1981): 85. Catchy synth pop with strong menacing undercurrent on all the tracks (even "Don't You Want Me").



Hunx and His Punx - Too Young to Be in Love (2011): 70. The girl group back-up singers sell the joke but it's not as funny as it was on GAY SINGLES



Michael Hurley - Armchair Boogie (1971): 93.
Absurdly humorous at first, then reveals layers of poignancy. Feels ancient and passed down.

Michael Hurley - Hi-Fi Snock Uptown (1972): 62.
Hurley rambles lackadaisically and his songs aren't particularly engaging this time.

Michael Hurley, The Unholy Modal Rounders, Jefferey Frederick & The Clamtones - Have Moicy! (1976): 90.
Neo-hick party music. Demented fun.

Michael Hurley - Long Journey (1977): 68.
Not among Hurley's best collections but several songs ("Hog of the Forsaken") are still terrific.

Michael Hurley - Snockgrass (1980): 84. Among Hurley's best collections. Great mixture of humor with a longing for a better life elsewhere.

Michael Hurley - Blue Navigator (1984): 67. Slightly above average output from Hurley with two repeat songs (very good ones).



Hüsker Dü - Zen Arcade (1984): 72.
Several killer tracks but way too long & meandering for my taste. I want more like "Pink Turns to Blue."

Hüsker Dü - New Day Rising/Flip Your Wig (1985): 73/76. I welcome the Hüskers selling out like I did The Replacements: Way to find pop, guys.

Hüsker Dü - Candy Apple Grey (1986): 68.
I welcomed Hüsker Dü selling out but some of the power ballads here are a bridge too far.



Leroy Hutson - Love Oh Love (1973): 73.
Smooth, romantic soul for Mayfield's Curtom label with several songs that should be soul standards.



Iceage - New Brigade (2011): 78. Brash & exciting post-punk album with great flow & lean running time. "Broken Bone" is quite the punk anthem.



Ice Cube - AmeriKKKa's Most Wanted (1990): 55. "Get Off My Dick and Tell Yo Bitch To Come Here" would have been a better title for LP.



The Impressions - This is My Country (1968): 69.
Less harmonizing than I expected; this feels like a Mayfield solo effort. Very smooth soul.

The Impressions - The Young Mods' Forgotten Story (1969): 68.
The political songs are prime Mayfield but the love songs are slight & short.



The Infections - Kill... (1997): 75. Strong garage punk effort that sounds completely divorced from the late 90s punk scene. Raw & dirty.



Intimate Fags - S/T (2001): 48. Very mediocre garage pop punk from the usually reliable punk label Rip Off Records.



Michael Jackson - Off the Wall (1979): 65.
A few classic Jackson disco tracks but an awful lot of mediocre filler to get to them.

Michael Jackson - Thriller (1982): 74.
My favorite album when I was 5 holds up very well except for the very lame "The Girl is Mine."



Jacobites - Robespierre's Velvet Basement (1985): 80. Sounds like Robyn Hitchcock fronting acoustic, EXILE-era Rolling Stones. Terrific.

Jacobites - Texas (1986): 76. Slowly creeping up on me in a way that suggests it's not done growing. "When I Left You" is simply stunning.

Jacobites - Dead Men Tell No Tales (1987): 74.
Slower, more meditative set of songs with experimental lo-fi layering of textures.



The Jam - In the City/This Is the Modern World (1977): 66/69.
Straight-forward punk debut and sporadically excellent but uneven follow-up.

The Jam - All Mod Cons (1978): 79.
"David Watts" aligns The Jam's third album to The Kinks rather than punk. "Fly" & "English Rose" confirm.

The Jam - Setting Sons (1979): 77.
UK version. Consistently strong follow up to ALL MOD CONS has many memorable tracks & a lot of energy.

The Jam - Sound Affects (1980): 72.
"Start!" & "That's Entertainment" are stand-outs. A lot of energy and stylistic shifts.



James - Laid (1993): 64.
"Laid" is clearly a stand-out here in terms of quality & enthusiasm. "Sometimes (Lester Piggott)" is fine too.



Etta James - Tell Mama (1967): 72.
Very good LP. "Tell Mama," "I'd Rather Go Blind" & her cover of Redding's "Security" are especially great



Japan - Gentlemen Take Polaroids (1980): 60.
Vocals are an annoying amalgamation of Bowie & Ferry but Karn's fretless bass lines are funky.

Japan - Tin Drum (1981): 72.
Side A is very strong, especially "Ghosts" & instrumental "Canton." Side B meanders a bit.



Japandroids - Celebrations Rock (2012): 67.
"Oh Oh Oh Oh" "Ohhhh Ohhh Ohhh Ohhh" "Oh Yeah" "Oh Oh. Yeah Yeah"



Jeremy Jay - Dream Diary (2011): 69.
Return to SLOW DANCE aesthetic but with better integrated synths evoking cool, nighttime atmosphere.



The J.B.'s - Damn Right I Am Somebody (1974): 73.
Taken from PAYBACK sessions this doesn't flow like an album but it is good funky fun.



J Dilla - Donuts (2006): 72.
A puzzle album that uses samples to highlight the fragmentation. Music as a fever dream of incoherent emotion.



Jeff the Brotherhood - We Are the Champions (2011): 84.
Refreshingly straight-forward rock LP with crunchy riffs & plentiful hooks. Essential.

Jeff the Brotherhood - Upstairs at United (2012): 77.
A detour from Weezer worship into spaced out heavy psych (including a Hawkwind cover!)



The Jesus and Mary Chain - Psychocandy (1985): 71.
Spector's Wall of Sound stretched to the limits of industrial shrieks & fuzzy reverb.

The Jesus and Mary Chain - Darklands (1987): 76.
No longer drenched in noise, now just lightly marinated in it, and I prefer my gloom pop that way.



The Jesus Lizard - Goat (1991): 66.
A menacing noise similar to Big Black but the vocals feel like they are intruding upon the music.



Elton John - Tumbleweed Connection (1970): 76.
One of John's strongest LPs with western concept and the majestic track "My Father's Gun."

Elton John - Honky Château (1972): 74.
Contains Taupin's best lyrics ("I Think I'm Going to Kill Myself" & "Mona Lisas") & his worst ("Rocket Man")

Elton John - Don't Shoot Me I'm Only the Piano Player (1973): 58.
The hits are very good (especially "Daniel") but LP is very uneven.

Elton John - Goodbye Yellow Brick Road (1973): 62.
A thoughtfully constructed double LP that still would have been better as a single.



Daniel Johnston - Songs of Pain (1981): 70.
I guess the excessive length is part of the point with this needy, lo-fi confession of anguish.

Daniel Johnston - Yip/Jump Music (1983): 46. A couple worthwhile tracks buried within this annoyingly repetitive & unbearably overlong LP.

Daniel Johnston - Hi, How Are You (1983): 64.
"An Unfinished Album" apparently means less than 60 minutes, thank god. Several strong tracks.



Janis Joplin - I Got Dem Ol' Kozmic Blues Again Mama! (1969): 70.
More soul than blues. Joplin's vocals are killer but the band is lacking.



Joy Divison - Unknown Pleasures (1979): 82.
The drumming is mechanical but the guitar is stark & haunting and vocals are raw & exposed.

Joy Division - Closer (1980): 70.
The hooks & riffs that make UNKNOWN PLEASURES pleasurable are missing here. Atmosphere of dread remains.



King Crimson - In the Court of the Crimson King (1969): 86.
Opening track is brilliant noise nightmare; the rest is brooding folk dreamland.

King Crimson - Lizard (1970): 57.
I'm still somewhat puzzled by this one. Jazzy dissonance seems like a poor match to these vocals/lyrics.

King Crimson - Larks' Tongues in Aspic (1973): 66.
Fripp's guitar thankfully takes control of many of these jazzy, wandering prog exercises.



King Tubby - Dub From the Roots (1974): 69.
Strong dub collection from Tubby. A little overlong.

King Tubby Meets Roots Radics - Dangerous Dub (1981): 75.
More skittish, trippy dub music from the best practitioner in the game.



King Tuff - S/T (2012): 75.
The A-Side has most of the power pop highlights but the B-side isn't exactly going to kill a party.



The Kinks - The Kink Kontroversy/Kinda Kinks (1965): 68/66.
Both have choice cuts & eccentric style shifts; neither transcend their singles.

The Kinks - Face To Face (1966): 78. Nearly great. Davies lyrics taking a much more sardonic vibe as they push away from garage rock to pop.

The Kinks - Something Else (1967): 80. Dave is 3/3 here and Ray is starting to experiment with new musical genres and subject matter.

The Kinks - The Village Green Preservation Society (1968): 73.
Very solid but there are, for me, really no superlative track here.

The Kinks - Arthur (Or The Decline and Fall of the British Empire) (1969): 76.
There's a terrific flow to the songs & the story is coherent.

The Kinks - Lola... (1970): 79.
Some of the best Kinks songs are here but the vitriol towards the music industry concept weighs the LP down.



KISS - Destroyer (1976): 41.
"Detroit Rock City" has a cool bass line and "Beth" isn't horrible as far as power ballads go. Otherwise: UGH.



Al Kooper - I Stand Alone (1968): 67.
I am three plays deep into this album and I'm still baffled. Some lovely songs. Some annoying samples.



Kraftwerk - Autobahn (1974): 73.
Title track is infectious romp through sonic landscape of car travel. Side B has 4 discrete tonal textures.

Kraftwerk - Radio-Active (1975): 58.
A more predictable and limited journey than the one provided on AUTOBAHN. Conceptually stifled.

Kraftwerk - Trans-Europe Express (1977): 86.
Kraftwerk abandons atmospheric instrumentals for pop melodies and basically invent synth pop.

Kraftwerk - The Man-Machine (1978): 80.
A similar pop formula to the one used on TRANS-EUROPE EXPRESS, just more focused on gorgeous sounds.

Kraftwerk - Computer World (1981): 66.
Humorous LP doesn't capture the evocative soundscapes of their best albums. Almost irrelevant.



The La's - S/T (1990): 72. Very solid brit pop LP with the timeless hit "There She Goes" and a half-dozen others as good if not better.



La Sera - S/T (2011): 68. A sugary ode to Sarah Records that could use a savory element like edgy lyrics or sardonic humor to really set this off.

La Sera - Sees the Light (2012): 74.
A big improvement from the debut with Goodman sharpening songwriting & adding a strong supporting band.



Cyndi Lauper - She's So Unusual (1983): 68. Tempted to go higher but B side really falls apart after glorious "All Through the Night."



The Last Drive - Underworld Shakedown (1986): 66. Greek garage rock with heavy surf edge. Highlights are the four oddly inspired covers.



Led Zeppelin - I (1969): 67.
Rolling Stone: "little that its twin, the Jeff Beck Group, didn't say as well or better three months ago" Yep.

Led Zeppelin - II (1969): 71.
Faster and harder than debut. Jones' terrific bass lines & Page's riffs make up for truly juvenile lyrics.

Led Zeppelin - III (1970): 72.
A transitional album with more folk influence than blues. Unfortunately, Side B lets down a strong A.

Led Zeppelin - IV (1971): 72.
Side B, with awesome tracks "Misty Mountain Hop" & "When the Levee Breaks," is better than Side A.

Led Zeppelin - Houses of the Holy (1973): 70.
More stylistically varied than previous 4 LPs. B side ends poorly but otherwise solid.

Led Zeppelin - Physical Graffiti (1975): 75.
Overlong but mostly excellent. "In My Time of Dying" is my favorite Led Zeppelin song.


The Left Banke - Walk Away Renee / Pretty Ballerina (1967): 76.
The title implies the singles are the whole story here, but that's incorrect.


Jens Lekman - I Know What Love Isn't (2012): 54.
Not fun or funny and Lekman sounds like he's aged some 50 years since his last album.


The Lemonheads - It's A Shame About Ray (1992): 67.
Feels refreshingly pre-grunge. Unpretentious & unassuming but sometimes slight.


John Lennon - Plastic Ono Band (1970): 98.
I was the walrus/But now I'm John/And so dear friends/You just have to carry on/The dream is over

John Lennon - Imagine (1971): 66.
Feels like a follow-up to LET IT BE rather than PLASTIC ONO BAND. Spector's sappy strings are even back.


Perry Leopold - Christian Lucifer (1973): 66.
Intriguing folk singer/songwriter sometimes veers a little too close to Renaissance Fair music.


Les Demoniaques - Teenage Lust (2011): 73.
Please let this develops into a full project of sexy & menacing covers from Dee Dee & Tamaryn.


Let's Active - Cypress (1984): 62.
Has a great sound but that's about it. None of the songs stick, they're all surface.


Lotus Plaza - Spooky Action at a Distance (2012): 77.
I've been underrating Pundt. Simple jangle guitar patterns with beautiful melodies.


Love - S/T (1966): 71.
Love's debut finds them making jangly garage rock and Byrds ballads. A tight record w/ hints at the leap they'd take.

Love - Da Capo (1967): 77. A huge leap from their self-titled debut; shifting between proto-punk rage with calm melodies.

Love - Forever Changes (1967): 100.
A flawless tribute to Los Angeles and a testament to the dangerous underbelly of free love/psychedelia.

Love - Four Sail (1969): 72.
Arthur Lee with a new group abandons folk altogether to focus on tight hard rock akin to Love's S/T debut.



Lower Dens - Nootropics (2012): 82. "Brains" into "Stems" is sure to be one of the highlights of 2012. "Nova Anthem" is similarly dazzling.



Lower Plenty - Hard Rubbish (2012): 80. Terrific sad country/bedroom folk from Australia, I just wish it was longer than 23 minutes.



Main Source - Breaking Atoms (1991): 72. Terrific work from the two DJs which totally overshadows the fine but not spectacular lyrics.



Stephen Malkmus - Discretion Grove / Sin Taxi (2001): 70. A side is not one of Malkmus' better tunes but "Sin Taxi" is delightfully weird.



Mamas & The Papas - If You Can Believe Your Eyes and Ears (1966): 64.
"California Dreamin'" is great. The rest is well arranged & fairly boring MOR



Man Man - Life Fantastic (2011): 74.
Grotesque violent imagery coupled with sexual impotence makes for a twisted, nightmarish carnival ride.



Bob Marley - Catch A Fire/Burnin' (1973): 72/74.
Two very strong roots reggae LPs from Marley with "Stir It Up," "Get Up Stand Up" etc.

Bob Marley - Rastaman Vibration (1976): 67.
Lacks a real stand-out classic track but never unimpressive.

Bob Marley - Exodus (1977): 76.
4 made it to LEGEND (including chill classic "Three Little Birds") but the ones that didn't are very strong.



J Mascis - Several Shades of Why (2011): 79.
A very full sounding acoustic LP with songs every bit as good as they were on FARM, just a lot quieter



John Maus - We Must Become the Pitiless Censors of Ourselves (2011): 81.
Possibly the best synth pop album since POWER, CORRUPTION & LIES.



Curtis Mayfield - Curtis (1970): 84.
His first post-Impressions effort pushes towards more socially conscious lyrics & bold arrangements.

Curtis Mayfield - Roots (1971): 70.
A lot less memorable that the debut but still smooth and soulful as fuck.

Curtis Mayfield - Super Fly (1972): 89.
Dark grooves, sharp brass and wah-wah guitars make for a heavily sampled soul masterpiece.

Curtis Mayfield - Back to the World (1973): 81.
Underrated upon release, it's time for a critical re-evaluation of Mayfield's post-SUPERFLY.

Curtis Mayfield - Sweet Exorcist (1974): 65.
A minor Mayfield release that still has a few notable tracks ("To Be Invisible" & "Suffer").

Curtis Mayfield - There's No Place Like America Today (1975): 89.
Nearly tops SUPERFLY. "So In Love" & "Jesus" are among his very best.

Curtis Mayfield - Do It All Night (1978): 56.
Mayfield seems a little desperate here with his embrace of disco and dumbed down love lyrics.

Curtis Mayfield - Something to Believe In (1980): 65.
Title track and especially "Tripping Out" are strong enough to overcome bad strings.



Paul McCartney - McCartney (1970): 59.
Only "Maybe I'm Amazed" would pass Beatles quality control. Sloppy, homemade quality is detrimental.

Paul McCartney & Wings - Band on the Run (1973): 64.
Not a return to Beatles form but better than I originally estimated it to be.



Kate & Anna McGarrigle - S/T (1976): 84.
A very confident debut with strong vocals harmonies and terrific folk melodies.

Kate & Anna McGarrigle - Dancer with Bruised Knees (1977): 79.
Three French folk songs is slight overkill but nearly great otherwise.



Mclusky - Mclusky Do Dallas (2002): 83.
A rollicking, energetic rock album that's got more ownage than an ownage convention, sing it.



MDC - Millions of Dead Cops (1982): 61. Fast-paced hardcore punk with political slant. Not bad for this sort of thing but not my style.



Meat Puppets - II (1984): 80.
Cowpunk from Arizona with psychedelic lyrics, odd guitar patterns and loopy instrumentals. Still refreshing.

Meat Puppets - Up on the Sun (1985): 78.
Stellar follow-up to II is more relaxed and focused on the interplay between jagged guitar & bass.



The Men - Open Your Heart (2012): 79.
Spot the influences..Sonic Youth. The Replacements. Sonic..no, Pavement. Big Star. I like these bands.



Menomena - I Am the Fun Blame Monster (2003): 75.
Early, slightly disjointed sonic framework that is perfected on follow-up FRIEND AND FOE.



Mercury Rev - Yerself Is Steam (1991): 76.
Noisy, psychedelic dream pop is similar to early Flaming Lips, but slightly more impressive.



The Merry-Go-Round - S/T (1967): 73.
Early Beatles worship from Emitt Rhodes, who has an uncanny pop sensibility. "Live" is Nugget worthy.



The Microphones - The Glow, Pt. 2 (2001): 93.
Great dynamics & brilliantly sequenced; a rare double LP that feels perfectly thought out.

The Microphones - Mount Eerie (2003): 77.
Conceptually audacious & the apex for Elverum's experimental production but very distancing.

Mount Eerie - Distorted Cymbals / Anglepoise Cymbals (2012): 67.
A-Side is like deconstructed Eno, I'm curious to hear more. B is lame dub.



The Millennium - Begin (1968): 71.
Another wildly ambitious pop album from '68 that came at quite an expense but it's there in the details.



Minutemen - What Makes A Man Start Fires? (1983): 72. Hardcore punk meets beat poetry makes for very strange mixture. Great overall dynamic.

Minutemen - Double Nickels on the Dime (1984): 79. Exhausting LP with 43 songs in 74 minutes. Songs/riffs accumulate meaning through sequencing.



Misfits - Walk Among Us (1982): 80. Fun, fast-paced punk with goofy horror narratives and plentiful pop hooks.

Misfits - Earth A.D. (1983): 61. More hardcore and less melodic than WALK AMONG US, Misfits sound like a routine hardcore outfit here.



Mission of Burma - Vs. (1982): 76. I prefer the anthems to the more meandering experimental passages. Gets better as it goes along.



Mister Heavenly - Out of Love (2011): 75. More cohesive than the typical supergroup project with each player balancing out others.



Joni Mitchell - Clouds (1969): 69.
Restrained vocally & lyrically but there are a few high-points here that point to her superior 70s work.

Joni Mitchell - Ladies of the Canyon (1970): 75.
"Big Yellow Taxi" masterfully blends message with personal resonance, typical of lyrical advances.

Joni Mitchell - Blue (1971): 94.
Spare but very warm piano or guitar arrangements with personal, sometimes confessional, lyrics. Shattering.

Joni Mitchell - For the Roses (1972): 74.
A fine LP that steers away from the intense personal terrain of BLUE and feels slight as result.

Joni Mitchell - Court and Spark (1974): 72.
Several excellent songs but Mitchell's production is too clean & sparkly; arrangements too busy.

Joni Mitchell - The Hissing of Summer Lawns (1975) 66.
Transitional: Lyrics poetic, obscure & evocative. Less melodic & more jazzy/strange.

Joni Mitchell - Hejira (1976): 70.
Jazzy structures and sinuous lyrics are fully embraced to make a very intriguing, complex album.



Moby Grape - Wow (1968): 74.
Every track is strong but it feels like a band at odds with each other; shifting genre with each new song.



The Modern Lovers - S/T (1976): 94. Songwriting is almost embarrassingly personal & funny as hell. Predicts punk & contemporary indie rock.

Jonathan Richman & The Modern Lovers - S/T (1976): 86.
Goofy follow-up to masterpiece debut is overflowing with charm and humor.



Moondog - S/T (1969): 85. Minimalist classical that swings & shuffles like jazz. Slippery. Embodies the chaos & beauty of a big city.



Thurston Moore - Demolished Thoughts (2011): 74. A lovely acoustic album that's not really a huge departure from recent Sonic Youth.



Van Morrison - Astral Week (1968): 96.
Very loose vibe. Everything feels improvised: from the odd arrangement to Morrison's rambling lyrics.

Van Morrison - Moondance (1970): 86.
Morrison expands his ASTRAL WEEKS sound to include a The Band-influenced folk rock vibe. Amazing 1-2-3.

Van Morrison - His Band and the Street Choir (1970): 76.
A step down from previous two great albums, mostly because of the weak Side B.

Van Morrison - Saint Dominic's Preview (1972): 73.
A lot of scatting, rambling tracks here along with terrific pop song "Jackie Wilson Said"



Morrissey - Your Arsenal (1992): 70. Strong solo album is about on par with majority of Smiths' output (and well below THE QUEEN IS DEAD).



Mott the Hoople - All the Young Dudes (1972): 69.
Strong A side and great overall sound but B side has an awful lot of filler.

Mott the Hoople - Mott (1973): 70. An marginal improvement over ALL THE YOUNG DUDES with more Bowie/Dylan vocals with Stones-esque rock fun.



Mount Eerie - Distorted Cymbals / Anglepoise Cymbals (2012): 67. A-Side is like deconstructed Eno, I'm curious to hear more. B is lame dub.



The Mountain Goats - All Hail West Texas (2002): 70. Diminishing returns after great opener "The Best Ever Death Metal Band In Denton."

The Mountain Goats - All Eternals Deck (2011): 63. Not previously a fan. "Damn These Vampires" is making me reconsider my distaste for delivery.



The Move - S/T (1968): 83.
A combination of some of the best traits of The Who and The Kinks. This debut is chock-full with awesome tracks.

The Move - Shazam (1970): 78.
A great crunchy guitar sound here and some great extended jam songs. "Don't Make My Baby Blue" is highlight.



My Bloody Valentine - You Made Me Realise EP (1988): 82. Great EP shows MBV's early experiments with taking a meat grinder to sunny pop tunes.

My Bloody Valentine - Isn't Anything (1988): 80. They're definitely pushing the guitar sound towards LOVELESS but this is ostensibly still pop.

My Bloody Valentine - Glider (1990): 79. An appetizer for the guitar-melting sounds of LOVELESS with three songs that didn't make that LP.

My Bloody Valentine - Loveless (1991): 84.
The APOCALYPSE NOW of shoegaze. Way over budget & schedule for fascinating experimental vision.

My Bloody Valentine - M B V (2013): 62. Seems to pick up where LOVELESS left off, but no one will be worshiping this in 20 years.



Marissa Nadler - Marissa Nadler (2011): 69. A confident step in a new direction but I miss the haunted, spooky quality of previous LP.



The National - Trouble Will Find Me (2013): 60. Perpetually stuck in sad cafe days, quietly wallowing in depression. Fame must suck.



Willie Nelson - Red Headed Stranger (1975): 79.
Very sophisticated use of recurring melody and themes to flesh out murder ballad conceit.

Willie Nelson - Stardust (1978): 70. Not a huge fan of Standards LPs but this is about as good as they get. Sometimes too sleepy though.

Willie Nelson - Sings Kristofferson (1979): 68. Very nice interpretations of songs that aren't quite at the level of standards on STARDUST.



Neon - S/T (1971): 72. Above average psychedelic record with a healthy dose of soul, perhaps provided by Tommy James' production.



The Nerves - S/T (1976): 97.
Four perfect pop songs without a wasted moment. Of course I wish it was longer, I wish it lasted forever.



Neu! - S/T (1972): 71.
Unquestionably influential and contemporary sounding but not something I'd likely revisit for pleasure (unlike Can).



Neutral Milk Hotel - In the Aeroplane Over the Sea (1998): 100. If someone asked me to name a completely perfect album, I would cite this.



Mickey Newbury - 'Frisco Mabel Joy (1971) 71.
Incredibly varied singer/songwriter who flirts with country but doesn't commit to anything.



A.C. Newman - The Slow Wonder (2004): 74. Underrated a bit upon release. First three among the best songs in Newman's impressive catalog.



Randy Newman - Sail Away (1972): 75.
This is pretty impressive. I should listen to more solo Randy Newman, I'm just so sick of Pixar Newman.

Randy Newman - Good Old Boys (1974): 80.
More nuanced than the opening track "Rednecks" suggests; scathing but sometimes lovingly scathing.



New Order - 1981-1982 EP (1982): 84. Exceptional EP (at 30 mins, it is basically short LP length) with great songs "Temptation" and "Hurt."

New Order - Power, Corruption and Lies (1983): 82. Some of their very best songs here: "Age of Consent," "The Village" & "Leave Me Alone"

New Order - Low-Life (1985): 74. New Order shake off memory of Joy Division with this warmer, fuzzier outing. Transitional but very good.

New Order - Brotherhood (1986): 64. No signs of Joy Division or edge here on this pleasant, but verging on anonymous, synth pop effort.

New Order - Technique (1989): 69. Used to like this more. "Round & Round" is still terrific but I'm not feeling the rest nearly as much.



The New Pornographers - Electric Version (2003): 82.
The most exuberant pop album from the Pornographers with a nearly perfect side A.



New York Dolls - S/T (1973): 68.
Fun party rock in the spirit of the Stones with camp humor and dark undertone.



Nice Strong Arm - Mind Furnace (1988): 57.
I don't mind the music but the singer has an annoying tendency to make a meal of every word.



Nico - Chelsea Girl (1967): 84.
Teenage Jackson Browne's 3 great songs are vulnerably performed and the VU title track is lovely & haunting.

Nico - The Marble Index (1969): 57.
Odd and brooding. Nico's lyrics & Cale arrangements make for a suffocating, droning & alienating album.



Harry Nilsson - Aerial Ballet (1968): 78.
On first pass the LP seems light and fluffy; second play reveal underlying sadness & longing.

Harry Nilsson - Harry (1969): 75.
An eclectic pop album that allows Nilsson to show off his varied songwriting approaches & great covers.

Harry Nilsson - Nilsson Sings Newman (1970): 73.
And he does quite a lovely job (especially "Vine St") but I prefer when he sings Nilsson.

Harry Nilsson - Nilsson Schmilsson (1971): 82.
Diverse LP shows all sides of Nilsson's songwriting from druggy to melodramatic to hard rock.

Harry Nilsson - Son of Schmilsson (1972): 80.
Irreverent, strange and often very funny. Not equal to the original, but pretty damn close.

Harry Nilsson - A Little Touch of Schmilsson in the Night (1973): 65.
Nilsson does standards with a straight-face & syrupy arrangements.

Harry Nilsson - Pussy Cats (1974): 78.
"Don't Forget Me" is one of Nilsson's best songs from 70s. Fun party atmosphere on cover songs.



Nine Inch Nails - Pretty Hate Machine (1989): 70.
My favorite band when I was 15. More indebted to the sound of the 80s than I'd remembered.



Nirvana - Bleach (1989): 68.
I always expect this will be better than I remembered. Never bad, Cobain just did everything better later.

Nirvana - Nevermind (1991): 88.
I prefer the sound of IN UTERO and the suicide-note tone of UNPLUGGED IN NY but this is good too, I guess.

Nirvana - In Utero (1993): 83.
Sound is more visceral than NEVERMIND but the songs aren't quite as good here (esp "Very Ape" & "Milk It").

Nirvana - Unplugged in New York (1994): 88.
A raw nerve, intense delivery of brilliantly picked covers & deep album cuts. Best of genre.



Nobunny - Love Visions (2008): 76.
Several great tracks that have become concert staples but I wish the production wasn't quite so rough.

Nobunny - Secret Songs (2013): 80.
Time to start taking this rabbit-masked punk seriously? Another delirious, genre-spanning pop classic.



Gary Numan - The Pleasure Principle (1979): 63.
Another bridge between Kraftwerk and 80s synth pop. Not varied enough for my taste.



Laura Nyro - Eli and the Thirteenth Confession (1968): 59.
Not really a fan of the vocal gymnastics here but her rhythmic shifts are badass.



The Oblivians - S/T (Never Enough): 79.
Relentless dirty ass rock and roll party music. Easy to see why they're godhead among garage punks.



Frank Ocean - Channel Orange (2012): 53.
So bloated & overlong, it took me several listens to even get to the (strong) highlight "Pyramids."



Thee Oh Sees - The Cool Death of Island Raiders (2006): 74.
Haunting bedroom folk with layered noise. Major departure from Coachwhips past.

Thee Oh Sees - Sucks Blood (2007): 73.
A bedroom folk album with ghostly hollowed-out vocal harmonies. Lovely & haunting stuff.

Thee Oh Sees - Thee Hounds of Foggy Notion (2008): 75.
These are the most essential recordings of best tracks from the first two albums.

Thee Oh Sees - Castlemania (2011): 71.
A departure into lighter, sunshine pop territory is slightly unfocused but sporadically brilliant.

Thee Oh Sees / Total Control - Tour Split EP (2011): 80. Essential for fans of either band and heavenly if you're a fan of both (as I am).

Thee Oh Sees - Carrion Crawler/The Dream EP (2011): 82. Captures the jammy, intense energy of their live performances. Their best LP to date

Thee Oh Sees - Putrifiers II (2012): 87.
Dwyer's clearly hitting his stride. Evokes Eno, Velvets & krautrock and never takes a mis-step.

Thee Oh Sees - Floating Coffin (2013): 84.
A band on fire. Third great album in as many years and their sound is expanding with each release

Thee Oh Sees - Moon Sick EP (2013): 78.
Lighter outtakes from FLOATING COFFIN with brief detour into baroque pop (complete with harpsichord)

Damaged Bug - Hubba Bubba (2014): 65.
Music shaped to fit the Realistic Concertmate MG-1 and not the other way around. Weird & exhausting.

Thee Oh Sees - Drop (2014): 70.
The first OCS record in awhile that doesn't feel like forward progression. "The Lens" is quite lovely though

Thee Oh Sees - A Weird Exits (2016): 72.
A nice showcase for their two drummers lineup but lacks the punchiness of their best material.



The Only Ones - S/T (1978): 73.
"Another Girl, Another Planet" is essential. Overall feels more like 80s college rock than 70s punk rock.

The Only Ones - Even Serpents Shine (1979): 70.
There is no "Another Girl, Another Planet" here, but this LP is consistently strong.



Yoko Ono - Plastic Ono Band (1970): 64.
Yoko employs primal scream, repeating words divorced of meaning. Anticipates NY No Wave movement.



Os Mutantes - S/T (1968): 70.
Guitar fuzz and production experimentation with reverb make for quite a trippy listening experience.



Shuggie Otis - Inspiration Information (1974): 70.
Instrumental heavy B Side brings down the score for what is otherwise a terrific soul LP.



The Outsiders - C.Q. (1968): 84.
Demented & wildly varied garage rock from Amsterdam with a strong sinister undercurrent.



Augustus Pablo - Ital Dub (1974): 74.
Pablo's first collaboration with King Tubby and his hypnotic, shifty dub mixes do not disappoint.

Augustus Pablo - King Tubbys Meets Rockers Uptown (1977): 95.
Nevermind the grammar, here's the definitive statement in dub. Essential.

Augustus Pablo - East of the River Nile (1977): 84.
Less mind-blowing than ROCKERS UPTOWN but still dub enough to give you a contact high.



Panda Bear - Tomboy (2011): 78.
A slight disappointment given how much I love PERSON PITCH but still hypnotic, ethereal & occasionally brilliant.



Pangea - Living Dummy (2011): 79.
Garage punk with Gordon Gano-esque vocals & tremendously catchy pop hooks. It's difficult not to scream along.

Pangea - Killer Dreams EP (2012): 80. Builds from previous LP with each of the songs showing a different dimension of their sound.

Together Pangea - Badillac (2014): 74.
Major label debut and thankfully not watered down. The only non-embarrassing contemporary grunge act.



Graham Parker - Squeezing Out Sparks (1979): 74.
Similar in sound and attitude to Elvis Costello's THIS YEAR'S MODEL, just not as awesome.



Van Dyke Parks - Song Cycle (1968): 78.
A batshit crazy album that's overflowing with ideas and rewards for attentive, headphone listening.



Parquet Courts - Human Performance (2016): 74.
Finally warmed to these guys who always seemed like they were trying even less than Pavement.



Gram Parsons - GP (1973): 68.
"A Song for You" and "She" are choice cuts, this is much less successful with the uptempo ole whoop-tee-doo.

Gram Parsons - Grievous Angel (1974): 71.
Emmylou Harris provides some great back-up vocals on this LP which is shadowed by Parsons' death.



Dolly Parton - Jolene (1974): 69.
Short and sweet (at 25 minutes) with a few terrific tracks and nicely subdued Nashville production.



The Pastels - Sittin' Pretty (1989): 66.
I was expecting something a little bit more twee, but instead it's Jesus + Mary Chain redux.



Pavement - Slay Tracks: 1933-1969 EP (1989): 75.
Early experiments with noise rock for Pavement has some moments of genuine brilliance.

Pavement - Demolition Plot J-J EP(1990): 69.
Further adventures in noise rock experimentation. This is less interesting than their previous EP

Pavement - Perfect Sound Forever EP (1991): 74.
Not quite as aggressively noisy as the previous EPs but still filled with bursts of insanity

Pavement - Slanted and Enchanted (1992): 95.
A huge leap from the EPs to this well-judged match of chaotic noise & playful pop instincts.

Pavement - Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain (1994): 99.
Melodic, adventurous sophomore album about making a sophomore album, big cities & success.



Peaking Lights - 936 (2011): 83.
Drugs aren't required to trip out to this unique blend of psychedelic guitars, dub effects & ingenious lo-fi.

Peaking Lights - Lucifer (2012): 72.
Not as successful as 936 but still very trippy, hypnotic and spooky. Good for sleepless nights.



Pearl Jam - Ten (1991): 70.
Unreliable grade since I loved this album immensely at age 10. "Black" & "Oceans" hold up surprisingly well.

Pearl Jam - Vs. (1993): 66.
They're clearly going for a rawer, more live sounding production which comes off, but several tracks are weak.



Pearls Before Swine - Balaklava (1968): 67.
Side A is delicate & atmospheric; "Translucent Carriages" is standout. Side B is a bummer, man.



Pere Ubu - The Modern Dance (1978): 74.
Thomas' spasmodic vocals wind up & explode like the Tasmanian Devil in this punk deconstruction.



Linda Perhacs - Parallelograms (1970): 86.
Beautiful psychedelic folk album with trippy vocals wrapping sinuously around other vocals.



Pet Shop Boys - Please (1986): 68.
Very cool & distanced approach to pop with most of the best cuts confined to the first side.



Tom Petty - Full Moon Fever (1989): 66.
A singles artist & this has a couple worthy tracks. Not much to find when you dig into deeper cuts.



Liz Phair - Exile in Guyville (1993): 72.
Sings about female sexuality like PJ Harvey, but in a way that's not scary or threatening to men.



The Pharcyde - Bizarre Ride II The Pharcyde (1992): 72.
Vulnerable in ways that hip hop is usually not allowed. Four MCs distinct in style & voice.



Wilson Pickett - The Exciting Wilson Pickett (1966): 70.
Both of the side-starters are terrific soul classics and the others cut no slack.



Pink Floyd - The Piper at the Gates of Dawn (1967) 73.
"Lucifer Sam" is really great. The stereo effects make me wish I had my headphones.

Pink Floyd - Meddle (1971): 76.
"Fearless" is one of Floyd's most melodic & lovely tracks & "Echoes" is a 23 minutes trippy ride.

Pink Floyd - Dark Side of the Moon (1973): 76.
Excellent sequencing and flow. Non-lexical vocals on "Great Gig in the Sky" are annoying.

Pink Floyd - Wish You Were Here (1975): 82.
Songs have some personal dimension to them & not bogged down by concept or production trickery.

Pink Floyd - Animals (1977): 79.
Highfalutin concept album about Orwell's Animal Farm flows brilliantly and uses Waters' harsh vocals well.



Pixies - Come on Pilgrim EP (1987): 92.
Probably the best EP ever made. Eight great tracks of surf hardcore alternative college rock.

Pixies - Surfer Rosa (1988): 96.
Black's such a strange writer; his weird chord progressions & melodic unpredictability are a constant here.

Pixies - Doolittle (1989): 97.
The only song I might cut is "Silver" but it does give a minute to breathe between epics "Hey" & "Gouge Away"

Pixies - Bossanova (1990): 85.
Less successful than previous two LPs and I blame it on the slackness of Side B (other than "The Happening").

Pixies - Trompe Le Monde (1991): 75.
Easily the least impressive Pixies album but certainly not without its charms or a few great tracks.



Plastic Bertrand - An 1 (1978): 66.
"Ca Plane Pour Moi" is not a patch on Elton Motello's "Jet Boy, Jet Girl." Fake punk but fun for a spin



The Pogues - Rum Sodomy & the Lash (1985): 69.
Irish & traditional folk tales with punk delivery & Costello producing. I prefer their next LP.



Poison 13 - First You Dream (1985): 78.
Terrific EP from mostly forgotten Austin band that infused blues with a manic, crazed punk energy.



Ponytail - Ice Cream Spiritual (2008): 75.
Noise pop by way of Jazz Fusion. Repeated vocals/yelping push things further into abstraction.

Ponytail - Do Whatever You Want All the Time (2011): 64. Clearly a band that's still evolving but this LP just isn't as fun as ICE CREAM SPIRITUAL.



Iggy Pop - The Idiot (1977): 70.
First Pop collaboration with Bowie is less breakneck paced than LUST FOR LIFE but still plenty sleazy & fun

Iggy Pop - Lust For Life (1977): 74.
Title track is immortal. "The Passenger" is even better. Bowie's imprint is all over this album.



The Pretty Things - S.F. Sorrow (1968): 72.
An energetic concept album (even if the concept is still vague to me) with a killer first track.


Prince - Dirty Mind (1980): 69 (What Else?). Funky throwback to 70s soul with songs about blow-jobs, incest & other Penthouse Forum topics.

Prince - Controversy (1981): 68. Great interplay between guitar & synth on title track. Sound is sophisticated. Political content is lame.

Prince - 1999 (1982): 73. Front-loaded with a terrific A side ("1999," "Little Red Corvette" & "Delirious"). The rest is solid but overlong.

Prince - Purple Rain (1984): 75. Prince at the top of his game with the Revolution. Great melodies, brilliant guitar & tons of silly sleaze.

Prince - Sign “☮” the Times (1987): 75. Doesn't have the showstoppers that PURPLE RAIN has but remains remarkably consistent for 2 LPs.


Public Enemy - It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back: 70. Urgent punk rap would seem more urgent at a swifter pace, shorter run.

Public Enemy - Fear Of A Black Planet (1990): 66. As is the case with most PE, I find this overlong and hard to listen to in one stretch.


Puro Instinct - Headbangers in Ecstasy (2011): 76. Like KAPUTT, this LP is primarily interested in making cheesy shit from the 80s sound awesome.

Pylon - Gyrate (1980): 74. Spooky dance music with an angular guitar sound like Television and funky, punky bass lines like Gang of Four.


Queen - Sheer Heart Attack (1974): 70.
Some very high points here ("Killer Queen") but also oddly shapeless as an album.

Queen - A Night at the Opera (1975): 62.
Hodgepodge of musical influences from AM soft pop to cabaret only come coherently together on "Bohemian."


R.E.M. - Chronic Town EP (1982) 78.
Confident jangle pop debut with ringing guitars & very tight rhythm section. Stipe's vocals understated.

R.E.M. - Murmur (1983): 80.
Not an album of forceful songs that really assert dominance; they sneak up on you gradually & collectively.

R.E.M. - Reckoning (1984): 77. Great A side with one of my favorite R.E.M. songs "Harborcoat." More polished than MURMUR, but not as strong.

R.E.M. - Fables of the Reconstruction (1985): 72. Some new textures added to the R.E.M. arsenal but overall less successful than previous 2.

R.E.M. - Lifes Rich Pageant (1986): 79. A big step away from the jangle pop into a more filled out rock sound. Their best since MURMUR.

R.E.M. - Document (1987): 71. As much as I like "Finest Worksong" and "It's he End of the World," this is varied & doesn't come together.

R.E.M. - Green (1988): 69. Some new instruments introduced to R.E.M.'s sound (mandolin on a few tracks) but results feel transitional.

R.E.M. - Automatic For The People (1992): 70. R.E.M. heading further away from their anxious, jangly 80s sound into a sleepy, pleasant MOR.


Radiohead - Pablo Honey (1993): 57.
"Creep" & "Anyone Can Play Guitar" are choice cuts on this otherwise very minor work.

Radiohead - Amnesiac (2001): 91.
I slightly prefer this to older brother KID A; less nervy & experimental but better songs and overall flow.

Radiohead - The King of Limbs (2011): 72.
The first signs of fatigue. Yorke's work feels unchallenged by his bandmates. Greenwood curiously absent.


Rain Parade - Emergency Third Rail Power Trip (1983): 65.
Apparently this is "Paisley Underground," which sounds like jangle pop + psych.


Rainy Day - S/T (1984): 68. Well-selected group of covers (Nico, Big Star, Beach Boys, The Who) in playful, indie pop style.

Bonnie Raitt - S/T (1971): 72.
Sounds like a very accomplished and confident blues bar band captured live on a drunken night.


Ramones - S/T (1976): 81. Fatigue sets in before the 14 song, 29 minute set is up but it's amazingly great for the first few minutes.

Ramones - Leave Home/Rocket to Russia (1977): 68/72. A throwback to R&B/60s Sunshine Pop instead of the aggressive energy of the debut.

Ramones - Road to Ruin (1978): 70.
Slower than previous 3 LPs but the songs seem more relevant & introspective, while still playing dumb.


Rapeman - Two Nuns and a Pack Mule (1988): 66.
Rapeman doesn't have quite the high-impact, visceral assault level of Big Black.


Real Estate - Atlas (2014): 66. Pleasant and subtle enough that I've given it a few plays but it always falls away into the background.


Reatards - The Reatards Cassette (199?): 70. Rough demos quality tape of mostly fierce punk with detour experiments with surf and blues.

Reatards - Fuck Elvis Here's the Reatards (1997): 74. Much better realized lo-fi production than first cassette and a ripping Beatles cover.

Reatards - Teenage Hate (1998): 78. Reatard sounding his most screamy & southern with several terrific pissed off anthems & inspired covers.


Otis Redding - The Great Otis Redding Sings Soul Ballads (1965): 74.
Smooth, very assured soul that lacks the fiery passion of OTIS BLUE.

Otis Redding - Otis Blue (1965): 91.
Partial homage to Cooke but clearly there's a different tension at work here in the way Redding emotes.

Otis Redding - ...Dictionary of Soul (1966): 82.
More Redding originals crop up here, but "Try A Little Tenderness" is the show-stopper.

Otis Redding & Carla Thomas - King & Queen (1967): 79. A gimmick album but very successful when showcasing Redding and having Thomas play back at him.

Otis Redding - The Dock of the Bay (1968): 73. Recycles 2 songs from previous LPs & generally feels like a retread. Title track is obv great

Otis Redding - The Immortal Otis Redding (1968): 86.
A really remarkable soul record that doesn't feel like a hasty posthumous collection.



Red House Painters - Down Colorful Hill (1992): 77. Depressing/suicidal music that grows in power as you revisit with attention to lyrics.



Redman - Whut? Thee Album (1992): 77. Funny, inventive hip hop LP would be a classic, if not for the lame skits & weak sequencing.



Red Red Meat - Jimmywine Majestic (1994): 77. Confident blues with grungy tones and vocal delivery similar to J. Mascis' throwaway mumble.



Lou Reed - Transformer (1972): 83.
Reed at his most commercially friendly, but still sometimes singing about transvestites & prostitution.

Lou Reed - Berlin (1973): 85.
"a gargantuan slab of maggoty rancor that may well be the most depressed album ever made."

Lou Reed - Sally Can't Dance (1974): 51.
Half-assed writing with overly emphatic arrangements to compensate. Only "Billy" leaves an impact.

Lou Reed - Coney Island Baby: 65.
Splits the difference between BERLIN & SALLY. "A Gift" is a Lou Reed song to which I can fully relate.

Lou Reed - Street Hassle (1978): 68.
Title track is a masterpiece, "I Wanna Be Black" is stand-out among the rest.

Lou Reed & John Cale - Songs for Drella (1990): 72.
Loving, complex portrait of Andy Warhol overcomes occasionally feeling like an exercise.



Reigning Sound - Too Much Guitar (2004): 91.
Sounds like the Stones covering The Stooges. Primal punk blues with equal parts soul and grit.



The Replacements - Stink EP (1982): 72.
The energy & attitude of punk but given a slight spin (harmonicas/blues) to keep things interesting.

/The Replacements - Stink (1982): 80. Propulsive, anthemic punk ("Fuck School" "Kids Don't Follow") with glimmers of greatness to come ("Go")/

The Replacements - Let It Be (1984): 89. They sell-out initial punk roots to embrace melody; open up to country & glam. Probably their best.

The Replacements - Tim (1985): 86. More stylistically diverse than LET IT BE & great anthems. Also, fuck flight attendants... apparently.

The Replacements - Pleased to Meet Me (1987): 80. The weakest of the big three but still terrific. I'm in love with that song.



The Revolutionaries - Goldmine Dub (1979): 74.
Great throbbing bass by Robbie Shakespeare & typically brilliant Tubby/Jammy dub sound.



Emitt Rhodes - S/T (1970): 77.
Homemade album with very prominent Beatles influence. The melodies are terrific; lyrics are sometimes lacking.



The Modern Lovers - S/T (1976): 94.
Songwriting is almost embarrassingly personal & funny as hell. Predicts punk & contemporary indie rock.

Jonathan Richman & The Modern Lovers - S/T (1976): 86.
Goofy follow-up to masterpiece debut is overflowing with charm and humor.

Jonathan Richman & The Modern Lovers - Rock 'n' Roll With the Modern Lovers (1977): 65.
A fey, goofy album seemingly aimed at children.

Jonathan Richman & The Modern Lovers - Back In Your Life (1979): 67.
Good news: he is writing for adults again. Bad news: it's still minor.

Jonathan Richman & The Modern Lovers - Jonathan Sings! (1983): 73. Slips a bit on Side B but even the minor songs are cleverly conceived.

Jonathan Richman - S/T (1989): 64.
Pretty faithful to his live shows: charming, slightly frustrating, proudly bilingual & occasionally funny

Jonathan Richman - I, Jonathan (1992): 72. A fun, summer party album with Richman's best songs since the 1970s. Sweet and charming.

/Jonathan Richman - I, Jonathan (1992)/: 82. Underestimated staying power for this album which seems to hit most of Richman's major themes.



Ride - Nowhere (1990): 75.
More shoegaze that has aged very well. The pop structures become apparent when you dig through the distortion.



Judy Roderick - Woman Blue (1965): 82.
Straddles the line between folk & blues with soulful, prickly vocals & outstanding guitar work.



The Rolling Stones - Aftermath (1966): 68.
Stones at their most misogynistic ("Stupid Girl") but experimenting with form and instrumentation

The Rolling Stones - Between the Buttons (1967): 68. The Stones at their most melodic and tame. Clearly they were aiming for Beatlesque pop.

/The Rolling Stones - Between the Buttons (1967)/: 72.
Underrated this slightly on first attempt, Side A is pretty exceptional. B falters.

The Rolling Stones - Their Satanic Majesties Request (1967): 71.
Two brilliant songs ("2000 Man" & "She's a Rainbow") and plenty of odd failures

The Rolling Stones - Beggars Banquet (1968): 74. Stones were now done transitioning and hit their stride (68-72). This is raw, primal rock.

The Rolling Stones - Let It Bleed (1969): 78.
The Stones sliding further into the shadowy embrace of drugs, perverse sexuality & violence.

The Rolling Stones - Sticky Fingers (1971): 85.
The Stones at their most stylistically adventurous and lyrically provocative.

The Rolling Stones - Exile on Main St. (1972): 93.
The best Stones album is a gritty, grimy double album of drugged out rock insanity.

The Rolling Stones - Goats Head Soup (1973): 67.
Anemic follow-up to the two best Stones LPs has a few decent tracks but feels unfocused.

The Rolling Stones - Some Girls (1978): 81.
The last notable Stones album injects punk and disco into a spare, dirty rock album.



The Ronettes - Presenting the Fabulous Ronettes Featuring Veronica (1964): 76.
9 of these made it to Back to Mono, so it's clearly essential



Mick Ronson - Slaughter on 10th Avenue (1974): 78.
Classic glam era Bowie without Bowie & shockingly it's almost as strong as ALADDIN SANE.



Biff Rose - The Thorn in Mrs. Rose's Side (1968): 55.
"Fill Your Heart" is the highlight but Bowie's faithful cover on HUNKY DORY is better.



Roxy Music - S/T (1972): 64.
A side is very strong but B side is mostly forgettable.

Roxy Music - For Your Pleasure (1973): 75.
Eno's last album with Roxy Music is atmospheric and sometimes downright sinister avant-pop.

Roxy Music - Country Life (1974): 79.
Great album cover or Greatest album cover? Probably Roxy Music's most consistently strong album.



Royal Headache - S/T (2011): 82.
Great Aussie debut blends garage, soul & power pop into something fresh and utterly addictive. Essential.



The Runaways - S/T (1976): 62.
Sounds anemic compared to RAMONES debut but fun in a similarly primal way, but a lot more calculated about it



The Rural Alberta Advantage - Departing (2011): 63.
The rough edges of the debut have been sanded down & the result is a much less interesting LP.



Todd Rundgren - Something/Anything? (1972): 60.
Severely in need of editing.



S.F. Seals - Still? 7" (1994): 74.
Two terrific songs that wouldn't be out of place in contemporary indie rock scene (a la Vivian Girls).



Scarface - Mr. Scarface Is Back (1991): 68.
I prefer the more ridiculous work of Geto Boys but some of these tracks cut deep (esp last two).



Klaus Schulze - Irrlicht (1972): 67.
Drone, ambient music sounds like Tangerine Dream soundtrack to 2001. Some haunting passages.

Klaus Schulze - Mirage (1977): 67.
A stark musical landscape that feels completely cold & inhospitable. Hard to ignore & impossible to love.



Scientists - Weird Love (1986): 69.
Cool Garage Rock LP with a nice raw sound and primal energy to the riffs.



Sebadoh - III (1991): 65.
Interesting experiments with lo-fi fragmented songwriting to varying degrees of success. Overlong.



Ty Segall - Goodbye Bread (2011): 85.
Very cohesive considering how many genres it touches. Less showy than MELTED but much better overall.

Ty Segall - Spiders 7" (2011) 77. A well deserved victory lap with distorted, heavy guitar & a roaring cover of Groundhogs' "Cherry Red."

Ty Segall & White Fence - Hair (2012): 68. This seemed like an ideal collaboration but instead it's a war of two incompatible sensibilities.

Ty Segall Band - Slaughterhouse (2012): 78. Segall's touring band recorded live in studio by Chris Woodhouse. Loud, abrasive and excellent.

Ty Segall - Twins (2012): 83. The last of a trilogy of 2012 albums from Ty and this is pretty clearly the best of the lot

Ty Segall - Sleeper (2013): 72.
Impressed as I am with Segall new acoustic side, I wish he'd mixed it up a bit more. It's a little one note.

Ty Segall - Emotional Mugger (2016): 62.
Segall surrounded by supergroup of collaborators but, as result, no one really shines. His weakest.



Sex Pistols - Never Mind the Bollocks Here's the Sex Pistols (1977): 75.
Jones' riffs & Rotten's volatile vocals make this nearly worth the hype.



Sigur Rós - Ágætis byrjun (1999): 76.
LAUGHING STOCK is the high-water mark for this kind of music and this lacks that range of dynamics but this still packs a substantive emotional wallop even if it does get a bit slack on sides B and C. Starts and ends very well.



Judee Sill - S/T (1971): 86.
A very assured debut album with some really top-notch songwriting (Esp. "Jesus Was A Cross Maker" & "Lady-O").

Judee Sill - Heart Food (1973): 84.
A more downbeat affair than her debut but just as lovely. "The Kiss" is a highlight.



Silver Apples - S/T (1968): 66.
Defiantly trailblazing album sometimes feels like a party that you weren't invited to attend.

Silver Apples - Contact (1969): 74.
Feels more grounded than their debut but that might just be the banjo. "You and I" is a terrific track.



Simon & Garfunkel - Sounds of Silence (1966): 62.
Simon trying to find his footing lyrically by aping early Dylan and comes off insincere.

Simon & Garfunkel - Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme (1966): 56. "Homeward Bound" is the choice cut. Others are pleasant or pretentious.

Simon & Garfunkel - Bookend (1968): 64.
Simon's guitar riffs are underrated, they save his lyrics which are too often trite or smug.

Simon & Garfunkel - Bridge Over Troubled Water (1970): 65. "The Boxer" is probably the best S&G track. Humor & energy are new elements.



Paul Simon - S/T (1972): 70.
Simon seems inspired by his lack of Garfunkel. He ceases ballads and begins experimenting with ethnic music.

Paul Simon - There Goes Rhymin' Simon (1973): 72.
"Kodachrome" & "Something So Right" rank among Simon's best songs. Very pleasant & relaxed

Paul Simon - Still Crazy After All These Years (1975): 67.
Feels like there's a more personal album trying to break out from the fluff.

Paul Simon - Graceland (1986): 82. A joyous album whenever everything gels (Title track or "Diamonds"), but a few tracks don't work at all.



Nina Simone - Wild is the Wind (1966): 74.
Nocturnal and haunting (sometimes downright frightening) but doesn't completely cohere as album.

Nina Simone - High Priestess of Soul (1967): 67. Too much gospel for my taste but more stylistically coherent than some of her other LPs.



Slint - Spiderland (1991): 78. I still need more time with this. Clean, mathematical response to Sonic Youth's atmosphere. A grower.



Sly and the Family Stone - There's A Riot Goin' On (1971): 54.
Very loose, sloppy funk with a very muddy production that makes nothing pop.

Sly and the Family Stone - Fresh (1973): 70.
Not really sure why RIOT didn't work because this follow-up is right in my funky wheelhouse.



The Smashing Pumpkins - Siamese Dream (1993): 77.
Stylistically more aligned to shoegaze than grunge. Hampered only by Vig's production.



Brett Smiley - Breathlessly Brett (1974): 76.
Lost Glam LP from androgynous Smiley has youthful spirit and a great version of "Solitaire."



Elliott Smith - Roman Candle (1994): 85. Smith at his most spare and intense with "Last Call" and "No Name #1" among his very best songs.



Patti Smith - Horses (1975): 76. Collision between garage rock and beat poetry creates a wonderful tension that makes this quite vivacious.

Patti Smith Group - Easter (1978): 85. Title is fitting since several of the songs come off as prayers, chants or sermons for the dislocated.

Patti Smith Group - Wave (1979): 55. Smith goes all-in on the prayers & chants explored on EASTER. Only "Dancing Barefoot" emerges as great.



The Smiths - S/T (1984): 72. A few really great tracks highlight this solid debut: "Pretty Girls Make Graves" & "This Charming Man."

The Smiths - Meat Is Murder (1985): 67.
Transitional, rushed sophomore effort. Only stand-out track is "How Soon is Now?" which is immortal.

The Smiths - The Queen is Dead (1986): 86.
Nearly flawless (especially on the B-Side) with their best doomed love songs & pissy put-downs.

The Smiths - Strangeways, Here We Come (1987): 68.
Feels less cohesive than the previous albums but the songs are still strong and twisted.



Smith Westerns - Dye it Blonde (2011): 78.
Evokes glam mostly in Chris Coady's production while the songwriting is unadulterated power pop syrup.



Snapper - S/T (1988): 81.
Terrific EP of darkwave sounding material played with shoegazey roughness that makes it sound quite otherworldly.



Snoop Dogg - Doggystyle (1993): 51.
Hugely overrated follow-up to THE CHRONIC follows basic formula without further innovation. Tiresome.



The Soft Boys - Underwater Moonlight (1980): 80.
Hitchcock's eccentric psychedelic lyrics marry well with the simple, unfussy arrangements.



Soft Cell - Non-Stop Erotic Cabaret (1982): 65. An unabashedly smutty LP that was clearly not intended to support the smash "Tainted Love."



The Soft Moon - Total Decay EP (2011): 76. Very strong follow-up to last year's terrific debut LP with more dark, atmospheric post punk.



Sonic Youth - S/T (1982): 77. SY experimenting with different sounds on this debut including chiming guitars and tribal drum patterns.

Sonic Youth - Confusion is Sex (1983): 70. Much grittier & more aggressive than the debut but feels less coherent & transitional as result.

Sonic Youth - Bad Moon Rising (1985): 71. SY at the height of their dispassionate vocals over dissonant feedback. Transitional but solid.

Sonic Youth - Evol (1986): 76. Further explorations in the darkside of sex but this time with less noise & more rock. Peaks early.

Sonic Youth - Sister (1987): 79. A pop breakthrough but I can't help but think about DAYDREAM NATION, which eclipses SISTER completely.

Sonic Youth - Daydream Nation (1988): 91. Astonishing. One of the few double LPs that feels like it has an intelligent design behind it.

Sonic Youth - Goo (1990): 78.
SY settling down into a more friendly song/album structure and transitioning into post-DAYDREAM NATION sound.

Sonic Youth - Dirty (1992): 72. SY continues to settle down into familiar. Semi-polished production could have used another layer of dirt.

Sonic Youth - Whore's Moaning EP (1993): 76. Really strong EP with a sexy Alice Cooper cover and a two very cool instrumentals.

Thurston Moore - Demolished Thoughts (2011): 74. A lovely acoustic album that's not really a huge departure from recent Sonic Youth.

Chelsea Light Moving - S/T (2013): 61. Moore clearly didn't lose the Sonic Youth sound in the divorce but this is second rate SY at best.



The Sound - Jeopardy (1980): 83. Dark, brooding post-punk with hooks and urgent tempo. "I Can't Escape Myself" & "Missiles" are highlights.

The Sound - From the Lion's Mouth (1981): 81. Less urgent than debut with keyboard/synths taking place of guitar lead. Very underrated.

The Sound - All Fall Down (1982): 75. Continues their trend towards slow, atmospheric material. Unfortunately, Warner cut them for this.



Spacemen 3 - Perfect Prescription (1987): 67. Opening two tracks are the main attraction here. The rest is fine but repetitive.



Spacin' - Deep Thuds (2012): 74. Garage Psych with heavy krautrock influences. Scuzzy but full of boogie and groove. Weird and essential.



Spiritualized - Feel So Sad/I Want You 7" (1991): 72. A terrific single that makes me hotly anticipate the first Spiritualized LP.



Spoon - They Want My Soul (2014): 84. Has some of the experimentation of TRANSFERENCE but applied to a nearly perfect group of songs.



Dusty Springfield - Dusty in Memphis (1969): 67.
"Son of a Preacher Man" is choice cut. The rest is solid too, just bordering on MOR pop.



Bruce Springsteen - Greetings From Asbury Park, N.J. (1973): 67.
Dylan-esque energetic, intuitive rhymes from a teenage perspective.

Bruce Springsteen - The Wild, The Innocent & The E Street Shuffle (1973): 71.
Raw, loose & energetic rock follow up to the folk debut.

Bruce Springsteen - Born to Run (1975): 68.
Primitive rock anthems that aspire to be workingman poetry but lacks the danger of experience.

Bruce Springsteen - Darkness on the Edge of Town (1978): 72.
Too bombastic for me to fully embrace but my favorite of his LPs so far.

Bruce Springsteen - Born in the U.S.A. (1984): 65.
Some good tracks but many others represent his worst lyrics & tendency towards bombast.



Squeeze - Argybargy (1980): 74.
Sounds like an extension of Costello's GET HAPPY LP but more terse & distilled to base pop elements.

Squeeze - East Side Story (1981): 73.
More unpretentious, catchy pop hooks and infectious vocal harmonies. Slightly overlong at 50 minutes.



Candi Staton - I'm Just a Prisoner (1970): 67.
Good soul/funk especially "I'd Rather be An Old Man's Sweetheart (Than a Young Man's Fool)."



Status Quo - Quo (1974): 70.
Unpretentious without being boring or complacent. Great groove to the rhythm section & gnarly raw guitar sound.



Steely Dan - Can't Buy a Thrill (1972): 54.
Immaculate production is a major detractor but I enjoy some of the odd instrument choices.

Steely Dan - Countdown to Ecstasy (1973): 68.
Still too clean for my taste but the songwriting is more perversely eccentric this time out.

Steely Dan - Pretzel Logic (1974): 74.
Tighter, more concise pop structures while maintaining obscure songwriting. Side A is terrific.

Steely Dan - Aja (1977): 52.
or, Steely Dan finally stops worrying about trying to be cool and learns to love being MOR fluff.

/Steely Dan - Aja (1977)/: 71. Okay, so I was wrong about this initially. "Peg" and especially "Josie" are terrific groove tracks.



Stereolab - Transient Random-Noise Bursts with Announcements (1993): 73.
Playful blend of Krautrock & Bossanova; sometimes overly repetitive.



The Stone Roses - S/T (1989): 70. Still seems mysteriously overrated to me. Peaks early with "I Wanna Be Adored." Maybe it will grow on me.



The Stooges - S/T (1969): 73.
Opening two tracks are phenomenal punk rock statements. Sounds like punk officially kicks off here.

The Stooges - Fun House (1970): 82.
Primal punk assault on the senses. A fierce, menacing scream from a dark alley in Detroit.

The Stooges - Raw Power (1973): 78.
The mix is all over the place but there is enough raw power that it hardly matters. Just play it loud.



Strapping Fieldhands - Discus (1994): 74.
Lo-Fi pop that greatly resembles GBV or Thinking Fellers formula of pop beauty from lo-fi noise.



John Stewart - California Bloodlines (1969): 61.
"July You're a Woman" is choice cut. The rest seemed like it had potential to grow on me.



Rod Stewart - Every Picture Tells A Story (1971): 68.
Surprisingly good solo album from Stewart with easily his best song "Maggie May."



Jacobites - Robespierre's Velvet Basement (1985): 80.
Sounds like Robyn Hitchcock fronting acoustic, EXILE-era Rolling Stones. Terrific.

Jacobites - Texas (1986): 76. Slowly creeping up on me in a way that suggests it's not done growing. "When I Left You" is simply stunning.

Jacobites - Dead Men Tell No Tales (1987): 74.
Slower, more meditative set of songs with experimental lo-fi layering of textures.

Nikki Sudden & Rowland S. Howard - Kiss You Kidnapped Charabanc (1987): 72.
Dirty, twisted blues similar to late Cave from prolific Sudden.

Nikki Sudden - Groove (1989): 67.
A hard-rocking double LP from prolific, shape-shifting Sudden is overlong, convoluted & sometimes great.

Nikki Sudden - The Jewel Thief (1991): 71.
Sudden, with R.E.M. as his backing band, makes his most country-tinged record. Solid.



Suicide - First Album (1977): 71.
A punk reworking of the Silver Apples sound with minimal synth, anxious vocals & psychotic yelping screams



Sun Kill Moon - Benji (2014): 72.
Has grown on me but it still feels like Kozelek has never met a death he didn't write a song about.



Super Furry Animals - Fuzzy Logic (1996) 78.
Side A is pretty phenomenal, Side B is mostly forgettable but recovers well on last two tracks.



Swell Maps - A Trip to Marineville (1979): 64.
Intriguing blend of punk, krautrock & psychedelic. Utterly incoherent & yet oddly compelling



Swervedriver - Son of Mustang Ford EP (1990): 83.
Terrifically raw rock with less obvious hallmarks of shoegaze sound than I was expecting.



T. Rex - Electric Warrior (1971): 75.
Great Visconti production and a half a dozen songs better than "Bang a Gong (Get It On)."

T. Rex - The Slider (1972): 85.
Better than ELECTRIC WARRIOR. Sometimes meaning even slips into the nonsense: "When I'm sad... I Slide."

T. Rex - Tanx (1973): 73.
Not as heavy as the title suggest, Bolan transitions to a soulful sound with driving piano & passionate vocals.



Talk Talk - It's My Life (1984): 76.
Better than expected. Not as abstract as later work but highly sophisticated for this kind of pop.

Talk Talk - The Colour of Spring (1986): 77.
Transitional LP features Talk Talk's pop sensibility while bringing in experimental dynamics.

Talk Talk - Spirit of Eden (1988): 81.
An event album that demands focus & concentration. Dynamics shifts large & melodies creep up on you.

Talk Talk - Laughing Stock (1991): 83.
Refinement of SPIRIT OF EDEN with arrangements that play like improvised jazz sessions. Otherworldly.



Talking Heads - Talking Heads: 77 (1977): 77.
This album flows very well but the songwriting is overly intellectualized and lacks soul.

Talking Heads - More Songs About Buildings and Food (1978): 92.
Bass & drums are brought to forefront making this very bouncy, danceable art punk.

Talking Heads - Fear of Music (1979): 86. Writing style is a little cold & detached here but the songs still have a lot of tension & space.

Talking Heads - Remain in Light (1980): 85.
The rhythmic explosive Side A is exhilarating; introspective Side B significantly less so.

Brian Eno & David Byrne - My Life in the Bush of Ghosts (1981): 78. Primitive & futuristic fused together to create unnerving conflicts in texture.

Talking Heads - Speaking in Tongues (1983): 84. REMAIN IN LIGHT remade as a pop album with fragmented lyrics that stop making sense.

Talking Heads - Little Creatures (1985): 65. Their first LP that's stagnant & indistinct from the pop pack. Saved by great bookend tracks.



Tapes 'n Tapes - Outside (2011): 60. This unremarkable third LP is the slump that sophomore album WALK IT OFF was wrongly accused of being.



Tears For Fears - Songs From the Big Chair (1985): 60. Some songs that still sound good despite horribly dated, cheesy production.



Teenage Fanclub - Bandwagonesque (1991): 82. Usually, I just repeat "The Concept" over and over again. Rest of the album is damn fine too.

Teenage Fanclub - Thirteen (1993): 75. A worthy follow-up to BANDWAGONESQUE that only flags a little after the three killer opening tracks.



Television - Little Johnny Jewel 7" (1975): 96.
Expressive guitar solo by Verlaine sounds like a messy jazz interpretation of prog.

Television - Marquee Moon (1977): 100.
My personal favorite album of all time. The rhythm section is underrated and oh, those guitars...

Television - Adventure (1978): 95.
Where MARQUEE MOON was intense and frenzied this underrated follow-up is reflective, pastoral and lovely.

Television - S/T (1992): 69.
Great to hear the Verlaine/Lloyd guitar interplay even if the music has turned into strange jazzy abstraction.



Television Personalities - ...And Don't the Kids Just Love It (1981): 70.
The missing link between The Jam and Blur. If only he could sing.



Temple of the Dog - S/T (1991): 62.
Nice to get another angle on Cornell's versatile voice but this could have easily been an EP.



Tennis - Cape Dory (2011): 62.
Another lo-fi, sun-drenched girl pop group with sweet melodies. Doesn't seem to have much to offer besides sugar.



Terry Malts - Killing Time (2012): 75.
Very polite punk that really just wants you to have fun. Even the anti-god song is mostly charming.



Them - The Angry Young Them (1965): 79.
A revelation for me since I only knew "Gloria" and this is an album full of passionate garage rock.



They Might Be Giants - S/T (1986): 67. Several good pop songs but the album is a mess and has too much syrup to take in one mouthful.



Thinking Fellers Union Local 282 - The Natural Finger (1990): 82. Four very strong tracks with the clear highlight being "Narlus Spectre."

Thinking Fellers Union Local 282 - Where's Officer Tuba? (1993): 65.
Noisy & chaotic in a way that doesn't really build or pay off.

Thinking Fellers Union Local 282 - Admonishing the Bishops (1993): 85
. I can't stop listening to this EP. I love the way each song builds.

/Thinking Fellers Union Local 282 - Admonishing the Bishops/ (1993): 95.
Probably the best EP ever made. Four songs, each one is perfect.

Thinking Fellers Union Local 282 - Strangers from the Universe (1994): 78.
Songs have more conventional grounding but still excitingly odd.

/Thinking Fellers Union Local 282 - Strangers From the Universe/ (1994): 84.
Initial problems with flow are gone. Varied but wonderful.

Thinking Fellers Union Local 282 - I Hope It Lands (1996): 79.
Typical amount of instrumental filler but the first half is especially strong



Thin Lizzy - Jailbreak (1976): 74. They approach their anthems from such a primal place that complaints about cliches are futile. Silly fun.



This Kind of Punishment - A Beard of Bees (1984): 83.
Warmth of Eno's Before & After Science meets post-punk noodling and noisy abstraction.



This Mortal Coil - It'll End in Tears (1984): 73.
Tim Buckley, Roy Harper and two Big Star covers are terrific. Too much Gerrard on the flip



Richard & Linda Thompson - I Want to See the Bright Lights Tonight (1974): 82.
Bleak English folk with strong Linda vocals and great guitar.

Richard & Linda Thompson - Hokey Pokey (1975): 72.
Provisional grade because my LP isn't ideal for evaluation. Less dreary than LIGHTS.

Richard & Linda Thompson - Pour Down Like Silver (1975): 77.
Spare musically but very rich emotionally without being outright gloomy.

Richard & Linda Thompson - Shoot Out the Lights (1982): 81. Biographical information aside, this is an excellent collection of tense songs.



Thorinshield - S/T (1967): 56.
Very average psychedelic pop that sometimes sounds like Love, just a lot less good.



Tijuana Panthers - Semi Sweet (2013): 68. Very thin production takes the pep out of several excellent, road-tested tracks. Feels like a comp



Timber Timbre - Creep On Creepin' On (2011): 77. A 50s pop sensibility underscores all the dark atmosphere & odd arrangements. A grower.



Tindersticks - The Smooth Sounds of Tindersticks 7" (1995): 70.
Their cover of Pavement's "Here" is terrific, the b-side much less so.



Pangea - Living Dummy (2011): 79. Garage punk with Gordon Gano-esque vocals & tremendously catchy pop hooks. It's difficult not to scream along.

Pangea - Killer Dreams EP (2012): 80.
Builds from previous LP with each of the songs showing a different dimension of their sound.

Together Pangea - Badillac (2014): 74.
Major label debut and thankfully not watered down. The only non-embarrassing contemporary grunge act.



Tomorrow - S/T (1968): 61.
A minor Psychedelic Rock effort with a very good opening track (on Nuggets II) and pre-Yes guitar work by Howe.



Total Control - Henge Beat (2011): 83. Hits nearly every mutation of the post-punk genre but still a tonally coherent & compelling LP.

Thee Oh Sees / Total Control - Tour Split EP (2011): 80. Essential for fans of either band and heavenly if you're a fan of both (as I am).



A Tribe Called Quest - People's Instinctive Travels and Paths of Rhythm (1990): 77. A breezy, jazzy blueprint for (even) greater things to come.

A Tribe Called Quest - The Low End Theory (1991): 92. The best flowing hip hop LP with remarkably clean beats & live bass lines. Bebop -> Hip Hop.

A Tribe Called Quest - Midnight Marauders (1993): 80. Great laid-back vibe to this and the interplay is strong as ever but structure fails.

A Tribe Called Quest - We Got It From Here... Thank You 4 Your Service (2016): 84. Reunion album so great it makes you mourn the years apart



The Triffids - Calenture (1987): 73. Oz gothic country LP tackles romantic misery & religious imagery simultaneously. Production contrasts.



tUnE-yArDs - W H O K I L L (2011): 61. A hyperactive child with idiot-savant tendencies; I want to sit her down and take half her crayons away.



Dwight Twilley Band - Sincerely (1976): 72.
Strong power pop album that doesn't quite live up to terrific lead-off single "I'm On Fire."

Dwight Twilley Band - Twilley Don't Mind (1977): 63.
Power Pop that doesn't quite measure up to debut SINCERELY but production is stronger.



U2 - The Joshua Tree (1987): 56.
The bombast of Springsteen but w/ additional self-importance from Bono's whine & Edge's repetitive guitar shimmer.



Uncle Wiggly - There Was an Elk (1992): 70.
Weird tunings and chaotic freakouts that suddenly give way to sweet (Galaxie 500-esque) pop.



The United States of America - S/T (1968): 70.
I'm still unsure what to make of this one. Interesting arrangements verging on overkill.



Unrest - Tink of SE (1987): 73.
The songs that bother with pop hooks are pretty terrific and the rest is playful, impressive or annoying.



Unsane - Total Destruction (1994): 47. Just not my thing. Heavy but less distinctive than Big Black and far too unvaried in its attack.



The Upsetters - Super Ape (1976): 73.
I vastly prefer King Tubby to Lee "Scratch" Perry but this is still some damn good dub.



Vampire Weekend - Modern Vampires of the City (2013): 74. Uncommon example of a band growing more interesting as their popularity increases.



Van Halen - S/T: 48. A Side has some strong moments ("Eruption" & "Ain't Talkin' Bout Love") but I am allergic to Roth. B side is abysmal.



Townes Van Zandt - Our Mother the Mountain / S/T (1969): 72/76.
I prefer the stripped down 3rd album to the fancier arrangements of 2nd.



The Vaselines - Son of a Gun EP (1987): 81.
Absolutely irresistible twee pop from Glasgow. Only problem is it's too damn short; I want more.

The Vaselines - Dying For It EP (1987): 78.
Only "Teenage Superstars" keeps this from PRO, the other three tracks are terrific.



Suzanne Vega - S/T (85): 61.
Direct lyrically & vocally in service of banal imagery & predictable miniature narratives of fuzzy philosophy.



The Velvet Underground - Velvet Underground & Nico (1967): 93.
Hard to imagine how alien this album must have felt in '67. It still rocks.

The Velvet Underground - White Light/White Heat (1968): 79.
Very noisy & crazy but this feels more like 2 EPs than a cohesive LP.

The Velvet Underground - S/T (1969): 96.
VU cease the abrasive noise rock experiments and make their most influential, spare and melodic LP.

The Velvet Underground - Loaded (1970): 84.
Some of Reed's best songs are here but unfortunately there are also a couple of lazy throwaways.



Tom Verlaine - S/T (1979): 70. Have to adjust to the lack of Lloyd's counter riffs. This is pretty strong except for annoying "Yonki Time."

Tom Verlaine - Dreamtime (1981): 74. Guitar interplay is stronger here than on debut LP. Reworked TV song "Without A Word" is the highlight.



Verlaines - Death and the Maiden (1983): 92. A photo finish between this and The Clean's "Tally Ho" as to which is the best Flying Nun 7".

Verlaines - 10 O'Clock in the Afternoon (1984): 83. A more full spectrum of Verlaines with pop side and experimental side equally weighted.

Verlaines - Bird-Dog (1987): 84. A stunner with classical instruments, jangly guitars & punk rave ups. Lyrics are wicked smart & literate.



Kurt Vile - Smoke Ring for My Halo (2011): 77. Very direct and unwavering style initially threw me off but I've warmed to the delicate simplicity.

Kurt Vile - So Outta Reach EP (2011): 69. These seem like SMOKE RINGS sessions rejects; all of them solid but none of them worthy of that LP

Kurt Vile - Wakin on a Pretty Daze (2013): 75.
Title is accurate. Music to listen to while drinking your morning coffee and spacing out.



Violent Femmes - S/T (1982): 87. Post-punk with furious strummed acoustic in place of electric guitars. Great sense of old pop structures.

Violent Femmes - Hallowed Ground (1984): 81. More Songs About Murder and Jesus. Initially underrated sophomore effort is mostly terrific.



Virgin Prunes - ...If I Die, I Die (1982): 74.
Spooky, genuinely strange post-punk effort that's half eccentric pop and half tribal goth.



Vivian Girls - Share the Joy (2011): 67. Totally solid and nicely varied but seems a little lacking when compared to the Vivian Girls side projects



Tom Waits - Closing Time (1973): 75.
A very confident debut album that has a great, late-night boozy feeling.

Tom Waits - The Heart of Saturday Night (1974): 79.
Boozy atmosphere is overplayed but songs are more consistently strong than CLOSING TIME

Tom Waits - Small Change (1976): 76.
Waits emerging more gravel-voiced and weary but less musically diverse than HEART OF A SATURDAY NIGHT.

Tom Waits - Swordfishtrombones (1983): 74. "In the Neighborhood" shows what happens when old Waits meets new. I wish it happened more here.

Tom Waits - Rain Dogs (1985): 75. More colorful & stylistically varied than SWORDFISHTROMBONES but curiously cold even when Waits strains.

Tom Waits - Franks Wild Years (1987): 70.
More crazed circus music from Waits; you can use it to charm snakes or lull bar patrons to sleep.

Tom Waits - Bone Machine (1992): 83.
Waits' most coherent album since the 70s with a renewed interest in crafting meaningful lyrics.



Scott Walker - Scott (1967): 74.
Walker plays it mostly straight; small hints of darkness smuggled into the lush, melodramatic ballads.

Scott Walker - Scott 2 (1968): 82.
Some of Walker's best original compositions & 3 great Brel covers make for probably his best early LP.

Scott Walker - 3 (1969): 79.
I have new found appreciation for this third Walker effort which is mostly comprised of strong originals.

Scott Walker - 4 (1969): 76.
An album of originals that Walker downplays with his arrangements to showcase the intricate yarn he's spinning.



The Walkmen - Lisbon (2010): 83.
Casually elegant & suave. Seductive instead of forceful and blunt; they don't even bother giving a fast anthem.

The Walkmen - Heaven (2012): 67.
Content and positive music from people who seem happy and angst free. Not particularly memorable or bad.



The War on Drugs - Lost in the Dream (2014): 60.
Heartland rock that thinks it's dream pop. Sometimes very pretty, sometimes very dull.



Warpaint - S/T (2014): 51.
A lot of time, money & effort spent to sound like the music you'd hear at a trendy Thai fusion restaurant.



Jerry Washington - Right Here is Where You Belong (1973): 86.
Terrific R&B LP that mixes great smooth soul with bomb funk tracks. Essential.



Nick Waterhouse - Is That Clear / I Can Only Give You Everything 7" (2011): 75.
Delicious R&B revival. Waterhouse should record everyone.

Nick Waterhouse - Time's All Gone (2012): 76.
Deeply indebted (almost academically) to early R&B but has quirky swagger of its own.



The Wedding Present - George Best (1987): 75.
Fast-strumming jangly rock debut filled with nervous energy & warm melodies.

The Wedding Present - Bizarro (1989): 88.
A fast, exuberant take on jangle pop with relentlessly strummed rhythm guitar & great hooks.

The Wedding Present - Seamonsters (1991): 85.
Not the rhythmic assault of BIZARRO, this is more melodic but with a crunchy Albini crust.



Weezer - S/T [Blue Album] (1994): 75.
Feels like a mixtape of their influences but I like all of their influences a lot.



Kanye West - Yeezus (2013): 82.
The musical equivalent to the feeling I get when I watch IRREVERSIBLE. Urgent, unpleasant and brilliant.



Paul Westerberg - 14 Songs (1993): 63.
The two stripped-down acoustic tracks offer a better critique of the production than I could in 140.



White Fence - Is Growing Faith (2011): 70.
More lo-fi tape distortions but this time they start to detract a little from the strong melody & energy.



The White Shark - Muggy Bog EP (1994): 80.
Very weird 10" from Mark Davies of TFUL282 that sounds like a precursor to much of Elephant 6.



The White Stripes - De Stijl (2000): 74.
Heavily influenced by blues/folk or maybe second-hand from Led Zeppelin 3. Side B dips in interest.



The Who - My Generation (1965): 76.
Hard rockers like title track have aged well and the Maximum R&B sound is still infectious as hell.

The Who - A Quick One (1966): 72.
Very structural innovative with shorts songs reprised in closing medley (a la ABBEY ROAD). Underrated.

The Who - The Who Sell Out (1967): 55. The concept is not very strong and neither are the songs (except for swirling "I Can See For Miles").

The Who - Who's Next (1971): 65.
I still get a little excited for "Baba O'Riley" but the rest leaves me unmoved. 60s Who > 70s Who

The Who - Quadrophenia (1973): 69.
Fuck rock operas. However, unlike TOMMY, there are some great songs here even when removed from context.



Wild Flag - Glass Tambourine / Future Crimes (2011): 69. Both tracks are strong enough to make me forget how much I miss Sleater-Kinney.



Lucinda Williams - Sweet Old World (1992): 76. Surprisingly warm considering the bleak, suicide center to this LP. Flirts with twee & blues.



Dennis Wilson - Pacific Ocean Blue (1977): 77.
Companion to The Beach Boys' LOVE YOU LP from same year. Battered, weary & nearly great.



Jesse Winchester - S/T (1970): 74.
Produced by Robbie Robertson & engineered by Todd Rundgren. This is an underrated & lovely Americana.

Jesse Winchester - Third Down, 110 to Go (1972): 57.
Really underwhelming after his strong debut. Songs are diluted and slight.



Wipers - Is This Real? (1980): 77. Punk with strong melodic sense but not overtly pop. Cobain acknowledges their influence & it's obvious.

Wipers - Youth of America (1981): 83.
Songs are extended & experimentally structured but they build into angular rock climaxes. Addictive.

/Wipers - Youth of America (1981)/: 92. An adventurously structured masterpiece of sustained tension building to several miniature climaxes.

Wipers - Over the Edge (1983): 75. More great melodic punk from one of the most consistently strong bands of the early 80s.



Wire - Pink Flag (1977): 87.
Punk distilled to abstraction. Short, jagged songs brilliantly sequenced for maximum dissonant impact.

Wire - Chairs Missing (1978): 82.
PINK FLAG was short punk outbursts; this is synthy, sustained tension. Darkwave begins here.

Wire - 154 (1979): 75. Wire fully embraces dark wave sound and slows things down to nightmarish crawl of cloudy reverb. The least of 1st 3.

Wire - Snakedrill EP (1986): 71. Very strange, experimental EP comeback for Wire. Rhythmic, trance-like "Drill" is highlight.



Stevie Wonder - Talking Book: 50 (1972).
Production is too fussy especially on Wonder's cheesy love songs (most of Side A). His funk is better.

Stevie Wonder - Innervisions (1973): 57.
As with TALKING BOOK, I strongly object to the production but enjoy the funk (especially "Higher Ground").



Jamie Woon - Mirrorwriting (2011): 69. So smooth it occasionally flirts with boring but preferable to James Blake's glitchier take on soul.



Link Wray - S/T (1971): 81.
Terrific roots rock record with gritty vocals and blues guitar licks that Jack White must worship. Essential.



Wu-Tang Clan - Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) (1993): 86. A staggering hour of aggressive hip hop that's pretty much all killer, no filler.



Robert Wyatt - Rock Bottom (1974): 64.
Difficult fusion of prog rock with jazz. Meandering, dream-like flow but hard to grasp onto.



Wye Oak - Civilian (2011): 71. Production (by the band) is too clean for my liking but the drums are appropriately muscular & songs are strong.



X - Los Angeles (1980): 75. Infectious punk with strong anthems and great gender vocal interplay. "Nausea" & title track are highlights.

X - Wild Gift (1981): 80.
The influence on college rock/grunge is more prominent in these short, melodic bursts and he/she vocal interplay.

X - Under the Big Black Sun (1982): 76.
The songs are so propulsive and catchy that you hardly notice the gloomy, twisted lyrics.



XTC - Drums and Wires (1979): 76.
A side is absolutely terrific but B side is merely pretty good. Would be a brilliant EP.

XTC - Black Sea (1980): 71. Less angular and more melodic than DRUMS & WIRES. Sequential flow is weak. Several very strong tracks on A Side.

XTC - English Settlement (1982): 67.
Strongly rhythmic pop songs but overlong both in terms of the individual songs & the LP as a whole.

XTC - Skylarking (1986): 72. Really captures certain aspects of 60s baroque pop well but I'm almost completely unmoved by it emotionally.



Yo La Tengo - Fakebook (1990): 70. Covers selections that betray their music critic past (Cale, Stampfel, etc) w/ a few originals thrown in.

Yo La Tengo - Fade (2013): 65. Pleasant and especially good background music but not really compelling, catchy or strange enough to stick.



Neil Young - Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere (1969): 87.
Way better than I remembered. Young's guitar has never been more expressive.

Neil Young - After the Gold Rush (1970): 88.
Side A is perfect. Side B has a few flawed songs (B1, B5 & B6) that rob it of masterpiece status.

Neil Young - Harvest (1972): 87.
Not really in love with the London Symphony Orchestra (esp on "There's a World") but otherwise really great

Neil Young - On the Beach (1974): 75.
A somber, downbeat affair. Rejecting fame, kissing off critics and generally acting like a grouch.

Neil Young - Tonight's the Night (1975): 85. More straight-forward than ON THE BEACH but just as oppressively stark. Goes good with whiskey.

Neil Young - Harvest Moon (1992): 74. A lovely piece of Americana but this doesn't have the introspective wisdom of Young circa '72 HARVEST.

Neil Young - A Letter Home (2014): 76. Lovely collection of folk covers recorded in shittiest way possible, which makes them feel homemade.



Young Marble Giants - Colossal Youth (1980): 75. Another Cobain favorite, this is proto-twee minimalism most similar perhaps to The xx.



Youth Lagoon - The Year of Hibernation (2011): 70. Fragile & earnest as a emo youtube confessional but it's effective & uniquely contemporary.



Yuck - S/T (2011): 72. Probably would have seemed generic in the early 90s Alt Rock scene but now seems like a refreshing nostalgia trip.



Frank Zappa - Freak Out! (1966): 53.
The parodies are cynical exercises that can't match the subject of their derision. I enjoyed the kazoo.

Frank Zappa - We're Only In It For the Money (1968): 56.
Experiments with speed & direction manipulations are intriguing. Songs are not memorable.



Warren Zevon - Excitable Boy (1978): 75. Some snarky, smart songwriting to be found here & the production gloss is used mostly to advantage.



The Zombies - Begin Here (1965): 74.
Isn't completely coherent as an album but contains some wonderfully haunting and obsessive love songs.

The Zombies - Odessey and Oracle (1968): 92.
One of the most perfect pop albums ever. The melodic structures are unpredictable & ingenious.