Your favourite albums?

Magnum

savin' your bacon
is a Pre-Contributor
I didn't even know this was a thing but here's the main album i've been listening too.

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A bit different from the music being posted lately. Johnny Manchild and The Poor Bastards is an Oklahoma-based indie band. The seven-piece alt-rock group draws inspiration from multiple genres including rock, funk, jazz, blues, and ska. I'd definitely recommend a listen if it sounds like something you'd like.
 

Pokeslice

Thanks for the Dance
is a Pre-Contributor
For a radical change of pace, I thought I would throw in two of the best albums I have ever heard by Leonard Cohen that changed my life. I wouldn't be who I am or here without his poetry and songs and I CANNOT recommend looking into his writings and music enough. For those in a deep or dark place, like I was, please take a deep look at what he's saying. It'll teach you how to live and love to the fullest.


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Leonard Cohen died in 2016 from Leukemia, but right before he died, knowing he was going to die, he released You Want It Darker and it's chilling. The entire album is taking his poetry about life, death, and God and putting it stunning, delicate music with heartbreaking lyrics. I've had many friends who have never listened to Leonard Cohen call this a "religious experience of the highest order". The first track is one of the heaviest and darkest songs I've ever heard and part of the reason I first got into Leonard Cohen. For context for those who won't recognize it, he's saying the Jewish mourners prayer for himself and as a Jew it always brings me to tears. I like to think of this album as him embracing death as a friend, almost a celebration of death, and the entire thing is just delicate and powerful. When someone's on death's door, their work has this extra element and deepness that isn't normally there. Look out for it in this album if you give it a listen. 10/10

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If the last one was a celebration of death, this one is a celebration of life. Released a few years after his death, Leonard Cohen's posthumous album is put together as an autobiography. He recorded it after You Want it Darker was released because he felt like there was more to be said. The album makes you feel love, lost, lust and everything in between. Thanks for the Dance changed my life and left me thinking for months and months, teaching me what it means to live through his own life. I even credit this album for getting me a girlfriend LOL. I really can't recommend this enough. It's just a next level, emotionally charged, stunning piece of work. Honestly my favorite of all of his albums.

For me, these albums really hit different when I'm in my feels. For those going through dark times or depression, Leonard Cohen's work really helped me get through all the hardships I was going through and now I've never been happier. It might not be for anyone but it could be life changing, at least it was for me, so give it a listen, thanks :D
 

royesk

rich, rich mama, desert.
is a Contributor Alumnus
topsters2.png

these are not necessarily my fav albums oat (although twin fantasy and mpp are certainly up there), just a bunch of albums that i've been particularly obsessed with lately.

also this trend of limiting urself to 1 album per artist is kinda cringe, if ur fav artist has an exceptionally rich discography then by all means embrace it
 

Estronic

literally me in real life
is a Site Content Manageris a Top Social Media Contributoris a Community Leaderis a Top Contributoris a Top Smogon Media Contributor
GP Co-Leader
I suppose this is an appropriate thread for this. I found a pretty cool website that generates a different album "you must hear before you die" everyday. There's a total of 1001 different albums you can get, but you customize which specific genres you'd like to get if you'd like. You're also able to rate them. Here's the link:

https://1001albumsgenerator.com/

There's also an option to makes groups where everyone would be able to listen to the same album and share our ratings of them, so maybe we can have our little own Smogon group if enough people are interested. Obviously, you don't have to commit to every single day.
 
Recently have really enjoyed

Hank Williams III - HillBilly Joker
Lil B - Trap Oz
Townes Van Zandt - Our Mother The Mountain
and ColdWorld - Melancholie²

New to me (outside Lil B) but definitely will stay in the rotation for times to come.
 
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Too much of a hassle to chart out proper favorite albums, and I consider myself more of a casual music nerd than anything else. Looking to get more into the fray though. Hit me up with any recommendations if something comes to mind!

left -> right, top -> bottom:

Justice - Cross
Daft Punk - Alive 2007
Kanye - Late Registration
Kendrick - TPAB
Thundercat - Drunk
Vince Staples - Summertime '06
Anderson .Paak - Malibu
Denzel Curry - Taboo
Kanye - The College Dropout
Disclosure - Settle
Young Thug - Jeffery
Kaytranada - 99.9%

Had to think for a bit about this. Notable exclusions would probably be All-Amerikkkan Bada$$, Big Fish Theory, Plastic Beach, Channel Orange, and Return of 4eva.

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Estronic

literally me in real life
is a Site Content Manageris a Top Social Media Contributoris a Community Leaderis a Top Contributoris a Top Smogon Media Contributor
GP Co-Leader
Very small update. Once I think I got a good number of albums I've listened to under by belt, then I probably will expand this to more than just nine of them.

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I would put Lil Ugly Mane - Mista Thug Isolation on here, but Topster had this as the album cover for the original version:
Mista Thug Isolation — Lil Ugly Mane | Last.fm
Maybe I should just embrace it.
 

Lumari

lullaby
is a Site Content Manageris a Top Social Media Contributoris a Community Contributoris a Top Contributoris a Top Smogon Media Contributoris an Administrator
C&C & TFP Leader
Hello, after almost 7 years on these forums it is time for my 10k post. I actually already considered hijacking this thread way back when I wrote my 2k, because it makes perfect sense I'd post here at some point with how important music has been throughout my life; the idea didn't feel super right at the time, though, since a top 10 (or whatever) would just amount to a list with some deranged fangirl rambling, so I hoped I could find something better (which I did). Fortunately, in addition to 10k posts, there's another milestone I hit recently: my CD collection hit 200 (!!!) albums, so this seems like the perfect time to combine both milestones and show off my collection in here, with a top 24 at the end. Unfortunately, this will still have a lot of deranged fangirl rambling, but I guess there's no avoiding that and at least this is the best occasion I'll ever have for posting here.

First things first, no. 200 (deepest apologies for the puzzle but it was already on my desk before I started writing this and hopefully it's understandable that I don't have the heart to break it back up just yet):



which deserves some explanation. Very very few, if any at all whatsoever, of the albums I'm gonna be showing are particularly... current at all, ever since I've started developing my own taste in music it's existed pretty much entirely detached from current mainstream music, which I've indifferently ignored most of my life. I've always gotten most of my music from the Dutch radio top 2000 (is what it says on the tin, year-end list always played on our national radio between Christmas and New Year's), and just. finding bands related to ones that I already like. However, Queen was the first band I ever got into properly (I have really old memories of my parents playing their greatest hits occasionally and the entire family liking We will rock you and me preferring We are the champions) and I probably am a pretty major fan, and I also tend to have really completionist tendencies when it comes to stuff I like; so, of course I ended up collecting all their studio albums, but it didn't stop there, and it felt appropriate to also go after their solo albums. Album number 200 is Mad, bad and dangerous to know by The Cross, which for those unaware was a side band that Roger Taylor founded in the mid – late 80s; they put out three albums but never really saw mainstream success, which is why their albums have become rarities these days (the final one in particular was only released in Germany and a few other countries), so while I could find Freddie, Brian, and (barring one) Roger's solo albums pretty easily back then, The Cross's work was a lot harder and I sorta put it on the backburner. I have successfully found them over the last year though, and completing this goal of "every studio album by Queen members" was a very worthwhile thing to use number 200 on. Even if apparently Brian May released a collab album with someone else in 2017 that I don't own yet; not really sure if it should count, but it didn't exist yet anyways when I set this goal, so whether or not it should, the fact that this goal has decided to be a moving target does not take away anything from the fact that I have successfully gone down the entire list I had at the time. Or maybe it does idk, but one way or another I'll surely own that album once I get to 300.

The completionist thing will also be pretty prominent in my actual collection, since there's very clearly a bunch of bands I've focused more on than others (especially as I was starting out) but also a bunch of more individual "good" albums (and a few random oddities). I do want to focus more on collecting generally good albums going forward rather than just completing certain bands; still a work in progress and hopefully there's gonna be even more variety once I hit 300 (haha).

Here is the full thing (also featuring my concert DVDs and a couple cds that I borrowed from a friend and haven't gotten around to giving back yet oops):

and now to go show them off in batches:


ABBA – The album
Aerosmith – Toys in the attic
Aerosmith – Rocks
Aerosmith – Greatest hits 1973-1988
Aerosmith – Big ones
Alanis Morissette – Jagged little pill
Alice in Chains – Dirt
Alter Bridge – Fortress
Änglagård – Viljans öga

Favourite album: Fortress; I'm not actually sure how known this band is in general (let alone in other countries), but tl;dr they're an alternative metal band that a bunch of irl friends of mine are really into and have frequently recommended songs of to me. The best one of which (as well as a consensus contender for best song of theirs outright) is Blackbird, very heavy but also very emotional to the point that I genuinely can't listen to it at times when some of the friends in question are in a poor mental state. One guess as to what it's about. Anyways though, that song is not actually on the album in question; this one I kind of stumbled across through recommended YouTube vids at some point and obviously seemed worth clicking into, and it just kind of met expectations well. Very consistent album, pretty dark and heavy and very emotional, and good for blasting away at my own demons on dark days for my mind.
Sleeper pick: Viljans öga is one that I kind of came across by chance when I was bored and reading over a list of albums from the most recent decade on a progressive rock community site that I get a ton of reviews from, saw that it had astonishingly high ratings, and just had to check it out. It's... quite something for sure, fully instrumental and very traditional symphonic progressive rock, if a bit on the quiet / timid side. Would not have been the best pick if I'd been looking for something very fresh and is not at all accessible to people used to mainstream stuff, but it holds up pretty easily qualitywise compared to their inspirations and is something I can always play when I just want to listen to something good.


Beardfish – Mammoth
Black Sabbath – Paranoid
Black Sabbath – Heaven and hell
Bob Dylan – Greatest hits
Bruce Springsteen – Born to run

Favourite album: Born to run is one I ended up "having to" pick up under my personal code of buying the entire album if I like at least 3 songs individually (Jungleland, Thunder road, the title track, in that order), and even for an album that's Pretty Great in public opinion it surprised me really positively. Not sure what to say about it other than that there's 0 way to go wrong with this for anyone that likes rock and is okay with Springsteen's typical sound, since it provides exactly that at a consistently super high level. Some times more consistently high than others though, Jungleland in particular is really up there with actual best songs ever.
Sleeper pick: Definitely do not listen to Mammoth unless you like both progressive rock and hardrock; do listen to it if you do. It's a pretty crazy album full of extended songs by a bunch of hardrockers with a very typically prog adventurous spirit... or the other way around I guess but you get the idea.


Camel – Camel
Camel – Mirage
Camel – The snow goose
Camel – Moonmadness
Camel – Breathless
Camel – Rajaz

Favourite album: The snow goose is probably this band at their purest. They're a slightly-below-top-tier progressive rock band that I ended up checking out after I had pretty much made my way through the absolutely top tier bands, and not only did they play the exact sort of symphonic prog that I really like, they also have one of the most powerful guitarist + keyboardist tandems that I've seen on any band in Andy Latimer + Peter Bardens, a skilled and extremely emotionally expressive player plus a melodic virtuoso. And what better way to allow those to blossom than through a fully instrumental album of course. There's no sense in going into individual songs here since it's more or less a continuous track—with not necessarily sensible divisions either, e.g. I legit can't process Preparation (extended buildup) and Dunkirk (song proper) as two separate songs—but what we do have is this band taking you across a whirlwind of moods and emotions in a way that idt any other band could have pulled off. This album goes in hard and really never lets you go (pun not intended for those more familiar with their catalog...), and I can't do justice just how good it is. To think the only reason it's ended up the way it is was because the writer of the Snow goose short story did not grant them permission to use the lyrics they'd planned, funny how these things work sometimes.
Sleeper pick: Rajaz is a more recent album of theirs that I fell in love with after I found a bunch of songs on YouTube. Bardens's absence makes for a way less keyboards-focused sound, but the album in general has a very... deserty feel? Not exactly sure how else to put it but it has some Arabic touches and as a result the whole thing does a really good job calling that mental image. Oh and the individual songs are great as well, with Three wishes and Lawrence (which may be a contender for my fave guitar solo... unfortunately it's six minutes and I'm legit unsure if it's a solo, a bridge, or both) as the main standouts.


Deep Purple – In rock
Deep Purple – Machine head
Deep Purple – Made in Japan
Dream Theater – Images and words

Favourite album: Is Machine head an extremely basic pick here? Yes. Did I need to make this a section of its own? Probably not; but hard rock pioneers Deep Purple are pretty up there with legendary bands of course, so no reason not to take the excuse to talk about them a bit if I have the occasion. Initially I preferred In rock, which has more tracks that optically jump out, it took a few actual listens of Machine head before I saw how super consistent it was and how well even the filler tracks do their job. Pictures of home in particular ranks really high on the list of seemingly inconspicuous album tracks that actually turn out to be amazing, and that one in particular is why this album is mandatory listening for anyone that doesn't believe the organ is a hard rock instrument, it hard carries the whole thing from beginning to end.


Dire Straits – Dire Straits
Dire Straits – Communiqué
Dire Straits – Making movies
Dire Straits – Love over gold
Dire Straits – Alchemy
Dire Straits – Brothers in arms
Dire Straits – On every street
Dire Straits – On the night
Dire Straits – Live at the BBC
Mark Knopfler – Sailing to Philadelphia

Favourite album: Brothers in arms marks the first album I got a copy of (for €0,50 at a street market, some guy really wanted to be rid of it ig) of actually one of the first bands I got into, pre-progressive rock days. Mark Knopfler is of course an insane guitar player that speaks through his instrument like just about no one else can (just check out What it is), and they've stood the test of time alright; though their real masterpiece in Telegraph road is on Love over gold instead (where they wasted its potential by putting it as the opening track smh), this album still gives me a lot of the long, atmospheric songs that I always appreciate. Right from the first tones of So far away it's clear that we're just dealing with a super solid album here, without a single weak track; and though unfortunately the live version of the title track blows the one on here out of the water as is at least somewhat common with this band's songs, it's still one of the highlights of the band's catalog and still takes second place on this album. After Why worry, which is easily one of the most mesmerising quiet 8-minute songs one could think of.


Editors – An end has a start
Electric Light Orchestra – Eldorado
Electric Light Orchestra – Out of the blue
Electric Light Orchestra – Time
Fleetwood Mac – Rumours
Fleetwood Mac – Greatest Hits
Golden Earring – The devil made us do it (Best of)

Favourite album: Eldorado was indirectly recommended to me by the same progressive rock community site I mentioned earlier, counterintuitive as it sounds. I really enjoyed ELO's overall sound and wanted to get something by them, and the good thing about being a progressive rock fan that takes even my not-super-progressive recommendations from a progressive rock site is that the community there tends to appreciate music from the same angle that I do and that it reflects in reviews across the board. So even though Out of the blue is commonly considered "better", I saw no reason not to trust the (slightly) higher rating given to Eldorado, and I was not disappointed. I also don't really disagree with some of the reviews there saying that it's "progressive pop" rather than "progressive rock", but fortunately I'm not that much of a purist, so that leaves a good concept album with a bunch of really solid songs for me to enjoy that are written in ways I certainly enjoy a lot. Especially the title track, but there's no dull moment here.
Sleeper pick: Time is repetitive, hyperactive, and sorta lacking in really standout songs, and yet I still really like it? It's a more recent ELO album than the other two and feels like it's combining 80s synthpoppiness with trademark ELO peppiness, and the result is honestly pretty good. A lot of songs do give off a similar energy to the point that it took me quite a while before I was able to pick out singular songs that I liked, but overall it's still paced well enough that variety is ensured, and the end result is a really pleasant and energetic album that I can listen to pretty much whenever. Unless I'm too tired I guess lol.



Genesis – From Genesis to Revelation
Genesis – Trespass
Genesis – Nursery cryme
Genesis – Foxtrot
Genesis – Live
Genesis – Selling England by the pound
Genesis – The lamb lies down on Broadway
Genesis – A trick of the tail
Genesis – Wind and wuthering
Genesis – Seconds out
Genesis – And then there were three
Genesis – Duke
Genesis – Abacab
Genesis – Three sides live
Genesis – Genesis
Genesis – Invisible touch
Genesis – We can't dance
Genesis – Calling all stations
Genesis – The way we walk II: The longs
Genesis – The platinum collection

Favourite album: Foxtrot; I am a prog junkie so a Gabriel era album was always gonna win out here. I'm not 100% sure which album is this lineup's consensus zenith, but it's either this one, Selling England, or The Lamb, and this one beats out Selling England in terms of consistency and The Lamb in terms of collaborative effort + individual songs, so. Don't actually have a ton more to say about it; it's simply a very very good symphonic prog album, everything is very noticeably polished but also clearly not overpolished, and every individual song is good and it saves the best for last like it should with a long-time personal top 5 song of mine, though Watcher of the skies is also incredible as far as dedicated openers go.
Sleeper pick: A trick of the tail and Wind and Wuthering, sorry you're getting two here since both deserve to be featured for p much the same reasons. Both are the final two albums that they put out before guitarist Steve Hackett left because he felt too shackled creatively, and they make for a transitional lineup between the Peter Gabriel era (S-tier prog) and the Phil Collins era (the more poppy lineup that mainstream listeners will be most familiar with the band for), which are the most well-known lineups of the band. Both are kind of easily forgotten for that reason, but both actually are kind of incredibly good and still very progressive unlike their later output, and Gabriel's departure honestly was a bit of a blessing in disguise since it's pretty obvious that he wasn't around to dictate creative direction by himself. Trick is the more homogeneous and consistent of the two, but that's hardly a knock against W&W when literally half the album is S+ tier and even its lows (barring one...) wouldn't have been out of place on Trick.


Steve Hackett – Voyage of the acolyte
Steve Hackett – Spectral mornings
Steve Hackett – Out of the tunnel's mouth
Steve Hackett – Beyond the shrouded horizon
Steve Hackett – Wolflight
Steve Hackett – The night siren
Steve Hackett – At the edge of light

Favourite album: Wolflight, but honestly no matter which one I'd picked the writeup here would've been the same. If you'd never heard of Steve Hackett before but have read the Genesis blurbs, you'll know that he used to be the guitarist in their full prog lineups but left in the late 70s for a solo career where he'd be able to do whatever he wanted creatively. What followed was 4 decades of a pretty consistent output of an album every few years, and in recent years his style has become a pretty solid blend of guitar-driven symphonic prog with world music. He'll never release a top 10 album of mine, but he's an incredible songwriter and guitar player and every new release of his (yes ironically this is the most "current" batch of my collection) tends to be a pretty safe purchase. Wolflight is the best of the bunch, and for a good track check out Dust and dreams


Iron Maiden – Piece of mind
Iron Maiden – Powerslave
Iron Maiden – Somewhere in time
Iron Maiden – Seventh son of a seventh son
Iron Maiden – Brave new world
Iron Maiden – Dance of death
Iron Maiden – A matter of life and death
Iron Maiden – The final frontier
Iron Maiden – The book of souls

Favourite album: Somewhere in time, with Brave new world as a pretty close second... which is actually a bit of a shame since BNW has a far more prominent place in the timeline as the first post-Bruce Dickinson reunion album, and I might also be able to say more of it, with how incredible The wicker man works as a kickstarter, with how I like Ghost of the navigator far more than I should for something this super heavy (guess I have a thing for high sea songs...) and how the following two tracks are also incredible... but consistency falls a bit short after and basically the entire second half is a full wind down. Somewhere in time I actually have less to say about, but it's really the first Iron Maiden album that in its entirety shows that progressive spirit that I love about them (prior albums do very clearly at times but also are straight heavy metal albums otherwise) and is very consistent quality / energywise. Bonus points for opening (Caught somewhere in time) and closing (Alexander the Great) with the best tracks on the album; latter in particular is incredibly historically accurate to the point that I legit feel teachers should be using it in class.
Sleeper pick: not exactly sure if this as a moniker makes too much sense here period as long as I don't own any Blaze Bayley or Paul Di'Anno album since these guys have been /really/ consistent, but might as well say a few words about Dance of death here. Things are a bit rough for this one in terms of reviews / reception afaik since it's the direct followup to BNW and (naturally) has trouble living up to that one, but it's pretty consistent overall and has got a few (imo) really strong individual tracks. Obviously the title track is one (Number of the Beast-like in terms of subject matter, except twice as long, proggier, and scarier), but the album is also home to Journeyman, their only acoustic song. Which is... probably just as unusual and unexpected as it sounds, but it's easy top 10 possibly top 5 of my fave songs of theirs, very pretty and still clear Iron Maiden sound shining even through the lack of electric guitars.



Jethro Tull – Stand up
Jethro Tull – Aqualung
Jethro Tull – Living in the past
Jethro Tull – Thick as a brick
Jethro Tull – A passion play
Jethro Tull – War child
Jethro Tull – Minstrel in the gallery
Jethro Tull – Too old to rock 'n roll, too young to die
Jethro Tull – Songs from the wood
Jethro Tull – Heavy horses
Jethro Tull – Stormwatch
Jethro Tull – Crest of a knave
Jethro Tull – Rock island
Jethro Tull – Roots to branches
Jethro Tull – j-tull dot com
Ian Anderson – Thick as a brick II

Favourite album: Stormwatch is a personal fave that I probably definitely should not be writing in here if I wanted this to remotely reflect a consensus; but fortunately I don't, so that brings us here. For some background, this band plays progressive rock that draws pretty significant influence from folk, but the exact degree of folk influence has sorta varied over the years, and this is one of three (late 70s) albums where the influence is at its highest. This album also separates itself from the other two albums of the trilogy through a much higher hardrock influence (and darker tone; it's held together by a loose concept of environmental trouble, and let's say that Ian Anderson is not a climate change denier and can convey that through music). That's... sort of it really... it's a highly underrated album but it makes sense I like it so much when it's a very unique take on progressive rock influenced by genres that I'm fond of. Not really a coincidence either that I feel this is the main album that makes it so so obvious how big of an influence these guys have been on (especially 21st century) Iron Maiden.
Honourable mention: Thick as a brick is one I can't not mention while talking about this band, but my efforts to shoehorn it into the Stormwatch blurb failed, so this is the next best thing. It's the band's consensus best album (alongside Aqualung) and it was my initial introduction to the band in an embarrassingly appropriate way, given that my first introduction to progressive rock was "wow long songs interesting" and that well the entire album is a singular 43-minute song. There's a lot of history involved there and it's awesome but I don't really have room to go into all of that; suffice to say that this is very much an actual individual song, and an amazing one at that, that has everything that makes progressive rock good, revisits themes of the song at intervals of like half hour length (taking "choruses" to a really extreme level but it's really the same idea), and just serves as a great introduction to the band in general. Or did for me at least. It's for sure a bit odd that the album that doubles as my third fave song outright is not actually my fave album by this band, but these singular track albums just compare really weirdly to the others, and with Flying Dutchman (and more!) on it it's not like Stormwatch is lacking in the amazing song department either.
Sleeper pick: Stand up; okay I personally feel that this band's albums tend to roughly divide into groups of 3 (not very hard and fast though since Ian Anderson would personally murder me for putting Aqualung into the "progressive concept album phase", but whatever). Stand up is sorta overshadowed by the likes of Aqualung and TAAB overall, but it's a very representative album of the first triad, which best showcases the band's blues roots. It's still Jethro Tull though, but a blues rock album with a ton of flute play and odd time signatures actually... works out really well, and just about every single song is worth it.


Kate Bush – The kick inside
Kate Bush – Lionheart
Kate Bush – Never for ever
Kate Bush – Hounds of love
King Crimson – In the court of the Crimson King
King Crimson – In the wake of Poseidon
King Crimson – Red
King Crimson – The construkction of light
King Crimson – The power to believe

Favourite album: Red, whoops I am a fake prog fan for not listing Court aka the birth of the genre here, but fortunately this is all about my taste and not historical impact so. From a purely taste pov I can say that Court has a bunch of great songs on it but also a couple really long songs that... just aren't really it, which makes listening a bit more difficult; such consistency issues aren't entirely absent from Red but for all intents and purposes they aren't a real thing, and what we do have is a strong album with a pretty dark and very distinct feel that ends with an epic song that's set to remain solidly in my personal top 10 for a very long time. Starless alone makes this album worthwhile, 12 minutes of simultaneous organised chaos and very very thorough buildup that's all over the place from quiet to crazy; the other songs jump out a lot less but somewhat surprisingly that's a complete non-issue when they're all fine and make for an extremely consistent mood throughout the album.
Sleeper pick: Never for ever, because if I just mentioned my fav King Crimson album then mentioning my fav Kate Bush album here probably makes sense right? It also fits here for more valid reasons though, since I figure Kick and Hounds are the two conventional picks for "best" album of hers, but Kick has all the good songs in the first half and is sorta let down by the second half (which is a shame since Wuthering Heights really is an absolute highlight), and Hounds gets brought down kinda hard by the weaker poppier songs on there. Never for ever is pretty much the exact sort of album why I got into her music in the first place; it's just... quirky all over and has the interesting songs spread out nicely, yet it still remains pretty accessible and is very homogeneous. Also stylistically it actually has a lot of both Kick and Hounds (making for a transitional album between both styles imo), so!


Jimi Hendrix Experience – Electric ladyland
Led Zeppelin – Mothership
Marillion – Misplaced childhood
Meat Loaf – Bat out of hell
Mike Oldfield – Tubular bells
Mike Oldfield – Ommadawn
Mike Oldfield – Amarok
Nightwish – Decades

Favourite album: Misplaced childhood is actually one of the first albums I got after I decided that I should stop being purely completionist and that it was also okay to get good classic albums even if it was unlikely I'd be getting anything else by the band in question. I'd heard of the album way earlier when I was reading about progressive rock history and learned that in the late 70s/80s and after the genre evolved into a "hard" branch (e.g. Rush, progressive metal bands) and a "soft" branch (e.g. Marillion) and obviously knew the song Kayleigh, so this one was worth giving a chance as a "quintessential post-70s prog album" and ended up being... totally worth it. I can't really do it justice, but maybe the most telling thing to mention here is that classic smash hit Kayleigh is genuinely pretty clearly among the weaker standalone tracks here (standalone tracks being sorta relative here since it's a concept album where all tracks are interrelated and some tracks really are mostly codas or intros to other tracks but... that's a feature not a bug lmao), and yes that says a lot more about how good the other songs are. It has everything from "singles" to epic songs in a really homogeneous blend that's definitely up to par with the best 70s prog albums compositionwise.
Sleeper pick: Ommadawn; Mike Oldfield is pretty obviously one of a kind among the people here, with his thing for ambient, fully instrumental single-track albums. Tubular bells is the most well-known one by far, but Ommadawn actually might be more popular among dedicated progressive rock fans, which honestly makes sense. Other than preferring Ommadawn's general mood, I'd say the most significant difference between the two is that Bells still feels a lot like distinct songs strung together in the end, where Ommadawn very clearly is a full standalone track that was written as a full standalone track, which shows off Oldfield's increased songwriting experience pretty well. Ommadawn certainly is a bit more acquired taste than Bells, but it's great at sweeping anyone along that has the patience for music like this.


Neil Young – Greatest Hits
Nirvana – Nevermind
Nirvana – In utero
Nirvana – MTV Unplugged
Oasis – Stop the clocks
Pearl Jam – Ten
Pearl Jam – V.S
Pearl Jam – Vitalogy

Favourite album: Ten; I somehow tend to associate alternative rock, and grunge in particular, with late summer nights. Probably has more than a little to do with the kind of music my irl friends tend to play at parties oops. There's really not much else to say here since this album should need no introduction, and I like grunge as a genre but I guess not enough for my taste to transcend basic bitch levels. Nevertheless this is an incredibly emotionally powerful album that everyone should have listened to at least once (though probably not on repeat since it can get kind of overwhelming then); especially Black of course, and the fact that the band refused to release it as a single since they felt that it would be disrespectful of the song to commercialise it speaks a ton to how powerful it is.


Pink Floyd – Meddle
Pink Floyd – Dark side of the moon
Pink Floyd – Wish you were here
Pink Floyd – Animals
Pink Floyd – The wall
Pink Floyd – A momentary lapse of reason
Pink Floyd – The division bell
Pink Floyd – The endless river
Pink Floyd – Echoes (Best of)

Favourite album: Animals, sorry "wrong" answer here with how it's not Dark side or Wish you were here, but this is probably the one where they got down the most coherent concept of them all, and it also represents the somewhat dark and very extended songs well that I love about this band so much. Only three proper songs all of 10 minutes+, so no filler by default, all very strong songs in their own right too that pretty comfortably hold their own against the songs on Dark side and Wish you were here, and an extremely homogeneous album overall. Plus it also got me to check out Animal Farm, so what's not to like here?
Sleeper pick: The division bell and The endless river are both very much worth checking out; they're sorta interrelated with how the latter is an (almost entirely) instrumental album based off leftovers from the sessions of the former (and was my avatar here for a couple months after it was released!), yet at the same time they're also very different and complement each other in their own ways. Division bell obviously does not hold up to Waters-era albums conceptwise but has a bunch of surprisingly nice songs to the point that it's never a bad idea to give the full album a spin, while Endless river (like a proper instrumental ambient-ish album!) frankly has no individual "songs" to speak of but altogether has a great vibe and is a good tribute to Richard Wright.



Queen – Queen
Queen – Queen II
Queen – Sheer heart attack
Queen – A night at the opera
Queen – A day at the races
Queen – News of the world
Queen – Jazz
Queen – The game
Queen – Flash Gordon
Queen – Hot space
Queen – The works
Queen – A kind of magic
Queen – The miracle
Queen – Innuendo
Queen – Made in heaven
Queen & Paul Rodgers – The cosmos rocks

Favourite album: Queen II; if you feel like I owe you an explanation that Queen has always remained my favourite band despite my taste very decidedly evolving towards progressive rock over time, then you very clearly aren't familiar with their earlier work, and this album in particular. "Queen = progressive rock" might sound like a hot take but it's not really, just take one look at Bohemian rhapsody if you disagree, which while of course not conventional progressive rock by any means is really hard to argue doesn't at least have the prog spirit. This spirit shone through in a lot of Queen's early work and did so in particular on this album. The album itself is divided into the "white side" (A-side), predominantly written by Brian May, and the "black side" (B-side), entirely written by Freddie Mercury. Their preferred songwriting styles shine through as well, with the hardrock and power ballads showing up on the white side predominantly (Father to son and White queen are very very good songs in particular) and the other side is pretty much the absolute goat songwriter firing on all cylinders. Ogre battle is a... really weird but also really good hard rock song (though on my first playthrough I legit thought my copy of the CD was broken, and I'm pretty sure everyone would), and The march of the black queen (should be clear now what both sides are getting their names from) happens to be my favourite song; it's basically a proto-Bohemian rhapsody, except better, a highly complex and energetic song that has everything that makes Queen good. I'd keep rambling way too long if I went into other individual songs as well; let's just say that even a fantastic and criminally underrated track like Seven seas of Rhye, i.e. this album's single, does not do it justice at all.
Sleeper pick: Queen is one that I (like many people I figure) got initially for Keep yourself alive, the song where it all started. I for sure should have gotten it for the sequence of Great king rat / My fairy king / Liar / The night comes down / (Modern times rock 'n roll) / Son and daughter instead... which is already basically the entire remaining album, which is exactly my point here. The range of genres Queen has pulled off in their career is simply absurd (to the point that I don't feel it's a stretch at all to say no one has pulled off more except maybe David Bowie), and that sequence of song covers just about everything ranging from progressive rock to hard rock to psychedelic rock to (sorta) power ballad to... honestly probably more. And yet it still all feels very cohesive and homogeneous even despite the overwhelming range of genres, just because it all still has a clear common denominator in being Queen. This debut album showed off right away that this was a band that was gonna be capable of covering every genre under the sun, and they really didn't seem like they had much of a learning curve to go through. I'll keep saying it, this band is so insanely good.
Honourable mentions: Sheer heart attack, A night at the opera, and A day at the races are the three remaining albums that cap off their first five and once again albums that I can't not mention, all showing an evolution into... something else but also all incredible. Sheer heart attack is one that tbh tends to fly under my radar as well, it has a lot of the same spirit as the first two albums but the typical songs stand out less, and I forget them easier than I should even though they're still A+. It is the album that's given us Brighton Rock though, which is crazy and probably the song that really cements Brian May's guitar play as one of a kind, and also where they kinda helped pioneer speed metal through Stone cold crazy. A night of the opera preserves a lot of the prog spirit through Bohemian rhapsody and The Prophet's song, and while said spirit is fading away a bit from most of the other songs, the genre diversity on this album is beyond absurd and there's still not a single song that feels out of place. A day at the races has kind of moved on from progressive to... not sure how to put it other than "stylish", Somebody to love (which I actually tend to forget exists between all the other great songs here, it's one of those albums without a single filler song) represents this album's general vibe well, though the prog spirit is still intact in songs like White man and (super underrated by me as well) The millionaire waltz. It's slightly less intact in Teo Torriatte, but this song is a really good power ballad and makes for a great sendoff into what's unfortunately a less creative era that (depending on who you ask) keeps on for A While. There's still gonna be great songs though, this band is still Queen, and they still had the Innuendo album in the tank anyways.


Queen – Live killers
Queen – Live at the bowl
Queen – Live at Montreal
Queen – Live at Wembley Stadium
Queen – Live magic
Queen – At the beeb
Queen & George Michael – Five live
Queen & Paul Rodgers – Return of the champions
Queen & Paul Rodgers – Live in Ukraine

Comments: sorry no outright favourites or sleeper picks here haha, I don't tend to have very strong opinions on live albums unless they're of the same calibre as like. Made in Japan or Nirvana's Unplugged in New York, which I'd be hesitant to put any of Queen's live albums in. Not to mention that the track list of live albums by nature tends to be less polished and homogeneous than that of (good) studio albums, so. One thing I will mention is that I do tend to like live albums as general overviews / snapshots of certain eras of a band (in a different way than compilations, too), which in Queen's case obviously is most prominent in the post-Freddie Mercury lineups, and the Paul Rodgers live albums have certainly helped me appreciate that lineup too in its own way (and introduced me to some good Free / Bad Company songs). My collection of live albums actually is not complete as you may be able to tell, and I guess under that reasoning I also should get on getting a copy of a live album with Adam Lambert oops. At least I don't think I'm missing any actual rarities anymore, though I do appreciate how much owning a copy of At the beeb (basically BBC live session recordings of their first album) cements me as a true completionist. Would not even be upset in the (likely) case that I paid more for it than I should have.


Brian May – Back to the light
Brian May – Another world
Roger Taylor – Fun in space
Roger Taylor – Strange frontier
Roger Taylor – Happiness
Roger Taylor – Electric fire
Roger Taylor – Fun on Earth
Freddie Mercury – Solo collection (Mr. bad guy & Barcelona)
The Cross – Shove it
The Cross – Mad, bad, and dangerous to know
The Cross – Blue rock

Favourite album: Another world, which no kidding is like 50% of the reason why I wanted to make this post to begin with. It's a highly unknown album (Back to the light is the better known one of Brian's solo albums as well), but it's a very homogeneous mix of hard rock and friendlier stuff where Brian also shows a lot of his emotional side. He's naturally good at that, but he also (noticeably) wrote this one after a few really rough years in his life, and the result is fantastic. Definitely the first "hidden gem" I'd recommend to whoever asks.
Sleeper pick: literally all of them by nature haha but the main one that warrants a few words is Electric fire. Roger's solo output is not something I'll listen to often since it's a little too... purely rhythm based not entirely sure how to put it, but that album in particular stands out a ton; it's really an album of pretty standard 90s rock and doesn't really have a weak track on it.


Porcupine Tree – Fear of a blank planet
Queensrÿche – Operation: Mindcrime
Rainbow – Rising
Rolling Stones – Forty licks
Soundgarden – Badmotorfinger
Soundgarden – Superunknown

Favourite album: Fear of a blank planet is one that ended up on my radar as I became more willing to explore progressive metal; it's not really like other stuff I listen to so it certainly took some getting used to, but I've only grown to like it more and more as I listen to it more. It's not quite as heavy on the extended instrumental interludes and tempo shifts that I love about prog (though they're certainly still there!!), but it does a really good job of setting the mood for the heavy subject matter that it deals with (or well maybe heavy for me personally with my overactive brain but... just listen to it!!) It's a pretty dark album, with a few outright haunting songs, but that's exactly what it should be, and it does that really well. Plus Anesthetize is my fave metal song and is an incredible composition in its own right, so there's that too.



Rush – Rush
Rush – Fly by night
Rush – Caress of steel
Rush – 2112
Rush – A farewell to kings
Rush – Hemispheres
Rush – Permanent waves
Rush – Moving pictures
Rush – Exit: stage left
Rush – Signals
Rush – Grace under pressure
Rush – Power windows
Rush – Hold your fire
Rush – Presto
Rush – Roll the bones
Rush – Counterparts
Rush – Test for echo
Rush – Vapor trails
Rush – Snakes & arrows
Rush – Clockwork angels
Rush – The spirit of radio (Best of)

Favourite album: A farewell to kings; I should conventionally be answering 2112 and/or Moving pictures here, but unfortunately for those Kings is Rush at their progressive peak pretty much, which is exactly why I got into them in the first place. It's a bit less homogeneous than the concept albums or more symphonic albums that I tend to like, but when three out of the six tracks are super strong in their own right (and the three remaining songs combined are shorter than either of the extended tracks anyways) then that makes up for it pretty clearly. Xanadu and Cygnus X-1 are incredible standalone tracks and peak progressive hardrock, and the title track is one of the best kickstarts to any album that I've heard.
Sleeper pick: Vapor trails probably would've been my outright fave of theirs (by a decent margin, too) a few years ago, but it's one that's suffered more than others from me kind of growing out of a lot of their middle-of-the-pack songs more recently. It's still a great album with a great story though; it was the first album after the band (against all odds honestly) got back together after several tragedies in Neil Peart's personal life, and the result is a really powerful and bone-chillingly emotional album that deserves a lot more credit than it gets. Listen to the original edition though, not the remaster; the original edition is kinda Controversial because the recording is really loud and the sound quality suffers as a result, but at the same time that also makes for an interesting sort of edge that meshes really well with the album's emotional nature and is sorely missing from the remaster.


Supertramp – Crime of the century
Supertramp – Even in the quietest moments
Supertramp – Breakfast in America
Traveling Wilburys – Vol. 1
U2 – 18 singles
Yes – The Yes album
Yes – Fragile
Yes – Tales from topographic oceans
Yes – Relayer
Pokemon – Generation 1 soundtrack

Favourite album: Crime of the century; Supertramp is a band that I've always liked some songs of but always found something putting me off from exploring more fully, until I heard a bunch more songs that I liked on 2019's top 2000, picked up this album, and was beyond blown away on the spot. It's still a couple albums before they followed along the conventional 70s prog band's path to ruin of taking a much more commercial approach to their music (Breakfast is like... /fine/ but it's just straight up shallow compared to Crime), and what I enjoy most about this one is how great the instrumental sections are at carrying the listener along. The piano solo in School was one of the first songs where I spotted this (listen closely and you hear how it's carried just about entirely by an actually decently complex bass part), the bridge in Rudy is imo the part where this shows most clearly, and the title track is insane with how over half of it is basically the same couple piano chords punched in over and over with more and more instruments gradually soloing along to this... and it just works so incredibly well.
Sleeper pick: Tales from topographic oceans, also because I need an excuse to mention Yes, who definitely are among the symphonic prog rock giants but fsr I've always had a bit of a lesser click with than other bands. It may be an issue with a bit of a lack of consistency in their albums, including the typically great ones like Fragile and Close to the ede (which I think is overrated aside from the title track as should be obvious from the fact that I've always refused to get my own copy despite it allegedly being an easy top 5 prog rock album oat. oops fake fan again); in terms of technical skill they're easily among the best bands ever though, and their songwriting also has a super high ceiling and has given us several beyond incredible individual songs. Tales lacks a song that's as good as Close to the edge or Yours is no disgrace but nevertheless gives us four (twenty minute-long...) songs that for sure show what this band is capable of and is probably their most consistent album to me. I'm not suuuuure if it's actually my favourite album of theirs, but (as you may have guessed) it's extremely anticommercial and radio unfriendly, so if I am to namedrop an album of theirs it makes sense it'd be this one.


SO that's the lot of them, and in the spirit of this thread I probably should also include an actual list of my favourites. A few notes in advance:

- I've excluded compilation albums here, 99% of them don't fit the album spirit anyways (shoutouts though to the ones that don't just list everything in chronological order and have had the guts to actually kick out "better" tracks in favour of those that would fit better with the others) and seems better to focus on original stuff.
- I wasn't sure how to handle live albums, since they run into a lot of similar issues (though to a lesser degree especially if they're standalone concerts); fortunately not too many of them would've been contenders other than Made in Japan and Unplugged in New York, and they all ended up dropping out organically.
- Like I alluded to before, albums that are just a singular continuous track (of which I have five) are really really weird to properly judge here, since by default most aspects that make an album good—cohesiveness, song order, overall theme, and so on—just aren't really a factor here in the same way. There's absolutely no sense in actually excluding them, but the fact that Thick as a brick is no. 3 in my best songs list does not automatically make it number 1 here, quite the opposite actually. Fortunately, if only for the confirmation that a good album is still more than the sum of its parts now that we see that one that consists of only a singular part is put on a disadvantage like it should be.
- There's no cap on albums per artist here. I did consider it since yes variety is really important and stockpiling too much from a single artist is bad, but "no repeats" would've kicked out at least one surefire top 10 album (that could've even made top 5 somewhat realistically) so that would've been straight up dishonest, and beyond that it ended up panning out fine pretty much organically. There's 24 albums here outright, one artist with 3 albums (where the third one is among the lowest ones) and another three with 2. Really not too bad.


Uh that's it. I can't promise that I remotely nailed this one since a best album list is pretty much the holy grail of best of lists and there's so many variables here that it's really tough to get these right, plus I'm p sure it's actually the first one of these I've ever done, so. At least I promise they're all good in their own right and the top 2 at least I will defend until the day I die.

24.

Mike Oldfield – Ommadawn
Standout tracks: Ommadawn

23.

Queen – A day at the races
Standout tracks: Teo Torriatte (Let us cling together), Tie your mother down, You take my breath away

22.

Pink Floyd – Wish you were here
Standout tracks: Shine on you crazy diamond, Wish you were here

21.

Deep Purple – Machine head
Standout tracks: Pictures of home, Lazy

20.

Dire Straits – Brothers in arms
Standout tracks: Brothers in arms, Why worry, Money for nothing

19.

Kate Bush – Never for ever
Standout tracks: Egypt, Breathing

18.

Electric Light Orchestra – Eldorado
Standout tracks: Eldorado/Eldorado finale, Can't get it out of my head, Laredo tornado

17.

Porcupine Tree – Fear of a blank planet
Standout tracks: Anesthetize, Way out of here

16.

Brian May – Another world
Standout tracks: Cyborg, Business

15.

Pearl Jam – Ten
Standout tracks: Black, Jeremy, Alive

14.

Bruce Springsteen – Born to run
Standout tracks: Jungleland, Thunder road

13.

Genesis – Wind & Wuthering
Standout tracks: Eleventh Earl of Mar, One for the vine, Unquiet slumbers for the sleepers.../...in that quiet earth/Afterglow

12.

Iron Maiden – Somewhere in time
Standout tracks: Caught somewhere in time, Alexander the Great

11.

Rush – A farewell to kings
Standout tracks: Xanadu, Cygnus X-1, A farewell to kings

10.

Jethro Tull – Thick as a brick
Standout tracks: haha

9.

King Crimson – Red
Standout tracks: Starless, One more red nightmare

8.

Marillion – Misplaced childhood
Standout tracks: Bitter suite, Blind curve, Childhood's end/White feather

7.

Queen – Queen
Standout tracks: My fairy king, Liar

6.

Pink Floyd – Animals
Standout tracks: Dogs

5.

Supertramp – Crime of the century
Standout tracks: Rudy, School, Crime of the century, Hide in your shell

4.

Jethro Tull – Stormwatch
Standout tracks: Flying Dutchman, Dark ages, Something's on the move, Dun Ringill

3.

Genesis – Foxtrot
Standout tracks: Supper's ready, Watcher of the skies

2.

Camel – The snow goose
Standout tracks: Preparation/Dunkirk, The snow goose, La princesse perdue

1.

Queen – Queen II
Standout tracks: The march of the black queen, White queen (As it began), Ogre battle, Father to son
P Squared
One reason why I've been kinda dreading doing these shoutouts is because well... what's even left to say to someone that's been in every single one of these posts. Back in the first one you were just about my only close friend on here, seems like a bunch more people have joined you there since but pretty sure we both agree that's a good thing. And meanwhile you're still someone that'll always accept me no matter what changes and show that she cares about me in really perceptive ways, and I'm still so happy that we ran into each other way back when. Oh, and obviously thanks again for fangirling over Miraculous Ladybug so hard that I ended up checking it out too!!

ant
And the other one where I've said everything there is to say ten times over already huh. On one hand I wish we still talked as much as we used to when you were around the site in full force, on the other hand I think the fact that you're (afaik?) still quite comfortably the person I've talked most to on Discord is super telling in regards to how easily we pick things back up when we do talk. Quality of our convos seems like it's suffered 0 and will continue to suffer 0 and I absolutely love that, see you whenever you come around again.

Lilburr
You on the other hand I really have not known that long yet comparatively, but it legit doesn't feel that way and honestly hasn't felt that way since we'd been talking for a week. Guess that makes sense though when our conversation turned basically endless pretty soon. I'm glad things on here seem to be treating you well now since you absolutely deserve to be where you are, and all the support you've given me (down to helping me fight off bigots) and so many other people as well as the constant dumb and less dumb but always great conversations I really can't express how much they mean to me. If people ever tell you you talk too much then pay them no mind please, though I seriously doubt you'd care in the first place.

ausma
I've been just as amazed as you at how quickly we've bonded ngl, this has been a really happy accident. Thanks for being great company and support over the last few months, when I needed it (and still need it), down to successfully cheerleading me into finishing this post. Not to mention for being a great contributor and artist around here, and I hope people will give your work the stuff it deserves. Let's hope our talks continue for a good while, they've been great and you haven't even been spacing out too much.

Eyan
I'm really happy that life is treating you well these days, thanks for the wonderful conversations we've had and thanks for always checking in with me when you do swing by. Please swing by often when the new AA localisations are releasing, I've got a hunch that I'll have a lot to pop off about then.

Jellicent
If there's anyone that may have actually read this post in full then it's you tbh, and if you wanna return the favour with a similar-length music writeup of your own on Discord then you know you are always welcome to (yes I know what I am potentially getting myself into here...). Hope things are going well with you and that we can talk about honestly whatever soon again.

Chloe
Like I've said a million times before please stop saying that you're bad at support or conversation, I've enjoyed or found help in all the conversations that we've had and I'm very glad that they seem to be getting only more common and more enjoyable. Surprised that we've never talked about languages though since those are indeed Great.

Eve
When I was little and even worse at making friends than I am now, my parents would occasionally seek out other kids they felt I'd have a click with and introduce me to them; they usually were right and I actually got a couple close elementary school friends out of that. I am pretty sure you're someone they would've sought out as well; it's always great how naturally similar our brains work (which as we both know is not the most common thing...) and how easily we talk, and hopefully we can keep on talking for quite a while to come.

martha
Best co-leader that I could've wished for and I'm really happy to see people respecting you as such now since you absolutely deserve everything you've gotten, but also someone I can always count on for support and someone with an absurdly strong moral compass. I really could not be doing my work here without you, but limiting this shoutout to just that would be selling you short so much, you're easily one of the best people on the site.

nui
Nicest user Smog award wins nui = 0, which is honestly insane and on par with anto's hardest worker awards robbery way back in 2016. You're also someone whose judgment I just about always trust, which is of course a pretty amazing quality in an admin, and a hard worker, but also just someone I can chat with super easily about whatever. We should do that more often, any time is a good time.

art3mis horyzhnz Luna
Curious which one of you is logging on to see this first :^( happy to hear you out about movies / cryptids / football whenever!!

Spy
You can't just post on my wall that you wanna catch up then ghost me, once a little shit always a little shit huh.

Calm Pokemaster Ender
Another round of shoutouts, another tag, because I am not sure if this generation of users has any clue who the two of you are, which is pretty blasphemous imo, for more reasons than just the fact that you've given me so much GP help back in my noob days. Thanks again guys, this site will not forget you.

Oglemi
Way more around still than the above two, and I have told you just about everything there is to tell in past shoutout posts already, just wanted to say quick that your 10k was incredible and that it took me a little bit to accept there was no way I was gonna be writing anything that could live up to that one haha. Thanks again for being someone to look up to and for keeping me sane when I needed it most as I was moving up the ladder.

cant say turskain NoCheese VaporeonIce and the rest of the old Battle Maison crew because I can't forget my roots!

A Cake Wearing A Hat antemortem Bummer Codraroll Estronic Kaiju Bunny Kalalokki LifeisDANK Quite Quiet Repu tiki Toast++ and the rest of the TFP family
I maintain that we're among the strongest staff teams on the site qualitatively, you're all great and I'm sure we'll get things on the rails properly very soon.

shiny finder talkingtree
It's actually super hard to find good site staff leaders, so thanks for taking workload off me with tests, you guys are cool... and well given the nature of the tests getting along with people easily is part of the job description anyways. Thanks for everything else you do / have done around the site as well.

Rabia Bandkrook CryoGyro DC deetah Electrolyte Finland Fireflame fleurdyleurse frenzyplant GatoDelFuego lotiasite Milak Winry and other GPers past and present, legendary and...
...well you're all legendary tbh, thanks for all the effort you've put / are putting into one of the most thankless jobs on the site.

Saria Iyarito Alpha Mitsuki Marty pre HoeenHero Aeonic Zodiax Excal Earthworm chaos Jordy Kris Eien Eo Ut Mortus Hogg Ark Hootie Theorymon Memoric Coconut MajorBowman TDK GMars Blitz banks MZ Finchinator yogi Nuked and other staff and workhorses past and present of whom I absolutely missed a ton, you all really don't get enough credit for the work you do. Thanks for keeping this site ticking in the good times and the bad, it's what keeps me doing stuff here even when the going gets tough. I'm kinda lumping the lot of you here together I realise but it would be wrong to highlight individual people if I'm emphasising the collaborative effort here... or maybe I'm just really scared to break the character limit.
 

- I've been pretty down lately: I've been trying to listen to more summery/upbeat stuff: I love how this sounds! Funk's awesome in general, highly recommend giving it a listen
The real reason the Weeknd is boycotting the Grammys is because Yachtworld was snubbed

anyways:
 

Mr. Uncompetitive

I'm Deko (leader of The Nebulox)
is a Contributor Alumnus
It has now been just about a year since I finally decided to become cultured and start listening to normal albums and the greater world of music instead of exclusively video game music and anime OSTs. So here are my favorites !!!

topsters2 (4).png

Also some honorable mentions that I'm not sure I would call a fav (yet?), but I do want to highlight:

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I'd really like to highlight Asobi Seksu's Citrus. It's been a few weeks since I first found out about this and heard it and I know I've been freaking out about this album (and maybe I will eventually calm down about it, perhaps once I finally get around to Sweet Trip and Alvvays I dunno) but I'm serious when I say I absolutely love this album. Holy shit.

Citrus is a really fucking good dream pop/shoegaze album but it's so much more than that. While I guess it's not as effective at these specific things as Souvlaki or Loveless, what makes Citrus preferable to me is how its songs are insanely catchy, lively, and, most importantly, SO infectiously joyous. The album is quite noisy too, but it is not at all abrasive or off-putting, it's instead comfortably enveloping (it's less of Death Grips's Money Store and more of Car Seat Headrest's Twin Fantasy 2018). The sound of this album, particularly Yuki's vocals alongside and James's guitar playing, is something that just makes me so happy.

It's hard for me to put this album into words without rambling about it nonsensically and/or going into detail on every track, and I do realize it has some obvious problems that not everyone can look past (namely some of the songs can sound a little too similar to each other at first, and its first two tracks are a little weaker than most of the others) but it's an album that I feel like so many people would enjoy despite it seemingly being a little obscure at this point. I think Kero Kero Bonito's Time n Place is probably the best comparison I can think of (or maybe like M83's Hurry Up We're Dreaming, which I still need to listen to), though I think fans of Porter Robinson, Car Seat Headrest, and even maybe post-rock stuff would also really appreciate this. But yeah, go listen to it plsssss

A few other albums I'll provide some notes on are in the hide tag:

Kanye West - Graduation: This is my favorite Kanye project. I know that's a bit of a hot take, but yeah, while Barry Bonds and Drunk and Hot Girls aren't too great, I don't think either of them are that bad (and I actually kinda like Barry Bonds lol), the rest of the album is just incredible between the variation of the songs, Kanye's easy-going lyricism, and the increeeedible production. It's like, if I were tier-listing the songs, with the exception of those aforementioned 2, I think I'd want to put every single song in S tier (including the bonus tracks lol). Above all else it's just...fun. It's at the very least the album I would recommend to anyone trying to get into mainstream music, especially VGM nerds.

EDEN - I Think You Think Too Much Of Me: Okay this one is just a personal thing and something I've been listening to for a few years now. I understand it's nothing mind-blowing or interesting for most music listeners, but EDEN's vocal delivery on top of some good and varied production already make this pretty good, but more importantly just some messy young lyricism that nicely reflects how I'm feeling sometimes. Not the greatest album ever or anything (though now that I think about I could at least say it's better than Joji's best projects), but hey, even to this day Circles might be my all-time favorite song.

Pusha T - My Name is My Name: I am not a big fan of DAYTONA to be honest, I think the production is way too minimalist and the album doesn't leave much of an impression (besides If You Know You Know which is an awesome song). The best way to compare the two albums is that DAYTONA fits nicely with Ye-era Kanye, but My Name is My Name, while Kanye was admittedly a little less involved with this than DAYTONA, fits more alongside MBDTF/WTT/CS/Yeezus Kaye. It is stuffed to the brim with features and the production is so much more varied and maximalist and I think it excellently complements Pusha's hard-hitting lyricism. I know this album gets some shit because some of the production can be seen as tacky and the tracklist isn't quite perfect, but just like Graduation, I think the lows aren't that bad and the peaks are so high and frequent enough that I don't care too much. People are not exaggerating when they say Numbers on the Board and Nosetalgia are some of the best rap songs of the 2010s.

Kanye West - Yandhi: Yandhi is quite a rabbit hole and difficult to explain succinctly here, not too mention there are dozens of different interpretations of the album floating around, but if you're a Kanye fan I highly recommend you look into it yourself. I know the songs on this aren't finished, but even in its current state, there are soooo many good tracks between improved versions of JIK tracks, Spread Your Wings, All Dream Real, Last Name, and two of my fav Kanye tracks, Hurricane and City in the Sky. I can't help but call it one of my favorite Kanye projects, it's also pretty reflective of how cool fandom, the internet, and the cutting room floor can be sometimes.

In case anyone was wondering, yes I have listened to Souvlaki and Loveless.
Souvlaki is quite good but I'm not big into the ambient stuff; I would have preferred if the record had more tracks like Souvlaki Space Station and When the Sun Hits.
Loveless, while I did like, I don't think it's truly great. I do understand how important the album is and I think the actual sound of the album is unique, supremely bold/exciting, and fun to listen to. But albums aren't just a collection of sounds, they're a collection of songs, and I don't really like how Loveless's songs are repetitive and lacking in progression. For example, the sound of Only Shallow is really fucking cool, but imo the actual song is incredibly repetitive and nowhere near as fleshed out as other signature Shoegaze tracks like When the Sun Hits, Leave Them All Behind, or Thursday.
 

Tenshi

Absolute state of vibing
is a Live Chat Contributor
Ended up updating my list a fair bit since I did it a couple of months ago. Still did one album per artist limit, Regina Spektor's was probably the hardest to pick one specific album for x_x, 2 albums from this year made it to the list tho! Daddy's Home is an honorable mention but Masseduction is just too good to not be it on the list.
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