never-aging 90’s albums

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Tuesday, June 10th, 2008

never-aging 90’s albums

one of the most dangerous things to do is to quantify a promise. here’s an example: i will run 2 miles every tuesday for the next 3 months. i’ve a.) made a promise to run, and b.)i’ve quantified the amount of said promised running. the issue here is that it’s difficult to ever live up to the promise. it’s basically the same reason you can’t ever get a straight answer out of a politician. they know that if they quantify a promise, people will call them out on it when they don’t come through in the exact specificity of the promise.

with all that said, here’s what i’m going to try to do: write a at least one list a week. it might be a top 10, top 5, whatever, but i’m going to try to do a list. call me a dork, but i just love reading lists. people can always get into them because you pick out what you agree with and what you can’t believe the person actually ranked 1 or 2. so, that’s my dorky quantified promise.

so, here goes…

the following list is 10 albums from the 90’s that i can still listen to from start to finish and they never get old. take notice: i’m not necessarily arguing that these are the best albums of the 90’s. i’m simply saying that they’re the albums that i can listen to over and over and they never get old to me. the list is as follows:

10. tidal: fiona apple (1996)

favorite track: shadowboxer

yeah, that’s right…i’m a dude and i like fiona apple. this is an incredible album that really exposes the emotional rawness of what was really an emotional trainwreck of an artist.

9. euphoria morning: chris cornell (1999)

favorite track: pillow of your bones

i loved what soundgarden was doing through the 90’s, but i have to admit that chris cornell’s first solo record took it to a whole new level for me. he journeyed through rock and soul and blues and made each one work in a way that only his signature growling voice can.

8. jesus freak: dc talk (1995)

favorite track: what if i stumble?

the unfortunate reality for those in the ccm bubble is that there is always an asterisk of sorts put on the music no matter how good or bad it is. to me, jesus freak, musically, can stand up against some of the greatest albums of the 90’s. dc talk evolved into something great and explored some musical styles that hadn’t been explored in the christian music industry.

7. tragic kingdom: no doubt (1995)

favorite track: sunday morning

when this came out late ’95, no one had heard a sound quite like this. it’s too simplistic to say that it’s ska. it had multiple layers of punk, rock, ska and pop.

6. mellon collie and the infinite sadness: the smashing pumpkins. (1995)

favorite track: thirty-three

the amazing thing about this album is the journey you engage in throughout listening to the two discs. billy corgan really understands the listener experience in creating an album. this album brought you in with aggressive rock and led you through almost quirky pop songs to soaring orchestral pieces.

5. jagged little pill: alanis morissette. (1995)

favorite track: right through you

obviously the headlines from this albums were the brutally honest lyrics and that couldn’t be a truer or more adequate descriptor. it wasn’t just the honesty of the lyrics, though. it was also the naked delivery in the production that made morissette’s lyrics that much more connective and honest.

4. (what’s the story) morning glory?: oasis. (1995)

favorite track: don’t look back in anger

love them or hate them, it’s extremely difficult for many people who truly know music to deny the brilliance and longevity of this album. it’s a little unfair to call them the new beatles or just a beatles rip-off, but the comparison is hard to resist when you listen to this album.

3. dangerous: michael jackson. (1991)

favorite track: who is it

this may be one of the classic examples of unfair critical (and commercial) expectations and subsequent reviews of all time. following bad in 1987, michael jackson came back with an album that still held to his timeless formula of amazing vocals and pop sensibilities with the help from producer teddy riley.

2. sheryl crow: sheryl crow. (1996)

favorite track: oh marie…honestly, too difficult to decide…

sheryl crow is one of my all-time favorite artists and this is by far her best album. there’s a very piercing and raw honesty to sheryl crow’s lyrics and i think this album was very appropriately self-titled because of those two prevalent factors.

1. so much for the afterglow: everclear. (1997)

favorite track: why i don’t believe in god

to this day, there isn’t a single track on this album that i want to ever skip. it’s unfortunate that everclear has since gone south, because art alexakis is a truly underrated lyricist who understands how to tell his own story that makes you able to instantly adopt it as your own. he is brutally honest and it makes for a beautiful collection of messy songs about real life.

what do you think?

UPDATE: ok, so i competely forgot one of my absolute favorite albums of the 90’s: everything you want by vertical horizon. i would actually probably put this as high as 4 or 5…i can’t believe i forgot it. great album where the “album tracks” are just as good as the singles.