My Top 10 Albums (that I own): Part 1
I tried to compile a list of my favorite albums of all time, but that list would have been ridiculously long. If it had been any albums, Pink Floyd's The Wall would be #1, but I realize a lot of what would be on the list would be albums that my Dad owns, and not me. So, I decided to make these albums that I have actually purchased myself. That made the list much more manageable, anyway. So, here is albums 10-6 on my list.
10. Turtleneck and Chain – The Lonely Island
The Lonely Island is a “joke band”, which is a horrible way to put it, but there you go. They are writers/cast members/guest on SNL, and they do the SNL Digital Shorts on the show. Their first album came out of nowhere, and was a huge success. Who hasn’t heard “I’m On A Boat” at this point? I really liked Incredibad, so I was very excited for their next album. Turtleneck and Chain, in my opinion, blows the first out of the water.
Shy Ronnie 2, Motherlover, and Reba have all been on the SNL before, and they are still great. Turtleneck and Chain, and The Creep, both have fantastic cameos by Snoop Dogg and Nicki Minaj, respectively. The best song has to be Jack Sparrow. It may be the weirdest song on the album, with Michael Bolton (with Pirates of the Caribbean on his brain) spouting movie references and swearing, but I laugh every single time. But the weird thing is, all these songs aren’t just funny, they are actually really good songs. If they weren’t funny, they still have a great beat, and I would still probably listen.
Plus, it has the single greatest line in a song ever; “WHAT!? Mother F$%@er got HORSE BLOOD!!”
9 . You’re Awful, I Love You – Ludo
Ludo straddles the line between “joke band”, like The Lonely Island, and an actual “legit” band (not that Lonely Island isn’t legit). They have about half and half funny/creepy/ironic songs, and regular songs. At the end of the day, the songs are really catchy, and the band is very creative and intelligent.
Love Me Dead is a pretty cool take on a love song, like they hate each other, but still in love. Drunken Lament deals with breakups, and drinking yourself into oblivion, while Go-Getter Greg is about being a creepy stalker guy. Lake Pontchartrain, on the other hand, is a self contained ghost story, about his two friends being murdered by a haunted lake. The capper, though, is The Horror of Our Love, which is another different take on a love story, but waaay more upsetting. Overall, it's a really enjoyable album, and something different, at least.
8. The Mountain – Heartless Bastards
I first learned of the Heartless Bastards when they went out on tour with Wolfmother (more on them later). I looked into it, and they are actually an Ohio-based band, from Cincinnati. I read the story, and watched the embedded video, from when they appeared on Letterman. I went ahead and watched it, and was blown away. Not all bands are good singing live, some downright horrible, but they are amazing. Erika Wennerstrom’s lower registered voice reminds me of Florence Welch (Florence And The Machine), or Janis Joplin, which contrasts perfectly with Andrew Stockdale’s glass-shattering high notes. Their tone, however, is very similar to Wolfmother, which really puts you in the mindset of an epic Tolkien novel.
Out At Sea talks about the bands journey to the “City Of Lights”, and being swept away by it all. The song Be So Happy is actually pretty funny, with lyrics like “I could be so happy, if I just quit being sad”. It is a very slow and mellow song, that is very relaxing. Had To Go is a straight up, old school, blues song, complete with banjo, and violin. Not very many current bands can do old-school blues well at all, but they are fantastic at it. Early In The Morning has a fitting title, since if I used this as an alarm clock, I would spring out of bed. Listen to it, and you’ll see what I mean. My favorite track is Wide Awake. Erika’s voice really gets showed off in this, and with only a guitar, and an almost military drum beat, it is minimalist, but awesome.
7. Recovery – Eminem
I have always liked Eminem, so I was really excited when he came out of retirement, with Relapse. Like everyone, I bought it, and was kind of disappointed. It wasnt great, a few good songs, but not the comeback I wanted. Then Recovery dropped. I like to think Relapse didn't happen, and this was it, because this album is amazing. This is probably his best album to date.
He even references that the "Relapse CD was eeehhh" in Not Afraid. You have to respect that. The Untitled track is really cool, with the contrast between him, and the sample of Lesley Gore. And the anger that comes out of Love The Way You Lie is still slightly disturbing. The best, though, is No Love. Eminem, Lil Wayne, the song from A Night At The Roxbury. How do you not already love it?
6. The Hazards of Love - The Decembrists
As you have seen, and will see later, I love concept albums. I didn't know anything about The Decemberists until I saw it on a list of great concept albums, so I checked them out. Its your standard, girl falls in love with a shape-shifting forest creature story, whose mother, a fairy queen, tries to stop it. Oh, and there's The Rake, who murdered his whole family.
Bevy Stark's fantastic guest vocals in Won't Want For Love and Isn't It A Lovely Night really add to the feeling and setting they are going for in this album. He voice is smooth, and ethereal, and mysterious, and it meshes perfectly with the story. Shara Worden's song, The Queens Rebuke, introduces her character, and shows how powerful she actually is, and how far she will go to keep he baby boy safe.
But the most amazing song is The Rake's Song. It starts out a nice song, albeit somewhat creepy. This guy gets married at 21, saying he Kano longer a rake and bachelor, being married "whetted his thirst".... Alright, alright. Alright. Then, he realized he was cursed, when she started having babies, which he wanted no part of. Or maybe he didn't know how it worked, I don't know. Anyway, she has three kids fine, but the fourth dies at birth, and the mother dies too. So, now The Rake has three little pests that he doesn't want (his words), but he has a plan. Charlotte, he poisoned with foxglove. Dawn was drowned. Isaiah struggled, but his father eventually won, and his body was burned for punishment. He ends by saying people think he should be haunted, but he sleeps fine at night. It's a great and terrifying look into the mind of a psychopath, and I love it.
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