i've thought about this blog for a long time. it's been on my mind for months, maybe years. i love lists and i love music. this is the ultimate way for me to bring those two loves together.
those of you who have talked music with me know that i also love albums. the creation of an album by a band or musician is a complete piece of art. it's not just your favorite few songs that create a memorable album. it's the entire collection of music. the artwork. the lyrics. the packaging. all of these things combine to create one collection of art.
the songs an artist creates for an album are a collection of thoughts, ideas, and emotions that the artist is experiencing at that time. immense joy or immense sadness can create two completely different albums from the same artist. all songs should be considered in the evaluation of an album.
that being said, i value an album's completeness. my favorite albums are the ones that have listenability the whole way through. the very best albums are the ones that have the ability to flow to the end and finish in a way that energizes you to listen to it again right away.
more comments will come in future posts, but i'll start with selections 20-16 now. one final rule: i have to have listened to this album before my 25th birthday in january 2010. great albums need time to sink in. enjoy. comment. argue. these are my favorites.
20. The Classic Crime - The Silver Cord (2008) - This is a fine example of a complete album. Top to bottom, The Classic Crime's masterpiece is constantly listenable. There aren't many songs that stand out as catchy singles, which is why it isn't higher on the list, but in the summer of 2008 this album took weeks to exit my car's CD player.
Key track: The Beginning (A Simple Seed)
19. fun. - Aim and Ignite (2009) - This is a pretty recent inclusion. Nate Reuss, singer of one of my favorite bands, The Format, created this band with a couple guys from Steel Train and Anathallo. fun. created a super-catchy, yet emotional, power-pop selection that will get stuck in your head.
Key track: At Least I'm Not as Sad (As I Used to Be)
18. Anberlin - Cities (2007) - Anberlin found national recognition in the past year or so with the re-release of the track "The Feel Good Drag", but Cities is the masterpiece that took Anberlin to the level they've achieved today. The songwriting by Stephen Christian is deep and complex, while Anberlin's musicianship creates an album full of intently diverse rock music.
Key track: Godspeed
17. The Avett Brothers - Four Thieves Gone (2006) - The first of 3 selections from my favorite band, Four Thieves Gone is an interesting collection of tracks. A few of my favorite songs by TAB can be found in these Robbinsville Sessions, ranging from the low-key Famous Flower of Manhattan to the high energy Colorshow. The songwriting on several tracks is incredible (re: The Lowering). I could write hundreds of pages about the these boys, so I'll stop for now.
Key Track: Talk on Indolence
16. The Avett Brothers - Mignonette (2004) - Okay, back to it. Mignonette is smack in the middle of the Avett Brothers transition from down-home-country bluegrass to pop-folk legends. The crossover features plenty of energy and untouchable songwriting. My favorite Avett Brothers track of all-time is found here; Pretty Girl from Cedar Lane.
Key Track: At the Beach