By SecondPersonShooter 27 Comments
I've been racking my mind trying to compile a list that would encompass everything that I look for in music as an art form. My tastes are going to lean on the modern side for this list, because that's the music that i was around for and really got an appreciation for, I'm fans of a lot of classic albums as well, they just didn't make the cut. Music defines me as much as video games do, I'm constantly searching for new things to listen to so if anybody has any recommendations after reading my top 5, or wants to share their own top 5, it would be appreciated.
5. of Montreal: Hissing Fauna, are You the Destroyer?
Probably the most unknown quantity on this entire list, of Montreal is fucking weird. Not as much a band as it is the insane ramblings of frontman, Kevin Barnes, who examines his psyche throughout this album, and it's never clear what's real and what's fictional. Halfway through this album, he switched from his regular character and became a black transvestite named Georgie Fruit, who he continued to stay in character as throughtout the entire next album. But musically the album is incredibly diverse, there's really nothing out there like of Montreal, it's worth putting the time in getting into them.
4. Radiohead: Kid A
In my opinion, the second greatest collection of songs ever. This album is a perfectly paced auditory journey, conveying nearly every damn emotion that you could in musical language in one amazing album. This is the apex of Radiohead, their masterpiece. There are people who worship everything Radiohead, and bless the ground that Thom Yorke walks on, and I don't really think of them THAT highly, but there is no denying the power Radiohead finds with their sound on this album.
3. Eyedea & Abillities: By the Throat
This is the perfect fusion of rap and rock, I wish is what people thought of when they heard that term instead of pieces of shit like Linkin Park. But Eyedea is so much more than that, he is by far the best lyricist in all of hip hop. His first two albums were all battle-rapping, but for his third album, made in 2009, he decided to write intensely personal songs about his heroin addiction and philosophies on the meaning of life, creating what is really the most desperate and anxious sounding album I have ever heard. Shortly after completion of this album, Eyedea died of a heroin overdose, making this album that much more heartbreaking when listening to. This album also features some ridiculously innovative DJing from DJ Abilllities that I haven't seen duplicated anywhere else, he is one of the most amazing scratchers I've heard, listen to songs like Spin Cycle to hear how he turns scratches into melody for the last minute of that song. Overall, my only complaint is this album is too short, and that we didn't get to see Eyedea build into something even more amazing that this album. This album is a reminder of a tragedy, but it also puts an amazing mind on display.
2. Rilo Kiley: The Execution of All Things
Since ya'll are gamers here on Giant Bomb, you may recognize the lead singer of Rilo Kiley, Jenny Lewis, as the girl that Fred Savage ran around with in The Wizard. Now that that completely irrelevant fact is out of the way, let me tell you why this album is great. I have a weakness for folksly indie bands with female lead singers, and this is the peak of that particular mountain. Really heartfelt lyrics, the main theme being trapped into the responsibilities of adulthood and longing for the simple innocence of childhood, sung by my favorite female voice of all time, Jenny Lewis, who has a way of making everything sound genuine. I'm going to marry her someday.
1. Modest Mouse
I could have put all of Modest Mouses first four studio albums in my top 5, but I chose to only put one at the top for the sake of diversity. This is the best collection of songs in existence, balancing triumphant heights with depressing and chaotic lows, giving the whole album a heaven-vs-hell dynamic that works beautifully. There are reoccuring phrases and themes that appear throughout the album, and once you listen enough you can piece together a loose narrative. I am pretty certain that this album is a collection of stories about different perspectives of people going through the end of the world. There are songs that are calm about the ending of all things,(The World at Large) songs exploring doubt of an afterlife in the face of death (Satin in a Coffin), songs exploring how much a psyche can take before it snaps and becomes chatotic (The Devils Workday) songs detailing regret of places unseen, feelings unknown (Black Cadillacs), and everything in between. It's an analysis of not just Issac Brock's psyche, but all of our psyche's, and it is absolutely brilliant from beginning to end. I could talk for hours upon hours upon hours about this album, and the music of every track, but I'll just end this list by saying that if you haven't heard this amazing masterpiece, click on the link above this text box and listen right now. I wish I could hear this album again for the first time, but every time I listen to it, I find something else to appreciate
And that's it, anybody else on GB a fan of any of these bands? Feel free to post your own top five in the comments, I realize this is a cliche topic at this point but I just wanted to write down a list for myself mainly