this will be my favourite album (with lists).

Think of a moment.  Do whatever it is you do to clear your head, and think about this:  the moment you realized for the first time that you were listening to your favorite song, or your favorite album, or whatever it is that you covet in your personal life.  How momentous was that for you?  How self-revelatory!

I’m not one to include calendar dates in my notebook (because that’d make it, like, a diary), so I can’t pinpoint an exact date, but I last experienced the favorite album revelation sometime during the first week of November, back in the year of our lord 2010.  I know this because, having just listened to “Oh Comely” off of Neutral Milk Hotel’s In the Aeroplane Over the Sea, a song that I know more phonetically than lyrically, that is inscribed more into my bones than into my brain, I scrawled, “Question for the day:  is In the Aeroplane Over the Sea my favorite album of all-time?”  And that is written reasonably close to another scrawling that reads, “Baby, we’ve been together long enough to have gestated a baby,” and I definitely wrote that on November 1st, 2010.

From the moment of that writing to the moment that I am writing this, I have found no evidence that suggests otherwise.  In the Aeroplane Over the Sea is definitively my favorite album of all-time.

In all honesty, I was caught completely off-guard by this.  I mean, it is an amazing album; it is about as perfect as perfect gets.  It is forty straight minutes of music that gets inside you, music that you feel even more than it is music that speaks to, and for, you.  But surely, there was some album I felt even stronger about.  I spent two and a half months solving the favorite albums life-puzzle, just to be sure, to figure myself out a little bit.

I listened to all of my favorite albums, I added a few into the mix, and I listened to my favorite albums all over again.  Musically speaking, it was a pretty amazing two and a half months.  But as a contest, it wasn’t even close.  In The Aeroplane (played forty-fifth out of seventy-six during iteration one and twenty-first out of eighty during iteration two), easily placed first in both iterations.

The larger battle (and inconsistency) was second place.  In the first iteration, I chose Spoon’s Kill the Moonlight as my second favorite album, whereas in the second iteration, Dr. Dog’s We All Belong notched second place.  However, We All Belong placed tenth in the first iteration, giving it an average of 6, and Kill the Moonlight finished ninth in the second iteration, giving it an average of 5.5.  These were good for sixth and seventh in the final rankings, while Modest Mouse’s The Lonesome Crowded West (which finished third and fourth, respectively) took second place in the averaged rankings (clearly another surprise).

I may be a music snob, or I may not.  All I know is that I know what I think is good.  I’d like to present this (these) list(s) with pretensions aside.  I’ve spent a lot of time listening to a variety of music over the last seven years or so, and I think I’ve cultivated a considerably diverse taste that a wide range of persons could potentially benefit from.  Consider this a list of albums I suggest you pick up, if you haven’t already.  Here’s a bunch (a library?) of music I think you might like.  Futhermore, consider this a suggested activity.  I appreciated the experience as an exercise in self-discovery, and recommend it for any music aficionado, and particularly for those who consider the construction not just of a song, but of an album, as a work of art.  Without further ado, I present,

My Thirty-Two Favorite Albums:  The Definitive List (14th October 2010 – 27th December 2010):

(1) [1]

In the Aeroplane Over the Sea by Neutral Milk Hotel (1998)

(2) [3.5]

The Lonesome Crowded West by Modest Mouse (1997)

(3) [4]

Robbers & Cowards by Cold War Kids (2006)

(4) [5]

Talking Heads: 77 (1977)

(5) [5.5]

Fashion Nugget by CAKE (1996)

(6) [5.5]

Kill the Moonlight by Spoon (2002)

(7) [6]

We All Belong by Dr. Dog (2007)

(8) [7.5]

Alopecia by Why? (2008)

(9) [8.5]

There’s Nothing Wrong with Love by Built to Spill (1994)

(10) [8.5]

Chutes too Narrow by The Shins (2003)

(11) [11.5]

Trying to Never Catch Up by What Made Milwaukee Famous (2004)

(12) [12.5]

North Hills by Dawes (2009)

(13) [12.5]

The Stage Names by Okkervil River (2007)

(14) [13.5]

Sound of Silver by LCD Soundsystem (2007)

(15) [15]

Magical Mystery Tour by The Beatles (1967)

(16) [16]

Doolittle by Pixies (1989)

(17) [18]

Attack & Release by The Black Keys (2008)

(18) [18.5]

Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain by Pavement (1994)

(19) [18.5]

Youth & Young Manhood by Kings of Leon (2003)

(20) [20]

More Songs About Buildings & Food by Talking Heads (1978)

(21) [23.5]

Make the Clocks Move by Kevin Devine (2003)

(22) [24.5]

Everything All the Time by Band of Horses (2006)

(23) [25]

Yankee Hotel Foxtrot by Wilco (2002)

(24) [25]

Funeral by Arcade Fire (2004)

(25) [25.5]

The Stand-Ins by Okkervil River (2008)

(26) [26]

Gimme Fiction by Spoon (2005)

(27) [26.5]

OK Computer by Radiohead (1997)

(NOTE:  I’ve only very recently heard about the 01 & 10 playlist, which is based on the presupposition that OK Computer and In Rainbows are supposed to be listened to together, and that the interweaving of the twenty-two tracks in a particular way [see link] compose a more fluid whole.  I’ve listened to Zeroes and Ones once, and I’m a believer, but one listen does not a favorite album make.  Nevertheless, this is highly recommended, if you haven’t done so already.)

(28) [27.5]

Ode to Sunshine by Delta Spirit (2008)

(29) [27.5]

Oh, Inverted World by The Shins (2001)

(30) [28.5]

The Soft Bulletin by The Flaming Lips (1999)

(31) [29.5]

Vampire Weekend (2008)

(32) [30]

Aha Shake Heartbreak by Kings of Leon (2004)

(NOTE:  R.I.P. Kings of Leon, 2003-2004.  Never forget.)

 

Full List of My Seventy-Five Favorite Albums:


Given my musical preoccupations during the last two and a half months of twenty-ten, it is difficult for me to present a list of my favorite albums of 2010 without an asterisk.  Over the last few months, I have run into a lot of good music, but I did not give them enough attention to be able to sincerely consider them an album of the year.  But here is a few albums that I, on my (still) very humble budget, ran into toward the end of the year that are worthy of your time, that shall comprise my Honorable Mention category:

Crazy for You by Best Coast (2010)

Shut Up, Dude by Das Racist (2010)

All Day by Girl Talk (2010)

I’m New Here by Gil Scott-Heron (2010)

We Are Beautiful, We Are Doomed by Los Campesinos! (2008)

The National (2001)

My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy by Kanye West (2010)

I firmly believe that the year an album was made is a secondary detail to the year that it was acquired.  Thus, the following list unapologetically includes albums that were released between 1983 and 2010.  My favorite albums released in 2010 may be extracted from this list, but I will leave it to the reader to do so.  And a brief note:  a few of these albums have already crept their way into my all-time favorite albums list, and their ranking will be noted parenthetically, if applicable.

My 2010:  Twenty Favorite Album Discoveries of the Year (as of 27th December 2010, in reverse order):

(20)

Over the Counterculture by Tim Fite (2007)

(19)

Transference by Spoon (2010)

(18)

Halcyon Digest by Deerhunter (2010)

(17)

How I Got Over by The Roots (2010)

(16)

Little Creatures by Talking Heads (1985)

(15)

Gorilla Manor by Local Natives (2010)

(14)

Stuck on Nothing by Free Energy (2010)

(13)

Brighten the Corners by Pavement (1997)

(12)

Since I Left You by The Avalanches (2000)

(11)

The Suburbs by Arcade Fire (2010)

(10)

Is This It? by The Strokes (2001)

(9)

Sit Down, Man by Das Racist (2010)

(8)

Big Echo by The Morning Benders (2010)

(7)

Alligator by The National (2005)

(6)

Shame, Shame by Dr. Dog (2010)

(5) [57]

Bitte Orca by Dirty Projectors (2009)

(4) [55]

High Violet by The National (2010)

(3) [48]

Romance is Boring by Los Campesinos! (2010)

(2) [40]

Speaking in Tongues by Talking Heads (1983)

(1) [35]

This is Happening by LCD Soundsystem (2010)

 

Needs more…?

 

With All Due Respect,

grawlsy.

 

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