- Red – Taylor Swift (2012)
I don’t like Taylor Swift. I’m sorry- I just don’t. I mean, as a person. As a musician, however, she’s writes some damn catchy songs- perfect for long bus rides or confident struts around the neighborhood with your dog. We-eeeEE! are never, Ever, EVER, getting back to-gether (like ever). (The very fact that I had to write out those lyrics is a testament to how catchy that song really is)… And “22” is my JAM.
- Channel Orange – Frank Ocean (2012)
This is definitely my favorite album of 2012. Tracks like “Start”, “Fertilizer”, and “Not Just Money” add a back story to this album; they make it seem like you’re hearing these songs on a crackling radio. “Thinkin Bout You”, “Sweet Life”, and “Super Rich Kids” (feat. Earl Sweatshirt) flow with Ocean’s soulful voice, from one into the next, themes of rich-kid-ennui and wealth apathy weaving gently throughout. This thing is the total package; an ALBUM in the original sense of the word.
- Blue – Joni Mitchell (1971)
I wish I had a river, I could skate away on… *Sigh* This is one of the saddest and most beautiful albums I’ve ever heard. I love it so much I could cry. Put it on a playlist with Bright Eyes and Sam Cooke and literally sob away the next millennium. I swear to Joni that “Little Green” was written about ME.
- “The Blue Album” - Weezer (1994)
This is the best Weezer album, imho. It’s got that soft surf-y vibe plus that perfect 90’s pop rock thing that isn’t at all like 2000’s pop rock. Can you tell that I am clearly an expert music talker-person? Anyway, everytime I hear that opening guitar riff on The Sweater Song I think of playing guitar hero in someones basement in early high school. But it’s better than that. That anecdote does not do this album justice. Whatever.
- Purple Rain – Prince (1984)
This album is just so EPIC. The title track just hits you like a baseball to the gut. To be honest, I avoided this album for a long time because I was never really into that 80’s heavy guitar ballad-y sound. But it’s a definite classic, capable of subverting genre and time. A little known fact: famed “I’m the worst” blogger, Ned Hepburn, loves this album more than life.
- The Pink Opaque – Cocteau Twins (1986)
I think I first heard the Cocteau Twins when Wax and Wane was on a playlist on 8tracks. They are Scottish. Think if Grimes and Sonic Youth adopted a ferret, and that ferret could play bass guitar— that would be the Cocteau Twins. The Pink Opaque is super dreamy and 80’s punk-ish sounding and perfect for overcast days and raisin toast (I don’t know). Listen to Aikea-Guinea, Lorelei, and Millimillenary.
- The Black Album – Jay-Z (2003)
So many good memories of me and my white-girl friends “rapping” to 99 problems in the car… I’m so sorry Jay. Normally I would feel like such a lame poser, but I don’t care because this album is so hot and Jay-Z just seems so humble and down-to-earth, with that classic laugh of his. You’re crazy for this one Rick, it’s ya boi!!
- The Grey Album – Danger Mouse (2004)
This is an amazing mash-up album by DJ Danger Mouse, where he combines the vocals from Jay-Z’s The Black Album, with the instrumentals from the Beatles “White Album”. It’s just so cool. It’s like Danger Mouse KNEW I would be writing this article. Now if we could only get someone to mashup Joni’s vocals from Blue with the instrumentals from Purple Rain, to create a sound like you’ve never heard before… Blue Rain.
- “The White Album” - The Beatles (1968)
Isn’t this everyone and their Dad’s favorite album? Haven’t we all gotten into a heated argument with some college punk about whether or not this album is “highly overrated”? Nonetheless, this album is a marker of history, both musical and otherwise, plus it has like a zillion perfect songs on it. So much Beatles turmoil went into this record, you guys. “Back in the USSR”, “Blackbird”, “Helter Skelter”, “Revolution”…
Time for someone to make a great album titled “Yellow” or “Green”, because the Simpson’s The Yellow Album really was noSimpsons Sing the Blues, and Ron Carter’s Yellow & Green might be hard bop / post bop, but it sounds more like elevator music to me. Basically, all the yellow and green titled albums are by bands with names like, “Kottonmouth Kings”… (seriously). Now I’m starting to think there might be a curse on Yellow/Green albums to be purely stoner garbage or cartoon character trash. Best of luck to musician everywhere in beating the Curse of the Yellow & Green.
- Kellie Hogan, Creative Director