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Thursday, April 14, 2011

Best (music) Albums of the 1990's part 4

20. The Flaming Lips - The Soft Bulletin -1999-USA

why: Years later and the band is still getting props for it, so much that they played it in its entirety in July. basically established that lush soundscape that you associate with The Flaming Lips now. It has the twofold effect of complex music with simple lyrics so it never tries to confuse you. It's always completely listen-able.

Example Tracks : Race for the Prize, Waiting for a Superman

19. Nas -Illmatic -1994- USA

why: The debut and still the best Nas album. The beats are great, yeah, but Nas has the best, most brilliant lyrics and at the time was the closest thing to poetry that you got from a rap artist. Lyrical content that depicts accurately his world while being able to see it and not get sucked in.

Example Tracks: Life's a Bitch, The World is Yours

18. Massive Attack - Blue Lines -1991 -England

why: The first trip hop album ever. That whole electronic, dub, hip hop and soul merging could only be good. Total soul music that somehow was grand and emotional, though it wasn't really possible to pinpoint why. your heart and your mind are occupied for this record.

Example Tracks: Unfinished Sympathy, Safe from Harm

17. Wu-Tang Clan - Enter the Wu-Tang Clan(36 Chambers) -1993 -USA

why: Another debut rap album that's probably the best. Probably the album that allowed East Coast rap back into the game and set it up for Nas, Jay-Z and Notorious BIG to make it big. It is the most raw album of the early 90's and all the commercial success was not expected. haphazard beats, erratic song layouts and nil touchups make it exceptional.

Example Tracks: C.R.E.A.M., Protect Ya Neck

16.Beck -Odelay -1996-USA

why: A whole lotta sampling went into this and as a result it sounds like a whole lotta different stuff. Folk, country, rock and electronica; it's basically Beck in short form. A guy who can make a lot of things sound good and make different elements flow into one another.

Example Tracks: Devil's Haircut, Where It's at

15.Nirvana -In Utero -1993

why: The final Nirvana album, the one that's different because of the band's newfound success (which is reflected in the lyrics). It is brilliant and thoughtful, but also, Kurt Cobain isn't very happy or pleased when he's writing and it shows. Abrasively listenable, though that's an impossible sounding description, it works.

example tracks: Heart Shaped Box, All Apologies

14. Jeff Buckley -Grace -1994 -USA

why: Makes you wonder what could have been if he'd lived to record more. The lyrics are great and the music is large scale and grandiose but the real magic in this album is Buckely's voice. there's a lots of influences in it, but the album is something totally original.

Example Tracks: Last Goodbye, Hallelujah

13. R.E.M. -Automatic for the People - 1991 -USA

why: Slow, beautiful melodies and meaningful, resonant vocals. REM always had those things, but they really made it stand out in this album. A bit depressing with the themes of loss and purposelessness.

Example Tracks: Everybody Hurts, Man on the Moon

12. Soundgarden -Superunknown - 1994 -USA

why: Heavy sounds, in the guitars and the drums. But they have range too, though you wouldn't think there's a range of heavy, there is. A portrait of alienation, confusion and hopelessness but the loudness cuts the depression, more into angry mode.

Example Tracks: Spoonman, Black Hole Sun

11.The Fugees - The Score -1997 -USA

Why: The second and final Fugees album. They should have stayed together. Brilliant lyrics, of the intellectual variety, a rarity for popular rap at that time (probably still a rarity).A lot of familiar hooks to give that chill, comfortable feel and a widescale scope

Example Tracks: Ready or Not, Killing Me Softly

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