Saturday, January 13, 2007

The Album Lives

I've always listened to albums more than individual songs. Sometimes I may have been enamored of a song, but then disliked the album it was on, but mostly I listen straight through entire albums, and therefore seek out and listen to albums that work as a whole. To me, it is much like reading a novel- take one chapter out of the book and read it along, and it has lost its context.

Wrote down a quick list the other day of albums that I believe truly function as great albums- from beginning to end they are gorgeous, and they function artistically as a whole. I offer them here:

Gillian Welch- The Revelator (this may be #1 on my list)
Beck- Mutations and Sea Change
The Decemberists- The Crane Wife
Wilco- Yankee Hotel Foxtrot
Beatles- St. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (possibly the original "album")
U2- Joshua Tree

There are many, many in jazz, but my two favorites:

Miles Davis- Kind of Blue
John Coltrane- Giant Steps

And there are a few classical recordings for which the concept album doesn't necessarily apply, and yet it is true that they function beautifully as double-CD units:

Handel- Messiah
Bach- Mass in B Minor

Finally, I think it is rare for a movie soundtrack to attain to this status, but there are a few around. Favorites:

Garden State
The Life Aquatic
The Squid and the Whale


1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the album recommendations!
    I've been listening to Half-Handed Cloud and some of the other Sufjan-related groups you've mentioned, and liking them.