Daily Archives: February 18, 2012

List – My 7 Most Underrated Albums

Everyone Loves a List! 

Ok so I am going to start putting the odd list on the page. This is for two reasons. One. It’s a really good and clear way to get an opinion over. Two. They are really easy to do especially after a few tins of Budweiser!

So this list is looking at my top 7 most underrated albums. What is an underrated album? Well I feel it is an album which was a bit over looked in its time and has not been given the longevity that it deserves. Some that were cut from my final selection were the likes of Clap Your Hands Say Yeah and Future King of Spain’s both self titled albums and Billy Talent first album (also self titled). So let’s get down to the list eh!

7. Something Corporate – North 

This is one of the most beautiful albums I own. It is a collection of pop punk  love songs which always leave me with a little lump in my throat. Songs such as “Ruthless” and album opener “As You Sleep” pack a punch while still remaining a dazzling mixture of piano, pop punk and love song. I can’t believe that so few people I know have even heard of Something Corporate never mind this album. I believe this is an album that would have universal appeal to all people of all tastes. If I had to pick a favourite song it would be she paints me blue. It keeps true to the above ingredients but has amazing lyrics. http://www.youtube.com/watchv=a0J05E_Rig0&feature=related

6. Electric Six – Fire 

This album is well-known for the song “Gay Bar” everyone knows it and its a bit of a novelty classic. Also well-known songs are “Danger! High Voltage” and “Naked Picture of your Mother”. So straight off there are 3 of the most well-known songs of recent alternative music history, yet in my experience when you mention the whole body of work people will scoff. These three songs are great but the rest of the album is also a joy to listen to. Clever, tongue in cheek in places and a really good riff driven album. Examples of great songs are “Nuclear War on the Dance Floor” and “Dance Commander”. My favourite song is maybe the most straight-laced on the album, the song that closes the album “Synthesizer”  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cnsq9XtpmEk

5. Hot Hot Heat – Make up the Breakdown  

This was one of my most played albums while growing up and had the ultimate joy of seeing the lead singer being refused into his own gig for being under age when they played at the Liquid Rooms in Edinburgh (many, many years ago!). This album again like the last has a couple of recognisable songs that would make you say “oh, eh, thats….eh….the heat band thing”. You kinda remember but are not 100%. But I believe songs such as “No, Not Now” and “Bandages” deserve the fame that songs like “Roll With It” and “Sex on Fire” get on the radio these days. Straight up, they are classic songs. The rest of the album is of a similar level for me, with other stand out tracks being “Oh God Damit” and “Talk To Me, Dance With Me” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S-Rmz-nOJn4&ob=av3e

4. Alkaline Trio – From Here To Infirmary

 This album is one that I know a lot of people like songs from but the real beauty of this album is when you listen to if from start to finish. There is not a single song on this album which I dislike. The reason it is on this list is it was slated by alternative music critics for not being “hard” enough, losing the bands edge and contained too much “filler”. I disagree. I think that every song on th is worthy to be released on its own accord but when listened to in order each song complements the one before and the album has an amazing flow that I have not heard to many times in my vast album listening experience! The best tracks if I had to pick a few would be “Mr Chainsaw”, “Armageddon”  and “Private eye”. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WASt9E5slM0

3. The Hives – Your New Favourite Band 

Funny when an album name is right. The story behind this album a simple one. The CD was one  near the bottom of my CD collection for years. It came time to have a clear out and it was 50-50 for this album. I hadn’t listened to it for years and remembered it being ok. I liked Hives songs when they came on in clubs or on the radio but I couldn’t say I was a fan. So I popped in the album to give it a chance and fell in love with it. Its fast paced, intricate yet simple in its presentation. I think maybe The Hives are a band you grow into. I would say they are in my top 3 bands now, which is not bad for a band I almost literally discarded! So I Underrated this album and I think a lot of other people do to. This and “Tyrannosaurus Hives” are incredibly underrated. Best songs? “Supply and Demand”, “Die, All Right!” and “Hate to Say I Told You So”. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MCQ7VLoY7bQ

2. The National – Alligator

This is the Third offering from New York band The National. I think the post-punk alternative melodies of The National maybe one of the most under rated bands of modern times. My main reason for saying this when comparing this album to the last two offerings from the Kings Of Leon (in my eyes two of the most overrated albums ever). What the Kings of Leon try to do is make this album. The lyrics are mesmerizing,  Matt Berninger’s baritone singing is hypnotic and the songs flow effortlessly over the whole album. This album also works as background music, study music or the focus of listening. It works on so many levels. Best tracks? “Secrete Meeting” is very good but my Favourite song is “Looking for Astronauts” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NdS7ETy2fww

1. Brand New – Deja Entendu 

Well. This is my number one most underrated album that I own. If you haven’t listened to this album you should make this a musical priority. The album is a dark angst riddled post pop-punk smorgasbord of total tunes. I suppose it would even fall into the realms of Emo but this album was kicking about before the major Emo explosion that erupted with MCR’s “Black Parade”.  The strengths of this album are its phenomenal lyrics and bass lines which are played in an off tune Drop D which make the hole album feel a little deeper and in places a little darker. A stand out track would be “The Boy Who Block His Own Shot” which includes the lyric “You are the smell before rain, you are the blood in my vanes”. The best known track is probably the build up strong “Sic Transit Gloria… Glory Fades” which is an epic wee tune and has a great video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cKDc2lkt_mE). Even the hidden track at the end which is a kind of sea shanty fits into the feel of the album. Everyone should own this album and listen to it at least once a month. Its brilliance.

So there’s my first list. It took a bit longer than I thought it would and was a bit trickier than I had hoped but I didn’t want to sound like I was gushing over any of the albums. I genuinely believe that all of the albums above are worthy of any CD collection and if you haven’t heard any of them I would hope you would love at least one of the above.

Let me know what you think.

Till next time

Fall

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