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Human Canon Ball Relaunched: Rebuilding My Top 100

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baystateoftheart
Neil Young as a butternut squash



Age: 23
Location: Amherst, MA
United States

#61 | Posted: 02/17/2018 03:02 | Post subject: Reply with quote

Highway 61 Revisited by Bob Dylan

Overall Rating: 88.7

A deceptively good album. I rarely listen to it, it's never blown my mind, I don't have a warm fuzzy feeling after I listen, and it's never been one I would list as a personal favorite. In my gut instinct alone ranking of Dylan albums, I placed it all the way down at #8. But as I went through and scored it track-by-track, I found that it's pretty unimpeachable. It still feels wrong that it's debuting on my chart above albums like Loveless and The Black Saint And The Sinner Lady, and leapfrogging even my sentimental favorite Nashville Skyline in the Dylan rankings. But enough about my feelings about rating it so highly - let's talk about the album. The best two tracks bookend the album. To leadoff, "Like A Rolling Stone" is a blast of rock energy and attitude. The lyrics are superb, Al Kooper's organ brings it all together, and this is the only song on the record that I would classify as a perfect 5/5. To conclude, "Desolation Row" is an 11-minute plus epic with bewitching, intricate lyrics that also marks the only appearance of Dylan's acoustic sound. Throughout the album, Dylan's lyrics remain fairly abstract and opaque, but are obviously carefully crafted. The rock sound draws heavily on blues structures, and piano and organ are employed to great effect. While there are few peaks of absolute perfection, there are no valleys at all. This is a remarkably consistent record. I can't see it ever becoming a sentimental favorite, but I have nothing but respect.

Track pick: Like A Rolling Stone
Next up: The Doors
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baystateoftheart
Neil Young as a butternut squash



Age: 23
Location: Amherst, MA
United States

#62 | Posted: 02/17/2018 03:33 | Post subject: Reply with quote
So here's the RYM top 20 ranked, with albums added to my library in 2018 in bold:

1. Pet Sounds - The Beach Boys: 98.6
2. A Love Supreme - John Coltrane: 97.8
3. The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars - David Bowie: 91.8
4. Highway 61 Revisited - Bob Dylan: 88.7
5. Loveless - My Bloody Valentine: 87.6
6. Pink Moon - Nick Drake: 86.4
7. The Velvet Underground & Nico - The Velvet Underground: 86.4
8. Unknown Pleasures - Joy Division: 85.6
9. Abbey Road - The Beatles: 85.6
10. In The Aeroplane Over The Sea - Neutral Milk Hotel: 83.6
11. In The Court Of The Crimson King - King Crimson: 82.4
12. Revolver - The Beatles: 81.2
13. The Dark Side Of The Moon - Pink Floyd: 79.0*
14. Lift Your Skinny Fists Like Antennas To Heaven - Godspeed You! Black Emperor: 77.4
15. Wish You Were Here - Pink Floyd: 75.7*
16. Kind Of Blue - Miles Davis: 74.9
17. Kid A - Radiohead: 68.4
18. Doolittle - Pixies: 63.4
19. OK Computer - Radiohead: 62.8
20. Led Zeppelin IV - Led Zeppelin: 57.4

*returned to library in 2018

~~~~~

Time for #21 through #30:

21. The Doors - The Doors

I've had this in my library for years and have heard all the songs multiple times, but I've never listened to it all in one sitting. So this will need at least two fresh listens.

22. Remain In Light - Talking Heads

Had in my library back in 2013, didn't like it and deleted it, added again in 2017, enjoyed and gave it a 3.5/5. Will be listening again to score.

23. Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band - The Beatles

Exact same scenario as The Doors. Will be listening at least twice.

24. The Queen Is Dead - The Smiths

Love this album. Scored last fall: 87.0. Won't be revisiting.

25. In Rainbows - Radiohead

First added this to my library and listened last month. My first Radiohead album experience. Gave it a 3.5/5. Will be listening again to score.

26. Funeral - Arcade Fire

An album I like by an artist I like a lot. Still, I've never fallen in love. Will give it another go to score.

27. Animals - Pink Floyd

The only album from this batch for which I have never heard a single song. Should be fun to discover.

28. Marquee Moon - Television

Finally got around to this in the fall and gave it a 4/5. Will listen again to score.

29. Low - David Bowie

An album I like a lot but haven't listened to lately. Looking forward to returning and giving it a score.

30. Nevermind - Nirvana

I've never heard a grunge album before, and this is no exception. The only song I know is "Smells Like Teen Spirit", which is pretty good. So this will be my second totally new album in this batch.
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baystateoftheart
Neil Young as a butternut squash



Age: 23
Location: Amherst, MA
United States

#63 | Posted: 02/18/2018 19:34 | Post subject: Reply with quote
Scored Re-Listens For The Week Ending 2/17

The Masterpieces:

To Pimp A Butterfly - Kendrick Lamar 96.6

The Classics:

Pieces Of A Man - Gil Scott-Heron 94.1
My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy - Kanye West 90.6
Highway 61 Revisited - Bob Dylan 88.7
The Charm Of The Highway Strip - The Magnetic Fields 86.8
Pink Moon - Nick Drake 86.4
Mm.. Food - MF Doom 85.5

The Strong:

Radio Tank Mix - A. G. Cook 80.0
Sunflower - The Beach Boys 76.4

The Merely Solid:

Surf's Up - The Beach Boys 74.4
Broken Ankles (EP) - Girl Talk & Freeway 69.6

~~~~~~~~~~

New Listens / Non-Scored Re-Listens [*] For The Week Ending 2/17

The Classics:

Black Messiah - D'Angelo And The Vanguard*

The Strong:

In The Land Of Grey And Pink - Caravan
Little Dark Age - MGMT
What Color Is Love - Terry Callier
POST- - Jeff Rosenstock

The Merely Solid:

Get Up With It - Miles Davis
Unknown Mortal Orchestra - Unknown Mortal Orchestra
Rapture - Anita Baker
Miami Garden Club - Kitty
Love What Survives - Mount Kimbie
Transangelic Exodus - Ezra Furman
Who Told You To Think??!!?!?!?! - Milo
Freudian - Daniel Caesar
Go Farther In Lightness - Gang Of Youths
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baystateoftheart
Neil Young as a butternut squash



Age: 23
Location: Amherst, MA
United States

#64 | Posted: 02/19/2018 22:59 | Post subject: Reply with quote
Ok I definitely should have thought of this earlier than the 19th, but I'm going to try only listening to albums by black artists for the rest of February in honor of Black History Month. For these purposes, if it's a mixed-race band, the frontman/frontwoman (or one of the co-leaders when applicable) is who counts. I'll come back to the albums I just laid out later. The next ten albums for this top charts revisited diary are now:

[Skipped due to having already scored: 31. Enter The Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) by Wu-Tang Clan, 32. The Black Saint And The Sinner Lady by Charles Mingus, 34. Illmatic by Nas]

39. Are You Experienced by The Jimi Hendrix Experience

Another album that I've had for years and never listened to all the way through. I'm going to give two full listens to all the tracks from both versions, but with a focus on the US version.

[Skipped due to having already scored: 45. To Pimp A Butterfly by Kendrick Lamar]

49. Madvillainy by Madvillain

I really like this album, although I'm skeptical that it's the best work by either of its members. Excited to give it another listen and a score.

[Skipped due to having already scored: 52. My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy by Kanye West, 53. Good Kid, M.A.A.D City by Kendrick Lamar, 54. In A Silent Way by Miles Davis]

59. Electric Ladyland by The Jimi Hendrix Experience

Exact same story as Are You Experienced. This is true of a lot of albums in the classic rock canon.

62. Bitches Brew by Miles Davis

Not my favorite fusion record, but I have it at 3.5/5. Maybe it will click more fully this time around.

67. The Low End Theory by A Tribe Called Quest

My second or third favorite by ATCQ. Incredible record by an incredible group. Excited to revisit.

[Skipped due to having already scored: 69. Forever Changes by Love, 82. Liquid Swords by GZA]

88. What's Going On by Marvin Gaye

This doesn't get my vote for best soul album or even best Marvin album even, but it's a monumental achievement. Looking forward to hearing again.

104. Mezzanine by Massive Attack

Only heard this once and it was pleasant but did not leave a large impression. Perhaps it will resonate more this time around.

108. Mingus Ah Um by Charles Mingus

A perfectly good jazz album, but nowhere near the heights he would reach later on. Still, maybe there is something I have been missing.

111. Innervisions by Stevie Wonder

Like the Hendrix albums, this is one I have yet to hear in one go, despite owning it for years. Will give it at least two fresh listens.

121. Giant Steps by John Coltrane

Great album. Last heard in the fall and gave it 4/5. Will be returning to it and assigning a score.
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baystateoftheart
Neil Young as a butternut squash



Age: 23
Location: Amherst, MA
United States

#65 | Posted: 02/21/2018 22:15 | Post subject: Reply with quote

Are You Experienced by The Jimi Hendrix Experience

Overall Rating: 76.8 (US Version)

The volcanic blast that is "Purple Haze" kicks off the album in style, and nothing else quite matches it, although a lot comes close and the record is remarkably consistent. Hendrix' guitar is rightfully the centerpiece here, but the drumming is also quite good. More straightforward rock songs like "Manic Depression" contrast with spacier tracks like "Third Stone From The Sun", and both styles are well-done. The one misstep here from my perspective is "Hey Joe". It's well-executed like everything else, but I've never cared for the lyrics and their sympathetic portrayal of spousal murder. A fun, hard-rocking album. I never fully appreciated the brilliance of Hendrix until this week, but now I'd classify his work as essential rock listening.

Track pick: Purple Haze
Next up: Madvillainy
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baystateoftheart
Neil Young as a butternut squash



Age: 23
Location: Amherst, MA
United States

#66 | Posted: 02/23/2018 02:23 | Post subject: Reply with quote

Madvillainy by Madvillain

Overall Rating: 85.8

Before revisiting both records, I never would have anticipated ranking this one above Mm.. Food. Sure, it's DOOM with Madlib, but DOOM is no slouch on the boards himself, and no beat on here is as good as Madlib's contribution to "One Beer." When compared to his greater works, whether solo, as Quasimoto, or with Freddie Gibbs, these beats are almost pedestrian. That goes to show more than anything else how good Madlib's catalog is, but even so, this is clearly not his best work. While it doesn't have as many peaks as Mm.. Food, in the end this is the more consistent album, and that's enough for it to win out by a nose. The one real low point is when metal face tries his hand at singing on "Rainbows." In general, the record builds steam as it goes along, with the beats, flows, and lyrics all tightening up as the album proceeds. The high point for me is "Strange Ways", in which DOOM gets conscious over a really great cut from Madlib. The closer "Rhinestone Cowboy" is also close to perfect.

Track pick: Strange Ways
Next up: Electric Ladyland
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baystateoftheart
Neil Young as a butternut squash



Age: 23
Location: Amherst, MA
United States

#67 | Posted: 02/25/2018 20:26 | Post subject: Reply with quote
Scored Re-Listens For The Week Ending 2/24

The Classics:

Madvillainy - Madvillain 85.8

The Strong:

The Stone Roses - The Stone Roses 81.3
Are You Experienced (US Version) - The Jimi Hendrix Experience 76.8
Tonight's The Night - The Shirelles 76.2

~~~~~~~~~~

New Listens / Non-Scored Re-Listens [*] For The Week Ending 2/24

The Classics:

Journey In Satchidananda - Alice Coltrane*
Harmony Of Difference (EP) - Kamasi Washington

The Strong:

K.R.I.T. Wuz Here - Big K.R.I.T.*
Brick Body Kids Still Daydream - Open Mike Eagle
Maria Fumaça - Banda Black Rio
Odelay - Beck
The Doors - The Doors*
Electric Ladyland - The Jimi Hendrix Experience*
Across 110th Street - Bobby Womack & J.J. Johnson*
We Are The Chantels - The Chantels
Buhloone Mind State - De La Soul
The Payback - James Brown

The Merely Solid:

Aromanticism - Moses Sumney
Strictly Business - EPMD
Fulfillingness' First Finale - Stevie Wonder
Enta Da Stage - Black Moon
The Mouse And The Mask - DANGERDOOM
Without Warning - 21 Savage, Offset & Metro Boomin
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baystateoftheart
Neil Young as a butternut squash



Age: 23
Location: Amherst, MA
United States

#68 | Posted: 03/07/2018 15:35 | Post subject: Reply with quote
Forgot to post this so here it is:

Scored Re-Listens For The Week Ending 3/3

The Masterpieces:

Disintegration - The Cure 95.0

The Classics:

Blue - Joni Mitchell 94.6
Cosmogramma - Flying Lotus 89.0
Just Another Diamond Day - Vashti Bunyan 85.2

The Strong:

Smiley Smile - The Beach Boys 80.4
Darklands - The Jesus And Mary Chain 79.4

The Solid:

Baby It's You - The Shirelles 70.6

~~~~~~~~~~

New Listens / Non-Scored Re-Listens [*] For The Week Ending 3/3

The Classics:

Carrie & Lowell Live - Sufjan Stevens
Our Endless Numbered Days - Iron & Wine*

The Strong:

Let My Children Hear Music - Charles Mingus*
Fun House - The Stooges*
Duke Ellington's Far East Suite - Duke Ellington
Inspiration Information - Shuggie Otis
Semicircle - The Go! Team

The Merely Solid:

Soul Of A Woman - Sharon Jones And The Dap-Kings
Absolutely The Best Of The Archies - The Archies
Money Jungle - Duke Ellington, Charles Mingus & Max Roach
Speak No Evil - Wayne Shorter
I Can Feel You Creep Into My Private Life - Tune-Yards
Music For People In Trouble - Susanne Sundfør
Colón Man - Equiknoxx
Songs Of Praise - Shame
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baystateoftheart
Neil Young as a butternut squash



Age: 23
Location: Amherst, MA
United States

#69 | Posted: 03/12/2018 19:44 | Post subject: Reply with quote
Scored Re-Listens For The Week Ending 3/10

The Classics:

The Life Pursuit - Belle And Sebastian 89.1
Let's Get It On - Marvin Gaye 89.0
Give Up - The Postal Service 87.0

The Strong:

Friends - The Beach Boys 76.8

~~~~~~~~~~

New Listens / Non-Scored Re-Listens [*] For The Week Ending 3/10

The Strong:

Pussy Whipped - Bikini Kill
Twin Fantasy - Car Seat Headrest
A Slice Of Cake - The Cake
Crush (EP) - Ravyn Lenae
Blood - Rhye
The Cake - The Cake

The Merely Solid:

Totep (EP) - Kero Kero Bonito
Gal - Gal Costa
Kelly Lee Owens - Kelly Lee Owens
Dedicated To Bobby Jameson - Ariel Pink
Arrival - ABBA
Music For The Age Of Miracles - The Clientele
Freedom's Goblin - Ty Segall
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baystateoftheart
Neil Young as a butternut squash



Age: 23
Location: Amherst, MA
United States

#70 | Posted: 03/17/2018 20:06 | Post subject: Reply with quote
Scored Re-Listens For The Week Ending 3/17

The Classics:

Loveless - My Bloody Valentine 92.2
Heaven Or Las Vegas - Cocteau Twins 89.2
Ladies Of The Canyon - Joni Mitchell 88.9

The Strong:

Hounds Of Love - Kate Bush 78.7

The Solid:

Tapestry - Carole King 74.1

~~~~~~~~~~

New Listens / Non-Scored Re-Listens [*] For The Week Ending 3/17

The Classics:

Goo - Sonic Youth
Vulnicura - Björk*
I Never Learn - Lykke Li*

The Strong:

Blue Bell Knoll - Cocteau Twins
New Amerykah Part One (4th World War) - Erykah Badu*
Pieces Of The Sky - Emmylou Harris*
Sometimes I Sit And Think, And Sometimes I Just Sit - Courtney Barnett*
Elite Hotel - Emmylou Harris
Luxury Liner - Emmylou Harris
The End Of The World - Skeeter Davis
Turn Out The Lights - Julien Baker
Piracy Funds Terrorism Volume 1 - M.I.A.*
Portishead - Portishead
Depression Cherry - Beach House*
The Milk-Eyed Mender - Joanna Newsom*
Metropolis: The Chase Suite (EP) - Janelle Monáe*
Quarter Moon In A Ten Cent Town - Emmylou Harris
Kollage - Bahamadia

The Merely Solid:

In A Poem Unlimited - U.S. Girls
Recreational Love - The Bird And The Bee*
Pretenders - Pretenders
Truth Gotta Stand - The Luv'd Ones*
Someone Out There - Rae Morris
Pleasure - Feist
Lotta Sea Lice - Courtney Barnett & Kurt Vile
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