Top 100 Greatest Music Albums by Anti (2020)
Chart of the Day #1346 (June 25, 2015)
Chart of the Day #1564 (January 29, 2016)
Chart of the Day #1920 (January 19, 2017)
Chart of the Day #2385 (May the 4th be with you, 2018)
Chart of the Day #2668 (February 11, 2019)
Chart of the Day #2859 (August 21, 2019)
Chart of the Day #3093 (April 11, 2020)
Featuring more thoughtful notes because I'm not creative enough to write such exquisite scenery/mood descriptors.
- Chart updated: 8 hours ago
- (Created: 01/26/2014 17:22).
- Chart size: 100 albums.
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I've written, rewritten, erased, and started from scratch on notes too many times over. Loveless is one of the harder ones to write about because I want to say something that hasn't been said before, but it seems impossible. "Wall of sound." "Psychedelic." "Hazy." "Dreamy." These are the typical descriptors of Loveless and while they are 100% valid and accurate, I feel they never suffice for what I truly feel about the album. It was the first "difficult" album I came to love. I first listened to it in 2013, right around the time this hobby took off for me, and it undoubtedly challenged what I thought music should sound like. And of course with repeated listens, this album became my favorite album of all time, personal attachments, sentiments, and significance attached.
I think what keeps me so enthralled with Loveless is this juxtaposition that often goes unspoken. The story (I'd go as far as saying myth) of Loveless is well-known to indie heads nowadays. In short, Kevin Shield's perfectionism kept the album in development for long periods and the band's time in the studio nearly bankrupted Creation records, so the story goes. In Totally Dublin's interview with Bilinda Butcher, she went into detail about the stress of recording the album and how it strained relationships within the band. She closes the story with explaining why it's called Loveless, saying that the album was made during a "loveless" time. I can't find the exact quote anymore because I found it off a Reddit post and the full interview found from a Google search omits that portion for some reason. But the quote burned into my mind. It makes complete sense.
I do think this juxtaposition is fairly overlooked. Go look at the comments section on any website. People call it an emotional and romantic album. There's even an article listing 25 reasons to have sex to it (via Riverfront Times). It's a source of warm and fuzzy feelings for so many listeners, but it's made during a "loveless" period where the band was so mentally stressed. It does make me reflect on the "loveless" periods of my life and how music, true friends, and family have been supportive during the moments. And somehow, Loveless ends up being an soundtrack to those moments. But it's not only my "sad boi hours" album, because I blast it when I'm feeling great. But this long-winded note can be summarized by the cliché, "This album has been with me through significant moments and milestones."
I'm truly grateful for this record's existence. It is a perfect album and I thank Kevin Shields, Bilinda Butcher, Debbie Googe, and Colm Ó Cíosóig for their hard work and self sacrifice to release, what I find, as the Greatest Album of All Time. I'm forever in love with this record and I will never lose appreciation of the band's efforts. [First added to this chart: 01/29/2014]
This album really does age like fine wine. As the years go by, it gets more beautiful and more melancholic, almost like how life is. During childhood, we don't exactly see things we like as beautiful. Rather, we see the things we like typically as "fun" or "happy." That was definitely my initial impression with this record. It's some fun indie psychedelic rock & pop (even though I did not use such terminology at the time). The things that I loved the most about this record were the warpy sounds, odd jams, and cinematic moments. But as I age and revisit this album, it does seem to get progressively more melancholic, but I also notice how damn beautiful it is. Songs like "A Spoonful Weighs a Ton" make me misty-eyed as the violins that complement the song simmer in the background. Wayne Coyne's vocals and love-focused song-writing sounds so fragile and innocent. And "Feeling Yourself Disintegrate" / "Sleeping on the Roof" might just be the most beautiful, tear-jerking, and stunning finish to an album ever. That guitar solo, specifically, at the end of "Feeling Yourself Disintegrate" feels like the end of childhood. It gets me every time.
But this album isn't specifically about aging or going through the cycles of life. One of its main concepts is talking about the invention of the atomic bomb. It's another component to how melancholic this album can be, especially since we live in a day in age where a dystopian, nuclear future may very well happen. The chances are low, but it still may happen. But even though Loveless is my favorite album of all time as of now, I think this would be the album I put on if doomsday ever comes. Hopefully that day never comes. And if that day never comes, I think I would want this as the last album I ever hear. The perfect bittersweet soundtrack. [First added to this chart: 01/26/2014]
The first black metal album I've ever listened to and loved. Anyone who strikes down fans of this album as "posers" because "it isn't true cvlt black metal" are just pretentious plebs. It's a warm masterpiece in a genre dominated by blizzards and hellish imagery. Dream House is one of the best album openers I've ever heard, even beyond black metal. Starting with Dream House, this album contains four monolithic black metal compositions that are divided by 3 shoegazey or drone interludes. The pattern is easily noticeable, but works effectively as the interludes give your mind a break before another relentless wall of sound pierces your heart. This album is very black metal during its harsh moments, but the lyrics read like an indie song, which is probably why black metal purists despise this band. The lyrics cover topics such as lonerism and romance. In combination with the relentless black metal and shoegaze segments, it's all a beautiful blend of beauty and chaos. I highly recommend listening to this on a warm summer's day. [First added to this chart: 08/01/2014]
Velocity : Design : Comfort is my favorite BEA discovery since joining this site. It's a masterful blend of shoegaze and glitch electronics that sounds like one hell of an LSD trip. The first track, "Tekka," is a mind-bending glitch introduction that warps you into this utopia Sweet Trip created from scratch. The rest of the album is a blissful journey through a dream-like computer simulation. There are a few shoegaze imitators that try to recreate this type of sound, The Depreciation Guild comes to mind, and although their music is still enjoyable, nothing really reaches this blissful state Velocity : Design : Comfort can help you attain.
After 17 years, it finally has received a vinyl pressing. Best listened to on a clear and crisp spring/summer's day. [First added to this chart: 03/14/2015]
Slowcore is a genre I often find myself being impatient with, especially when I was first getting into this hobby. You probably won't find another slowcore album in this chart (but if another one makes its way on here I will edit appropriately. Stratosphere by Duster is a remarkable outlier regarding my interest with slowcore. It's characterized by its lofi analogue sound that makes this masterpiece sound like an intimate work of art. It reminds me of the Galaxie 500 album On Fire, to which listeners label it as an accidental masterpiece. Like On Fire, this album was made by kids playing their instruments and writing some sincere songs. How could they have known that they would drop a masterpiece sought-after by many indie head record collectors?
As the genre tag suggests, the songs on this album aren't fast paced or party anthems. These are songs for when you are lying on your bedroom comforter and you just want to drift. The lofi recording makes Stratosphere sound intimate, yet expansive. If you look at the physical releases of this album, the back cover features an airplane taking off, which is the perfect representation of this album. You're tucked in an airplane. The body shell of the plane is a pretty enclosed space. You sit shoulder to shoulder with your travel companion(s) or a stranger(s). But look out the window. You see the Earth right in front of you. You're mostly unaffected by weather or the interactions going on at the ground. You're just cruising through the atmosphere. That is exactly what this album feels like. Most songs are instrumentally rock-based, but there are a few moments on here, like the title track, where it's an ambient drone, further capitalizing on this drifting feeling created by the album. The vocals aren't flashy. They sound as if they're confessing some bottled up emotions: quiet, at a volume that only you, the person engaged in the conversation, can hear. The analogue touches makes the album feel homemade, increasing the intimacy. It's all a sincere gift to the listener. [First added to this chart: 11/01/2015]
Frank Ocean is one of music's most evasive figures, and for good reason. He had a tension-filled relationship with Def Jam, the label that helped release his debut album Channel ORANGE; a sunny, Californian R&B masterpiece that is also his most accessible. He escaped to London to record and release Blonde and Endless, to which he released the latter via Apple Music as a video so that he can end his contract with Def Jam and become an independent artist. Blonde is Frank's work of art with unbound creativity and the result is a simmering R&B album that doesn't contain the flashiness that Channel ORANGE has, but instead has an intimacy that grows stronger over time. He trades mainstream appeal for timeless songcraft. The most accessible track is arguably "Nights" which also contains the midpoint of the album marked by a climactic synth and Frank's peaking vocals. But even then, this song is far from radio-friendly in terms of its structure.
I find myself getting into debates with friends and classmates regarding Frank Ocean's discography. It's always the same: most of my classmates argue that Channel ORANGE is the superior album for its accessibility, but I support Blonde for its intimacy and it's artistic freedom. Don't get me wrong, I still think Channel ORANGE is a masterpiece. It's still in my top 20. But in the end, I support artist autonomy and that is what Blonde has. It sounds like a personal diary and it's something to hold close as you go through relationship strains. It's how an album dealing with vulnerable emotions should sound. [First added to this chart: 09/21/2016]
This album is the closest example I can think of to an audio form of a drug, specifically MDMA. It is soooo addicting and uplifting that its effects pick me up on any day, sunshine or rain, happy or sad. Every time I listen to this album, I get in this extremely specific mood to go to Europe (either London or Berlin), and go to a club where I'm raving my tail off. If you want to know what it's like to be on MDMA without taking the drug, then look no further. From Here We Go Sublime is the perfect dose in audio form.
I've grown to love this whole album in its entirety. Upon my initial listens, the first four tracks were enjoyable to vibe to, but it wasn't until "Everyday" came on where I was *hooked*. It starts with a stuttering beat/audio loop that builds up for its first two minutes. Then, after the come up, it turns into this entrancing, psychedelic, hypnotic rush that makes you want to go belligerent in the best way possible. "Silent", the next track, continues to elevate the mood as its soft, violin like synths (I think they're synths) and bubbly audio loop blooms this album into its own world. The rest of the album rides off this high until the very last track which is the healthiest come down I've ever heard. Now, when I listen to this album, the first four tracks sound vibrant and colorful and they feel like an excellent preparation of the second half of the record.
I've been searching for other microhouse records that can mimic this feeling, but I have yet to find something outside of The Field's discography that comes close. From Here We Go Sublime is a standout in electronic music as a whole. This album is a drug and I can't get enough of it. [First added to this chart: 01/23/2020]
This album is kind of a dark horse for its placement on my favorite albums of all time list. Its genre tag isn't necessarily the reason it's a dark horse because doom metal is my favorite kind of metal. It's more so the ideologies it presents. The cover is literally Satan smoking out of bong. When I discovered this album, I never touched a joint or bong in my entire life. Plus, I was raised Catholic, so the blatant hellish imagery made me hesitant to play this record. But after an Anthony Fantano vinyl update, which at the time was a source for music discovery, I decided to give this album a shot and was immediately impressed. Thick, fuzzy, and heavy (italicize heavy) guitars that produce some powerful riffs just dominate this album. It's like trying to trudge trough a dab tarpit, but you ultimately get consumed.
I did my fair share of the devil's lettuce in undergrad, but quit since it makes me feel sluggish. But I do support the legalization of the substance for less stigmatization towards research on it. But I mention that because you don't have to be a dope smoker to enjoy this album. It is a consistently pulverizing and enjoyable throughout its 70 minutes and an excellent gateway to more extreme metal genres. [First added to this chart: 06/30/2014]
Deathconsciousness is remarkable because it avoids the clichés of typical depressive records, yet pierces your heart in the sharpest way possible. I use "sharp" not describing the music, because the lofi aesthetic makes it sound like an organized mess (I sweat that's a compliment and benefit to the record). Rather, I'm describing the guilty sadness this album evokes. Really good depressive records are impactful listens, even if you aren't sad. Deathconsciousness does just that with incredible potency.
It's a double album where the first half generally feels more ambient and the second half is filled with delicious wall of sound shoegaze with a post-punk chip in its shoulder. This structure was definitely intentional and my interpretation is that the ambient portions ease you into a sea of sorrow, setting you up for the post-punk shoegazey moments to just destroy you. By the end of it all, you're barely breathing.
I place this album in my favorite albums of all time list not only because how sonically entertaining it is, but it is yet another album that broadened my tastes in music and challenged me to look deeper than what is on the surface level of the music I enjoy. In other words, it's one of the first "difficult" albums I came to love, like Loveless. I highly recommend purchasing the vinyl from The Flenser if you've enjoyed this album, because they did an excellent job laying the album out on analogue format. It also comes with a booklet I admittedly haven't read yet, but I apparently gives a lot of contextual readings for particular moments on the album. [First added to this chart: 09/10/2014]
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Top 100 Greatest Music Albums composition
|My Bloody Valentine||2||2%|
|Boards Of Canada||2||2%|
Top 100 Greatest Music Albums chart changes
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Bigtyme Recordz Vol II: All Screwed Up
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The Pernicious Enigma
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This chart is rated in the top 2% of all charts on BestEverAlbums.com. This chart has a mean average rating of 89.0/100. The trimmed mean (excluding outliers) is 91.2/100. The standard deviation for this chart is 14.2.
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Hell yeah great list and great comments on albums.
Wow. Seventh time this list gets chart of the day. Wonderful site to be have. Also shocked that the debut Field album is so high on your list.
When I finally redo my overall chart I think it'll look more like yours than my current outdated one
This chart is an experience in itself.
Maybe I was way too harsh the last time I was here. Maybe you've put a ton of elbow grease in since. Either way, what I'm looking at now is a joy to behold.
Nice sonic palette you have here.
I love the diversity of the chart: a lot of new music to listen to.
A very lovely list with lost of lovely notes! I usually don't care too much about the picks in themselves or similarities, but we have much in common when it comes to these slightly obscure artist's; to see any of Sunn o))), Fishmans, Duster and Ulver in a list is fantastic, yet all of them in one!
There is a very nice variety in genre's, but unfortunately not when it comes to time periods, which is nothing inherently bad, but feels like a bit is missing. I see you are working on it, so I'll probably come back and boost my score even more ;)
Very cool chart with a bit of a focus on american artists since 1990s. Still, there are some nice other picks too.
Fishmans in the top 10 and 2814 in the top 30? You're the man