#360. Rod Stewart | Every Picture Tells a Story (1971)
# of Voters: 14 | Score: 586.968
Rank in 2014: #297
AM 3000 Rank: #199
Top Fans: Profeta (#26), Harold (#69)
#359. Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds | Skeleton Tree (2016)
the great triumph of Every Picture Tells a Story lies in its content. Every song on the album, whether it's a cover or original, is a gem, combining to form a romantic, earthy portrait of a young man joyously celebrating his young life. Of course, "Maggie May" -- the ornate, ringing ode about a seduction from an older woman -- is the centerpiece, but each song, whether it's the devilishly witty title track or the unbearably poignant "Mandolin Wind," has the same appeal. And the covers, including definitive readings of Bob Dylan's "Tomorrow Is Such a Long Time" and Tim Hardin's "Reason to Believe," as well as a rollicking "That's All Right," are equally terrific, bringing new dimension to the songs. It's a beautiful album, one that has the timeless qualities of the best folk, yet one that rocks harder than most pop music -- few rock albums are quite this powerful or this rich.
--Stephen Thomas Erlewine, Allmusic
# of Voters: 16 | Score: 593.408
Rank in 2014: N/A
AM 3000 Rank: N/A
Top Fans: JWinton (#78), Spiderpig (#80), NotBrianEno (#82), M24 (#88), BleuPanda (#98)
#358. Neil Young | Tonight's the Night (1975)
Skeleton Tree is a tense and emotional ride through the mind of a deeply personal man and, like all his music, it expresses those abstract yet bare thought processes and musings that could only come from Nick Cave. His days of drugs and post-punk and repetitious, noisy mess are behind him, but what’s here now is just as representative of the confusion of his human condition. His anti-musicality and dense, unfaltering bleakness remains unchanged. What’s inside Skeleton tree is forty years of brooding. Once, a troubled Australian boy of nineteen had to be told of the death of his father, and he projected that vacuum onto the world with furiosity and noisy throes of loud guitars and raucous howls. In 2015 a father lost his child and has once more projected that vacuum, this time in a disastrous clutter of broken ambient loops and torturous thoughts.
# of Voters: 14 | Score: 593.930
Rank in 2014: #213
AM 3000 Rank: #188
Top Fans: Jirin (#34), SJner (#91)
#357. Deerhunter | Halcyon Digest (2010)
Tonight’s the Night is an album not so much about death as about mourning. And while we might like to think of mourning as a dignified pursuit grounded in ritual—a black veil, food at the door, loved ones at beck and call—the truth is that mourning can be messy and out of control and it can sometimes look like something else entirely. Sometimes mourning can even look like a macabre celebration, embracing life with one arm while the black figure of death is curled inside the other. That’s where Young and his band found themselves during this period.
--Mark Richardson, Pitchfork
# of Voters: 14 | Score: 596.766
Rank in 2014: #346
AM 3000 Rank: #441
Top Fans: GucciLittlePiggy (#2), ChrisK (#25), JohnnyBGoode (#57), JWinton (#89)
#356. Todd Rundgren | Something / Anything? (1972)
On Deerhunter's first four full-lengths, that sort of queerness was mostly relegated to the realm of the subliminal: off-hand lyrical references, little sonic suggestions, hints of pent-up lust and frustration and loneliness. And then, like a bolt from the blue, Halcyon Digest: the sexual and social undercurrent that had laid in waiting for almost a decade exploded to the forefront, a burst of thematic clarity mirrored by a shift towards pristine, direct recording and composition. The album is one of the great documents of the queer experience; it's a true digest, a collection of stories and elements of the gay experience pulled from real life, literature, and the province of the mind.
Halcyon Digest gives voice to characters that never had a chance to speak for themselves, to feelings that are too often relegated to journals and goodbye notes. On the cover there's Dennis Dinion, an Atlanta-area school teacher taking part in the 1982 Miss Star Lite Pageant on 1983's doorstep; it was the club's last night open. At the center of heartbroken requiem "Helicopter", there's Dima Marakov, a Dennis Cooper protagonist who went from studying fashion design in Russia to gay pornography and forced prostitution. There's the nameless child of the autumnal, jangling "Memory Boy", dealing with swirling October lust and his father's shame. "Revival" casts homoerotic passion in the language of religion, with Cox putting on his sluttiest moan; "Don't Cry" and "Sailing" are documents of loneliness and pure isolation. The album ends with a sprawling expression of platonic love. Courage, hope, sadness, loss, the beautiful and the grotesque, the divine and the queer: it's all here, rendered in painstakingly personal detail.
--Jamieson Cox, Pitchfork
# of Voters: 11 | Score: 599.861
Rank in 2014: #420
AM 3000 Rank: #339
Top Fans: Henry (#3), Slucs (#8), Georgie (#22), Honorio (#44), BangJan (#80)
#355. Elvis Presley | Elvis Presley (1956)
It's an amazing journey that's remarkably unpretentious. He may have contributed self-penned liner notes, but Rundgren peppers his writing with self-aware, self-deprecating asides, and he also indulges his bizarre sense of humor with gross-outs ("Piss Aaron") and sheer quirkiness, such as an aural tour of the studio at the beginning of side two. Something/Anything? has a ton of loose ends throughout: plenty of studio tricks, slight songs (but no filler), snippets of dialogue, and purposely botched beginnings, but all these throwaways simply add context -- they're what makes the album into a kaleidoscopic odyssey through the mind of an insanely gifted pop music obsessive. Rundgren occasionally touched on the sheer brilliance of Something/Anything? in his later work, but this extraordinary double album is the one time where his classicist songcraft and messy genius converged to create an utterly unique, glorious record.
--Stephen Thomas Erlewine, Allmusic
# of Voters: 13 | Score: 604.174
Rank in 2014: #374
AM 3000 Rank: #118
Top Fans: Nico (#16), Honorio (#19), Andyramone1234 (#75), Dexter (#81), Slick (#86), Bruno (#93)
#354. TV on the Radio | Return to Cookie Mountain (2006)
One of the most important album releases in music history. The RCA label had brought his contract from the Sun label and combined newly recorded tracks with some left over songs from his Sun days. He was able to combine country and rhythm & blues in an accessable brand of rock 'n' roll. The music combined with Elvis' charisma to create not only a revolutionary sound but an Amrican icon. Elvis Presley sold in the millions and was number one for 10 weeks yet that does not begin to evaluate its impact. It was cultural as a whole generation of teenagers were exposed to a type of music different from that of their parents.
# of Voters: 20 | Score: 605.475
Rank in 2014: #188
AM 3000 Rank: #325
Top Fans: Gillingham (#37), Nassim (#69), Michel (#79)
#353. Primal Scream | Screamadelica (1991)
Maybe that's why this album has such an incredible pull: It doesn't make an atmosphere so much as a space to spend time in, and Adebimpe doesn't become a narrator so much as a witness. We sidle up into his head and watch through his eyes the tyrants, the druggies, the cocky lovers, the losers, and those beautiful fools who still surrender to lines like "Love is the province of the brave." And TV on the Radio are standing in the center, watching it all go by again, and again, and again.
--Chris Dahlen, Pitchfork
# of Voters: 13 | Score: 606.031
Rank in 2014: #232
AM 3000 Rank: #85
Top Fans: BleuPanda (#17), GucciLittlePiggy (#76), Nick (#79), OrdinaryPerson (#81)
#352. Bob Dylan | Desire (1976)
An inquisitive question with a hesitant and vague answer. An exchange comprising the expansive spirit of a huge record. These words above are the opening for "Loaded", one of the best tracks. A peak in a mountain chain which is full of them. From "Movin' on Up" to the narcotic cover of The 13th Floor Elevators, "Slip Inside This House"; from the hymn "Higher than the Sun" to the everlasting hypnosis of "Come Together"; from the already mentioned "Loaded" to the backwater of "Damaged". They are just a few suggestions for the psychic voyager. Milestones on the road to stop and gaze landscapes of special beauty. This is an album with a perfect assembly and, at the same time, it's full of contrasts, of impossible fusions that became too "usual" later. Yet, that mustn't distract us from the fact that there will be little with such a repercussion as this one had. Not many in which the integration of rock into techno or of dance music into rock has been done in such a natural and addictive way. Addictive as the substances Bobby Gillespie and his psychonauts must have taken to make this work, an irrefutable evidence of the (sometimes) productive joint between music and drugs.
# of Voters: 17 | Score: 607.922
Rank in 2014: #275
AM 3000 Rank: #486
Top Fans: Antonius (#39), DocBrown (#41), GabeBasso (#79), Michel (#85)
#351. M.I.A. | Kala (2007)
The music on Desire is consistently entertaining, beautiful, melodic, and attractive. Many Bob Dylan records feature excellent lyrics but are sometimes let down by melodies that do not shine as brightly as the words; Desire not only features imaginative and evocative lyrics, but the arrangements are unique and engaging and Dylan's vocals are well-judged and effective throughout. Credit must also go to Dylan's new collaborators here, to co-writer Jacques Levy, producer Don DeVito, to musicians Howard Wyeth and Rob Stoner, to the superb harmony vocals of Emmylou Harris and the standout violin playing from Scarlet Rivera, which lends Desire much of its "travelling gypsy show" vibe. Today, Desire is rightfully regarded as one of Bob Dylan's most interesting and unique albums.
# of Voters: 16 | Score: 609.611
Rank in 2014: #257
AM 3000 Rank: #237
Top Fans: Toni (#43), Maschine_Man (#69), RockyRaccoon (#72), GabeBasso (#78)
On its 10th birthday, Kala feels newly relevant amid global political currents trending toward isolationism—and due to enduring refugee crises in many of the places that M.I.A. continues to represent in her music. The total entertainment value of the album attests to the vibrancy and humanity of what M.I.A. termed, in one standout track, the “World Town” that travel bans and border walls seek to shut out. As importantly, Kala’s loud celebration of people that have been categorized as “other” spoke up for values that the West likes to think aren’t actually foreign to it. In the acknowledgements to Kala, M.I.A. wrote, “I’d especially like to thank who ever said ‘I’m a citizen of the world and my religion is to do good.’” The person she was paraphrasing was Thomas Paine
--Spencer Kornhaber, The Atlantic
Current AOTY 2017: St. Vincent | MASSEDUCTION
Current SOTY 2017: Godspeed You! Black Emperor | "Bosses Hang"