This is a thoroughly researched exploration of one of the most original, unexpected, and durable British albums of the 1990s. An album which distilled a genre from the musical, cultural, and social ether, Portishead's "Dummy" was such a complete artistic achievement that its ubiquitous successes threatened to exhaust its own potential. Learn More
Fear of Music, the third album by Talking Heads, was recorded and released in 1979. It is, like each of their first four albums, a masterpiece. Edgy, paranoid, funky, addictive, rhythmic, repetitive, spooky, and fun - with Brian Eno's production, it's a record that bursts out of the downtown scene that birthed the band, and hints at the directions (positive and negative) they'd take in the near future.
For a few decades now, They Might Be Giants’ album Flood has been a beacon (or at least a nightlight) for people who might rather read than rock out, who care more about science fiction than Slayer, who are more often called clever than cool. Neither the band’s hip origins in the Lower East Side scene nor Flood’s platinum certification can cover up the record's singular importance at the geek fringes of culture.
"It's Time To Party," the first track off of I Get Wet, opens with a rapid-fire guitar line — nothing fancy, just a couple crunchy power chords to acclimate the ears — repeated twice before a booming bass drum joins in to provide a quarter-note countdown. Learn More
Extravagantly opaque, willfully vaporous — Aphex Twin’s Selected Ambient Works Volume II, released by the estimable British label Warp Records in 1994, rejuvenated ambient music for the Internet Age that was just dawning. Learn More
To wander the streets of a bankrupt, often lawless, New York City in the early 1970s wearing a T-shirt with PLEASE KILL ME written on it was an act of determined nihilism, and one often recounted in the first reports of Richard Hell filtering into the pre-punk UK. Learn More
From a Los Angeles hospital bed, equipped with little more than a laptop and a stack of records, James “J Dilla” Yancey crafted a set of tracks that would forever change the way beatmakers viewed their artform. Learn More
Oasis’s incendiary 1994 debut album Definitely Maybe managed to summarize almost the entire history of post-fifties guitar music from Chuck Berry to My Bloody Valentine in a way that seemed effortless. Learn More
Although Exile in Guyville was celebrated as one of the year's top records by Spin and the New York Times, it was also, to some, an abomination: a mockery of the Rolling Stones' most revered record and a rare glimpse into the psyche of a shrewd, independent, strong young woman. Learn More
Words like "inspiring," "expansive," and "moving" are regularly used to describe Sigur Rós's ( ), and yet the only words heard on the record itself are a handful of meaningless nonsense syllables. T Learn More