The Ups and Downs of My Top 20 Played Albums (as of 4/15/2010)

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16 Abr 2010, 3:54

I've done plenty of journal entries based on my favorite artists, but I haven't done any on my top 20 listened albums. So here's the deal...

Go to your Charts, and find your Overall top 20 Last.fm albums. Now list your favorite and least favorite track from each album.

I'll also write a brief review about each album.
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1. The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars - David Bowie

One of THE definitive glam rock albums and possibly classic rock in general. It's a concept album with a ton of sex appeal and attitude and tracks that are shuffle-friendly.
Favorite Track: Rock 'N Roll Suicide
Least Favorite Track: It Ain't Easy

2. Black Tie White Noise - David Bowie

A highly underrated album compared to the rest of Bowie's repertoire. If Bowie got his artistic streak back with 1. Outside, then he was taking baby steps towards a more electronic style with BTWN. Although it's a bit cheesy on a few tracks, the rest of the album has plenty of style and chic.
Favorite Track: The Wedding Song
Least Favorite Track: Looking for Lester

3. The Velvet Underground and Nico - The Velvet Underground

Although I just bought this album last month, it quickly became one of my favorite albums of all time. Each song can be heard as not only a glimpse into the dark underbelly New York, but also into society's most carnal desires. It's street smart rock 'n roll for book smart people.
Favorite Track: Heroin
Least Favorite Track: European Son

4.Queen: Greatest Hits - Queen

I hate compilation albums, but I highly value this one, since it's the album that got me into Queen several years ago. From their stadium rock anthems their more playful tracks, this album has something for every Queen fan. The bonus tracks on the most recent release are worth checking out as well.
Favorite Track: Bohemian Rhapsody (My favorite song of all time!)
Least Favorite Track: We Will Rock You

5. A Reality Tour - David Bowie

When this album came out, I abstained from buying it for a while because I thought the audio would sound exactly like it did on the DVD. I bought it last month after giving into temptation and it was worth every cent. The music is crystal clear and you can hear both the band and the audience perfectly. Bowie is also at the top of his game during these performances. This is my favorite of all the Bowie live albums that have been released.
Favorite Track: Heathen (The Rays)
Least Favorite Track: Hallo Spaceboy

6. Heathen - David Bowie

This album has a special place in my heart. Bowie may have claimed that the songs on Heathen were written before the 9/11 attacks, but the lyrics say otherwise (or at least I think so). Bowie claims in various tracks that "Nothing has changed/everything has changed" and "There's fear overhead/there's fear overground", which is true to the world we live in. Having grown up with little to no memories of life before those attacks, there are historical and personal connotations to this album that I greatly respect. The ambient style of the album also gives off a nostalgic feel, which further establishes the connection with that incident. This is definitely one of my top favorite Bowie albums.
Favorite Track: Afraid
Least Favorite Track: I've Been Waiting for You

7. Waiting For The Sun (40th Anniversary Mixes) - The Doors

My introduction to the greatness of the Doors' music and possibly my favorite album from the band. This album has all the experimentation of The Soft Parade, but with more of that style that makes the Doors who they are. There's something incredibly worldly about the album, as if you're going on a psychedelic journey of enlightenment with these four musicians.
Favorite Track: The Unknown Soldier
Least Favorite Track: Hello, I Love You

8. "Heroes" - David Bowie

This is the album that proved to me that Bowie is a one-of-a-kind musician. This album is arguably a concept album, since it profiles more of Bowie's experiences in Berlin than the other Berlin Era albums do. "Heroes" was ahead of its time when it came out and it still sounds unlike anything I've heard to this day. The title track manages to save this album from being totally cold and mechanical as it tells the story of two forbidden lovers by the Berlin Wall. If you love early new wave music, there should be no reason for you to not pick this album up.
Favorite Track: Sons of the Silent Age
Least Favorite Track: Sense of Doubt

9. FFVII: Advent Children - OST - Nobuo Uematsu

IMO, this is Uematsu's most overrated work, but it's on the list, so I have to review it. The soundtrack for Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children is an unbalanced mix of ambient, metal, and orchestral tracks, with a good portion of them having an electronic flair. Some of the better tracks on the soundtrack weren't written exclusively for the movie and were taken straight from the FFVII: Piano Collections album, but I won't complain about that. The gems of the album are the ones that can be listened to as stand-alone tracks while the others are better heard with the scenes of the movie they correspond to. Overall, this album is just passable.
Favorite Track: The Promised Land
Least Favorite Track: Kita no Daikuudou (FFVII AC Version)

10. Space Oddity (Space Oddity 40th Anniversary Edition) - David Bowie

A far cry from his campy self-titled work, this album displays Bowie as the "starving artist" stereotype with a firmer grasp on how the music industry works. Some of the tracks on this album serve as templates for the two albums that would follow, such as The Wild Eyed Boy From Freecloud and Cygnet Committee. His vocals in An occassional dream, which can be seen as the second part of a two-part story when coupled with Letter to Hermione, and Cygnet are very reminiscent of what is to come in The Man Who Sold the World. If you want to listen to Bowie at his rawrest, here it is. The 40th Anniversary Mix also has some great demos and bonus tracks that are worth checking out.
Favorite Track: Letter to Hermione
Least Favorite Track: Don't Sit Down

11. The Doors [Bonus Tracks] - The Doors

After constantly hearing that this is one of the best first albums ever made, I knew I had to check it out after Waiting for the Sun. Was it worth all the hype? Not exactly. This is the closest a Doors album is going to get to being a compilation album without actually being one. This is the album with the hits on here, making this one of their more well-known works. The quirky Alabama Song (Whiskey Bar) sticks out on this album like a sore thumb and The End proves how capable the band is of turning epic poems into psychedelic rock classics. If you want a good intro to the Doors, start here.
Favorite Track: The Crystal Ship
Least Favorite Track: Take It as It Comes

12. Seventh Heaven - Kalafina

I believe that Kalafina's strongest tracks are released as singles, and this album is chock full of 'em. This album is a compilation of their theme songs for the Kara no Kyoukai anime films as well as a few album-only tracks. The basis of most of the songs is neo classical done in the traditional Yuki Kajiura style, but then they branch off into a variety of melodically rich styles ranging from electronic to rock to pop. Some of the styles seem to come out of nowhere, like the Peruvian-inspired folkiness of Natsu No Ringo. If you think all Japanese girl groups are solely made to be jailbait, think again: these girls have talent.
Favorite Track: sprinter
Least Favorite Track: Ongaku

13. The Soft Parade - The Doors

This album was a tad disappointing. While the concept of the Doors being backed up by an orchestra sounded good on paper, it only managed to work on some of the tracks and ended up being a distraction on the others. The bluegrass-inspired tracks really stood out and ended up being some of the highlights on the album. The title track ends the album on a good note as the Doors finally realize who they are and go back to what they're good at.
Favorite Track: Touch Me
Least Favorite Track: Do It

14. Final Fantasy VII - Nobuo Uematsu

Who said all good video game music has to use real instruments? Uematsu makes full use of the synths on this soundtrack to create some of the most memorable video game music ever composed. The game's main theme has a heart-wrenching melody that makes me nostalgic just thinking about it and the now-infamous and grandiose One-Winged Angel makes video game history as being the first video game song to compress a vocal track into a MIDI file. The game may be considered overrated by most Final Fantasy fans, but many of them will agree that this is one of the best soundtracks the series has to offer.
Favorite Track: One-Winged Angel
Least Favorite Track: Kita no Daikuudou

15. FINAL FANTASY X (Original Soundtrack) - Junya Nakano, Massashi Hamauzu, & Nobuo Uematsu

There's a saying that states that too many cooks will spoil the soup. In the case of the FFX OST, these cooks use too much of one ingredient. That ingredient happens to be the song To Zanarkand. It's a beautifully-written track full of sadness and longing...but it's too darn overused and it overshadows most of the tracks on the OST. I can't hum for you the melody of the songs Out of the Frying Pan and Auron's Theme for the life of me. The hymns of the Fayth and Suteki da ne are also beautiful compositions, but other than those songs, the soundtrack is just as average as the game it was made for.
Favorite Track: Movement in Green
Least Favorite Track: Way too many...

16. Lodger - David Bowie

N/A. Will update later.

17. Let's Go!!! - DEPAPEPE

Now THIS is a impressionable debut album! DEPAPEPE's guitar work is both laidback and fun, providing the perfect music for reading, summer get-togethers, and the like. Even though there are plenty of other instruments featured on the album, the guitars take center stage on each track. It's also one of the few Japanese albums that I can listen to in front of non-J-Pop lovers without being embarrassed. These guys don't need lyrics to express themselves; they sing with their guitars.
Favorite Track: Hi-D!!
Least Favorite Track: MTMM

18. Umineko no Naku Koro ni Music Box Blue - Dai

N/A, since I haven't listened to this OST as an album only have a couple of tracks from that album on my computer. My favorite track off of it is Dance of the Moon Rabbits, though.

19. Kara no Kyoukai Chapter 7: Murder Speculation (Part 2) OST - Yuki Kajiura

Kajiura was given the difficult task of composing music for all seven Kara no Kyoukai movies, with some of those OSTs being better than others. I consider the seventh OST to be the best out of all of them. The first track is one of Kajiura's best compositions ever: a lush, choral composition that would probably make Hans Zimmer blush. That theme is incorporated into two other songs on the OST, which is a good amount to recycle a song with (unlike album #15). One of the versions sounds like an Akira Yamaoka composition, but that's another story. Not counting the scare chords and musical cues, the soundtrack is hauntingly beautiful and perfectly fits the surreal world of the Rakkyo films.
Favorite Track: M41 + M42
Least Favorite Track: Any of the tracks that are less than a minute long.

20. Young Americans - David Bowie

I didn't like this album as much as I thought I would. When I listened to it, it made me think of hot, pink neon lights, which made me feel a bit uncomfortable. Only some of the more famous tracks from the album managed to stay on my computer. The others just faded into obscurity, since you'd really have to be into philly soul to enjoy the rest of the album. I also didn't think there was any need for Bowie's cover of Across the Universe on the album. it seemed out of place, but in a bad way. If Bowie's albums from the 70s are considered diamonds, then this one has a very dim shine to it (not as dim as Pin-Ups, though).
Favorite Track: Young Americans
Least Favorite Track: Across the Universe
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Well, there you have it. Will I be doing something like this again? Probably not, since it took forever to write. It was fun while it lasted, though.

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