Top 10 Albums: Stone Temple Pilots - Purple 

Stone Temple Pilots hit it big with their break out songs "Plush" and "Creep" from their debut album Core, however Stone Temple Pilot's second album, Purple, still remains to be their most cohesively solid album and a great example of a refined Grunge sound.  STP is a mix of  the Doors and Led Zepplin, with a hit of Davide Bowie, all influential bands that had their mark on the Grunge scene of the 90s.  With Purple, STP provides a fantastic album full of energy, memorable songs and energy. More than 20 years old, Purple has aged quite well and still sounds fresh and relevant.


 
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Top 10 Albums: REM - Automatic for the People 

There was a time when REM was the biggest Indie/College band in the world.  So widely respected and coveted by those who “got it”.  Years later and Automatic for the People still stands as one of the most prolific albums of the last 25 years.  Automatic for the People, with songs like “Everybody Hurts”, “Drive” “Man on the Moon” was a commercial hit as well.  Bands like Of Monsters and Men, The National, Manic Street Preachers and Beck all owe their sound to REM and Automatic for the People.


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Top 10 Albums: Radiohead - Kid A 

In all honesty, Radiohead should have more than one album on this list.  The Bends, OK Computer and even In Rainbows are worthy mentions that barely squeaked off this list.  The reason Kid A is on here is not that it’s Radiohead’s best work, but because it is prehaps one of the most influential albums on current music.  Kid A was a brand new approach to making pop music; a mix of loops, synths, vocal layers, percussion and drums.  It’s reported that each song took over 300 hours to record, and it’s easy to see why.  Kid A is a text book, and it’s an album every new artist should be familiar with.  

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Top 10 Albums: Pearl Jam - VS 

The follow up to Ten, Pearl Jam’s VS is a focus, driving album with some of Pearl Jam’s best songs.  Shedding the airy floaty sound of Ten, VS is full of driving upbeat songs with clear rhythm guitars.  With the help of prolific drummer Dave Abbruzzese and Eddie Vedder’s tortured lyrics, VS became an instant success with radio hits such as “Animal”, “Daughter” and ‘Rear View Mirror”.  


 
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Top 10 Albums: Nirvana - In Utero 

Perhaps not as radio friendly as their sophmore outing “Nevermind” In Utero represents the epitome of Kurt Cobain’s song writing.  Gripped by drug abuse and depression, In Utero is an unhinged exploration Cobain’s dark side.  Pushing his followers with songs like “Milk It”, Kurt Cobain later claimed he deliberately wanted to shed his “pop” persona.  It’s extremely sad to think we will never know where Cobain wanted to take his music, but In Utero reminds us of how powerful Kurt Cobain’s work is.  No mistaking though, In Utero had its fair share of radio hits with songs like  “Heart Shape Box”, “Dumb” and the controversial “Rape Me”.

 

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Top 10 Albums: Interpol - Antics 

Interpol’s sophomore album is crammed with sing along hit after hit.  Borrowing heavily from earlier acts such as Joy Division and The Cure, Interpol raised the bar for Indie artists by releasing a series of modern classics and Antics is definitely one of them.  Driven primarily by an extremely tight rhythm section, the drums and bass carry and drive the songs while the guitars float around and occasionally help to accentuate the rhythm.  Cryptic lyrics sung by the unmatchable Paul Banks take Interpol to an elevated plane.  For anyone discovering Interpol, Antics is a perfect place to start.


 

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Top 10 Albums: Faith No More - Angel Dust 

Angel Dust represents the perfection of Faith No More’s frontier sound.  The follow up to “The Real Thing” is a perfect mix of rap and classic metal with a mix of prog.  In many ways, Faith No More are accredited with creating a song that later became popularized by such bands as Red Hot Chili Peppers, Korn and Rage Against the Machin.  Angel Dust is the refinement of this pioneering sound.

 

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Top 10 Albums: The Cure - Disintegration 

Way ahead of their time, The Cure was a pioneering band responsible for rock sub genres such as Gloom or Emo Rock.  Led by the iconic Robert Smith, Disintegration is a heavy album with deep subject matters, layered haunting guitars and a driving bass.  Perhaps no song better captures this prolific sound than “Fascination Street”.  The radio friendly “Lullaby” with it’s tight, rhythmic guitars and bass and their best known song “Love Song” make for a classic album worth studying by any aspiring songwriter.



 

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Top 10 Albums: Counting Crows - August and Everything After 

August and Everything After was released during the prime reign of 90s grunge.  Consisting of folky sound songs, using acoustic guitars and pianos, August and Everything After stood as a polar opposite to the heavier sound of Nirvana, STP and Soundgarden.  August and Everything After was received with wide critical acclaim harkening the band to greats such as Bob Dylan, Neil Young, and Tom Petty.  August and Everything After is the perfect singer/songwriter album, strong in narrative and imagery.  Counting Crows upbeat biggest hit - “Mr. Jones” stands in complete contrast to the more beautifully melodic and melancholy sound of the album.

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Previous: Cake - Comfort Eagle Home Next: Faith No More - Angel Dust

Top 10 Albums: Cake - Comfort Eagle 

Comfort Eagle is a great example of Cake’s unique layered sound. With excellent use of horns and never ending guitar licks, Comfort Eagle demands your attention and doesn’t let go.  The album includes some of Cake’s biggest hits including “Opera Singer”, “Meanwhile, Rick James…” and the radio classic “Short Skirt, Long Jacket”. Comfort Eagle is a perfect album for a party or a nice drive.

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