October 6-7, 2020

I’m a big fan of albums, so I’ve decided to listen to all of Rolling Stone magazine’s top 100 albums of the 90s. The list isn’t without controversy but is reasonably sound to me. I’ve started with going from 20 down to 1, and over these two days have listened to:

#20 – Liz Phair – Exile in Guyville: Was only mildly aware of this one before and really enjoyed it. Sounds a bit like a more indie Sheryl Crow album. 7/10.

#19 – Red Hot Chili Peppers – Blood Sugar Sex Magik: I always joke about the RHCP as sounding the same on all of their songs. They have such great energy but I was expecting this early album of theirs to be a bit on the rough side.. and it wasn’t. Genuinely enjoyable as a lukewarm fan of theirs. 8/10.

#18 – R.E.M. – Automatic for the People: REM are one of those bands I like to say are one of my least favorite bands, but this is only really true of big, mainstream bands. I just don’t like Stipe’s voice. But there’s something to be said for the atmosphere REM manages to evoke sometimes. Even if I don’t really like their songs individually, listening to an album leads to some sing-along moments and they do build up a nice mood nonetheless. 6/10.

#17 – Jay Z – Reasonable Doubt: I thought I was going to really enjoy this as I like a lot of what Jay Z has done in the past twenty years and.. it was OK but it didn’t really grab me at all. 5/10.

#16 – Metallica – Metallica: Also known as the Black Album I was familiar with a lot of the material here from being a huge fan of Metallica’s S&M (live orchestral) album. I just can’t get along with this rough, pared down ultra compressed noise though. I listen to metal or metal-inspired music but there’s something about old school Metallica that doesn’t click for me. 4/10.

#15 – Lucinda Williams – Car Wheels on a Gravel Road: I was unfamiliar with this artist’s music entirely, although the name rang a bell. I can’t really remember any mindblowing moments on this rootsy alternative country rock album but it was fine as background music. Sheryl Crow’s The Globe Sessions did this sort of thing a lot better, but doesn’t even make it onto the top 100 list from RS.

#14 – Snoop Dogg – Doggystyle: I knew what I was in for here and had listened to much of this before. It remains as bouncy, irreverent and outright ridiculous as it ever has, but you’re never going to have a bad time on a Snoop album.

Seven albums over 2 days isn’t bad going. Three work weeks could get me through the entire 100 at this rate.

My notes as to what else I did on these two days have gone AWOL, so I shall end there.

On Wednesday I had a gluten and dairy free sweet potato curry out of the freezer for tea. On Tuesday I was sat in a car park for an hour waiting for my daughter to do a dance lesson and ate a terrible cold “ready to eat” pack of barbecue chicken legs that tasted of exactly nothing. I did have an apple for lunch though, so let’s hope that balances it out.

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