Kate Bush – “Hounds of Love”
I admire Kate Bush’s boldness and willingness to follow her unique vision to create really distinctive music. This album has a consistent mood and a carefully crafted sonic quality throughout. Voices and a wide array of instruments are spaced out throughout the mix to create really rich textures full of contrasts and unexpected turns.
The Beatles – “Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band”
An album that’s on many superlative lists, but its most lasting influence on me is probably Paul McCartney’s bass playing. The bass lines are carefully articulated and sparse, almost more typical of something heard on a tuba than a on bass guitar. Every note is meaningful.
Punch Brothers – “Punch”
The four movement suite at the heart of this album is an amazingly unique combination of song lyricism, classical form, virtuosic playing, and bluegrass instrumentation.
Frank Sinatra – “September of My Years”
Good songs. Incredibly beautiful arrangements. Recorded when there was so much warmth in the process yet also crisp and in stereo. You can hear the room the orchestra is in.
They My Be Giants – “Flood”
Lyrics I still haven’t fully comprehended, and I don’t want to. Each song is a world unto itself which needs no outside justification. I’ve always really liked the quality of John Linnell’s voice, and somehow the intricately constructed tapestry of drum machines and synths on this album is its perfect setting. The chord progression of Birdhouse in Your Soul alone would win this album a prize, in my book.