Trans-Europe Express – Kraftwerk (1977)

Trans-Europe Express - Kraftwerk (1977)

Although Autobahn was undoubtedly their most important work to the outside world, Trans-Europe Express was a massive album for Kraftwerk themselves. After the ill-received Radio-Activity, Kraftwerk must have known that their next album needed to be brilliant, lest the band become curious one-hit wonders.  So they went and made a brilliant album. Revisiting the transportation theme of Autobahn, Trans-Europe Express bridged the conceptualism of their earlier work with a new outlook – futuristic, robotic pop. With the delivery on every song so stiff and sharply angled and the only organic sounds being human voices with as little inflection as possible, it sounds like it was actually made by robots.

Choice Cut: Europe Endless
Buy Album: Amazon (MP3 · CD · Vinyl) · iTunes MP3

Brandon’s Post Note: I’m partial to Hall of Mirrors.

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Hounds of Love – Kate Bush (1985)

Hounds of Love - Kate Bush (1985)

An art pop album that gives you the best of both worlds: the unique song structures, chord progressions, and arrangements of art rock paired with the catchiness of a great pop song. The first side is laced with brilliant gems like the classic Running Up That Hill (A Deal with God), Hounds of Love, and Cloudbusting, the greatest orchestral pop song ever written (and that includes the ones by those Beatle guys!). The second side is an ambitious suite titled The Ninth Wave that both soothes and terrifies, relaying the story of a woman seeing her life flash before her eyes as she drowns beneath icy waters. People say that this one of the greatest albums ever made by a woman. I say drop the “by a woman,” and you’ve got it right.

Choice Cut: Cloudbusting
Buy Album: Amazon (CD · Vinyl) · iTunes MP3

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69 Love Songs – The Magnetic Fields (1999)

69 Love Songs - The Magnetic Fields (1999)

Successfully defines any feeling I’ve ever had related to love. Merritt’s voice is great throughout, as are those of his guests. The stylistic and emotional range on display is ridiculous. I love the concept and most of these 69 love songs are very, very good ones. The magic about 69 Love Songs is that you don’t NEED to listen to all of it in a single sitting. You can randomly play any 10-15 songs from the three volumes and you’ll always end up with a beautiful pop experience. There will never be a 3-disc album this good again. Ever.

Choice Cut: The Book of Love
Buy Album: Amazon (CD · Vinyl) · iTunes MP3

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