Thursday, November 23, 2006

Gone and Forgotten: South Dakota Dark's 10 Favorite Albums of All Time! (Part II)

Firstly, R.I.P. Robert Altman. Be sure to read Todd's lovely post below this one.

Secondly, Happy Thanksgiving. I could go on a tirade about the general misconceptions of the holiday and tell you all to leave the poor turkeys alone. However, in the interest of not being a total douche bag, I'll stick with talking about music.

SO, moving right along, let's refresh your memory:

Ten Favorite Albums of ALL TIME:

10. Prince & The Revolution, Purple Rain

Crossing over into the most main of main streams, Purple Rain saw The Artist Formerly Known as the Artist Formerly Known as Prince taking an earnest and collective look at his place in the industry and leaping forward in a most ambitious turn. Fusing his already eclectic stylings of Funk and R&B with an even more palatable mentality geared towards pop as well as straightforward rock, Purple Rain is an undeniable catalyst for most phases in mainstream music.

The nine tracks contained therein; while "dated" in some circles (I won't argue that point here) remain some of the more auspiciously perfect pop tracks one might have the pleasure of hearing. I won't say that Purple Rain simply came along at the right time. That is true, yes...but it was more than that. Any album can come along at the right time, give the masses that hint of change they seem to crave and vanish just as soon as they've served a purpose. In the case of Purple Rain, however, it seems to have a pulse and a spirit that tends to linger, going past even its most obvious attempts at individuality. It's within the grasp that Prince holds so delicately (never with too much control or too little) that provides the LP with its personality, singularity, and its larger than life heart.
And then...

09. PJ Harvey, Rid Of Me
This is back when PJ Harvey wasn't simply the name of an amazing female artist, but the handle of an amazingly raw, enticing, honest-to-goodness band. The trio's second LP produced by Steve Albini is as viciously erotic and aggressively brilliant as anything Polly Jean has done in her career since. A perfect choice for producer, Albini captures the distinct aura the group presented at the time of a damaged deviance that remains unashamed and unhinged. Both loud and blisteringly quiet, Rid of Me is a darkly told masterpiece of the underbelly.
It's not that Polly Jean got softer when she went solo; hell, she's been to darker places than this. It has more to do with this raw, bloody quality that an album like Rid of Me possesses that can't really ever be recreated, so why bother trying? Artist that she is, PJ has simply reinvented herself over and over again; each album being an honest account of her mental stability (or lack thereof) but none more simultaneously frightening and exciting than Rid of Me.

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