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Friday, July 24, 2009

Top 5 CDs/Albums

Selecting a Top 5 CDs or Albums poses the same difficulty I felt when attempting to write a few CD reviews for this blog. Music is so personal I really don’t understand attempting to review an album – hence the dearth of music reviews. Of course, I’m not saying it can’t be done well.

While I realize the same can be said in regards to books and movies, I just think there’s more tangible qualities to judge those mediums than there are in music. For example, someone who is not a fan of rap is going to have a hard time reviewing an album from that genre. Yet, even if a person isn’t necessarily a fan of science fiction, an intelligent review of a sci-fi flick wouldn’t be out of the question for that individual.

So, the criteria for this list is sort of a combination of those used for the Top 5 Movies and Top 5 Books. I’ve tried to select CDs that I remember as exceptional and can still be put on shuffle mode without fear of landing on bad songs.

Now that I’ve offered enough of a disclaimer, here’s my list of Top 5 CDs/Albums:

5. Call Me Irresponsible (Michael Bublé) – This used to be the type of album I would never have even thought of listening to. I actually like this in combination with Bublé’s self-titled album – Michael Bublé – but Call Me Irresponsible edged it out with the title track, “Lost,” “Comin’ Home Baby,” and other remakes, especially “Me & Mrs. Jones.” He manages to not just mimic the classics yet doesn’t destroy them by trying to modernize the songs. His best song, though, is the remake of Crazy Little Thing Called Love from the self-titled album.

4. Genesis (Genesis) – Somewhat of a representative pick for my favorite band (at least during the Phil Collins era), this is the sound I associate with the group. The first side (sorry, I remember tapes) doesn’t miss on anything with “Mama,” “Home by the Sea” and “Second Home by the Sea,” and “That’s All” is their best song. Underrated songs fill the second side with “Taking It All Too Hard,” “Just a Job to Do,” and “It's Gonna Get Better.”

3. Born to Reign (Will Smith) – Fans of my other selections might wonder what the hell this album is doing on my list, but it’s just a damn good album. For those like yours truly who leave dancing to others, Will Smith can at least make a workout a little easier. “Act Like You,” “I Can’t Stop,” and “Gotta Go Home” highlight the album. Tra-Knox does some vocals on the album, and helps make it a great mix of rap, R&B, and rock.

2. Off the Wall (Michael Jackson) – Michael Jackson’s recent death may have contributed to this pick. The allegations surrounding MJ made it tough to enjoy his music without it feeling like some sort of guilty pleasure in the last decade or so. The one positive in his sad passing may be that his music will come back to the mainstream. I’ll take this over Thriller as his best.

1. No Jacket Required (Phil Collins) – Another representative pick as I easily could have made out this list with Phil Collins offerings. This is the first album of Collins’ I ever heard and it still holds up for me. “Take Me Home” is my all-time favorite song (even though finding out what it was really about was disappointing). Hits like “Sussudio” and “One More Night” overshadow equally good “Inside Out,” “Only You Know and I Know,” “Who Said I Would” and others. I liked all of them.

As with the other lists, feel free to agree or disagree with any or all of my selections, and, more importantly, add your own list of Top 5 CDs/Albums in the comments section. Don’t hesitate to add your own creative angle such as a list of Top Rock Albums of All Time, Top 5 Rap CDs, or other ideas. I really do want to make the Royal Steele Community section of this blog interactive. Be brave or, if you must, post anonymously.

Sure, you can do this on much bigger websites and potentially get lost in a sea of millions, or help us build something fun at The Stores @ Royal Steele. (Don’t forget to refer to my “CYA” rules & guidelines.)

Also, check out the “Best of” lists at The Stores @ Royal Steele in the Book Store. The lists include the 100 Best Records of All Time.

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