8 More Old Albums

Picking up where the last entry left off…


8. The Cranberries, Everyone Else Is Doing It, So Why Can’t We?

I listened to this after hearing of the passing of Dolores O’Riordan in January. The album more than holds up; though the singles still strike me as the most impressive tracks, little if anything here is filler. Most tracks pop out with a fiercely effervescent personality.

New verdict: B


9. The Sundays, Blind

As I listened to The Cranberries, the 1990 single “Here’s Where the Story Ends,” by The Sundays, came back to mind, so I returned to their biggest album, the one after the album that ave us that great single. Sadly, though I liked Blind, and I truly loved Harriet Wheeler’s singing (which sounds not unlike Dolores O’Riordan’s), many tracks felt a little flat, a bit incomplete. The last track on Blind, a cover of the Rolling Stones’ “Wild Horses,” may be the most surprisingly solid, but regardless, you should go back and enjoy “Here’s Where the Story Ends.”

New verdict: C


10. INXS, Welcome To Wherever You Are

Another mild disappointment. INXS is a great party band, but this effort, like Blind, often felt a bit bland–the singles are all solid, and some others are decent, but as I listened to this one again, I kept thinking, “Do I want to keep coming back and listening to this again and again now, or is it disposable?” I hate to say it, but most of this material has been rightfully forgotten.

New verdict: C


11. Sonic Youth, Experimental Jet Set, Trash, and No Star

I would have done Daydream Nation, but I wanted this to be an opportunity to revisit albums I hadn’t heard in their entirety since the 90’s, and I still listen to that one pretty regularly. Alas, this early 90’s effort simply couldn’t live up to that masterpiece’s appeal. Like the last two albums on this list, it was good, but not great. Rightfully forgotten, though I still really dig “Bull in the Heather.”

New verdict: C


12. Jesus Jones, Doubt 

I feel like this band never got the love they deserved. Too much of an edge for dance music, too dance-y for alternative rock, they faded out after their huge super hit, “Right Here, Right Now.” A shame, since there was much great work left ignored. This is a solid album of tight variety, enjoyable from start to finish. Definitely worth hearing again, and if you missed this album the first time around, feel free to fill that hole now. Here’s one of plenty of stand out tracks.

New verdict: B


13. David Bowie, Outside 

Wow! I saw Bowie on tour for this album with Nine Inch Nails and loved that show, but I only liked the album. I recognized the many great tracks, but also thought this very long record had too much filler. I still think a couple of the long instrumental tracks could have stood for some trimming, but the monologue tracks don’t bother me like they did twenty years ago. This is a daring, deep, effectively atmospheric masterpiece. So glad I listened again. On that note, I still haven’t heard Bowie’s final album, Blackstar, which I hear is also great. Time to put that in the rotation.

New verdict: A+


14. Tori Amos, Little Earthquakes 

Not sure what reminded me of this one, but I’m glad I listened again. Some tracks were still familiar, but my opinion on many reversed. The bold, startling, abrasive tracks are now too rough for my taste, but I had completely forgotten about “Winter” and “China,” each a beautiful crystalline portrait, especially the latter. Most material still holds up, and in the #MeToo age, I won’t be surprised if Amos, and this debut album in particular, enter mainstream consciousness more than before. “Tear In Your Hand” was never released as a single, which seems like a huge waste to me–that song has Top 40 potential!

New verdict: B


15. Information Society, Hack 

I heard this one when it was brand new, earlier than most of the other albums here, so it made a big impression. The weird combination of dance music with a geek ethos doesn’t seem so odd now, but it sure did in 1990. The band finds a deep variety of sounds in their sub genre, and exploits them creatively to endlessly enjoyable effect. I loved it then, I still love it now. Like some other bands I’m going back to, I see now that they’ve released plenty of material in the years since that never made it onto my radar. Time to catch up! :)

New verdict: A


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