Saturday, December 04, 2010

Best Albums of the 1990s (41 - 60)

41. Toni Braxton - Secrets (1996). From the Babyface produced seductive R&B grooves to the deep husky vocals streaming with sex appeal, R&B singer Toni Braxton's second album hit all the right notes, also earning her a Grammy nomination for Best Pop Album as well as landing her the biggest hit of her career with signature ballad "Un-Break My Heart." Best: Un-Break My Heart.

42. The Chemical Brothers - Dig Your Own Hole (1997). The second album from British electronica duo The Chemical Brothers' explored bigger, bolder and grander electronic-studded sounds than their debut--successfully illustrating bigger beats and heavy electronic overtones. Best: Black Rockin' Beats.

43. 311 - 311 (1995). I got into alternative rap/rock band 311 last year, purchasing their ninth album Uplifter, in my review I said I would try and get into their earlier work, and get into I did. I love their self-titled third album--an intense blend of rap, rock and melodic funk. Best: Down.

44. Brandy - Never Say Never (1998). This is in short the best album R&B singer Brandy has delivered during the course of her career. As well as landing the massive hit "The Boy is Mine" with fellow R&B singer Monica, her second album showcased well-crafted beat driven R&B ("U Don't Know Me," "Angel in Disguise" and "Top of the World") pristine urban slow jams ("Have You Ever?" and "Truthfully") as well as tackling soaring pop ballads ("One Voice" and Bryan Adam's cover "Every Thing I Do, I Do it for You"). Best: Have You Ever?

45. Michael Jackson - Dangerous (1991). I've always wondered why the albums Michael Jackson released during the '90s (and '00s) felt so bloated and extensive, in any case, this is the album he released before his career undertook a steep decline. Rigorously weaving together influences from New Jack Swing and R&B on funky uptempos ("In the Closet" and "Remember the Time") as well showcasing enchanting world-conscience ballads ("Heal the World" and "Will You Be There"). Best: Black or White

46. Moby - Play (1999). While Moby had experimented with more commercial sounds on albums prior to this one, none so nabbed that mainstream success as aggressively as Play, an oozing blend of electronic-studded dancefloor pop and enticing mood-shifting soundscapes that earned the DJ sales of over 10 million worldwide. Best: Run On.

47. Brian McKnight - I Remember You (1995). Back at One may be Brian McKnight's most successful album and as good as it may be, it has nothing on its predecessor, I Remember You, which showcased top-notch quality in its craftsmanship--a well balanced set of well-crafted funk-driven uptempos and soaring dulcet balladry, showcasing his smooth vocal stylings as well as his enticing runs. Best: I Remember You.

48. Range Against the Machine - Rage Against the Machine (1992). Until their furious 2008 campaign against the X Factor, I had never heard of Rage Against the Machine. however a couple thorough listens through their debut album later and I loved their rugged, aggressive and energetic outlook heavy-rock. Best: Killing in the Name.

49. U2 - Zooropa (1993). Following the remarkably impressive Achtung Baby, Irish rock band continued to experiment with their sound for its follow-up, trailing industrial and electronic influences to showcase more complex sense of rock as well as successfully perusing a musical reinvention. Best: Numb.

50. Foo Fighters - Foo Fighters (1995). The eponymous debut album from American rock band Foo Fighters does strongly re-call the post-grunge rock sound of Nirvana, although it's not a bad thing as this album acts like a more accessible counterpart to Nirvana's music--backed with soaring distorted guitar-driven pop melodies, delivering a more than solid alternative rock album. Best: This is a Call.

51. Usher - My Way (1997). For me, Usher quite didn't master his sound until 2004's Confessions, however looking further back into his catalogue, his successful second album hints at how good he would become--showcasing a fulfilling blend of guitar-driven R&B, funk and seductive ballads within its short 10-track set. Best: You Make Me Wanna

52. Outkast - Aquemini (1998). Hip-Hop duo OutKast's third album showcased great poignant hip-hop lyrics over hard-hitting southern hip-hop beats, nicely blending both hip-hop and neo-soul sounds. It's often regarded as the duo's best album among critics, although I prefer 2003's dual-disc Speakerboxxx/The Love Below. Best: Rosa Parks.

53. Beck - Mellow Gold (1994). American alternative rock singer Beck's third album capitalized successfully on a lovely blend of rock, country and rock--three sounds that he'd dabbled with on his first two sets but didn't quite master until this one. Best: Loser.

54. LL Cool J - Mama Said Knock You Out (1991). American actor Chris Rock once said in a guest article for Rolling Stone (in which he complied his top 25 best hip-hop of all time), that American rapper LL Cool J's fourth album, was the first hip-hop album to look for the hottest producers at the time and stage the first comeback in hip-hop--toughening up his sound, exploring harder beats and rougher lyrics. Best: Mama Said Knock You Out.

55. Luther Vandross - Your Secret Love (1995). I've always pretty much hailed 2003's Dance with My Father as Luther Vandross' best, although I didn't think anything he released in the '90s (or the '80s for that matter) compared, this tenth album sort of comes close. Full of beautiful fairy-tale like arrangements on adventurous and amorous balladry. Best: Crazy Love.

56. Brian McKnight - Back at One (1999). This is R&B singer Brian McKnight's most successful album, landing his biggest and last crossover hit, title track "Back at One." Verified with McKnight's soulful and sultry vocal, the album capitalized on captivating romantic urban arrangements, hitting the mark hard on the ballads. Best: Back at One.

57. Weezer - Weezer (The Blue Album) (1994). American alternative rock four-piece Weezer's debut album was breath of fresh air. In a decade chock-full of blackening outlooks on rock, Weezer switched up the mood--singing about love rather than drug addiction over some guitar-driven pop/rock. Best: Say It Ain't So

58. Sinead O'Connor - I Do Not Want What I Haven't Got (1990). Before she defiled a photo of the Pope on Saturday Night Live and became a global embarrassment, Irish singer Sinead O'Connor had nabbed herself a pretty promising career, initially propelled with this remarkable second album, which landed the massive hit "Nothing Compares 2 U" that saw her ascend to a career height she would never see again. Best: Nothing Compares 2 U.

59. Beastie Boys - Check Your Head (1992). Following an alleged decline in popularity between 1987 and 1991, American hip-hop/rock band Beastie Boys returned in 1992 with this killer 20 track set, slightly detouring from rap and finding a harder, grittier alternative rock edge, more unconventional than their more hip-hop orientated work in the '80s. Best: Pass the Mic.

60. Sade - Love Deluxe (1992). It seems ever since this steamy fourth album, English band Sade have been pursuing the same cooling sound for their following two albums. Seductive jazzy backdrops, an alluring romantic essence backed with subtle guitars, percussion and keyboards. Best: No Ordinary Love.

4 comments:

A1 said...

sade, sinead, toni and brandy all the girls rule here!

J.Mensah said...

Haha! yeah! Brandy was originally lower, but then I realized I was being way too harsh.

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This is the last post of thses until next Wednessay/Thursday. Make sure to check (80 - 61) below (Yes I am saything that 'cause no-one commented ¬_¬ ) ThankS! :)

rcLoy said...

BlAck Rockin' Beats? That cracks me up! LOL.
BTW as much as I love to comment on this, I have never check out any of the albums before, so I can't say much, can't wait for your top 10 tho!

ww_adh said...

41. This is a solid album, that I think gets overlooked, since her career cascaded down so dramatically afterwards. Lots of great songs here. Back then, I always thought they should have put "There's No Without You" out as a single. Such a classic Babyface production sound.

42. I never got into them. I remember the whole electronica thing being a big deal though.

45. I had a hankering for this album over the weekend. It's interesting how its front-loaded with all the upbeat NJS stuff. Great beats on this one and although the ballads can get kind of syrupy, there aren't too many of them.

46. Solid album, but I liked Everything Is Wrong better.

51. I was a big fan of the title track in the summer of '98. It sounded good along with Madonna's "Ray of Light" and Beastie Boys' "Intergalactic."

58. I LOVE this album. This would be top 10 for me.

60. Another great one. Very romantic.