My Top Five Favourite (Non-Metal) Albums

Posted: December 15, 2011 in List article, Music, Reviews
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Those who know me know that I am a sucker for metal. Something about a group of sweating men with long hair singing songs about rocking out and murdering women just does it for me.

But it’s not all I am, ya know? So for a limited time only (i.e. when WordPress deletes my account for an infraction of some sort) I am here to present my favourite non-metal albums of all time. Sit tight folks, it’s about to get diverse…

Pearl Jam – Ten (1991)

Much like Soundgarden and Nirvana, Pearl Jam are just one of those bands that seem to automatically encapsulate the term ’90s’. You think of this band and images of ripped jeans, unwashed hair and Weird Al music videos spring to mind. This album is just rife with some good ol’ alternative rock catchiness. It’s simultaneously angst-laden yet passionate and soulful (and I’m not the type to just go around using the word ‘soulful’ willy-nilly). Eddie Vedder’s voice suggests a certain degree of melancholy without going too much into that whole anger ‘I have daddy issues’ rage…ignore the obvious fact that the album’s most famous track ‘Alive’ is about his estranged father…

Favourite track: Black

Slipknot – Slipknot (1999)

This is an iffy one to choose. Slipknot are one of those bands that tend to split the niche group up. There are those who are insistent that they are a metal band. While others snub these believers and claim they are nothing more than a watered down version of what metal actually is. I am inclined to agree more with the latter group. So although there are metal elements and metal influences, this album is not what I would define as metal. That said, this album was released round about the time my teenage hormones were enjoying the peak of their success and so it complimented my annoying, pseudo-rebellious, obnoxious outlet perfectly. I was an annoying scrote during those years.

Favourite track: Purity

At The Drive-In – Relationship Of Command (2000)

When producer Ross Robinson (early Korn and Slipknot) recorded this album he was adamant that he wanted to capture their on-stage energy. Now, anyone who knows even a tiny iota about the music industry knows that albums are generally recorded bit by bit, and layer by layer. This album is one of those rare instances where the producer stuck the band in a recording studio, hit the record button and said “go” at a loud volume. The result is probably one of the most pumped up CDs I’ve ever heard. It took a few listens to get into it admittedly but I’m now convinced that if you ground up this album it would be classed as an illegal stimulant.

Favourite track – Invalid Litter Dept.

Genesis – We Can’t Dance (1991)

This album smacks of nostalgia for me. Released when I was around seven years old pretty much every track has a fond place in my memories (even after all my incessant drinking). It’s hard to pinpoint – aside from growing up on this album – what it is I like specifically about it. It’s quite a serious and melancholic album but there’s barely a single track on here that isn’t a potential hit. It’s also one of those albums that has a calming quality about it. Like an administered muscle relaxant. Only with more synthesiser.

Favourite track: Fading Lights

The Jimi Hendrix Experience – Are You Experienced? (1967)

Because it’s fucking Jimi Hendrix! Get a clue!

Favourite track: Red House

 


And now, because I simply cannot resist, my favourite metal album:

Metallica – …And Justice For All (1988)

It’s very tempting, – as a Metallica fan – to say that ‘Master Of Puppets’ or ‘The Black Album’ are my favourites. MOP is, arguably, their finest hour musically and ‘Black Album’ is their most commercially successful album by far. But it will always be ‘…And Justice For All’ that wins it for me. It’s smack bang in between their thrash heydays and their more generic hard rock leanings that makes early fans cry into their morning cup of Bovril. It’s a much more complicated and multi-layered album that, for me, shows how musically tight and complex the Bay Area thrashers can be. It’s also nice to see some of Cliff Burton’s inputs make its way into this album despite the notable cause of his being crushed by a bus beforehand.

Favourite track: To Live Is To Die

There ya go folks. Makes a nice change to dick jokes doesn’t it?

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Comments
  1. Mark/Angel says:

    Interesting mix of non-metal there, I’m going to check out At The Drive-In because I’ve never heard them.

    Seeing as you place yourself in the group of people who do not consider Slipknot metal, what ARE they in terms of a genre?

    And I’m afraid …And Justice For All never grabbed me as an album, aside from Eye Of The Beholder and One. I’ll give that another spin sometime.

  2. Andrew says:

    I bought the At The Dirve-In album after I heard the track they released “One Armed Scissor”, It took me a while to really appeciate it but I now consider it one of my all time favourite albums ever.

    Slipknot I would say (particularly the earlier stuff) are more nu-metal. They seem to incorporate some hip hop elements – especially in “Iwoa” – but they do lean more towards metal in some respects when compared to other nu-metal acts such as Korn, Limp Bizkit etc. They’re later stuff done by Rick Rubin (of Slayer fame) encapsulates metal a bit more but just borrows from the genre rather than fits neatly into it.

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