I like crossover/breakthrough albums, by which I mean those 3rd or 4th albums by indie/alt bands that garner radio airplay and some commercial success. While these albums are often well received by critics, they're usually not as highly rated by critics and fans as the earlier albums.
And when I say I like crossover/breakthrough albums, I mean they're usually my favourite by a given band, and I rate them much more than (or at least as equal to) the earlier albums that fans prefer.
Modest Mouse — Good News...
Dandy Warhols — Welcome to the Monkeyhouse
Pixies — Doolittle (controversial one maybe?)
Muse — Blackholes & Revelations
Is anyone else a fan of crossover/breakthrough albums? Hit me with some more examples of crossover/breakthrough albums that usually aren't *hated* by fans but aren't as well regarded as their less successful predecessors.