1) Big Star - Jesus Christ
2) Joy Division - The Eternal
3) Antlers - I Don't Want Love
I still remembering my buddy at the CD (and Laserdisc!) shop playing me Smells Like Teen Spirit back in 1991, and we weren't stroking our chins thinking, "Hmmm, this might be nice if the production weren't so slick and glossy." It was more along the lines of HOLY SHIT THIS IS AWESOME.
...the day I learnt that Topper Headon and not Paul Simonon played the bass on Rock the Casbah.
It actually reminds me more than anything of Eno's Another Green World (and possibly the Passengers album), comfortably and effortlessly straddling the ambient/vocal divide. Revolving Doors and especially Amarillo are flat-out gorgeous; most can only dream of making 'finished' melodies that sound a fraction as good.
Perhaps it'll grow on me (I just picked it up recently), but for now, it's like a pretentious stranger I don't really like put on Side 2 of Low and proceeded to talk about himself over top.
No, it's not the 'best' album of the year, but I've derived a lot of enjoyment out of that disc over the year. I can put it on any time, in any mood, and pick a new favorite track.
I'm so relieved to learn I'm not the only one to cringe at Graham's 'fantasy' of 'keeping' the 'nice' Americans. Glad to know the guitarist from Blur gets to choose who's worthy of surviving His purge and breathing His oxygen.