Friday, December 03, 2010

Best Albums of the 1990s (61 - 80)

61. Maxwell – Maxwell’s Urban Hang Suite (1996). Re-calling the same soul showmanship as the likes of Prince and Marvin Gaye, American R&B singer Maxwell's debut album indulged in sweet honey-like soul, smooth dreamy arrangements complimented by the soulful textures of Maxwell's voice. Best: Whenever, Wherever, Whatever.

62. Pearl Jam - Yeild (1998). American alternative rock band Pearl Jam's fifth album wasn't as commercially successful as their previous '90s releases, but did win over critics, showcasing the band's nack for anthemic rock, although not as well as their debut which features much later. Best: Given to Fly

63. Kylie Minogue - Kylie Minogue (1994). The '90s were not kind to Australian pop singer Kylie Minogue at all--as sales began to dwindle, Minogue began to take more risks regarding her sound--1991s Let's Get to It set the experimental stage for this chilling, more cutting-edge, edgy outlook on pop self-titled follow-up. It didn't quite reignite her career, although it land the fantastic outlandish hit "Confide in Me." Best: Confide in Me.

64. Jamiroquai - The Return of the Space Cowboy (1994). Laced with silky grooves, jazzy pop influenced soul dubbed acid-jazz, British band Jamiroquai delivered an even more successful follow-up to their first, landing his second major UK hit "Stillness in Time." Best: Space Cowboy.

65. Dr. Dre - The Chronic (1992). Often regarded as one of the best hip-hop albums of the '90s--I'm not too sure about that, but it was the best album driving the west coast, G-Funk sound. Dr. Dre isn't the best rapper, what makes this album a winner is ironically its songwriting and awesome production. Best: Nothin' But a G Thang.

66. Mariah Carey - Butterfly (1997). For her sixth album, Mariah declared independence from ex-husband and boss Tommy Motolla. Not experimenting but indulging in heavier R&B and hip-hop influences ("The Roof," "Breakdown," "Babydoll") with help of producers P. Diddy and Missy Elliot and exploring different textures of her eight-register vocal, delivering more complex and introspective songwriting. Best: The Roof.

67. Alice in Chains - Dirt (1992). Seattle based grunge band Alice in Chained shook the '90s with their second album, which was more than just a charging awakening of raging electronic guitars and drums but beneath that; layer of vulnerability expressing through thick lyrical bodying; heroine addiction and self-disgust. Best: Rooster.

68. Björk - Debut (1993). I never understood the fascination with Icelandic singer Björk until I listened to her aptly animated titled debut album--excuding a playful energy, quirky lyrical outlooks and showcasing a striking sense of alternative dance and trip-hop. Best: Human Behavior

69. Fiona Apple - When the Pawn... (1999). As well as having one of the longest album titles in album history, American singer Fiona Apple's second album delivered a rippling mix jazzy pop and alternative rock--it didn't land a single as big as "Criminal" on her first album but did spawn the popular rock hit "Fast As You Can." Best: On the Bound.

70. Whitney Houston - My Love is Your Love (1998). Following almost a decade making hit films, Whitney Houston finally delivered the follow-up to 1990's disappointing I'm Your Baby Tonight. Her fourth album indulged in R&B heavier than any other Houston album, delivering the contemporary Xylophone-fronted hit "It's Not Right, But It's Okay" and alluring guitar-driven R&B of "Heartbreak Hotel"and the more experimental title track. Best: Heartbreak Hotel.

71. Sheryl Crow - Sheryl Crow (1996). I'm not particularly that fond of American country/rock singer Sheryl Crow, but her darker self-titled sophomore album was a pretty engaging set becoming yet another success for the singer. Best: If It Makes You Happy

72. Seal - Seal II (1994). I never believed that there was more to British singer Seal's second album than "Kiss From a Rose," which earned Seal three Grammy's including Record of the Year, but in fact, there is, offering an enchanting collection of pop-inspired soul like the equally friendly "Prayer for the Dying." Best: Kiss From a Rose.

73. Natalie Cole - Unforgettable... with Love (1991). American R&B singer, Natalie Cole's thirteenth album was a real successful family affair. An album filled with covers of her father Nat King Cole while her uncle Ike Cole played the piano. The album won the Grammy for Album of the Year as well as becoming the most successful album of her career. Best: Unforgettable.

74. Mary J. Blige - What's the 411? (1992). Before there was a Lauryn Hill, there was Mary J. Blige who cemented her title Queen of Hip-Hop Soul with her invigorating debut album--showcasing her classic bold soulful vocal over clambering hip-hop beats. She cemented it with this album but knocked it out the park with its follow-up. Best: You Remind Me.

75. Blink-182 - Enema of the State (1999). As well as having one of the sexiest album art ever, American punk rock band Blink-182 delivered an engaging set of dynamic punk/rock, catchy hooks and dirty-minded fun for their third album, which became and still is their biggest selling set--15 million copies worldwide. Best: All The Small Things.

76. Xscape - Traces of My Lipstick (1998). Before Destiny's Child put a whole new pop spin on the all-female '90s R&B group, we had the likes of En Vogue and Xscape, who showcased their booming vocal chords through seductive melodic-strung R&B slow jams, showcased perfectly on Xscape's third album--nicely bridging the hap between old school and new millennium R&B. Best: You're My Little Secret.

77. David Gray - White Ladder (1998). White Ladder was British singer/songwriter David Gray's first major hit--earning the singer a Grammy Nomination for Best New Artist (despite this being his fourth album) and scored Gray what is still his biggest UK hit to date, "Babylon." Best: Please Forgive Me

78. Stone Temple Pilots - Purple (1994). This is another album I can't justify placing higher as I wasn't really a fan of this until recently. American rock band Stone Temple Pilot delivered a corker of a rock album, landing the popular rock hits "Interstate Love Song" and "Vaseline." Best: Interstate Love Song

79. Dixie Chicks - Wide Open Spaces (1998). Country trio Dixie Chick's fourth album was a breakthrough for the band, earning them a Grammy win for Best Country Album, pursuing poppier melodies without completely crossing over to mainstream in the same vein of Shania Twain, keeping this a well-rounded country album. Best: There's Your Trouble.

80. Wilco - Summerteeth (1999). Critics praised alternative rock band Wilco's third album for its gorgeous string and harmony arrangements over the luscious alternative rock production, I really like it too however I couldn't justify placing this higher as I have only started to listening to Wilco this a couple months ago. Best: A Shot In the Arm.


rcLoy said...

Yay for Kylie even though I only known her after Spinning Around. LOL. Sames goes for Jamiroquai and Mimi.

J.Mensah said...

I wish Kylie had more good albums through the '90s. They weren't kind to her at all... :/

ww_adh said...

61. I don't know this album, but I've heard good thinkgs.

62. Really? Pearl Jam were huge in the '90s, but I'd have thought Ten and Vitalogy would be on the list. Maybe higher? I've never even heard this album.

63. Although it's not a big hit for her, I quite like this album. I think I'll turn it on now while I read the rest.

66. This is great, although I could pick quite a few songs I like better on it than "The Roof." "Honey" always makes me happy.

70. I LOVE this album. I'd have put it much higher. Such a fun, fresh sound for her. I like how the songs all work well as R&B/pop hits as well as dance floor remixes.

72. I like this album a lot too. In 1994, I played it constantly.

73. When I was 14, this was the ONLY album I had that my grandparents found acceptable for me to play when I visited them. I actually gave them a copy of it.

80. Interesting choice. I've never heard anything from them before Yankee Hotel Foxtrot.