Who knew that a pandemic would bring about new music discovery as opposed to clinging to faithful old favorites?
Craig already knows this, but for me, no album was bigger than Gigaton.
Spanish Love Songs is a biggie for me as well, but it more represents coming out the other side. I literally listened to Gigaton for the first time the week our office closed. I didn't know if I was going to have a job, I didn't know when I would see my family again, I was dealing with the flu which I wasn't sure if was COVID and I just had a scare which required a trip to the ER. I was miserable down to my very core, and Gigaton was there for me in such a big way. To this day I adore that album because of what it did for me. It gave me a sense of normalcy, a chance to reconnect with old friends, in a way. The reliable band that has been with me through pretty much my entire life dropped exactly the album I needed at precisely the time I needed it the most.
But also, yes, Let The Record Play is so embarrassingly awful. I still cannot believe they not only finished the song, but included it on an album. I would rank Lightning Bolt a lot higher were it not for that song.
5 from me with many less words:
Pearl Jam - Gigaton
Agree with nearly everything you said, about Pearl Jam not owing anything, best album since Yield... all up until the accolades for Sirens. No need to belabor that... Gigaton is great and would have held up in any of the past 3 decades.
PKEW! PKEW! PKEW! - + One
This was because it was a band I had just gotten into when I saw them on a whim in the tavern at Beachland in December 2019; it's still the most recent concert I've seen. Track #2, Asshole Pandemic, struck, and continues to strike, a chord over those past 23 months. Listening to it takes my mind back to the Beachland.
Car Seat Headrest - Making a Door Less Open
The latest from him, kind of impressive the catalogue he's put together over just 10 years. My two favorites are Hollywood and the stripped down acoustic Hollywood; somehow the same song sounds so different and works either way. The band I most need to see live and yet always passes over Cleveland.
The Hold Steady - Open Door Policy
Could almost copy/paste the thoughts on Pearl Jam. Craig Finn, Franz Nicolay and the boys owe me nothing, but gave me my favorite album of 2021. Can't wait to eventually see the subgroup, The Horn Steady, live.
Titus Andronicus - The Monitor
Released over a decade ago. Nothing to say other than it might be one of the most complete, perfect albums ever and I'll never stop listening to it.
I got into a big phase of listening to Bonnie Raitt’s “Streetlights” that was fun. Our go-to summer album by the inflatable pool was Paul Simon’s “Graceland” and my oldest became obsessed with Chvrches “Love Is Dead” (see you at the show in 2 weeks!) and Olivia Rodrigo’s “Sour”.