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The Very Best (According to Me)

This summer I did some deep musical soul-searching, which for the sake of avoiding repetition, I won't detail (if you need to, go read this, then come back). One of the results of that was a massive expansion of the list of my favorite albums. Previously, I had arbitrarily set the number at 20.

After considering nearly every album I own, that number now sits at 95. Since early August I have steadily been writing up my thoughts on each album for the sidebar link you can see if you just scan your eyes slightly to your right. As of yesterday, I'm done!

A few incidentals and disclaimers regarding the list:

A) As I stated before, this list is not intended to be a list of the greatest albums of all time. There are a lot of albums I would consider great that I didn't put on the list (for example, Paul Simon's Graceland or Def Leppard's Hysteria). I had to have a strong personal connection to the album for it to make the list. That's why, conversely, there are probably some records on there that are really not that great, but for whatever reason are close to my heart.

B) As I also stated before, I made no attempt to have the list be representative of the diversity of pop music in gender, race, or genre. So it's way short on R & B, rap, and female artists. My proclivities lean toward melodic pop, and so does the list. The list isn't even necessarily representative of my tastes, as there are bands that I greatly admire (such as Fountains of Wayne and The Smiths) who didn't place an album.

C) The list is always subject to expansion (of course), but also to contraction. Another thing I discovered this summer is that time can drastically alter even the most objective of feelings about a record.

D) Apparently Jimmy Eat World are my favorite band and 1999 was the best musical year of my life (that was the year I graduated college and moved to Minnesota). Jimmy placed four records on here (The Beatles and Billy Joel tied for second place with three each). And a whopping seven albums from 1999 made the list (1994, 1996, and 2005 tied for second with five each).

So if you get a few minutes, take a look around. Maybe you'll see some that are on your list, too.

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