13. Dire Straights--Brothers in Arms
12. The Beatles--Anthology: Volume 2: Disc 1
11. John Lennon--The John Lennon Collection
10. Paul McCartney--Ram
9. David Bowie--Changes (Yeah, I know it's a Greatest Hits album. I'm comfortable with that.
8. Uncle Tupelo--89/93: An Anthology
7. The Black Keys--Rubber Factory
6. Billy Bragg & Wilco--Mermaid Ave Vol 1
5. The Magnetic Fields--69 Love Songs Vol 1
4. The Frames--Burning the Maps
3. Wilco--Sky Blue Sky
2. The Beatles--Abbey Road
1. Wilco--A Ghost is Born
The one album I would listen to for the rest of my life is A Ghost is Born. I have thought about this a lot. Especially since, among Wilco fans, is not a favorite. In fact, it's pretty divisive. That's because it's a huge departure from their previous sound, which is alt-country or alt-rock. A Ghost is Born won a Grammy for Best Alternative Music Album, and it's classified as Rock, but I don't like either of those labels, lol. I was first introduced to it because the streamed the album online for free, and I became addicted. I bought the album as soon as I could, and it's been in constant rotation in my life for the past 3 years.
The lyrics are extremely abstract, and most of them don't make any kind of literal sense. Take Spiders (Kidsmoke):
Spiders are singing in the salty breeze
Spiders are filling out tax returns
Spinning out webs of deductions and melodies
On a private beach in Michigan
But I love abstract lyrics. I think it's a combination of the words and music that really hits me in the gut every time I listen to the album. There are mysteries to unravel and worlds to find in this album. There's a narrative to follow, too, though it's certainly not a theme or concept album. If I were a music critic, I would go on for pages and pages about influences and chords and everything else that they talk about. All I can say is that every time I listen to this album, I think to myself "Holy shit, this is an excellent album." Every. Single. Time.
Half of it's you
Half is me.