Jae's list of perfect albums

What makes for a 'perfect' album?
It's pretty simple: I've never once felt compelled to hit the 'skip' button while listening to any track ever. Feels fresh and poignant regardless if I'm listening to it for the first time in five years, or if I've listened to it every day for five years. Usually because the album itself is a unified, thematically-coherent meditation on the human condition. I don't have to be in the mood to listen to the album because the album itself is a proclamation, self-contained enough to always put me in the mood to listen to it. Sometimes of some historical importance, but not always. Doesn't have to be one of my favorite albums of all time (that's a separate list, though there's some overlap).

Jae's list of perfect albums, organized by stream of consciousness:

  1. In Rainbows, Radiohead
  2. OK Computer, Radiohead
  3. Brandi Carlile, Brandi Carlile
  4. Beyonce, Beyonce
  5. St. Vincent, St. Vincent
  6. Bringing It All Back Home, Bob Dylan
  7. Figure 8, Elliott Smith
  8. Grace, Jeff Buckley
  9. Rumours, Fleetwood Mac
  10. Details, Frou Frou
  11. Heroes and Thieves, Vanessa Carlton
  12. Sainthood, Tegan and Sara
  13. Dookie, Green Day
  14. Black on Both Sides, Mos Def
  15. The Black Album, Jay Z
  16. Pet Sounds, Beach Boys
  17. Grow Up and Blow Away, Metric
  18. To Pimp a Butterfly, Kendrick Lamar
  19. good kid, m.A.A.d city, Kendrick Lamar
  20. What's Going On, Marvin Gaye
  21. Malibu, Anderson .Paak
  22. Vampire Weekend, Vampire Weekend
  23. Illinois, Sufjan Stevens
  24. The Suburbs, Arcade Fire
  25. London Calling, The Clash
  26. Born to Die (Paradise Edition), Lana Del Rey
  27. Raising Hell, Run DMC
  28. An Awesome Wave, Alt-J
  29. Led Zeppelin IV, Led Zeppelin
  30. Endtroducing, DJ Shadow

Honorable mentions: supurb albums; almost perfect

  1. Hail to the Thief, Radiohead
  2. A Moon Shaped Pool, Radiohead
  3. Lemonade, Beyonce
  4. Remember Us To Life, Regina Spektor
  5. What We Saw From The Cheap Seats, Regina Spektor
  6. Begin to Hope, Regina Spektor
  7. Dark Side of the Moon, Pink Floyd
  8. Wish You Were Here, Pink Floyd
  9. American Idiot, Green Day
  10. The Black Parade, My Chemical Romance
  11. Songs About Jane, Maroon 5
  12. The Queen is Dead, The Smiths
  13. The Battle of Los Angeles, Rage Against the Machine
  14. Black Holes and Revelations, Muse
  15. The Low End Theory, A Tribe Called Quest
  16. XO, Elliott Smith
  17. Pink Moon, Nick Drake
  18. Tea for the Tillerman, Cat Stevens
  19. Pure Heroine, Lorde
  20. Melodrama, Lorde
  21. Aim & Ignite, fun.
  22. Tonight, Franz Ferdinand
  23. Good News for People Who Love Bad News, Modest Mouse
  24. Discovery, Daft Punk
  25. †, Justice
  26. Master of Puppets, Metallica
  27. Nevermind, Nirvana
  28. Are You Experienced, The Jimi Hendrix Experience
  29. Let it Die, Feist
  30. When the Pawn..., Fiona Apple
  31. My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, Kanye West
  32. A Love Supreme, John Coltrane
  33. Kind of Blue, Miles Davis
  34. Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, The Beatles
  35. Abbey Road, The Beatles
  36. It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back, Public Enemy
  37. Manners, Passion Pit
  38. Run the Jewels 2, Run the Jewels
  39. Transatlanticism, Death Cab for Cutie
  40. Pretty Hate Machine, Nine Inch Nails
  41. Toxicity, System of a Down
  42. Illmatic, Nas
  43. Boston, Boston
  44. Funeral, Arcade Fire
  45. Dummy, Portishead
  46. Me Against The World, 2Pac
  47. Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, Wilco
  48. m b v, My Bloody Valentine
  49. Things Fall Apart, The Roots
  50. Emily's D+Evolution, Esperanza Spalding