Top Ten Thursday: Best Albums of the Third Kind

close encounters of the third kind, music, album, clash, london calling, alien

In September of 2011, Wes, Austin, and I took a Facebook thread that we used to vent and express our opinions on current music to each other, and transferred it to this music blog. For some reason, people decided to read what we wrote. Now two years later we are still doing it. Typing out our thoughts on albums, describing our favorite songs as of recent, and making these lists on a weekly basis has become a part of our lively routine. So we thank all of you that are actually reading these posts of mindless musical dribble for making our opinions seem as if they actually matter. Now, as is tradition, we will celebrate with a list. In our debut list, we gave you our favorite debut albums. Approaching our second year, we made the sophomore albums list. Now as we approach our third year, we present to you this week’s list: our favorite albums of the third kind. Simply put, this is a list of what we consider to be the best third album put out by any band or artist. Thanks for your continued support, and we hope you enjoy:

10. Modest Mouse – The Moon & Antarctica
Modest Mouse - The_Moon_and_Antarctica, album, cover art

Modest Mouse at their conceptual finest. This album hits all the energetic quirks that made Modest Mouse so uniquely great, backed by some of the best music they put together in their career. Some may find that arguable and say their latter, catchier material is better, and some may say they like the more toned down work of their earlier career. We at LxL are right in the middle which lands on The Moon & Antarctica standing out as their best album to date, and it landed right at album number three.


9. TV On The Radio – Dear Science
Tv on the radio - dear science, album, cover art
TV On The Radio did not completely reinvent their sound with Dear Science, but they certainly did tweak it. This was the sound of a fresher, poppier, more air-tight produced TV On The Radio, and it worked very well. It was more high energy and catchier than ever, and they have seemingly not looked back on their noisier days since. Which sound works better? The answer is both. Both sounds work better … that’s what makes up the whole conundrum of how TV On The Radio is just so damn great.


8. LCD Soundsystem – This Is Happening
lcd soundsystem - this-is-happening, album, cover art
For a man so beloved in the music community to purposely end his career on his third album, that album better be fantastically damn epic. Thankfully, James Murphy accomplished just that with This Is Happening.


7. Radiohead – OK Computer
Radiohead - OK Computer, album cover art
OK Computer was the album where Radiohead took the leap from a great 90’s band, to all out champions of the music scene. And they still have not been knocked down from that pedestal. OK Computer does not necessarily stand alone as their overall best work, but it does perfectly display how their talent and innovation would take them to a next level band for the rest of their career.


6. OutKast – Aquemini
Outkast - aquemini, album, cover art
After two very good, but more under the radar releases, Aquemini would serve as the vehicle to skyrocket Outkast’s popularity. Packed with a slew of classy samples and talented featured artists, it was also home to a song that paid homage to an iconic heroine of the black civil rights movement that’s name will go unmentioned for fear of lawsuit. Let’s just say Big Boi and Andre sniffed the wrong rose in the park, and ended up with Johnnie Cochran on their ass for six years. Luckily they survived, as did Aquemini. It is now considered a staple of 90’s popular hip hop and set the tone for the rest of Outkast’s career.


5. Iggy and The Stooges – Raw Power
Iggy & TheStooges - RawPower_300, album, cover art
I don’t think any album title could ever live up to its name better than Iggy and The Stooges’ Raw Power. From “Search and Destroy” to “Your Pretty Face Is Going To Hell” to the title track itself and followed soon after by “Shake Appeal”, Iggy and his Stooges crammed more bare-boned explosive energy onto 12″ of vinyl than the world thought possible in 1973.


4. Bruce Springsteen – Born to Run
bruce springsteen - born to run, album, cover art
The Boss’ magnum opus reigned in at album three of his career. It plays like a dramatic teenage-rebellion rock opera and one that will inspire you to grab your girl and run away from your hometown forever. To this day it still holds up as an intricate rock’n’roll masterpiece.


3. The White Stripes – White Blood Cells
The_White_Stripes - White_Blood_Cells, album, cover art
Exploding out the gate with “Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground”, this album is sixteen dirty tracks in forty dirty minutes. White Stripes didn’t really do anything to change their sound tremendously for their third album, but they did pool together some of the best songs of their career for it.


2. Neil Young – After the Gold Rush
Neil Young - After_the_Gold_Rush, album, cover art
Out of the thirty five studio albums this man has released, his third is consistently argued as his best. Ironically, it ranked third on our list of favorite Neil albums. But in a list of “best thirds”, that third place now makes a second … or something like that.


1. The Clash – London Calling
The Clash - London Calling, album, cover art
If Clash is truly “the only band that ever mattered” as they have been popularly dubbed, than their third album London Calling should be considered the only album that has ever mattered.


The “Just Missed Our List” list:

Todd: Elliott Smith – Either/Or
elliott_smith - either/or, album, cover art
Either/Or was my introduction to Elliott Smith, which puts a lot of personal bias in it being my favorite album. That being said, I still believe it to be the pinnacle of his short career at his third studio release.


Austin: Ice Cube – Death Certificate
Ice Cube - Death_Certificate, album_cover
ice cube, gun, life vest, at first i was likeIce Cubes career may now look similar to that of a latter day Steve Martin, but the man started out hard as nails. If his first two albums weren’t proof enough, Death Certificate is. Rumor has it that when Austin was purchasing the CD from his local pawn shop, there was only one copy available. When he asked for the CD from behind the counter apparently another interested customer asked for it as well at the same time. Let’s just say when Austin left the store with Ice Cubes Death Certificate in his hand, the other interested customer left with a different type of death certificate in his.








Wes: U2 – War
U2 - War, art, album_cover
Before Bono became famous for saving Africa and assassinating Osama bin Laden, he was in a small band called U2. U2 managed to scrape together a few really solid albums, and (ironically due to the bands peace efforts) War is arguably their finest bit of work. Which came in right at about album number three. Wes, being quite the peace-loving tree-hugging hippie that he is, finds solace in Bono and his flower-cladded blokes, and couldn’t pass up the opportunity to take them as his miss.

Author: Todd

I dig musics ...

2 thoughts on “Top Ten Thursday: Best Albums of the Third Kind”

  1. Good to see Bruce, Clash and Radiohead – and U2 – in there. Going back to the seventies, I’d have “For Earth Below” by Robin Trower and “Sunburst Finish” by Be Bop Deluxe. Both guitar hero albums.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s