The 10 Best Fall Albums

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Wes’ old dog Slippers running through the fallen leaves.
-R.I.P. Slippers- (1989-2001)

 

Editor’s Note: This post originally published in 2012.

Yes, this is the same exact list we posted last year, but we were happy enough with it that we would like to remind everyone of our greatness.  Don’t worry though, look for a completely fresh fall-themed list this afternoon, but for now LxL would like to share what albums put us in that apple cider, leaves off trees, pumpkin picking/carving/eating, and brisk fresh air type of mood.


10. Modest Mouse- Moon & Antarctica

Arguably Modest Mouse’s finest album. This album catches the band at their peak. Lead man Isaac Brock howls like at the moon like a dog at midnight and barks like a sniffling hunting dog.
LxL recommends listening to this album in the Autumn while: Late fall nights driving from the city back to the country.

 

9. The Tallest Man On Earth- Shallow Grave

Swede Kristian Matsson sounds like a Tennessee coal miner from the 20’s, not a short Scandinavian artist. Beautiful pastoral imagery mixed with raw, candid emotion makes this a can’t miss.
LxL recommends listening to this album in the Autumn while: Observing the beauty of creation on an early morning hike in the forest.

8. Tom Waits- Mule Variations

Raggedy, scarred, and beat down. Mule Variations has a mix of the bluesy, brawling Waits fit for a bar fight like “Big In Japan” or the tattered Waits with classics like “Hold On” which are fit for trying to make sense of a hard, eventful summer.
LxL recommends listening to this album in the Autumn while: Broken and battered or on a long lifeless country road.

7. Elliott Smith- Elliott Smith

The most introverted, introspective of albums on our list. Elliott Smith’s music invokes the music for a brisk, sobering weekend morning, or a lonely day spent alone observing the trees slowly dying.
LxL recommends listening to this album in the Autumn while: Being alone with your thoughts and nature.

6. Bob Dylan- Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan

Bobby D’s second album and first masterpiece. Half of Freewheelin’ has Dylan doing his best Woody Guthrie, with politically-charged, wordy folk that would be fit for a November political rally, and the other half Dylan logged up in a cabin or on a train car singing on love.
LxL recommends listening to this album in the Autumn while: Watching the miserable political debates or caved up in a cabin.

5. Cat Power- The Greatest

Smokey songstress Chan Marshall delivers arguably her best album in The Greatest, an album well fit for reflective fall afternoons or a trip to a state park with a group of friends.
LxL recommends listening to this album in the Autumn while:
Sitting at a smokey bonfire or a smokey bar whilst lisening to Chan Marshall’s smokey vocals.

4. The Rolling Stones- Beggar’s Banquet

The Rolling Stones have a wonderful blue collar, working-in-the-fields type vibe on this album.  Its completely earnest, completely timeless, and sounds incredible. Plus songs from the album were used in Wes Andersons The Fantastic Mr Fox, which is probably THE most “falled out” movie I know of.
LxL recommends listening to this album in the Autumn while:    Making a deal with the devil.

3. Ryan Adams- Cold Roses

The most chilling album on the list.  It’s cold, soft, but also aggressive. Probably Ryan Adams most confident album. This fits the mold for fall albums very well when the temperature drops and it’s on the verge of snowing.
LxL recommends listening to this album in the Autumn while:    Firing a band member on stage, preferably the bassist.

2. Bruce Springsteen- Nebraska

Raw, acoustic glory. Nebraska was recorded to tape by simply “the Boss” himself to be used as a demo for the E Street Band.  Instead of giving the tape over and recording a full band session, Bruce decided to release it as is.  The result is one of the most heartfelt heartland albums in history.
LxL recommends listening to this album in the Autumn while:  Driving to Nebraska … or Atlantic City.

1. Neil Young – Harvest

Crafted to be the finest autumn album ever, down to the album title and the harvest moon on the cover art. Decorated with artist such as Crosby, Stills, Nash, Linda Ronstadt, and James Taylor, this album screams of gritty Americana folk, which is is perfect.
LxL recommends listening to this album in the Autumn while: Harvesting the fields.

The album left off the list that soured our fall apples:

Austin: Neil Diamond – The Collection


18 tracks of solid Diamond. Bob Wiley once said, “There are two types of people in this world. Those who like Neil Diamond, and those who don’t.” Austin is clearly the former.

Todd: M. Ward – Post War


Classic Americana folk-rock that just sings like a fall road trip.  I still remember driving home from college for fall break and straight out screaming the lyrics to “To Go Home” while blasting my car stereo at full ohms.

Wes: My Morning Jacket – Tennessee Fire


Early My Morning Jacket, that is just soaking wet with reverb. When you listen closely enough, you can hear the leaves changing through the cool brisk air of the Tennessee mountains, where the album was conceived and birthed. This album is great while hiking through those same Tennessee mountains.

So there’s the list. Let us know what we unforgivably missed, got right, or just rip on us in general.

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Author: Todd

I dig musics ...

15 thoughts on “The 10 Best Fall Albums”

    1. Ya, it was in the discussion. We had a pretty hard time with this list as there was tons of good options. My only thing with Fleet Foxes it’s fit for almost every season beside maybe summer.

    1. Football definitely crossed my mind, but I felt it had not correlation with the type of music we went with. You can’t exactly listen to Shallow Grave and think, “Man, I really want to go tackle someone right now.” Although that rule does not apply with all tracks on all these albums, I felt like it was inconsistent nonetheless. Sorry Shinny, it was a tough edit.

      Plus pumpkin pie, pumpkin beer, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin pancakes, pumpkin waffles, pumpkin lates … all delicious.

      1. Typical Bears fan…choosing lates over football. Really though, I will concede that football doesn’t make a great music partner. Wes can attest to that as we once shared the experience of watching the Goo Goo Dolls half-time show at the Thanksgiving Day game a few years ago.

  1. Bon Iver? How about Espers – do you know them? An update on psychedelic folk. Thought they must be Irish when I first heard them, but they are American. And blast from the distant British past, Argus by Wishbone Ash. Some great records in your.

  2. My Fall season albums would include Leonard Cohen’s first album, Belle and Sebastian’s If you’re feeling sinister, David Gray’s White Ladder, Arcade Fire’s Funeral, Ani Difranco’s Like I said, Tom Petty’s Wildflowers, and… Neil Young’s Harvest (but you already called it)! And I have plenty more where that came from (there’s also Radiohead’s Anthology CDs featuring many smoother tunes…). Yet I don’t have a rational reason for my choices, unless somehow smooth guitar-based albums just hit the spot for me in the fall.

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