- From the Choirgirl Hotel
- To Venus and Back - venus orbiting
- Night of Hunters
- Unrepentant Geraldines
- Native Invader
Kate Bush - Never For Ever
Janet Jackson - Janet.
Jars of Clay - Furthermore
Nichole Nordeman - Woven & Spun
Pearl Jam - Binaural
Pearl Jam - Lightning Bolt
It remains true that, if in doubt about pop music, I retreat to Tori Amos. But there are a couple of other things on the list that were not quite so predictable.
Picking up Janet. for the first time in a long time was a slightly left-field choice. Absence hasn't really made the heart grow fonder, though. It's still an album that rates as enjoyable without being stellar. There are good things on there, certainly, and nothing terrible, but I have no strong reaction to it. It did remind me that I want to explore her whole catalogue at some point, just to see what I've been missing outside of this album and Rhythm Nation.
Pearl Jam's Binaural is, if anything, dropping lower and lower in my opinion. Yes, there are a few good songs, and "Light Years" is gorgeous, but there are also some clunkers, killed by music or lyrics or production. I can never get over how "Sleight of Hand", one of the songs supposedly recorded using special techniques, sounds so lifeless. Lightning Bolt, on the other hand, which I admittedly still don't know that well, leaves a much more favourable impression as an album.
As I work, very sporadically, through the Jars of Clay catalogue, I listened to both halves of Furthermore, one live (which I hadn't listened to in years) and one acoustic. Most of the known songs are not revelatory, with these versions tending to be similar to the original studio recordings. The real assets are the songs not previously on albums. Frankly, Furthermore is worth hearing for "The Valley Song" alone.