The three hundred and fifty-sixth album: Kiss - Destroyer

As Kiss's fame comes as much from its existence as an amazing live act as it does from its album, this is actually the only album on the list from the band. Said to be its most ambitious, its breadth is quite impressive. God of Thunder probably stands as its most conclusive, a massive rock anthem that really hits that dark exuberance, it's followed by Great Expectations, a hard rock twist on a ballad that is still quite produced in places, but is a more accessible, almost poppy track as well.

It feels properly aimed at me, as I enjoy both the standard rock songs and the more sensitive ballads, with the variety pushing beyond the showmanship into something better and deeper. It's worth mentioning Beth here as one of the main examples of this. As an album it's well put together and well worth listening to the full range of.


The three hundred and fifty-fifth album: #355 ABBA - Arrival

Listening to this round's ABBA album, I had an odd sensation - familiarity breeds affection. While the album has a full collection of good pop songs, the ones that I knew (Dancing Queen, Knowing Me Knowing You and Money, Money, Money for example) felt like songs that were that much better on the album. It might be self selection for the songs we know, but it feels like a track like 'Tiger' could have been as successful, but the fourth single "That's Me" just doesn't seem to have gotten as much attention.

There's something about their poppy, upbeat songs where they are at their best, and combined with these songs being ones you can sing along to, they just ask for that boost. It's how they worm their way in and really make you feel best. It's a good album still, but the highlights do feel like they're that much stronger.


The three hundred and fifty-fourth album: #354 The Eagles - Hotel California

With the title track enduring in the public consciousness for so long - for good reason - the big question listening to the album is whether it holds up after that. Lyrically, it does, with lines that need some time to unpack and feel like they're going deeper. It might not be as surreal as Hotel California, but it has its own depth. Musically, it's not quite as surreal as Hotel California feels, but they do fit in well with the feel the band is going for and repeatedly, the songs feel right in how they're put together - not in production, but from pure song writing.


The three hundred and fifty-third album: #353 Boston - Boston

This is a solid hard rock album. No major stand outs for me, nothing's bad, it's all just at a good level that I've been enjoying listening to.


The three hundred and fifty-second album: #352 Joni MItchell - Hejira

I'll happily admit to just not understanding the subtleties of some performers. I enjoy Joni Mitchell's albums, I find Hejira a calming and interesting influence to listen to, but I also can't really say what sets it apart from other albums by her. A bit less maudlin in places perhaps? A different feel to how they approach the subject? I struggle to say for sure, but as an album it still work swell enough and it's a welcome calm album.


The three hundred and fifty-first album: #351 David Bowie - Station To Station

There's a less extravagant feel to Bowie's tenth album, one that's still produced but has a simpler rock sound as its core through the most of it, relying on Bowie's lyrics and vocals more to create that feeling. It's nothing big, but it feels well crafted and focused in a way that really suits me at this point.


The three hundred and fiftieth album: #350 Modern Lovers - Modern Lovers

It feels like since my moving-related break, I've already been hitting some high points for some good rock albums. Modern Lovers aims towards punk again. It's upbeat, not trying to be deep, but hitting the right notes - not too hard, but not subdued either, staying accessible and energetic. It still feels like teenagers or someone in their early twenties working through things, but it's packaged up well enough to stay very listenable.


The three hundred and fourty-ninth album: #349 Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers - Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers

Tom Petty's sound here feels like classic rock music - the upbeat driving sound, straightforward vocals, no tricks or excessive sounds, but instead harkening back slightly to older styles of music while still feeling quite modern. There are the hints at metal and punk, but on the whole it's a fun rock and roll sound that carries through really well.


The three hundred and fourty-eighth album: #348 Curtis Mayfield - There's No Place Like America Today

After my previous compliments of an R&B album, Curtis Mayfield doesn't wow me as much. It's done well, sure, the music sounds good, but aside from missing some body, the lyrics aren't very inspiring and through the seven tracks, they didn't get their hooks into me. It doesn't help that some tracks feel a minute or two too long - Jesus being one that strained my patience - and I just felt lost in the entire thing.


The three hundred and fourty-seventh album: #347 Earth Wind & Fire - That's the Way of the World

One of the downsides of the domination of rock in the charts at this time is that it's difficult to track the changes in other genres that happen at the same time. While we have a soul and R&B album here, it feels like the same influences that created prog rock and its offshoots are here as well. Some of those no doubt originated from here as well, and there are still the long funk segments that harken back, but there are a few places where the album pushes through that style and becomes interesting. It doesn't do enough to make me a fan, but there's something nice in the album that I enjoyed.