The five hundred and eighteenth album: #518 REM - Murmur

I probably prepared myself for this early, knowing what was coming, but it did feel like Murmur was an album that asked for more intense listening than others do. It becomes a great, in depth pop album with some really interesting tracks. I feel like the best is still to come for them, but this was already incredibly good.

The five hundred and seventeenth album: #517 Def Leppard - Pyromania

There's something about Def Leppard's glam metal that ended up appealing to me a lot more than I thought - an abundance of energy and cheer that gets paired well with the occasional darker track. It feels like I can see a lot better how this would work well live, an overwhelming sound that hits the right up beats to keep that energy going.

The one hundred and eighty-eighth classical recording: #740 George Gershwin - An American in Paris

The tone poem An American in Paris - that later works were based on - conveys quite well the excitement of being in a foreign city you love. There's the exuberant excitement as you go through, and the smaller sections that don't lose the happiness. You can see how well it would work as the score just listening to it, but even without it, it feels like the laughter and romance are there, contrasting the big with the small.

The five hundred and sixteenth album: #516 Malcolm McLaren - Duck Rock

As much as I know purists have mentioned the issues with the commercialization of hip hop with this album, the lift it gave to the genre for white listeners, and the way it gave me an insight into African music is as valuable. There are a lot of traditional influences in here, combined with still a big spot for black voices that feels to me, at least, to make for a powerful and uplifting album. I don't think it entirely shies away from experimenting, but there's a balance that works really well to my ear.

The five hundred and fifteenth album: #515 Violent Femmes - Violent Femmes

The country punk comes through quite clearly in this, the country intros and throughline often fading away as we get deeper into the punk tracks - it's as much about the tuning and feel of the instruments as it is about the music directly. The songs themselves don't feel the most complex - while occasionally giving some depth, it still feels a lot about mundane problems. It risks straying into pop at time but overall stays quite well mixed between the different trends - easier listening on some tracks than you might think, but with the aggression in there in some places.

The one hundred and eighty-seventh classical recording: #174 Joseph Haydn - Trumpet Concerto

There's something lovely about this concerto, an orchestra piece led by the trumpet that feels like it fits Haydn's style, its speed and melodies feeling a bit like his signature. As a short piece, the abstract nature makes it stand alone, but it is quite a lovely concerto.

The five hundred and fourteenth album: #514 Duran Duran - Rio

Rio is a pack of good, poppy songs from the eighties synth pop mold, feeling mostly like love songs or other lighter subjects without anything too deep.The album is nice, it's fun, it's accessible and easy to get into - just a fun listen.

The five hundred and thirteenth album: #513 Iron Maiden - The Number of the Beast

I guess I could have anticipated it, but I wasn't immediately expecting fragments from The Prisoner to introduce some of these tracks. It fits with the anti establishment feel of the album, the provocative lyrics and the aggression of the heavy metal tracks. The second side is especially strong for this, with the title track and Run for the Hills being such a strong two punch track that each tell their own story that they work incredibly well to create this tone. These powerful metal anthems really hit the spot and are pretty well balanced.

The one hundred and eighty-sixth classical recording: #623 Wilhelm Stenhammar - Serenade

Threatening, uncomfortable, but with a smaller feel than the orchestral size might suggest. It's a sweet piece at times, but there is enough tumult in the entire run to keep you on edge.

The five hundred and twelfth album: #512 Associates - Sulk

The gothy synth pop sound of Sulk is quite encompassing and heavy, never really letting up and with that not ending up in a place that I really enjoy. The album never really fulfilled or grabbed me.