Top 10 albums you’ve never heard

Justin Rodstrom

This is my tribute to all the lesser-known but fundamentally amazing albums that are a must in a personal CD rotation. Check out some of these; you won’t be let down.

Dungen – “Tio Bitar” (2007): Swedish ’70s rockers Dungen pound psychedelic grooves and spazzing-fuzz jamming into the eardrums. What are they saying? I don’t know, but it sure sounds good. Tracks: “Intro,” “Gor Det Nu”

Belle & Sebastian – “The Boy with the Arab Strap” (1998): This melancholy pop stuff is filled with unresolved and subtle sexual tensions and lulling, beautiful apathy. Tracks: “Is It Wicked Not To Care?” “The Boy with the Arab Strap”

The Elected – “Sun, Sun, Sun” (2006): With The Elected, a short-lived, romantic late ’60s-style pop is dragged back by two of the boys from well-known indie kids Rilo Kiley. Tracks: “Fireflies in a Steel Mill,” “Did Me Good”

Sun Kil Moon – “Ghosts of The Great Highway” (2003): Sun Kil Moon crafts an amazingly bittersweet work full of longing melodies and inner turmoil. Tracks: “Carry Me Ohio,” “Last Tide”

Sigur Ros – “( )” (2003): Sigur Ros takes the listener on a journey through glacial, Icelandic passages and haunting lyrics to a collection of mystical, untitled songs written in a language contrived by the group themselves. Tracks: “Untitled 1,” “Untitled 3”

The Muggs – “The Muggs” (2005): The Muggs’ self-titled debut has all the riffs to pump you up and all the careless jamming necessary to head-bang along with. Tracks: “Gonna Need My Help,” “Rollin’ B-Sides Blues”

My Morning Jacket – “It Still Moves” (2003): My Morning Jacket comes across with strangely upbeat, dark lyrics and sour Rolling Stones guitar licks. Tracks: “Mahgeetah,” “Easy Morning Rebel,” “Run Thru”

Omar Rodriguez – “Omar Rodriguez” (2005): A dizzying array of fusion jazz and acid jamming recalls “Bitches Brew”-era Miles Davis, only with stranger track names. Tracks: “Regenbogen stelen van prostituees,” “Jacob Van Lennepkade”

Mahavishnu Orchestra – “The Inner Mounting Flame” (1971): Bandleader John “Mahavishnu” McLaughlin puts in another stellar, organic jazz performance with this dense-yet-beautiful collection of compositions. Tracks: “Meeting of The Spirits,” “A Lotus on Irish Streams”

Ryan Adams & The Cardinals – “Jacksonville City Nights” (2005): Ryan Adams sure knows how to crank out the tunes, sometimes releasing three or four albums per year. This album does stand out as one of his more concerted and successful excursions into country blues and rock ‘n’ roll, even featuring Norah Jones on one track. Tracks: “Dear John,” “The Hardest Part”