AbsolutePunk.net

AbsolutePunk.net (http://www.absolutepunk.net/forum.php)
-  News (http://www.absolutepunk.net/forumdisplay.php?f=165)
  -  Thursday Discussion: Albums That Met (Or Exceeded) Your Lofty Expectations (http://www.absolutepunk.net/showthread.php?t=2752272)

Jason Tate 05/17/12 03:29 PM

Thursday Discussion: Albums That Met (Or Exceeded) Your Lofty Expectations
 
I don't always know what I am going to write about for each week's Thursday Discussion. Sometimes there will be an event throughout the week that is just perfect for a starting point of inspiration for what I want to write about. Sometimes I'm looking at a bunch of random ideas I have stored in a notebook. This week my inspiration comes from a blog post I wrote late last night. I was trying to figure out what I wanted to say about the new The Gaslight Anthem album, trying to figure out exactly how I wanted to word a post about the album, band, and my thoughts on it. I haven't written a full on album review in a long time (apparently to Drew's chagrin) -- I enjoy being able to just open up on a completely personal level instead of worrying about how to tackle a review from a more critical or objective viewpoint. I like being able to just flat out talk about the music and how it hits me ... instead of worrying about some of the politics that go into "official album reviews" (introduce band, worry about scoring, blahbalhablah). And I enjoy being able to talk about my evolution in how I feel about an album. What my "first impressions" are ... how they evolve with time ... and then come back and revisit an album a year or so down the road and see if I still feel the same way. Music, to me, is a journey.

So, with that, what I picked for today's topic is a look at those albums that have met my expectations over the years. We spend a lot of time in the forums (too much?) talking about the albums that we are expecting to be great, and how they don't live up to expectations. We call them "sophomore slumps" or complain about the singer being too happy now. Or we talk about the albums that really "grew on us" over time and how we learned to love them. But, for once, I wanted to really focus on those albums that I wanted to be something special from the first listen - and were. The ones that I was hoping were going to knock me on my ass - and did. The ones that my first impression of "holy shit" ended up standing the test of time five years later. I don't know how Handwritten will do on that time frame, but it's clearly now in the running.

So, here are the top albums that lived up to my expectations when I first heard them -- I'd love to hear your thoughts in the replies, or give me a rundown of the albums that would be on your list.

1) Thrice - Vheissu
NoteAfter listening to Thrice's The Artist in the Ambulance, I was anticipating their new album in a bad way. I remember knowing that it was going to be "different" ... but I was ready for whatever they were going to throw at me. That album hit me like thunderclap. Just massive. From the first listen through I was captivated. It ended up being a "grower" album for a lot of people ... but for me ... my expectations were insanely high and from first listen I couldn't believe how much better the album was than I even thought it could be. This one continues to hold up quite well for me. Passionate. Thick. Great album.

2) Brand New - Deja Entendu
NoteI feel like I bring this album up a lot in these discussions. It seems that anytime I am talking about an album that shaped my life or moved me ... this one has to be in the running. It sounds weird to say, but upon first listen I knew we had a classic on our hands. I got called out for my overhyping of the album pretty mercilessly at the time. But I feel like time has vindicated me on this one. I was hoping for a great album ... and I got one of my favorite albums of all time.

3) Fall Out Boy - From Under the Cork Tree
NoteI remember thinking "please be good, please be good, please be good" ... hitting play ... and having a smile on my face for pretty much the entire album. It was that smile of "this band was about to be one of the biggest in the world" mixed with "damn, they wrote a really great album." They set the bar pretty high with TTTYG , and I was a worried they'd wouldn't be up to the task. I think the band had been poised as "next big thing" for a year or so and the expectations were that anything else would just not compute. They stepped up, called their shot ... and sent it over the fence.

4) Blink 182 - Enema of the State
NoteDude Ranch was nothing short of life-changing. So how does a band meet my expectations after that? Eh, just go out and make arguably the best pop-punk album of all time. No big deal. Just another day in the life of Blink 182.

5) Bon Iver - Bon Iver
NoteAs one of the newer albums on the list - it just feels too important to pass up. This was a situation where after all of the hype and buzz about the first two releases, I wasn't sure it was even possible for the album to meet expectations. Where I thought it would just flat out have to be one of the best albums of the entire year ... or it would be seen as a massive disappointment. First listen through just flat out blew me away. What an album.

6) Jimmy Eat World - Futures
NoteThere were all kinds of rumors around this one ... because of the producer change, the "Trombino sessions," and the hype coming off of their previous album. I would say it it's in my top 5 of "most anticipated" -- and that first listen payed off like a "top 5 album" should.

7) Death Cab for Cutie - Plans
NoteThe anticipation over this album was at fever-pitch. I think just about everyone on this website at the time was wanting this one ... after they started to see mainstream success with Transatlanticism, I think we were all curious what direction they'd take. This album remains one of the more powerfully emotive albums in my collection. That first time you hear "I Will Follow You Into The Dark"? Yeah, expectations met.

ACA 05/17/12 03:34 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Kurt Retenauer (Post 108120202)
Fun. - Some Nights


One of the few wrong answers to this question.

Jason, I agree with most of your picks. I'd put Sing the Sorrow on this list.

gregplaysdrums 05/17/12 03:35 PM

Anberlin's "Cities."
There were so many opportunities to download a leaked version of this record early, but I was looking forward to it so much that I decided to hold off and experience it all at once, on CD. It was worth the wait for me. I remember instantly falling in love with it. It's still my favorite of theirs.

animefan13LPfn1 05/17/12 03:36 PM

Definitely agree on FUTCT.

Also, my friend was building up "The '59 Sound" for me, telling me how awesome it was, how I needed to listen to it, etc. Needless to say I had ridiculously high expectations, and when I finally did listen to it, I was blown away.

Erik the Orange 05/17/12 03:36 PM

Blink-182- "Neighborhoods"

Say what you want, but this album is better than a lot of fans give it credit for. "Kaleidoscope," "Wishing Well" and "Even if She Walls" are some really great cuts.

anamericangod 05/17/12 03:37 PM

Deja is the obvious answer, as nobody really could have predicted how monumental it ended up.

As for very recent releases, Yellowcard's When You're Through Thinking, Say Yes totally took me by surprise. I thought those guys were washed up, especially after all I'd heard about for some time was the fact that Ryan was hanging out in college bars in Georgia and experiencing some sort of existential crisis. I'd go as far to say that that's now my favorite Yellowcard album. I never would have guessed they could pull that off after how their career had gone.

Butch Walker's Letters blew my mind even though I was a huge fan of Left of Self Centered. It was a Deja-like step up for him. Keeping the bits and pieces of what made him him, but then taking it to another level in an almost transcendental way. One of my favorite albums of all time.

North by Something Corporate more than met my expectations after Leaving Through The Window. Better songwriting, more of an edge, still catchy as hell.

The World We Know by I Can Make A Mess Like Nobody's Business totally blows the debut album out of the water. The best Ace Enders release to date.

Mirrorsandfevers 05/17/12 03:37 PM

I agree with a lot of these. What's the story with Futures though? I never heard of one.

RyanFTW 05/17/12 03:38 PM

The Menzingers - On the Impossible Past

AFI - Sing the Sorrow

Hot Water Music - Exister

The Gaslight Anthem - The 59' Sound

Modest Mouse - We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank

Shook Ones - The Unquotable A.M.H. (Wild Card Pick)

Blake Solomon 05/17/12 03:38 PM

Manchester Orchestra's Simple Math comes to mind instantly.

Anberlin's Never Take Friendship Personal and also Cities.

i'll ahve to think of some more later.

Blake Solomon 05/17/12 03:39 PM

oh, Why?'s Alopecia

Mirrorsandfevers 05/17/12 03:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ACA (Post 108120312)
One of the few wrong answers to this question.

Jason, I agree with most of your picks. I'd put Sing the Sorrow on this list.

Oh you.

Thomas Nassiff 05/17/12 03:40 PM

This topic is perfect for the way I felt about American Slang.

Ryan Gardner 05/17/12 03:41 PM

Lost In The Sound Of Separation comes to mind immediately. Wasn't sure how UO could have a record as killer as Define - and wow did they do it again.

Coughlin's Law 05/17/12 03:41 PM

The Smashing Pumpkins - Siamese Dream and Mellon Collie & The Infinite Sadness.

After Gish, I expected big things from them and they didn't disappoint. I didn't think I could be moved like I was with Siamese Dream, especially when the rumors of a double album started to leak, but damn if Billy didn't pull it off with MC&TIS. This is the only band of my youth that didn't let me down with their first 3 albums. (4 if you count Pisces Iscariot, but it wasn't a true "new" release)

RyanFTW 05/17/12 03:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Thomas Nassiff (Post 108120662)
This topic is perfect for the way I felt about American Slang.

Album was on some kind of different level.

blimpcityhero11 05/17/12 03:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Kurt Retenauer (Post 108120202)
Also, Relient K - Forget and Not Slow Down. I thought it'd be more of the same fun RK, but it was a much more personal and straight up great album than I ever expected it to be.

Good call.. While I did enjoy Five Score, I thought it was pretty thematically weak. Forget and Not Slow Down fully restored my faith in this band though.

Kanye West - My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
I remember setting the bar low after all the controversy and stylistic change on 808s & Heartbreak. However, he blew me away, and it's undoubtedly my favorite album.

Taking Back Sunday - Where You Want To Be
I think we were all blown away by TAYF. I didn't think they'd be able to craft a follow-up that could be nearly as good, but they proved me wrong. I remember I was sold on this album one listen through and it didn't leave my album rotation for months.

RyanFTW 05/17/12 03:42 PM

Blink 182 - Self Titled

irthesteve 05/17/12 03:42 PM

Some Nights for sure, and Dog Problems in that case

conschweis 05/17/12 03:42 PM

The Strokes- Room on Fire
After releasing "Is This It?" all eyes were on the strokes and they really put out a record that some argue is even better than their debut.

The Wonder Years- Suburbia
I actually enjoy this record more than the Upsides. Shows progress while still keeping their style. I don't get the whole "Deja Entendu" similarities that people suggest because I think that Brand New put out a record that literally nobody expected.

Red Hot Chili Peppers - Californication
After recruiting John Frusciante back, this was a album that really launched them to worldwide superstardum after the horrible "One Hot Minute"

Drake- Take Care (I know I'm going to take heat for this one)
His debut album was huge and to come back with another great album. Drake isn't for everyone but for the ones who love him. This was amazing.

Tim McCall 05/17/12 03:42 PM

I agree with most of your list, but I would throw The Format - Dog Problems on there instead of Thrice. Maybe Coheed's second album too or Owen - At Home With. Wow, my tastes have changed a lot over the years.

irthesteve 05/17/12 03:44 PM

Relient K - mmhmm
Kanye West - MBDTF
Sufjan Stevens - Age of Adz

georgedcc 05/17/12 03:45 PM

Bjork - Biophillia

Her previous album, Volta is unquestionably her worst album, so I was a little nervous for this album. The fact that she'd had to learn a completely different technique of singing and the fact that it was going to be released as a series of apps worried me. Turns out it was brilliant, probably my favourite album that was released in 2011. It isn't quite as good as her 'classic' stuff, but not much is.

Bruce Springsteen - Wrecking Ball

Similar story to Bjork. Working On A Dream was pretty poor for Bruce's standards, so I was concerned about Wrecking Ball. It's probably the best thing he's released in 20+ years. Fantastic album and fantastic return to form.

First two that I thought of.

t00latef0rr0ses 05/17/12 03:45 PM

As Cities Burn - Come Now Sleep. Wasnt sure how it was going to sound with removing the hardcore aspects from the band, but it is an amazing album.

Good Old War - Only Way to Be Alone. Love me some Days Away and wasnt sure what to expect from any new projects they started. One of my favorite bands now.

Edit: Add on Bring Me The Horizon - There is a Hell.... Hated their first release, but they definitely progressed a lot with this album.

anamericangod 05/17/12 03:46 PM

Thursday - War All The Time

PetitnaindesÎles 05/17/12 03:47 PM

hmmmm first answers that come to mind :

Thursday - No Devoluçion
i didn't know what to expect because Common Existence was all over the place... but it just blew me away
And So I Watch You From Afar - Gangs
As Tall As Lions - You Can't Take It With You
Alice In Chains - Black Gives Way To Blue
Glassjaw - Coloring Book
Underoath - O Disambiguation

Voiles 05/17/12 03:47 PM

The Graduate - Only Every Time
Circa Survive - Blue Sky Noise
Bayside - Killing Time
Thursday - No Devolución
The Dangerous Summer - War Paint

Rodeo 05/17/12 03:49 PM


Float Upstream 05/17/12 03:50 PM

The Cab's "Symphony Soldier"

Holly HoX! 05/17/12 03:51 PM

Sufjan Stevens - Age of Adz
Arcade Fire - both NB and TS
Fleet Foxes - HB
The Shins - PoM
Broken Social Scene -FRR
The Antlers - Burst Apart

CemO 05/17/12 03:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Erik the Orange (Post 108120422)
Blink-182- "Neighborhoods"

Say what you want, but this album is better than a lot of fans give it credit for.


Yes. This. 100%. Blew me away, wasn't expecting such an awesome album after hearing Up All Night but it turned out to be the album that reaffirmed blink as my favourite band. Love it.

Jason Tate 05/17/12 03:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mirrorsandfevers (Post 108120482)
I agree with a lot of these. What's the story with Futures though? I never heard of one.

That’s just all old shit, man. Time goes on. The whole Futures thing, when we started making a record with Mark [Trombino], we were nowhere near ready to start making a record. It was an unfortunate result of a lot of bad decisions in the way things ended up. It doesn’t matter. I wouldn’t want to work with people who aren’t extremely passionate about their ideas and their contributions, as long as in the back of your head everyone knows they’re on the same side. Everyone’s trying to make the best song recording possible. Things can get really heated in the battle for that, but in the end everyone’s on the same side.

http://www.absolutepunk.net/showthread.php?t=1934912

fsmith84 05/17/12 03:52 PM

Muse - Black Holes and Revelations. After Absolution, they had nowhere to go but down, and they found a new stratosphere instead.

brettswanny 05/17/12 03:54 PM

Honestly, for me, that album was The Black Parade from MCR. Three Cheers was an eye opener for me and I was praying their next release would be just as epic. Was not disappointed. Oh one more I just thought of! Catalyst from NFG. GREAT album!

low_rising 05/17/12 03:55 PM

underoath- disambiguation
tdwp - dead throne
circa survive - on letting go
la dispute - wildlife
the republic of wolves- varuna

Alex DiVincenzo 05/17/12 03:56 PM

New Found Glory - Stick and Stones
The Wonder Years - Suburbia
Punchline - 37 Everywhere

iheartmusic043 05/17/12 03:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Float Upstream (Post 108121152)
The Cab's "Symphony Soldier"


This x100. I expected it to be kind of "eh" since they only had a few good tracks on their debut but boy was I wrong. Such an underrated album.

Zack Zarrillo 05/17/12 03:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Erik the Orange (Post 108120422)
Blink-182- "Neighborhoods"

Say what you want, but this album is better than a lot of fans give it credit for. "Kaleidoscope," "Wishing Well" and "Even if She Walls" are some really great cuts.

Love this album so much. Didn't disappoint me one bit. It's actually exactly what I expected, and that's sometimes better than getting..an album that you didn't expect to be incredible because you're not letdown at all. Kalediscope will be one of my favorite blink songs

gonfreaks 05/17/12 03:58 PM

Saves the Day - Daybreak

ThaRealNC 05/17/12 03:59 PM

A few that jump to mind for me that I had very high expectations for:

Eisley - The Valley
Emery - The Question
Mayday Parade - A Lesson in Romantics
Paramore - brand new eyes
Relient K - MMHMM
Saosin - Saosin
Underoath - Define the Great Line
Yellowcard - When You're Through Thinking, Say Yes

Define the Great Line would probably be #1 for me. They were already my favorite band at the time, and the hype leading up to that release was pretty insane (video playing on MTV, constant articles and interviews, a leak of the unmastered version, etc). Totally surpassed my already sky-high expectations at the time.

Holly HoX! 05/17/12 03:59 PM

AGE OF ADZ

Probably my favorite album of 2010 looking back now

pennie 05/17/12 04:01 PM

damien rice - 9
matt nathanson - some mad hope
saves the day - daybreak
my chemical romance - danger days
william fitzsimmons - the sparrow and the crow

InaGreendase 05/17/12 04:02 PM

War All the Time.

Career Suicide.

Deja, but it took 10 listens.

Devil and God, but it took 2-3.

New Daytrader and MDaM records.

PermanentTourists 05/17/12 04:02 PM

Kanye West - Late Registration
Fun. - Some Nights
The Format - Dog Problems
Hailey, It Happens - Aurora
Kendrick Lamar - Section. 80
Schoolboy Q - Habits & Contradictions
Menomena - Friend and Foe
Menomena - Mines
Mickey Factz - Mickey MauSe

and the one that exceeded it the most is Drake - Take Care

TAI182 05/17/12 04:03 PM

Blitzkid - Apparitional

randys950 05/17/12 04:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by zack-182 (Post 108121562)
Love this album so much. Didn't disappoint me one bit. It's actually exactly what I expected, and that's sometimes better than getting..an album that you didn't expect to be incredible because you're not letdown at all. Kalediscope will be one of my favorite blink songs

true
although fighting the gravity is about the only song i ever skip when i play this album

----
as for albums that exceeded/met my expectations...i'd have to go with the forever sickest kids self titled album, afi-december underground, say anything-anarchy my dear

and for some weird reason i have high expectations for the new mest album

blazike911 05/17/12 04:04 PM

one that caught me very surprised because of my immense love for first album....

The Dangerous Summer - War Paint

Jason Tate 05/17/12 04:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Holly HoX! (Post 108121682)
AGE OF ADZ

Probably my favorite album of 2010 looking back now

While a good album -- it didn't hit me like I thought it would. I was thinking it would be great from day one ... and I had to grow into it.

bananabread 05/17/12 04:05 PM

The Chariot-Long Live
Touche Amore-PTSBBAM
Caravels-Well Worn
Trampled by Turtles-Star and Satellites
Now, Now-Threads
Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers-Mojo
Thursday-A City by the Light Divided

Jason Tate 05/17/12 04:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by InaGreendase (Post 108121792)
War All the Time.

Career Suicide
.

Deja, but it took 10 listens.

Devil and God, but it took 2-3.

New Daytrader and MDaM records.

:nod:

Shit, that shoulda been mine! Haha.

Jason Tate 05/17/12 04:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by randys950 (Post 108121912)
true
although fighting the gravity is about the only song i ever skip when i play this album

----
as for albums that exceeded/met my expectations...i'd have to go with the forever sickest kids self titled album, afi-december underground, say anything-anarchy my dear

and for some weird reason i have high expectations for the new mest album

Might be the first time I've seen someone say this.

My expectations for SA have been too high I think over the past few albums.