Well, This is Just Too Much Fun To Pass Up
Thanks Tom! And, like Tom, I'll (mostly) try and avoid the albums I've already plugged in other posts.
Agnus Dei - Various Artists
A really lovely collection of choral pieces sung by boy choir.
Big Daddy - John Mellencamp
A nicely understated Mellencamp album, very underrated.
Crossroads - Tracy Chapman
Chapman's second album, as is the usual with artists whose first albums hit big, underwhelmed. And yet there's some really lovely stuff on this.
De Profundis - Arvo Part
Probably my favorite Part collection.
Elaine Stritch at Liberty - Elaine Stritch
Part one-woman show, part concert, and remarkably engrossing.
Freedom - Neil Young
One his most solid albums, with the soft/hard bookends of "Rockin' in the Free
Graceland - Paul Simon
A landmark album.
Hold Me to This - Christopher O'Riley
Classical piano versions of Radiohead songs.
Il Sogno - Elvis Costello
Elvis' ballet score, the rare example of a pop artist writing "classical" music and doing it well.
John Wesley Harding - Bob Dylan
Lesser Dylan is still damn good.
Kid A - Radiohead
Artsy-fartsy, but not too.
The Last Five Years - Jason Robert Brown
A tight, ingeniously structured little two-character musical.
Munich - John Williams
Williams' best score since Schindler's List
Nixon in China - John Adams
A propulsive, mesmerizing opera.
On Every Street - Dire Straits
Dire Straits' last album, a fine farewell.
Porgy and Bess - Gershwin
Still the definitive American opera.
Queen II - Queen
Early Queen, before they got as poppy as they did.
Ragtime - Flaherty and Ahrens
One of the best old-school, heart-on-the-sleeve musical theater scores.
Sneakers - James Horner
A moody, sneaky little scofre.
Time's Up - Living Colour
Another underappreciated second album.
Unsung Sondheim - Sondheim
A great collection of lost Sondheim songs.
A View from the Bridge - William Bolcom
The right Arthur Miller play to turn into an opera, based as it is on Greek tragedy structure.
The Wild Party - Michael John La Chiusa
A wonderful pastiche of a score, with an angry, impassioned performabce by Mandy Patinkin at its core
XO - Elliot Smith
A lesson in songwriting craft.
Yankee Hotel Foxtrot - Wilco
Not as good as the hype, but a fine album
Zooropa - U2
The saving grace of finding a "z."