Hopping on the bandwagon of top album lists, here's a few albums I'm currently digging a lot. Not always the best. Not always new. Not always any particular genre. Not always even my favorites of all time. But sweet albums I'm enjoying.
Album: The Holy Open Secret
Artist: Hoots and Hellmouth
Genre: Vaguely Rockish Folk/Americana
A recent discovery of mine, despite being signed to a record label close to my heart, Hoots and Hellmouth have definitely impressed me. I'm not normally big on folk-rock, but these guys do it right. The songs range from mellow and relaxing of "Ne'er Do Well" to the boot-stamping fun of the very next track ("What Good Are Plowshares If We Use Them Like Swords"). A definite must-listen.
Album: Lightbulb Sun
Artist: Porcupine Tree
Genre: Crossover Prog
The first half of the album is as close to mainstream rock and pop as Porcupine Tree ever got (a characteristic they have used frequently in their later albums), but it still never wholly gives up on the experimental and progressive rock tendencies that they are known for. The second half takes a more psychedelic and experimental turn, yet doesn't wholly abandon the poppy and rock tendencies. Both halves are equally awesome. "Shesmovedon" is, without a doubt, my favorite Porcupine Tree song, and this version is the classic (though the version on Deadwing isn't bad).
Album: Sacrifice and Bliss
Artist: Stinking Lizaveta
I think I may be the first to proclaim Stinking Lizaveta as avant-garde, but there really isn't any other way to appropriately describe the mix of stoner metal, jazz, math rock, and everything else these guys blend into their music. It may be instrumental, but their songs tell a story. This latest release is my favorite of theirs, and will sure to keep spinning for quite some time.
More albums to come later. Each set will be in their own post, so you can see what albums I'm digging each time I post.