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Old 04-12-2021, 12:40 PM   #2 (permalink)
Marie Monday
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great idea, of course I'll do Sleater-Kinney. Albums are also roughly ranked within each tier.


S Tier
Either Dig Me Out or The Woods could be #1, it's basically a shared 1st place.

Dig Me Out (1997) - Where S-K perfected their punk sound into something highly sophisticated and powerful. The music is full of brilliant moments: a well-constructed anxiety and heartbreak trip as a whole, engaging from beginning to end, but every song is very strong and individually memorable (Heart Factory being the only semi-weak link). The subject matter has also matured: this is the perfect break up album.

The Woods (2005) - Strictly speaking this is probably my favourite; the unexpected ****ed up, swaggering, hurricane-like take on Led Zeppelin (although comparing it to Led Zeppelin is almost an injustice to this album) which also happens to be deeply moving. Everyone in the band is being an absolute powerhouse here. It's experimental (in a way) and takes risks, but somehow it also has virtually no weaknesses. Underrated moment: the absolutely gorgeous interlude in Rollercoaster.

A Tier

The Hot Rock (1999) - With the previous album being a perfect punk album, this one chooses complexity as the way forward. Relatively quiet and introspective, it's an album of intricately intertwined instruments and voices. That comes at the cost of the immediacy of their previous albums, meaning that it can sound a bit aimless at first, but it slowly unfolds its logic and brilliance and is relatively rewarding in the long run. It contains many of S-K's most beautiful songs.

Call The Doctor (1996) - Here is where the ranking starts to get difficult. Placing Call The Doctor here is largely a matter of personal preference, I suppose, but it is pretty much the perfect riot grrrl album: an immensely fierce and catchy burst of energy, and relatively consistent in quality. And of course I Wanna Be Your Joey Ramone is iconic. And Carrie still screams bloody murder here.


B Tier

One Beat (2002) - I feel like this one is usually slightly overrated compared to other S-K albums: it gets credit for being the brave album about 9-11 and motherhood leading up to The Woods, but I think people tend to forget how uneven the second half is. Still even the lesser songs have plenty of merits, and the best songs here are incredible. Combat Rock alone would make this a good album, and Oh! is so goofy it shouldn't work, but somehow it really does.

No Cities To Love (2013) - Fresh, streamlined, and coherent, I feel like you can tell the band considered this a high-stakes comeback album: it sounds like it was tweaked and perfected until the more doubtful bits were peeled off and a strong unified result remained. That means it's one of their most consistent albums, but also less adventurous and varied.

All Hands On The Bad One (2000) - This one is underrated, although I admit that I'm partial to it (I probably like it better than the two albums above). There are many fantastic songs here: Youth Decay has all the qualities of a song from Dig Me Out (but wrapped in the sound of this album), You're No Rock & Roll Fun is delightful, and so is Milkshake And Honey. As a whole it's uneven and they can get preachy (a trap they normally avoid) but most of the lesser songs here have at least some brilliant little moment making it worthwhile.

C Tier

Sleater-Kinney (1995) - This one is a rough diamond, sloppy but promising and brutal like a kick in the nuts. Corin sings about angels in the sky, Carrie sings about how sucking dick sucks. Good times.

The Center Won't Hold (2019) - I've talked about this one in more detail when it came out. It's less powerful, sophisticated and original than their other albums, lacking some essential things that made the band great. It has some great moments though.
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Last edited by Marie Monday; 04-12-2021 at 12:52 PM.
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