Best "Every single person should have this great album" Album:
Radiohead "In Rainbows"
This album should be owned by everybody. It doesn't matter if you like Radiohead or even rock & roll. Everybody should own this incredible album. The only way I can understand someone not having this is that they don't own a computer. Why? Because it was free. Radiohead introduced a radical shift in the music industry by letting people pay what they wanted for the album, including nothing at all. Now millions of people download the crappy "Free Single of the Week" on iTunes, and here was arguably the most important band in rock & roll releasing their most accessable, romantic and beautiful album in over a decade for free. Even if you don't listen to contemporary music, by downloading this album you could participate in a revolution of the music industry, not to mention an interesting sociological experiment of "what is music worth?". If you've ever complained about how expensive cd's are then this was your chance to shake things up. The most important thing is the music though. This is a great Radiohead album, they haven't sounded this relaxed and comfortable since, well, forever. And while I've loved Radiohead's "difficult" electronic albums, it's refreshing to hear them pick up their guitars again and write some beautiful melodies that you'd catch your mother humming. That this album was so incredible will make this Radiohead "experiment" truly jump-start this tired, jurassic industry.
Best "State of the Union by the Most Important New Band" Album
Arcade Fire "Neon Bible"
The Arcade Fire are truly one of the most brilliant bands out there and I believe the most important band of this decade. They are our Clash. They are our U2. They are the band that will define this generation, they will matter. They're also one of the greatest live bands I've ever seen: I've seen them three times and they've left me feeling like a part of something while converting the non-believers each time. Their second album, "Neon Bible" is a darker, gloomier and more introspective affair than their previous release, "Funeral". And that album was called Funeral. It's a battle cry against corrupt religions, with their false prophets in sheep's clothing, leading men to fulfill their own selfish desires and objectives. But the album shimmers with hope for a better way, promising to take us to a land where "No Cars Go" to set up our own Utopia. I can't wait to see where they take us next.
You are what you like.