According to the forum-wide search bar, it's been... never since we last had one of these threads, which seems like a colossal oversight. I mean, we've had a "best band ever" thread (a long while ago, but still) so I think it's time we corrected this!
My favourite albums have been fluctuating for a while - I have a few mainstays of my list which I'm pretty sure will remain there forever-more, but for a long while it was Origin of Symmetry, by Muse. However, another contender has been slowly climbing the ranks for a long time now, and finally reached the top recently when I realised I couldn't deny it any longer. It's...
Yeah it's Viva la Vida by Coldplay in case you're too lazy to open the spoiler (which I can't see being possible, but it's worth accounting for all possibilities).
Anyway, this is an album that I liked when I first heard it, several years ago. Ever since then, though, it's been slowly growing on me - first it crept into my top 10 list, then I found it edging in front of OK Computer on my top 5, then I realised it was my most played album and finally realised nothing else gave me quite the same level of joy when listening to it.
What I love most about it is that, despite having listened to it fully 17 times on my iTunes/iPod alone since I got my new hard drive (about a year ago, that was - most of the listens are recent), I discover something new pretty much every time I listen to it. It's got the best production I've ever heard - the kind that's inseparable from the song, where you can't imagine how the song would sound without it because they complement each other so perfectly. And there are these little touches which push the songs above perfection into ascendancy - for instance, after the guitar solo in Cemeteries Of London (incidentally one of my favourites ever), this barely audible humming sets in in the background - it doesn't have much effect through your average computer speakers, but when listening through iPod headphones (which pick up so much more) it produces this effect I've never heard replicated, makes the song sound heavenly and gives me goosebumps every time. It's capable of distracting me from whatever I'm doing at the time, because I just get so lost in it... it's beautiful. And it's not just on this song - the attention to detail everywhere on the album is staggering.
And it helps that the songs are brilliant - this album's chock full of some of my favourite riffs, be they guitar or otherwise. It's also the first time Coldplay really do feel like a proper band. The drumming is far superior to previous albums, and the basslines take a while to sink in - but you'll be glad when they do. Then there's the controversial matter of the lyrics - Tiresias dislikes many of them, but personally, I think they do a great job of supplementing the song's general feel. Which is what I feel lyrics should be, really - I don't want them getting in the way of the actual music, and these ones do not. Most of them seem meaningless when divested from the actual song, but within the song, they serve excellently as another instrument. What does "Now my feet won't touch the ground" mean? Oh, I dunno - I don't care, either, because in the context of the song it's one of the most touching and moving things anyone could have said, and a favourite line of mine. And then finally, there's the sequencing, which is totally perfect - masterfully paced (putting the sleek, exotic "Yes" after the lovely little ditty "Reign of Love" stands out). This and the production makes the whole thing stick together brilliantly - all the songs which worked well as singles work even better in their respective places on the album.
Anyway, other favourite albums include, in no order:
Muse - Origin of Symmetry
Radiohead - OK Computer
Sparklehorse - Good Morning Spider
Linkin Park - A Thousand Suns
Pink Floyd - Wish You Were Here
Faunts - M4 (thanks for reminding me winder)
And now for you guys. What are some of your favourite albums?