5 Favorite Albums

The post title speaks for itself, so without further ado, here are my five favorite albums as of February 2020:

5. John Fogerty (1975) – John Fogerty 

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As a solo artist, John Fogerty never sounded as much like CCR as he did on his eponymous sophomore record. 
Uptempo anthem “Rockin’ All Over the World” and swampy “The Wall” both sound like they could’ve been from one of Creedence’s ’69 or ’70 masterpieces. Meanwhile, “Travelin’ High” plays like a funkier sequel to “Travelin’ Band,” and “Where the River Flows,” though not Fogerty’s most ground-breaking writing, is a fine country/rock ballad. Also as with CCR records, the cover selections here are excellent, featuring Fogerty belting out his own renditions of “You Rascal You,” “Lonely Teardrops,” and “Sea Cruise.” 
Unfortunately, the self-titled release was also the last time on an official album that Fogerty’s vocals were unmistakably recognizable as belonging to “the Creedence guy.” But that status as the last bastion of Fogerty’s classic sound is probably the biggest draw for me.
4. Get Born (2003) – Jet

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The Aussie rock ’n’ roller’s debut is a classic rock fan’s dream. 
From harder-edged Chuck Berrian sounds (“Are You Gonna Be My Girl?”), to pop/rock ballads seemingly ripped straight from The Beatles’ catalog (“Look What You’ve Done”), to Dylanesque country/folk ballads (“Move On”), the album sported one catchy, memorable, and listenable tune after another during a time when such a combination was scarce to come by. (Not that it’s any less rare now.) 
Though some may find the songs too derivative (or down right thieved), or point out that others had already done it better, I found Jet’s “new old music” on Get Born to be a breath of fresh air in the 2000s—and I still do today.
[Language warning on a couple of tracks.]
3. Redux (2019) – Me!

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Now, I know what you’re thinking—narcissism, shameless, cheap self-promotion—but bare with me. 
When I first started writing songs, I thought all of them were great just because they were songs. It wasn’t long before I realized that wasn’t the case, and I started making a concerted effort to detach myself from the perspective of creator and view the work from other vantage points. During the writing process, I began casting my eye as a music critic, attempting to determine the quality of creative choices while crafting the music. Then, after the songs were completed, I assumed the perspective of a music fan, asking the simple question, “If this were somebody else’s music, would I like it?” Although it’s been 6-9 years since their original composition, in the case of the Redux songs, the answer to that question is a resounding “yes.” 
I still like them. No, I love them, and that isn’t something I can say about every song I’ve produced. The tracks combine many of the elements I like most about music (piano pop/rock, acoustic folk, blues, ‘90s alternative), and, sonically, the Redux mixes/masters are the best the tunes have sounded. 
(And now for a true display of shameless, cheap promotion, check out these sweet liner notes for more album info!)
2. Abbey Road (1969) – The Beatles

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Though Let It Be was post-produced and released later, Abbey Road is truly The Beatles’ last record. And what a record it is! 
From classics “Come Together,” “Something,” and “Here Comes the Sun,” to an 8-song medley on the flip side, preceded by the haunting, 3-part. 9-vocal harmony track, “Because,” there isn’t a skipper in the bunch. The album also contains my favorite Beatles song of all time, “Maxwell’s Silver Hammer.” I know many hated the track (John Lennon included!), but lyrics about a serial killer set to a peppy, vaudevillian jaunt? Now, who wouldn’t love that? Ok. Well. I still like it and think it’s genius. 
In short, I’m not sure there could’ve been a better swan song, or swan album, for the legendary group than Abbey Road. 
1. Cosmo’s Factory (1970) – Creedence Clearwater Revival

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My favorite album of all time by my favorite band of all time, containing my favorite song of all time.
For me, Cosmo’s Factory is the cream of the crop. In addition to the six—yes, SIX—Billboard Top 10 hits on the record (“Travelin’ Band,” Who’ll Stop the Rain,” Up Around the Bend,” “Run Through the Jungle,” “Lookin’ Out My Back Door,” and my afore-referenced all-time favorite, “Long As I Can See the Light”), Cosmo’s also sports the original rockabilly/progressive-ish rock hybrid “Ramble Tamble” and an 11-minute jam version of “I Heard It Through the Grapevine.” 
What else do I need to say? Cosmo’s is simply the best of the best. 
Honorable Mention:

I had quite a difficult time deciding between John Fogerty and The Beatles’ White Album for the #5 slot. Though Fogerty won out, if I had to choose only one of the two albums to listen to exclusively forever, I would sorely miss “Rocky Raccoon.”