Is This It? (9 Backlashed Albums that We Really Want to Bring Back)


We’ve all experienced the tummy-ache that inevitably follows over-indulgence (I can’t believe anyone EVER listened to Lou Bega, let alone on radio repeat). But what happens when a supposedly forgettable singer just won’t die? Is it possible that, within some overplayed albums, there’s an enduring piece of art? Head on down for nine records that, upon reconsideration, have forced us to turn back on our own backlash.

1. The Strokes – Is This It In the early aughts, you couldn’t escape these subtle rock slackers. As the band has become ever-more grandiose, their debut’s simple shine has burned all the more brightly.

2. Anything By Hall & Oates The subject of a thousand pre-PC, post-punk epithets, Hall & Oates have actually weathered pretty well. The recent Yacht Rock revolution may be 85% ironic, but that still means it’s 15% in earnest.

3. Fleetwood Mac – Rumours Next to H&O, this may be the slickest record in existence, but, repeat listens reveal a seething drama below. Beneath the pristine production and unassailable hooks, a handful of intriguing cocaine dreams and love affairs are afoot.

4. TLC – Crazy, Sexy, Cool Sure, we’ve been busy chasing waterfalls, but a return to this unbelievably overplayed album reveals a genuine mesh of sweet melody, hard-to-trash hooks, and thoughtful pop lyricism. How ’bout it? Let’s all raise it up for Left Eye.

5. The Cranberries – No Need to Argue While listening to too much “Zombie” is still annoying (ZOMBIEZOMBIEZOMBI BIE BIE!!), the non-singles is actually a pretty soothing experience. This band had a lot more depth (not to mention range) than I remember.

6. Pearl Jam – Ten Even neo-grunge is over and Eddie Vedder’s decision to reunite for a new, watered-down record is almost as ill-advised as when Pearl Jam released 6000 live albums. But, on second listen, this album does make me remember why I ever cared at all.

7. Oasis – (What’s the Story) Morning Glory? While I’m by no means an advocate of Gallagher worship, I have to admit, this really did change the game for UK rock. Now that the memory of 1000 bad covers of “Wonderwall” has receded, I can actually appreciate this album again.

8. Harvey DangerWhere Have All the Merrymakers Gone? It turns out the saccharine “Flagpole Sitta” obscured an otherwise credible album. Originally released on Kill Rock Stars, Harvey Danger’s debut is actually more reflective of the mid-90s underground than the radio waves.

9. Celine Dion – Let’s Talk about Love Ok, ok. So I won’t actually endorse it, but after reading an amazing 160 pages about why I shouldn’t be such a snob, I have to at least admit that it’s important, and, somehow, enduring. Thanks a lot introspective analysis!

OK, now it’s your turn. Which classic backlashed albums did we forget?