For our inaugural Valentine’s Day epipod, we take a listen to an album full of passion and want, an album full of self-reflection and obsession. With just one album (and really just 2.5 band members), The Postal Service gave us “Give Up” back in 2003 — an album that meant so much to so many people, and one that exemplifies the extremes of love and lost. Ben Gibbard and Jimmy Tamborello’s masterpiece album struck a chord — one that still strikes hard 15 years later.

References in this Epipod:

You can buy or stream Give Up by The Postal Service online at iTunes, Spotify, YouTube, and Amazon. 

 

At the end of the day, Hootie and the Blowfish may have just been four good dudes from South Carolina who hit lightning in a bottle (of probably Bud Light) and offered a pop-heavy, feel-good answer to grunge. But give Darius Rucker & Co. their due: “Cracked Rear View” is one of the best debut albums of all time and it gave us memorable, catchy hits — many of which are way deeper than you may have originally noticed.

References in this Epipod:

You can buy or stream Cracked Rear View by Hootie and the Blowfish online at iTunes, Spotify, YouTube, and Amazon. 

 

They were like nothing we had seen or heard before. From the opening growls of “Welcome to the Jungle” to the pop sensibilities of “Sweet Child O’ Mine” and the anthemic “Paradise City,” Guns N’ Roses was the next generation’s answer to Led Zeppelin. And “Appetite for Destruction” pulled back the curtain on the debauchery and insanity that was L.A. and the Sunset Strip in the mid-1980s. Sure, they used hairspray … but mainly just to light a Molotov cocktail to set fire to hair metal. Axl, Slash, and the boys would go on to sell a mere 30 million copies of “Appetite.” And they left a path of destruction in their wake.

References in this Epipod:

You can buy or stream Appetite for Destruction by Guns N’ Roses online at iTunes, Spotify, YouTube, and Amazon. 

 

In our inaugural “Listener’s Choice” episode and final epipod of Season 1, we tackle the third album from Run the Jewels. RTJ combines the best attributes of rap and hip hop: fierce and insightful lyrics that make you think from a different point of view, and insane beats and production that transport you to dystopian, apocalyptic streets. Wrapped up within the fierce fire of RTJ’s lyrics are humor, vulnerability, and a sincere desire to make things better. That sincerity comes through by the fact that this group has made every one of its albums available as a free download. RT&J is the new PB&J … and it’s delicious.

References in this Epipod:

You can buy or stream Run The Jewels 3 online at iTunes,  Spotify, YouTube, and Amazon. 

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The Beach Boys and Kacey Musgraves both produced quintessential Christmas albums – they just happened to be generations and decades apart. The similarities are striking: both albums are a mix of well-known holiday standards plus original compositions – and all are true to the artists’ unique sounds. Both albums make you excited for all of the “Ribbons and Bows” of the season and the coming of “Little Saint Nick.”

References in this Epipod:

You can buy or stream A Very Kacy Christmas online at iTunes, Spotify, YouTube, and Amazon.

 

It’s the quintessential breakup album, full of heartache and remorse, remembrance and longing. “Blood on the Tracks” is quintessential Bob Dylan at his most poetic — and beautiful.

References in this Epipod:

You can buy or stream Blood on the Tracks by Bob Dylan online at iTunes,  Spotify, YouTube, and Amazon.

 

Green Day’s “Dookie” brought punk rock to the masses in the mid-90s — yet resulted in the band being ostracized from the punk community due to its mainstream success. It transcends punk rock, and 25 years later this album is still full of fist-pumping hits like “When I Come Around,” “Longview,” “Welcome to Paradise” and more.

References in this Epipod:

You can buy or stream Dookie by Green Day online at iTunes,  Spotify, YouTube, and Amazon.

 

Geographic name-dropping, songs about Saabs and golf courses, and of course questions of love and faith. Vampire Weekend’s third album, “Modern Vampires of the City” showcased the band’s songwriting and song content growth – and was considered by many as the best album of 2013. But don’t fret: there’s still plenty of catchy hooks, popped collars and high-fallutin’ themes – the things we all tend to love Vampire Weekend for anyway.

References in this Epipod:

You can buy or stream Modern Vampires of the City by Vampire Weekend online at iTunes,  Spotify, YouTube, and Amazon.

 

It was an album that record execs and studio heads initially rejected. But “Kick” by INXS would go on to produce a slew of top 10 hits worldwide, turning the band – led by charismatic frontman Michael Hutchence – from Australian heroes to the people’s choice in rock and roll, putting them on par with U2 and R.E.M.

References in this Epipod:

You can buy or stream Kick by INXS online at Spotify, iTunes,  YouTube, and Amazon .

 

For some, “The Boxer” is The National’s greatest album. However, in this epipod of Finest Worksongs, we take a look at what be their most quintessential album, “Alligator.” It’s an album of both confidence and introspection, of colorful characters and average Joes. All sung with a sound unique to The National.

References in this Epipod:

You can buy or stream Alligator by The National online at Spotify, iTunes,  YouTube, and Amazon .