Alan Smithee

A Weird Kid’s Top Ten — Desert Island Albums

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I’ve come to find that there is nothing more polarizing to most people than the kind of music we all listen to. Religion, sexual preference, or political beliefs mean absolutely nothing when you tell someone that you can’t stand Pink Floyd, or if you think that AC/DC was a shitty band.

It was this thought that had me think about what albums I would bring with me if there ever were some situation where I could no longer have access to my vast collection of music. This type of question was always one that people would ask me but I could never give them a definitive list.

Whether it be the proverbial ‘deserted island’ or ‘post-apocalyptic world’ (where honestly, entertainment would have to take a backseat to survival) I’ve tried to imagine a situation where this kind of list could be deemed an appropriate thing to have ready.

Finding no such situation (where the hell can you get a solar powered CD player that won’t eventually break, unscratchable CDs, and indestructible headphones?), and no way to actually implement it, I said “what the hell” and decided to write it anyway. With that, here is my list of top 10 ‘desert island’ albums. Enjoy!

BT – Movement in Still Life (UK)


Brian Transeau is an extremely talented producer who is responsible for so many great works of electronic music that transcend their place in the world. One only needs to listen to his This Binary Universe to know that it his music doesn’t deserve any type of categorization.

Before he got his chance doing the soundtracks for movies like The Fast and The Furious and Monster he was making excellent club music like you find on Movement in Still Life. The reason that the UK version gets all of the love is that it is a complete mix album where one song deliciously melds with each other so you feel like you’re listening to a magnum opus of a song. The American version however, has no seamless transitions and doesn’t even attempt to play nicely with each other. Whether it be masterpieces like “Running Down the Way Up” or “Godspeed”, this album has it all if you enjoy electronic music that tells a story.

Vengaboys – The Party Album!


What can I say? I’m completely unapologetic about this CD. Most people hate the Vengaboys mainly because of songs like “We Like to Party! (The Vengabus)” that was the featured song that was on the commercials for the Six Flags theme parks here in the US. You might remember them because it featured a really old man dancing his ass off to the uhn-tiss beat of the song.

In fact, I used to be one of the haters too, until I gave the album a try.

I’m sure if I was stuck and a desert island and had this CD to dance to everyday I’d be shaking my ass to the beat and loving every minute of it. For me, this album is complete escapism, when I listen to it, I’m not sitting at my desk anymore…I’m on the dance floor in Cancun @ CocoBongo shakin my ass. That’s always a good place to be.

The Mars Volta – Amputechture


Making a complete 180 degree turn from ass-shaking dance music, The Mars Volta looks to put me into a coma of deep lyrics combined with some of the most experimental guitar riffs and tracks that last in to the teens-of-minutes.

The album starts off innocently enough with the haunting track “Vicarious Atonement” that serves as a prelude to the face meltingly good “Tetragrammaton” that has 3 distinct movements that take you from 300+ bpm drums down to the flat line right in the middle of the track. Perhaps my favorite song on the album is “Meccamputechture” which has some of the most intricate guitar riffs laid over 2 saxophones dueling it out for lead and rhythm positions and a bass line that would make the black guy in each of us proud.

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