No-skips

This is my running list of no-skip albums. The bar here is higher than just albums I like: a no-skip album is an album you can listen to its entirety, without skipping tracks (in other words, "no skips"). These are listed alphabetically by artist.

To The Faithful Departed (The Cranberries, 1996)

Format: CD
Favorite song: Joe

I like that The Cranberries went higher energy for To The Faithful Departed compared to their previous two. I love those albums dearly, but the increased variation in tempo and tone makes this album easier to listen to front to back for me.

Splendido Hotel (Al Di Meola, 1980)

Format: Vinyl
Favorite song: Silent Story in Her Eyes

Listening to Splendido Hotel on vinyl was a life-changing experience and a huge reason why I like it so much. Di Meola is incredibly versatile, and he puts his skills to work by hopping genres on each of the songs (while still ensuring the album works as a cohesive unit). It's a long album (a little over an hour over two LPs), but taking the time to give it a good listen is well worth it.

Damn (Kendrick Lamar, 2017)

Format: CD
Favorite song: Loyalty

What can I even say about Damn that hasn't been said already? Kendrick Lamar is, as usual, an incredible storyteller, and his rapping is more than enough to hold up a song on its own. The album can (and should) be played backwards, an intentional choice (written into the last song, Duckworth) that completely changes its narrative and lyrical tone.

Imaginary Day (Pat Metheny Group, 1997)

Format: CD
Favorite song: The Heat of the Day

Imaginary Day is a really interesting album compared to Metheny's other work and other music in general; I've never heard anything like it, and I doubt I ever will. It takes the "fusion" part of jazz fusion to an extreme. Listening to it makes you feel like you're in a dream, with offbeat textures and composition choices that don't feel completely real.

Moving Pictures (Rush, 1981)

Format: Vinyl
Favorite song: YYZ

Moving Pictures is considered to be The quintessential Rush album and one of the best prog albums there is, so me including it here is a little trite, but... I mean... yeah. It's the perfect infusion of Rush's older prog sound into the radio-friendly direction they decided to go in starting in 1980. There are absolutely no misses here; it was hard picking a favorite song, but YYZ won because of its catchy intro rhythm and incredible live performances.

Signals (Rush, 1982)

Format: CD
Favorite song: The Analog Kid

Rush specifically wanted to avoid making the follow-up to Moving Pictures exactly the same as its predecessor, so they ditched the grittier sound for something smoother and more synthesizer-forward on Signals. I like all of the Rush synthesizer era albums, but the balance between the synth and Alex Lifeson's guitar makes this one really magical. I yearn to own it on vinyl one day.

The New Abnormal (The Strokes, 2020)

Format: Vinyl
Favorite song: Brooklyn Bridge to Chorus

I've been a fan of The Strokes for a long time, and I've actually enjoyed every release of theirs (in contrast to the people who said they fell off after Room on Fire). Still, The New Abnormal has a fresh feel to it that I don't get from any of the earlier Strokes albums. It's a nice blend of their previous work with a new spin that I can't really explain, and I can even hear a bit of Julian Casablancas' solo style that snuck its way into some songs (see At The Door).

Also, weirdly prescient title, especially considering the album was released in April 2020.