Wednesday, February 1, 2023

This is the best concept album in history for “Rolling Stone”

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It is, of course, a jewel. “Rolling Stone” magazine has drawn up one of its famous and controversial lists in which it selects the best albums by category and, in this case, deals with one of the most exciting subcategories of music: concept albums.

And, although his choice may be debatable, like all lists, the first place is for an authentic jewel : it is Kendrick Lamar‘s album “Good Kid, MAAD City” (2012) , in a list full of great works that counts with a Spanish artist in the top ten: “El mal querer” by Rosalía, sneaks into tenth place.

Lamar’s album is a true masterpiece: it tells the story in one day of a young man from Compton, who survives temptation, falls for it, dodges the police, remembers his friends killed on the streets by gangs and the violence, and he listens to his mother’s voicemail messages telling him to do the right thing, to set an example for others. It is an exceptional album that marked the coming of age of the Los Angeles rapper and who later released the equally extraordinary “To Pimp a Butterfly”. For the magazine, it has “a cinematic range compared fairly to Scorsese or Tarantino . ” Secondly, another great contemporary work: “American Idiot”by Green Day is a rock opera about disinformation and that, as “Rolling Stone” assures, “few albums better captured the dazed and confused spirit of America at the beginning of the 21st century”, narrated through a character, Jesus of Suburbia and his alter ego, St. Jimmy.Yet for many it is the epitome of a concept record that ranks third: Pink Floyd’s monumental “The Wall,” a double-album meditation on war, humanity, and alienation that marked a milestone in the history of music. They are followed, in this order: “Only Built 4 Cuban Linx…” (1995) by Raekwon; “Tommy” (1969) by The Who; “Exile in Guyville” (1993) by Liz Phair; “2112” (1976) by Rush; “The Black Parade” (2006) by My Chemical Romance, and “In The Wee Small Hours” (1955) by Frank Sinatra.

In tenth place is where “El mal querer” (2018) , by Rosalía, slips in, chosen ahead of none other than “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” (1967) by The Beatles, or “The Rise And Fall of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars” (1972) by David Bowie, which is listed at number 13. The American magazine recalls that the album was Originally conceived as a final degree project by the Spanish artist based on the 13th century novel “Flamenca” and highlights that “it captures all the intensity and great dramatic charge of a toxic relationship with a brilliant palette of sounds”.

He seamlessly mixes sinister traces of R&B and hip-hop with classical people traditions, rooted in his many years of demanding flamenco training ”, Rolling Stone also emphasizes when listing the virtues of this work that concludes with “an ode to independence and women’s liberation”. It is not the first time that “Bad Habit of Loving” has been included in one of the famous lists of this veteran publication, since it already appeared in the classification of “The 500 best albums of all time”, then at number 315.

Other relatively recent albums that manage to sneak into honorary positions are, for example, “The ArchAndroid” (2010) by Janelle Monáe, which appears in twelfth place, as well as “Lemonade” (2016) by Beyoncé, which does so in fifteenth place. or “Map Of The Soul: 7” (2020) by the South Korean “boy band” BTS, which does so in the twenty-fifth. In addition, there is room on the list for another album in named, “Colours” (2020) by J Balvin (position 43).

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