The Beatles' 1968 self-titled double LP has been referenced by everyone from Joan Didion to Charles Manson and analyzed literally backward and forward. Mendelsohn and Klinger, always smiling and arriving late for tea, discuss the Number 14 album on the Big List.
Before Jimi Hendrix, face-melting guitar solos were all too rare. His 1967 debut album Are You Experienced? blew the lid off the unmelted face market and rock was never the same.
Counterbalance needs a dump truck, baby, to unload its head as it revisits Highway 61 Revisited, Bob Dylan's 1965 game-changer.
Orpine's "Two Rivers" is a gently undulating, understated folk song that provides a welcome reminder of the enduring majesty of nature.
The Spirit of ’77 abounds as Sex Pistols round out the Top Ten on the Big List. Counterbalance take a cheap holiday in other people’s misery. Right. Now.
Counterbalance offers up the right profile of the Clash's London Calling, an epic, sprawling disc that will leave you sprawled out on the floor as your mind tries to wrap itself around the sprawl of genres over the course of an hour plus.
In 1972, the Rolling Stones were holed up in a rickety mansion in the South of France, writing an epic love letter to American music. Counterbalance examines the Rolling Stones' Exile on Main St and separates the fever from the funk house—now!
Number seven marks the first appearance of a fellow we’ll be seeing a lot of, one Bob Dylan. He’s a poor fool in his prime on the 1966 opus Blonde on Blonde—Counterbalance has a listen.
While Miles Davis will always be known for his original compositions and for genre-busting, innovative records like Kind of Blue, E.S.P., and Bitches Brew, it's worthwhile to give a listen to his great performances of standards from his earlier career.
Marvin Gaye's What's Going On has been called the greatest soul album of all time. But is it truly "right on"—or maybe a little bit "jive"? Counterbalance’s Mendelsohn and Klinger find out what's happening, brother.
Recorded for $60 in an island country near the bottom of the globe, "Tally Ho", the debut single by New Zealand's the Clean, was an unlikely candidate to be an international game-changer and a defining moment for a pop movement. Here's a sampling of essential tracks by 15 of New Zealand's finest acts.
Number five on the list is practically synonymous with Great Artistic Statements. But was Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band really the Beatles' "Sgt. Pepper"? A splendid time is guaranteed for all as Counterbalance figures it out.
The Velvet Underground & Nico's self-titled debut album started as all hype thanks to Andy Warhol, but it somehow managed to become one of the most influential records of all time. Has this record outlasted its 15 minutes of fame? Peel slowly and see.
Just in time for Valentine's Day... If you were a child of the 1970s, you no doubt grew up hearing these tunes on your parents' eight-track player and car radio. The songs on this list are sappy, high-drama love ballads -- and for that they're being celebrated.
Ten years ago, we began presenting the beloved Counterbalance series that ran through 2016. Jason Mendelsohn and Eric Klinger debate the merits of some of the most critically-acclaimed albums of all time. We are re-running the entire series beginning today with a new entry each Monday. Enjoy.
Absent from Instagram and Twitter and mostly uncommunicative to the press, listeners must wait patiently for the reclusive Hope Sandoval's return without any hints as to what she may bring.
We all miss the now-defunct UK outfit Wild Beasts, but with his solo album, singer Hayden Thorpe is aiming to make something more personal, and raw. Guiding his way? His "Five Albums That Show Me How It's Done".
Songwriter Andy Platts has played for everyone from Corinne Bailey Rae to Beyoncé and has written hits for K-Pop stars. However, his home base is UK soul outfit Mamas Gun, now going a decade strong. Celebrate their new album with Andy's picks of "Five Albums Where the Voice Is King".
Electronic producer Konx-om-Pax creates cinematic soundscapes, and he shares the artistic influences on his new album, Ways of Seeing, with us.
Dark ambient artist Tor Lundvall is releasing his new album of early, surprising, and downright joyous pop-oriented material today and so he gives us a scintillating tour through the albums that shaped him.
Our 20 Questions feature sums up the quality that Shabazz Palaces' Ishmael Butler only reveals once you get to talking with him: his dry, clipped humor.
"Come Get Me" sounds a little like early-period Shins with its herky-jerky vocal melody that Stephen Malkmus isn't afraid to run into the ground, not to mention an arrangement that just barely exists on the good side of modern indie cliché.
Bay Area political punk band, SWMRS talk about changing their name, recording in conference rooms, and committing to social justice as a rock band.