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Neighborhood by Night

I've been walking a lot lately. It is part of my goal for better overall health, and has helped me lose sa quarter of my body weight to date. If the destination is close enough, and weather and time permits, then I'll walk there and back.
Sometimes, there doesn't need to be a destination. Sometimes, I'll walk for the pleasure of it, or to shore-up some daily goals. You see, I wear an Apple Watch that monitors how many steps I've taken, calories burned, hours standing, and heart rate. Sometimes, on days where I haven't quite met all my goals, I will head out of the house for a bit, taking a walk around the neighborhood to burn more calories and get some additional steps in.
A few months ago, one of the aforementioned days occurred, where I wanted to take a walk toward the end of the day in order to meet some walking goals. Ashley and I headed out around 10:30pm, and began a stroll around the neighborhood. Halloween had been earlier that week, and houses were st…
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"Because you dance to disco, and you don't like rock"

We've arrived at our #1 favorite album of all-time. Thank you for taking the time to read about this, and the other nine albums that comprise my Top 10. It's been fun to revisit these gems, and it's compelled me to start re-listening to them throughout each day.
Here, then, is # 1:
Pet Shop Boys / Very (1993)
A friend once relayed a conversation he'd had with someone about me. The someone, knowing I was biracial (Caucasian and African-American), asked my friend: "Do you know if Matt considers himself white or black?" My friend replied, "I think that Matt considers himself gay."
I'm relaying that conversation just now because, though humorous, it is true that coming out and living my life as an out gay man has probably been more defining that most other aspects of my life, and the album Very came along at a crucial juncture in that regard. Very was, in many ways, like a rudimentary therapist. Listening to it (over and over again), beginning at a…

"... but I've no passion for this hate"

We're down to the final two, and today's entry in the Top 10 Albums list is so good, aside from being rather nostalgic for yours truly.
#2 - New Order / Republic (1993)
1993 opened the floodgates for me when it came to music as an late-teen/young adult. A lot of great music was released that year, and I was paying attention to it. I devotedly listened to the radio, watched MTV, VH1, Friday Night Videos on NBC, and even recorded a sort of countdown show with a friend, of our favorite songs of the week.
Friday Night Videos is where I first became aware of Regret, the lead single off of New Order's Republic album. I came late to New Order. They rose from the ashes of Joy Division in the early 1980s, after Ian Curtis' suicide, and Bernard Sumner took over lead vocals. The group evolved over the years and I have, in retrospect, enjoyed most of their work.

"Electric eyes are everywhere"

On the eighth day of our Top 10 Albums of All-Time experience, we give some well-deserved love to  the late King of Pop.
#3 - Michael Jackson / Thriller (1982)
From production by the great Quincy Jones, to a rap by horror master Vincent Price, to a duet with a former Beatle, Thriller has it all. It can be debated whether or not Off the Wall is the better album, but there's no denying that this was the zenith of Michaels' popularity. He easily navigates various styles, all the while maintaining a constant sound throughout.
Thoughts of Thriller take me back to my little bedroom on Draper St. during the '80s, when I'd wear down the cassette tape listening to it night and day. Thriller was always on, whether I was making a small city out of construction paper, writing a short story, reading a Doctor Who novel, or simply (break)dancing by myself.
There's not much more I can say about this album that hasn't already been said. It was great. Full stop.

"... and it was raining"

You sometimes hear about concept albums. Sinatra's In the Wee Small Hours is purportedly one of the first of that category. I've often heard it applied to albums that, frankly, don't seem to warrant the label. Our 4th best album of all-time, however, most certainly does.
#4 - Art of Noise - The Seduction of Claude Debussy (1999)
The last studio album of the Art of Noise finds them exploring the concept of the life and work of composer Claude Debussy, concentrated into a one hour, thirteen track album of synth, rap, hip hop, drum n bass, classical, and opera. It is unlike any recording I have heard before or since. And, if anecdotal conversations are anything to go on, during the nearly twenty years since its release, not enough people have heard of it.

"Kelly watch the stars"

The Top 10 Albums of All-Time Challenge continues over the weekend with the chill-out synth band from France.
#5 - Air / Moon Safari (1998)
This album came out a year after an earlier entry, Polydistortion, and carried on my appreciation during the late-nineties of laid back electronic music. It is, perhaps, the greatest album of its genre ever produced, and very much deserves its place on this list. Twenty years on, Moon Safari is still solid.


"This is what the lonely heart must know..."

Everyone always chuckles when I say I like the Bee Gees. Maybe it's their disco period? Regardless, they were a solid recording act for several decades, and deserve much respect. Truthfully, I view their Saturday Night Fever era with nostalgia, more than anything. And not real nostalgia. I was too young to be aware of the disco phenomenon when it was happening. The nostalgia I feel for disco is akin to the kind I feel whenever watching film noir from the '40s, if that makes any sense.
The 1990s is when I truly appreciated the Bee Gees' work. They released three albums that decade, and the second is our focus for today's entry in Matt's Top 10 Albums of All-Time.
#6 - Bee Gees / Size Isn't Everything (1993)
We already know that 1993 was the best year for music, ever. Size Isn't Everything was certainly a part of that. While subsequent re-listens have lowered it slightly on my list of all-time favorite albums, it's still a classic.