Pop albums that are slightly "off" | The Popjustice Forum

Pop albums that are slightly "off"

Discussion in 'Charts, rates etc' started by Inland Empire, Jul 22, 2021.

  1. Inland Empire

    Inland Empire Staff Member

    Not overtly weird albums like Charli or Grimes's stuff. I want albums you could get away with playing in the car with your parents without them questioning your sanity, but listening to them alone is not quite your normal pop album experience.


    A few examples of my own:


  2. definitely not as weird as Charli's later projects, it fits pretty nicely I think

    and a bunch of other Quirky Pop albums

    and pretty much every other Ladytron album as well
  3. I remember playing Anniemal in the car for my metal head dad and him saying it was "well produced" and "interesting". He also stanned Night Time, My Time and to this day on road trips asks me to bring the "tits out in the shower" CD.
  4. This lie. People would snatch the aux cord away from you as soon as those distorted vocals in Preface and the witchy "I love another, and thus I hate myself" repetitions hit their ears
  5. I mean this is the opening track in the first album @OspreyQueen posted, I think LP1 is pretty tame in comparison nn

    I actually remember playing LP1 in the car with my parents a couple of times and I think they liked it? Or at least didn't dislike it.
    Island likes this.
  6. Badlands by Halsey?

    (I'm so down with the happening soundz that I only discovered this last month).

    It just feels/sounds quite off-kilter at times but still packs some tunes and hooks.
    Inland Empire likes this.
  7. Older one here. Love You by the Beach Boys. Don't go in expecting Pet Sounds, to say the least, because it is a complete oddity in their discography. It sounds a bit like Brian was TRYING to make conventional pop music, but everything is just slightly... wrong.

    Vocals? 100% fried for the most part, thanks to Brian and Dennis' drug problems.
    Lyrics? Almost uncomfortably naive and childish, sublime and ridiculous at the same time.
    Music? Very primitive synth bass and keyboards for the most part, totally off-kilter for 1977.
    Production? Lo-fi and completely unaffected, perfect for the revealing feel the album has.
    Song structures? Wander all over the place, changing keys and tempos quite a bit... and yet the longest song is 3:08.

    Highlights include the song about Johnny Carson that, for no comprehensible reason, sounds like evil haunted circus music. The songs are mostly light, positive and upbeat, yet sound unutterably sad at the same time. If ever we got a direct look at Brian Wilson the man, for good and for ill, it is on this album.

    I love it.
  8. Island

    Island Staff Member

    Siobhan Donaghy’s albums?
  9. Du Blonde's debut is a great example of this - it's very early Marina on psychedelics.

    Ad libitum by Catherine Lara might venture a bit too wonky for the criteria you mentioned, but it sounds like a haunted cabaret and is gorgeously sung:

    You could also go the hypnagogic pop route if you're looking for anything 80s-inspired - Dreams West's self-titled, Deep Fantasy by S U R F I N G, Rangers' Suburban Tours, and Delta Horizon by Eleventeen Eston are some of my favorites. Anything by George Clanton would also qualify but if you're looking for something on the accessible side, his collab album with Nick Hexum of 311 is probably your safest bet.

    ETA: Actually since you mentioned Dark Hearts, maybe some Chromatics or Glüme wouldn't be a bad idea.
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2021
    Inland Empire likes this.
  10. Island

    Island Staff Member

  11. Island

    Island Staff Member

    The Du Blonde album reminded me a bit of Amanda Jenssen. Her Happyland album is quite good:

    Inland Empire and Andy French like this.
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