In the Aeroplane over the Sea
Since this is my last editor's pick of the semester (tear?), I'm going all out. Here it is: my favorite album. Since its release in 1998, Aeroplane has acquired as large a cult following as any '90s indie rock album. Aeroplane's brilliance lies in Jeff Mangum's lyrics: not since Bob Dylan's Highway 61 Revisited has a songwriter been so adept at hypnotizing a listener with words. While initially some may cast Aeroplane aside as a freaky concept album about Anne Frank, after a few listens, one finds that there is almost too much in these cryptic lyrics to possibly explain. You have to listen to it.
KRS-One is, there can be little doubt, the patriarch of modern-day rap music. Much of hip-hop's history is encapsulated on this greatest-hits collection, from the classic battle tracks "South Bronx" and "The Bridge is Over" to the rage of "Black Cop," in which KRS flips the script and comes with a reggae-inflected flow. From the opening lyrics of "My Philosophy," the album's first track, he announces his attentions in the game: he's not just a rapper, he's a philosopher and a teacher, and if nothing else, this collection proves that on that, no MC can touch him.
Here's the thing: there is something about a sentimental, intelligent, gay man with an extensive classical music background that just makes the girls swoon. Add into that a cover of Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah" on the Shrek soundtrack and a lyric that goes "My phone's on vibrate for you" and what you have is basically the love of my life. Poses is amazing, but Want One is neccessary for life. Rufus, if ever you decide to switch teams -- and I know there will be thousands of girls waiting around for you -- but I promise I am way more fun than Brazil. That's a fact.