Been umming and ahhing over the IRS years rankings over the last week
Fables has been the big Listening Club winner for me so far. The remaster helped the album to finally click with me and since then I’ve gone back to and been enjoying the original version from start to finish. Now at the point where I don’t think there’s a bad track on there.
Listening again this morning after a week of Document made me think of another issue with the latter. The straighter rock guitar sound leaves less space for Mills to cram in all those little countermelodies that bounce off the guitar parts on the first 3-4 records. It detracts from one of those unique features of the band for me, and it was great to hear that again while sitting in traffic earlier.
So, in terms of my rankings, I’m going:
Murmur > Life’s Rich Pageant > Fables > Reckoning > Document
There’s some degree of interchangeability between positions 2-4.
Life’s Rich Pageant just about shades second for the sheer strength of those first eight tracks.
Fables could find itself there in second eventually, but I’m currently wary of promoting new love over an old friend. Always thought the concept was great, but now for the first time I think the music is too.
Placing Reckoning fourth feels like a slight – not meant to be as the songs are awesome. If I’m having to find a reason to place lower than the others it’s maybe because it’s so direct that there are fewer layers and discoveries for repeat listens?
Document – if anything I now like it less than I did previously. Unlikely to be listening to it again for a good while.