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Set the Mood: Oddities

Graphic by Kaitlyn Biri

Graphic by Kaitlyn Biri

Graphic by Kaitlyn Biri

Graphic by Kaitlyn Biri

Set the Mood: Oddities

March 22, 2019

The same thing over and over can become a drag. Music is not an exception. Sometimes, something totally out of left field is a good palate cleanser. Below are ten odd and unique albums for those that need a change or just want things to get weird.

Tangerine Reef

By Animal Collective

A recording of Animal Collective’s “Coral Orgy” performance, the songs were written for that performance and were to only be played at the event. The live recording was so awful that the band had to re-record the tracks. It is a recording of the same tracks, but is not the same as the unique performance due to changes in the tracks and recording space. It is both the only officially released version of the performance while not being of the performance at all. It is, in many ways, its own thing.


By Shye Ben Tzur, Jonny Greenwood, and The Rajasthan Express

Western music mixed with Indian instruments is the name of the game for the album. It is an odd and almost irreverent combo of musical theory from around the globe. It is an experience of an album.

Life Aquatic Studio Sessions

By Seu Jorge

A collection of acoustic covers of David Bowie songs in Portuguese, it is an odd concept, but it works so well. Bowie himself said about the album: “Had Seu Jorge not recorded my songs in Portuguese, I would never have heard this new level of beauty which he has imbued them with.”

Let it Be…Naked

By The Beatles

The production and mastering of Let It Be was a hot topic among the fab four. It was eventually produced by Phil Spector, much to McCartney’s displeasure. Years later, he would fund a new version of Let It Be. Let It Be…Naked is an interesting new take on the album, and it shows how differently an album can be with just small decisions.

7 Skies H3

By The Flaming Lips

7 Skies H3 is a compilation of the best bits of The Flaming Lips’ 24-hour song. The full song can also be found online. The shorter version is more accessible and oddly good for being the bits of a much larger piece.

Trout Mask Replica

By Captain Beefheart

There are no perfect and quick ways to explain Trout Mask Replica. It is both spontaneous and rehearsed. The lyrics hardly make sense, and the whole thing feels like a circus.


By St. Vincent

Masseduction was one of my favorite albums of 2017. In 2018, St. Vincent redid the album with soft piano instrumentals. It is an interesting take on the songs and creates an album as good as the original.

Xiu Xiu Plays the Music of Twin Peaks

By Xiu Xiu

The music of Twin Peaks is already eerie and trippy. Xiu Xiu thought it was not enough, though. They craft a harrowing album that separates itself from the show.

The Disintegration Tapes

By William Basinski

The Disintegration Tapes consist of analog loops played until they deteriorate. As the loops degrade, they become haunting and unpredictable. It is an odd musical experience and takes patience to listen to, but it is worth it.

Meow the Jewels

By Run the Jewels

Run the Jewels redid their second album using only cat noises for the beats. That is all I really need to say about this one.     


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