Editor’s Note: The Albumism staff has selected what we believe to be the 100 Most Dynamic Debut Albums Ever Made, representing a varied cross-section of genres, styles and time periods. Click “Next Album” below to explore each album or view the full album index here.
ADORABLE | Against Perfection
Creation (1993) | Amazon | Listen Below
Selected by Rayna Khaitan
I’m likely the last generation who can claim genuine emotional attachment to radio. And I’m everlastingly thankful. For without it, I would not know my glorious lifelong companion: music. From the late ‘80s to the mid ‘90s, I listened almost exclusively to San Francisco’s modern-rock station LIVE 105—except when I’d sheepishly wander down the dial in search of Chris De Burgh’s “The Lady in Red.” Sharing too much? Probably.
Showcasing a keen affection for UK artists, the Bay Area airwaves trendsetter instilled my music sensibilities for life, introducing me to so many artists and albums I never would have heard otherwise, including one of the most ridiculously perfect pop, yet criminally undiscovered, records ever, Adorable’s Against Perfection.
All it took was a song called “Homeboy” to topple into my ears, and I was taken. The opening lyrics (“I’m tripping into the back of my mind / And your words, like angels, crash inside”) not only encapsulate how I felt about the song in that first kismet moment, but also in the thousands of times I’ve played the track since. As a single from the band’s debut album, “Homeboy” had more than succeeded in tantalizing. I hunted Against Perfection for months.
When I finally espied the cover art’s fiery flower, with its “import” sticker, my heart danced. I somehow knew I had struck gold. If one’s affinity to an album after the immense passage of time is any indication, I can confidently state my delight in that discovery was well-placed. Sonic neighbors to the landmark works of Echo & The Bunnymen, The Jesus and Mary Chain, and Ride, Against Perfection glistens with all manner of youthful exuberance—sunny defiance, obsessive romance, and sweet introspection. Smartly crafted and earnestly delivered, this album remains an unsung Britpop treasure. Cheers to LIVE 105 for giving me the key.