Editor’s Note: The Albumism staff has selected what we believe to be 50 Essential Albums by LGBTQ Artists, representing a varied cross-section of genres, styles and time periods. Considering that the qualifier “LGBTQ” can often be open to various interpretations, for the purposes of this particular list, we have defined an artist as LGBTQ if he, she or they have ever publicly identified as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and/or queer. Moreover, albums by groups have been included in the list if any of their members fit the aforementioned criteria, even if some members do not.
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BLOC PARTY | Silent Alarm
Selected by Rayna Khaitan
Landing squarely in the middle of the aughts, Bloc Party’s debut record, Silent Alarm, arrived at the ideal time. I’d just moved back to the Bay Area after nine years in LA, and was living on my own for the first time. Both pensive and percussive, Silent Alarm is precisely the fiery escort one wants along on their Saturn return.
Like many, my introduction to the East London quartet fronted by Kele Okereke was the post-punk-inspired single “Banquet.” And though Silent Alarm boasts a satisfying quotient of such flail-in-the-air tracks, the album’s more than just a beat-splashing soundtrack to a spontaneous night. Punctuating its frenzied pace are dreamier tracks like “Blue Light, which evokes a raw, yet majestic slowcore feel, and the jangly, soul-warming pop of “So Here We Are.”
Fourteen years after its release, Silent Alarm isn’t an album I visit regularly, but I can’t imagine my twentysomething San Francisco life without it.