The Decemberists, "Mistral"
I wonder what's next up for the Decemberists. The last three albums haven't been very much like each other - The King is Dead is like R.E.M., What A Terrible World, What A Beautiful World is like Hazards of Love but without a theme, and I'll Be Your Girl is like a bad record. How will they mix it up next time?
Man or Astro-Man?, "DNI"
Man or Astro-Man? were insanely productive in the early to mid-90s, cranking out basically two albums a year before arriving on Touch and Go records, where the recording budgets got a little shinier but the sound remained the same. The productivity slowed a bit, they were only doing an album a year at this point, but these years are probably a little more reliable, so this record (the first of them) is probably a good starting point.
Raekwon, "100 Rounds"
Raekwon's first solo record (calling it that feels like a misnomer, given Ghostface's and especially RZA's work on it) is a stone-cold classic, one of the best records to come out of the Wu orbit. His follow-up, alas, is merely good instead of legendary. Much of that is the absence of the RZA on it. While the production is clearly designed to sound like his work, it doesn't have quite the same paranoid life to it, so you end up with something that just quite feel dialed in.
Bear vs. Shark, "Buses/No Buses"
I think that even if I do nothing, post-hardcore albums will just kind of spontaneously materialize in my collection.
Monster Rally, "The Tiki Room"
I don't remember getting this, but I'm delighted by it! Good call, past Josh!