Polyrhythmics, "Lord of the Fries"
New York Ska-Jazz Ensemble, "Call Me"
It seems like a concept that would be kind of evergreen - ska up some jazz standards, add a few originals, off you go. But somehow, it had diminishing returns? Each album worked a little less than the previous one, and by the third, it was down to just "fine". It's fine! But that's all.
The Meters, "Can You Do Without?"
(It's been a while, I can have a "goddamn" entry, as a treat.)
Squirrel Nut Zippers, "Suits Are Picking Up The Bill"
I know they're probably regarded as hopelessly corny, but I'm sorry, this is just a delight. The exuberance of the whole thing is charming, and I love me a trumpet lead. Revivals can be tiresome, but they can also be done properly. Anyway, Perennial Favorites is my favorite record by the Zippers. It's more self-assured than the previous records, they're comfortable with what they're doing, and some of the most affected stuff is by the wayside. It's just catchy tunes and giant arrangements everywhere.
Dilated Peoples, "Work the Angles"
Broadly part of the back-to-basics movement in the hip-hop underground in the late 90s/early 2000s, Dilated Peoples' first album The Platform is indeed refreshingly old school. They weren't quite able to keep it up for forever, but that doesn't make this record any less fun.
The Police, "When The World Is Running Down, You Make The Best of What's Still Around"
Remember when I said there's an art to long song titles? This one is bad.