Ten Flawless Albums That Are Also Totally Depressing

6. Tepid Peppermint Wonderland by The Brian Jonestown Massacre

I sort of love The Brian Jonestown Massacre. Their blend of psychedelia is particularly witchy. They sound like The Velvet Underground and The Seeds but also totally original. Admittedly, this isn’t the most depressing record on the list—some songs will even make you dance/sway—but it’s dark in the sense that you know the band is on A LOT of drugs. The lead singer sounds tortured and sad even if the music itself sounds uplifting. This album was sort of my go-to whenever I would take drugs. Listening to it high made you really “get” the music. Now that I’ve listened to it sober, I realize that kind of thinking is, well, stupid.

7. Suburban Light by The Clientele

The Clientele made some really stellar dreamy records in the early ’00s. Now, they’ve gone in a more polished pop direction and aren’t as good, in my opinion. But Suburban Light was a perfect nighttime record soaked in reverb. The jangly guitars, lazy and distant vocals, and delicate drumming made their sound positively precious. Songs like “If We Could Walk Together” and “Five Day Morning” make me tear up every time and I’m not even sure why. This is purely a nocturnal record though. Play it on a rainy night in your bedroom and get blissed out.

8. Pink Moon by Nick Drake

I know you’re probably like “WTF” about me posting the VW commercial featuring “Pink Moon”, but it actually accurately sums up my feelings about the record. It’s late at night and you’re feeling something with your friends, you’re having a moment. The music has put you in a cocoon and you don’t want it to burst so you just keep driving in silence and feeling thoughtful. I don’t know. That’s what this record feels like to me. It’s also a nocturnal record, it’s sad, it’s pensive. Bummer Nick Drake killed himself but also not surprising.

9. The Greatest Hits by Simon & Garfunkel

I included their greatest hits because I didn’t want to limit myself to just one record. Simon & Garfunkel makes me feel SO emotional. Songs like “Bookends” and “Kathy’s Song” always cause me to tear up. They were the musicians who wore their hearts on their sleeves and weren’t afraid to look uncool. They weren’t interested in making sexy rock and roll songs like Led Zeppelin or The Doors. They just wanted to make something pure and honest, and they succeeded.

10. Singles by The Smiths

I couldn’t ignore Morrissey especially since his music sort of changed my life in high school. I remember the first song I heard from them was “That Joke Isn’t Funny Anymore” and having my mind just flood with emotion. Singles is a great introduction to the mopefest that is The Smiths. You get all of their poppy radio stuff as well as their more melancholy tracks. Being sad felt so good when you were listening to them. Their willingness to go there and be depressed in the eighties was admirable, considering that everyone else was doing coke and dancing to The Go-Gos. TC mark

image – Wikipedia


Ryan O'Connell

I'm a brat.

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  • Guest

    The first Smiths song I ever heard was William It Was Really Nothing, right after this boy named Will broke up with me freshman year of high school and I was Napstering songs with Will/iam in the title so I could cry to it.  But I guess that maybe makes me the fat girl in the song.  Bummer.  

  • lia marie

    i agree, but there’s no way you could possibly get around bright eyes here;  i mean the early stuff when conor made really sad, fucked up music. come on ryan! what about “letting off the happiness”? the lyrics are brilliant and his voice is so miserable that he could plainly make you burst into tears by listening to his voicemail i suppose.

  • r3t0dd

    Fucking amateurs. 

  • Elyse

    Holy Fuck, yeah about the Joni Mitchell. But really, the 70’s Joni albums are always power-bummers. Just listen to “People’s Parties” and look around at all the people know. You’ll find  yourself saying, “Oh my god Joni, how…how do you know?”

    • Lila

      ‘power-bummers’….Sorry, but that’s too good a phrase too good not to steal!  You’re spot-on about Joni.  How does she know??

  • http://facebook.com/sdouglas Scott

    TEPID peppermint wonderland

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=49300307 Andrea Nero

    Didn’t BSG write this article a few months ago???

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=598958972 Brian Weideman

    If you want depressing, you should try Emily Haines & The Soft Skeleton – Knives Don’t Have Your Back. Flawlessly agonizing. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/robinplan Robin Plan

    Oh my no. The one true bard is still Mark Eitzel/American Music Club. A compilation of said lyrics:


  • vel

    Fiona Apple??? Cmon

  • http://twitter.com/steviekew Stevie Kew

    Neutral Milk Hotel – In The Aeroplane over the Sea was left out. #11?

    • http://twitter.com/ingenuegle Egle Makaraite

      It’s flawless but not exactly depressing imo

      • communist daughter

        agreed.  utterly flawless, but more childlike and playful than bleak.

  • http://twitter.com/masha_m_j Masha Tsarick

    PJ Harvey’s “White Chalk” must be here!

  • P Funk

    Scud Mountain Boys – “Massachusetts”  + Richard Buckner “Devotion & Doubt”. Easy.

  • Megan

    Okkervil River-Black Sheep Boy, Broken Social Scene-You Forgot It In People

    Also, The Smiths x1000. I listened to them very heavily my first semester of college and a lot of their discography I can’t even bear to listen to anymore

    • Anonymous


      FUCK YES


      Not on Black Sheep Boy, but “John Allyn Smith Sails” is my go-to “fuck everyone” song.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Steven-Fiveoseveniam-Lazaroff/7706828 Steven Fiveoseveniam Lazaroff

      yeah, ‘a stone’ is devastating.

  • http://twitter.com/lucefowls Lucy Fowler

    I find Sound Of Silver by LCD Soundsystem so depressing – I mean, the lyrics of All My Friends describe the late teenage/young adult lifestyle so well, and it fucking bums me out. And Someone Else is so heartbreaking. It’s my go-to song when I need a cry.

  • Random

    That album that I like that you probably also do, but couldn’t include because you can only choose 10? That one.

  • Drew Dernavich

    Wow – how can there not be a single Radiohead album on here? Existential despair is practically a member of the band.

  • Guest

    I’d say Souvlaki – Slowdive could be on this list. When the Sun Hits makes me want to weep, everytime. Beautiful.
    Or maybe Red House Painters’ self-titled album.

  • https://unemploymentisnotsexy.wordpress.com/ To

    britney spears ‘oops i did it again’


      Dude, “Lucky” bums me the fuck out.

  • scott

    my december by kelly clarkson

    • Anonymous

      I’m just bummed out that you even mentioned Kelly Clarkson…

  • KDL

    Ugh. Where’s ?  Their album is the epitome of flawless.  I cried for weeks listening to this thing after my first friend in school.  It’s SOOO depressing :)

  • Vix

    i want to have Chan Marshall’s moody, drunk babies.

  • no one

    On The Beach-Neil Young

  • nealus

    No For Emma forever ago?

    • Mr Shankly

      Who the fuck finds Bon Iver depressing?

      • Anonymous

        I see it…

  • james

    what about Dummy from Portishead?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=707272007 Alex Thayer

    suburban light and pink moon are not depressing.  suburban light is actually one of the most charming records, ever.

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