Getting to listen to all of my music (via the new iPod) has helped me determine what my favorite albums of all time are. In no particular order:
The Clash (London Calling)- A seminal album that is amazing from top to bottom. This album would be on the list solely for the song "Lost in the Supermarket". This song best embodies my theoretical viewpoint regarding commercial culture.
Pavement (Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain)- Most folks seem to think that Slanted and Enchanted is a better album, and while I fully acknowledge it is a great album, the songs just aren't as strong. The songwriting and melodies are perfect on this album (e.g. Unfair, Range Life).
Wilco (Summerteeth)- Every album Wilco has put out is remarkable, but this is the best. With Summerteeth, the band changed from an alt-country outfit to a truly experimental band. This album is also set apart from the earlier ones because of the songwriting, from "How to Fight Loneliness" to "She's a Jar", this was Jeff Tweedy's first foray into the free expression songwriting that has become his calling card.
The Flaming Lips (The Soft Bulletin)- Another transitional album and this one came at the band's peak. I can't find a bad song on the album, it is symphonic yet oddly intimate. The Flaming Lips were able to package all of their quirkyness into an album that works on every level. If you don't own it, you need to buy it.
Belle and Sebastian (The Boy with the Arab Strap)- This album belongs on the list for completely different reasons than the ones above. This album changed my perspective on music, for the better. Before I heard this album, I was convinced that music had to sound like ROCK N' ROLL to be good. Yet, after getting one listen to this album it was clear I was wrong.