Two weeks ago, Consequence of Sound asked its readers to join them on a quest in finding The Greatest Summer Album of All Time. As expected, thousands submitted three top contenders for the title, which offered one lively afternoon for our intern, who tallied them up, trimmed the fat, and put together the appropriate bracket below. By the way, that intern’s name is Stevie Dunbar, so if this all goes according to plan, you can thank him later as you’re listening to whatever album wins.

    summeralbums ROUND 1

    Similar to previous tournaments, we’re going to ask you to vote on each matchup to take us to the next round. That means you’ll have to decide between Animal Collective or Kanye, Arcade Fire or Queens of the Stone Age, and, yes, Vampire Weekend over Paul Simon. It’s an arduous task, no doubt, but by the end, we’ll finally know which album to wax nostalgic over. If you need a little sunlight to find the right answer, perhaps you can spark a discussion in the comments below. As always, be civil.

    Pet Sounds vs. Forever Changes

    Image (18) petsounds.jpeg for post 388490

    Pet Sounds could be, from my perspective, the greatest album of all time. The fact that its lush sounds fit in the summer is simply a minor point of reference. However, there’s a sunny tilt to Brian Wilson’s masterpiece. It’s a compendium of raw emotion: happiness, longing, confusion, frustration at the nomadic way life unfolds. But you never doubt for a second that its existentialist musings come from anything other than a place of unequivocal love for the weird world around him. –Dean Essner


    Forever Changes doesn’t exactly approach summer romantically or treat it as the temporary heaven-scape that your prototypical “summer album” probably paints, but more in the way that summer can seem in places that don’t reap all the transitional satisfactions of true springs and falls: an unsettling limbo. It’s a summer album by way of being such a Los Angeles album. If anything, the closest that we get to anything resembling laid-back appreciation is a perfect sunflower of a guitar solo halfway through a song that’s called “Bummer in the Summer”. Altogether, the album is a nuanced portrait of what it meant to be young, scared, and horny in Los Angeles in 1967, but also how everlasting sunshine will make you long for the changes. –Steven Arroyo