It may displease some to see this album outside the top ten, but I think #30 is an okay place for it. It’s a great album by one of the greatest bands of the last thirty years, but it’s not without its flaws. “Gigantic,” I hate to say, remains one of my least favorite songs in their catalogue. But I’m nitpicking. Surfer Rosa is still an amazing album—an album that only hinted at the capabilities of an amazing group. It has plenty of hooks, plenty of noise freakouts, plenty of weird lyrics, and plenty of angst to make it a truly enjoyable and unique listen. It really is an indie rock classic, albeit one that is slightly overrated.
Solid Gold finds Gang Of Four making the extremely jagged and sparse post-punk from Entertainment! less jagged and sparse. This is not to say this is a smooth album (like Songs Of The Free), but it is certainly a little smoother and definitely funkier than their debut. And it’s much denser. Solid Gold is thicker and fuller of music than its predecessor. This is not a good thing or a bad thing, just a different thing. That said, Solid Gold is really a great album. It, along with its predecessor, has an extremely distinct post-punk sound that has been the subject of inferior imitation since its release in 1981. Solid Gold is just that.