Why is Sneaker Pimps’ Becoming X on my best 1,000 albums ever list?
For that uniquely trip-hoppy, moody, atmospheric, and posh-sounding vibe.
What does Sneaker Pimps’ Becoming X mean to me? What does it make me feel? Why is it exciting or compelling?
Much as I enjoyed creating mix tapes in the Days of Yore, these days I enjoy curating my own Spotify playlists.
Sometimes, I’ll give them goofy titles. I’m particularly proud of both the content and title of a wild 1980s pop and rock mix, dubbed “San Junipero,” based on the title of an incredible and (sort of) era-specific episode of Black Mirror (for more TV, see The Best 100 TV Shows Ever).
“FuTure sTate LouNge” contains a lot of moody, atmospheric, and posh-sounding music ideal for evening cocktails and conversation. It includes things like Underworld, Portishead, Zero 7 (check out Simple Things, #883 of best 1,000 albums ever), and Sneaker Pimps. Of all the trip hop-y things going on in the 1990s, the unique vibe that the Sneaker Pimps conjure on Becoming X is one of my absolute favorites.
“6 Underground” is the big hit on Becoming X, and with good reason. The balance of the trip hop drum beat, the amazing vocals of Kelli Ali, and overall production sets an inviting yet beguiling vibe that’s a perfect mood setter.
“Spin Spin Sugar” is a little more upbeat and leans slightly more into rock territory, creating a dark yet engaging atmosphere.
“Post Modern Sleaze,” beyond being an fantastic song title, is a great spotlight for Ali’s vocals and has gorgeous production overall.
Personal stuff that has something to do with Sneaker Pimps’ Becoming X
I moved to England in the fall of 1996, using the tail end of college eligibility for a Work in Britain program. After a strange adventure of a month or so on my own in London, my good friend Nirav (who holds duel citizenship) moved over, and we rented a flat in the town or Rochester. Several months later, our friend Adam moved in with us as well, where many strange adventures of a very different sort jumped off.
For the late fall and early winter though, it was Nirav and I exploring our new environs in a part of southeastern England called Kent. We lived a little over an hour from London by train, which we’d do occasionally. The challenge though was that the train stopped running fairly early at night, typically forcing us to take what was called the Night Bus (which to this day sounds very Harry Potter-esque to me) back to Rochester. The Night Bus ride was a long ride.
Without a car, we did our best to check things out in and around our area. And a good part of this checking out was in search of music venues and general hangout spots for single young folk (of which we were very much both).
We lived in Rochester, as I mentioned (which had it’s own nearly 1,000 year old castle, which was cool), and we had a nice selection of pubs to walk to from our flat both in Rochester and nearby Chatham. But we also discovered that there was a “bigger town” in our area called Maidstone.
So we made the trek by bus a few times over to Maidstone. I mention all of this because I recall that we went to this rather large club kind of space one time. While we were there a band started setting up on a fairly small stage and a modest crowd formed. Turned out it was the Sneaker Pimps, a band that I was vaguely familiar with at the time. They were really good live, especially in that relatively intimate setting.
What does the “best 1,000 albums ever” mean and why are you doing this?
Yeah, I know it’s audacious, a little crazy (okay, maybe a lot cray cray), bordering on criminal nerdery.
But here’s what it’s NOT: a definitive list of the Greatest Albums of All-Time. This is 100% my own personal super biased, incredibly subjective review of what my top 1,000 albums are, ranked in painstaking order over the course of doing research for nearly a year, Rob from High Fidelity style. Find out more about why I embarked on a best 1,000 albums ever project.
Some stats & info about Sneaker Pimps – Becoming X
- What kind of musical stylings does this album represent? Rock Music, Pop Music, British Bands, Trip-Hop, Dance Music, Electronic Music, Lounge Music, Martini Lounge, Alternative Dance
- Rolling Stone’s greatest 500 albums ranking – not ranked!
- All Music’s rating – 4 out of 5 stars
- When was Becoming X released? 1996
- My ranking, the one you’re reading right now – #752 out of 1,000