Why is Class Actress’ Journal of Ardency on my best 1,000 albums ever list?
The most incredible ‘80s album… of 2010.
Some stats & info about Class Actress – Journal of Ardency
- What kind of musical stylings does this album represent? New York Bands, Synth Pop, Alternative Dance, New Wave, Dance Music, Pop Music, Martini Lounge
- Rolling Stone’s greatest 500 albums ranking – not ranked!
- All Music’s rating – not rated!
- When was Journal of Ardency released? 2010
- My ranking, the one you’re reading right now – #699 out of 1,000
Class Actress’ Journal of Ardency on Spotify
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.
What does Class Actress’ Journal of Ardency mean to me? What does it make me feel? Why is it exciting or compelling?
I find this… long EP, I guess, at six songs and almost 27 minutes of running time, to be mesmerizing, soothing, and gorgeous. It’s also just about the perfect 1980s synth pop album that I could ever want that just happens to have been produced in 2010.
Start with the title track, “Journal of Ardency,” and you’ll see exactly what I mean. The pulsing synth sounds roll perfectly into singer Elizabeth Harper’s beguiling vocals.
“Let Me Take You Out” has a little bit of a Camper Van Beethoven vibe (again, think heavy 1980s influence), but Harper’s vocals rein in what might have been a quirkier outing in Camper’s hands and is instead a pretty, inviting number with a tempo that moves the song along like a fun road outing on a beautiful day.
Bonus points for the song title, “Terminally Chill,” alone. And endless chill and endlessly synth it is, indeed. The synth vibes, by the by, remind strongly of Berlin (not your humble narrator but Berlin of “Take My Breath Away” fame).
Pop culture stuff that’s somehow related to Class Actress’ Journal of Ardency
If you’ve seen the show Barry on HBO, you know how brilliant it is. And, brilliantly, it featured “Journal of Ardency” in its very first episode, which is what turned me onto the band.
As of this writing, Barry recently completed its third season, and it continues to trend darker while continuing to exquisitely and expertly answer the question of, “Where the heck is this going to go next?” The character of Barry Berkman, performed by Bill Hader (who is also the show co-creator and executive producer), is not just an anti-hero but someone who has become irredeemable (think late stage Walter White in Breaking Bad) within a world that also continues to find room for wild side-plots and satire involving everything from international gang wars to brutal satire of life in LA’s entertainment industry.
I could go on and on, but I’ll also say that Barry is also worth watching for the performance of the entire main cast, including Hader (of course), but also Sarah Goldberg as Sally Reed, Anthony Carrigan as NoHo Hank (one of the great TV characters of the 2020s), and Henry Winkler, doing perhaps the best work he’s ever done in a legendary career, as Gene Cousineau.