I hit up the library to try to find some CAJ Coady reads like mimir suggested but my local one didn't have any. I did, however, pick up "101 Albums That Changed Popular Music" by Chris Smith. It reflects on everything popular from the 1950s to 2008, and so far it's surprisingly informative and gratefully objective. At the moment I'm skipping through to albums/artists I know and I'm really impressed with his personification of music.
On Green Day: "With Dookie, Green Day twisted the Seattle grunge formula on its head, turning the weighty themes of Nirvana and Pearl Jam into fodder for tightly controlled wisecracking, as if Billy Joe Armstrong were Kurt Cobain's annoying little brother to whom everything was still just a game." Genius. I wonder if this guy's literally into everything or just has an innate aptitude for observing music.
It's got everything from classic rock to pop to hip hop, and Smith does a great job at focusing on each album's impact on culture rather than trying to discern the abstract realms of musicianship and technicality. And yes, HeyDad, it has The White Stripes in it :D --- "I'm not great at farewells, so uh... that'll do, pig." Natalie Portman was here
RHCP got their own section for Blood Sugar Sex Magik for their innovative blends of funk and rock. He mentions Weezer in the same sub genre text as Green Day, but they don't have a section dedicated to any album (probably because culturally they fulfill a very similar purpose and GD came first). None of the others are in the book, but in the preface he notes that this list isn't going to please everyone. He choose albums "for the impact they made on American music specifically and American culture in general, either directly or indirectly. [He'd] be shocked beyond belief if a single reader agreed with every selection" and there are tons of albums on the list he can't stand to listen to. --- "I'm not great at farewells, so uh... that'll do, pig." Natalie Portman was here