64. Everything But The Girl, Idlewild (Sire, 1988)

After forays into twangy, jangly rock (Love Not Money) and grandiose orchestral flourishes (Baby The Stars Shine Bright), Tracey Thorn and Ben Watt went back to basics for their fourth album. Like prime Carole King or Laura Nyro, the songs here revolve around ordinary but intimate themes: from childhood memories ("Oxford Street") and the shifting nature of enduring friendships ("Blue Moon Rose") to longing to raise a child ("Apron Strings") and hesitating to do so in a violent world ("The Night I Heard Caruso Sing"). Apart from a little unfortunate late '80s studio polish, it remains their second best album (the best one will be in my top ten), and perhaps their loveliest--it exudes beauty in its melancholia, perfectly summed up in one song's title: "Lonesome For a Place I Know".