Unfortunately, Itunes doesn't carry the Beatles yet. Not sure why but the other 4 can be previewed if interested.
The Police - Zenyatta Mendatta (1980 A&M Records)
Probably My Quintessential Police album. From the haunting "Don't Stand So Close To Me" to the upbeat "De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da" to the political "Driven To Tears" you find Sting and the boys creating some of their strongest songs that they would ever make.
Standout Tracks: See tracks mentioned above.
Beatles - Revolver (Parlophone 1966)
Here is where they depart to new territory. They didn't totally leave behind the pop sound or songcraft that had gotten them to this point but there was definitely some new sonic ground and lyricl content being explored. From Lennon and Harrison's experimentation to McCartney's more tamer experiments you wonder how did they pull off covering so much ground stylistically and still hold it all together. They do, which makes this record an essential of all time. Though some consider Sgt. Pepper the ultimate album, Revolver stands as the ultimate modern pop album of it's time.
Standout tracks: Taxman, Eleanor Rigby, Here There And Everywhere, Good Day Sunshine, Tomorrow Never Knows.
Modest Mouse - Good News For People Who Like Bad News (Epic 2004)
Weird, eccentric and searching pop music. That would best describe Modest Mouse's lead man Isaac Brock. This album is louder and rocks more than previous efforts however loses nothing. There are sharp contrast between the harsh and the beautiful which make this disc a very moving listen. The subjects of mortality and spirituality creep in several times as well but do so without being too pretentious.
Standout tracks include: Float On, The Ocean Breathes Salty, Bury Me With It, The View.
Josh Rouse - 1972 (Rykodisc 2003)
Really all you need to know about this record is if you liked the sound of 1972 pop radio, then this record is for you. This is an extremely fun record with very literate lyrical content and wonderful pop musicianship at work. This record is probably the perfect adult pop record of that year though you probably never heard it.
Standout tracks: 1972, Love Vibration, Comeback (Light Therapy)
Badly Drawn Boy - Hour Of The Bewilderbeast (Twisted Nerve/XL Recordings 2000)
One of the most ambitious and entertaining pop records of the year. Though full of several non-traditional pop elements at work you get a masterpiece of a pop record. Damon Goughs strange sense of humor makes the songs shine as well.
Standout tracks: The Shining, Everybody's Stalking, Once Around The Block