Don't let Fiona Apple's When the pawn hits the conflicts he thinks like a king/What he knows throws the blows when he goes to the fight/And he'll win the whole thing 'fore he enters the ring/There's no body to batter when your mind is your might/So when you go solo, you hold your own hand/And remember that depth is the greatest of heights/And if you know where you stand, then you know where to land/And if you fall it won't matter, cuz you'll know that you're right title scare you into think this is some pretentious work. It's a simmering rage of an album, every awful thing ever to happen in a relationship boiled down into the most clear moments of anger. Apple can sing through every emotion of a breakup, which is why the next time you get dumped, you're going to be reaching for this.
I've already mentioned multiple times on this blog my love of The Hard Lessons, but I'm going to rave about them again: you really need this band. You really need to see them live. But if you can't do that, then you want their debut album, Gasoline, which, despite being relatively old (in music years), stands up surprisingly well. It's the best hodge-podge of rock, soul, country and indie out there, and considering how different most of these songs are, the fact that this album still stands as one solid work is all the more impressive. (And if you're really cheap, try their Wise Up!, which is also perfect.)
Jean-Yves Thibaudet's Pride and Prejudice. There are a lot of amazing soundtracks out there, and I could probably write a list just about that. Few soundtracks could have probably been created without a movie and still be completely listenable.
Korn's Issues. Considering the above answers, this seems totally unexpected, but I've found that when the mood is right (which is to say, really wrong...), this album is totally necessary. Critics rightly talk about how Nirvana's mastered the quiet/loud dynamic that The Pixies famously started, but Korn takes it to it's inevitable conclusion.
And if you're into bands like Korn, then maybe it's time you discovered Planetstruck and their Mild Chronic Inflammation. Especially if you miss Kurt Cobain.
Paul McCartney is always going to be the cute Beatle, but for only being the cute one, he still puts out some fabulous stuff. Chaos and Creation in the Backyard is one of those albums. It sounds exactly how you'd expect a McCartney album to sound, but in no way is that a bad thing.
I've never met anyone who's heard of Sandor Lakatos, but after hearing Budapest at Night, an album of violin-dominated Hungarian folk music, I really didn't care. It's waltzing music, but there's something slightly dangerous about it.
Every once and a while Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings pop up on a commercial or a tv show. Their Dap-Dippin' is soulful and fun and retro in the best way possible.
Spoon has several flawless albums. Gimme Fiction is one of them. Few things are like this album on a rainy night.