Id have to go:
RTS - perfectly imperfect and I don't think they've every bettered their elemental performances on this record. This record was raw - you can tell Adam was vulnerable, and the album cuts close to the bone. Hell, even the non album tracks from the time rank (for me at least) as some of their finest stuff (Suffocate, Good Luck, Chelsea, Barely out of Tuesday). Guitars which are cold, sharp and in your face, a stark piano sound, and a wonderfully muted ending to an album which remains one of my favourites of all time.
AAEA - The sound of a band emerging and discovering itself with material it had no right to have to start out with. Probably the main fault with this record is that virtually every song became even better live, I wish live from Town Hall was recorded 10 / 12 years earlier than it was, as that would have been difficult for anyone ever to have topped.
(Note - for me the zenith of the live performances of almost all of these songs was probably 1994 to 2002/3 and one or two even come across to me now as almost pale imitations - Omaha, ALD, Jones)
HC - I actually like most of this record, and imho it has aged reasonably well. I don't think some of the more interesting songs get played anywhere near regularly enough
TDL - Some great songs on here, but I'm not keen on the production and it still seems that they tried to remake AAEA. Great tour though!!
SUW - I must admit, this one leaves me a little cold. Probably only 3 or 4 songs on there which I think stack up against the larger body of work. The good songs are very good, but uneven for me.
SN/SM - As with SUW, because of its length possibly a few more songs I like than SUW, but also more that I'm not keen on. I think the idea (which seems to hark back to vinyl era, ironic since they haven't put this out on vinyl!) was probably better than the execution on this one.
I get the impression above all with the last 2 albums that there is a forced attempt to be relevant. Neither of the last 2 records has really caught my imagination, and I rarely listen to them now, but I listen to the first 4 regularly. Maybe that says more about me, but with other artists I like, it is the other way around, so I don't think I am completely nostalgic just yet.
This did, however, (to jump topics to another one) make me hope for a more random and mixed up setlist going forward. I don't just mean the songs played, but also versions of songs, and mix up alts (or indeed even having alts) - I cant be the only one who'd love a show featuring songs like T&TA, PBB, AOTS, Mercury, AHB, Sleeping, Amy, Up all night...... can I?
Finally, its all well and good re-issuing AAEA and RTS on vinyl for those who don't have them from first time around, but really the band ought to address the fact that too many of the records haven't had a vinyl release at all. IT makes my collection look kind of weird!