Midway through my quest to acquire a Vanilla Latte from Starbucks, I overheard a conversation between an older gentlemen and a student. With the student continuously nodding, I overheard the older gentlemen saying “Back in my day, we had great music, not like the trash nowadays.”
This sentiment, that older music is superior to contemporary music, infuriates me because there is so much great music being released that doesn’t get the attention it deserves. So, here are five albums that prove the recent generations have experienced amazing music.
Is This It by The Strokes (2001)
With Is This It, The Strokes released an absolutely perfect pop/garage rock album with tons of charm, catchy guitar riffs, great overall band chemistry, and a pop sensibility that is undeniable. Singer Julian Casablancas’ smooth and effortless delivery really make this album one of the easiest and most enjoyable album listens you can possibly have.
Illinois by Sufjan Stevens (2005)
An album from one of the most interesting and creative multi-instrumentalists, Sufjan Steven’s Illinois is baroque pop done the right way, featuring lavish instrumentation such as strings, pianos, woodwinds, etc., as well as great personal tales and themes, such as religion and the state in which the album is named after.
This Is Happening by LCD Soundsystem (2010)
An adventurous post-punk, electronic dance record with a number of long and drawn-out songs that never lose momentum due to the subtle progressions in the instrumentals, the eccentricity and personality of main brain James Murphy, and the overall infectious nature of the tunes.
Virgins by Tim Hecker (2013)
Virgins is not a long album, but it is a lot to tackle because of Tim Hecker’s unique approach to composition, which often emphasizes minimalism, but he manipulates sound in such a harsh, yet beautiful way that these compositions become heavy, doomsday-like soundscapes that are very captivating to listen to.
To Pimp a Butterfly by Kendrick Lamar (2015)
A hip-hop album that defies stereotypes determined by mainstream hip-hop artists. Kendrick Lamar delivers insightful lyrics dealing with themes such as the value of money, self-hatred, self-love, and the exploitation of one’s fame over bold and diverse instrumentals. An incredibly uplifting album released at a pivotal moment and will be undoubtedly be hailed as a classic.
Featured Image by Franz Jachim, obtained via creativecommons.org
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Edited by Jessica Carr