Merry Christmas, lovelies! Here are my favorite albums of the year.
To Pimp a Butterfly // Kendrick Lamar
TPAB is often referred to as an album for black people. And I agree. I loved it, but I didn’t exactly relate because I’m not black. TPAB wouldn’t have been as well liked if it had been released in, say, 2011 rather than 2015. I heard more discussions surrounding race this year than any other year. So, the album made perfect sense in that context. I don’t know if I’ll ever fully understand this album, but I can still appreciate it, right? This album was also the jump off point for my first attempt at writing about music.
Kintsugi // Death Cab for Cutie
Death Cab has been around for so long. I listened to them in, like, fifth grade. This was the band’s last album with guitarist Chris Walla, which is why we better enjoy it up with Kintsugi – because who knows if DCFC will ever be great again. The term “kintsugi” refers to a Japanese form of pottery that involves embracing cracks and flaws rather than fixing them. I wish I could make some deep, philosophical connection between the art form and the music, but it’s not going to happen. The indie band gave us some more quality indie jams, with my favorites being “Black Sun” and “The Ghosts of Beverly Drive.” Now, I can mix modern DCFC with throwback DCFC. Who remembers “Soul Meets Body?” The real ones know about “Photobooth.” Death Cab for Cutie. What a band.
Rodeo // Travis Scott
Two days ago, I captioned a picture on Instagram with lyrics from “Antidote.” That song is everything. At some point, he just yells “It’s lit!” and it’s the funniest thing. My cousin, brother, sister, and I made our own remix to “Antidote” about green tea. Travis is cool. You go, Travis.
Into the Sun // Bassnectar
Bassnectar is tragically underrated. Homeboy has way more variety and has been around way longer than your average DJ on the radio, okay? You have to check out “Butterfly“, “Magical World”, and “Take You Down.” I thought Into the Sun was well done. The songs go from trippy to trappy to throwbacky. Yeah, Bassnectar made a new album throwbacky. He remastered some of his songs from 2005 and put them into the album. Was that his subtle way of telling us, “Yeah, I’ve been doing this longer than you have”? I’d like to think so. Keep flexin’ on them, ‘nectar.
What a Time to Be Alive // Drake and Future and Dirty Sprite 2 // Future
I’m putting these together because Future hive. Does Future inspire me to think critically about my existence? Did these albums elevate my cognitive processes? No, but they were important nonetheless. Future goes off. You need his music because otherwise, your life will be too stagnant. So, maybe shut up about how you can’t understand what he says and dance. I love Future, and I don’t even know what lean is. At this point, it’s too late to find out. I just kind of have to casually pretend I know what lean is whenever it comes up in conversation.
Beauty Behind the Madness // The Weeknd
This was The Weeknd’s first album post – stardom. It’s less r&b and more pop. I don’t know if I’ll ever like it as much as Trilogy or Kiss Land. But no artist stays the same forever, so I’ll try not to whine too much. When I listen to Trilogy, I hear The Weeknd doing his thing. He’s fast paced, into risky behavior, and a little eerie. But that’s just him. The same persona doesn’t come across fully on BBTM – he’s more mainstream. But I will still recognize his talent. This album is home to his collaboration with Lana, which I HAVE BEEN WAITING ON. BEEN.
Check. That. Date.
I have a question, though. Look at the picture on the right – Abel’s rocking a Lakers jersey, while Lana is in a floral dress. So, where were they? In what setting was both sports attire and a dress acceptable forms of clothing to show up in? I just need to know.
Anyways, I love them both, and I’m glad they finally got it together and collaborated.
Honeymoon // Lana Del Rey
Two of my favorite things about California are Big Sur and this album. Honeymoon is the newest addition to the soundtrack of the golden state. Southern California, to be more specific. Lyrics off this album include “Put on that Hotel California” and “Baby, if you want to leave / Come to California / Be a freak like me, too.” The album as a whole is artistically curated. It’s grand and captivating. Also, the transition between the tracks “Freak” and “Art Deco” pacifies my soul.
Currents // Tame Impala
I didn’t know who Tame Impala was before reading his name on this year’s Coachella lineup. But I looked up his music after, and loved it. It’s psychedelic rock, and so cool! It’s the auditory equivalent of cotton candy flavored ice cream, or a modern Hawaiian shirt, or the word “groovy.”