5 Albums You Should Listen To

by Eugene Ye

Since we have all found ourselves with more time than usual, I wanted to suggest a few albums to check out while you have the time. Some of these albums are popular, some of them are less known and probably not the type of music you’re used to. In any case, I highly suggest having a listen to some of the albums you’re not familiar with because it’s always fun to find new music that you love. I’ve tried to include an album from a variety of genres and no two albums are from the same artists. I have also restricted myself from adding any classical music albums since none of you are even willing to give that a chance. And also remember, this is just my opinion. 

To Pimp a Butterfly – Kendrick Lamar

What better way to start the list off than with a classic. TPAB is one of my top 3 albums of the 2010s and I’m sure it is for a lot of people. Kendrick Lamar gives us so many memorable tracks that I still listen to at least once a week: Alright, King Kunta, i, and who can forget The Blacker the Berry. Not only does he tell one of the most compelling stories ever told in hip-hop, but he touches on themes of oppression, identity, and society through his personal experiences, pulling the listener into his mind and drowning us in emotions. Not to mention, he delivers an immaculate amalgamation of rap, jazz, funk, soul, and spoken word. I could go on about how great this album is, but it can be summed up as the perfect album. Don’t listen to this while doing your chem homework; sit down and absorb what Kendrick is saying because it’s worth your time. 

Spotify link:

Favourite Tracks:

  • Blacker the Berry
  • Alright
  • i
  • King Kunta

If you liked this album, check these out:

  • good kid, m.A.A.d city – Kendrick Lamar
  • Atrocious Exhibition – Danny Brown
  • TA13OO – Denzel Curry

Kid A – Radiohead

Now, this is an album most of you probably have not listened to but have heard of. At first listen, you’re probably going to go, “what the fuck did I just listen to”. It’s not your typical rock songs and ballades, or what you’d expect of Radiohead after listening to their most popular song Creep. This is album, believe it or not, has been incredibly influential on the experimental rock and alternative rock scene and it shows how far Radiohead has come since their debut album Pablo Honey. The album begins with the perfect opening track, setting the mood and conveying to the listener exactly what this album is going to sound like. This album isn’t about lyrics or a lost lover, it’s about sounds and how far can one push the boundaries of sound to convey a message. The album provides a complete experience with a beginning and an end and the more you listen to it, the more you fall into the world Radiohead and Thom Yorke have created.

Spotify link:

Favourite Tracks:

  • Everything In Its Right Place
  • Motion Picture Soundtrack, 
  • Idiotque
  • Morning Bell

If you liked this album, check these out:

  • In Rainbows – Radiohead
  • OK Computer – Radiohead
  • I honestly don’t know many other albums like Kid A, it’s really unique 

All my Heroes are Cornballs – JPEGMAFIA

Here is another album you’ve probably seen reviewed by Anthony Fantano or Shawn Cee but never listened to it. This album is bursting with creativity and it is clearly demonstrated through the production of the album. You’ll probably be thrown off at first by the sporadic screaming and the strange samples but JPEGMAFIA always makes up for it by throwing in hilarious lyrics and smooth transitions. He raps in compact spurts, volleys, and streams, his words slurred, stretched, and compressed as he channels his heroes and roasts his enemies. Honestly, I don’t have much else to say; some people love his music, others hate it, but I highly recommend giving it a try. It’s a different kind of music than what most people listen to every day and it’s always fun to try something new that you might love. 

Spotify link:

Favourite Tracks:

  • Jesus Forgive me, I Am A Thot
  • All My Heroes are Cornballs
  • Beta Male Strategies
  • Grimy Waifu
  • Kenan vs. Kel

If you liked this album, check these out:

  • Veteran – JPEGMAFIA
  • The Money Store – Death Grips
  • Injury Reserve – Injury Reserve

Time Remembered – Bill Evans Trio

Bill Evans is a genius. If you didn’t like jazz before, you probably will after listening to this album. The way Bill Evans plays the piano is unlike any other; it’s not just nice jazzy chords one after another that makes it so calming and beautiful, but there are so many small details and ideas that are just impossible to recreate. No matter how serene, there is always a sense of direction and emotion that carries the piece. In his autobiography, Miles Davis famously described Evans’ tone as sounding like “like crystal notes or sparkling water cascading down from some clear waterfall.” There are so many colours to his playing yet every note is crystal clear, showing off what a talented pianist he truly is. Although the album is a jazz trio, the music never feels limited. This is the type of album to put on when the sun is setting and the sky is painted like a blushing sea; grab a cup of coffee, sit on the couch and fall into the magical world Bill Evans has composed for everyone to experience. 

Spotify link:

Favourite Tracks:

  • Danny Boy
  • Like Someone In Love
  • Some Other Time
  • Who Cares?

If you liked this album, check these out:

  • Kind of Blue – Miles Davis
  • Ballads – John Coltrane
  • Waltz for Debby – Bill Evans Trio
  • Undercurrent – Bill Evans

Flower Boy – Tyler the Creator

This is another album most of you are going to know. It marks a turning point in Tyler the Creator’s Career and shows how much he has matured since his days of Goblin and Bastard. The alternative title to this album is Scum Fuck Flower Boy and just as the album is a turning point in his music, the album follows his journey from a “Scum Fuck” into a “Flower Boy”. I could talk about how he hints at his sexuality and his message to “tell these black kids they can be who they are,” but I want to talk about the album sonically. Right off the bat, Tyler comes in with the first track, preparing the listener for what’s to come; it holds his older style of rapping, but the instrumentals hint at what’s to come, already exposing a piece of his identity. He creates a sort of ethereal sound throughout the album, each track revealing more of what he has been hiding from his past albums, for example, Garden Shed is literally a play on words of “guarding shit”. Not to mention, the features are perfect (other than Jayden Smith) and they add beautifully to the ideas and sounds Tyler is trying to communicate. I would love to do a full album review on this but for now, let’s move on the number three. 

Spotify link:

Favourite tracks:

  • Boredom 
  • Where This Flower Blooms
  • Garden Shed
  • Who Dat Boy

If you liked this album, check these out:

  • IGOR – Tyler the Creator
  • Wolf – Tyler the Creator
  • SATURATION III – BROCKHAMPTON
  • Blonde – Frank Ocean

If you’re curious, here are some of my other favourite albums:

  • MBDTF – Kanye West
  • Blonde – Frank Ocean
  • In Rainbows – Radiohead
  • Kids See Ghosts – Kids See Ghosts
  • IGOR – Tyler the Creator
  • SATURATION III – BROCKHAMPTON
  • The Money Store – Death Grips