Photo from inverse.com
By Matthew Haid
As the year comes to a close, here are five exceptional albums from various genres to give a listen to.
1. Radiohead – “A Moon Shaped Pool”
Radiohead is the legendary and quintessential alternative rock group of the 21st century. It is hard to ignore the influence its had on artists around the world. Radiohead’s newest release, “A Moon Shaped Pool,” is poignancy mastered. Radiohead, Thom Yorke specifically, rides themes of loss and want, desire and confusion over Jonny Greenwood’s lush string arrangements.
2. Frank Ocean – “Blonde”
Frank Ocean’s disappearing act shortly after “Channel Orange” left many fans wondering if he would become the next D’Angelo or if he would ever make any new music again. However, his surprise release reinvigorated fans everywhere. With features from Andre 3000 of Outkast to Rostam Batmanglij of Vampire Weekend, “Blonde” features a more mature Frank Ocean dealing with his newfound fame and status in society.
3. Danny Brown – “Atrocity Exhibition”
Danny Brown’s latest release pushes the boundaries of what we define as hip-hop. While the beats on this particular release are engrossing enough for the audience to listen to them separately, Brown’s rhymes really drive the album home as he rides along the instrumentation, spitting some of his darkest material to date.
4. Beyoncé – “Lemonade”
Beyoncé’s surprise release surprised everyone, and it came at a time of turmoil between her and Jay-Z. Rightfully so, this album deals with topics of infidelity and revenge without cutting any corners. “I don’t wanna lose my pride, but I’mma fuck me up a bitch,” Beyonce sings passionately and matter-of-fact in “HOLD UP.” This was a prime example of her conflict between maintaining her cool and her desire to follow her passion.
5. Car Seat Headrest – “Teens of Denial”
Will Toledo, singer, songwriter and leader of Car Seat Headrest, sounds like a young Rivers Cuomo with a touch of Morrisey’s lyrical tongue and cheek humor. On “Fill in the Blank,” Toledo has no problem calling himself out on his insecurities, almost as if he is arguing back and forth with himself. All in all, Toledo reflects on the modern twenty-something-year-old life and the trials and tribulations associated with it in this album.