Each year comes and brings along with excellent music to listen to and associate it with. 2015 has been an especially great year for music, with major artists releasing music in the first half of the year and yet many more announcing the announcement of theirs. Two months shy of the halfway mark of 2015 and with a lot of options to choose from, here are our top three picks of the albums you should listen and celebrate your summer to:
American Beauty/American Psycho- Fall Out Boy
If you love the sound of anthem songs that have choruses worth shouting and stomping your feet to, look no further than Fall Out Boy’s sixth studio album. The album was released fresh into the New Year on January 20, 2015.
After pulling off a reincarnation of sorts with 2013’s “Save Rock and Roll”, the Chicago-based rock-stars continue to step on, and even try and erase the line between what’s considered pop and rock music. While traditionally known for their “emo” music, with lyricist Pete Wentz’s introspective lyrics and Patrick Stump’s soaring musical arrangements and vocals, the band took a noticeable turn towards pop music in their latest albums. American Beauty/American Psycho (stylised AB/AP), is a pop record, too, but it is also much more than that.
The album is 11 songs long, starting off with blaring horns with the album opener – “Irresistible”, a song about falling in love with people you know will hurt you. The song is a perfect way to start off a record, drawing attention to Stump’s soaring vocals. The first half of the album is full of catchy choruses and psychedelic song you can dance to, including the multi-platinum hit- “Centuries”. It then hits a slight slump in the middle but picks right up, with “Immortals”, which was featured on Disney’s Academy Award Winning film “Big Hero 6”. The album ends with the track named “Twin Skeletons”, which is almost like a cliffhanger in terms of the music you’d expect the band to release next.
The variety of music on AB/AP is commendable, from the melancholic and soulful “Jet Pack Blues” to head-bang worthy anthems like the title track. Despite the variety, it still sounds cohesive as an album and not just a collection of singles, which is more than what can be said for a lot of records being released today.
Must Listens: Uma Thurman, Jet Pack Blues, Fourth of July
Kintsugi- Death Cab for Cutie
Death Cab for Cutie has been a critically acclaimed band for as long as some of us have been alive. No, I’m not exaggerating. They’ve been around since 1997 and have found appreciation that started in the independent music industry and then led them to multiple Grammy nominations.
Kintsugi, the eighth studio album by the band, follows on the heels of the departure of Chris Walla, who was one of the band’s founding members, and the lead vocalist Ben Gibbard’s divorce with actress Zoey. Naturally, the main themes of the album revolve around love, heartbreak and melancholy.
The name of the album is from a Japanese art form involving the piecing together of broken pottery. The breaking and recreation of the ceramics are meant to become a part of the object’s story rather than simply a means of repair. The album is the band’s attempt at observing this philosophy musically and trying to incorporate it after painful losses.
The most striking feature of the album is that it can be listened to as passively or as actively as you want. If you’re focusing on reading and want something in the background or even if you want to wholeheartedly dissect the sound of the album, it is perfect for both. While generally labeled as an indie-pop record, which is what is DCFC’s main genre; it’s too homogenised to capture the sound of this record. The records range from the introspective, but upbeat “No Room in Frame”, to the slow ballad of “Hold No Guns”, and then to the more guitar-based sound of “Good Help (Is So Hard To Find)”.
This is the perfect album for an introspective, laid-back summer. I found it to be particularly amazing to write or read to.
Must Listens: No Room In Frame, Good Help (Is So Hard To Find), Binary Sea
Future Hearts- All Time Low
All Time Low have understood and employed the formula for a pop-punk record time and again. Future Hearts is an extension, although a brilliant one, of the same process. It’s definitely the same band who busted out tunes like “Dear Maria, Count Me In” but the lyrics have matured and the albums are peppered with slower songs, as well.
What Future Hearts lacks in cohesiveness as an album. Though, it definitely makes up in terms of how catchy the majority of the songs are. You might not want to list to the entire album in a go, but you’ll definitely find yourself humming the hooks under your breath after listening to some of the songs. The album follows no one theme but has the general “this- town-is-so-small-let’s-get-away-we’ll-make-it” vibe of any quintessential pop-punk record. Alex Gaskarth’s voice is framed perfectly in the melodic arrangements which some may criticise as overproduced. The album also boasts of some fantastic guest appearances- Mark Hoppus from Blink-182 (Tidal Waves) and Joel Madden from Good Charlotte. The strongest tracks of the album are the starting few as it loses momentum, giving way to the generic and forgettable in the middle.
Listen to this album for the variety of moods it can support- scared about the vast possibilities of the future; protesting against something unfair; or feeling like nothing will be worth it again. This album has it all.
Must Listens: Something’s Gotta Give, Satellite, Cinderblock Garden
Feature image credits: tntmagazine.com