Time goes by when you’re having fun, or busy balancing the various versions of what we like to call a “new normal.” Deadlines come and go, birthdays fly by, and suddenly you find yourself 10 years into the future marveling at the concept and validity of time. This is how I feel every time I listen to an album and check its release date, only to realize that it’s been almost a decade since it came out. So, to avoid any hiccups, and existential crises, here is a list of 5 albums that have been around for nearly a decade.
Currently sitting at a solid rising 9, according to Pitchfork, Tame Impala’s second studio album Lonerism has successfully stood the test of time. Entrancing, and dreamscape-worthy, the record meanders between Kevin’s earlier sound, while smoothly, yet clearly, referencing earlier decades – think “Elephant,” the beatle-esque track on the record. With progressive and borderline psych-rock production, as well as instrumentation, the album contracts and expands like the most luminous lava lamp.
Everything about Lonerism screams Tame Impala, and I guess that’s somewhat the point. Take a song like “Mind Mischief,” for example, which I would argue is the archetype for both their past, present, and future sound. Phasing and flagging, check. Memorable drums and opening riff, check. Catchy hook that doesn't feel too basic, check. Everything that makes Tame Impala great intertwined into one essential modern psych-rock track, within an even more iconic record.
While it’s almost been a decade since this cultural, and musical masterpiece came out, the zeitgeist just can’t seem to stop thinking about Channel Orange, and the hope of a fourth album from the R&B patron himself.
Unforgettable tunes aside, the songwriting on this record is the true determinant regarding its long-lasting effect. From the very relatable opening track, which even inspired a now-dated vine, to the cult classic “Super Rich Kids,” Frank knows how to set the scene and speak from the heart, to the heart. Never really settling on one approach, the record goes back and forth between slightly upbeat anthems like “Pyramids'' to searing and enlightening ballads such as “Bad Religion.” Not a throwaway in sight, Channel Orange remains rooted in public consciousness, progressively cementing its title as a modern classic.
Following his departure from Fleet Foxes, Josh Tillman released his solo debut as Father John Misty titled Fear Fun – and the rest is history. Charming and conceptually clever, Fear Fun is the perfect introduction to the singer-songwriter's discography before his various musical endeavors.
In comparison to his most recent projects, Fear Fun sonically feels more reserved and less boisterous. Well, all except for “Hollywood Forever Cemetery Sings,” which perfectly forecasts a quarter of what would become of his sound – I highly recommend listening to the version from his live album. Sarcastic and quick-witted, matched with fairly engaging instrumentals, Fear Fun walked so that "I Love You, Honeybear," and everything that came forth, could run. And for that reason, it’s worth commemorating and revisiting every now and then.
Godfather of the whammy bar and greasy-toned guitar revival that swept the mid 2010s indie-rock scene, Mac Demarco’s second studio album was my, and I’d guess many others, introduction to his music. Sonically, the record, like much of Demarco’s discography, is guitar heavy. What makes it so distinctly his is that lopsided element in every riff. For every phrase comes with a new pedal that somehow sounds even more crooked than the last. I guess that's the charm of it all. Songs like “My Kind of Woman” and “Freaking Out the Neighborhood” became alt-rock classics, while deep cuts like “Boe Zaah,” and my favorite, “Still Together” serve as the perfect interludes for any intimate summer playlist.
With the highly anticipated release of Kendrick Lamar’s' fifth studio album fast approaching, this is the perfect time to look back on his first revered masterpiece. Immediately recognized as an important record in modern rap history by critics of the time, good kid, m.A.Ad city marked Kendrick’s first steps as the current generation's chosen MC. Brilliantly realistic and timeless, each track unveils the rapper's story and acute observations on his upbringing.
Stacked with legendary features (Drake, Dr. Dre, Mary J. Blige, and Jay Rock) and the undeniably intoxicating nature of West Coast rap, every track is melodiously coated, making it much easier to swallow. The entirety of the album, without including bonus tracks, leads up to the victorious closer, “Compton.” An ode to his hometown, and a perfectly symmetrical circle to the beginning of the album,“Compton'' remains an essential in all of our lives, and Kendrick’s discography.