Listening To A New Album Every Day For A Week

Pink Floyd, Radiohead, Little Simz, Mitski, Japanese Breakfast, Baby Keem, and Lynyrd Skynyrd: this week, we have it all.

Listening+To+A+New+Album+Every+Day+For+A+Week

I’ll admit, I will listen to the same album on repeat for weeks, sometimes even months. Although I love my tried and true, it’s time for me to branch out. This week, I will be listening to 7 albums I’m either not very familiar with, or that I’ve been wanting to listen to but haven’t gotten around to.

Day 1 (11/30/2021): Animals -Pink Floyd (1977) Animals (Pink Floyd album) - Wikipedia

Initial Thoughts: Although I love Pink Floyd, I primarily listen to Dark Side of the Moon. I’ve only heard good things about this album, so I wanted to start my week off with something I’ll probably love.

Review: This album only has 5 songs, but it’s 42 minutes long. Although it may seem short, Animals is an entire experience, similar to all of Pink Floyd’s previous albums, especially since the songs are around 10 minutes long. The sound found in Animals has the classic Pink Floyd aura, but with a twist; I’ll be honest, my first listen was a wild ride. Usually, Pink Floyd tells stories through their music, which I appreciate dearly, and Animals is no exception; the track “Pigs (Three Different Ones)” is beautifully orchestrated with the typical Pink Floyd psychedelic-rock touch, but adds a more witchy feel towards the end of the song (around the 7 minute mark). This particular section acts as though it’s a song off of Dark Side of the Moon, but the instrumental additions make it feel like Pink Floyd is in a new era. The guitar solo at the very end is absolutely outstanding, not the mention the intense lyrics. Obviously, “Pigs (Three Different Ones)” is my favorite song off of the record, so I highly recommend this song for anyone trying to dive into the world of Pink Floyd. Although the track IS pretty lengthy, every minute is worth your while. I completely understand why this record is viewed as a cult classic.

Rating: 8 farm animals out of 10

Day 2 (12/1/2021): OK Computer –Radiohead (1997) RADIOHEAD - OK Computer - Amazon.com Music

Initial Thoughts: I feel like OK Computer is a classic I should’ve listened to before, but never have. I think I’m just scared of their fans.

Review: OK Computer is way better than I expected it to be; I can see myself listening to it after this entire “challenge” is said and done. I completely understand why people obsess over this album. It is definitely a product of its time; 1997 was an amazing year for music. With albums like Be Here Now by Oasis, The Color and the Shape by Foo Fighters, and Blur by Blur, this album fits in perfectly with the alternative rock sound of the decade. I really appreciate that OK Computer, as well as the rest of their discography, discusses themes of social-alienation and belonging. The sentiment is amazing, even if fans take it too far sometimes.

Rating: 7 creeps out of 10

Day 3 (12/2/2021): Sometimes I Might Be Introvert –Little Simz (2021) Sometimes I Might Be Introvert - Wikipedia

Initial Thoughts: Yet another album I’ve heard such amazing things about but never got into when it released. I remember I’ve listened to the first couple of songs before, and I remember I enjoyed them, so I’m taking this chance to fully appreciate and pay full attention to the album.

Review: This album is absolutely amazing. This is definitely the best one yet! This record is a mix of so many genres, but it mainly dives into rap and R&B with a more smooth instrumentals. This album kind of reminds me of The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill by Ms. Lauryn Hill, but Sometimes I Might Be Introvert stands on its own.The track “Introvert” is a mix of a dramatic orchestral instrumental and rapping, and although the two contradicting genres may seem like they clash, they most definitely do not. “Standing Ovation” is similar to this style as well. The execution is superb. Little Simz spits absolute bars and I could probably listen to her rap all day. Sometimes I Might Be Introvert lasts for 1 hour and 5 minutes, and every second is worth it; the track “Gems- Interlude” expresses themes of self awareness and reflection. She states “take your time. Inhale, exhale, breathe. Do you want 15 years? Or 15 minutes…I’m trying to be the greatest version of myself”, pointing out how taking time to produce amazing and meaningful work will be more valuable to her mind, body, and soul. The cleverness of “15 minutes” or “15 years” is unmatched; 15 seconds of fame for a single hit is significantly less impactful to the music scene alone compared to an entire album as introspective as Sometimes I Might Be Introvert. Overall, this album is perfection.

***Certified Lover Boy by Drake was pulled out of the 2022 Grammy’s…so it seems as though Sometimes I Might Be Introvert has a shot at taking its place. Here’s to hoping!

Rating: 10 future Grammys out of 10

Day 4 (12/3/2021): Puberty 2 –Mitski (2016) Puberty 2 - Wikipedia

Initial Thoughts: I haven’t been appreciating Mitski as much I should lately, especially because she is starting to release new music. Be The Cowboy is an album I’ve cherished, so I figured I should listen to an album I haven’t shown much love to.

Review: I adore this album. The second track, “Dan the Dancer” sounds like a song straight from the 90s. This song blew my mind; I’m a huge sucker for killer bridges and good percussion. Puberty 2 tells the story of individualism and love with outstanding instrumentals and of course, Mitski’s gorgeous voice. The contrast between alternative rock songs to slower ballads is great; Mitski covers all bases in Puberty 2. “I Bet On Losing Dogs” is a more somber ballad and is immediately followed up by a much faster paced rock song called “My Body’s Made of Crushed Little Stars”. “One morning this sadness will fossilize” from “Fireworks” is such a beautiful line. Just thought you all should know. This song is probably my favorite off of the album. Overall, Puberty 2 is an excellent album filled with a variety of unique songs and I’d recommend it to any of my Clairo, Julian Baker, Lucy Dacus, or Phoebe Bridgers fans in the audience.

Rating: 8.5 losing dogs out of 10

Day 5 (12/4/2021): Jubilee –Japanese Breakfast (2021) Jubilee (Japanese Breakfast album) - Wikipedia

Initial Thoughts: Japanese Breakfast was recently nominated for two big name Grammys: “Best New Artist” and “Best Alternative Music Album”. I haven’t listened to her before, so I’m not sure what to expect. All of the music reviewers I read and watch on YouTube only have great things to say about the rise of Japanese Breakfast and their newest creation, Jubilee. I have pretty high expectations.

Review: The first track, “Paprika” feels like what I’d picture for an album called Jubilee. I love the trumpets in the background, and the vocals are stunning; overall, the album is off to a great start. “Be Sweet” has a funky beat that reminds me of a the 1975 song. It’s catchy and the melodies in the chorus sound so cool. This entire album feels like the end of spring right before summer, which makes sense because it was released at the very start of June. From super slow, sad songs to electronic and upbeat songs to dance to, Jubilee has it all. It’s not my favorite album that I’ve listened to so far, but I’ll definitely come back to it during the summer.

Ranking: 6.5 yellow tomatoes out of 10

Day 6 (12/5/2021): The Melodic Blue –Baby Keem (2021) J-Lat music review: “The Melodic Blue” by Baby Keem – WKUHerald.com

Initial Thoughts: I am so excited to listen to this album! Kendrick Lamar is my favorite rapper of all time, so I can’t wait to hear what they do together. Baby Keem was also nominated for “Best New Artist” and “Best Rap Performance” for “family ties (with Kendrick Lamar)”, so I feel obligated to listen to this new record. I haven’t listened to any of Baby Keem’s music before, so I’m REALLY not sure what to expect.

Review: The first track, “trademark usa”, is such a strong start; it definitely sounds like a track Lil Uzi Vert or Kodak Black would be on. The song switches up halfway through, adding a cool flare. I’m not a fan of the second song, and I’ll be honest; I skipped the last half of the song because it isn’t my cup of tea. “range brothers (with Kendrick Lamar)” is pretty good, but I don’t think I’d add it to my playlist like I would with “trademark usa”. Kendrick’s verse is amazing, as expected. “Top of the morning, top of the morning, top of the morning, top of the morning”. The song “issues” sounds like a song by The Weeknd, and I like it. I’m not the biggest fan of this album; the best songs are the ones with Kendrick Lamar. I wish I had more to say, but unfortunately, this album wasn’t as good as I thought it would be. I can see how some people really rock out to it, but I cannot see myself ever going back to this record.

Rating: 6 top ‘o the mornin’s out of 10

Day 7 (12/6/2021): (Pronounced ‘Leh-‘Nérd ‘Skin-‘Nérd) –Lynyrd Skynyrd (1973) Pronounced 'Lĕh-'nérd 'Skin-'nérd) - Wikipedia

Initial Thoughts: This is just an excuse for me to listen to some Southern hippie music. I’m already a fan of Lynyrd Skynyrd; “Free Bird” is one of my favorite rock songs of all time. I will never shut up about it.

Review: “Gimmie Three Steps” is a classic (I’ll say “classic” a ton in this review…but it’s true). It reminds me of my childhood. Lynyrd Skynyrd’s entire discography reminds me of being a little kid, but this album specifically rocks my socks off. “Poison Whiskey” goes hard too. This album is purely classic after classic, how could you not love it? Senior Maggie Garrigan and her brother, Miles Garrigan, despise Lynyrd Skynyrd and they make fun of me for my newfound obsession with them. However, I don’t care and will continue to listen to them with no shame. I mean, with a closing line up with tracks like “Simple Man”, “Mississippi Kid”, and “Free Bird” that play back to back, how could you NOT like this album. “Forget your lust for the rich man’s gold, all that you need is in your soul”??? Lyrics to live by backed by a classic riff I’ll probably never get tired of. I’ve been saying this for a while; “Free Bird” is Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Stairway to Heaven”. Almost everyone has heard it and it’s timeless. The guitar solo near the end of the track is iconic and the lyricism is unmatched. “If I leave here tomorrow, would you still remember me?” is one of the most recognizable lyrics of all time. Scratch that. Every single moment of “Free Bird” is recognizable to fans and casual listeners alike. Lynyrd Skynyrd really paved the way for other southern rock artists, most notably ZZ Top (although they didn’t like ZZ Top…but that’s a story for another time). Currently, I’m in search of Pronounced ‘Leh-‘Nerd ‘Skin-‘Nérd on vinyl, so wish me luck, folks.

Rating: 8 free birds out of 10

Conclusion:

I’m really happy I finally got to listen to these albums; the discussion surrounding newer albums like The Melodic Blue and Sometimes I Might Be Introvert and the legacy of albums like Animals and Pronounced ‘Leh-‘Nérd ‘Skin-‘Nérd are definitely something to write home about.