There’s no simple way to describe the last 12 months of music. It was a year in which Taylor Swift bounced back from her awkward VMA incident and Kanye West bounced back even higher. A year with hits from Katy Perry, Rihanna, Ke$ha and other tween-pleasing singers. But amongst all this music, a few albums certainly stood out.
Kanye West – “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy” – This critically acclaimed album is a true comeback from West’s public ostracism. Overflowing with themes of lavish grandiosity and mixed with motifs of sorrow and dejection, West’s latest album is a powerful compilation of riveting content and entertaining musical style. Additionally, West’s cast of guest artists, like Jay-Z, Kid Cudi, Nicki Minaj and John Legend make the album truly spectacular.
Arcade Fire – “The Suburbs” – This is arguably the best alternative rock album of the year. In comparison to their first two albums, Arcade Fire increases their energy and passion on each track. With intimate themes of grief and nostalgia, “The Suburbs” is a very touching, poignant album. Make sure to listen to the album’s best two tracks, “We Used to Wait” and “Ready to Start.”
LCD Soundsystem – “This is Happening” – LCD Soundystem’s third studio album is the group’s best and most meaningful album yet. One of the album’s best hits is “Drunk Girls,” a creative dance-rock tune and with an equally fascinating music video. Other noteworthy tracks include “Somebody’s Calling Me,” which features haunting and gripping musical motifs and “All I Want,” a more upbeat tune.
Vampire Weekend – “Contra” – Released in January, Vampire Weekend’s second album garnered the once-unknown indie band millions of fans. “Horchata,” a catchy tune with an island-sounding percussion section, several woodwinds and violins is a perfect example of the group’s recognition-garnering originality. “Diplomat’s Song,” the album’s longest track, features hip-hop artist M.I.A. in a reggae-reminiscent, romantic song. With so many unique and creative songs, “Contra” is one of the strongest albums of the year.