Kendrick Lamar: “To Pimp a Butterfly”
Kendrick Lamar delivers a rap album with a powerful message hidden under funk influences. This is an album about good things found against insurmountable odds. “To Pimp a Butterfly” is an album of unconnected dots and a refusal to give the listener an easy answer. It is an album that truly gets better every time and leaves you thoughtful.
Sufjan Stevens: “Carrie and Lowell”
“Carrie and Lowell” is Stevens at his best, stripped down and intimate while still keeping his music sweeping and layered. The album’s title refers to Stevens’ mother and stepfather, with whom he had a complicated relationship. Even the melancholy sound of the song leaves a sense that somehow, Stevens ended up happy.
Death Cab for Cutie: “Kintsungi”
“Kintsungi” works best as a companion album for the previous release, “Codes and Keys”. While the more electronic vibe may leave some fans cold, “Kintsungi” still has the trademark melancholy vibe of Death Cab For Cutie. With this album, Death Cab continues its tradition of doom and gloom delivered with a catchy, sing-along vibe.
Earl Sweatshirt: “I Don’t Like Shit, I Don’t Go Outside”
Earl Sweatshirt is an amazing example of a rapper who doesn’t buy his own press
as a rap prodigy. Following mysterious disappearance, Earl Sweatshirt delivers a technically competent rap album where he is content to stay in the shadows and let other rappers dazzle instead. His lyrics are full of subtlety and swagger.
Graphic Courtesy of Rachel Dodell ’18, Online Editor