Illustrated by Tavish Mohanti

Introducing “An Album Every Day,” a new project inspired by @sammersmusic on TikTok. Every day, I will be listening to an album I’ve never heard before, and every week, I will be posting a round-up of my thoughts and highlights.

Monday, January 10, 2022

FRIENDS THAT BREAK YOUR HEART (2021) 😊 – James Blake 

Rating: 7.3/10 

Favorite song(s): “Famous Last Words” 

Favorite lyric(s): “You’re the famous last words / I wish I nеver uttered” – “Famous Last Words”

With his trademark husky vocals and dreamy instrumentals, FRIENDS THAT BREAK YOUR HEART is a perfect example of the whole being greater than the sum of its parts; while the individual songs are not particularly interesting or innovative, the whole album serves as a haunting listening experience. 

Tuesday, January 11, 2022

HUMAN (2019) 🤩 – dodie 

Rating: 9.3/10 

Favorite song(s): “Burned Out” and “She” 

Favorite lyric(s): “Cause she tastes like birthday cake, and storytime, and fall / But to her, I taste of nothing at all” – “She” and “Unzip your skin and let me have a seat” – “Human”

dodie is first and foremost a poet; all of the songs on this album are lyrical masterpieces that capture themes of queer love and relationships perfectly. On first listen, I thought the production was lacking; however, on further listen, I realized the stripped-down style rightfully highlights the best parts of the album: dodie’s writing and vocals. The instrumentals, a blend of slow-strumming guitar and soft orchestra, coupled with her honey-like voice feel like a warm blanket, holding you in a loving embrace.

Wednesday, January 12, 2022

NOTES FROM THE ARCHIVE: RECORDINGS 2011-2016 (2020) 😊 – Maggie Rogers 

Rating: 8.4/10 

Favorite song(s): “New Song” and “Little Joys”

Favorite lyric(s): “I’m a big mess of little joys” – “Little Joys”

Similar to James Blake’s FRIENDS THAT BREAK YOUR HEART, this album works best as a whole. The songs blend together cohesively, which is surprising considering they were all written at various times during a five-year period, but the individual songs are unrevolutionary. While her voice is incredible, I prefer the indie-pop production of her 2019 album HEARD IT IN A PAST LIFE over the folk sound of NOTES FROM THE ARCHIVE. 

Thursday, January 13, 2022

LAUNDRY SERVICE (2001) 🤩  – Shakira 

Rating: 9.1/10

Favorite song(s): “Objection( Tango)” and “Whenever, Wherever”

Favorite lyric(s): “This is pathetic and sardonic / It’s sadistic and psychotic / Tango is not for three / Was never meant to be” – “Objection( Tango)”

With LAUNDRY SERVICE, Shakira demonstrates exactly why she is an international icon. The beats and melodies of this album are intoxicating; you can’t help bopping your head and shaking your hips. Compared to her exhilarating, fast-paced songs, her slower ballads like “Underneath Your Clothes” fall flat; however, they are still a great showcase of her powerful and distinct voice. 

Friday, January 14, 2022

A DIFFERENT KIND OF HUMAN (STEP II) (2019) 🤩 – AURORA

Rating: 8.6/10 

Favorite song(s): “The Seed” and “Animal” 

Favorite lyric(s): “Stitch your skin on to my skin / And we won’t be alone” – “The River”

A DIFFERENT KIND OF HUMAN (STEP II) can only be described as cinematic. It feels like a movie soundtrack with riveting instrumentals and AURORA’s ethereal voice. I could imagine “The Seed” playing during a rousing sequence as the almost-defeated heroine puts on her armor, preparing for the final battle. “Animal” would play as the hero gallops across rolling green hills. I recommend you listen to this album with your eyes closed and let this mesmerizing album lead your imagination on its own adventure. 

Saturday, January 15, 2022

RARE (DELUXE)(2020) 🤩 – Selena Gomez 

Rating: 9.4/10 

Favorite song(s): “She” and “Ring”

Favorite lyric(s): “There’s a difference between a want and a need / Some nights, I just want more than me” – “ Boyfriend” and “Put a gold star on my disorder” – “Fun”

Selena Gomez does not get enough appreciation for her music, but RARE (DELUXE) is a perfect example of her unique talent as a musician. There was not a song on the album I did not enjoy; from bops like “Boyfriend” to ballads like “Let Me Get Me”, Gomez delivers an album full of emotionally raw and perfectly-produced songs. While some of the songs are too simple lyrically, they are still incredibly catchy, and the uplifting themes of her music make this album one everyone should listen to.

Sunday, January 16, 2022

JUBILEE (2021) 😊 – Japanese Breakfast 

Rating: 6.4/10 

Favorite song(s): “Be Sweet”

Favorite lyric(s): “Hell is finding someone to love / And I can’t feel you” – “In Hell”

You can listen to JUBILEE while working or cleaning or doing anything else for that matter; it does not require deep thought or active listening The production is not awful, but it lacks the same spunk and spice that some of the other albums this week were filled with. The songs melt together to create a work that is pleasant but not exciting.

Tavish Mohanti

Tavish Mohanti is a student at UCLA passionate about food, film, and journalism who hopes to one day write comedy like Taika Waititi. His mutts are the loves of my life.

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