Everyone loves music, right? It's fun, it's sad, it's happy, it's intense, it's poetic — sometimes all at the same time! I've always loved music, but recently, I've become really interested in albums as a whole rather than just individual songs. I'm particularly interested in albums that flow together if you listen to them straight through. Here are 13 that I think everyone needs to listen to.
1. 'Gone Now' - Bleachers
Gone Now is a little bit of fun, a little bit of dance, a little bit of sad, and a little bit of soul-searching. The songs all fit together really well and Jack Antonoff's voice is just so cool (plus, he's Taylor Swift's producer and he was the bassist in fun., so you know the music is going to be good). Need more convincing? I personally think that Bleachers sound like a kind of new version of David Bowie — there's definitely some 1980s thrown into the mix of their sound!
2. 'Hotel California' - The Eagles
Speaking of the '80s, The Eagles Hotel California album has to be pretty high up there for me in albums that I love to listen to. Maybe it's just the nostalgia I get listening to The Eagles because that's a lot of what my parents played in the car when I was a kid, but I really love jamming to these songs. Not to mention that the title song, "Hotel California," has one of the best guitar solos ever.
3. 'Cleopatra' - The Lumineers
It's rare that a group with such a good first album can produce a second album that's equally as good, but I'd like to argue that The Lumineers did more than that — they produced a second album that's better. In their true style, there's lots of guitar, lots of songs with that cool and artsy background noise, and a whole lot of feelings in the music. The album is a 10/10.
4. 'Strange Desire' - Bleachers
I've come back to Bleachers. This is actually their first album and one of the most emotionally heavy I've ever listened to despite the light, upbeat tone. The whole thing is about Jack Antonoff dealing with the feelings he got left with after getting into a car accident with his sister, who ended up dying as a result. The album might not make you sad, but it'll definitely make you think.
5. 'Dear Wormwood' - The Oh Hellos
The number of people who have never heard of The Oh Hellos is tragic. This brother-sister duo and their band are incredibly talented musicians and songwriters. All of their albums are amazing, but Dear Wormwood is better than anything else I've ever listened to. Each song flows into the next one, creating the idea of it being one continuous song. The songs themselves are based on the work of C.S. Lewis, which gives them a lot of added depth. I could honestly write pages upon pages about this one, so you should really just go look it up.
6. 'Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts' Club Band' - The Beatles
People have often called this "the album that changed music" and they're completely right about that. If you somehow haven't listened to this, you really ought to go and do that. Some of The Beatles' very best songs are on here! It's a little quirky, a little weird, and just the right amount of fun to make for a great listen.
7. 'Escape' - Journey
I mean, do I need to say anything more than the fact that "Don't Stop Believin'" came out on this album? But, if you need more convincing, this album was also home to "Who's Cryin' Now" and "Open Arms."
8. 'Songs About Jane' - Maroon 5
Songs About Jane is too good not to be on this list. It features childhood classics for college kids such as "She Will Be Loved" and "This Love," so you know it's clutch.
9. '25' - Adele
I'm a weirdo, I know, but I think that Adele's most recent album is her best on the whole. They all had some really great songs, but 25 has to be my favorite just because of how she's dealing with all of these really raw and painful memories. It definitely sounds more mature than her previous albums (which, I guess it's supposed to) and the whole tone is more about reflection than on actually being in the painful place.
10. 'Sigh No More' - Mumford and Sons
I like Sigh No More better than Babel, much to the chagrin of literally everyone I say this to, but I love the emotion of Sigh No More. It's a good balance of soft and angry, sad and scared. It touches love, loss, friendship, and existentialism all in a few short songs, so it's a bit of a rollercoaster, but it's worth it.
11. 'Scars and Stories' - The Fray
It's beautiful and sad, but mostly just beautifully sad. The Fray never fails to impress me with their albums, but this one really gets me. It's named perfectly and the songs are all so good.
12. 'Native' - OneRepublic
Disclaimer: I liked Native before it was cool, which is still a bragging point for me even though it's been like 8 years. In classic OneRepublic style, it's a really fun album that has some deeper stuff buried down under the great beat.
13. 'Bridge Over Troubled Water' - Simon and Garfunkel
I might be biased on this album because my favorite song even is Simon and Garfunkel's Bridge Over Troubled Water, so there's that. But also the album is legitimately good. As per usual, the rainy day, melancholy songs (98% of everything they sing, tbh) are balanced out with a few really happy beats (that still have sad lyrics), which makes for a great listen, especially if it is a rainy day and you just need to snuggle into your bed with some good songs.