COVID-19 has brought the world to a halt — and that includes the music industry.
The 1975’s Notes on a Conditional Form and Lady Gaga’s Chromatica are just two of a collection of highly-anticipated albums postponed due to the pandemic.
With 2020’s music scene on hold, I’ve found myself looking back in my library, finding fresh perspectives on music that’s disappeared from my more-recent listening preferences. Here are five from the past decade that have aged well: Rainbow - Kesha (2017) “Praying” received most of the media attention at the album’s release — and deservedly so — but the entirety of Rainbow is as powerful as any pop album of the decade. Rainbow transcends genres, combining heartfelt pop (“Hymn”) and country-rock melodies (“Hunt You Down”) in an underappreciated collection of music. Where It All Began - Dan + Shay (2014) Unlike the majority of pre-2015 country-pop, Where It All Began has an energetic, ahead-of-its-time sound that still feels modern six years after its release. Dan + Shay’s debut album includes radio hits “19 You + Me” and “Show You Off,” paving the way for the duo’s chart-topping success in the latter part of the decade.
What A Time To Be Alive - Drake and Future (2015) Reviews for What A Time To Be Alive were mixed, but, leading up to its release, the album was one of the most highly-anticipated in recent memory. The all-star collaboration between Drake and Future reached the top spot on the US Billboard 200. While WATTBA lacked the acclaim of other iconic hip-hop albums, hits like “Jumpman” were ingrained in pop culture as deeply as any track in the 2010s. Talking Is Hard - Walk The Moon (2014) Much like Rainbow, Talking Is Hard extends far beyond radio superstar “Shut Up and Dance.” Walk The Moon left behind the traditional indie rock sound of their self-titled debut album in favor of the new wave style of Talking Is Hard, placing themselves at the forefront of a movement that eventually yielded hits like DNCE’s “Cake By The Ocean” and Coin’s “Talk Too Much.”
Made In The A.M. - One Direction (2015) One Direction lived rent-free in the minds of teenagers for years, and those who grew up with Zayn, Niall, Liam, Harry, and Louis still await their reunion. No discussion on music in the 2010s is complete without the group. Their final album — albeit without Zayn — dominated charts following its release, and Made In The A.M. arguably has as many memorable songs as any other album.