By: Timothy Coffman, Columnist
Featured image courtesy of cooglife.com
In the past ten years, music has changed drastically through the emergence of Spotify, the tragic losses of key figures, and the rise of rhythm games inspiring a whole new generation of kids to pick up instruments of their own. Seeing how things have changed, here are some albums that will be a nostalgic trip back to the days when the most important cultural milestone was “High School Musical 3: Senior Year.” Here are the albums that have just celebrated a decade’s worth of existence and have shaped the current state of music.
- “19” (Adele)- It’s been a long time since Adele has been on the musical radar, but on this album, she proved that she still had quite a few tricks up her sleeve. This album is more straight-ahead soul music that is pretty much “Adele 101” at this point, but the single “Chasing Pavements” ranks among some her best compositions. She also proves herself to be a masterful interpreter with the reinvention of Bob Dylan’s “Make You Feel My Love.” Little did we know this was the first offering from an artist destined to be massive.
- “Viva La Vida or Death and All His Friends” (Coldplay)- After 2005’s fantastic but somewhat underwhelming “X&Y”, Coldplay put their best foot forward and gave the world this record, complete with the karaoke staple title track. The rest of the album reflects a grandiose tapestry of sound in lush soundscapes, like “Cemeteries of London,” the beautiful instrumental “Life in Technicolor,” and the penultimate track “Violet Hill,” the most forceful song this band has ever recorded. This record shows this classic pop band at the peak of their powers, reaching for legendary status.
- “808s and Heartbreak” (Kanye West)- This album is best known for hits such as “Heartless,” but this record from Kanye was one of his most experimental. While proving himself on previous records like “The College Dropout” and “Late Registration,” West chose to go in a more electronic direction on this record, which worked to great effect when paired with the intimate lyrics. While other hip hop acts like Lil Wayne were dropping their better albums this year, “808s” stands out because it afforded current hip hop stars like The Weeknd and Drake to become more heartfelt instead of being braggadocious all the time.
- “Death Magnetic” (Metallica)- After the panned 2003 work “St. Anger,” Metallica rose from their grave with producer Rick Rubin to create their most cohesive album since their self- titled album from 1991. Songs like “All Nightmare Long” and “My Apocalypse” display all of the thrash goodness that metalheads had come to expect from this band in their prime. While the mix can be muddy at times, this band feels completely invigorated, and the return of Kirk Hammett playing guitar solos is one of the album’s many highlights.
- “Pretty. Odd.” (Panic at the Disco)- While initially panned by the critics, this album certainly lives up to its time. This album is an emo-classic rock experiment that turned out surprisingly well. Songs like “Nine in the Afternoon” and “Northern Downpour” seem to be lifted from a best-of-60s compilation album that was never made. Other songs like “Folkin Around” and “That Green Gentleman” show that these guys had not forgotten how to write amazing pop songs. While the band grew up fast, this is an album worth owning from one of the most successful alternative rock acts of the 2000s.