Being inevitably stuck at home during this worldwide crisis can become intimidating. But let’s look at the bright side – it is the perfect opportunity to dedicate some time to immersing ourselves into music records in their eternity. Many artists put a lot of thought and effort into building whole worlds and taking us on an adventure in the span of several carefully composed and well-arranged songs.
In this blog post, I want to share eight stunning albums I think are worth taking the time to consume without any distractions. Hopefully, you will find some new music to enjoy and please do let me know of your suggestions as well.
In our age, we are so used to digitally available music and the flexibility of playlists music has become something we mostly listen “on the go”. There is nothing wrong with it and finding the right tracks to keep us company on the daily commute, workout session, or spree of chores is a great experience.
However, there is something magical in taking the time and putting all of your attention into simply enjoying a specific album from start to end. Not doing anything in the meantime – just you, some good atmosphere, and the artist expressing themselves via the carefully put together record.
Concept albums or not many records provide a magical journey to a different world with a specific tracklist. I am listing eight of the albums I find have an incredible effect listened to with undivided attention and full focus on the music. Also, please keep in mind this is a personal list not complying to any charts, statistics or greatest-hits-of-all-time lists.
I also challenged myself not to talk about any of the records I have previously discussed and really dig deeper to find the best gems I have somehow missed recommending before. The list features a variety of genres and different (sometimes abstract) sounds so there is a high possibility you will find something of your liking regardless of your preferred taste (but, for real, trying out new things can be surprisingly satisfying, just saying).
Hugo Kant – The Point Of No Return
Listen to The Point Of No Return
If there is one album that you must absolutely listen to in all its glory without getting distracted this is Hugo Kant’s The Point Of No Return. The twelve tracks have the ability to really transport you out of this world and help you immerse into something magical.
The artist has a unique approach towards music and creates pure magic fusing so many different elements it is hard to keep track. Soothing jazz, trip-hop, lo-fi, and mesmerizing classical instrumentals topped with alluring voiceovers – the journey The Point Of No Return offers is better than any fantasy movie you can find on Netflix.
It is really worth taking the time to fully explore the world of Hugo Kant as it will without a doubt affect you positively and boost your energy levels. The best part is in case this particular album achieves the effect I am talking about there are four more unique universes to visit with his other releases – each one is somehow different from the other but the unmistakable magic of the artist is fully preserved.
Agnes Obel – Aventine
Listen to Aventine
Agnes Obel is one extraordinary artist whose music can only be fully felt and experienced if you really devote yourself to it. Clear out all distraction and press play to be transported into Obel’s magical world.
Jazz and classical music fuse into an incredible journey with the artist’s well-flowing piano instrumentals steadily building up the culmination of each song where her voice does the finishing blow and completely knocks you down. It is pointless trying to describe Aventine as an album – it is an extraordinary journey which Obel planned all alone in her studio seamlessly uniting touching instrumental progressions, mysterious lyrics that take you to a different place according to your understanding, and her fascinating voice.
The soundscapes and environment she paints with her music are definitely a must – see for yourself and enjoy the ride.
The Rolling Stones – Goats Head Soup
Listen to Goats Head Soup
I rarely take the risk of talking about true classics but when it comes to albums that you have to enjoy in their eternity it would be a sin not to mention at least one of those.
The Rolling Stones are synonym of genuine classic rock (for a reason) and I personally find the 1973 Goats Head Soup extremely easy to enjoy in its full glory. As strange as it sounds the album is very refreshing and it is an example of exactly what classic rock is all about.
Infused with heartwarming solo instrumentals and Jagger and Richards’ possibly strongest songwriting the album gives off heavy melancholia vibes. Each song flows smoothly to the other and tells a different story which makes you immerse into the world of the Stones at that time and ease up no matter what tension you have built up.
Red Hot Chili Peppers – Stadium Arcadium
Listen to Stadium Arcadium
Speaking of true classics I think it is the perfect place to mention the band that keeps the classic funk-rock spirit thriving and unites it with modern influences in the most delightful way possible.
Red Hot Chili Peppers are proven veterans in the rock world and have produced some of the best music in the scene. Stadium Arcadium is one amazing experience when you dedicate the 152 minutes to fully get lost in the funky world of the band.
Many different musical influences can be noted as well as a praiseworthy combination of taking the old-school sound of the band and merging it with contemporary instrumentals and electronic beats. Each song creates a different mood and environment and tells a story you can easily picture in your head thanks to the fitting execution by the band.
Stadium Arcadium is packed with unique stories, touching emotional pieces, and fun times – it’s like an exciting movie with rapid development playing in your mind. Just take the time to enjoy it.
Ghost – Prequelle
Hard Rock/ Progressive Metal
Listen to Prequelle
I honestly don’t know how and why I haven’t taken on Ghost as a highlight of any blog post. The Swedish metal titans take music on a higher level by the incorporation of dedicated and absolutely stunning theatrics and storytelling (maybe only topped by the unstoppable Batushka).
The lore and constant improvement of the band’s story and mission are impressive but that is not all there is to it. Tobias Forge and the nameless ghouls excel in heavy music and compose their albums under specific concepts and themes they gracefully unveil with the tracklist and during live shows (yes, each show is a fundamental development in the story they are telling).
Prequelle is the album orchestrated by the latest alter ego of Tobias Forge and the new leader of the ghouls – Cardinal Copia. With notable influences by 70s and 80s hard rock and progressive metal Prequelle takes medieval times as a foundation for its concept. It deals with themes like “memento mori” and depths of death itself inspired by the Plague and the Black Death but also incorporated in modern lifestyle.
YUNGBLUD – 21st Century Liability
Listen to 21st Century Liability
I have talked about YUNGBLUD on a lot of occasions but I never properly reviewed his breakthrough debut full-length.
The artist is undeniably the most relevant acts in modern music and everything he does is a revolutionary call for unity and compassion defying outdated mindsets and taboos.
21st Century Liability explores turbulent socio-political global topics by brutally condemning the above-mentioned outdated way of thinking. The whole album is a great symbol of the unavoidable shift of generations and lifestyles. Provocative, loud, rebellious, and most importantly highly relevant the record is a great experience representing the current age supported by highest quality punk-rock energy.
BROCKHAMPTON – Ginger
Listen to Ginger
Time to direct your attention towards quality hip-hop. One of the best choices you can make in this regards is BROCKHAMPTON. The band featuring roughly 13 active members have the capacity to take you different places with each track and touch on a vast variety of themes.
One thing that unites all tracks is the supreme quality of hip-hop supporting the different messages and storytelling. Compelling wordplay is always present but moods are often shifting to give you a taste of different realities in the course of the 12 songs. Aggressive and angry, soft and emotional, easy-going and reckless, passionate and agitated – there is a lot to experience in Ginger and the same goes for the entire discography of BROCKHAMPTON.
Bliss N Eso – Circus In The Sky
Listen to Circus In The Sky
One of my absolute favorite Aussie music collectives – Bliss N Eso’s offer high-quality hip-hop music hand in hand with positivity, great energy, and undefiable motivation to find the good in any negative situation. Something I think we really need nowadays.
Circus In The Sky is my personal favorite record by the trio. It unveils rapid-fire hip-hop verses, great lyrical content, absolutely flawless flow, and execution that simply says – we had the best time writing and recording this, have a taste of the energy.
The album will leave you with a smile on your face, guaranteed. The more carefully you listen, the better it gets.
This is just a taste of the large variety of incredible albums to lose yourself into. Enjoying it with full focus and attention is really something else.
While taking the time to appreciate some masterpieces also keep your eyes open for the ways musicians are finding the positives in this devastating (especially for them) situation.
Many are not letting cancelled and rescheduled gigs and tours take the best of them and conduct livestream concerts that get surprisingly close to the real thing. Keep your eyes open for your favourite performers.
The Balkan reincarnation – Dubioza Kolektiv, for example, announced a livestream show each Monday at 20.30 (CET) until the outbreak is over and Yonaka are bringing in the heat each Saturday around the same time. Those are great opportunities for some quality quarantine time, trust me, I’ve checked.
Bring Me The Horizon are also letting fans get closer through their screen by documenting the recording of album number eight – it is a great way to take a peek behind the scenes of their crazy production work.
It is really inspiring to see all of those artists hard at work on new music and finding ways to connect with fans despite the situation. So never forget – there is always something positive in every mess we get ourselves into.
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