Music is an important part of American culture that helps define different eras in history. Just how much has music changed over history? Turns out, the answer is a lot. What better time is there than summer to look back on music’s evolutionary nostalgia?
‘Jelly Roll Morton 1923/24’ by Jelly Roll Morton (1992)
This album is a compilation album that features many of well-known jazz singer Jelly Roll Morton’s songs. These songs were originally recorded in the 1920s and ’30s. To me, this album was exactly what you’d expect from a ’20s jazz album: relaxing, with a lot of piano. While I don’t listen to jazz, hearing this album was a therapeutic experience, and it would be great for anyone looking for a study playlist or something to unwind to.
‘The Voice of Frank Sinatra’ by Frank Sinatra (1964)
When I think of the ’40s and ’50s, Frank Sinatra is one of the most iconic singers who comes to mind. The slow beat, Sinatra’s deep voice and the background instruments are sure to add a dreamy vibe to your day. I didn’t expect to like this album as much as I did — ’50s music isn’t really my style — but Sinatra’s vocals show off his impressive talent as a musician and make you nostalgic for things you’ve never experienced. This album is great for slow dancing.
‘Dark Side of the Moon’ by Pink Floyd (1973)
You’ve probably seen the album cover of Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon. Whether the iconic light being diffracted through the prism is on hoodies, T-shirts or Instagram pages, everyone can agree on one thing: The album is just as unique. The vibe is experimental and psychedelic, and the songs seem to simultaneously be continuations of each other as well as worlds apart. Unlike Pink Floyd’s other albums, the music on Dark Side of the The Moon is nothing like my idea of ’70s music. This may be what makes this album so unique and weird … but in a good way. This album is an experience, and if you’re in the midst of an existential crisis, I strongly recommend it.
‘Nevermind’ by Nirvana (1991)
Nevermind is an iconic representation of music from the ’90s. The album cover itself is famous, and lyrics from “Smells Like Teen Spirit” are practically a trademark of the decade. Some of my favorite things about this album are the drums and electric guitar, which blend perfectly with Kurt Cobain’s voice. While some songs, like “Polly,” have a more acoustic vibe, others, such as “Territorial Pissings,” are far more aggressive. If you want to feel cool, scream along to songs and reminisce about the ’90s, this album is the way to go.
‘Lemonade’ by Beyoncé (2016)
Who wasn’t excited when they found out Beyoncé was coming out with a new album? Beyoncé’s Lemonade is one of the most popular albums of the 2010s. It shows off Beyoncé’s impressive vocal range, while also offering songs anyone can sing along to, like “Formation.” The album’s tunes are diverse in sound and mood, unlike the older albums on this list, which, for the most part, stick to one vibe. With collaborations with singers like Jack White, Kendrick Lamar and The Weeknd on Lemonade, you can enjoy other popular artists as well. Listen to this album if you want to reminisce about the 2010s and wonder how it’s already almost 2020.