Five Albums You Should Be Listening To Right Now
This week's curator: Jaimie Etkin of The Daily Beast.
Every week, titans of the mediasphere give Nerve their album recommendations. This week: Jaimie Etkin of The Daily Beast.
Warning: I am an unabashed lover of all things pop. If I can clap to it, snap to it, or bust a move to it, I'm probably a fan of it. (And upon further examination, the less frequently an artist uses his last name, the more likely I am to like him.) Below are some of my favorites of the genre from the past decade, sparing you Britney or Bieber.
1. Robyn, Body Talk
If someone had said that the Swedish songstress who was unknowingly soundtracking my middle-school years with "Show Me Love" and "Do You Know (What It Takes)" would reemerge years later with one of the best electric pop/dance albums of the decade, we probably would have dampened our JNCO jeans. But much to my surprise, Robyn's Body Talk — released in three parts over the latter half of 2010 — is exactly that. From her current single "Hang With Me" to her collaboration with Snoop Dogg on "U Should Know Better," nearly every song has the capacity to be a smash hit.
Listen: "Dancing On My Own"
2. Mika, Life In Cartoon Motion
Listening to Mika's debut album usually leads to public toe-tapping and/or head-bobbing. Borrowing from Queen and the Scissor Sisters before him, the British singer offers fifty minutes of pure joy, from chart-climber "Grace Kelly" to "Lollipop" to "Big Girl (You Are Beautiful)." It's delicious ear candy at its finest.
Listen: "Love Today"
3. Various Artists, Blue Valentine soundtrack
Right now, I love the soundtrack to Michelle Williams and Ryan Gosling's latest indie film Blue Valentine. This album will break your heart in the best way. The actor's eerily prophetic, ukulele-accompanied take on the Mills Brothers' "You Always Hurt the One You Love," featured in the trailer, is just the beginning. Gosling, a former Mickey Mouse Club cast member, offers two more songs on the soundtrack, joining eight pieces from Brooklyn folk band Grizzly Bear, a little Pat Benatar, and the doo-wop inspired track that the devastatingly candid couple calls their own.
Listen: "You and Me"
4. Adele, 19
In the wake of Amy Winehouse madness, Adele proved that some British young women with mind-blowingly soulful voices could do more than brawl with boys and drink until their cat-eye make-up spreads down their cheeks. Adele sets her forlorn lyrics of young love against a combination of blues and folk that's simultaneously fresh and retro. I've been listening to her Grammy-winning debut on repeat, in addition to "Rolling in the Deep," the first single from her followup due later this month.
Listen: "Hometown Glory"
5. Sia, We Are Born
Sia's sighing 2004 hit "Breathe Me" is undoubtedly moving. But the Australian singer's latest album offers equally heartwrenching lyrics, paradoxically resonating over upbeat compositions. The daring shift Sia took with We Are Born confirms that some pop music can be simultaneously deep and blonde.
Listen: "Clap Your Hands"