Summer Suggestions: 2 Albums That Got Me Through High School

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Bertrand

MGMT’s “Little Dark Age” is one of the albums that helped The Beacon’s Anastasia Everding get through high school.

Music can be a huge motivator and mood booster, but it can also give you a good cry that’ll leave you feeling sad and unwilling to be productive for hours. The songs I listen to can make me feel the full range of emotions, so in no particular order I will list two of my favorite albums of all time, which you should check out if you haven’t already. And yes, I will make sure to let you know if any certain song will make you feel extremely elated or hopeless.

Little Dark Age, MGMT

This album is a melting pot of vintage-sounding synthesizers, synth-pop sounds and some psychedelic elements. Indie has been changing a lot over the years, but MGMT seemed like they wanted to keep their ’80s fixation in their music the same. One of their most famous songs, released in 2007, is “Electric Feel,” which featured lots of floor toms, ’80s-inspired synth-pop and a little bit of funk. Little Dark Age their most recent album, keeps a lot of these elements, especially in the opener, “She Works Out Too Much.” The female vocals are a great addition to this song, conveying the fragility of relationships. In this song, I imagine a couple trying to work out their not-so-great relationship; the male vocal says “she works out too much” repeatedly, but to counter his argument, the female vocal says, “The only reason it didn’t work out was he didn’t work out.” They say this back and forth throughout, making it a comical start to the album. 

Overall, I have so many memories associated with this album, specifically my favorite songs, “When You Die” and “Me and Michael.” I first started listening to this album during my freshman year and have been listening to it ever since, so it’s safe to say that this is one of my favorite albums of all time. It’s a great experience if you like psychedelic music, synth-pop and indie. Some songs are more indie than others, and some are simply more comical and upbeat than others, so I recommend listening to this whole album first before you make a final decision about whether you like it or not. I wouldn’t say it’s for everyone because some people aren’t into ’80s elements mixed with synth-pop, but if you’re into that, check this out. Overall, I’d give it a 9/10 stars.

Ylang Ylang, FKJ

This album is so euphoric. It has so much personality and depth, and it constantly gives me chills. FKJ never fails to disappoint me in terms of creating all kinds of emotions in his dance/electronic music. Most of his previous songs were instrumentals, but in this new album he has, in fact, added vocals to four out of six songs, which is surprisingly awesome to me. 

In the first song, “Earthquake,” he refers to the 2016 Taiwan earthquake by describing the appalling event with lyrics such as “human nature plays with nature, but nature isn’t playing.” My interpretation of this song is that humans can sometimes take nature for granted, but nature doesn’t take us for granted. He refers to the concept of karma, in that if we don’t take care of our planet, it will essentially react negatively to us. He then says, “Some want to rebuild a future, I say stop slaying stop slaying.” I love how he starts the album with this song; it sets such an appropriate tone throughout all the tracks.

My favorite song in the album is “Ylang Ylang,” and if you know me, you would know I play this a lot in my free time and know how to play it on the piano. It’s so beautiful, with the piano solo at the beginning and then the build-up throughout the song with ambient sounds. If I were to recommend one track from this album, it would be this one. Overall, I would give this album a 9.8/10 stars. I don’t give it a 10 because, like every album, it’s not perfect, but this one is definitely close to that standard.