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My Top 5 Music Albums of All Time (That You Might Actually Like)

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at McMaster chapter.

I won’t sit here and feign the identity of a music connoisseur, nor will I pretentiously seat myself atop a cultivated music taste hierarchy — you already have Anthony Fantano for that. What I’m here to do is introduce you to some of my favourite albums — some recent, some of which I’ve grown up listening to, a lot of which have been, in some shape or form, substantially significant in my growth and to specific life experiences. Grab your headphones and prepare yourself for my top ten music albums of all time (that you might actually like!). 

1. OK Computer – Radiohead (1997)

Radiohead reminds me of my father’s backseat, where I sat for hours during road trips, listening to the CDs he played for my sisters and I, and none of which sounded like Hilary Duff or anything from the Family Channel. OK Computer is heavily layered, both in its sound (experimental and almost futuristic) and its existential themes. This album is for when it’s 3 am and you’re staring exhaustedly at your laptop screen, wondering when the last time you spoke out loud. 

My favourite song from the album: “No Surprises

2. Norman Fucking Rockwell! – Lana Del Rey (2019) 

I have loved this album from the very moment it came out. The exclamation point in the title did not prepare me for this absolute wonder. While still remaining consistent with Del Rey’s infamous Old Hollywood aesthetic and sound, both her lyrics and unmatched voice are a transformative testament of freedom and beauty. Norman Fucking Rockwell! is so good, I cannot deem a single song skippable. This album is for when you’re mad at a man and desire some validation. 

My favourite song from the album: “The Greatest

3. The Moon and the Melodies – Cocteau Twins (1986)

I came upon this ethereal album at the very start of the Covid-19 pandemic, and it got me through the brunt of it. This collaboration between the shoegaze band, Cocteau Twins, and keyboardist Harold Budd, is simultaneously dreamy, moody, and ground-breaking. A whimsical airiness you won’t find elsewhere threads through this album lifts you above the ground, transporting you to a faraway realm. This album is for escapism. 

My favourite song from the album: “Sea, Swallow Me

4. Demon Days – Gorillaz (2005)

This is an album I can go back to, time and time again, and do, for the sake of the familiar excitement I am promised, as well as the enigmatic fusion of numerous genres, sounds, and guest artists – all contributing to a growing impression of bleakness as the album progresses. This album evokes nostalgia, but more so muses over a deteriorating world, one that sounds eerily similar to ours. This album is for when you can’t choose what you specifically want to listen to or simply for desensitization. 

My favourite song from the album: “O Green World

5. Tell Me I’m Pretty – Cage The Elephant (2015)

This album has been a solid favourite of mine since my “I hate everything” phase in high school. This album is a masterpiece that breaks away from their prior eccentricity, moving into a place of contemplation, morbidity, and growth. Lead vocalist Matt Schultz’ voice is controlled and harmonic, while his lyrics reflect the need to grow and face the evolving, darkening world. I was lucky enough to hear many of these songs in concert this past summer, and truth be told, I am a changed woman. This album is for nostalgic nights alone. 

My favourite song from the album: “Sweetie Little Jean

I am now admittedly expecting you to turn a new leaf and replace all of your most-listened-to albums for mine—kidding! That being said, I hope you give some of these a listen, as they’re pretty dang good. And as someone who never offers to play my music on AUX (I am not strong enough to risk having everyone hate my choices), the fact that I can even confidently recommend these suggests you probably should give them a try, at least once! Cheers!

Sacha LaRocque

McMaster '23

A fourth-year English and Cultural Studies student at McMaster University, further pursuing a Concurrent Certificate in Creative Writing and Narrative Arts. A devotee of literature, oddly specific Spotify playlists, and films that make me uncomfortable. Also a self-appointed coffee connoisseur.