The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

Spec Sing Along Power Hour

Letterboxd Four Favorites: Album edition

If I could write for this column every week, I would. My drive to and from Eau Claire is three hours, so listening to albums has become my forte. It took a while to decide what to write about. Lately, there’s been too many albums to choose from. 

So I decided, why choose? If anyone is familiar with Letterboxd Four Favorites for movies, think of it like that. They’re not necessarily my four favorite albums of all time, but they are right now.

Let’s get started.

“Abbey Road” by The Beatles

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When I was 15, I went to a Paul McCartney concert at Lambeau Field. I remember hearing “Hey Jude” and everyone in the audience singing along.

Since then, I’ve become obsessed. In my vinyl collection, The Beatles claim more spaces than any other music artist. I thought it would take me a while to figure out which one was my favorite. I was wrong.

At 17 tracks and running 47 minutes and 29 seconds, “Abbey Road” is nothing short of a wonder. I will never not be in awe of the journey this album takes listeners on. 

Sure, some of the lyrics make no sense and tempo changes come out of nowhere, but I’ve never heard an album span such a wide range of emotions. This album was the last The Beatles ever released together, and they seemed to put their everything into it.

Top five: “Something,” “Maxwell’s Silver Hammer,” “You Never Give Me Your Money,” “Golden Slumbers” and “Carry That Weight.”

“Older” by Lizzy McAlpine

My friends will tell you Lizzy McAlpine is my favorite artist of all time, and I’ll tell you they’re right. Lizzy’s music just feels right. It’s like I can sit within the rhythms and harmonies effortlessly. 

I wasn’t sure what to expect. McAlpine has warned that it would be pretty sad. Let’s just say the word “pretty” didn’t lighten the blow at all.

Released on April 5 of this year, this album is a whirlwind. It has 14 tracks and runs 45 minutes and 41 seconds. She’s starting to find her sound, not that her other albums are flawed in any capacity.

Her debut album, “Give Me A Minute,” sticks to a calm acoustic or piano for the most part. Her EP, “When the World Stopped Moving: The Live EP” centers around relationships all in a calmer tone. Her second album, “five seconds flat,” is an experiment of sounds. 

Her work audibly articulates her growth as both a musician and as a person. And, it all sounds different. Not that I’d ever get bored of her sound. This album, though, is truly something special.

Top five: “Broken Glass,” “All Falls Down,” “Better Than This,” “The Elevator” and “You Forced Me To.” 

“High as Hope” by Florence + The Machine

I first discovered Florence + The Machine while mindlessly scrolling on YouTube. That’s when a lyric video from “The End of Love” showed up. I clicked on it, listened and became instantly obsessed.

I realized I knew the band’s song “Dog Days Are Over.” I decided that I wanted to hear more of their music and set my sights on their 2018 album “High As Hope.”

At just 10 songs, the work runs 40 minutes and 2 seconds. It’s unlike anything I’ve heard before. Though it never tells of a specific religion, you can feel the spirituality pulling through track by track. The need to believe in something and be a part of something is prevalent. 

Listening to this album is like some sort of weird, eye-opening experience. I hadn’t listened to it in a while, but after hearing the band’s feature on “Florida!!!” from Taylor Swift’s new album “The Tortured Poets Department,” it’s been on repeat. I can’t explain what this album will do to you, just listen to it.

Top five: “South London Forever,” “The End of Love,” “100 Years,” “No Choir” and “June.” 

“The Rise and Fall of a Midwest Princess” by Chappell Roan

If anyone is keeping gay pop alive in the 21st century, it’s three people: Lady Gaga, Kesha and most recently, Chappell Roan (Notice how Jojo Siwa isn’t on that list.)

Chappell Roan is a new discovery of mine. After watching videos of her opening for Olivia Rodrigo’s GUTS tour, I became intrigued. Her music has also become a staple during our layout nights for The Spectator. Even at 2 a.m., she brightens our spirits.

The first song of hers I listened to all the way through was “Red Wine Supernova.” It was a performance she did on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert. She was running in place in what seemed to be full drag and it made my jaw drop.

Her music lets people laugh, dance and cry. Her lyricism is truly remarkable. Not to mention, considering this is her debut album, I think people should be impressed.

Top five: “HOT TO GO!,” “Red Wine Supernova,” “Coffee,” “Super Graphic Ultra Modern Girl” and “Naked in Manhattan.”

Braun can be reached [email protected].

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