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The Daily Tar Heel

Music makes me lose control: Albums students can listen to front to back

UNC freshman Abigail Friedline, a Neuroscience major, adjusts the volume of a car radio, while freshman Austin Hicks, Political Science major, poses in Winston-Salem on Oct. 3, 2020.

Whether it is the nostalgic pop of Gen Z’s favorite boy band, One Direction, or the alternative rap icon that is Tyler, The Creator, some albums are just so perfect that every song could have been a single. Every student has their go-to Spotify or Apple Music playlist for studying or driving, but that feeling you get when you find an album you enjoy from front to back is unparalleled. 

So, we asked students: What albums have you listened to front to back?

First-year Kyle Beaman does not just appreciate the music he hears, but also has created an Instagram page where he rates and reviews new albums to share online. His Instagram account @musicreviewstodo enables him to share his opinion on everything from popular to underrated music.

“What I try to do is listen to as many albums from the current year as possible and review them based on theme, lyrics, vocals, flow, stuff like that,” Beaman said.

Beaman’s personal favorite album is "IGOR" by Tyler, The Creator. The artist, who is known for his genre-blending, alternative rap music, released "IGOR" in 2019, an album where each song is artistically refined and representative of his life and what he has overcome.

“It was the first project I was exposed to of his, and the way that it even just starts just immediately draws you into what the album is really about and the sound of it, the theme of it, everything about it,” Beaman said.

First-year Ashley West said she had a similar experience when she first listened to "Midnight Memories," an album released in 2013 by the boyband One Direction.

“The first time I listened to it, I was about 10," West said. “And immediately, I loved it. I was probably dancing around my room screaming 'Story Of My Life' at the top of my lungs.”

For any Gen Zers who shared a love for One Direction, turning on the album once in a while lets them remember the good old days before coronavirus and midterms.

While TikTok has repopularized a lot of nostalgic songs and reconnected the world to Harry Styles and 1D, many students are also finding new music and promoting new artists through the app.

First-year Sierra Brinkley said she realized her love of SZA, an American rapper, through the app. SZA's 2017 album "Ctrl" features Travis Scott, Kendrick Lamar and other modern rap icons.

“I feel like I related to each song for different reasons,” Brinkley said, “and just feel like the album is so cool and mellow."

First-year Ava McDonald, like many other college students, said she vibes with music spanning the '70s to '90s more than today’s pop hits, specifically "Pinkerton" by Weezer. The album, released in 1996 by the American rock band, lasts a whopping 35 minutes and is a great set to listen to during a quick run or drive. 

There are countless other oldies that are gaining more recognition for their countless hit albums like "Out of the Blue" by Electric Light Orchestra, "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" by The Beatles and "Out of Time" by R.E.M., all albums that put people in a groovy mood before online school and a day of endless Zoom meetings.

Check out a full list of students' current favorite front-to-back albums here:

"Be the Cowboy" by Mitski 

"Midnight Memories" by One Direction 

"GIRL" by Maren Morris 

"folklore" by Taylor Swift

"Pinkerton" by Weezer 

"A Love Letter To You 4" by Trippie Redd

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"Ctrl" by SZA 

"KOD" by J. Cole 

"IGOR" by Tyler, the Creator 

"UNLOCKED" by Denzel Curry and Kenny Beats 

"What Could Possibly Go Wrong" by Dominic Fike 

"Fine Line" by Harry Styles

"Golden Hour" by Kacey Musgraves

"Man On The Moon II: The Legend Of Mr. Rager" by Kid Cudi

"Out of Time" by R.E.M.

"Painted" by Lucky Daye

"Fuzzybrain" by Dayglow

"Coloring Book" by Chance the Rapper

"Ventura" by Anderson .Paak

"Give Me a Minute" by Lizzy McAlpine

"Good Kid, m.A.A.d city" by Kendrick Lamar


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