Support Local Journalism, Join the SA Current Press Club.

The Must-Have College Albums You Should Keep In Heavy Rotation 

click to enlarge back-to-black-amy-winehouse.jpg

There's no denying that your college experience will be an emotional rollercoaster. Whether you're hosting your first party or you've just become a victim of the Turkey Drop, there's a song for everything. Here are some must-have albums to get you through the next four years. 

Breakup Albums

You've just broken up with your high school sweetheart or your first college fling and now you're left with a choice. Instead of picking up a tub of ice cream or punching a wall, put on Amy Winehouse's Back to Black. Written in the aftermath of her breakup with then-boyfriend Blake Fielder-Civil, the album is a sonic tour through the seven stages of grief. Winehouse's ballads are defiant, humorous and sorrowful and cover subjects such as cheating and loss. If Winehouse's vocals aren't your style then try the Black Keys' 2010 album Brothers. After a harrowing divorce and a brief rift between band members, the album helped them get past their problems. With gritty guitar melodies and harsh lyrics, the songs prove that sometimes it doesn't hurt to get angry. 

click to enlarge the_shins_port_of_morrow.jpg

Homesick Albums

No matter how desperately you try to avoid admitting it, there are times when you'll miss being home. Your newfound independence is great, but sometimes it'll feel like everything just happened so fast. When you're feeling particularly nostalgic, listen to Beach House's Bloom. The dreamy and atmospheric album lures you to a calm place where you can sit back and melt into your memories. The Shins' Port of Morrow is another great album to check out when you're missing home. "It's Only Life" and "Simple Song" feature honest, reflective lyrics occasionally uplifted by bright instrumentation and vocals. 

click to enlarge jenny_lewis_the_voyager.jpg

Stressed-Out Albums

Whether it's your grades, overbearing relatives or drama with friends stressing you out, music is always a surefire way to calm yourself down. Before you calm down though, Courtney Barnett's début will help you give into your crazy to relieve your stress. Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit perfectly captures that angsty teenage phase your mom loved so much. Funny, candid and angry, each song is a well-crafted rant — cathartic to listen to. Honesty and humor also go a long way in Jenny Lewis' album The Voyager. Recorded after a five-year absence from the industry, Lewis said the album "got [her] through one of the most difficult periods of [her] life." The songs remain optimistic while covering a number of personal crises. 

click to enlarge grouplove.jpg

Party Albums

After some careful Googling and a few nervous texts to your friends, you have everything you need to throw your first party, except the perfect soundtrack. Obviously, you need something upbeat, but too much of the same tempo can get annoying pretty fast. Full of collaborations and jazzy sounds, Donnie Trumpet & the Social Experiment's Surf will help you avoid a predictable playlist. Contributions from artists Busta Rhymes and Jamila Woods keep songs such as "Slip Slide" and "Sunday Candy" energetic and interesting. For smaller parties with more relaxed vibes, Grouplove's Never Trust a Happy Song is a perfect fit. The California band's début album is youthful and songs such as "Tongue Tied," "Spun" and "Chloe" will most definitely make you smile.

click to enlarge the_flaming_lips_yoshimi.jpeg

Vinyl Must-haves

Hipsters have to begrudgingly admit they're not complete without their record player. Before you take your whole collection with you to college, make sure you at least have some Flaming Lips and St. Vincent. Psychedelic album Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots is one of the Flaming Lips best yet. The concept album tells the story of Yoshimi and features experimental sounds that make it a great listen on vinyl. St. Vincent's self-titled album lets listeners in on the eccentric singer's frenzied mind. Digital sounds and hypnotic guitar riffs make the songs feel like an acid trip gone right.

Support Local Journalism.
Join the San Antonio Current Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the San Antonio Press Club for as little as $5 a month.

Read the Digital Print Issue

October 20, 2021

View more issues


Join SA Current Newsletters

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.


© 2021 San Antonio Current

Website powered by Foundation