2k15's Top Albums To Cry To
What’s a year without tears? Probably nonexistent. We understand that every twelve months brings its ups and downs. And if you’re gonna be down, you might as well have some good music to listen to while lying face-down in your bed and sobbing. Luckily, 2015 was a great year for crying records — and as you obviously need an album for emotional continuity, singles just won’t cut it. To help you soundtrack all the hard moments, or to reflect on the year that passed in tears, we’ve picked five albums that are perfect to cry to.
Carrie & Lowell — Sufjan Stevens
A folk-music opus to an absent mother and caring stepfather, “Carrie & Lowell” tugs on your heartstrings in a painfully perfect way. Sufjan Stevens returns to his minimalistic, acoustic roots, after his more experimental All Delighted People EP and Age Of Adz segued into concerts with giant angel wings and a shit-ton of Christmas music. Soft, sweet, and trying not to hold a grudge, this album explores the innocent pain of being of a kid. We all have some kind of emotional, romantic notion of our childhood, and Stevens manages to hold onto these, while simultaneously facing his mother’s neglect with a critical eye. If you need a good cry, just listen to “Carrie & Lowell” on public transportation, and remember how hard your parents did — or didn’t — try to make you a good person.
Are You Alone? — Majical Cloudz
On “Downtown,” lead singer Devon Welsh sings, “If suddenly I die, I hope they will say that he was obsessed and it was okay.” This juxtaposition between death, love, and self-reflection epitomized what Are You Alone? is all about: being in love can be fucking scary. About love without any real love songs, the album is emotive for anyone who’s ever cared about someone — whether or not that love has stayed. If you listen to it while wandering snowy city streets and thinking about the one that got away, tears are guaranteed.
If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late — Drake
Is it Drake’s best work? Nah. Is crying to Drake a clichè? For sure. But how can you resist? Anytime the saddest of sad boy rappers releases music, it’s going to be great for one of three things: partying, fucking, or yearning — and sometimes all three at once. There’s a definite wistfulness to If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late, and while we can’t all relate to Drake’s meteoric rise to fame, we can all relate to suddenly finding ourselves in a new situation while still missing the past. Sometimes it just feels good to be moody. Aubrey gets it.
Before The World Was Big — Girlpool
There’s something a little bitter about growing up, especially when you’re in the midst of it. Girlpool’s two members, Harmony Tividad and Cleo Tucker, are both under 20, and they take on growing up with nostalgia for feeling childlike, but not being a child. Singing almost every word in unison, the duo writes heartbreaking lines — for example, “Cause lovers turn to strangers, everyone has got to go” — sound anthemic. Filled with vulnerability and personal asides, the album reminds you that being a teenager is hard, and that shit hasn’t gotten much easier.
Sound & Color — Alabama Shakes
Some albums are great for crying because they’re super sad, and other albums are great for crying because you can feel the intensity of emotion put into the music. Sound & Color is the latter. After their first album, many placed Alabama Shakes into a “retro band” box, but they’ve proved they’re so much more. This album circles around funk, soul, and modern rock, but fits into no real category. Just close your eyes, and let yourself feel Brittany Howard’s voice take you to every thrash-worthy, tear-inducing emotion you’ve ever felt.
Stay tuned to Milk for more tears.