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The Echo

The Student News Site of Tenafly High School

The Echo

The Student News Site of Tenafly High School

The Echo

The Best Five Albums to Begin 2024

The+Best+Five+Albums+to+Begin+2024

The year 2023 saw some of the best music releases in quite some time, giving fans classic pop-gems such as Dua Lipa’s “Dance the Night” and Ice Spice and Pink Pantheress’s “Boys A Liar.” The calendar of confirmed album releases promises a continuation of this trend into 2024. From classic artists returning to the public eye with a punch, to modern-day stars continuing their reign of dominance, here are five of the best and most anticipated albums to bring in the new year.

1. Kali Uchis, Orquídeas

The title of Kali Uchis’s newest album is a reference to the orchid, the national flower of Columbia, and a fitting metaphor for the Columbian-American artist’s second all-Spanish release.
“The orchid is the national flower of Colombia, and we have more species of orchid than anywhere on earth,” Uchis said in a statement. “I always felt distinctly intrigued and magnetized by the flower. This album is inspired by the timeless, eerie, mystic, striking, graceful and sensual allure of the orchid. With this vast scope of fresh energy, I wish to redefine the way we look at Latinas in music.” The album certainly lives up to its namesake, synthesizing sultry trap beats with traditional Latin-American rhythm in a bombastic celebration of the singer’s native culture, making for a colorful, attitude-filled kick-off to the new year.

2. MGMT, Loss of Life

The experimental electro-pop duo return from a six-year hiatus, during which they saw several of their songs gain unexpected popularity. Their 2018 single “Little Dark Age,” became an unexpected TikTok sensation, while the song “Time to Pretend,” off of their debut album was featured in 2023’s controversial smash-hit film Saltburn. Always confounding expectations, the band’s newest album is a repository of offbeat, eccentric pop pleasures, from the existential pun of “Nothing to Declare,” to the paranoid, abstruse ramblings of “Bubblegum Dog,” confirming that their six-year hiatus has not dulled the their affinity for the wonderfully weird, nor the tragically beautiful.

3. Green Day, Savior

Green Day’s latest album coincides with the 30th anniversary of the band’s breakout album, Dookie, and it blasts out of the speaker with an equal fury. The pop-punk titan’s fourteenth studio albums continues its tradition of acerbic political commentary, relayed over indelible pop hooks. Songs such as “The American Dream Is Killing Me” and “Look Ma, No Brains!” approach modern social issues with the same provocative wit that defined 2004’s American Idiot, establishing definitively that the band has not mellowed with age.

4. Sleater-Kinney, Little Rope

Over 30 years ago, Portland band Sleater-Kinney pioneered the riot-grrl genre, which fused punk aggression with militant feminist politics, kicking back against the rise of overly processed, corporate rock music with their distinct dual-guitar, dual-voice dynamic, making for some of the most raw, vehement sounds ever put to record. The band’s newest album was born out of tragedy, after lead singer and guitarist Carrie Brown’s mother and stepfather died in a car crash in Italy. In the wake of this tragedy, Brown turned to the act of songwriting for catharsis and comfort. “So the act of playing guitar, I understood that ritual, I knew what to do with my hands,” Brown said. Songs such as “Hell” and “Say It Like You Mean It” wrestle with new themes of mortality and loss, without losing the band’s trademark sense of defiance.

5. Jennifer Lopez, This is Me…Now

J-Lo’s first studio album in nearly a decade will be released simultaneously with a new film of the same name, which the singer’s YouTube account describes as a “narrative-driven cinematic odyssey, steeped in mythological storytelling and personal healing.” The album title itself is a reference to Lopez’s 2002 breakout album, This is Me…Then, which featured hits such as “Jenny from the Block” and “All I Have.” Her new album’s first single, “Can’t Get Enough,” which released on January 10, is a call-back to the smooth, sexy, and confident R&B with which Lopez kicked off her musical career, promising an album and cultural moment that fans will not soon forget.

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About the Contributor
Richard Cavaliere-Mazziotta ('25) is a Guest Writer for The Echo.