Like a cold brew of something with at least several chunks of ice floating in it in one hand and with a wide brimmed hat that says ‘I’m chic and I’m ready for the sun’ in the other, few things go together with the season of summer quite like the perfect summer album. From the heatwaves of when you were younger to the barbeques that you already have planned for the remaining summer months, the perfect summer anthem can make or break a get together in this kind of weather, so sit back, enjoy the rays and let us give you our recommendations for the best summer albums in our multi-part series.
Every rapper these days is waxing lyrical about the hotspots they’ve visited or the beaches they’re flying to in one of their many tricked out private jets, so we’re kicking off this list with a summer album from an artist who raps for the guys on the corner to those who want their rap with a side of eloquence. Jay-Z is the all-star, hip hop everyman and he’s been around for decades pushing his brilliant blend of sophisticated rap and here he is again with one of his best albums to date with Magna Carta. With tunes made with the likes of Jay-Z’s good friend Mr. Kanye West, to rising star J Cole as well as talent from hitmakers Timbaland and Swizz Beatz, Magna Carta is sure to be a hit at your summer party.
Release date – out now.
Whether you’re a tweeny bopper in the market for some new tunes (in which case, ask your parents before you buy, kids) or if you’re a little older with a taste for pop so sweet that you’ll likely have to take a visit to the dentist after listening, Cody Simpson’s music is catchy and worth listening to. Don’t let his young appeal put you off, however, as Surfer Paradise, the debut album from the young Australian is pretty good for a first outing. Compared to the likes of Justin Bieber’s first album, Simpson undoubtedly triumphs and with tracks like ‘Pretty Brown Eyes’ conveying his appreciation for the fairer sex whilst showcasing his fairly decent rap skills and as a result his popularity this summer will go further than the preteens. Absolutely give this a try and add some pop to your party.
Release date – out now.
Now for those who want to veer away from that big, boisterous form of music where everyone has a point to prove and feelings are tossed out for curse words and ‘swag’, this album could be right up your street. Not everyone likes John Mayer but even for sceptics (or those who’ve paid a little too much attention to Mayer’s personal life) his music holds up rather well. It’s easily listening all round and something to bob your head to and as his new track-pack, ‘Paradise Valley’’ is being listed as fitting into the “Pop rock, blues rock,acoustic rock, blue-eyed soul, alternative rock” genres, this one is going to be perfect for road trips to the beach or small get togethers.
Release date : August 20th.
They may spell their name like an illiterate teenager with a broken keyboard, but despite the ridiculous titling of this male, American duo, their music is actually rather good. Dance hits like “Don’t Trust Me” carved out a bit of a bad boy image for the two and hits like “Starstrukk” featuring pop starlet Katy Perry catapulted them into the limelight and while that popularity seems to have waned a bit, it has apparently allowed them to to embark on some more ‘out there’ production. Omens was out in mid-June and is, in part, of the “crunkcore” genre which isn’t in the Oxford Dictionary but we’re going to assume it means ‘great to dance and or get drunk to’. Have a listen.
Release date : out now.
Do you and your friends much prefer black skinny jeans that cut off your circulation as opposed to flip flops and board shorts during the summer months? Then look no further as alternative rock outfit Jimmy Eat World are back at it again, making you wonder why you ever doubted their ability to pull off some of the most infectious guitar chords ever. And while Jimmy Eat World have always been popular, this could see them branch out of the realm of dedicated fans and readers of KERRANG! magazine as Damage has certifiably wandered out into “power pop” territory, which is never a bad thing if you like to indulge in a little mainstream every now and again. Don’t miss this album from these rock icons.
Release date – out now.
Of course not everyone’s summer will be spent partying and living it up as you go red in the sun (having too much fun to have given a thought to sunscreen, obviously) and some might want to spend it in doors, having a mope. That’s fine too and Electro Kami has got you covered, which is why the final recommendation on this list is for The Hurry and The Harm from City and Colour, which is likely to tug at your heartstrings. Previous tracks from older albums, such as ‘Northern Wind’ broke hearts, mended them and not a dry eye was seen ever again after listening to it, so if you’ve heard that, you more or less know what to expect hear now. Grab your headphones, your Kleenex and invite a friend over as a shoulder to cry on as this is big emotions in a little album.
So, that’s it for Part One of our Sizzling Summer Albums Round-Up, check back soon for the next edition of the countdown as we get the hounds and call the detectives to sniff out and snoop around for the next greatest summer albums to add to your collection.