Photo Credit: Angelin Thipahar, Illustrations Editor
Fill up your free time on the road with 3 albums from different genres
By Ethan Hui, The Mike Contributor
With the return to in-person learning for U of T students, so comes the endless stream of beeps from the Presto card machine as a wave of students exit Union station with their AirPods on. Whether you are driving or taking the train, it is safe to believe music listening is appreciated and practiced by many commuters. It is a way to gain mental motivation, to brighten your day, or even just to pass the time. Today I want to introduce you to the world of albums. While albums are more restricted in personalization, they are also a cohesive setlist of tracks that is more often effective in eliciting a particular mood and are curated with immersion between tracks in mind.
Here are 3 albums that I’ve been listening to consistently on my train commute recently and ones I recommend. With that said, not everyone commutes the same distance, hence most of the albums I picked will be below the run time of 40 minutes to ensure most commuters can finish everything before stepping into the rowdy city of Toronto.
- Head bop your way to school: LOONA ODD EYE CIRCLE: Max and Match
There isn’t a better way to start your day than with some electrifying K-pop. LOONA ODD EYE CIRCLE’s 1st and only LP, Max and Match is a great choice because of its digestible length and immaculate production. Every song is vibrant, eclectic, catchy, and energetic. If you are taking public transport, please beware to control yourself from dancing subconsciously. For under 30 minutes, you will find electro pop, R&B, and even a hint of dream-pop ridden with dreamy vocals and loud guitars. Max and Match is hyper and fun at its core, and great to get you out of the typical lethargic morning commute.
Available on Spotify
2. A cozy trip back home: Frank Ocean – Blond
There isn’t an album that better personifies the serenity and peace of finishing up your schoolwork and heading out to see the sunset lies in front of the CN tower than Frank Ocean’s second release, Blond. Unlike my previous pick, Blond is subdued and minimal in its instrumentation, with an emphasis on passionate vocals and the warmness of the synths to elicit a cozy and nostalgic atmosphere. It’s incredibly chill and great for relaxation purposes. Because Blond is almost exactly an hour-long, here are the key tracks I recommend putting on your playlist.
– Pink + White
– Self Control
– White Ferrari
Available on YouTube and Spotify
3. Connect with an artist: The Queen is Dead – The Smiths
My fellow rock fans here is an album for you if by chance The Smiths haven’t been caught under your radar yet. The Queen is Dead, often regarded as their best work, is a roller coaster of emotion in their 10-song run of catchy rock tunes to dramatic balladry. Lonely, sarcastic, and cold, but at the same time touching and emotionally genuine. Sometimes it’s good to sit back and reflect on your day, not necessarily to drown in your sorrows, but to find beauty in the emotions we feel, positive or negative, and The Queen is Dead is a perfect album to activate the introspection side of yourself.
Here are 3 wonderful albums that can help shine some light into the world of music, especially in an album format. From R&B, Alternative Rock, to even K-pop, I hope to bring not just variety in sound, but music that encapsulates different moods to help accommodate the different aspects of the commute experience.
Availability on Youtube and Spotify