Hope College’s Favorite Albums of the Summer

Hope College has a myriad of different music tastes across its campus. Many students may like music from artists such as Luke Combs or Morgan Wallace, while others may be more attracted to artists like Lizzo or Ariana Grande. Whatever one’s music taste may be, we all had one album this summer that kept us jamming the entire time. 

For some, these albums were released during this summer, while others liked to revisit oldie-but-goodies that kept the same vibe for them. Across the board, Hope College students’ music tastes did not disappoint.  

Wish You Were Here by Pink Floyd

Junior and environmental science major, Spencer Whittington, took a solid five minutes to think of his album of the summer: Wish You Were Here by Pink Floyd.

Even though the album was released back in 1975, Whittington had it on constant repeat this summer. He described it as, “A mastery of instrumentals and music as a whole. The entire album is just gorgeous from start to end. It’s a lot different than anything you would hear today and it’s incredibly impressive how well it has kept since its release.” 

He explained how the entire album is a tribute to Sid Barret, one of the original core band members before he split. According to Whittington, there is no one best work on the album, and he could not pick just one of his favorites from it. What he did come up with was “Shine On You Crazy Diamond” parts one through nine. He described these songs as a “collection of masterpieces strung together.” He highly recommended that anyone who loves instrumental pieces listen to this work because “it’s just so beautiful.”

Wish You Were Here by Pink Floyd

Gold Rush Kid by George Ezra

For sophomore and Biblical studies major Sawyer Winstead, the album of the summer was immediately Gold Rush Kid by George Ezra. 

This album really resonated with him and gave him major summertime vibes. He described the album as “a good blend of vibes and made me feel carefree the entire summer. Not only that, but it had songs that were very rich and intense that made me really feel something.” 

For him, the album was released at the perfect moment this summer: a couple of days before Winstead began working as a camp counselor. “It was absolutely amazing timing, and since all the songs are clean I could play it for the kids. They really enjoyed his music,” Winstead explained.

He could not choose just one favorite song from the album, but two songs came to mind: “Green Green Grass,” and “Sweetest Human Being Alive.” “Green Green Grass” is a song that you could really dance to. It has a very catchy beat and rhythm to it, and George Ezra’s voice ties the whole song together with a bow on top. “Sweetest Human Being Alive” is a slower song with very touching lyrics about the person he is in love with. Its rich lyrics mixed with the incredible piano in the back makes for an enchanting song that anyone could enjoy. 

American Heartbreak by Zack Bryan 

Sophomore and chemistry major Jordan Montgomery’s album of the summer was American Heartbreak by Zack Bryan. In her words, “Zack Bryan is one of the most amazing artists I’ve ever heard. I waited for this album all summer. I listened to it in one sitting and it is probably my favorite album ever.” 

The album is 2 hours long, and not a single song disappoints Montgomery. It captures a very specific feeling during the summer.

She chose two favorite songs off the album: “Blue” and “Tishomingo.” “Blue” is a very mellow song that gives off chill energy for the summer. The song’s lyrics talk about a girl and how she makes the artist feel. “Tishomingo” is a little more upbeat, and gives off very deep-thinking vibes. The lyrics discuss the feeling of missing home or trying to find your way back home. Both songs are carried with beautiful guitar in the back, along with delicate drum beats that do not overpower the singer’s voice or guitar.

American Heartbreak by Zach Bryan

Harry’s House by Harry Styles 

Megan Riasch’s, a junior on campus who is majoring in environmental science and communications, loved Harry’s House by Harry Styles. “It ranged across all my possible emotions and always brought me a lot of joy and good vibes when I needed it. It was like a safety bubble from the world,” she said.

The album does move across several different moods as she said. Songs like “Cinema” make you want to get up and start dancing, whereas “Matilda” makes you sit and wonder who the song is about and if they are okay. Megan’s favorite song off the album is “Little Freak.” The song is very slow-paced but displays how beautiful some of Styles’ lyrics can be. 

Final Thoughts 

Finally, I thought about my own personal album of the summer. I looked back at the albums I gave a full listen to the most this summer, and I came up with Twelve Carat Toothache by Post Malone. 

The album was an incredible experience to just sit and listen to mindlessly. It is very experimental in nature and knows it, which is one of the main reasons I love this album. It gave songs like “I Like You” featuring Doja Cat and “One Right Now” featuring The Weeknd. 

My favorite songs off the album, however, are “Insane” and “When I’m Alone.” “Insane” is a song that makes you feel like you could do absolutely anything you set your mind to. It’s such a hype song, that I blasted it several times with the roof off in my Jeep. It’s the type of song that you can scream in the car with friends and you know they are just as hype as you are. 

The same thing goes for “When I’m Alone,” but to a lesser extent. The drum in the back gives off almost a primal feeling the way it echoes. The song really puts you in your feelings if you’re listening to it after a breakup or thinking about an ex. 

Hidden Youth by Surfaces

Honorable Mentions

Some other albums that I felt should be considered for album of the summer are some of the following:

  • Hidden Youth: Surfaces
  • LEGEND: John Legend
  • Oxnard: Anderson .Paak
  • An Evening With Silk Sonic: Silk Sonic
  • American Teen: Khalid
  • Give or Take: Giveon
  • Dawn FM: The Weeknd
  • Absolutely: Dijon
  • Superache: Conan Gray

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