Top albums for the start of spring


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Some vintage radios and stacks of old vinyl records on a wood shelving unit. Albums like Miles Davis’ “Ascenseur Pour L’échafaud” and Lloyd Cole’s “Don’t Get Weird on Me Babe” are perfect for spring listening.

By Eli Tecktiel, Lifestyle Writer

The snow is melting and the trees are coming back to life. As the beginning of spring approaches, here are some albums that perfectly embody the beginning of the season.

Lloyd Cole – “Don’t Get Weird on Me Babe”Miles Da

Lloyd Cole’s second solo album is split into two distinctive halves: The first side features classic, melody driven rock songs and is backed by Cole’s classic band lineup of guitarist Robert Quine, drummer Fred Maher and bassist and backing vocalist Matthew Sweet. These songs often border on the power-pop genre, something Sweet would fully embrace on his solo album “Girlfriend” the same year in 1991.

The album’s first side draws heavy influences from T. Rex, The Byrds and Lou Reed, creating a more rock-oriented sound while still maintaining a polished production. 

The second side of the record takes an unexpected turn as Cole descends into a suite of lushly orchestrated easy listening songs reminiscent of ‘60s artists such as Scott Walker, Burt Bacharach and Jimmy Webb.

For whatever reason, these two different sides of the album both exude warm spring weather. This is the perfect spring album, whether you’re looking for something to listen to while you read a book in your backyard or you’re in search of the perfect road trip soundtrack.

Miles Davis – “Ascenseur Pour L’échafaud”

If you ever find yourself getting tired of the pastoral landscapes of Northern Illinois, turn on Miles Davis’ “Ascenseur Pour L’échafaud.” You’ll instantly imagine yourself walking through the streets of Paris in the rain in mid-April. 

While spring is often associated with warm weather, the season is also largely made up of cool, breezy winds and atmospheric thunderstorms. Miles Davis’ completely improvised soundtrack to French director Louis Malles’ noir masterpiece “Elevator to the Gallows” makes for the perfect soundtrack to this aspect of spring. The music conjures up images of fog and rain that accentuates the moody April weather that many look forward to.

Playing alongside Davis are French musicians Barney Wilen, René Urtreger and Pierre Michelot as well as American drummer Kenny Clarke. With this lineup, Davis articulately captures the mood of a rainy day in Paris. The reverberating sounds of Davis’ trumpet and Wilen’s saxophone give the album a vast, wide-open feeling that works both in the context of Malle’s film and as its own cohesive album.

Judee Sill – “Judee Sill”

Masterfully blending elements of folk and baroque pop, Judee Sill’s debut album presents a wholly unique sound that hasn’t been replicated since. Judee Sill released only two albums before her death in 1979 and she still hasn’t gotten anywhere near the level of recognition she deserves. 

Sill infused classical music into pop music in a way that hadn’t been done since The Beach Boys were at their peak. According to The Washington Post, much like Beach Boy Brian Wilson, Bach was one of Sill’s greatest influences. The orchestration is never distracting or obtrusive, but it makes its presence known enough to remind you that you’re not listening to a typical ‘70s folk album.

Something about Sill’s orchestrally infused folk music just screams warm weather. It’s one of the mellowest albums you’ll ever hear, but it never fails to pack an emotional punch. Whether she’s singing about Jesus or being in love, her lively arrangements never fail to be enjoyable and interesting. 

Frank Sinatra – “Come Dance With Me”

Feeling an extra “spring” in your step on an unexpectedly warm, sunny day? Celebrate with Frank Sinatra’s “Come Dance With Me.”

On the album, Sinatra exuberantly cruises through 12 jolly, upbeat songs in just over 30 minutes. What really makes this album shine, though, are the gloriously excessive big band arrangements that accompany Sinatra on each song.

Sinatra went through many phases and styles in his long career, but “Come Dance With Me” presents Ol’ Blue Eyes at the height of his talents. In 1959, Sinatra’s voice was in peak form and though he would unsuccessfully attempt to venture into modern pop in the ‘60s, Sinatra is still embracing the style that he does best on “Come Dance With Me.”