Albums you missed while listening to ‘Midnights’



This image released by Domino Records shows “The Car,” the seventh studio album by Arctic Monkeys. (Domino via AP)

By Nick Glover, Lifestyle Editor

With the release of pop-icon Taylor Swift’s new album “Midnights,” many music fans stopped paying attention to any other releases and instead chose to dive into Swift’s music and her music only. 

Though Swift’s music is worth the build-up and hype, there are other albums that came out on Oct. 21 that were just as great, if not better. 

Carly Rae Jepsen – “The Loneliest Time” 

Pop sensation Carly Rae Jepsen, known for her single “Call Me Maybe,” released a new album. 

Following up her run of two sensational pop albums, “Emotion” and “Dedicated,” Jepsen proves that she knows how to write great pop music. 

“The Loneliest Time” is Jepsen’s least lyrically upbeat album. She combines her standard dance-worthy pop beats and strong pop vocals with lyrics about how she feels alone in her relationship and life as a whole. 

The song “Talking to Yourself” stands out on this album. 

“Talking to Yourself” is simple fun. Though the lyrics are melancholy, the beat makes you forget it all, just as it presumably makes Jepsen forget her sorrows as well. 

“The Loneliest Time” may not be the most musically or emotionally complex album out there, but it may be one of the most fun albums to come out in a while. 

Arctic Monkeys – “The Car”

Arctic Monkeys returned for their first album “The Car,” since 2018’s “Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino.” 

After their 2013 hit album “A.M.,” Arctic Monkeys stopped their consistent every-other-year release schedule. Rather, they have chosen to reinvent themselves with every release. 

On “The Car,” lead vocalist Alex Turner continues on the vocal journey he started to undergo back on “Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino.” His tone opens up and smooths to an almost lullaby dipped in swagger. 

Differing from the garage rock feel of their earlier albums and from the Bowie-inspired art rock feel of “Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino,” “The Car” features a more produced, orchestral and relaxed rock sound. 

The overly produced and lush sound of this album feels like a record pulled from a stack of old vinyl records in a formerly hip grandpa’s basement. 

Instrumentally, the most prominent sound is a string orchestra. Throughout each track, mixed in with the drums and guitars, an orchestra is almost always present. 

The first track on the album may possibly be the best.  

“There’d Better Be A Mirrorball” evokes the same feeling that fills the album’s clipped 37- minute run time. 

Turner’s romantic voice serenades the string backing and sets the tone for the changes that the Arctic Monkeys have made to their sound since their last record. 

Arctic Monkeys came back crooning and growing old. “The Car” is that growth and that age poured into a record. 

Dry Cleaning – “Stumpwork”

For those wanting to listen to the smaller groups out there, the South London post-punk group Dry Cleaning released their second album “Stumpwork” on Oct. 21.

There is no singing on this album, just spoken-word lyrics. The vocals sound soft and ear-enveloping, like someone is speaking softly very close to the microphone.  

These vocals are made even more abnormal when they are combined with the strange lyrics that they are performing. 

The first line spoken on the entire album is, “Should I propose friendship?” 

This question is not one a listener is used to hearing. They would instead expect “Should we be friends?” or something of that sort. Rather, Dry Cleaning uses antiquated language to create an uneasy listening experience. 

This uneasiness drives the album forward which keeps each song pushing along. This drive causes the album to feel full of energy that, though uneasy, makes it an exciting listen. 

“Stumpwork” relies on its easy groove and chorus-laden guitar lines. Random fills of guitar strums or chaotic note clusters take up the space where the melody and vocals should be. 

“Driver’s Story” sums up the album well. Its simple and rhythmic bass line, over-driven and dissonant guitar chords and its spoken vocals reflect the sound of the album. 

This album is good, groovy and uncommon. Its lack of singing and almost melody-less tracklist creates an atmosphere that pulls the listener out of their comfort zone and causes them to grow to fit the music.