Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Music Column: The year’s best albums, as reviewed via haikus


This is an arbitrary list. Every list like this is. These opinions are formed from a wide range of conflicting, correlated experiences and opinions that have formed my personal preferences and opinions. To say that this is not influenced by the reading of other lists of the same type would be a lie, as it is near impossible to ignore the rankings that have already been released. 

This has been a fantastic, exploratory and engaging year of music. Artists have used their craft to call their listeners to arms, to entertain, to cope, to dance, to funkify, etc. I’ve loved to hear it happen. In order to ease the difficulty of ranking albums that have provided a soundtrack to my year, I wrote haikus. Here they are. 

25. Manchester Orchestra –  “A Black Mile To The Surface”

This album is a

That needs to be told.

I’m glad it happened.

24. Spoon –  “Hot Thoughts”

No knife to be found

But Spoon found its sound. Not a

Hot take, just hot thoughts.

23. Tyler, The Creator –  “Flower Boy”

Quite a few collabs,

Good choice of artists, Tyler.

The artwork “bee” fly.

22. Alvvays –  “Antisocialities”

The name is always

And the album is clanging,

The guitar I mean.

21. Run The Jewels –  “Run The Jewels 3”


Successful and talented

That is RTJ.

20. Julien Baker – “Turn Out The Lights”

Baker makes things sad.

Her voice echoes hauntingly

Over the music.

19. King Krule – “The OOZ”

Oozing confidence

Is how King Krule makes music.

I would be his friend.

18. Priests –  “Nothing Feels Natural”

Approachable punk.

It’s the perfect time for it.

It’s still the same year.

17. Kevin Morby –  “City Music”

City music, man.

Those guitar sounds are mad, man.

Morby is the man.

16. Sampha – “Process”

Inventive music

Multiple genres are here

All of them are good

15. The National – “Sleep Well Beast”

Details are special.

This album understands that,

Which makes it unique.

14. Moses Sumney – “Aromanticism”

Where did this come from?

It does not really matter,

But we need much more.

13. Phoenix – “Ti Amo”

The discoteca:

It inspired this album. 

You can hear it. Wow.

12. Vince Staples – “Big Fish”

I like the artwork.

I think the fish would like Vince.

A timeless duo.

11. The XX – “I See You

Like synchronized moves?

Like exploration of genres?

You like good music.

10. Slowdive – “Slowdive

I enjoy shoegaze

Slowdive does it well often

They are the model

9. Thundercat – “Drunk”

It can make me laugh

It will make you dance pretty well

Thundercat is suave

8. Ryan Adams – “Prisoner

He broke-up The Strokes,

Apparently. Whatever.

He knows a guitar.

7. The War On Drugs – “A Deeper Understanding

There is a long song.

It is the best one, I swear. 

ELEVEN minutes.

6. LCD Soundsystem – “american dream

This is dance music

At its finest. They are back

And I am happy.

5. Kendrick Lamar – “DAMN.”

Kendrick is music,

Today’s music is defined

By his choices. WHOA.

4. Fleet Foxes – “Crack-Up

FJM left them

Their music is better now

Funny how that works

3. Vulfpeck – “Mr Finish Line

Funk cannot be over

Not with Vulfpeck at the helm

Quite a treat for all

2. Courtney Barnett & Kurt Vile –  “Lotta Sea Lice” 

There’s a whole lotta

Companionship and music.

That is not vile.

  1. SZA – “Ctrl

I have cried to this.

I have danced to this as well.

SZA is rap queen.

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