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The Trailblazer

The student news site of McNeil High School

The Trailblazer

The student news site of McNeil High School

The Trailblazer

Summer Album Recommendations

Summer-themed graphic featuring albums listed in the article.

With the beginning of the Summer, plenty of time is dedicated to basking in the sun, sipping on fresh lemonade, listening to the sound of cicadas terrorizing the sky and leisurely enjoying these summer album recommendations are amongst some of the perfect ways to kick off the season.


The Velvet Underground, Loaded (1970)


By The Velvet Underground


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Loaded, first released Nov. 15, 1970, is a pop and art rock album. Included are 10 tracks with a total duration of 40:35.


The album’s lyrics describe the effects and feelings of substance use and the band’s street life experiences. The album’s varying tunes from song to song and fashionable 70s music style make it stand out. Many of the songs can be characterized as funky and calm. Some notable tracks include Rock & Roll, Sweet Jane, and Who Loves the Sun.


Frank Ocean, Channel Orange (2012)

Channel Orange

By Frank Ocean


Channel Orange, first released July 10, 2012, is a contemporary R&B and progressive soul album. Included are 17 tracks with a total duration of 62:18.


This album’s emotional lyrics show stories of love, unrequited love, growing up and social class. This paired with the keyboards and guitars throughout the album gives it a floaty and smooth feel to the listener. The album’s title references Ocean’s synaesthesia and how during the summer when he was in love,everything seemed to appear in orange. Some notable tracks include Lost, Thinkin’ Bout You and Pyramids.


ABBA, Arrival (1976)




Arrival, first released Oct. 11, 1976, is a pop, disco and R&B album. Included are 12 tracks with a total duration of 42:11. 


The album’s lyrics express topics of desire, showcased through wealth or relationships with an overall theme concerning dating. This album’s timeless tunes and lighthearted rhythmic beats make it stand out, along with its overwhelming success naming it the top-selling album of 1977 in the UK and West Germany. Many of the songs can be described as energetic and captivating. Some notable songs include Dancing Queen, Money, Money, Money and Fernando.


Mac Demarco, Salad Days (2014)

Salad Days

By Mac Demarco 


Salad Days, first released April 1, 2014, is an indie, soft rock and lo-fi album. Included are 11 tracks with a total duration of 34:41.


The album is based on a quote from Shakespeare stating, “My salad days, when I was green in judgment, cold in blood.” This album follows this quote with a nostalgic feel and songs about growing up. Overall, the lyrics reflect feelings of youth and friendship. Some notable tracks include Salad Days, Chamber of Reflection and Blue Boy.


Sublime, self-titled (1996)


By Sublime


Sublime, first released July 30, 1996, is a ska punk, alternative and rock album. Included are 17 tracks with a total duration of 58:31.


The album was recorded over three months in Austin, Texas, the album’s lyrics express storyline narratives;  some of the topics touched on include relationships, protest, addiction and various criminal behavior. The album’s fast tempo and effortless blending of genres result in a leisurely sound reminiscent of days on the beach. Some notable tracks include Santeria, What I Got and Wrong Way.


Travis Scott, Utopia (2023)


By Travis Scott


Utopia, first released July 28, 2023, is a hip-hop and pop album. Included are 19 tracks with a total duration of 73:27.


This album explores ideas of the future and creating a “utopia” for oneself throughout the bad in life. It also includes features from many well-known artists such as SZA, The Weekend and Beyonce. The upbeat, fast-paced songs and instrumentals create a fun and energetic album. Some notable tracks are FE!N, MELTDOWN and TELEKINESIS.


Dominic Fike, Sunburn (2023)


By Dominic Fike


Sunburn, first released on July 7, 2023, is a pop and indie rock album. Included are 15 tracks with a total duration of 39:13.


This album expresses feelings of love, heartbreak and addiction. The lyrics take you through some of Fike’s problems, giving it a personal and nostalgic touch while maintaining a happy and bright feeling. The upbeat and fun songs make the album very energetic and as if the listener is part of a fun party. Some notable tracks are Mona Lisa, Ant Pile and Mama’s Boy.


Lana Del Rey, NFR (2019)


By Lana Del Rey


NFR, first released on Aug. 30, 2019, is a soft rock, pop and psychedelic rock album. Included are 14 tracks with a total duration of 67:43.


This album’s floaty feel is due to Del Rey’s breathy and light voice with the accompaniment of many stringed instruments and light percussion. This sound supports her lyrics about love, breakups and the modern American dream. Her album references many moments in pop culture and finds inspiration through 70s classic rock. Some notable tracks include The Greatest, How to Disappear and Cinnamon Girl.


Lorde. Solar Power (2021)

Solar Power

By Lorde


Solar Power, first released Aug. 20, 2021, is an indie folk, psychedelic pop and R&B album. Included are 12 tracks with a total duration of 43:09.


The lyrics include various topics and meanings, overall the album embraces the positive fulfilling aspects of life, such as the feeling of the sun on your face, used as a distraction from the gloomier or unpleasant strains of living. This album stands out because of its earthy aspects, with stripped-down and unpredictable melodies and vocals. Some notable tracks include Solar Power, Mood Ring and Big Star.


Vampire Weekend, self-titled (2008)

Vampire Weekend 

By Vampire Weekend 


Vampire Weekend, first released Jan. 29, 2008, is a rock, indie and chamber pop album. Included are 11 tracks with a total duration of 34:13.


The lyrics reference social classes, Ivy League Universities, politics and tributes to the band’s friends. Being the freshly graduated Columbia students’ debut album, they were often described as being preppy following its release, however the album quickly became a commercial success and has been featured on The Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. The album can be described as cheery and jaunty. Some notable tracks include A-Punk, Campus and Oxford Comma.

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Hannah Bland
Hannah Bland, Reporter
I am Hannah Bland, I am a Junior, and this is my first year on the McNeil Trailblazer staff. I spend the majority of my time outside of school working, watching movies, getting coffee, running in cross country and hanging out with friends.
Olivia West
Olivia West, Reporter
Hello my name is Olivia West. I am a junior, and this is my first year on the McNeil Trailblazer staff. I am on the cross country and track team and am also involved with clubs like Green Club! Out of school I spend my time working, listening to music, seeing my friends and dog and watching movies.                           
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