The SandScript’s Music Favorites of the Year

A Music List that Could Have the Average Listener Hooked in an Instant

2021 was a year full of new albums and music, evoking an array of emotions and feelings. The CHS Sandscript picked mainstream and alternative Albums that gained major love this year to review. 


CALL ME IF YOU GET LOST – Tyler, the Creator

Tyler, the Creator released a new album in June 2021, titled, CALL ME IF YOU GET LOST. As a person whose music taste leans towards indie and alternative genres, this album took me for a whirl. The album genre is hip hop and implements rapping in the songs. I greatly dislike rap music, however I found the tempo and instrumental enjoyable. On the other hand though, the lyrics are incredibly obscene and littered with curse words and offensive language. I also found the lyrics to be rather obnoxious, immature and lacking meaning. The music did not produce any imagery in my mind and did not stimulate me in a way where I could imagine any scenarios. I found the songs to be filthy and somewhat all over the place with what the music contained- the lyrics were rather random; I did find the instrumental vibes to be contrasting with the instruments used at times. This sort of random structure could be viewed as no set narrative, but more or less also the essence of being lost and meandering. Some people meander throughout life and others are rigid with routine, but people live and people can become lost in life; however, if you find friends to help you along the way and can enjoy the little moments, life can be an adventure.

The songs in the album include: “SIR BAUDELAIRE” (Interlude), “CORSO”, “LEMONHEAD” (Feat. 42 Dugg), “WUSYANAME” (Feat. YoungBoy Never Broke Again & Ty Dolla $ign), “LUMBERJACK”, “HOT WIND BLOWS” (Feat. Lil Wayne), “MASSA”, “RUNITUP” (Feat. Teezo Touchdown), “MANIFESTO” (Feat. Domo Genesis), “SWEET / I THOUGHT YOU WANTED TO DANCE” (Feat. Brent Faiyaz & Fana Hues), “MOMMA TALK”, “RISE!” (Feat. DAISY WORLD), “BLESSED”, “JUGGERNAUT” (Feat. Lil Uzi Vert & Pharrell Williams), “WILSHIRE”, “SAFARI”.

 Overall, CALL ME IF YOU GET LOST, was not my favorite album and I would rate it as a 3/5. While I found the music accompaniment to be emotional and sensitive, I found the lyrics to be distasteful and conflicting with the tone of the instruments. While I do believe that there are positive messages within this album, I feel that the inappropriate language use disrupted the messages from progressing. I would recommend this album to anyone who finds hip hop music likable, but to those who do not listen to music with curse words, I would advise to steer clear of this album. CALL ME IF YOU GET LOST sends a message of being lost and finding companionship in life.



Rerelease- Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift announced she would re-record her first six albums so she would have the rights to her work. “Red,” the re-recording was announced nearly five months before, and even with no singles preceding its arrival, it’s been highly anticipated. The album has 30 tracks — the 21 tracks from the initial “Red,” album, together with nine previously unreleased songs. “Red (Taylor’s Version)”. The work Taylor did on this album is incredibly impressive. Swift managed to re-record the songs similarly enough to the originals, but each song still has certain parts that noticeably differentiate the new versions from the initial versions. Swift’s voice has definitely matured over her career. Her vocal maturity becomes most noticeable in tracks like “Stay Stay Stay” and “22.” Those songs have always had a more distinct, youthful sound compared to the others. While these songs are definitely still enjoyable, Swift’s younger voice works better on the primary versions. However, every other track on “Red (Taylor’s Version)” is even better than the initial. Aside from the difference in Swift’s voice, there are slight musical changes furthermore,every track has a generally clearer instrumental quality, but there are some songs — most evidently “The Moment I Knew” and “Come Back…Be Here” — where drums were added to songs that previously hadn’t had any. “Girl,” sounds completely different from the original. While there has been no change in the lyrics, the production , which was acoustic, now features a poppier sound. “Red (Taylor’s Version)” had nine “Vault” songs that had never been released by Swift. However, two tracks — “Babe” and “Better Man” — although originally written by Swift, were released by other artists. “Babe” was sung by country duo Sugarland in 2018. Swift was a background vocalist for the song, but the re-recording is entirely done by her.

“Better Man” was performed by country music group Little Big Town in 2016. When comparing the two songs to Swift’s versions, they’re somewhat similar, especially the instrumentals. However, Sugarland and Little Big Town clearly gave the songs a more country feel. This didn’t come as a surprise, seeing that Swift notably transferred to pop music with her album “1989.” While Swift’s versions of the songs don’t have a country sound, she still performed them well, and they definitely fit with the remainder of “Red (Taylor’s Version).”

The final song on the album could be a lengthy version of “All Too Well.” It features new and extended verses and an extended outro as well. This version was the primary one Swift wrote but it had been ultimately cut down. The track is just barely over 10 minutes — which definitely isn’t what most artists do nowadays. While it’s definitely lengthy, Swift does it fantastically. Every verse is incredibly well written, and the song doesn’t drag on. While the short version of “All Too Well” is incredible on its own, this lengthened version provides more detail and is more personal.

The original “Red” is an incredible album, but the re-recording is simply amazing. From the more adult vocals to the changes within the quality of the instrumentals , Swift certainly knows what she’s doing when it involves re-recording her albums


Chemtrails Over the Country Club – Lana Del Rey

Lana Del Rey is an American singer and songwriter known for her unique Baroque pop, dream pop genre. Her music is most known for the romantic 1950’s and 1960’s nostalgia. At 36 years old she has 21 albums, and became recognized in the music industry for her debut single “Video Games” from her album Born to Die: The Paradise Edition from 2012. 

Over the years Lana has experimented with her music, discovering different tones and feelings. Chemtrails Over the Country Club was released March 19, 2021 making this her 7th album. This album’s genre is a bit different from her previous albums; yes, it still has her notably unique, romantic, delicate, and soft voice, but the music itself falls into the Folk; Americana; country folk genre. It is composed of 11 songs which makes up about 45 minutes. Chemtrails Over the Country Club was originally titled White Hot Forever, which is the chorus to “Tulsa Jesus Freak” another song on the album, and it is produced by Del Rey and Jack Antonoff. This album also marks Lana’s 7th top-10 album in the U.S.

Chemtrails Over the Country Club serves as a follow-up from her 6th album, Norman F****** Rockwell and the theme of the 70’s is even more prominent. “Wild at Heart” is one of the tracks that is most noticeably similar to tracks on Norman F****** Rockwell, such as “Hope Is a Dangerous Thing” and “Love Song”. 

Lana is a romantic songwriter that immerses her emotions into her music. The songs on Chemtrails Over the Country Club are light and give you the feel of the 50s, 60s, and 70s, in our current generation. It is a mix of genres, eras, and feelings that allow listeners to feel like they’re living old soul’s past lives by experiencing the memories and emotions of a person who’s already lived. While Lana Del Rey continues to stay in her comfort zone with her style of music, each album gets more in-depth and becomes more than just an album on romance. Chemtrails Over the Country Club dives deeper into emotions and a life lived. 


If i could make it go quiet – Girl in Red

This album definitely took leaps and bounds away from Girl in Red’s Typical output of music. While this album carried out some of their typical pieces of work, such as the songs “I’ll Call You Mine” and “Midnight Love”, it is important as a listener to highlight the contrasting moments in this work. The album starts off with a highly energetic and almost techno piece, called “Serotonin”. While I could see myself jamming out to this piece, it is far off from what I was expecting. It took me for a loop, and I could not quite identify if it was in a negative or positive fashion. However, after continuing the listen, I liked the variety that was produced with this album; it touches on the subjects of mental health and love most often, and that is something I can identify with. As someone who has dealt more heavily with mental health, it is always refreshing to have artists highlight these topics in their works. Ending the stigma of this with the start of influencers is hope for the future. To continue, I found that for the majority, the beginning songs of this album were keeping that pop-style with more intense instrumentation. As the album continued, the last couple of songs seemed to mellow the album out; to exemplify, the last song on the album, “it would feel like this” is instrumental, containing no vocals. 

Overall, while this album was a little different from past works, I think it nice to see variety amongst artists. I feel as if this almost is Girl in Red’s “Reputation Era”, as known by many Taylor Swift Fans. I would definitely recommend it to fans of alternative and indie music! 


Once Twice Melody – Beach House

As a music lover, it is a constant search to find music that can make one feel, and feel deeply. Being able to connect with not only lyrics of a song, but also the instrumentals and emotions that come forth from the work of art is vital in most people with a passion and love for music. As humans, we tend to find ways to express ourselves without having to directly speak or state such emotions; this is why music is so important to people like you and me. Beach House, an American musical duo, with a fan base of over 7,000,000 monthly Spotify listeners, does this for many. Without a doubt, this album consisting of 8 songs is a true work of art. Beach House has proven to keep their general genre of shoegaze consistent, while offering different messages throughout their discography. While first listening to this album, it can be inferred that it is a rather hopeless and dreadful piece of art, but after listening further, there is certainly more. Throughout the 8 songs, the message is conveyed within the journey of being superstars, growing through yourself, growing through others, and searching for answers; however, there is light and love over and over. After listening to each song, it is conveyed that through each song title, there is this story. This album evoked an array of sensation and intensity, which is a quality that is often longed for in music like this. Overall, this EP is a 5 out of 5, and the days will be counted until disc 3 comes out. 

*Previously written by Gracelyn Perrine in the CHS Sandscript:


Long Lost – Lord Huron

Lord Huron is most known for their album Strange Trails, but more specifically for their song “The Night We Met” which was featured in the Netflix hit series “13 Reasons Why”. Lord Huron is an alternative, indie rock band consisting of 4 members; Ben Schneider, Miguel Briseño, Tom Renaud, Mark Barry, and 4 albums: Lonesome Dreams (2012), Vide Noir (2018), Strange Trails (2015), and Long Lost (2021). Their most recent album Long Lost was released on May 21, 2021, with 16 songs and 58 minutes. The most played songs from Long Lost are “Mine Forever” and “I Lied”. 

This album is somewhat experimental for the band and consists of time warps, psychedelic vibes, touches of the ’60s, but an overall artsy feel compared to their past albums. Listening to this album gives a sense of nostalgia, almost a universal experience, but you can’t quite put your finger on the exact feeling or description of the experience. The band itself has explained that it is a ‘time warp’. Long Lost takes you through decades of music history and goes into a parallel of their lives as musicians. It gives the viewers and fans a glimpse into Lord Huron’s life as well as other musicians. 

In an interview with Atwood Magazine, the band explores the feelings of the album by saying, [You] “feel like you discovered some album you somehow missed from a time period you can’t quite figure out,” as frontman and lead songwriter Ben Schneider says. “It’s nostalgic… the tones and the way it’s recorded, the song structures, the rhythms, and the melodies remind you of something, but…” it’s just out of reach.

The music video of “Love Me Like You Used To” corresponds to the album’s cover art with a man on the tv from the ’50s or ’60s, surrounded by warm color tones, playing guitar with a blurred face. The music video switches from an older woman wandering around the ‘Whispering Pines Museum’ to the guitarist on the television singing. The album Long Lost summons ghosts of our lives, literal and metaphorical; it is much more than an album, it is also a glimpse into the lives of Lord Huron and many others. Long Lost created a parallel universe into the Whispering Pines Studio, where they and many others have spent the majority of their careers at. 

“We’ve been working at Whispering Pines for the past seven years or so,” explains songwriter and visual artist, Ben Schneider in an interview with Flood Magazine. “It’s kind of a time capsule—it was built sometime in the ’70s, and it still looks that way. None of the decor has changed. We were curious about the history of it—we found a little bit of info about it, but it’s kind of sketchy in terms of who was in there. It was abandoned for about 25 years before we got in there, but it feels like there are spirits hanging around there from whoever’s been through there. So we just started imagining these people and their backstories and their music and what they were doing in the studio.”

Long Lost is an immersive album into a parallel universe as I have already stated. This album is a work of art and to call it anything less than an album would be a shame. The intricate details put into the album are incredible. The music videos perfectly correspond to each song, but more importantly, the music videos tell the story of Long Lost. It is an overlooked piece of art from 2021, but deserves all of the attention; it is more than music put together to make an album and make charts, it is a sophisticated art piece that tells an immersive story. 


The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack – Saint Motel

On June 25 of 2021, Saint Motel, an indie pop band, released a 15-track record titled, The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack. Saint Motel’s new album is separated into three different parts, each one capturing its own feel and atmosphere. The songs in the album include: “Old Soul”, “Sisters”, “Van Horn”, “Diane Mozart”, “Save Me”,  “Make Me Feel Like”, “Slow Dance”, “Preach”, “A Good Song Never Dies”, “The Moment”, “Snake Charmer”, “Bullet”, “It’s All Happening”, “Origami”, “No Cares”.

In Part 1, Saint Motel incorporates the mood and melody of vintage music, as well as the tone of music used in espionage films throughout their songs. The album focuses on a deep feeling, like you are floating in dark waters, yet somehow manages to entwine a romantic, moody flair. As the listener, I imagined during some songs, such as “Sisters” and “Van Horn” that I was jumping rope with friends decades past. 

Listening to Part 2 was a completely different experience than listening to Part 1. In the sequel addition of the album, I imagined that I was a spy completing a dangerous mission during “A Good Song Never Dies”. Whereas during the other songs, I felt that I was laughing with friends on a cool, summer night. 

Part three of The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack expressed triumph, individualism, and independence. Part three tied aspects of each part of the album into one, reflecting the distinct parts into one unified collection. I felt that the songs in this section were determined and could feel the purposeful intent in the chords.

All in all, I loved The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack. I find it impossible to not dance to, even if you are only bobbing your head! I would recommend this album to anyone who enjoys listening to indie or alternative music. I would rate this album a 5/5 because Saint Motel has the rare ability to make the listener feel as if they are living the lyrics. The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack definitely sends a message of living in the moment and taking pleasure in today.


Come Over (Again) – Crawlers

While this is just a song, rather than a whole album, the CHS Sandscript felt it was vital to highlight the importance of this song coming forward. 

The vocals add to the song in almost a demanding and growing tone. It can be described as calming at first, but then it becomes more explosive with feelings invoked with the song itself, vocals and instrumentals. As the song progresses, it starts to get more intense in rhythm. The person that is singing in the song seems to be talking about how a love had changed and grown apart, so now they are in the mourning process. It is vital to include that the person singing begins to mention that the person involved in the loss shouldn’t be mourning since it was their fault that this falling out occurred in the first place. Relationships will forever change and interlock, in hopes that something will eventually change for the better. This is something many within the LGBTQ+ community have correlated with as well. The writers came forward on TikTok stating that this song can be used for individuals who identify as transgender, are transitioning, or even going by different pronouns than that assigned at birth; this topic comes predominantly from the line “Take her name out of your mouth”. People in the LGBTQ+ community should be able to voice how they feel and at the same time, be heard and loved. I understand this experience a lot, because I have been dead-named countless times when I have kindly asked to be called by something else and also to use my preferred pronouns. Even if you aren’t in the LGBTQ+ community, you are valid just the way that you are and can use this song to know you are heard. 


Honorable Mention – (previously written by Chloe Clendenin)