It’s that time of the year again. When a harrowing cloud of smog appears over the city
and red-eyed, extra “chill” humans band together over one common goal: legalization.
With talks of legalization on the horizon (or so as promised by Prime Minister Trudeau),
we’ve rummaged together a collection of some of the best albums to explore on this
extra lazy day.
Lonerism — Tame Impala
Let the steady pace of the looped drums and twinkling synths in “Be Above It” send
your senses into a mindful array of illusion, man. While tracks like “Music To Walk
Home By,” unspiral in a fluid motion of constantly evolving rhythms, guitar licks both effortlessly catchy and hypnotic.
Kevin Parker speaks to his “influences” while writing music in an article with GQ: “If I’m
fleshing out a song, smoking can make it more potent — like turning up the volume of
the ideas in your head. But you’re just as likely to turn up a bad idea, as a good one, so
I don’t smoke it if I want to think rationally.”
The Dark Side of The Moon — Pink Floyd
“Breathe in, breathe in the air. Don’t be afraid to care.” Iconic, textural and as thick as
a cloud of smoke, The Dark Side of The Moon is the perfect 4/20 album and best
enjoyed on this special day with the good ‘ol Wizard of Oz sync.
Drunk — Thundercat
Thundercat’s third studio album is best described by Pitchfork as an “anxious stoner
album, the aural equivalent of late night channel surfing.” The 70’s funk and R&B fusion
makes for an eclectic combination of insanely groovy baselines and wonderfully
amusing yet complexly layered falsettos. Politically charged, humorous, downright weird
and unmistakably “chill,” the album makes for a perfect night of quiet introspection. Not
marching with the rest of the crew on 4/20? Figures, because we’d rather play Mortal
Paranoid — Black Sabbath
Chiming in as one of the most influential heavy metal albums ever made, Paranoid is a
remarkable (and appropriately titled) album to rock out to on 4/20. Paranoid is best
enjoyed in it’s entirety, especially with an opening track as insanely righteous as “War
You Forgot It In People — Broken Social Scene
What would this list be without a burgeoning album from our angsty, misadventured
youth? You’ve probably sat cooped up in your bedroom with nothing but your
unrelenting thoughts pouring out into your teenage journals and fixated on wreaking
havoc in your neighborhood with “Cause = Time” on full blast. This album bleeds
experimental, galloping melodies overflowing with mumbled vocals with relentless
trepidation. Want to relive your teenage angst? Check out Broken Social Scene this
year at Field Trip!
40oz to Freedom — Sublime
“I smoke two joints in time of peace. And two in time of war. I smoke two joints before I
smoke two joints and then I smoke some more” as sung by the band’s late lead singer
Bradley Norwell. 40z to Freedom is the posterchild of 4/20 albums, with suitable track
names such as “Smoke Two Joints” and “Let’s Go Get Stoned”, you’ll be taken away
to the warm beaches in Cali and righteously proclaiming, “surf’s up dude.”
Junk — M83
Junk is a dreamy, reverb soaked treasure unearthed by the French electronic
masterminds M83. Let the floating mix of savory synths, vivacious violins and evolving
vocals subdue you into an ever expanding auditory bliss.
An Awesome Wave — Alt-J
An Awesome Wave is perfect for your quirky, incredibly sonic textural experience of
distorted bass tones, cosmic and liberally sparse guitars and infectious vocal twangs.
So in other words, it’s really awesome, maaaan.
Kid A — Radiohead
Kid A is an album that can only be experienced at it’s most unsullied potential through
its uninterrupted entirety — 49 minutes and 56 seconds of pure auditory bliss. Let this
album become your tranquil send off to 4/20. And until next year, “stay irie!”
The Chronic — Dr. Dre
The debut studio album of the Doctor himself, Dr. Dre’s The Chronic was made to be enjoyed in a cloud of smoke. A genre-definer in the world of West Coast hip hop, The Chronic quickly turned Dre into the pioneer of G-Funk in the early 90s, while also landing as one of the greatest rap albums of all time.
Photo courtesy of Unai Mateo via Flickr.