Kanye West - Yeezus
Release date: June 18, 2013
The summer of 2013 wasn't colloquially known as Yeezy Season for nothing. The album we just couldn't stop talking about was also the best. In a normal year, the best album of the summer is a "summer album," but there are no acoustic guitars here, no straightforward hooks, no sunlight. Instead, Kanye gave us an opaque gem of unreserved id, abrasive noise and anger, and forced the idea of a summer album to fit his template. Yeezus is at its best booming out of an open car window, but the person next to you at a stoplight will be uncomfortable. It's music that begs to be played as loudly as possible, but refuses to be anything but confrontational.
When Kanye debuted the first few songs at Governor's Ball this June, he declared: "Honestly at this point, I could give a fuck about selling a million records as long as I put out an album for the summer that y'all can rock to for all fuckin' summer." He succeeded.—Brendan