For the Fourth of July holiday, we’re thinking about some of our favorite “American” albums. Whether they’re new or old, these are the records that either made a huge impact on us or were simply a pleasure to listen to.
The long-awaited American Dream from LCD Soundsystem made a great comeback, while Jade Bird continued to prove herself as a promising folk-pop act with Something American. Of course, Bruce Springsteen’s Born in the USA will forever remain a classic in our hearts. Plus, Khalid made some serious waves when he hit the music scene with American Teen.
See below for some America-themed albums as we celebrate the big holiday weekend.
Bruce Springsteen, Born in the USA
It’s impossible to go through this holiday without blasting the classic 1984 album from this American legend. “I’m on Fire”? “Dancing in the Dark”? Or “Glory Days”? Talk about iconic. There’s no wonder why this remains Springsteen’s most commercially successful album to date.
LCD Soundsystem, American Dream
After releasing 2010’s This Is Happening and then playing their “final” show at Madison Square Garden in 2011, the band definitely put some pressure on themselves to make a good comeback. Thankfully, they did.
Jade Bird, Something American
Back in 2017, the powerhouse singer-songwriter released her EP Something American, which was filled with some great cuts. On the title track, she sings: “We knew each other when we were very young/ High school sweethearts, or something American.” She’s also a Londoner, which only enhances her edgy sense of humor.
If you’re looking for some Pride-ful bangers for this special holiday, look no further. RuPaul dropped a whole album called American in 2017. On the title track, Ru sings: “I’m the bitch from New York City/ Playing at the parties and I know that I am carrying/ I might be an Aquarian but/ I am American.”
Kendrick Lamar, To Pimp a Butterfly
“Alright” became one of the biggest anthems at Donald Trump protest rallies when it was released, and with the rest of the album, Lamar made a huge impact on the Black Lives Matter movement. By incorporating free jazz and several social themes into his work, Lamar has helped address some of the biggest issues in the country.
Khalid, American Teen
Khalid’s double-platinum-certified debut album pretty much catapulted him to fame, and for good reason. The album is filled with great cuts, including “Young, Dumb & Broke,” “Location” and “Saved,” which explored being a teenager in this country. It even earned a Grammy nomination for best urban contemporary album.
Kacey Musgraves, Golden Hour
While this may not be an obvious choice for America, it makes a lot of sense. It’s easy, breezy, filled with love, and the Texan simply makes everything surrounding her sound so much more beautiful. It’s exactly what the country wants right now.
Kevin Abstract, American Boyfriend: A Surburban Love Story
On his 2016 sophomore LP, Abstract takes a trip down memory lane and reminisces about his teenage years while also exploring his insecurities. It’s pretty fitting, too, since the Fourth of July brings back a lot of nostalgic, suburban memories for most.
Green Day, American Idiot
Another classic we just can’t live without. Songs like the title track, “Holiday / Boulevard of Broken Dreams” and “Wake Me Up When September Ends” are quintessential early 2000s punk-pop. The concept album is meant to be a “punk rock opera” that follows the story of Jesus of Suburbia, a perfect American story.
30 Seconds to Mars, America
Released just last year, America is a concept album that explores themes like politics, sex and fame. Sounds pretty on point for Fourth of July.