Can you believe that 2013 was already 10 years ago? Most people can’t. That year was simply a whirlwind of pop culture moments, and in particular, a big year for music. With eccentric albums and artists who were coming into the mainstream only in their teenage years, the public eye was aggressively awakened to a new wave of music.
If you’re trying to remember your 2013 roots through the music catalog of the time, here are five albums turning 10 this year:
ARTPOP by Lady Gaga
While at the time of its release “ARTPOP” was seen as Lady Gaga’s worst album, it’s now her most iconic body of work according to most of her fanbase. Its eccentricity and merging of genres was something that nobody knew the singer could expand on, as her previous albums before were already full of alien-esque synths and fantasy worlds. Yet, Gaga’s fourth studio album went above and beyond, a work that became simply ahead of its time. Songs such as “Venus” and “G.U.Y.” saw the singer embrace synths and dramatic monologues, while others like “Swine” and “Mary Jane Holland” were simply dramatic EDM diary entries. Turning 10 in November, this album may have served a rough creative and emotional time for Lady Gaga, but also proved her musical genius and courage.
Pure Heroine by Lorde
“Pure Heroine” has become Lorde’s most recognizable album for many who grew up during the 2010s, as at only 16 years old the New Zealand singer was simply writing lyrics that were poetic insights into what being an adolescent truly was like. This album even after 10 years is still a statement piece, each song still as relatable as it was during the Tumblr era of wearing ripped black tights and heavy eyeliner. Songs like “Ribs” and “A World Alone” saw Lorde reflect on her girlhood, as well as her loneliness, while “Tennis Court” and “Team” were sassy, cinematic moments on the album that emphasized the importance of friendship and secrecy. Overall, Lorde’s debut album was iconic for a reason, proving her incredible relatability as a songwriter, as well as her mature perspective on the world around her.
Bangerz by Miley Cyrus
Everyone remembers when Miley Cyrus hung naked from a wrecking ball in her music video for her song of the same title, as well as when she twerked on stage in a fuzzy bear costume with a foam middle finger during the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards, which honestly represents the chaotic nature of “Bangerz,” the singer’s fifth studio album. Many still view this project as a total 360 from the Disney star, but it was an impressive array of Cyrus’s emotional depth within her music, as well as her carefree spirit. You have to admit that songs such as “We Can’t Stop” and “Wrecking Ball” are timeless, an honest portrayal of freedom and heartbreak, and songs such as “Adore You” and “Someone Else” are the singer at her most vulnerable. All in all, it’s surreal that this album is turning 10, especially as how much of a pop culture moment it was.
Midnight Memories by One Direction
It’s hard to believe that One Direction stopped making music together almost a decade ago, and even harder to believe that “Midnight Memories” is turning 10 years old as well. The band’s third studio album definitely put most of the world’s teenage girl population into a state of borderline insanity, especially with bangers such as “Story of My Life” and “Best Song Ever,” proof that an all-boy band could easily dominate the mainstream within seconds. Honorable mentions such as “You & I” and “Diana” also saw the band become romantics in a sense, moving slowly away from teenage heartthrobs into adults who were grappling with the conflicts of love. Essentially, this album was a turning point for One Direction, and in 2013, a true work of art to many.
Beyoncé by Beyoncé
After giving birth to her first child just a few years before, Beyoncé redefined what it meant to be a pop star in your 30s, breaking down the societal norms that have been placed on women and their femininity for years. Being one of the first artists to introduce a surprise release, not announcing her fifth studio album to the public until the day of its drop, the singer produced a body of work that fully embraced her insecurities, sexuality and body image, three topics many were timid to even come forward and talk about at the time. It’s evident that “Beyoncé” also served as a feminist album, especially with tracks such as “***Flawless (feat. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie)” and “Partition,” but also as a project for the singer to simply have fun on. It’s clear you can hear Beyoncé’s relief in songs such as “Blow” and “7/11,” and this album helped create a shift in what black female artists could release to the public.