Mother's Day: Moms Who Rock, Pt. 2
In honor of Mother's Day, we took a look earlier this week at some of our favorite vinyl records by musical moms. Moms are all over the musical landscape, from hip-hop to country, from rock to soul. Shop our Mother's Day Boutique on Victrola.com and take a listen to 10 more essential albums by some super talented moms.
The culmination of a six year writing and development period, 30 is the most complete work yet by Adele, the modern standard-bearer of vocal jazz and blue-eyed soul. Replete with themes of love, loss, and perhaps mostly importantly, motherhood, 30 is a heart wrenching record that showcases Adele's incredible vocal talent and songwriting ability.
With each release, Solange's music becomes more inventive and experimental, pushing the boundaries of popular music and creating something wholly original. Her latest, When I Get Home contains elements of funk and jazz, taking inspiration from eclectic composers like Steve Reich and Sun Ra, while also paying homage to her Houston hip-hop roots. The result is a deeply visceral album, one that Solange says we are meant to "feel."
Like a Prayer closed out the 1980s for Madonna, a decade she definitively and unabashedly owned from the release of her debut record in 1983. A true pop album in every aspect of the genre, Madonna drew upon her personal experiences with songs like the title track, as well as "Express Yourself." Madonna was at her most creative and provocative with her music videos, earning herself a condemnation from the Vatican for her use of religious iconography.
After the tremendous success of her first two records, Jennifer Lopez decided to remind us where she came from. This Is Me...Then's lead single, "Jenny from the Block" paid homage to her Bronx roots, speaking passionately about her love for her neighborhood. The rest of the album is far more hip-hop and soul influenced than her previous work, inspired by the artists that helped to shape her youth and formative years. J-Lo recently announced a sequel to the album, This Is Me...Now due for release in 2023.
Erykah Badu's debut album immediately placed her at the forefront of the developing neo-soul genre. Badu's Southern flare earned her comparisons to some of the greatest artists of classic R&B and soul. Her voice, sultry yet with a tinge of grit, provided the jazzy element to complement heavier background beats. Baduizm was a massive hit, launching Badu's career as both a musician and actress, with future releases continuing to help define her genre.
Blue is one of the few records you could make a convincing case for as the greatest album of all time and not find much opposition. Mitchell is one of the most talented singer/songwriters of the 20th century, a natural storyteller whose voice brings to life deep, raw emotion. Stories of relationships, loss, and addition dot the tracks, with Mitchell's artistry tying them together. Blue is a genuine masterpiece of folk music, one that inspired virtually everything that came after.
The track listing for Loud is simply hit after hit after hit. A quintessential dance album, Loud offered fans a more upbeat, pop-focused version of Rihanna, with her familiar R&B sound dotting the landscape. Songs like "Only Girl (In the World) continue to get radio play, as well as her collaborations with Eminem and Nicki Minaj. Rihanna is a mom to a son, and recently surprised fans by announcing her second pregnancy during her extravagant halftime performance at Super Bowl LVII.
One of the most influential bands of the 1990s, Sleater-Kinney had already made a name for themselves in the riot grrrl punk scene when they released Dig Me Out. The album vaulted them into national prominence and served as a gap between their energetic brand of punk rock and more grunge-inspired indie rock. The album contains subject matter such as feminism, the breaking down of gender stereotypes, and relationships, most notably the relationship between founding members Corin Tucker and Carrie Brownstein. Tucker later became a mom of two, while Sleater-Kinney are still going strong since reuniting in 2014.
Lead vocalist Gwen Stefani has been the driver for No Doubt since the band's debut in the early '90s, but Tragic Kingdom was when the band truly hit it big. One of the pioneers of the third wave of ska in the 1990s along with bands like Sublime and Reel Big Fish, No Doubt had a decidedly more punk rock edge. Stefani, a true power singer, penned the lead track "Just a Girl", which is still considered the band's signature song. A mom of three, Stefani went on to a tremendously successful pop career after the band's hiatus.
With 1982's The Dreaming, Kate Bush acquired a reputation as an eccentric performer, but Hounds of Love added commercial success, as well. Songs like "Cloudbusting" received major radio play, giving credence to her unique brand of artsy progressive rock. In 2022, 37 years after the album's release, Bush was unexpectedly thrust back into popularity after the lead track, "Running Up That Hill" was prominently featured in Stranger Things.