In the world of Spotify playlists where you can throw together a mixtape in minutes, something has been lost about the lure of whole albums. Sometimes it’s worth it to pull out the records every now and again — especially if you happen to be meeting up with a special someone. Picking out the perfect hookup album is no easy task and when making a selection there are three major boxes to check off; no landmines, the right content, and a consistent vibe. Mind the landmines because nothings worse than trying to set the mood by throwing on some Sinatra all for “New York New York” to come blaring through the speakers before you get to the good stuff. Next off, know your audience, don’t spin something that sends the wrong message. Songs of Leonard Cohen when you’re spending the evening with the greasy guy from tinder who hasn’t read a book since “Junie B. Jones” probably isn’t the move. Lastly, a consistent vibe is important. As much as I love a rollercoaster of an album, your anniversary night probably isn’t the best time to show off your copy of A Night At The Opera. Find an album that checks all these boxes and you’ll be good to go. If you’re stumped on what to spin at your next rendezvous, here are 10 foolproof hookup albums in no particular order that are bound to get something started.
Led Zeppelin I by Led Zeppelin (1969)
Ah Zeppelin, if sex appeal could manifest into a quartet it’d no doubt be Plant, Page, Bonham and Jones. Even though Mike Damone gave us the expert instruction “When it comes down to making out, whenever possible, put on side one of ‘Led Zeppelin IV’ in ‘Fast Times at Ridgemont High,’” my personal pick is Led Zeppelin I. It’s perfect for the sort of iffy date you are hoping you can sneak by your roommates. Plant is loud enough that no one will question a thing and with tracks like “You Shook Me” and “I Can’t Quit You Baby,” it’s an obvious choice.
Malibu by Anderson Paak (2016)
Anderson Paak’s second studio album Malibu is smooth and steady throughout and is pretty irresistible to any type of taste. This album rides the fine line of party music and after party music so whichever way you cut it, spinning this on your Saturday night won’t disappoint. An overall sexy release, cheers Mr. Paak.
The Pious Bird of Good Omen by Fleetwood Mac (1969)
In a time long before the Buckingham-Nicks era, there was a whole different Fleetwood Mac that held their base in a whole different pocket of sound. Do I dare make the bold statement that I preferred this original Fleetwood Mac or do I challenge you to decide for yourself when you throw this on during your next date? All I’m saying is if you’re not making out by the end of the opening track “Need Your Love So Bad,” they must not be the one.
Fresh Air by Homeshake (2017)
Who doesn’t love this album? There’s no hiding from the mood when Fresh Air comes on and the steady and slow paced instrumentals matched with Peter Sagar’s dreamy voice are a match made in heaven. Opening track “ Hello Welcome” means business as it gives us a pseudo Marvin Gaye sauciness that can’t be ignored and “Khmlwugh” literally spits out the message loud and clear. All in all, a stellar hookup album.
Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs by Derek & The Dominos (1970)
I’m sure you’ve heard the stories, but this album at its creation was rooted in romance. Eric Clapton penned the title track “Layla” and much of the rest of the meat on the album to spell out his feelings for his best friend, George Harrison’s, wife Pattie Boyd. The whole album is oozing with the feeling of being madly in love and doing crazy things because of it. What better type of material to inspire a killer room-rockin’ record? There’s no shortage of lengthy guitar solos in this LP and they’ll surely lay the foundation for some shenanigans.
Waiting For The Sun by The Doors (1968)
There’s nothing sexier than the Lizard King and there’s no use arguing that. The Doors third studio album Waiting For The Sun is no doubt their most smooch-worthy work. Coming out of the gate with “Hello I Love You” that contains possibly my favorite set of lyrics “Do you think you’ll be the guy to make the queen of the angels sigh?,” this album is wholly flirtatious from the start. The Doors carry the sort of swank in their sound that cannot be rehearsed with an erratic charm and a dangerous edge that makes for totally irresistible makeout music.
Still Crazy After All These Years by Paul Simon (1975)
What a tender set of songs. Opening things up with the title track “Still Crazy After All These Years,” Simon sets the tone for an album chalk-full of sweetness and chart-toppers alike. This work feels like a physical manifestation of puppy-love and butterflies making it a must-play for the cutie you’ve been crushing on.
Brown Sugar by D’Angelo (1995)
Alright Gen Z, let’s be honest with ourselves. If you were born anytime after July of 1995 (which you were) there’s at least a 50% chance you were conceived to this very D’Angelo album. Sorry not sorry, I don’t make the rules.
Raw Honey by DrugDealer (2019)
A modern day LA epic. The second release by Drugdealer, Raw Honey, revamps the classic collaborative emphasis that the best Los Angeles albums of long ago carried with them. With contributors popping up from every niche to throw down a guitar lick or spit a bar, this album is a melting pot of the city’s strongest new showpieces. Weyes Blood’s Nico-esque vocal work in “Honey” makes it a steady hookup track and the sweet sadness in the way Dougie Poole executes “Wild Motion” is bound to get you in your feels.
Voices by Stan Getz (1967)
11 tracks of tenor sax and no foolin’. Nothing is more classic than throwing on some jazz for a night in and there’s no better record to set the mood with than Voices. It’s so crisp yet so whimsical at the same time, showcasing not only Getz’s killer technical work, but the silent spaces in between. This record takes its sweet time and hopefully while it plays in the background, so will you.