10/10 Music: Dr. Scoville and Brooke Orloff’s Perfect Albums


Republic, CRC, Kingsway, Litho, SVG, Kylee Harel

The effects of listening to Folklore and No Code.

“I think music in itself is healing. It’s an explosive expression of humanity. It’s something we are all touched by. No matter what culture we’re from, everyone loves music.” – Billy Joel.

Orloff ‘24 jamming out to her favorite album. (Kylee Harel)

Someone’s idea of a 10/10 album is very subjective because everyone’s musical taste varies, which is why music is so personal and special. The students and faculty at Milken Community School prove just how subjective a 10/10 album is, because it includes our emotions, memories, and how we express ourselves, which is why this series of articles exists. 

To Brooke Orloff ‘24, a 10/10 album is when “you love an album so much, even if there are one or two songs that you don’t love.” To Orloff, a 10/10 album is something you have a lot of love for, which is why her 10/10 album is Folklore by Taylor Swift. The album is both comforting and well-written. Orloff says that she is constantly replaying Swift’s music, and is constantly shocked by Swift’s lyricism. “You just can’t believe that someone can string together those words and make them sound so beautiful,” she shares.

The first song Orloff heard on the album was “The Last Great American Dynasty.” Ever since listening – in 2020, when the album was released – she has been hooked. For instance, Orloff explained that whenever she listens to “The Last Great American Dynasty,” “it is like I am listening to it for the first time.” Orloff shared how “the album as a whole is constantly in the background of my life.” Even though Orloff has memorized almost every lyric to every song in Folklore she shared that whenever she pays attention to the lyrics she thinks “how is this real?” Her love for the album has expanded into her social life as she explained that she makes friends with other people who love this album because, “I already know I love them.” 

A teacher once told Orloff that audiences like to feel as if  they are an essential part of an artist’s art. Orloff cannot stress enough how well Swift does this, especially in Folklore, as she shares how “it gives the listeners so many opportunities to connect the pieces.” Songs such as “Betty,” “August,” ‘and “Cardigan” are spread out across the album, yet listeners dissected Swift’s lyrics and discovered a story about a love triangle within these songs. Orloff explains that this makes the audience feel like they are part of the art. “They are helping to create the story,” she says.

Orloff studying her favorite album. (Kylee Harel)

Kylee’s Take: This aesthetically pleasing and influential album truly is outstanding. Swift’s captivating lyrics and addictive melodies force me to have certain songs on repeat, without getting sick of them. Personally, the songs “The Last Great American Dynasty,” “Mirrorball,” and “Seven” are my favorites. With that being said, this hypnotic album truly deserves a 10/10, since it is both captivating, thoughtful, and an emotional rollercoaster. I urge everyone to listen to this album but I warn you that you will become obsessed with it.

Dr. Scoville posing with his favorite album. (Kylee Harel)

Dr. Damon Scoville’s favorite album is from the staple ‘90s band, Pearl Jam. To the head of the science department, a perfect album does not need to fit every mood, it just “has to be what you love it for.” Scoville’s appreciation and love for this album came from the purpose it served when he was in high school. Scoville would turn on No Code every night to help him fall asleep because he knew how “at the end of it, I was relaxed, and mellowed out, and ready for sleep, and I could just kind of let it stop, and take the headphones off, and conk out. It’s perfect for that.” 

Although Scoville adores every song on this album; his favorite is “Hail, Hail.” He loves the upbeat and fast-paced energy of this song, which stands out to him in a mellow album. Since Scoville is a runner, he is a sucker for “harder, beat-driven [songs].”Music always serves a purpose, and Scoville recognizes that this album does not fit every situation, yet No Code still impacts him because it helps him express himself. The song “Hail, Hail” reminded him of his passion for running and his appreciation of Pearl Jam. 

Even though Scoville has not listened to the album in a long time, he still has “fond memories of it.” These memories started when Dr. Scoville bought the album back in ‘96 and started playing it at home. Scoville heard Pearl Jam’s music before this album, but this album stood out because it helped him fall asleep. Not only that, No Code is a Pearl Jam album, “so you know you’re getting good lyrics and powerful music because that guy [Eddie Vedder] doesn’t mess around.”

Dr. Scoville falls asleep listening to No Code. (Kylee Harel)

Kylee’s Take: When I finished listening to the album, I started to understand why Dr. Scoville listened to it before sleeping. This album is as mellow as a grunge album can be. The album has the perfect mixture of upbeat and slower-paced songs that balance each other out to an album that is expressive and mesmerizing. One of my favorite songs on the album has to be “Off He Goes.” Although this song is slow, its intensity is shown through its lyrics, such as, “Said he’ll see me on the flip side/on this trip he’s taken for a ride/he’s been taking too much on/there he goes with his perfectly unkept clothes.” The lyrics in this song are as thought-provoking as they are soothing. Overall, I really appreciate this album because I normally do not listen to Pearl Jam. Since listening to this album, “Off He Goes” has been on repeat. I rate this album an 8/10.

After listening to these albums, I came to the realization that one’s favorite album matches the person’s aura perfectly. Music is healing and touches the soul, making it very personal and therapeutic. So whenever I hear other people’s music suggestions and their favorite songs, I get to understand them on a deeper level.