If you can even believe it, 2017 is coming to an end. This has definitely been quite a year, but I think we can all agree that the music released was incredible. As we have been gearing up for the holiday season, I have been thinking long and hard about some of my favorites that have come out this past year, and I have to admit it was a bit tough. I came to the decision that I didn’t need to present a certain number of favorite songs and albums, no top 10s or top 5s. Rather, I wanted to give you a genuine list of what I loved this past year.
I hope all of my readers have an amazing holiday season and new year – and I can’t wait to kick off 2018 with even more posts about the thing I love the most: music!
Melodrama, Lorde – Melodrama is in one word a masterpiece. Lorde’s highly antipated sophomore album, after her ground breaking album Pure Heroine at just the age of 16 , is incredible. Lorde and Jack Antonoff of Bleachers and Fun. worked on this album together – can you ask for anything better than two of our generations musical geniuses working hand in hand? Lorde creates a virtually perfect album with unique sounds and powerful lyrics that always seem to explain perfectly where she is at in life. The whole album is vulnerable – talking about former relationships (Green Light), personal struggles with finding love and trust (Liability), and guiding us through her path in finding herself through some of the rockiest year’s of a person’s life. This album is relatable, all while being musically unique and distinct. Lorde is truly one of a kind, making her album one of the most special albums released this year.
Damn., Kendrick Lamar – Kendrick’s newest release has a certain simplicity to it – it sounds like old school rap, the stuff that started it all. His lyrics have meaning. It’s not the empty stuff you hear on the radio that a lot of parents cringe at when their kids play it in the car (shout out to my brother for always being the sibling to do exactly that). Kendrick addresses a lot of personal events and problems he and the world faces through this album. He tells stories through his lyrics, which makes this album so great and relevant. The album literally opens up with Kendrick telling a story. That’s what makes his lyrics and music so captivating.
Reputation, Taylor Swift – Arguably the most anticipated album of 2017, Reputation thankfully does not disappoint. I have to admit that I was nervous this would be a huge let down, not that I am the biggest Swift fan in the world, but that the hype behind it was crazy. Taylor’s singles were mediocre at best and not up to par lyrically with her huge hits. I honestly was expecting the worst. But, then the album dropped, and I loved it. This album delivered and made a huge statement that the person we see in public, in the media, is not the real person. With production credits to Max Martin and Jack Antonoff (LITERALLY HE IS A SUPER STAR – also producing Lorde’s Melodrama and an album for his band Bleachers, and even going on tour), the songs transcend 1989 and go to a different place, which was her goal. This album feels more mature and experimental, showng Taylor does not ever fail to evolve from album to album. I genuinely have no idea what she could possibly do next.
Landmark, Hippo Campus – Shout out again to one of my best friends for recommending another amazing band. Hippo Campus is an indie group from Minnesota, with music that honestly sounds like a dream. Their sound is in one word pleasant. Jake Luppen’s voice is a voice of an angel, his range displayed throughout each song. It’s the kind of music you want to listen to in the best situation, with the best people. This album makes me smile throughout, and has been a very bright spot in the impending dark winter months.
Feel It Still, Portugal. the Man – I remember hearing this song play at an Orioles game, and I was in shock. Then, it was on a TV commercial. Portugal. the Man was about to blow up – and they did. This song crosses genres and generations. It’s proof that alternative is able to become mainstream and appeal to mass amounts of people. This song is legitimately everywhere now, and is the surprise biggest song of the year from a well established alternative group.
Green Light, Lorde – Lorde’s first single from Melodrama marked a shift in her musical style. This song was much more freeing, deep, and happier sounding than her previous record. What I love about this single is that it embodies Lorde’s spirit as an artist and makes you feel exactly the push and pull Lorde was feeling immediately after a break up – waiting for the green light to move on, dancing closer and closer to it.
Humble, Kendrick Lamar – Kendrick’s first single from Damn is a catchy hit that ended up being played all over the radio. His songs, while wildly popular, aren’t always so catchy to the point of being so well known by everyone. Humble has staying power – it’s a rap song that gets stuck in your head, addresses Kendrick’s struggle with remaining humble with his new found fame, and is attractive to the masses.
Slide, Calvin Harris – Calvin Harris could’ve stayed with his tried and true musical formula. Have a solid dance beat, feature a popular artist. However, Calvin basically starts/revives a genre – funk came back. He almost had a formulaic approach to EDM music, and clearly wanted a fresh take on his craft. This song feels just that – fresh, new, exciting. Although we all have the Calvin we know and love, this song helped him re-establish and almost create a funk/EDM genre of its own. He followed this release with an entire album nodding to the funk genre.
Well, there you have it! My top albums and songs of 2017. I hope you all enjoy, and have a fantastic rest of the year. I can’t wait to see what 2018 has in store.
Let me know what some of your favorite albums and songs were this past year!