.G-Eazy released his third studio album in 2017 and whilst his debut is still leagues ahead in my opinion, this album is just as good if not better than 'When It's Dark Out'. Released just last month, the album hasn't been able to sink as much as I'd want before trying to rank it but I think its fairly deserving of a Top 10 placement. As with all his albums, the album is cohesive and has some brilliant features which fit perfectly. Songs to check out include 'Him & I' ft. Lana Halsey which is looking likely to be a big hit this year, 'Love Is Gone' which is THE Trump drag of 2017, and the closing track 'Eazy' which for any Halsey fans samples 'Hold Me Down' from BADLANDS.
This time last year I did not like Zara Larsson at all. I disliked everything I had heard from her bar Lush Life which I thought was decent but average at best and I was very much #TeamDua to terms of the new breakout pop girls. Recognising that she had potential however, I decided to check out the album and to my horror surprise I really liked the album. The album also holds the bizarre feat for releasing all the singles as the worst songs. No joke. I ranked the songs and all the single + Sundown where at the bottom (This was when the album was released, 'Only You' is amazing and was released after the album release). The album is a perfect example of current pop music done well. Highlights include any songs you haven't heard on the radio.
One of my most highly anticipated albums of the year was Halsey's sophomore album and I must admit I was slightly disappointed. Obviously I still enjoy the album and the fact its a disappointment and still at #8 on my countdown speaks volumes about much I like Halsey but I couldn't help but think BADLANDS was a much better album. Whilst I appreciated the Romeo and Juliet storyline that is intricately woven through each track, nothing really excited me as much as the previous album. The album is much more mainstream and poppy which I wouldn't say is a bad thing, but I fell in love with Halsey because I'm a fan of dark, atmospheric productions not the rolling synthy pop beats of 'Strangers' or the retro funky sax on 'Alone' (don't get me wrong, those two songs are some of the best but those song elements aren't exactly what I'd associate with the Halsey I fell in love with back in 2015. Still this is a fantastic album for pop fans who like something with a bit more lyrical depth than stuff you'd usually hear on pop radio. Highlights include 'Eyes Closed', 'Alone' and 'Sorry'.
This is quite surprising! I'm glad so good managed to break down that barrier put up by Lush Life.I disliked everything I had heard from her bar Lush Life which I thought was decent but average at best and I was very much #TeamDua to terms of the new breakout pop girl
Poor Katy, 2017 just was not her year. She messed with a snake and she got bitten. Whilst the album faced some pretty harsh reviews upon release, I found the album to be a pretty good. It was no where near the quality of previous albums but I would consider some songs like Roulette and Deja Vu to be some of her best material. The experimentation whilst works well on tracks like Witness and the previously mentioned Deja Vu sometimes misses the mark and ends up sounding a bit too forced (see Mind Maze). Katy is capable of much more than this album but overall it is a well-rounded pop album which is very easy to listen to and has some pretty great replay value to it.
Well this album rollout was truly a rollercoaster ride. When I first heard of Dua back in 2015 I was beyond excited to hear a full project by her. She kept on releasing incredible song after incredible song with New Love, Be The One, Last Dance, Hotter Than Hell, she just kept churning out the bops. By the end of 2016 things weren't looking good and after multiple push backs and a few songs that I HATED (Thinking 'Bout You + Lost In Your Light) I was really starting to get frustrated and lose excitement. By the time it came to June, I'll be honest I wasn't particularly looking forward to hearing the rest of the album because all the new songs were not the sound I was wanting from Dua. When I listened to the album I thought it was okay but thinking back to how excited I was in 2015/early 2016 I was super disappointed. Thankfully the album was grower and the amazing success of New Rules made me appreciate the other album tracks. I also saw her live in concert this year which really helped bring the album to life. Whilst I still prefer the original songs she did back in the early days of her career, she is a definitely a star in the making and I think she will be one of the very lucky British females to escape the sophomore slump.
Pendulum is my least favourite song on the album, it's horrendousTansike wrote: The singles of this were well picked (except maybe "Hey Hey Hey"), and there are still some great bops left with "Roulette", "Deja vu" or "Pendulum" (an unpopular fave of mine).
Paramore are a band that hold a very special place in my heart. I've been a huge fan since 2009 and their 2010 concert was one of my first ever concerts so their earlier albums also make me feel very nostalgic. After what felt like an entirety they finally released another album but was it really worth wait? The answer - kind of. Of course they were never going to top the bible that is Brand New Eyes but I'd say this album was on par with their last effort which was also a really great album. This album distances them even further from the angsty-emo music that everyone fell in love with and adds even more pop elements to their music than self-titled. Whilst I am sad that their music is no longer what it used to be, it's also important that artists evolve in their sound and the great thing about Hayley is that she has a fantastic voice which works for both rock and pop. I feel like this was kind underrated this year and slightly overlooked. It has a great mixture of more upbeat, poppier tracks and some more stripped back. Lyrical content was up to par with all their previous albums which is no surprise because they're all great songwriters and had A LOT to talk about and get off their chests. Only down side...'No Friend'...but lets not talk about that. Highlights include my personal favourite 'Forgiveness', 'Told You So' and 'Grudges'.
PVRIS are one of my favourite discoveries of the past couple of year. Returning with one of my most anticipated albums of the year they once again blew everything out of the water. Making the music that Paramore would be doing if they hadn't ventured down a more pop route, PVRIS are the perfect example of the emo/alt-rock music of the 2000's brought into a modern production. With lyrics that sound like they've been plucked straight out of a poem, this album is a masterpiece in songwriting, vocal delivery and dark productions. The album is so haunting and the perfect soundtrack to winter. Highlights include 'Anyone Else' and my favourite 'Separate'. Please check them out, they're super underrated!
Taylor finally returned to the music world in 2017 to save us for Ed Sheeran and the Latin trend. The album continues Taylor's adventure into pop music with a much darker sounding record than previous album '1989' which was pretty much what I was expecting before hearing anything for the album. I am fan of darker productions to begin with so this was a welcome direction but did I enjoy the album as much as 1989? Well based on first listen and the subsequent couple of listens I didn't. I remember being completely blown away by 1989 and found it very hard to pick songs that I didn't like. With this album I loved it from first listen but not as much. I found it pretty easy to pick the duds and the songs that I'd have left off (*cough* LWYMMD) which took me a while to do with 1989. The album as a whole is a lot harder to listen to than 1989 and takes a bit more effort to sit through in one sitting which is always the downside to albums with quiet dark and heavy productions; oftentimes they can be quite draining and 'loud'. Taylor's songwriting also isn't particularly impressive and continues the downward slope that 1989 started after the lyrical masterpieces that were Speak Now and Red. Regardless, some lyrical depth can be found sprinkled across the tracks, particularly tracks towards the end of the album like 'Call It What You Want' and 'New Years Day'. And of course it goes without saying that even a Taylor Swift album which falls slightly below expectations is well above most other pop albums of the year. Highlights include 'Delicate', criminally underrated 'King Of My Heart', 'Call It What You Want' and second single '...Ready For It?'
My Queen released another masterpiece this year firmly cementing the fact that she can do no wrong in my eyes, no matter what she offers to the table. Returning ever so slightly to the more urban/trap beats that captured everyones attention back in 2012, this album is a perfect blend of everything she has been putting out over the past +5 years. Focusing lyrics on more current issues for one of the first times, Lana finally reveals that she does in fact live in 2017 and not 1957. We love a woke Queen! Lana really is THE queen of alt-pop. She serves looks, lyrics, production and finally this era, great visuals again after previously lacking in that department for her past couple of albums. Notably album also has features, another first for Lana. Whilst I think she did go a bit overboard going from 3 albums with zero features to one with 5, none of them feel out of place and you can tell they came about organically, nothing felt forced. I love how similar lyrics are intertwined into consecutive songs from the 'dripping peaches' of 13 Beaches and 'my peaches are ruined' in Cherry, all the way to Lana singing 'it makes me feel like I could change' in Herion, about 20 seconds before, yep, you guessed it, Change starts. My only criticism of the album is the scrapping of 'Best American Record' which if included would be fighting for best song on the album. Highlights include '13 Beaches', 'White Mustang' and 'God Bless America'.
Here it is, my album of 2017. The long awaited return of the New Zealand Legend was well worth the wait don't you think? I of course knew I'd like the album but I would never have expected her to come back to strongly. I loved 'Pure Heroine' but it would not have topped by charts if I had done a countdown back in 2013 so for this album to be the best of the year was a little surprising for me. The album has been met with overwhelmingly positive reviews and has rightfully so been nominated for AOTY at the Grammy's. This album is the perfect example of how pop music should be done in 2017. This album offers everything. I couldn't even tell you what the albums strong point is because is really is everything. The production is modern, experimental, interesting, initiative and beautiful. The lyrics are like poetry and require multiple listens to fully pick apart. Even listening over 6 months later I am discovering new meaning in songs I thought I had already fully dissected. Lorde is this generations closest thing to a musical legend and one of the very few out there that honestly has a clue what she is doing in the studio. She even said that she wants to produce her next album by herself. Sadly this album hasn't seen the commercial success as her previous effort but going the critical route may in fact be her saving grace. I think Lorde is here to stay whether she has another hit or not. Highlights include 'Homemade Dynamite', 'Hard Feelings' and my favourite song, the epic trap interlude 'Sober II'.