Sunday, 7 January 2018

Favourite Albums of 2017

In 2017, I embraced New Music Friday and listened regularly to new albums and...have been kind of underwhelmed. In short, as usual, when it came to formulate this list, it was a bit of a struggle but I got there eventually, after changing the lineup four times.So let's get straight to it:

5. The Big Moon - Love in the 4th Dimension

Love in the 4th Dimension is the debut album of London-based, indie rock quartet, The Big Moon. The vocals remind me of a slightly more rock'n'roll answer to The Long Blondes, in fact the whole album is a nostalgic nod to the early noughties indie movement without sounding outdated. The opening track "Sucker" and slightly slower song "Cupid" are my stand out tracks.

5. the xx - I See You

The xx's third album was my most anticipated of the year. I expected it to be number 1 as they are such a firm favourite of mine. I wanted so desperately to like it and I truly do but just not quite as much as it's predecessors. The band switched it up for "I See You"- normally Oliver and Romy write the lyrics separately and fit them together with some sort of sultry wizardry but this time they took on the lyric writing exercise on as a duo and I think it kind of shows. Additionally the sound of the album definitely sways further in the direction of Jamie xx;s solo work - more house/dance inspired and these two factors might be why I feel differently. That being said, there's still some belters on there, I'm particularly fond of Say Something Loving, Dangerous & Brave For You.

3.Kesha - Rainbow

I can't imagine how Kesha must have felt releasing music again after a stint in rehab for an eating disorder and still amidst her widely-publicised legal battle with Sony producer Dr Luke. Her single "Praying" was one hell of a comeback, such a clever, powerful and brave song. Rainbow shows a mature side and is a far cry from the likes of "Tik Tok" and even "Timber" (a self-confessed guilty pleasure) but that doesn't mean the whole album is serious and as emotionally fuelled - listen to "Let 'Em Talk" & just try not to dance, "Woman" is a pro-woman, empowering anthem and then there's the cute & wacky "Godzilla", an acoustic track about taking Godzilla home to your mum...

2. Sampha - Process

I'm just going to go in all guns blazing with this one: Process is absolutely stunning. It's versatile, it's soulful, it's emotionally raw and if I was the type of person to host sophisticated dinner parties, this would be my soundtrack. I mean, it was the winner of this year's Mercury Music Price, he's worked with Solange, Jessie Ware, Drake and Kanye and he's signed to Young Turks (same label as the xx), and my writing doesn't do it justice, so will you just listen to Process yourself, if you haven't already?

1. Paramore - After Laughter

Over the years, Paramore have drifted from their pop punk origin and moved more towards a more pop genre but keeping to their emo heritage with the song topics and lyrics. For me, this didn't work with their self-titled album but they're back on their A Game with After Laughter. What I love about this album is that it deals with mental health and feeling low while the happy, upbeat music contrasts it. The lyrics are relate-able and songs super catchy, I just knew it would fall on this list even when it was released back in May. Although only from earlier this year, it reminds me of the sunshine in our garden and getting ready to have my friends round our new house for the first time so it will always evoke happy memories for me.

Honourable mentions: Haim - Something To Tell You, Lorde - Melodrama, Wolf Alice- Visions of a Life

Well, that's it for another yearly music round up! Yet again, the majority of my edit is made up of female artists which I'm 100% OK with. As ever, I've made a playlist of my favourite singles from the year which you can check out below but I'd love to know which albums you've been loving in 2017? Let me know in the comments below.

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