Of course, 2017 has been a huge year for music. We’ve seen many high profile albums drop, and many have received a warm welcome. It’s that time of the year where we round up our favourite albums of the year and put them in a comprehensive and easy to read list.
It’s a hard job to pick the best albums of the year, especially as music taste is such a subjective topic. However, we’ve done our best at making an all round selection of the best music to release this year. Take a look at our choices below, we’re pretty certain on the fact you won’t find a bad album included in this list.
10. Tyler, the Creator – Flower Boy
There’s no doubt that Tyler, the Creator is one of the hottest hip-hop artists around right now. Ever since his success way back in 2011 with “Yonkers”, the star has continued to rise to fame. His latest effort showcases a more mature Tyler, which is the direction he’s been moving in since cutting ties with Odd Future. Multiple big names feature on the album, including ASAP Rocky, Jaden Smith, Lil Wayne, Frank Ocean and more. Standout tracks have to be “Boredom” and “See You Again”. Definitely worth a listen in our opinion.
9. Future – HNDRXX
Future has been up and coming on the scene for a while, and his latest effort, titled “HNDRXX” has pretty much cemented his place as a modern classic. It featured multiple hit singles and collaborations with other huge artists, such as Rihanna and the Weeknd. It was also a technically diverse album, with both feel-good fast paced songs, and ballads that could almost jerk a tear. Highlight songs for us have to be “Coming Out Strong”, “Selfish” and “Sorry”. If you haven’t heard Future yet and want to get to know his music, we advise giving the album a start-to-finish listen.
8. Bicep – Bicep
Earlier this year a friend bought me along to a small instore gig to see an electronic duo whom went by the name of Bicep. I wasn’t expecting much, as electronic/techno isn’t really my cup of tea, however I was completely and utterly blown away. I experienced 45 minutes of the most relaxing yet interesting music I’d ever heard, and from then on I’ve been a solid fan. If you’re interested in techno or not, we’d advise giving the pair’s self titled album a quick spin. Standout tracks have to be “Glue” and “Rain”. The atmospheric introduction of Rain is out of this world.
7. King Krule – The OOZ
Indie rockers around the world were delighted to hear that urban classic King Krule was making a return this year, and it’s safe to say he didn’t disappoint. His 2013 classic “6 Feet Beneath the Moon” was packed full of teenage anthems from start to finish, if you can’t remember rocking out to “Easy Easy” at least once, then you’re either too young or too old. It was always going to be a task to follow up to such a classic, however of course it wasn’t a problem for the mighty King Krule. Instantly standout tracks have to be “Lonely Blue” and “Vidual” for us.
6. Sylvan Esso – What Now
Sylvan Esso are an American electro-pop duo who have remained mainly under the radar up until now. You may have heard some of their singles such as “Coffee” or “Hey Mami” previously, but the likelihood is that you were unaware it was them. They launched their second album in the first half of this year, and it was greeted with a warm reception by critics. If you’re after a chilled listen, we’d definitely recommend “What Now”, and the stand alone songs for us have to be “Die Young” and “Radio”.
5. Loyle Carner – Yesterday’s Gone
As debut albums go, “Yesterday’s Gone” by Loyle Carner is up there with some of the best. The South London-based rapper is known for his touching on sensitive topics and rapping about deeper things than most. He’s an extremely politically aware person and his sound has been described as “eloquent”. The rapper was bought into the attention of mainstream media after he supported Joey Badass on his 2015 tour. “Yesterday’s Gone” definitely lives up to all expectations, and standout tracks for us have to be “Ain’t Nothing Changed” and “The Seamstress (Tooting Masala)”.
4. Jay-Z – 4:44
The man himself, Jay-Z is undeniably one of the biggest names in rap music, he’s been around since the start. Huge guest appearances are featured on the album, from the likes of Frank Ocean, Damian Marley, and even Jay’s wife, Beyonce. It was released exclusively through the star’s very own music streaming service known as Tidal. However this hasn’t stopped it being voted as one of the greatest albums of the year by many. A start-to-finish listen doesn’t bore and is pretty much non-stop action, with standout tracks for us being the title track “4:44”, and “Caught Their Eyes” featuring Frank Ocean.
3. Drake – More Life
Of course, our list wouldn’t be complete without the inclusion of Mr. Drizzy Drake himself. More Life was a return to top form for the megastar, and it featured some of the best tracks we’ve heard since the cult classic “Take Care”. The star himself actually describes the mixtape as a “playlist” rather than an album. There are some huge guest appearances throughout the tape, including British rapper Giggs, Kanye West, and Travis Scott. Standout songs from our perspective have to be “Passionfruit” and “Fake Love”.
2. Sampha – Process
Another debut album makes our list, and this time it’s “Process” by British musician Sampha. The artist has collaborated with many huge names in the past, such as Kanye West, Drake and SBTRKT. However it was time for him to take the spotlight rather than always be a credited name. The album actually won the 2017 Mercury Prize, and was taken to extremely well by critics across the world. Standout tracks from this release have to be “Blood On Me” and “Timmy’s Prayer”.
1. Kendrick Lamar – DAMN
So there you have it, King Kendrick tops our list this time around. As his fifth studio album, DAMN had big things to live up to. However it didn’t disappoint – in the slightest. It’s easily the best album of the year in our opinion, and was loved by music fans and critics alike. Collaborations on the album featured Rihanna, Zacari and even the legendary U2. There’s no denying that DAMN is simply the album of the year. There’s not a dull point throughout. Highlights for us include “LOVE. FEAT. ZACARI” and “HUMBLE”.
On That Note
If you’ve been slacking on the latest releases this year, we’d highly advise giving all the albums on this list a listen, and we can promise that you won’t regret it. They all showcase pure artistic and musical talent. Your personal choices may vary from this list slightly, but as an all round package you won’t find a bad album here. Let’s hope that 2018 brings as much musical goodness as this year, if so it’s sure to be enjoyable.