Ahhh 2017-Best Albums | Yinka Aresa

2017 will always remain an unforgettable year. Regardless of how each of us choose to view 2017, one thing that can never be said was that there wasn’t any good music because that would just be a lie. For a lot of us the year was a year of massive changes. The year 12’s we move into the big school after five years of waiting for the exams that seemed then like the biggest obstacle we’d ever face in this our lives. For the year 13’s they finished year 12 and began on their journey with life after their final year, applying for universities, UCAS and trying to get everything together. 2017 politically was also a year of immense confusion and as everything happened, one thing I found was that there was always a song playing in the background that helped to mark the moment. A song that when you hear it now, it takes you straight to that moment. I know the artist and album that I had on repeat all throughout my GCSEs. She is my guilty pleasure and i’m proud of it. Lorde’s Melodrama played on repeat all throughout my GCSEs and now listening to the album I am transported to stressing over physics, memorizing 15 poems, I am transported to trying to fathom precisely why Macbeth was so irritating and I am transported to the meme question in AQA Biology.
2017 was filled with a lot of musical moments like these for me because of the ray of fantastic and exciting music releases that were announced unlike 2016 when album were just dropping unannounced giving many of us panic attacks. So, with this article we countdown the best albums of 2017 in no particular order. From Pop albums to Rap, Rock, Indie, Spoken word, Alternative, RnB, Hip-Hop, Dance and Grime what were the albums that made 2017 such an unforgettable year for many of us?
  1. ‘Melodrama’- Lorde

Lordehttps://www.wmagazine.com/story/lorde-melodrama-album-cover-sam-mckinniss-artist-interview

Starting with the album that was on repeat for me. I’m not quite sure what I loved about Melodrama because let’s be serious the singing is nothing to call home about but the lyrics and the beat as written mostly by Ella herself and Jack Antonoff as soon as you hear it allows butterflies to start fluttering and you can’t help but dance. Starting with Green Light you knew immediately that this album was going to be different and exciting nothing like Pure Heroine and that was exciting. At a time when personally I was going through so much changes in my life, it was exciting to see an artist I love so much also try something new, change and just accept it, understanding that change was different. For me Melodrama was about change. Melodrama is a brilliant pop album that allows you to appreciate change as it leads you to the dance floor.
Best songs: Green Light, Liability, Sober, Super-cut, Perfect Places
  1. ‘Damn’-Kendrick Lamar

Kendrick

Although personally for me Damn is no ‘To Pimp A Butterfly’ the album still held in it a lot of the same attributes that made his 2015 third album the success that it was. Listening to the storied structure of the album where each song seemed to just relate to the last, every song on the album just has something to teach you. Each song is filled with so much social and political awareness just as much as his previous.
Best songs: HUMBLE (obviously), LOYALTY, GOD, DUCKWORTH
  1. ‘Ctrl’- SZA

SZAhttps://genius.com/Sza-ctrl-artwork-annotated

If you haven’t heard about SZA yet, just saying you need to get your priorities straight. There are some new artists you listen to and you can just tell that they are trying too hard to either be edgy or artsy or deep but with SZA and her debut album it is just so effortless. She takes us to her Prom with the album, singing about adolescence, she tells us about Drew Barrymore and gets personal with us with 20 something. The album is just a breath of fresh air after writing hit songs for Beyonce and Rihanna it’s amazing to finally see her in the spotlight she so clearly deserves. Also, lets just talk about the wonderful start and end to the album with words from her mother. #Goal
Best songs: Love Galore, Drew Barrymore, Prom, Super Model, 20 Something
  1. ‘Process’- Sampha

Samphahttp://www.complex.com/music/2016/11/sampha-tracklist-cover-art-release-date-debut-album-process

If anyone deserves to win The Mercury Prize it would be Sampha whixh is probably why he won it. When you try to find someone that Sampha sounds like it’s difficult to because he is completely unique, you could say Aloe Black because of the soul in there voices but sound wise they are completely different. With his debut album Sampha shows us exactly why bug artists like Solange, Drake and Kanye chose to work with him. His voice coupled with the wonderful and fantastical instrumentation of the album just touches your soul. If you don’t believe me just listen to No One Knows Me Like The Piano and fall in love.
Best songs: Kora Sings, (No One Knows Me) Like the Piano, Reverse Faults, Incomplete Kisses, Timmy’s Prayer
  1. ‘Gang Signs and Prayer’- Stormzy

Stormzyhttps://twitter.com/stormzy1/status/827231191694721025

Since he told us to ‘Shut up’ in 2016 Stormzy has been dropping bangers so, I don’t understand how anyone can think of 2017 music without thinking of Stormzy. “You don’t know what you want but it feels right” is a lyric that is forever stuck in my head from this album. This brilliant debut album shows a type of Grime that is easily accessible. He is unapologetic about his sound and he makes it very obvious in the savage ‘Mr Skeng’ then he takes us to church in ‘Blinded by your grace’ and then takes us to the part in ‘Shut up’. The best thing about this album is hearing him appreciate an talk about God which I personally believe is important.
Best Songs: (Everything really) Mr Skeng, Shut Up, Too big for your boots, Blinded by your grace part 1 and 2, Velvet
  1. ‘Beautiful Trauma’- P!nk

P!nkhttp://directlyrics.com/pink-announces-seventh-album-beautiful-trauma-see-its-cover-art-news.html

She is the Pink we know and love. She returned in 2017 with her seventh Album with more punk rock pop than ever. As always Eminem was involved with ‘Revenge’. She came back with a question ‘What about us’ a song that pack with it a strong social, moral and political valuation better than Jane Austen. A song very imminent for our time when it feels as though many people are being forgotten. With the help of in demand producer Jack Antonoff she answers her question. You can’t listen to this album without a big smile on your face, the lyrics, the beat, her voice. Best lyric : ‘We are children that need to be love’ ‘I am here… We are here’. A lot of the songs on this album particularly the penultimate song ‘Wild heart can’t be broken’ it trembles with angry,hurt and fear. As she says ‘This is my Rally cry’
Best Songs: Beautiful Trauma, Revenge, What about us, Better Life, For now, I Am Here, Wild Hearts Can’t Be Broken.
  1. ‘Revival’- Eminem

Eminemhttp://www.xxlmag.com/news/2017/12/eminem-revival-album-cover/

Eminem also had his comeback last year with this very politically charged ninth album. We waited a long time for the release but was it worth it? For each person it differs one fan writes on twitter ‘Hurts my soul to say this but this is a terrible listen’. This album was a direct attack on Donald Trump calling him Hitler in ‘Like Home’ and he does this with the help of everyone from Beyonce to P!nk, Ed Sheeran and Alicia Keys. Although leaving listeners divided the album still had some deep message to convey and likewise a lot of bangers.
Best songs: Walk on Water, Like Home, River, Bad Husband, Tragic Ending, Need me
  1. ‘Common Sense’-J Hus

JHUShttp://www.clashmusic.com/reviews/j-hus-common-sense

To make one this very clear, common sense is not always common but in this case it is because this album makes sense. After going through some hard years leading to 2017 and the release of this album with going to prison and having to be hospitalised due to gang-related incident, J Hus return with Common Sense. He turned all the negative into a positive inspiring album. He arrived in an Addison Lee with the tune ‘Bouff Daddy’ that is played at every single party to a response of screaming out the lyrics. ‘I like my fanta with no ice’ ‘I just want to get Friendly with her’ ‘I’ve got something for you cockroaches’ ‘Your chicken needs seasoning’
Best songs: Bouff Daddy, Spirit, Mash up, Fisherman, Friendly, Good Time, Did you see
  1. ‘Rainbow’-Kesha

Keshahttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rainbow_(Kesha_album)

For this album Kesha drops the $ single because she grown. To release this album, she had to go through so much trials and tribulations because she spoke out against the assault she faced by the hand of Dr Luke both mentally, emotionally and sexuality. We tell people to speak out about their experiences ad then when they do we call them liars well, Kesha with this album definitely didn’t let the ‘Bastards’ get her down. KESHA was freed in this album since the release of her last album ‘Warriors’ in 2012 and this is heavily evidenced in the emotion filled and vulnerable ballad single that was ‘Praying’. This album was vibrant and the exciting every single songs comes with the message of RESILIENCE which was something everyone of us needed in 2017.
Best Songs: Praying, Hymn, Woman, Rainbow, Boots, Learn to let go
  1. ‘Lust for Life’- Lana Del Ray

Lanahttps://consequenceofsound.net/2017/04/lana-del-rey-reveal-lust-for-life-album-cover/

When you listen to Lana Del Ray you kind of know what to expect and that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. You find solace in her voice and her raunchy lyrics. She opens the album with ‘Love’ which is possibly her most uplifting song till date which is very surprising. She takes all that we expect from her and subverts them. If you though she had used all the possible metaphors for being intimate think again because in ‘Cherry’ she reminds you that she is the master. She then takes her Doo Woo, 80’s inspired girl group sound and adds a hint of Hip-Hop with the help of A$AP Rocky and it was not a miss. With guess appearance from Stevie Nicks this album was perfect and the best summer present of last year.
Best Songs: White Mustang, Love, Cherry, Beautiful People Beautiful Problems, Change, Groupie Love, Summer Bummer, Lust for Love
  1. ‘American Teen’- Khalid

2640f833069973cd0823c1f709b6353a.1000x1000x1https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Teen_(album)

Never have I wanted to be American more than after I listened to this album. It kind of painted America is a different more beautiful light. The album is mellow, fresh and effortless.  He is romantic and he knows it. At only 19 years old just like Lorde, Khalid with his debut album he tells a story about what it means to be a teenager, to be in love, to give yourself to someone else and be vulnerable. Apparently ‘The days get harder in the winter’ which is a fact.
Best Songs: Young Dumb and Broke, Location, Winter, Another sad love song
  1. ‘I See You’- The XX

xxx.jpghttp://www.radioutd.com/blog/2017/01/the-xx-i-see-you/

After listening to their debut album in 2009, I was amazed by one single song that has stuck with me till today and any playlist I make it always finds it’s way in it. I was amazed by how the song ‘Intro’ managed to be so beautiful and effortlessly in that regard that it didn’t even need the beautiful vocals of Madley or Oliver. But with their third album they managed to capture that atmosphere of ‘The Intro’ which I personally have been waiting for in ‘I dare you’ (such a beautiful song honestly). The album sees them being more confident and expressive with their sound as perfectly exemplified in ‘Performance’. Dare someone today.
Best songs: Performance, I Dare You, A violent Noise, Brave for you
  1. ‘Something to tell you’- HAIM

Haim.jpghttps://www.out.com/music/2017/5/12/haim-shares-official-album-cover-premieres-new-single-right-now

When I heard Haim had something to tell us I was so excited because after their alternative debut album ‘Days are gone’ I always wondered how they would ever top that and then this came out. The First album was filled with so many bangers from ‘Falling’ to to album title ‘Days are gone’. There sound so vibrant, electric and personal. Their sound was very different, a sound that if you heard it you immediately knew it was HAIM. The three sister and their quirkiness. Watching the music video for the lead single ‘I want you back’ it was evident that they were back and ready for business. Every time i listen to this album all I can remember is my time in NCS. I picked it as my NCS album because for me NCS was a road trip and this album is the ultimate road trip album.
Best Songs: Want you back, Kept me crying, Something to tell you,
  1. ‘After Laughter’- Paramore

After-Laughter-Paramore-Album-Web.jpghttps://thetriangle.org/entertainment/paramore-changes-aesthetic-new-lp-laughter/

I remember when this album came out last year, a lot of Paramore fans were butt-hurt because ‘This sounds nothing like them’ and that was just ridiculous because the album regardless if it was like old Paramore or not was still a banger for me at least. Starting with the lead single ‘Hard Time’ we were introduced to Paramore 2k17 edition. Their new album was about being truthful the truth behind the ‘Fake Happy’ because what is the point faking? So when I heard that they were nominated for Album of the year and Best Pop Vocal Album I supported that decision because- just listen to the album
Best Songs: Hard Times, Pool, Fake Happy, Rose Coloured Boy
  1. ‘Scum F**k Flower Boy’- Tyler the Creator

Tyler.jpghttp://pigeonsandplanes.com/in-depth/2017/07/tyler-the-creator-album-cover-eric-white-explained

Tyler is known for being very eccentric and controversial check ‘Cherry Bomb’ for evidence and with this album he doesn’t stop being his true self. Although he is not eating a cockroach or hanging himself, his controversy is still rife. In this album he explores the two side of his very interesting character. Did he come out with the single I Ain’t Got Time!? (I’ve been kissing white boys since 2004) who knows? Tyler is an amazing artist, a creator of wonder and this album is a testimony to that. Also can we just talk about how each song just seamlessly flows into the next. WOW.
Best Songs: Who Dat Boy, Boredom, Glitter, Enjoy Right Now, Today, 911/Mr. Lonely
  1. ‘Everybody’- Logic

Logic.jpghttp://www.samspratt.com/logic-everybody-album-cover/

Life what is it all about? If you want hear a story as well as be educated about race, afterlife and politics, this album was the one. Starting with the story of a busy man being involved in a car accident that resulted in his death. Logic takes us on a journey of self discovery and acceptance as he tells us his story about who he is and what he believes. He believes in human rights. In the rights of every race, creed or sexual orientation. He is another example of an artist who isn’t afraid to speak about their love for God because it is important. God is important and he is not a God hate. He is a God of Love and Logic makes that very obvious especially in the single ‘Hallelujah’ ‘This is beyond the flesh, this is for the soul’ ‘Black is beautiful and so are you’ remember he’s just as white as that Mona Lisa, he’s just as black as his cousin Keisha.
Best songs: Anziety, Black SpiderMan, 1-800-273-8255, Take It Back, Hallelujah
  1. Gone Now- Bleacher

abhttps://www.rcarecords.com/news/bleachers-release-sophomore-album-gone-now-june-2nd-2017-new-track-hate-know-available-now/

Now, from the guy himself who made many of the other big albums of 2017 possible. The In demand producer himself Jack Antonoff. After working with P!nk on Beautiful Trauma, Lorde on Melodrama and Taylor Swift on Reputations it was time for him to shine. He starts off by saying Goodmorning and thank you to all the people that meant something to his life and his career including his ‘upstairs neighbor.’ Then he takes you to an alternative club with the rest of the album particularly in ‘Don’t take the money’. This album is meant to be played on the loudest volume and furious dancing all around the house. They are the band that it is so hard not to fall in love with.

Best Songs: Don’t take the money, Good Morning, Everybody Lost Somebody, Goodbye, Foreign Girls, Let’s get married
  1. ‘Now that the light is fading’- Maggie Rogers

Maggiehttps://pitchfork.com/reviews/albums/22901-now-that-the-light-is-fading/

After her introduction to the world in the viral Pharrell video, the world had been waiting for her debut album to drop and let just say we were not disappointed or I wasn’t anyways. From the eerie introduction with ‘Colour Song’ to the captivating ‘Alaska’ Maggie Rogers proves herself to be a name that ill surely be remembered. One that is sure to be cemented in popular culture. There really isn’t anything to fault about this gem of an album apart from the fact that it was too short. This album was my exit music from secondary school and for that I truly and forever appreciate it.
Best Songs: Alaska, Dog Years, On+Off
  1. ‘Future Friends’- Superfruit

aa.jpghttps://www.rcarecords.com/news/superfruit-sets-release-dates-two-part-debut-studio-album/

You might know them from their You-Tube channel or their other uber successful music group called ‘Pentatonix’ well, in 2017 Mitch and Scott decided to release their own original songs starting with Bad 4 Us that got many fans shook and excited for more. Ever song is poppier than the previous and the next. It was a very exciting project with a very successful outcome and very catchy songs. With very unapologetic LGBT themes because why should they apologise for being their true self?
Best Songs: Bad 4 Us, Worth it, Vacation, Future Friends, GUY.exe
  1. ‘Ultra-life’- Oh Wonder

aaaa

When I heard this album was coming out to say I was excited would be an under statement. Their debut album was a think of imagination. Every song just simple and perfect. It was written in one year with one song released every month and you start to think what next could they do? The answer, better! Thats what else they could do and thats what they did exactly. They found love, they thought they were just a waste, they were overgrown but ultimately they realized that they were not Bigger Than Love. This London electro pop duo truly capture edgy with this album
Best Songs: Waste, Solo, Ultra-life, Life Time, Bigger Than Love, My Friends
  1. ‘Funk Wav Bounces Vol.1’- Calvin Harris

Calvin Harris.jpghttp://www.radioutd.com/blog/2017/07/calvin-harris-funk-wav-bounces-vol-1/

This one is for my friend David who listened to the hell out of this Album. He listened to it a total of 30 times throughout last year. It is a lot of time. I know this because there were three of us sharing the same Spotify and every time my music got interupted it was because David  was listening to this album. The album that included everyone from Ariana Grande to Katy Perry,Frank Ocean, Pharrell and Khalid.
Best songs: Heatstroke, Slide, Feels, Prayers Up, Skrt On Me
Recommended Albums which were also important to 2017

Intertwined-Dodie

dodiehttps://www.dafont.com/forum/read/297761/dodie-intertwined-album-cover-font

Divide- Ed Sheeran Best song: Perfect, Galway girl

This one is for the basic ones.

ed.jpghttps://genius.com/Ed-sheeran-tracklist-album-cover-lyrics

Hopeless Fountain Kingdom- Halsey Best Songs: Sorry, Bad at Love, Now Or Never Strangers

Halsey.jpghttps://itunes.apple.com/us/album/hopeless-fountain-kingdom-deluxe/1221749987

Visions Of A Life- Wolf Alice Best Song: Beautifully Unconventional

Alice.jpg
Don’t Smile At Me- Billie Eilish
Best Songs: My boy, Bellyache, Hostage
 billy.jpg
As I am a nice person and I love music so much, I have collated all the best songs from each album unto a playlist of 100 songs. It was a commitment but it was worth it as it is something that I can always go back to.
The playlist on Spotify is called: Ahhh 2017  so do go follow and enjoy good 2017 music as enjoy your half terms.

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