The 10 Essential Albums of 2017
As 2017 comes to a close, we looked back on the best musical releases from the last 12 months and have chosen our 10 essential albums.
Drake – More Life
Drake has dominated 2017 and for good reason; long player More Life delivered a mix tape style soundtrack of killer cuts including sound track of the summer Passionfruit and essential collaborations from Kanye West, Young Thug and the UK’s own Giggs and Jorja Smith.
Katy Perry – Witness
Ok so bear with us with this one. Witness may not be Perry’s finest despite the addictively delicious Chained to the Rhythm and Swish Swish, but it is the astounding shade fest surrounding this and Taylor Swift’s upcoming album has made us choose sides and we’re totally team Katy!
Laura Marling – Semper Femina
Less folky but distinctly feminine, Marling’s sixth album is an intimate journey into the melodic. From dystopian beats to classical strings, Semper Femina is an intelligent, writhing, sensual and beautifully produced album that is as absorbing as it is adventurous.
Perfume Genius – No Shape
Art popster Mike Hadreas most accomplished album to date, No Shape explodes with emotion and beauty. Heavily layered soundscapes of echoing strings alongside his own vocal vibrato add an air of the gothic and an influence of Kate Bush to tracks such as Slip Away (If you haven’t watched the video yet it’s a complete treat).
Sampha – Process
The Mercury Award winning album is perhaps the standout longplayer of 2017. Following a hiatus full of collaborations with the likes of Jessie Ware, Drake and Solange, Sampha’s debut full length album is an emotion filled collection of electronic epics whilst No One Knows Me Like the Piano may very well take the prize for 2017’s most beautiful song.
Dua Lipa – New Rules
Perhaps one of 2017’s best breakthrough artists, Dua Lipa has added sass and synths to an album of pure pop perfection that’s cut with a huge chunk of credibility. Killer lines such as ‘If you’re still under him you ain’t getting over him’ prove that this is one song writer who’s gonna stick around.
The xx, I See You
The ultimate make out album for millennials, The XX’s sparse soundscape has found its feet on their third long player with its mix of dancehall and nineties house inspired beats and guitar based alt pop rock. For us it’s the anthemic memoir of A Violent Noise that takes us back to that early morning, sweaty first kiss in a club- dreamlike, euphoric and utterly enchanting.
Lorde – Melodrama
It has to be said that we weren’t waiting with baited breath for Lorde’s sophomore album release despite the charm of Royals yet upon its release Melodrama shook us with its maturity. Lorde transcends her age with a lyrical sophistication and observational ability of someone way beyond their 20s. Elements of EDM, hip hop, pop and artists such as Bowie and Bush add substance and charm. Sober 2 is a case in point.
George Michael – Listen Without Prejudice / MTV Unplugged.
We’d argue that Michael was one of the greatest singer songwriters of the last twenty years and the proof of that is contained in this remastered reissue. A sales smash and playlist for some of the greatest soulful songs that take on a deeper, more emotional meaning following his shock death on Christmas day 2016. Fast Love will never be the same again.
Harry Styles – Harry Styles
We’re not ones to buy into the hype yet the long awaited long player with this ex One Directioner really surprised us as he shook of his boyband shackles with a tribute album to the history of Britpop and rock. The influence of Bowie, The Stones, Blur, Oasis and Elton abound in a collection that makes us excited for what is to come.