2017 has been a rich year for the music industry. Indeed, an uncountable number of artists have given birth to great albums who all shapped this 17th year of the century. You may have already read other “Top Albums of the Year” and you can notice they’re almost all different, which represents the amazing diversity of music. It allows us to discover different horizons to enlarge our musical culture. Here’s my exhaustive list of what I consider being the best 20 Albums and EPs that I’ve heard during the year.
20) EVOLVE – IMAGINE DRAGONS
Far from having to prove anything to anyone, the band has once again showed that their place in the music industry is well deserved. Each song on this record has something interesting to offer, Whatever It Takes and Believer are for instance detonating with their catchy rythmes and ambitious lyrics. You can feel the hard work that has surely been putten into this alternative rock production, which ends up being an harmonious gift !
Favorite Tracks : Whatever It Takes, Rise Up, Believer. Release Date : 23/06/17
19) CIGARETTES AFTER SEX (SELF TITLED)
This album’s instrumental truly is the perfect background for your life, that you can listen in all kinds of situations. The melody will definitely soothe your mind at any time of the day. With dreamy electronic sounds and guitars, I’m not a huge fan of the lyrics though.
Favorite Tracks : John Wayne, Sunsetz.
Release Date : 09/06/17
18) LANY (SELF TITLED)
This american trio’s album is all soul and original pop with a R&B influence. It’s basically composed of 16 songs all in a kind of dreamy atmosphere which is unique to them.
Favorite Tracks : ILYSB, Flowers On The Floor.
Release Date : 30/06/17
17) MIDNIGHT – LEWIS WATSON
Signing to the independant label Cooking Vinyl, Watson is a singer songwriter based in London. He dropped out his new album “Midnight” early last year. His music is as artsy as the album artwork you can see below ! Some amazing lyrics added to a soft voice and a great instrumental production can only be a success ! It’s definitely a yes for me.
Favorite Tracks : little light, maybe we’re home.
Release Date : 24/02/17
16) THE THRILL OF IT ALL – SAM SMITH
Incredible vocalist, the “Stay With Me” singer has once again succeed at blowing us away with an emotional and powerful album. In addition to having wrote 14 other special songs, Sam Smith has often used his plateform to speak out about important society issues and to teach young people how not to be afraid to be who they are.
Favorite Tracks : Too Good At Goobyes, No Peace,Burning.
Release Date : 03/11/17
15) PANORAMA – MØME
Known for his lead single “Aloha” who had a worldwide success, MØME has given birth to his debut album “Panorama” in late 2016. Yes, I know it’s not a 2017 production (for a month!) but I still wanted to include it as this “composed during his australian vanlife period” became viral this year. I had the occasion to see him play twice and I can garantee you his sounds truly put in a good mood instantaneously. Musician as well, his sounds are a step higher and you won’t regret giving it a listen.
Favorite Tracks : Delta, Hold On, Aloha. Release Date : 25/11/16
14) TI AMO – PHOENIX
After a long wait from a dedicated public, Phoenix finally put out their sixth studio album this year. They came back with “Ti Amo”, a slow pop/electro album that I had the chance to hear live at a festival, and I can tell you the crowd wasn’t disappointed, neither was I (I even surf crowded for the first time!). They definitely put their special mark on everything they do, while trying to evolve since they’ve been here for quite a long time.
Favorite tracks : J-Boy, Ti Amo.
Release Date : 09/06/17
13) BACK FROM THE EDGE – JAMES ARTHUR
The quite impressive range of vocals of this X factor winner is well shown in his last album “Back From The Edge”. Mostly making pop songs, James has his own way to always add some high notes and entertaining rythm to avoid any boring moment. That’s another artist who can’t be summed up just by his singles. Always a pleasure when his songs randomly come on shuffle on my phone !
Favorite Tracks : Sober, Train Wreck, I Am, Prisoner. Release Date : 28/10/17
12) SURROUND ME (EP) – LÉON
One thing can be said for sure : this young lady has everything to become the next talent to amaze the music industry. Her confident voice and relatable lyrics are enough to prove she deserves so much more recognition !
Favorite Tracks : No Goodbyes, Surround Me.
Release Date : 04/10/17
11) LUST FOR LIFE – LANA DEL REY
Lana is known for having the smoothest voice and her very personal universe. Composed of 16 tracks, her fourth full-length album “Lust For Life” is all art and pureness. She truly has a own way to sing with so much confidence and calm at the same time. A plus : she did some features with The Weeknd, A$Ap Rocky, Stevie Nicks or Sean Ono Lennon.
Favorite Tracks : Get Free, Beautiful People Beautiful Problems.
Release Date : 21/07/17
10) SO GOOD – ZARA LARSSON
More known by the name of “Queen of vocals”, Zara offered to the world a pop album who has been greatly appreciated. Even though I personally think she could (and certainly will) do better songs, considering the vocals she’s able of on old songs or covers, it’s still a pleasure to listen to some good pop !
Favorite Tracks : Symphony, Never Forget You, Make that money Girl, TG4M.
Release Date : 17/03/17
9) REVIVAL – EMINEM
Evolving in this universe since quite a long time already and old of 45 years, Eminem needed a new start as you can tell by his album name “Revival”. For that, he decided to mix different styles of music on his album and invited big names of the music industry such as Beyonce, Alicia Keys, Ed Sheeran and P!nk. It brings a fresh note and a feeling of “new”.
Favorite Tracks : River Ft. Ed Sheeran, Bad Husband Ft. X Ambassadors, Walk On The Water Ft. Beyonce.
Release Date : 15/12/17
8) DUA LIPA (SELF TITLED)
Dua Lipa, with her strong and powerful voice, has definitely created herself a place in the charts this year ! We’re not going to hide it, it was well deserved. After opening for other artists such as Halsey, 2017 has been Dua’s year without a doubt. Presenting a flawless album, she’s promoting the image of a confident, strong and independant woman. Hard to believe it’s her debut album and that she’s only 20 when you hear her full and mature voice ! I had no doubt she was going to make 2017 hers, and she just proved she was ready to go even further.
Favorite Tracks : Be The One, Hotter Than Hell, New Rules, No Goodbyes. Release Date : 02/06/17
7) SOMETHING TO TELL YOU – HAIM
Another band I discovered this year and I’m so glad I did give their album a listen ! Their release was definitely one of the soundtracks of my summer. I really appreciated to production of it and the catchy rythm, as well as the voice effects. Mixing different musical styles, their sounds and tonalities resonate like something new in the ears.
Favorite Tracks : Want You Back (obvs), Found It In Silence, Something To Tell You.
Release Date : 07/07/17
6) Gemini – Macklemore
Far from being an upcoming artist in the music industry, Macklemore has often collaborate with Ryan Lewis and offered great famous songs to the world. This time, he’s surprising us with a second solo album, full of amazing features with some big names of the industry. In fact, this release includes Kesha, who’s starting a “new career” as a free woman, but also Skylar Grey, or Eric Nally.
Favorite Tracks : Over It Ft. Donna Missal, Ain’t Gonna Die Tonight Ft. Eric Nally.
Release Date : 22/09/17
5) AMERICAN TEEN – KHALID
From his 19 years old, what Khalid has already released is huge, but keep in mind that this album is only a little preview of what this kid still has to show and prove to the world ! His debut album is the tea. It’s the perfect soundtrack to your life, and the perfect combinaison that his leathery voice and fresh instrumental form will completely seduce you. In a few words, keep his name in mind !
Favorite Tracks : Location, Young Dumb and Broke, American Teen.
Release Date : 03/03/17
4) HUMAN – RAG’N’BONE MAN
One word : genius. I first became familiar with Rag’n’Bone Man through his “pre-album” promotion radio tour, which turned me into a fan instantly. Starting in a hip hop crew at a young age, he then became soul and neo-blues singer you can’t ignore. His powerful lyrics, vocals, and its amazing music creativity got him a bit of the recognition he deserves ! In fact, you should all definitely take the time to go further than his famous singles “Human” and “Skin” because the album he dropped truly is one of the most complete I’ve heard this year.
Favorite tracks : The way or the rope, Die Easy, As You Are (…). Release Date : 10/02/17
3) DIVIDE – ED SHEERAN
Anyone who knows me a little is aware that I’ve been a fan of Ed Sheeran’s music since his first releases. What I love about him as a singersong writer is his relatable approach to the world and his way of living his music. My favorite lyric would be ” You’d find me busking on the street when it was cold outdoors, now I’m sweating on the stage of a sold-out tour”. Coming back with an album like Divide after a year off has paid off for him. Indeed, he came back stronger and inspired enough to break all the charts ! Experiencing new sounds through out african, spanish or irish vibes, this album displays his creativity. From pop singles, to folk, rap and nice balads, I genuinely enjoyed his production.
Favorite Tracks : Dive, New Man, Supermarket Flowers, Eraser.
Release Date : 03/03/17
2) HER LIVE TAPE #2 – HER
Her’s EP greatly deserves the second place. The link I included in the album cover just behind is their most known song, “Five Minuts”, sang at Rock En Seine Festival 2017 as a tribute to Simon Carpentier, the cofounder and singer who died from cancer last summer. This EP, completely live, reflects the strength of their vocals, the originality of their music and their blues influences.
Favorite Tracks : Quite Like, Swim, Queens, Five Minuts.
Release Date : 30/06/17
1) MELODRAMA – LORDE
What! A! Masterpiece! I can’t even recommend one song over another. This is the most complete album, considering all points, I’ve heard in 2017. The lyrics are genius, Lorde’s voice is strong, powerful and inimitable as usual, and the musical background is so beautiful and diverse. Each song has something different to offer. The tons and Colors of this album have been greatly influenced by the song “Somebody Else” by the iconic group The 1975. A plus : the songs of Melodrama live are even more powerful and magical thanks to all the stage visuals.
Favorite Tracks : Green Light, Sober, The Louvre, Writer in the Dark, Perfect Places.
Release Date : 16/07/17
Upcoming artists of the year :
Sigrid, Petit Biscuit, Will Joseph Cook, Laurel, Anteros, Nina Nesbitt,…
And you, what was your favourite album of last year ?