Don’t get me wrong based on the headline.
I really and truly don’t hate Taylor Swift that much. I think she can make some dope pop tunes (Blank Space still gets me hype af). I even like some of her early pop-country crossover stuff (Our Song is the guiltiest pleasure in which I partake). That being said, I think she is letting her career go south by introducing stupid drama into her music and trying to be something she’s not– or at least something she isn’t believable as. I’m fully expecting her forthcoming album “Reputation” to be a major disappointment and exactly as annoying as the idea of Taylor Swift having to “defend” any kind of reputation.
Anyways, here are some 2017 pop albums that you should listen to and buy instead of “Reputation.” Why?
Because I said so.
1. Funk Wav Bounces Vol. 1- Calvin Harris (June 2017)
Okay, I was a little late to the party with one, but when I heard Feels, the first single off of this album, I knew it was an album I had to check out. But I still didn’t, because…like…whatever, ok?
Anyways, a friend recommended the album so when I finally listened to it last month, I realized the huge mistake I made by not listening earlier in the summer. I missed my opportunity for this incredible album to absolutely bump in my car on my many trips to and from Pittsburgh during the move.
The album is aptly named, because each and every song is a wavy, funky bop right into the next one. With so many featured artists (Ariana Grande, Pharrell, Katy Perry, Schoolboy Q, DRAM, Nicki Minaj–just to name a few), listening to this album is like listening to one huge artistic collaboration between all of my faves and then some (Snoop Dogg, John Legend, Kehlani, Big Sean– the list literally just goes on and on). I’m fully expecting some awards for this album, and fully hoping for Vol. 2 sooner rather than later.
2. Rainbow- Kesha (August 2017)
Everyone already knows that Kesha’s huge comeback was the best news all year, but it would’ve been so easy for her to come back with a mediocre album that would’ve regardless been just as praised.
But no, Miss Kesha absolutely does not disappoint. She took her time and developed a beautiful piece of work forged out of pain but built like the soundtrack to moving on. The album is a rollercoaster of fun danceable bops (Boogie Feet, Woman) and hard, emotional moments (Praying, Rainbow). And, tbh when was the last time we heard Kesha sound so damn good?
My favorite song on the album is Old Flames, which is a cover of a Dolly Parton song, and actually features Dolly herself (a true blessing).
3. After Laughter- Paramore (May 2017)
Paramore is my favorite band of all time, seriously. I have a Paramore-Appreciation post in the works, so lookout for that.
This album is huge for me, and for any other Paramore fan out there, and any other human beings living today. The content is heavy (the first single and track 1, Hard Times, opens with this line: “all that I want is to wake up fine, tell me that I’m alright, that I’m not gonna die”), but the arrangements for each song is so fresh and fun. Listening to this album is like your best friend inviting you over for drinks and then staying up all night talking about absolutely everything.
It is an important album in the development of Paramore’s sound. The whole thing is so polished and grown up and so deeply personal that it’s easy to see why it took so long (four years) to create.
4. RELAXER- alt-J (June 2017)
Admittedly, I haven’t given this album the close listen it deserves. But the title is so perfect because it really is a great album to play while doing work, cooking, or driving, because it is relaxing (sort of). A short album (only eight songs), RELAXER delivers on each track. It is quite clear how much thought and care goes into alt-J’s process when it comes to creating music.
This album gives a lot of newer, more experimental sounds that I haven’t really heard from alt-J before, which is really saying something, because it’s always such a unique experience listening to them for me. alt-J can truly set a mood, and RELAXER sets a brand new one. Adding this to my Chill Playlist right now (literally).
5. Humanz- Gorillaz (April 2017)
Another one that I need to take more time to listen closely to, Humanz is a EPIC work of music. 26 tracks and more features than the aforementioned Calvin Harris album, it feels like a deep swimming pool of thought-provoking pop and hip-hop in which you need to keep swimming deeper and deeper through. This album came out while I was still in France, so it has a special place in my heart.
There is so much going on in this album that I absolutely won’t get into it on this post (which is already running longer than I planned), so I’ll just tell you to listen to it if you haven’t yet and we can talk about it in the comments, okay?
6. Future Friends Part One- Superfruit (June 2017)
Let’s end this post on a cute af (or should I say #fcute note), shall we? Future Friends Part One is the first part of the first EP from our Pentatonix babes, Mitch Grassi and Scott Hoying, aka Superfruit.
This EP is the most fun I’ve had all summer. It’s such a pleasure to see Mitch and Scott come into their own and producing some truly high-quality pop music. Future Friends is (obviously) vocally stunning, but the best part of the whole experience for me is watching these two be absolute #bestfriendgoals. The duo has been releasing videos for each song, and it is so clear the love and respect they have for each other, and of course, how much fun they have together. This album makes you want to dance with your besties for five days straight.
Part One has given me great expectations for Part Two, and I know it won’t disappoint. And now, I’ll play Imaginary Parties on repeat for the rest of the evening.
What was your favorite album this year? Give me music suggestions, please!!