17 Best Albums of 2017

It’s been a few weeks since I last uploaded a blog post but I’m back now. It’s unlikely that I’ll be posting every week as thinking of new blog post ideas is proving difficult and my free time is slowly decreasing; as A levels and athletics begin take over in the new year.

But anyways, I thought I’d end this year with a post listing what I consider to be the best albums that have been released this year. Seventeen of them to be precise. These are based on artistic content and not popularity. So, if you’re a pop music fan then this probably isn’t a good read for you. I listen to A LOT of albums. I add them to my library weekly when they release on a Friday but these are the ones that stood out for me. I consider some of these albums to be literal masterpieces. I hope that I persuade some of you to listen to a few of them at some point if you haven’t done so already. For reference, I find the majority of my music on Tidal.

Let’s do this in chronological order as listing them from best to is proving too challenging for my indecisive self.

IMG-36081. Kehlani – SweetSexySavage

This album is self explanatory in the sense that there are elements of sweet, sexy and savage throughout. Kehlani entered 2017 with a bang with this debut album and she has demonstrated how hard work really does pay off. The vocal arrangements and production are astonishing. She really put her foot down to claim being the new R&B princess.

2. Sampha – Process

Process is another debut album that I would recommend. I often listen to it when revising as it is somewhat relaxing.

IMG-36113. Stormzy – Gang Sings & Prayers

I first listened to Stormzy’s album with a closed minded perception of him. I now realise that it was a result of the media’s representation of him being unintelligent and unable to make ‘real’ music. However, ‘Gang Sign’s & Prayers’ is artistically exciting and is cohesively satisfying. Stormzy has had a big impact on British music and grime in particular with this album and I am somewhat proud of him for it. I would definitely recommend for people to and give the album a listen.

4. Khalid – American Teen

Despite how commercialised Khalid has become over this year, I have to admit that his album is generally an enjoyable listen. I like how carefree and youthful it is.

Here’s where it starts to get really good…

IMG-36135. Kendrick Lamar – DAMN.

DAMN, Kendrick really made a genius album this year. The cohesive elements of the album is magical and he continues to  deliver hard bars that are often underappreciated. I feel as though Kendrick Lamar has truly created one of the most clever albums after announcing that it was actually meant to be listened to backwards due to the narrative. I would be very happy to see him take many Grammy awards for it in February next year.

IMG-36146. SZA – Ctrl

Now, Ctrl is one of THE best albums of 2017 and best debut albums that I have ever listened to. I wrote a whole blog post on it here if you would like a more in depth analysis. SZA is what the R&B scene has been missing for years.

IMG-36157. Lorde – Melodrama

I have gone on about this album so much this year, labelling it as the ‘Best Album of 2017’, a ‘masterpiece’ that has a powerful narrative of a breakup and heartache. Of course, I wrote a whole separate blog post on this album which you can find here. I just love the honesty, narrative and brilliance of this album. After being nominated at the Grammy’s for ‘Album of the Year’, I would be so happy for Lorde to take the award home with her.

8. Jay-Z – 4:44

The legend himself, Jay-Z dropped ‘4:44’, exclusively for Tidal customers and the honesty, empowerment and buzz that it gives off is astonishing. I was shocked but pleased with him after revealing untold truths about his infidelity. The mature approach to subject matters of a black empowerment and equality concerning race and sexuality only made me praise him more despite his life mistakes. I wrote more about this album and the messages behind it here.

amine-good-for-you9. Aminé – Good For You

I have a growing love for Aminé, every time I listen to ‘Good For You’. The causal and cheeky feel that he gives off in his debut album can only lift your mood. Its pretty ‘litty’ in my opinion. I wrote more about ‘Good For You’ earlier this year in a blog post here.

10. Daniel Caesar – Freudian

This is probably the most fresh feeling albums of 2017. The cohesive album ‘Freudian’ is a personal favourite in terms of listening satisfaction. I would highly recommend it to anyone who is a fan of Frank Ocean or Solange Knowles. I am definitely excited to see him and his music career flourish in the future.

IMG-375111. BROCKHAMPTON – SATURATION II

This album had me SOOK on so many levels. The irregular ‘boy-band’, BROCKHAMPTON produce some of the best rap bars that I have personally listened to in terms of originality. I don’t even know how to explain the production and sounds on this album. Just go and listen to it for yourselves, PLEASE. They released three albums this year, part 1, 2 and 3 of the SATURATION trilogy. Part 3 was only released last week! It’s crazy. They will forever leave me mind-blown.

12. Sabrina Claudio – About Time

I would say that ‘About Time’ is another refreshing album that is somewhat relaxing. I look forward to hearing more music from Sabrina in the future.

13. Demi Lovato – Tell Me You Love Me

I don’t tend to listen to the big ‘pop’ albums, but after watching Demi Lovato’s Youtube documentary, I felt like I had to go on to listen to her album. The documentary was rather deep at times. For the album itself, it’s pretty good if i’m honest. I was surprised with how strong her voice really is.

IMG-375214. Kelela – Take Me Apart

‘Take Me Apart’ is an album that I would say it up there with ‘Melodrama’ and ‘DAMN.’ in terms of its artistic ability. The album is cohesive and is a personal favourite of mine. Kelela created what I would call a masterpiece here. With it’s ‘breakup’ theme, Kelela goes in hard on this LP.

15. Willow – The 1st

This album is just adorable. Willow never fails to produce good music. Despite it being a short album, I was truly satisfied with the music that was produced.

Don’t judge me but…

IMG-375316. Taylor Swift – reputation

I don’t like Taylor Swift personally but I decided to listen to ‘reputation’ due to it being one of the most highly anticipated albums of the year. I was definitely surprised. I have to admit that this is a really good pop album with some great pop anthems throughout.

…And finally…

17. Chance The Rapper & Jeremih – Merry Christmas Lil’ Mama Re-Wrapped

Released literally LAST NIGHT, Chance and Jeremih dropped a surprise Christmas album and it’s amazing. Whenever they collaborate together, they make wonders happen. The R&B sounds that they’ve been able to incorporate into this album are so inventive. Plus, they even got Noname to feature on it.

…And that is my list completed.

It’s interesting that around half of what I would call the ‘Best Albums of 2017’ are actually debut albums. Hopefully this means that the artists are only going to produce even better albums later down the line in their careers. It’s strange that the albums that stood out for me the most this year had themes of love and heartbreak. It must mean that I’m a sucker the emotional stuff. Lol. Anyway, I’m excited for what music 2018 has in the bag for us. See you all in next year 🙂

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Love, Lifestyle and Love Island

Appearance and physical attraction has arguably become the most important and first thing that people look for when seeking love. Natural beauty and personality is becoming less valuable. More and more people would much rather appear to have a lush lifestyle instead of a ’10/10′ personality.

We use social media sites, dating apps and even watch programmes such as Love Island which all contribute to the pressure of finding someone to fall in love with. However, this “love” that is being drilled into us seems to be based on what people look like. The individuals shown on shows like Love Island all have something in common. Materialism. They all appear to be the type of people that are buying the latest brands for clothes, makeup and gadgets. Is this representation of a perfect lifestyle damaging though?

I admire people who present themselves well. I think that it’s important. However, it’s also important to not fall for someone simply because or their way of living. In ten years time, your lifestyle changes. A lot. Don’t think that because someone you’re attracted to has an iPhone X now, they are going to be seen as trendy in 10 ten years time. Because they won’t, and neither will their iPhone X. If your significant other is caring. Genuinely caring, not to look good in front of others but because they really CARE. That’s ‘attractive’. Or it should be anyway. However, shows like Love Island haven’t really emphasised how important those sorts of qualities in relationships are. In ten years time, if your partner is still caring, then you’re the winner. Logic. Simple logic.

We all know that personality is important. We understand that Love Island is for entertainment purposes and that it’s fake and set up and blah blah blah. The problem is that young people genuinely can’t disconnect the fact that Love Island is a show and not real life. Fourteen year old’s are growing up with the mindset that money can buy you happiness and a partner can make you look fancy. Love Island is just one of the shows that push this ideology and it’s all rooted from capitalism but let’s not get too deep for the sake of Love Island being the lead example.

It just seems weird that these shows are portraying perfection as something that it really isn’t. But that’s entertainment for you. We have to admit that these shows are addictive and fun to watch. I didn’t watch this years series but I watched last years and I genuinely enjoyed it. These shows are great for entertainment, just don’t be one of those people that can’t disconnect reality TV and real life simply because Kem and Amber are still ‘together’.

Lorde – Melodrama (Album Review)

After the release of her unexpected highly successful single ‘Royals’ and debut album ‘Pure Heroine’, I have continued to listen to Lorde’s music repeatedly and she has undoubtedly become one of my favourite artists despite only having one LP. I have patiently waited years for Lorde to release new music. Green Light, the lead single from the her new album was released earlier this year. It caused Melodrama to become highly anticipated by myself and millions globally. The album cover is beautiful. I literally counted down the days until the album would drop. Every time a new song from the album was released or performed, I was SHOOK.

Finally, as the release date arrived, I listened to the album at midnight, as soon as it was released in the UK. At first, I was disappointed with how short the album was. However, I quickly came to realise that Melodrama really was a masterpiece. The album didn’t need to be any longer than it already was. The quality of the album really hit me. I knew that Lorde was clever but I have come to the conclusion that Lorde is a lyrical GENIUS. Lyrics like “I am your sweetheart, psychopath is crush” are so cleverly crafted together and don’t compare to any other artist that I listen to.

Every single song on Melodrama is so creative, from the vocal arrangements, to the production. The narrative of the whole album has worked really well with the sounds to create a cohesive piece of art. Melodrama really is one of the best “breakup” albums of all time. Lorde tells her story so magically and I can really see how it pulls on peoples heart strings. Despite it being a breakup album, there are fun tracks like ‘Homemade Dynamite’ and ‘Perfect Places’ which really give the album a good balance and a break from the heartache.  My personal favourite from the album would have to be ‘The Louvre’. A song about having a crush on someone. It describes the initial moments of when your heart would race at just the thought of them.

Lorde’s decision of naming the album ‘Melodrama’ is interesting as it suggests that everything on the album is over dramatised and exaggerated. However, I, as a listener am completely cool with it because without the Melodrama aspect, the album wouldn’t be what it is. Another gripping thing about Lorde’s music is that, as a listener, you can often feel as though you’re in Lorde’s friendship group and that she’s simply made this album for fun so that her and her friends can all listen to it together. I especially get this feeling in random moments like halfway through ‘Homemade Dynamite’ when the music stops and you hear Lorde whisper “Now you know it’s really gonna blow (bhoo)”. It’s just so unique.

Overall, the album is definitely one of the best of the year so far. I hope that it goes on to win many awards at award shows over the next year. I also hope that Lorde can gain the confidence that she never used to have. I am sure that she can progressively evolve more from this album to go on to make even more breathtaking music in the future.

Is self love important?

Throughout my teenage years, I’ve never really thought about what it means to love yourself. We live in a society where the majority of people are seeking for someone to love but nobody legitimately loves themselves. Self love, belief and confidence are all so important for yourself. Yet, are we ever encouraged to take a step back and really think about loving ourselves before anyone else?

Putting yourself first isn’t always a bad thing. In theory, we should be looking after ourselves before worrying about others. Self love is essentially a part of healthy living and it is clear that it is something that we, as a society are lacking with depression rates being higher than ever.

Feeling fearless of embracing yourself for who you are shouldn’t be shunned. Just as feeling content with your appearance shouldn’t be considered narcissistic. If taking a selfie makes you feel good, then take two selfies. Loving yourself will only help you live a much more positive lifestyle that you will be satisfied with. Self love and confidence is now so rare that it is being considered as a skill and that really isn’t the way that it should be.

So, everyday from now on, look at yourself in the mirror and say “you’re doing amazing sweetie” because that’s how we should be feeling about ourselves.

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