A lot of amazing music came out this year and narrowing it down to just 5 albums was very hard but I did it! I listed albums that I not only listened to but devoured. Every song, every lyric, affected me in different ways. I am very diverse in my listening tastes so there’s a couple of different genres on my list. So here it goes!
5. Big Mess by Grouplove
I’ve been fan of Grouplove for awhile because their music is fun. It makes you want to jump up and down and scream the lyrics as loud as you can. And this album delivered that same carefree vibe. I often played it while driving in the miserable Atlanta traffic. I recommend this lighthearted listen to fans of indie rock who just want to feel good.
Fave tracks: Do you love someone, Traumatized, Good Morning
4. The Thrill of it All by Sam Smith
Sam Smith is the male Adele, he specializes in ballads about heartbreak. And I love it. Give me heavy piano and lyrics about a man who done you wrong and I am there. His unique voice is raw, honest, and it pulls at your heartstrings. You’ll be staring longingly into the horizon recalling all your relationships. Top 40 radio will play his singles 5 times an hour, but don’t let that lead you away from the album, it’s most definitely worth a listen.
Face tracks: No peace, Nothing left for you, Say it first
3. The Lonely, the Lonesome & the Gone by Lee Ann Womack
After listening to this album my first question was: Who hurt you Lee Ann?? These 14 tracks are all heavy, gritty, blues. Lee Ann is one of my favorite voices in country music but I don’t think I’ve ever heard her quite like this. I like dark Lee Ann, she seen some things, been through some things and she knows how to convey those experiences into a cohesive album. The first track All the trouble pretty much sets the tone. It’s an anthem for times when life is throwing everything at you at once. I recommend this album for those days when you are pissed off at the world, mama Lee Ann will let you know that you are not alone.
Fave tracks: All the trouble, Wicked, Someone else’s heartache
2. DAMN. by Kendrick Lamar
I would’ve been crazy to not add Kendrick’s newest on this list. He’s killing it right now. Rap music isn’t my favorite genre I’ll admit, but there’s no denying how good Lamar’s music is. It’s innovative, relevant, and unafraid. The album is an intimate journey into his personal struggles. Some of the tracks are hard, songs that you’ll turn the bass all the way up for, while others are subdued songs that will make you sway. I applaud Lamar for his willingness to be transparent, that’s what make his art so amazing. He puts his blood, sweat, and tears into it and comes out as this beautiful piece of rap history.
Fave Tracks: ELEMENT, DNA, PRIDE
1. Ctrl by SZA
This album spoke to me the most this year. Ctrl is basically the experience of being 20 something wrapped up in 14 tracks with a bow on top. Self-doubt, lack of direction, crappy decisions and all that other madness that comes with not being a girl, but not yet a woman. As a 20 something myself I heard a lot of my own thoughts in her lyrics. There’s a pendulum in my mind, some days I feel confident, sexy, and ready to break some hearts. And other days I feel like I am going nowhere, and don’t know what the hell I’m doing. Both of these attitudes are represented in the album. In the song The Weekend, she asserts her sexy in being the confident side chick. But in the song Drew Barrymore she presents a less assured SZA who struggles with loneliness and self-worth. So thank you Ms. SZA for providing a voice to the 20 something gals out here trying to live their best life.
Fave Tracks: Drew Barrymore, The Weekend, 20 Something
So that’s it! What were your favorite album releases this year??