This year more than ever has been the year of the album for me. I spent a lot of my music listening time this year just listening to entire albums front to back on repeat. These are the albums from this year that I consider exemplary. All of these are different and unique and I hope y’all find something to enjoy in them.
These are listed in no particular order as I don’t believe in ranking albums I love.
Halsey – If I Can’t Have Love, I Want Power
This album is resignation, anger, and defiance. This album is lust, power, yearning, and love. Halsey brings a cornucopia of emotion to this stellar album. Every track on this one is dripping heartfelt emotion. The production resonating with the subject, from angry and distorted guitars slamming your eardrums to lonely drums beating with both love and lust.
Little Simz – Sometimes I Might Be Introvert
This album is what I would call a introspective victory lap. Little Simz starts the album with the grandiose and powerful “Introvert”. She oozes confidence throughout the album but even in her most confident she showcases vulnerability and weakness with tracks like “I Love You, I Hate You”. A well-rounded album that shows Little Simz really coming into her own as an artist.
Lukah – Why Look Up, God’s In The Mirror
Lukah was a new discovery for me this and I’m already a big fan of his particular style of lyric delivery. This man relies on pure verse after verse without a hook in sight. On this album he raps over minimalist production done by Walz which really lets his lyricism stand out. This album is available on purchase on Bandcamp, go give it a listen!
Don Toliver – Life of a DON
This album’s vibes are immaculate. I don’t think Don’s lyricism is anything particularly special but this album delivers a mood in a way that no other album has done this year. Think lonely winter evening out in the city vibes. Put this on and let the music just flow over you.
Hiromi – Silver Lining Suite
Hiromi is a goddamn genius. This album is masterpiece of neoclassical. Every track on this album is just perfect. You will want to put on the good headphones for this one and just listen to the instruments make the most divine melodies. This album has been on repeat for me ever since I found out it came out. If you enjoy this I would recommend going back into Hiromi’s discography and giving her first album “Another Mind” a listen.
CHVRCHES – Screen Violence
I’ve been a on and off CHRVCHES fan, I’ve liked some of their tracks but never an entire album. So when I saw this come out I just passed on it until I heard some folks on my timeline talking it up and I gave it a proper listen. I am glad I did because I think album is just fantastic. I love the instrumentation and production and the lyrical content and delivery is quite enjoyable as well. The track “Final Girl” is probably my most favourite. So good.
Eris Drew – Quivering In Time
I’ve never been one for dance clubs but this album makes me want to go one and just dance. A breakbeat album that is just an exercise in sheer joy that will make you want to get up and move. Oh and did I mention that this album sounds good. Like the beats sound so crisp and the scratching is just perfect. Go give this a listen on Bandcamp.
These are some other albums that I also thought were decent and worth mentioning.