Making this list made me realize I didn’t really listen to a lot of full albums this year. Part of me thinks the format is dead and singles and mixtapes are the present (and future). Another part of me fully believes in albums and still enjoys buying physical copies of them (keep reading to find out which one I copped in 2017 lol). In no particular order, these are the 10 albums (or mixtapes) I fully endorse. For a comprehensive list that represents the music industry at large, go to a mainstream outlet or something.
Drake, More Life
Oh look, the first entry is a mixtape! Drake fully got me with this surprise drop. I remember driving from New York to Texas (yeah, really) listening to this with my friends and feeling very in tune with my life/environment. It was also very much part of my summer soundtrack. I think of the beach, tequila, and bad decisions. I’m here for the playfulness of it all.
Charli XCX, Number 1 Angel & Pop 2
More mixtapes!!! Charli fully flexed her producing muscles and gave us not one but two mixtapes within the past year! I’m telling you right now Charli is the most relevant and on-point artiste of our era. I couldn’t choose just one mixtape because I love both of them equally for different reasons. Idk. Charli’s music makes me believe in music. I enjoy all the collaborations and truly discovering new artists through them. You can tell how much fun Charli is having making these mixtapes and you’re a fool if you haven’t listened to them. She makes me feel so alive!
Lana Del Rey, Lust for Life
Lana gave us the album we expected. The album we deserved. What I love about Lana Del Rey is that she fully lives in a world of her own, and she just wants us all to be a part of it, even it’s just for a little while. Is this happiness? You wonder, as you realize that perhaps listening to her angelical voice really is the closest thing to happiness you will ever experience. Lana is the cause and the cure to all my blues. Also, seriously speaking, the collabos on this album are really fun. I mean Stevie Nicks amirite?! Omg and I love the trap·ish vibes she gives us. So random!
OMggg this album took forever to come out! But honestly it was worth the wait. Lorde is an incredible songwriter and now that she’s an adult you don’t have to feel weird knowing all the lyrics to her music. I for sure want to be Lorde’s friend, even if that means having to accept that Taylor Swift is also her friend.
CupcakKe, Queen Elizabitch
I know I talk about CupcakKe a lot, but idgaf because Elizabeth is cool af. I caught one of her performances at Ladyfag’s Holy Mountain in NYC and fell in love with her charisma, uniqueness, nerve and talent. Shortly after she released this album, I convinced my boss to let me book her for Pride. I saw her like 6 times total last year. She’s already going places.
Easily my favorite album this year. Every song. SZA fucked us all up. I don’t even know what else to say. You know she fucked you up too.
Shakira, El Dorado
I reconnected with my roots this year. Like, I’m not Colombian, but I grew up with pop en Español and Shakira was one of my O.G.’s. This album is bilingual and has two Maluma features and a solid half of the album is catchy dance songs that you will 100% love. Shakira forever!
Kendrick Lamar, DAMN.
I don’t feel worthy of reviewing or talking about this album, but damn.
Listen, Kesha deserves this album, and this moment. This may not be my favorite genre, but I’d be dammed if I didn’t give this album a full and fair chance. Kesha’s roots are no secret, so this change in direction comes as a surprise to no one. Her vocals and songwriting abilities are beautifully showcased throughout the album. Like, I was honestly SHOOK the first time I heard Kesha hit those high notes. Beautiful things happen when artists are given Ctrl of their work, and I’m excited for many more years of this incredible, resilient woman.
Taylor Swift, Reputation
HAHAHAHA I know, right??? Who even am I? This is the album I actually bought at the store. I like went to Target lol. Listen, I’m not here to make friends, and the heart wants what it wants. There’s a bunch of good songs in this album and that’s that.
Fun story: last time I bought a Taylor Swift CD (1989) at Target I got into a car accident that set me back a couple thousand dollars. Taylor did not send me a check or nothing. Sad!