I settled down with a cup of tea to write a little post of my Top 5 Albums of 2017 thinking that it’d be a fun and easy one to hammer out.
Turns out I was wrong. And here I am an hour later, having relistened to various tracks from each album and my tea has gone cold and I’m still miles from getting anywhere. It’s amazing the way that music can overwhelm you like that isn’t it?
There are several reasons that I’m finding it difficult; the obvious one is trying to pick my top 5 and put them in order, the second is that every time I start writing I end up getting so involved with each album that I might need to write individual album reviews for each one. Later maybe.
Anyway, here I go, with my not so little post….. *drum roll please*….. join me as I countdown my top 5 favourite albums this year!
5. James Blunt – The Afterlove
I’ll start of with the admission that yes I know that it’s not cool to like James Blunt but hey, I never claimed to be cool!
This was actually the hardest spot to decide on as there were a few albums that I’ve flirted with but not quite committed to this year. It was a toss up between this; Ed Sheeran’s “Divide” and Elbow’s “Little Fictions”. If I’m really honest I wanted to give it to Blink 182’s “California Deluxe Edition” but I felt that was cheating as it was really just the original one I am super in love with which was released last year.
Anyway. I settled on James Blunt as I’ve given it quite a few listens. It makes a great on the plane album.
It’s an easy listen. The album has lots of lovely little guitar riffs and some of the tracks have a beautifully summery vibe. When it starts up with Love Me Better it makes me think I should be in the car driving to the beach with the windows down and the sun ahead. Lets talk about how much I LOVE this lyric:
“Saw you standing outside a bar, would’ve said YOU’RE BEAUTIFUL but I’ve used that line before”
because I love the little nod to his past! BAHAHAHA I feel like it’s a joke, but in a song. Maybe it wasn’t intended that way but I love it.
The majority of the album is about love in its various guises. Good Love (Love Me Better, Time of Our Lives, Make Me Better, Paradise) bad love (Heart Beat, Lose My Number) adulterous love from both sides (Don’t Give Me Those Eyes, Over) and lots of other types of love too. Infact I could write a whole other post about the “Many Types of Love as Told By James Blunt” – I guess that’s why it’s called “The Afterlove”.
Favourite tracks: California, Love Me Better, OK, Don’t Give Me Those Eyes
4. Haim – Something To Tell You
I was in love with their first album and waiting for this one has felt like an absolute age! It was worth the frickin’ wait! I love it. I listened to the album three times in row the day it was released. I love the unique sound that they have and how I always feel happy when I hear them (even though the lyrics aren’t always all that uplifting). Their songs always make me think of the soundtrack of “Pretty Woman” for some reason, I guess they reminds me of music from that time. I’m still chewing this album over and have many more listens to go before I get to know it fully but I know that it will feature heavily in my go to albums for many years to come!
Favourite tracks: Found it in Silence, Want You Back
3. Everything Now – Arcade Fire
I remember listening to Arcade Fire when I was at Uni with The Suburbs on repeat as I pounded out essays however they had fallen from my musical repertoire and been forgotten until I got together with my boyfriend. They are his favourite band so I have been listening to them plenty over the past year. I was lucky enough to get to see them play in Edinburgh in June at the Corn Exchange where they played a few tracks from this album. They were amazing but I still couldn’t justify seeing them again so soon when they released their tour which I believe is now sold out. When the album first dropped I wasn’t sure. I gave it a tentative listen and actually found it quite jarring sound wise. But this has been that classic case of an album growing on you to the point that you find yourself humming the tracks in the shower, doing your shopping and even soundtracking your dreams!
It is an excellent piece of work and I can see why it went straight into number 1 in the UK Album Chart (currently sitting at Number 3). This album makes so many statements about society and the human condition that it makes you question most of the way you live your life. And lets not forget to mention how it does that cool thing where the album ends with Everything Now (continued) and starts with Everything_Now (continued) so you can listen to it infinitely should you wish! Which I have several times over.
Favourite Tracks: We Don’t Deserve Love, Creature Comfort
- Alt J – Relaxer
Alt J weren’t even on my musical radar until the bf introduced me to them last year. They slowly wooed me with several late night listens to “This is All Yours” and the even more impressive “An Awesome Wave” and I’d say they are now up there amongst my favourite bands. So when this album released I was excited! I could fall in love with this one on my own accord. Which I did. Swiftly and hard.
This is the album I want to put on when my friends come over in the hopes of woo-ing them too. It’s the album I want to listen to put out and just listen to whilst I chill on the sofa. I want it on all the time. 3WW is one of the most beautiful tracks I’ve ever heard. I just want to love you in my own language is one of my favourite lyrics. The gentle lull of the guitar followed with the crash of the piano or keyboard or whatever instrument it is AHHHHHHH – it hurts. Going to see these guys in Blackpool in Sepetember and I’m buzzing for it!
Please listen to this album. It’s good for your soul.
Favourite Tracks: 3WW, In Cold Blood, Deadcrush, Adeline
- The XX – I See You
(there wasn’t a full album link)
I’ve been in love with The XX since the very first moment I heard them on some tv show or another, I think it was Misfits, from then I had to google them and hoover up every tasty musical morsel. Although weirdly yet to listen to Jamie XX’s stuff. IT’S ON MY TO DO LIST OKAY.
This album. There are no words.
Typical The XX brilliance. Twinkling sounds, decent beats, haunting lyrics. It’s embarrassing how many times I’ve listened to this album this year. It’s my go to “NEED TO GET WORK DONE” album because it relaxes me so much. It’s also a go to for a romantic evening in or listening to in the car or walking the dog or generally just being alive album. I ABOLUTELY CANNOT WAIT TO SEE THEM IN GLASGOW IN TWO WEEKS AHHHH!
Listening to this album is DANGEROUS. I DARE YOU to listen to it and not say SOMETHING LOVING at the end! You’ll have these songs on your LIPS and wish to catch them in a live PERFORMANCE. Put whatever you’re doing ON HOLD and listen to it right now.
See what I did there? SORRY I couldn’t help myself.
Favourite tracks: I Dare You, A Violent Noise, Something Loving, On Hold
Other albums that deserve mention this year:
Paramore “After Laughter”
Creeper “Eternity, In Your Arms”
Royal Blood “How Did We Get So Dark?”
Albums I’m looking forward to:
Nothing But Thieves “Broken Machine” on 8th of September and The Killers “Wonderful Wonderful” on 22ND September. I was also looking forward to Fall Out Boy but it’s been pushed back to January booooohooooo.
So there you have it. My five favourite albums of 2017 so far. I wonder if this will hold up at the end of the year. A lot can change…
What are your top 5 albums this year? Anything that I NEED to listen to right now? Drop me a comment 🙂