Okay! So this is a little bit out of the blue, but I wanted to post about my top ten favourite albums so far this year. I know I’ve never branched out into music before, but I’ve been listening to several albums on repeat and I just wanted to share them with everyone (in no particular order.)
Side note: these albums weren’t all released this year, and I might technically have found them last year, but they’re my absolute favourites. I’m not going to bother rating these albums, because they’re all perfect. That’s a joke based on the first album on this list: I’m hilarious.
Side note 2: I’m going to name my favourite song from each album. This is really subjective, so please don’t feel like you have to like them the most. I have literally only picked albums that I like all of the songs. Enjoy!
MADE IN THE AM // ONE DIRECTION
In a shocking twist that I’m sure no one expected *cough*cough* I love this album. It’s 1D’s fifth studio album, their first one post-Zayn, and probably my favourite thing they have ever done. Having said that, I say the
same thing every time they release an album; this one, though. This fricking album. (PS please listen to Home from the Perfect EP. You owe it to yourself. Louis Tomlinson has never done better.)
Stand out song: Olivia (Harry Styles’ Willy Wonka-esque part about imagination? Amazing. Use of the name Olivia because it sounds a bit like ‘I love ya’? Glorious.)
HOZIER // HOZIER (Andrew Hozier-Byrne)
OK. This album. Goddamn. This album basically got me through revision: it’s just the right mix of catchy songs and meaningful lyrics with calming tones to get you through hours of studying. Plus, who doesn’t love belting ‘Take Me To Church’ at the top of their lungs? This album was released in 2014, which makes me super late to the party, but I love it. It’s Hozier’s eponymous first studio album, and I genuinely cannot wait for more of this guy’s work.
Stand out song: Someone New (I know it was on the radio so much some people might be sick of it, but it’s the musical equivalent of raspberry sorbet to me. And I love raspberry sorbet).
BLUE NEIGHBOURHOOD // TROYE SIVAN
I love this beautiful album – it’s exactly what I want from ‘electronic dance-pop’. That doesn’t sound like a genre, but that’s what this album is. And it’s great. I loved ‘Happy Little Pill’ when that came out, and I’m so pleased that Troye has been welcomed into the mainstream music industry. Listen to this if you like Halsey but wish she was less white-feminist-y. Also, if you like feeling joy.
Stand out song: for him. (I FRICKING LOVE THIS. SRSLY. Lyrics include ‘I’d panic at the disco and you’d rather watch a TV show’ which is a joke based on the band Panic! At The Disco and ok now I’ve ruined the joke by explaining it but raps with jokes are my fave.)
CRY BABY // MELANIE MARTINEZ
My friend Ada (the girl who introduced me to Paramore, Taylor Swift, and the idea of having a blog at all) forced me to listen to this album and I am so so glad she did. This album is more than just music, it’s art. If you listen to the whole album, you can clearly hear the story she’s trying to tell, and it is, in a word, brilliant.
Stand out song: Pity Party (clearly based on Lesley Gore’s ‘It’s My Party And I’ll Cry If I Want To’ without being too derivative or same-y… I love this song, particularly the lyric ‘Just means there’s way more cake for me/Forever’ because ahhhh)
LEMONADE // BEYONCE
This album is proof of the fact that Beyonce is Queen. I’ll be honest: I didn’t really like much of her last, self-titled album. I can’t explain why, I just only liked a couple of songs. Lemonade, however? Literally every song on this album is a gift from the heavens. I had a really hard time picking out a favourite, because I love the whole thing. As you ma have guessed, I love when songs tell a story, and this album does exactly that. And don’t even get me started on the masterpiece that is the visual album.
Stand out song: Daddy Lessons (Queen B has made country music… good? Somehow? I am in awe). Side note: I don’t know how to link you to the album, because it’s not on Spotify, but seriously. Get Tidal if you have to. Just listen to this album.
MIND OF MINE // ZAYN
Shocker: I love this album. I know, I know, I have no loyalty to 1D. But it’s so good! And I’ve always loved Zayn’s solos while in the band. I’ll be honest, some of this album isn’t my cup of tea. Sometimes, Zayn only seems to be swearing in his songs because he can, now he’s left the boys. And I thought Pillowtalk was tacky, especially with the heavy handed vagina/flower imagery in the music video. However: the whole album was made, for me, with the sheer ethereal tones of the album’s third song, iT’s YoU. After hearing it I got over Z’s
betrayal leaving the band. I am still annoyed by the weird way he named the songs, though.
Stand out song: fOoL fOr YoU (I toyed with this one for a while, because while this song didn’t change my mind about the album, it did give me shivers. I have played it approx. 300000 times).
THE VERY BEST OF JOHN BARROWMAN: TONIGHT’S THE NIGHT // JOHN BARROWMAN
Anyone who knows me will know how obvious this one was. And okay, strictly speaking I’ve been listening to his album for longer than just 2016. But John Barrowman, amirite? We should just all be grateful that this is the only album of showtunes I included in this list, because it was a close one. I have loved this man ever since 2005, when he first appeared on Doctor Who. I have never been more excited to find out someone had a singing career, and as a musical aficionado, to find out he was a proper West End performer? This album is more than just a favourite of 2016, it’s a favourite of a lifetime.
Stand out song: I Am What I Am (As well as being a gay anthem, this is one of my favourite songs to sing along with, and I love JB’s take on it. He actually did perform as Albin Mougeotte in La Cage Aux Folles, so he definitely does this Broadway classic justice).
TWELVE STOPS AND HOME // THE FEELING
OK, this is another long term fave. However, it is only this year that I found out so many of my favourite songs were by the same band, let alone on the same album! The Feeling used to be a ’70s rock cover group, and you can clearly hear that classic rock influence in their cheery pop-rock sounds. Plus, something about the voice of these songs makes me really happy. Happy ten year anniversary to this album!
Stand out song: Fill My Little World
(It was a toss up between the named stand out and Sewn, Love it When You Call and Never Be Lonely. I went with FMLW because it’s one of those songs that I won’t think of for ages, and then it’ll randomly flit through my head and I will still know all the words).
THESE STREETS // PAOLO NUTINI
Yeah, another cheat, in that I found this album in 2014, when I was introduced to the stand out song by my bus buddy MC (she was the friend I sat next to on the school bus. Thrilling, I know). However, I have listened to this album at least once a week for the past three months, so I’m pretty sure it counts. Paolo Nutini, despite what you might think, is Scottish, and apparently grew up in a soul-and-jazz-music heavy household. His soft brogue and lyricism give his earlier songs a very clean feel. He wrote These Streets while he was still a teen, but it isn’t melodramatic or overtly whingeing like you might expect. The songs are great both to have on in the background and to drown out the world with. In fact, it’s just, in total, a really good, mellow, calming album.
Stand out song: New Shoes (It’s so upbeat! And cheery! Because, let’s face it, I listen to a lot of slow, deep songs, and occasionally you just want to dance around your room singing about shoes. Featuring such classic lyrics as ‘I’m running late/And I don’t need an excuse/’Cause I’m wearing my brand new shoes’. What is your reasoning here Paolo?)
DARWIN DEEZ // DARWIN DEEZ
So we’re going to round out this list with an album that my friend Lucy recommended to me when I was about twelve. Because of course we are. Wow, I am bad at sticking to the point! Now I know why my teachers used to get annoyed when I went off topic in essays… But anyway, this album is gorgeous. OK, the voice is kind of grating in a robotic way, but I really like it: it’s definitely one for the hipster crowd. The combination of dissonance and sunshine pop? Mesmerising. The band described this self titled album as ‘happy music for sad people’ and I’ve never read a more accurate tag line.
Stand out song: Bad Day (ft. lyrics like ‘I hope the last page of your 800 page novel is missing’. That might be the best insult I’ve ever heard.)
So there we have it! I hope no one minds this quick diversion from the norm, but I’ve been having a lot of ~feelings~ about these albums and wanted to share the love. If anyone wants any more music recommendations, feel free to hit up my spotify playlist of all my current faves.
Thanks for reading!