My Favourite Albums Of 2017

Wasn't 2017 a fantastic year for music? Even when the country was crumbling beneath us and the government were trying to snatch our human rights away from us at every possible moment, at least we had good music to keep our spirits up.
2017 gave us Despacito, One Direction solo careers, a Taylor Swift comeback and the return of artists who fell off the face of the earth for a while, such as Ed Sheeran and Sam Smith, as well as much more. The music industry was bursting at the seams with wonderful lyrics, catchy beats, diversity, empowerment, unity and talent this year - there was never a dull moment.

I believe this year showed us the true power of music, especially after Spring's One Love Manchester concert. The world's population seemed to fall in love with music and found a new type of appreciation for it in 2017, an appreciation for how it connects us, calms us, excites us, makes us feel indescribable emotions and transports us to another universe.

Allow me to show my appreciation for the music released this year as I talk you through my favourite albums from the past 12 months. Perhaps some of these are your favourites too or, if not, perhaps you'll discover some new music to carry into the new year with you.

Artist: Train
Album: A Girl, a Bottle, a Boat
Release Date: 27th January
Favourite songs: Drink Up, Working Girl, You Better Believe
Train know how to make a feel-good song and this album is filled with them. It's uplifting, cheerful and celebrates everything that Train are. I was counting down the days until this album was released and it did not disappoint me. With infectious beats and a huge production on each track, I know I'll be turning back to this album when I'm in need of a pick me up.

Artist: MUNA
Album: About U
Release Date: 3rd February
Favourite songs: I Know A Place, Loudspeaker, Everything
About U is undoubtedly one of my favourite albums of the year. After discovering MUNA in early 2017, I've started to question how my life ever functioned properly without them. They make the music I need in my life and I'm thoroughly looking forward to supporting them in their future endeavours. Their sound is unique and quirky but their lyrics are beautiful - they add something exciting to the industry and also act as brilliant role models, not just for young girls, but any aspiring musician hoping to make it big after achieving so much in just a few months. MUNA produce the most stunning love songs and possess an ability to write about heartbreak in such a way that it makes you feel as though you've experienced it yourself.

Artist: Ed Sheeran
Album: ÷
Release Date: 1st March
Favourite songs: Supermarket Flowers, Barcelona, What Do I Know?, Perfect, Happier
After being missing in action as he beavered away in the studio for a couple of years, Ed Sheeran returned. Divide truly smashed 2017 and became a universally adored album. It made the world fall in love with Ed once more and had everyone wondering just HOW he's able to write such perfectly spin chilling lyrics. Divide is filled with touching stories and showcases Ed and his talents beautifully.

Artist: James Blunt
Album: The Afterlove
Release Date: 24th March
Favourite songs: Bartender, Time Of Our Lives, Heartbeat
I'm actually such a big fan of James Blunt's music. He's produced some timeless songs in the past but his new stuff is just as wonderful as anything else he's ever made. His songs are rather underrated as, even though his songs aren't always sitting at the top of the pop charts, they are really special.

Artist: John Mayer
Album: The Search For Everything
Release Date: 14th April
Favourite songs: In The Blood, You're Gonna Live Forever In Me
John Mayer never gets it wrong and the proof is in The Search For Everything. This album is John Mayer at his best. Every line of every song is so beautifully crafted and transports me into a dreamlike state.

Artist: Lea Michele
Album: Places
Release Date: 28th April
Favourite songs: Proud, Anything's Possible, Heavy Love
Lea Michele has one of my favourite singing voices. It just makes me feel things no other voice can. The way she portrays emotions through her vocals on Places gives me goosebumps every time. I love the musical theatre sound of her music and her ability to create timeless masterpieces. Her debut album, Louder, is one of my favourites from recent years so I had high expectations for her sophomore record yet she did not let me down.

Artist: Mary Lambert
Album: Bold
Release Date: 5th May
Favourite songs: Lay Your Head Down, Know Your Name, I'd Be Your Wife, Love Is Love
Mary Lambert is one of my favourite musicians and is a musician who I firmly believe deserves more recognition for her ability to tell stories through songs and make any listener feel all warm and fuzzy inside as they listen to her songs. Her 2017 EP is unlike anything else I've heard this year. It's uplifting and positive, as well as very well written. I especially love the song 'Lay Your Head Down,' as it's essentially just one big lovely monologue. Go listen to it.

Artist: Harry Styles
Album: Harry Styles
Release Date: 12th May
Favourite songs: Kiwi, Only Angel, Sweet Creature, Ever Since New York, Woman...Okay, the WHOLE ALBUM
Harry Styles' debut solo album was probably one of the most anticipated records of the year. The bar was set high but he soared above and beyond to create a real work of art. His self titled album has become one of my all time favourite creations, a creation which I had the honour of hearing live in November, which only made me fall in love with each song 100 times more. Harry Styles by Harry Styles is, pretty much, everything. It's perfect.

Artist: Dua Lipa
Album: Dua Lipa
Release Date: 2nd June
Favourite songs: Homesick, Blow Your Mind (Mwah), Lost In Your Light, Room For 2
2017 was well and truly Dua Lipa's year. After slowly climbing the charts with her first few singles, she annihilated any form of competition when she released 'New Rules,' a song which has become the breakup anthem of the century. Dua's debut album has a sound different to the kind I usually listen to but I love how quirky it is. Dua Lipa's album is just pop banger after pop banger and proves she isn't disappearing any time soon.

Artist: Lorde
Album: Melodrama
Release Date: 24th March
Favourite songs: Perfect Places, Liability, Writer In The Dark
After what felt like a lifetime of waiting, Lorde finally released her second album, Melodrama. The lead single from the album, 'Green Light,' was different to anything she's released before but it totally worked and was stuck in everyone's heads for a long time. That single, though, was only the tip of the iceberg as every other song on Melodrama is just as hauntingly stunning.

Artist: Kesha
Album: Rainbow
Release Date: 11th August
Favourite songs: Woman, Learn To Let Go, Rainbow, Boots
After surviving one of the toughest periods of her life and a lengthy legal battle, Kesha was finally able to bless the universe with a new album. Rainbow is the best of Kesha and it proves why we love her so much. In every note I can feel her pain but I can also feel her tenacity and strength. Kesha is a warrior and an inspiration to us all. Oh, and wow does she know how to make the best dance tracks.

Artist: Fifth Harmony
Album: Fifth Harmony
Release Date: 25th August
Favourite songs: Bridges, Angel, Don't Say You Love Me
One member down, Fifth Harmony released their third studio album, but their first album as a four piece. This album is fully representative of the band and their sound. It really helped to establish who they envisage themselves being as artists and showcased their talents. The album is fun, flirty and empowering for women everywhere.

Artist: Niall Horan
Album: Flicker
Release Date: 20th October
Favourite songs: Flicker, Seeing Blind, Mirrors, On My Own
Niall Horan gave us our second 1D solo album in October and Flicker truly was the perfect Autumn album. It's warm, cosy and bursting at the seams with just absolutely flawless lyrics that Shakespeare would be proud of and magical melodies which are what I imagine you hear as the gates of Heaven open. Niall tells beautiful stories throughout his album and has proven he is the master of both making you want to dance and making you want to rip your heart from your chest and cry for eternity. Flicker does not have one bad song.

Artist: Rachel Platten
Album: Waves
Release Date: 27th October
Favourite songs: Fooling You, Keep Up, Loose Ends, Broken Glass, Perfect For You
Rachel Platten has become one of my favourite female musicians over the past few years, meaning I couldn't wait to hear what Waves had in store. I was not surprised when I fell in love with it after the first listen. Rachel has a talent for selecting the best lyrics to accompany the most infectious beats and I believe the whole world needs to start giving her more appreciation for her fantastic music making skills.

Artist: Sam Smith
Album: The Thrill Of It All
Release Date: 3rd October
Favourite songs: Too Good At Goodbyes, Midnight Train, HIM, Nothing Left For You
Sam Smith finally released new music in 2017 and left the world wondering how we ever coped without him. However, the wait was truly worth it and it's clear that he spent a long time ensuring his album was 100% perfect. I believe Sam Smith has one of the most special voices of this generation and I love his ability to reach out and touch anyone, no matter who they are, and connect with them via his music. Every song is the work of angels.

Artist: Reputation
Album: Taylor Swift
Release Date: 10th November
Favourite songs: Delicate, I Did Something Bad, Call It What You Want, This Is Why We Can't Have Nice Things, Getaway Car
Taylor Swift rose back up from the dead late this year and finally gave us what we've been waiting for - her sixth album. Reputation is at the complete opposite end of the spectrum to anything Taylor has done before, but she loves taking risks and they always pay off. I adore every song on Reputation and believe this woman to be one of the most talented, if not THE best, song writer of our time. She has a truly genius way with words and it's astounding how sonically cohesive each track is. It also empowers me as I listen to this album and hear the sound of a strong woman rewriting her own narrative and taking back control from those who have tried to bring her down.

So, that's it. Another year in music over and done with. I look forward to bringing all of these records into the new year with me and going on to discover new music by new artists. I also can't wait for the surprises my favourite artists surely have in store for me and to see what songs are going to be dominating the charts. I wonder what's going to be 2018's Despacito?

My top three albums of this year have to be by Harry Styles, MUNA and Taylor Swift. What were your favourites?

Here's to another year of great music.
Love, Emily :) xx

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