2017 may not have been a great year for some things, but it was certainly a great year for music. Featuring some well-known faves and a few hidden gems, wrap up the year with Megazine's (opinion-based but still totally verifiable) Top Albums of 2017 list!
ALL WE KNOW OF HEAVEN, ALL WE NEED OF HELL - PVRIS
Pvris incorporates so many genres into their music that they could (and should) have audiences all across the board. All We Know Of Heaven, All We Need Of Hell has pop/EDM instrumental qualities layered with the rock qualities of an actual band and the ferocity of singer Lynn Gunn’s voice. Pvris achieves an ambient vibe while still writing an album jam-packed with so much passion that we can hear it in every note Gunn sings. Not to mention, the lyrics are heartbreaking.
Highlights: Anyone Else, Same Soul, Walk Alone
DUA LIPA - DUA LIPA
What a debut Dua Lipa has made with her self-titled album! New Rules has to be one of the songs of the year worldwide and the rest of the songs on Dua Lipa follow in its footsteps. The album features everything we love about pop music with Lipa’s own unique twist. Her voice is a deep, soulful quality which I adore—a true standout. Whether you’re going through a breakup, getting ready to go out with friends, or need something to pick you up, Dua Lipa is the album for you.
Highlights: New Rules, Hotter Than Hell, IDGAF
PORNOVIOLENCE - REST ASHORE
Rest Ashore’s sophomore album brings us strong, punching vocals, crazy good syncopation, and jazzy, math rock wonder. The vocal and instrumental melodies alone are jaw-dropping. That, in addition to the strong songwriting, takes us on a journey of pure, raw angst (that you can still happily dance to).
Highlights: Drunken Fist, Hjarta, Concussion
FEEL YOUR FEELINGS, FOOL! - THE REGRETTES
The Regrettes also made their debut this year with their album Feel Your Feelings, Fool! Singer Lydia Night fell in love for the first time during the making of this album which she says played a role in the making of it. The title Feel Your Feelings, Fool! serves as a basis for the whole album, reminding us that it’s okay to feel. But don’t like words like “love” take away from the fact that is this definitely a punk album, and a great one at that. With a lo-fi, grungy quality interlaced with hints of surfside oldies and relatable lyrics, The Regrettes are about to take over.
Highlights: Living Human Girl, Pale Skin, Picture Perfect
CROOKED TEETH - PAPA ROACH
I know, I know. The last time Papa Roach was in the mainstream, everyone was singing “Cut my life into pieces // This is my last resort” or watching their singer host MTV’s Scarred. But Crooked Teeth has, without a doubt, put the band back on my radar. After almost 18 years after their first major album release, Papa Roach has found a way to keep the fans they already have, while continuing to appeal to audiences and writing music that still has a place in modern society. This adrenaline-fueled album, with notable guitar riffs and painfully honest lyrics, puts ‘Last Resort’ to shame.
Highlights: Help, Ricochet, Sunrise Trailer Park (feat. Machine Gun Kelly)
OFFERING - CULTS
Cults returned after 4 years with Offering, so needless to say, I was thrilled and my hopes were high. My expectations were well-met with this album, with synths, catchy basslines, and light, dream pop vocals. I’ve always loved the way Brian Oblivion and Madeline Follin’s voices sounded together, however this album did not feature Oblivion’s vocals as much as Cults’ previous two albums did. The fact that I still found Offering to be very satisfactory says a lot about how great this album is. It’s melodic, ethereal, and super catchy.
Highlights: Gilded Lily, New Religion, I Took Your Picture
A PLACE I’LL ALWAYS GO - PALEHOUND
There’s no doubt that Palehound’s entire heart was put into the making of A Place I’ll Always Go. The album focuses on the impact of grief and loss inspired by the recent death of Ellen Kempner (Palehound’s) best friend, with glimmers of light and positivity inspired by Kempner entering a new romantic relationship. These two life-changing events have made A Place I’ll Always Go an emotional, sincere, and exceedingly bittersweet album. It’s wonderful to listen to for those mellowed-out, reflective moods.
Highlights: Room, If You Met Her, Flowing Over
DEDICATED TO BOBBY JAMESON - ARIEL PINK
Dedicated To Bobby Jameson is a complete trip. It’s like falling down a 70s glam-inspired rabbit hole and entering a wonderful world of static and pastels (listen to the album and you’ll know what I’m talking about). It’s so dreamy and shoegaze-y and funky smooth. It’s the perfect soundtrack for a relaxing bubble bath and glass of wine—it’s so easy to get lost in the music.
Highlights: Feels Like Heaven, Another Weekend, Acting (feat. Dâm-Funk)
YOU’RE WELCOME - WAVVES
You’re Welcome may be Wavves' most experimental music to date, highlighting Nathan Williams’ (Wavves’) range as a musician. Wavves’ fuzzy punk sound met with catchy pop hooks is still there, but it feels next-level with this album, featuring various effects, samples, and musical styles. Simply put, You’re Welcome is dynamic, loud, and really, really fun.
Highlights: Stupid In Love, Hollowed Out, Daisy
NUMBER 1 ANGEL - CHARLI XCX
Charli XCX’s first of two mixtapes this year is the ultimate pregame to any party. Collabing with producer A.G. Cook whose electronic influence is heard all throughout, and names like Starrah, RAYE, MØ, Uffie, ABRA, and cupcakKe, this mixtape houses one anthem after another. As Charli’s album releases progress, it seems a new layer is pulled back in terms of what she’s capable of musically and I’m beyond excited for her highly-anticipated album release in 2018.
Highlights: Lipgloss (feat. cupcakKe), ILY2, Roll With Me
THE WORLD’S BEST AMERICAN BAND - WHITE REAPER
The World’s Best American Band is a ballsy album title—one that takes confidence, conviction, and, obviously, good music. Well played, White Reaper. The album features everything we love about rock n roll: stand-out guitar riffs, groovy basslines, loud drums, and attention-grabbing vocals. It’s like a time warp, but not in a way that the music is dated or campy. It’s a perfect fusion of traditional and modern rock; it’s refreshing and very much needed.
Highlights: Judy French, Eagle Beach, The Stack
ABYSMAL THOUGHTS - THE DRUMS
2018 will mark 10 years of The Drums and they’ve yet to disappoint. Abysmal Thoughts carries on that tradition with an album that’s honest and personal—something that very often doesn’t go hand in hand with dancing and smiling but is perfectly accomplished through this record. After bandmate Jacob Graham announced that he would be leaving The Drums, singer Jonny Pierce took it upon himself to write and produce the album solo. His dedication and persistence alone is enough to make this album worth noting, but the songs are so contagious that you could listen to the album on repeat all day and it still wouldn’t be enough.
Highlights: Heart Basel, Blood Under My Belt, Rich Kids
TERRIBLE HUMAN BEINGS - THE ORWELLS
The Orwells continue to prove that rock is not dead with the release of their third album, Terrible Human Beings. The band has become even more experimental both musically and lyrically while still keeping the wild themes and their signature dirty and decaying rock n roll sound that charmed us from the beginning. Every song is so different yet fits together seamlessly. It’s like cracking open a cold beer in the dry summer heat before partying with a dangerous crowd and it’s wonderful.
Highlights: Heavy Head, Creatures, Black Francis
NOT READY TO GROW UP - GISELLE
Giselle's not ready to grow up is a complete rollercoaster—one I want to ride over and over again. This tug-of-war between between and darkness is signified with soft, angelic vocals matched with strong belts; beautiful, melancholy musical arrangements followed by aggressive beats and samples. The vulnerable lyricism and passion in Giselle's voice gives us a glimpse into the singer's soul, and the variety of music genres in the mixtape offers songs for all different tastes. not ready to grow up is a fever dream that will hold you captive and give you Stockholm syndrome because you won't want it to end.
Highlights: Erosion, Fuck’em. Brand’em. Leave’em., Child Idols
ALBUM OF THE YEAR:
LUST FOR LIFE - LANA DEL REY
When Lust For Life came out, I knew it was going to be good. All the teasers Lana was putting out had built up so much anticipation inside of me, and I wanted to listen to it the minute it dropped... But I wanted to really listen to it, setting time aside to sit and properly indulge in the album. I think I may have lasted no more than 10 minutes before my eyes began to well up with tears. What was I hearing?! It was beautiful! It was cinematic! The lyrics painted such vivid pictures. The music made me melt. There would be gorgeous, slow, light vocals and then a heavy beat would drop and take it to the next level. I clenched my heart and I was held captive by the album from beginning to end (it sounds dramatic, but I'm serious). It hurts, and it feels good. It’s an escape, and it’s eye-opening. Once I learned that this album is essentially split in two, with the first half being personal, and the second half being a cultural commentary of sorts, I fell in love with Lust For Life even more. There was no doubt, then, that this was my top album of the year. Lana Del Rey really highlighted her brilliance and creativity with this album, and I absolutely love this direction for her.
Highlights: Tomorrow Never Came (feat. Sean Ono Lennon), Coachella - Woodstock In My Mind, Love