In a year where several emerging artists have won the hearts of millions, Wildfire Reviews covers 2017's best albums from all different kinds of music genres.
Just 27 years old, this New Jersey native has come out with her first album ever. The result is a complex mix of extremely talented and profound R&B songs, something that is equally as great as some of Beyonce's best albums. But most importantly the words behind the music are over powering, and each album on CTR is so incredible it's almost numbing to listen to the second time out. It's by far 2017's best album and puts this brand new hip hop inspiring artist in the spot light.
2) Kendrick Lamar-DAMN
Leave it to Kendrick. Every album he's released in his career seems to be better then the last-and DAMN is no exception. The songs on DAMN are unlike most others in his entire career, with intense emotional and argument that will lead this to one of 2017's best albums, and one of the greatest of his career so far. Unlike other modern hip hop artists the poetry in Kendrick's records are exceptional, and DAMN follows this in every way shape or form with powerful lyrics that everyone can understand and love. DAMN is an album that tells us of modern day life, and you don't have to like hop hop to like it.
3) Margo Price-American Made
While Margo Price isn't completely new this year, she's still a ground breaking country artist. Her latest released and sophomore record, American Made, is by far her best. Margo Price is the new Kasey Musgraves, and she has nothing to lose. Her voice is a perfect balance between the instruments in her band and the music she represents that's just the opposite of pop country. When you listen to Margo, especially on American Made, it's as if your transported back to the south and America's hey day all over again by listening to Margo's sweet but deep country voice.
4) Chris Stapleton-From A Room
Speaking of country, another new powerful voice is Chris Stapleton. His latest release, From a Room is split in between two albums that were each released at different times during the year and for good reason. It just makes sense. Like Margo Price, Chris isn't pop country by any means, and every one of his tracks on this superb double album shows it. And when you look at Chris you get the picture of what you hear, a big and even big bearded country boy singing his heart out to the world. Surprisingly, the lyrics behind From A Room are deep and powerful, a show case showing that country music isn't just about farms, beer and women.
Although it might be getting the amount of press her first album received, Lorde's second record is even better then the first. It's easy to say that Lorde is the new Madonna of pop. There aren't great radio friendly songs on Melodrama as Pure Heroine, but each song on Melodrama is far better as a whole. It shows that Lorde has matured greatly since the last few year's she's exploded on the music scene. And while it may not be as breaking as her first studio record, it's proof that a sophomore album can just be as great, if not better, then the first. "Green Light" is just an example of the lyrics and music that represent the album and how much Lorde has changed in just two records.
6) Kelela-Take Me Apart
Another breaking and entering artist this year that deserves some reputation is Kelela. On her first record, Take Me Apart, Washington DC native emerges with powerful hip hop and R&B rhythm and energy that's hard to beat on a first record. It's a different kind of hip hop, a more down to Earth hip hop that many people can relate too. And let's be honest, each of those tracks on Take Me Apart are extremely danceable! It's different and unique and something other hip hop artists should be looking at for years to come.
7) The War on Drugs-A Deeper Understanding
The War on Drugs is one of those bands that keep on getting better with each studio release. A Deeper Understanding may be the band's fourth release, but the indie folk American group is a perfect example of how much this genre is spreading. Hailing from Philadelphia, The War on Drugs may be one of the best groups in their genre and for good reason. The vocals that blend in with the guitar work is phenomenal, especially on their latest release, Understanding. The record is one of the band's best. The story telling in Understanding is priceless. Its hard to explain how great this band and record is without sitting back and really enjoying it.
8) Kenny Wayne Shepherd-Lay It On Down
Blues king Kenny Wayne Shepherd is back with this year's Lay It On Down. The album is a superb blues record from front to back, with entertaining blues songs that are a reminder of how great this genre is. What's more of a reminder that great blues music is still being made. The groves, beats and vocals are top notch, representing some of Kenny's best tunes in many years. Lay It On Down may be one of the best albums Kenny's ever recorded. Everything is so balanced with each song it's amazing to listen to. The best thing about Lay It On down is of course, Kenny's performance and how the band can continue being great on every song.
9) St. Vincent-Massaduction
Although Massuduction might not be St. Vincent's best record,'s it's still great from front to back. Unlike many artists that thrive to change from record to record. St. Vincent is one of those people who stick to her roots, and it's great to listen to especially for the fans. Massaduction is St. Vincent's fifth studio release and proof that this New Yorker is at the top of her game. St. Vincent is almost an entire Lorde, and it shows on Massaduction. Songs like New York are so exceptionally well written that their almost numbing to listen to. Massaduction shows that St. Vincent is a modern age David Bowie and filled with bursting weird pop sensations.
The pop trend continues in 2017 with Kesha, who's gained quite a representation of the past few years. Her first records have shown that the pop singer was just writing and performing songs to entertain with no music creativity whatsoever. However, Rainbows is one of those career changing moments for Kesha. This albums is simply pure magic and shows that the pop singer does have some amazing musical talent. The songs are wonderful to listen to and the lyrics behind Rainbows are surprisingly emotional and thought provoking. The acoustic guitar work is exceptional, and Kesha's vocals are better then ever. It's by far her best record so far and a game changer for her and her fans.
11) LCD Soundsystem-American Dream
Their first album in over five years from LCD Soundsystem is a return to form for the Brooklyn based techno indie rock group. James Murphy and company sound better then ever on American Dream, and their fans won't be disappointed. The songs Tonight and Call the Police maybe some of the best the band has ever recorded in their entire career, and one just has to listen to American Dream to truly appreciate the greatness of this album and their songs.
On 4:44, Jay-Z prove's he's not just another rap king. The proud Philadelphia native is back and better then ever with 4:44, a truly amazing rap album that shows how truly talented this musician really is. It's amazing that this is Jay-Z's third studio release, but is one of the best the artist has done in the past dozen years or so. In fact, 4:44 is one the best this rap king has ever done. What's so great about 4:44 is how different these songs are then the rest of his career and how emotionally and apologetical they are to everyone the artist has come across to in his life.
13) The XX-I See You
The XX are another one of those indie rock artists who are at the top of their game. I See You is another exceptional record from front to back and a true joy to listen to. I See You is the band's best studio release since their first record. On their third release, they've progressed and found their own unique sound in a world filled with other indie rock bands trying to emerge and be the best in their genres. I See You is an emotional joyride and fans will love the new release.
14) Samantha Fish-Belle of The West/Chills & Fever
Another artist to release not one but two records released this year is upcoming blues legend Samantha Fish. While her latest releases are a signifiant change in her style of music, their not the best she's ever come up with. Still, even the two albums she's released year are so different from each other it's worth noting to any artist, especially one that's come up with two releases in just a year. Belle of the West is a country switch for Fish which represents a whole new side to the blues women.
15) The National-Get Well Beast
Another band who never releases a bad record-The National may be one of the most emotional indie rocks ever. Their songs and lyrics are so powerful that even the happiest listeners may have damper hearts by the end-and Get Well Beast is no exception. The National are an extremely hard working band, and each of the tunes on Get Well Beast are phenomenal. What's best about Get Well Beast is that it truly represents the band as a whole and everyone shines on this new amazing record.