As 2018 takes off, we say goodbye to the year of music and review the top albums of 2017
By Daniela Wainfor ’18
DAMN. – Kendrick Lamar
Kendrick Lamar’s 2015 album To Pimp A Butterfly was a political account that reflected the Black Lives Matter movement and uncovered the presure and discrimination that black people face everyday. In 2017, fans went crazy with excitement about DAMN., Lamar’s fourth studio album, another personal reflection of his intimate thoughts on the media and his frustration with political issues. Not only did Lamar succeed in thoroughly placing his thoughts and opinions into rhythmic, soul-filled melodies, but he managed to drift away from his usual old-school, jazzy, hip-hop sound to more mainstream rap sounds that all of his fans could resonate with. The album is 14 full tracks and each song tells its own story. In an interview with Rolling Stone magazine, Lamar said that his album can actually be played backwards in order to get the full story, starting with “DUCKWORTH”, the last song on the album, and ending with “BLOOD”, the first song on the album.
Best song on the album: “Element”
Ctrl – SZA
Ctrl is SZA’s debut album in which she expresses her self-doubt and insecurities through a series of 14 tracks featuring big name artists such as Isaiah Rashad, Kendrick Lamar, and Travis Scott. SZA places her insecurities on a silver platter and hands them straight to the listener. The album is a stripped down personal diary made into soulful, R&B, 90s inspired tunes. Ctrl came at the perfect time, in the midst of all the chaos and controversy of the feminist movement. Tracks like “Normal Girl”, “Supermodel”, and “Drew Barrymore” tell a story of defying societal standards and being unapologetically comfortable in your own skin. SZA, is perhaps not a role model, but someone whose music you can listen to when you’re feeling down and need a pick-me-up to remind yourself how great you really are.
Best song on the album: “Normal Girl”
TOP PICKS FROM STUDENTS
By Annabele Davies ‘20
As a longtime Gorillaz fan, their new album Humanz stays true to the band while also bringing in new concepts. Humanz is described as having a “dark fantasy” feel, and represents the night before the end of the world, by one of the creators Damon Albarn. It brings up themes about individuals, and how they react to pain, joy, and destruction. It references the current political turmoil that can be seen almost anywhere these days, and purposely pertains to that in the United States. One of the singles, “Saturnz Barz”, talks about confronting difficulties in life, breaking out of society, and the crushing weight of personal disappointment.
Best song on the album: “Saturnz Barz”
SATURATION III – BROCKHAMPTON
By Reid Watson ‘18
Saturation III is the third and final album of the trilogy released by BROCKHAMPTON in 2017. All three albums are exciting and experimentally incorporate elements of rap and hip hop, while commenting on strong topics such as poverty, sexuality, and drug addiction. Saturation III is my favorite of the three albums because of how well they have developed as a group and because it includes so many songs I enjoy. I would recommend BROCKHAMPTON and their music to everyone because their songs offer such a variety and I believe anyone can find something they like.
Best song on the album: “BLEACH”