Saturday, December 9, 2017

Favorite Albums:2017

10. Imagine Dragons, Evolve. Need an album for your run? Evolve is it. Their sound hasn't changed from previous work, which may or may not be important to you. For me, this is just what I expect and need from Imagine Dragons. It's a powerful album, from the lyrics to the musicality.

Favorite Songs:
Believer"Don't you tell me what you think that I can be/I'm the one at the sail, I'm the master of my sea"
Whatever It Takes "Cause I love how it feels when I break the chains"
Walking The Wire "Oh I'll take your hand when the thunder roars"

9. David Archuleta, Postcards In The Sky. Admittedly, I didn't even realize David was releasing an album until he posted the week it was due to come out. I figured I'd give it a listen, mostly out of solidarity as an Idol fan (and that my best friend is a huge fan). I was very pleasantly surprised to hear an incredible album! David poured his heart and soul into these tracks. It's his best work, by far. Messages of hope, light and love are woven throughout every track. Listen to it when you need to feel at peace.

Favorite Songs:
Numb "Someone out there's on my side, it's not my place to question why"
Shine A Light "Look up ahead/you’re gonna stop ‘em/The good is never gone
Cracks of Heaven "every day's a fight, but it'll be alright"

8. Pink, Beautiful Trauma. Pink is one of the artists out that releases consistently good music. I had no doubt that I would like her album. She's a strong singer with well crafted pop songs. I was especially excited for this album once I heard "What About Us" on the radio. Personally, I felt that was one of her best singles in years. 

Favorite Songs:
 What About Us "I don't want control, I want to let go"
You Get My Love"You get my love/don't let my mistakes take that away from us"
Wild Hearts Can't Be Broken "There's not enough rope to tie me down/There's not enough tape to shut this mouth/The stones you throw can make me bleed/But I won't stop until we're free

7. Demi Lovato, Tell Me You Love Me. I like Demi and I have ever since she released "Skyscraper". I think she's brave, powerful, and strong. I've always thought that of the "Disney stars", she has the strongest vocals. Her album came out when I was on my honeymoon, and I remember sitting in our Florida condo listening to it track by track while Tom went out to catch Pokemon. I was impressed, acknowledging her maturity in this album. It's a solid pop album with a combination of power ballads and fun, sassy tracks.

Favorite Songs:
Sorry Not Sorry "Feelin inspired cause the tables have turned/yeah I'm on fire and I know that it hurts"
Tell Me You Love Me "What's my hand without your heart to hold? I don't know what I'm living for if I'm living without you"
Games "Careful when you play these games/you might found out the hard way that two can play these games"

6. Sam Smith, The Thrill Of It All. Earlier this year, Tom turned to me randomly and said "whatever happened to Sam Smith?". I laughed. I mean, I can appreciate Sam's incredible vocals, but he wasn't an artist I was anxiously waiting to release music. But then I heard this album. It's amazing. Sam delivers a massive serving of emotion through his lyrics and vocals.

Favorite songs:
No Peace "I used to find comfort in your arms/caught up in the wonder of your charms"
Pray "There's dread in my heart and fear in my bones/I just don't know what to say/maybe I'll pray"
HIM ""Holy Father, we need to talk/I have a secret that I can't keep".

5. Lorde, Melodrama. I was counting down the days for Lorde to release a new album. I was a huge fan of her first album, plus the work she did on the Hunger Games soundtrack. It's obvious how hard Lorde worked to craft this album, and the four year wait was worth it. Her collaboration with Jack Antonoff was the perfect fit for this album. It's catchy, synth heavy, and lyrically impressive. The best part of this album is that every time I listen, I find something new that I love.

Favorite Songs:
Writer In the Dark "But in our darkest hours, I stumbled on a secret power/I found a way to be a without you"
The Louvre "But we're the greatest/they'll hang us in the Louvre/down the back, but who cares? Still the Louvre".
Supercut "We were wild and florescent/come home to my heart"

4.Ed Sheeran, Divide. I've been a fan of Ed Sheeran since I randomly discovered him on Youtube in 2011. Each of his albums have made my "favorites" list. He's just so good. I recently heard someone say "Ed Sheeran is good for running and for just chill mix". It's so true- he somehow makes music that makes me want to move and sit on the couch and cry at the same time. In fact, that's what makes it so hard to pick my favorite songs. Do I go with the ones that helped me run, or the ones that made me cry? I picked a little of both.

Favorite Songs:
Castle On The Hill "these people raised me, and I can't wait to go home"
Perfect: "We are still kids, but we're so in love/fighting against all odds"
Supermarket Flowers "When I fell down you'd be there holding me up/spread your wings as you go/when God takes you back, He'll say Hallelujah you're home"

3 Taylor Swift, Reputation. From the moment Taylor started posting cryptic snake photos on her social media sites, I knew we were about to have a sassy, different album. I was right. I'm never quite sure how to describe this album. Over the past few years, Taylor has gone from America's Sweetheart to the pop star everyone loves to hate. She wrote Reputation about that. It's evident to me that some of these songs are supposed to be the "media version" of Taylor, and some are more real life. Taylor touches on the drama, revenge, loss, anger in this album, while weaving in songs and lyrics about the love she's found. While totally different than the old Taylor we know, this album is creative, aggressive, sassy, and fun.

Favorite Songs: 
Don't Blame Me "Halo, hiding my obsession/I once was poison ivy, but now I'm your daisy"
New Year's Day "please don't ever become a stranger whose laugh I could recognize anywhere"
Getaway Car "It's no surprise I turned you in/cause us traitors never win"

2. Mandisa, Out Of The Dark. Mandisa's album released at a time in my life when I needed to hear the words she was singing. My dad was in the hospital in early May, and her album released May 19th. We learned that my dad's cancer had spread to the spinal fluid. The next few months took  a huge emotional toll on me. I struggled (and still am struggling) with anxiety and depression. Mandisa's album is about her coming out of a very dark period of depression. This timely, beautiful piece of work is her best album yet, in my opinion. It's honest, encouraging, heartbreaking and comforting. She adds some fun and soul stomping music into it, too. Emotionally, this is the album that meant the most to me this year. I recommend it to anyone, but especially those struggling with depression or anxiety. You are not alone. I am so incredibly proud of Mandisa for her bravery.

Favorite Songs:
I'm Still Here "Now I see there's a reason I survived/there's a story still to write"
Unfinished "But I picked myself back up and I started telling me/No, my God's not done making me a masterpiece/He's still working on me"
Back To Life "Shame and depression, and all anxieties/they have no power over me"

1. Kelly Clarkson, Meaning Of Life. ALL THE PRAISE HANDS! I was counting down the days until Kelly Clarkson released this album. As a fan, I knew that she was switching record companies (a blessing and something Kelly has been anxiously waiting for) and that Kelly was making an album of songs with soul and sass. This album is incredible. Her powerful voice shines on every single track, she's truly never sounded better as she does on Meaning Of Life. There are no weak songs on the album. How often can you say that? Usually there are 1-2 songs I skip. Not on Meaning Of Life. Which makes it incredibly difficult to pick my three favorites, but...

Favorite Songs:
Didn't I "I can't stay clean with all the dirt you're throwing at me/then turn around and call me a queen"
I Don't Think About You "I feel freedom where I stand now/And I feel proud of who I am now"
Meaning Of Life "I was broke down so long in the dark/until you showed me the light

Take a listen, and let me know what you think!

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