the ALBUM list: 2017

The albums of the year that blew my laptop speakers filled with the lyrics I’ll get engraved on a Moleskine or two.

GALLERY by A R I Z O N A // The ultimate soundtrack of any car ride down the PCH or through the Taos Ski Valley. The Best Tracks: Oceans Away, Cross My Mind, Feed the Beast.

American Teen by Khalid // While he may run around a stage for a performance, Khalid shines when it’s just him and the music. The Best Tracks: Let’s Go, Another Sad Love Song.

reputation by Taylor Swift // It’s no 1989, but reputation keeps Swift in the spotlight with whiskey on ice and infectious melodies for those stadium shows  (praise be, Mr. Antonoff). The Best Tracks: Delicate, King of My Heart, Call It What You Want.

Relaxer by Alt-J // Eight stellar tracks of Alt-J’s moody, alternative blues. In what feels like a departure from their last album, Relaxer plays like Marfa, Texas. Once you hear it, you get it. The Best Tracks: House of the Rising Sun, 3WW.

Freudian by Daniel Caesar // A sonic dream. The Best Tracks: Best Part, We Find Love, Blessed.

Blue Lips by Tove Lo // Split into two parts, Blue Lips is some of her best work to date. Raw and not afraid to be real, Tove Lo pulls you in and doesn’t let you get off her electro-pop ride. The Best Tracks: 9th of october, strangers, cycles.

CTRL by SZA // If general admission tickets re-selling at $300+ doesn’t explain why CTRL is on this list, I don’t know what will. An incredible debut effort turned complete critical darling. The Best Tracks: Supermodel, Drew Barrymore, 20 Something.

I see you by The xx // The kind of album that makes you fall in love with music all over again. The Best Tracks: A Violent Noise, Naive, On Hold.

Lust for Life by Lana Del Rey // “To be young and in love” with Del Rey’s latest LP. It’s Ultraviolence meets Born To Die with some Honeymoon flair. The Best Tracks: White Mustang, In My Feelings, Tomorrow Never Came.

Melodrama by Lorde // Quite possibly, my favorite album of all time. It aches and it soars. A listen from start-to-finish may end in all rollercoasters of emotion, but Lorde captures what it means to love, to lose and to attempt to figure out what’s next in 11 brilliant tracks. The Best Tracks: Hard Feelings, Supercut, Perfect Places.

the ALBUM list: 2016

I think we can all agree that the MUSIC in 2016 has been INCREDIBLE. Minus the annoying radio hits giving pop music a bad name, music has been stellar. From TLOP to Joanne, I’ve got my top 10 albums of the year in that list formation. Always listen with headphones.

Blonde by Frank Ocean // ICYMI: Ocean’s done it again. Blonde is a triumph. Easily the album of the year. Harmonious vocals glue his masterpiece together. Best Track: Ivy

Joanne by Lady Gaga // Smart collaborations, brilliant lyrics, insane vocals. Gaga’s best LP yet. Basically living proof that the Super Bowl is going to be INSANE. Best Track: Million Reasons

ANTI by Rihanna // She shut down the internet with the wildest album drop strategy of the year and throws lip-singing rumors out the door with “Love on the Brain.” ANTI is bold, experimental, and ultimately stellar. Best Track: Needed Me

Cleopatra by the Lumineers // 11 tracks are all the Lumineers need to make you fall in love with their simple production. Heart-felt lyrics with stadium production. The album that completed many summer nights. Best Track: Ophelia

Lemonade by Beyoncé // Who needs interviews when you can drop another surprise album by premiering it on HBO? From country to rock, Queen B tackles every genre telling a tale of heartbreak, understanding, and strength. Best Track: All Night

Don’t You by Wet // A hauntingly beautiful debut from Wet. After seeing them open for Tobias Jesso Jr. last fall, I knew they were something else. Elegant sadness and raw emotion bundled up into this one. Best Track: Don’t Wanna Be Your Girl

The Altar by Banks // Tied with Blonde as my favorite album of 2016. Banks returned with a SPECTACULAR sophomore album. I dare you to TRY and not dance/groove along to her spell-binding tunes. It’s SO good. Best Track: Lovesick

22, A Million by Bon Iver // Transcendent in every way. Jazz instruments included, Bon Iver brings out the synthesizer to evoke various emotions. Have the chance to see him perform this one live? DO IT MAN. Best Track: 8 (circle)

The Life of Pablo by Kanye West // ICONIC. KANYE. AT. HIS. BEST. As crazy and controversial as Mr. West is, you can’t deny his genius. Yeezys not included. Best Track: Highlights

This is Acting by Sia // Just those vocals. VOCALS. vocals. VOCALS. Plus Sean Paul. Because Sean Paul. Sia crafts pop’s most impressive album of the year. Best Track: Bird Set Free.

Hear the best tracks of the ALBUM list: 2016 on Apple Music.

the ALBUM list

Easily the hardest list I’ve curated to date. So I’ll cut right to it. Here is the ALBUM list or 10 of the BEST albums since the millennium.

Back to Black x Amy Winehouse // If I could go back in time and see anyone live, I would choose to see Amy. I’ll never forget watching her win Record of the Year at the Grammys for “Rehab.” Just wicked good. Best Tracks: Rehab, Tears Dry On Their Own. 

Bangerz x Miley Cyrus // It beats Britney Spears’ Circus for one of the best pop albums of all time. Mike Will Made It and Miley turned the pop industry upside down with this one. Song after song, Miley shows off her pipes and has a bunch of fun while she’s at it. Best Tracks: We Can’t Stop, Someone Else

Contra x Vampire Weekend // My favorite band avoided the sophomore slump delivering their best album to date. From start to finish this one takes you on a rollercoaster of sonic waves and infectious beats. Best Tracks: Diplomat’s Son, Horchata

Wildheart Miguel // California vibes, masterful production and hooks you’ll use to caption your Instagrams. Like every album on this list, the best is when you listen from start to finish. Best Tracks: Coffee, leaves

 If You Wait x London Grammar // They take production cues from bands like The xx with operatic vocals resembling Florence Welch to craft a cinematic, entrancing debut album. It’s so good you can feel it. Best Tracks: Strong, Metal & Dust

Pure Heroine x Lorde // Pure Perfection. Every track flows seamlessly into the next and you’ll be “dragon dancing” like the Royal herself within the first 60 seconds. I cannot WAIT for her upcoming album. Best Tracks: Ribs, A World Alone, Team

Blonde x Frank Ocean // Channel Orange was great, but some of the tracks could easily be skipped. Yet, with Blonde every lyric, every voicemail, and every note beautifully fits together to craft the best album of 2016. Best Tracks: Ivy, Godspeed, Solo

The Fame Monster x Lady Gaga // 8 tracks is all Lady Gaga needed to put out this MASSIVE album. Beyoncé features, choreography ready, and STELLAR pop hooks. It’s dark and club ready. Best Tracks: So Happy I Could Die, Bad Romance, Telephone

My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy x Kanye West // As soon as Nicki Minaj’s intro begins, you know the album is something else. Hands down one of the best albums of ALL TIME. West showcases his musical genius. Best Tracks: Power, All of the Lights, Monster 

Ultraviolence Lana Del Rey // Heartbreaking. Rick Rubin and Dan Auerbach approved. Cinematic. and Raw. Ultraviolence taps into your soul unlike any other LDR record. It’s hauntingly beautiful and my favorite album on this list. Best Tracks: Cruel World, Old Money, Money Power Glory

Hear highlights from the ALBUM list on Apple Music.