My Top 5 Albums of 2017
With the year coming to an end, it’s time to reflect on what 2017 had to offer. Having reminisced on my favourite albums of 2015 and 2016, it seemed only fitting to look back on my top five albums of 2017. Will your favourite make the cut?
5) Imagine Dragons – Evolve
I’ve loved Imagine Dragons since their debut album back in 2012 and their last record Smoke + Mirrors took its rightful place in my favourite albums of 2015. The boys came back with a bang this year with Evolve, a powerful and unapologetic album that has an undeniable feel-good factor about it.
Take one of my favourite tracks “Believer”, for instance, which is a call to arms if ever I’ve heard one. If you feel like you can’t do something, this song will spark a fire within you to prove yourself – and everyone else – wrong! “Thunder” is equally as inspirational, declaring that no dream is impossible if you have the drive to achieve it, while “Whatever It Takes” encourages that willpower. The premise behind the album is simple – believe, achieve and evolve.
4) WHITE – One Night Stand Forever
Representing Scotland, WHITE are still a shockingly underrated band. I’ve known about them since The List Hot 100 Party in 2015 and they were one of my very first reviews on here. It’s fair to say I’ve been waiting patiently for their debut album, which was finally released in April this year. Having heard several of the tracks live, I was looking forward to having recorded versions to enjoy.
Title track “One Night Stand Forever” is one of the catchiest songs on the album, alongside the bass-heavy “Sweat” – seriously, this rattles my car’s speakers! Tracks like “Blush” and “Future Pleasures” have been around for a while now, but get a nice revamp on the album. However, my personal favourite has got to be the gritty “I Liked You Better When You Needed Me”, which is as relatable as it gets, really.
3) AFI – (The Blood Album)
I’ve never been a massive fan of AFI, if I’m honest. I listen to the odd song like “17 Crimes” and “Medicate”, but I would never have dreamt they’d be on this list. Released back in January, I’ve had AFI’s tenth album on repeat all year. There’s just something about the cohesiveness of this record that I can’t get enough of.
“Aurelia” is my absolute favourite with its enchanting melody and soft vocals from the beautiful Davey Havok. The music video emphasises the understated elegance of the song, focusing purely on the music and intricate details of the band’s faces. While there is a moody overtone to the album seen on the likes of “She Speaks The Language” and “Dark Snow”, it’s not short on upbeat interludes like “Hidden Knives”, “Get Hurt” and “Dumb Kids”. A fantastic record that has made me appreciate AFI so much more.
2) PVRIS – All We Know of Heaven, All We Need of Hell
Catchy title, right? PVRIS’ last album also made it into my top albums of 2015, so it was pretty much a given that I would love their next record. What I didn’t know was how much I would love it. While White Noise very much focused on falling in love, the band’s latest offering is the antithesis to this. Album-opener “Heaven” sets the feisty, yet undeniably heartbroken tone with the overarching lyrics “You took my Heaven away.”
If there is one thing PVRIS excel at its telling a story through their music and accompanying videos. You can find stunning music videos and visualettes on their label’s (Rise Records) official YouTube channel, which expand on what the album is trying to say. There is an obvious dark feel to it, exemplified by all colour stripped from the visuals. What’s even more obvious is that PVRIS have matured on their second album and standout tracks “No Mercy”, “Half” and “Winter” showcase this.
1) Paramore – After Laughter
Without a shadow of a doubt, this is my favourite album of 2017. I’ve loved Paramore ever since I was a teenager, back in the good old days when the likes of My Chemical Romance and Panic! At The Disco were the all the rage. After Laughter is their first album in four years and it was well worth the wait.
Having lost bassist Jeremy Davis and regained founding drummer Zac Farro, After Laughter is so different to anything the band have put out before. The sound is upbeat and quirky, but the lyrics are the darkest Hayley Williams has ever sang. It deals with difficult themes of depression, loss of friendship and love, and the hardships of life as we know it. I’ve never related to an album more.
One of my highlights of the year was seeing Paramore live for the first time in EIGHT years during their Tour One. To say I was emotional is an understatement. They played all my favourites from this album, including “Fake Happy”, “Rose-Colored Boy” and their comeback single “Hard Times”. The best part is I won’t have to wait another eight years to see them again – I’ve already got my tickets to see them again in January!
Until next time,