In a hyperspeed world, it is increasingly meaningful to sit with the vision of one artist for an extended period of time. From drowsy hip-hop to pitch-perfect pop, albums of all genres felt more profound than ever. Synthesizing devastating breakups and calling for revolution in every style of sound, these albums went all-in on what matters.
15. Jaime by Brittany Howard
Dave – Psychodrama
Will the format be as alien to us now in as it would be to listeners in seeing what it's become today? The answer to both is probably yes -- and we'll probably still be doing a top albums of the year list then, too. In her latest effort, Celine both digs deep, and lets us see her lighter side -- and that's the power of Dion. Instead, guitars and drums are replaced by mournful, disorienting synths and delicate, otherworldly choral voices; the result is a psyche-straining work of tenderness and loss more beautiful than anything the post-punk legend has made before in his four-decade career. Spoilers much? Nibiru follows suit but it highlights an artist on a very clear evolution. This is an artist with the depth and breadth to last for a long time. And when all else fails, just a schedule a date night with your old friend tequila.
Here are the other albums you can expect to see make a big impact on the charts this year Westlife are well and truly back! It's the legendary Irish group's first studio album in nine years, with tracks co-written and produced by the lads as well as hitmakers including Steve Mac, Ed Sheeran and James Bay. The superstar has announced details of her new album Courage - her first English-language album in six years. Celine announced the title of the record along with a new tour at a show in Los Angeles, explaining: "I think I went through a lot. And life had given me the tools… to find my inner strength, to find courage, and to keep going. Lead single Flying On My Own is out now, while Celine also released a trio of tracks - the title track, Imperfections and Lying Down - when announcing the release date. The soundtrack for the first Frozen film has shifted 1. Contenders for a breakout hit from the sequel are still unknown, but the soundtrack features plenty of songs by cast members Idina Menzel and Kristin Bell, plus re-recorded versions of three of its songs by Panic! See the full tracklisting.
The album won't go down without a fight. As the algorithmic thinking of the streaming music era tightens its grip on the record industry and consumer listening habits, artists are still writing and recording collections of new material, releasing them as cohesive units on specific dates, and suggesting that you listen to them in a pre-established order. As a format for enjoying multiple songs and a way of thinking about creative development, it remains essential. Even with all its tumult, didn't change that. There's always good new music out there, providing the soundtrack to the highs and lows of daily life. Sometimes it comes from a new artist you've never heard of before; sometimes it comes from a reliable veteran you perhaps stopped listening to consistently. Either way, great albums make an impression.