Top 50 albums of 2017… So far

2017 is the year I have devoted myself to listening to as much music as is humanly possible, I have found myself listening to over 100 albums already this year and that’s why I deemed it necessary to give you all my favourites of this glittering cast of 2017 so far. From hip-hop to alt-rock and pop to country, this list has a hugely wide variety and so placing them all has been extremely difficult. With that being said, enjoy and if you’re favourite album isn’t where it should be or you feel I have got this wrong then be sure to let me know, I love open interaction and opinionated discussions with you guys. And so without further ado, let’s get into my 50 best albums of 2017 so far.

50 – Thundercat – Drunk

Standout tracks: Walk On By, Them Changes, The Turn Down

Masterful producer, world class bass player and all round great guy Thundercat returned with an album at the start of this year and although I was very excited for it and did enjoy it for the most part, it just felt a bit snoozy at times and the interludes, although funny, took away from the real star points of the project. The Kendrick Lamar featured Walk On By is a fantastic laid back song with dreamy production while Them Changes had a funky and infectious bass line. Don’t worry Thundercat, you’re still a genius in my eyes, simply for that work on To Pimp A Butterfly.

49 – Laura Marling – Semper Femina

Standout tracks: Wild Fire, Soothing, Nothing Not Nearly

Pop-Country singer Laura Marling has been someone who’s name I’ve heard for a fair few years now but this is the first full length project of hers I’ve sat and listened to. The singles building up to it were enjoyable and as a whole I did find it a pleasant listen. She has a very soothing vocal melody and pitch but there are one or two forgettable moments on here. This is a steady ship of an album but one which sails very smoothly.

48 – Lil Yachty – Teenage Emotions

Standout tracks: Harley, All Around Me, Like A Star

The most divisive man in the hip-hop genre has released his debut album this year and it didn’t sell as highly as was anticipated for him. Yachty is the most eccentric and outgoing artist around at this moment in time, and much like he said in his Instagram post explaining the album flopping in the charts, his brand has overtaken his music. It’s a shame really but it’s very true, the album is too bloated but I can forgive him because a) he wrote an album for the kids and it was something he truly believed in and wanted to do; and b) because there really are some great moments on the album, so don’t write the Boat off just yet.

47 – Alt-J – RELAXER

Standout tracks: 3WW, In Cold Blood, Deadcrush

This album started off incredibly, offering the two standout singles at the forefront of the track list and giving fans real hope that Alt-J were about to complete a hattrick of stunning projects. Although this album is good and eclectic to its very core, I find it a bit snoozy at times and get frustrated at the insistent variation and it’s lack of cohesion in key areas. Alt-J’s worst album of their three but I shall remain an eager fan of theirs thanks to some breathtaking standout moments.

46 – Maximo Park – Risk To Exist

Standout tracks: What Equals Love?, Risk To Exist, The Hero

The Geordie band are back with some high-octane catchy indie music and I must say I am pleasantly surprised by the results. There are some real toe-tapping anthems on this album and it’s one which sees a slight return to form for them after a hiatus. It was never going to be a mind-blowing piece of concept art but I have to appreciate it for what it truly is. There isn’t quite a hit like Our Velocity or Apply Some Pressure on here though.

45 – Ed Sheeran – Divide

Standout tracks: Supermarket Flowers, Eraser, Perfect

Ed Sheeran is a global phenomenon and his album broke countless streaming records as well as spending seemingly forever atop of the charts, so my opinion won’t really matter to him. What I will say, however is that this is his worst album so far by some distance and that despite some glowing moments of the raw talent he possesses, I find myself getting bored on the odd occasion. With that being said, it’s still enjoyable and has some outstanding tracks on there, including the opener Eraser and the heart-wrenching Supermarket Flowers.

44 – Charli XCX – Number 1 Angel

Standout tracks: 3AM (Pull Up), ILY2, White Roses

An example of how to do a decent catchy pop album here from one of my favourite female artists, Charli XCX. She was a really trendy and cool artist years before she broke onto the radio with hits like Boom Clap and collaborations with Icona Pop and Iggy Azalea, but I’ve always enjoyed her music as it isn’t as surface level as most pop music tends to be these days (without meaning to sound awfully pretentious). This album backs up my point of view and has some really cool songs as well as some great vocal performances by Charli’s quirky self. She did well here but I still think she can do more.

43 – Dirty Projectors – Dirty Projectors

Standout tracks: Keep Your Name, Cool Your Heart, Up In Hudson

Experimental, adventurous and outright wild from the get go, the Dirty Projectors’ self titled LP is a rollercoaster of sounds and production techniques along with Bon Iver stylised vocals. The cohesion is never going to sound particularly solid on a project like this because every song is just so bizarre and the direction each of the tracks go in is indescribable. I did enjoy this album and it made me delve deeper into their discography so it did its job, it added intrigue and Wonder to a neutral’s musical palette.

42 – Austra – Future Politics

Standout tracks: Utopia, Future Politics, I Love You More Than You Love Yourself

This Canadian synth-pop outfit gave me a real flavour of charisma and attitude on this most recent album here, their first release in 4 years and to fans it most certainly was worth the wait. The title track is catchy as anything and the standout track Utopia has some really great vocal performances on it as well as very smooth piano keys. It’s a really solid effort from this group and one which I would recommend to fans of people like ANOHNI or Crystal Castles.

41 – Rag’N’Bone Man – Human

Standout tracks: Skin, Grace, Bitter End

The Critics Choice winner at the BRITs and the BBC Sound of 2017 winner, Rag’N’Bone Man has had a meteoric rise to fame based off just one album. He gained the top spot on the album charts thanks to the huge buzz gathered from his breakout hit Human, but it was Skin which for me encapsulated the best side of the London born singer’s ability as an artist. He had a bright future ahead of him that’s for sure and I’m pleased for him that he has achieved such success of this album, even if it wasn’t a straight 10/10.

40 – Mallory Knox – Wired

Standout tracks: California, Wired, Saviour

I had some real throwback American punk vibes to this album and I really enjoyed the sound of it, especially coming in a year such as 2017 where everything is so fine-tuned and modified. One complaint would be that I struggled to hear the vocals at times due to how loud the riffs and the drums were, but they were instrumentally very solid. I can imagine this album being an absolute riot when performed live.

39 – Paramore – After Laughter

Standout tracks: Hard Times, Fake Happy, Rose-Colored Boy

Come on now, be honest; who saw this one coming? Paramore became a meme with their brand of punk-rock music in the early 00s, despite a few obvious bangers amongst the pack, but now they’ve completely reinvented themselves here and I’m pleased to report that it worked a treat. The funky riffs we get throughout this album match the tones of Hayley Williams’ voice very well and give a pure 80s vibe from start to finish. I really enjoyed this album and I’m not even ashamed to admit it, well done Paramore, more of this please.

38 – Future – FUTURE

Standout tracks: Mask Off, Draco, I’m So Groovy

Ahhhhhhhhh. Future. Self titled album. This is the album which contains the biggest rap song of 2017 so far in Mask Off (yes, the one with the crazy flute instrumental) but there are actually a couple of other hidden gems in this track list. Draco has a crazy piece of production while I’m So Groovy does exactly what it says on the tin. Fantastic production and great turn up music, Future did his thing but it wasn’t a patch on DS2.

37 – Clean Cut Kid – Felt

Standout tracks: Vitamin C, Leaving You Behind, We Used To Be In Love

Feelgood indie music has a soft spot in my heart and is something that’ll never cease to make me sit up and pay attention. This album reminded me of growing up listening to Vampire Weekend and The Drums and to be given that feeling once again is just great. Vitamin C is one of my favourite songs of the year and I am very very excited to see how Clean Cut Kid will soar from here on in. It is just a shame that bands like Catfish & The Bottlemen are given the radio play and these aren’t, because as far as I’m concerned, Clean Cut Kid sound so much more fresh and original.

36 – Taylor Bennett – Restoration Of An American Idol

Standout tracks: Grown Up Fairy Tales, Neon Lights, New York Nights

You may not know this, but the Bennett family doesn’t just have one musician in its ranks. Chance The Rapper isn’t alone in his voyages as a rapper and his little brother Taylor’s album here is a glowing reference to the family’s quirky abilities as rappers. It’s good fun and very refreshing to see Taylor going in his own musical direction, rather than mimicking the sounds of his brother, which he could easily do to get a bit more fame. Massive respect to Taylor for staying true and rapping about positivity and his faith, long may it continue.

35 – Rick Ross – Rather You Than Me

Standout tracks: Trap Trap Trap, Santorini Greece, Powers That Be

Rick Rozay, one of hip-hop’s biggest memes and the man who has the body shape of a pear, but his ability to rap is never under scrutiny. Although he once again fails to hit the heights of his staggeringly good verse on his 2010 appearance of Kanye West’s Devil In A New Dress track, he provides a great album here with some memorable songs, particularly at the start of the project. He combines features very well indeed and manages to make Young Thug coincide well with Rozay’s own deep tones, that in itself is a skill. Chris Rock being a feature on here did make me laugh too.

34 – Big Boi – Boomiverse

Standout tracks: Kill Jill, Mic Jack, Get Wit It

If you don’t know who Big Boi is then you don’t know hip-hop. As a member of OutKast he became Rap royalty and rightfully so as they are, in my opinion, the greatest group to ever grace the genre. He has returned here as a solo artist and I love the hardcore production on this thing, basically every track on here is a bouncy vibe. His bars haven’t faded either as he can still spit with authority, but Killer Mike is the show stealer for me, he is his usual brilliant self on every single one of his three features on this thing. So Big Boi dropped, over to you Andre…

33 – Freddie Gibbs – You Only Live 2wice

Standout tracks: 20 Karat Jesus, Crushed Glass, Homesick

Freddie Gibbs has such a good flow to his rapping it actually blows my mind at times, this album holds no exception to that statement either. The opening track is truly astonishing and the album flows well from there, I enjoyed the hell out of this project and although I’ll never proclaim to be his number one fan, it has definitely left me intrigued as to the direction he will go in next.

32 – Future Islands – The Far Field

Standout tracks: Ran, Beauty Of The Road, Aladdin

I love Future Islands and have done for quite some time, I think the lead singer is absolutely bonkers but the instrumentals are gorgeous and the band work together in beautiful harmony. This album holds up well against their other projects and has some of their best material to date, including one of my new favourite songs in Ran. I still hold faith that they can do better, but this will do just fine for me.

31 – Oddisee – The Iceberg

Standout tracks: Built By Pictures, Rights & Wrongs, Like Really

Oddisee is one of underground rap’s best assets and this album he dropped at the start of the year is proof of that. Slick instrumentals twinned with fantastic variety in flows and vocal deliveries makes for a great listen here and I’d recommend this album to just about anyone. For a good few years now he has consistently released solid projects which would be big in the commercial market if an artist like Drake had created them, but I’m just fine with Oddisee sticking true to his beliefs in the music system.

30 – Syd – Fin

Standout tracks: All About Me, Over, Smile More

Syd is more recognisable by the name Syd Tha Kid, a member of the early 2010s hip hop group Odd Future, but there are plenty more strings to the singer’s bow than that. This album proves that, whether it be from rousing production or her back and forth talents with 6LACK on Over. I really enjoyed this album and hope for more of the same from Syd as she progresses as a solo artist.

29 – Blackbear – Digital Druglord

Standout tracks: moodz, i miss the old u, do re mi

This should be the exact kind of hot trash I hate, but I just don’t know why I enjoy it as much as I do? The songs heavy over-production makes for intriguing listening and the attitude put onto the songs gives it an edge and something interesting. It’s far from the most technically gifted and complete project but I thoroughly enjoyed the songs and their rough-around-the-edges style.

28 – King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard – Flying Microtonal Banana

Standout tracks: Rattlesnake, Nuclear Fusion, Open Water

As the album title suggests, Australian psych-rock band King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard experimented here with microtonal guitar chords and the sound it created was unique and catchy in every sense of the word. With each passing track we were treated to funky waves and upbeat riffs from the Aussie workhorses who, if the rumours are true, we should expect plenty more work from in the coming months. I for one can’t wait.

27 – Playboi Carti – Playboi Carti

Standout tracks: Location, New Choppa, Magnola

This one won’t be for everyone, if you are a fan of old-school rap with cold flow and nice bars then look elsewhere because Playboi Carti won’t fit your taste. If, however, you like trendy songs with plenty of energy and some great beats then look no further. He will never write a masterpiece but Carti will get the party going and burn up the club 100 times out of 100. His Uzi and Rocky collab tracks are very solid and he could be the new wave of rap’s next breakout star, following in the aforementioned Lil Uzi Vert’s footsteps.

26 – John Mayer – The Search For Everything

Standout tracks: Helpless, Still Feel Like Your Man, You’re Gonna Live Forever In Me

It’s been a long time coming, but John Mayer is finally back and he’s back with a bang. This smooth sound of funky acoustic music is very easy on the ears and it’s all that I wanted from a John Mayer album, soothing tones and catchy melodies. His ability as a songwriter is unprecedented and this album shows him off as such. If the chorus and riff on Still Feel Like Your Man doesn’t get stuck in your head all day after hearing it then I’m worried about you.

25 – NAV – NAV

Standout tracks: Up, Myself, Some Way

An R&B artist of Indian descent isn’t something you’ll see everyday, but XO’s next breakout star fits that mould. NAV brings some seriously good songs to the plate here and I challenge anyone to skip through those first three songs which are as catchy as it gets. His Weeknd collab hit ‘Some Way’ is another beauty of a track and I expect big things from this guy, particularly when he drops the collab album with all-round genius producer Metro Boomin.

24 – Bryson Tiller – True To Self

Standout tracks: Self Made, Somethin Tells Me, Blowing Smoke

Bryson is a bit of a meme these days unfortunately because of his tumblr girl sound and his fan appeal being largely that of a lustful nature. That doesn’t take away from the glory and ability he put into his 2015 breakout album ‘TRAPSOUL’ and it certainly shouldn’t do for this follow up project either. No features makes it frustrating at times because Bryson has a very similar style in most songs on here but basing it simply on how good the songs are on here, I can hardly complain. Don’t worry Bryson, I still rate you.

23 – SZA – Ctrl

Standout tracks: Love Galore, Drew Barrymore, The Weekend

Top Dawg Entertainment’s only signed female artist has come through with a storming debut album here, stacked with emotion and feeling with a concept of growing up and her quests for love. SZA recruits some great names for this album, Kendrick Lamar being the standout but she ensures that with every feature on here, she too can roll with the punches and keep the reins of her own song. The atmosphere is very well structured and the flow of the project works a treat.

22 – Migos – Culture

Standout tracks: Kelly Price, Slippery, T Shirt

Migos repped the culture on this album for one reason and one reason only. They are the culture, nobody else but them. Migos revolutionised the trap mumble sound we are so accustomed to hearing in today’s hip-hop charts and were out here doing this before any other ‘culture vultures’ joined the craze. The Culture album is packed to the brim with club turn-up anthems and it has the potential to be join Travis Scott’s Rodeo and Future’s DS2 as an outright trap classic.

21 – Kasabian – For Crying Out Loud

Standout tracks: Ill Ray (The King), Are You Looking For Action?, Good Fight

One of the UK’s great indie rock bands of the 21st century are back with a bang, and a rather strange album cover. The hits are undeniable on it, however, as Serge, Tom and co. use the hard electronic instrumentals that have made them famous to now and created some boom blast indie bangers here, including Ill Ray (The King) and Comeback Kid. Their reign as the world’s number one FIFA band continues and it is a title I am sure they will welcome with open arms, especially after their beloved Leicester made them the soundtrack of their Premier League title winning campaign.

20 – Dua Lipa – Dua Lipa

Standout tracks: Be The One, Thinking ‘Bout You, Blow Your Mind (Mwah)

When I initially heard her single Thinking ‘Bout You I knew she had some true raw talent, I didn’t realise how many hits she had in her locker, though. You’ll recognise Be The One from adverts that’s for sure and that’s not the only toe-rapper she possesses in this stacked album. Her care-free attitude comes through with authority on this album and her vocal delivery reflects this beautifully, something you rarely get from chart topping pop artists. I really enjoyed this album and it’s restored my faith in true pop artists giving us good music again, without meaning to sound like a miserable old father here.

19 – Mac Demarco – This Old Dog

Standout tracks: Still Beating, My Old Man, On The Level

Mac is back with some brand new tracks and these ones are by no means wack. I love Mac Demarco and all that he does and stands for, his laid back life approach is something to be admired and on this album he shows us that in his soft and glazed vocal tones and subtle acoustic guitar riffs. He does also take on some big issues in his life here, such as the death of his mainly absent father and the effect it has had on him as a person, as well as the struggles of finding love and true happiness. It’s another great Mac project but it just falls short of his best, as a certain album called Salad Days does exist.

18 – Harry Styles – Harry Styles

Standout tracks: Sign Of The Times, Carolina, Only Angel

I’ll admit it, when Sign Of The Times first came out I was infuriated by it, the whole thing sounded like a gimmick, a tribute act trying to perform like Bowie. But as time wore on I appreciated it more and more and suddenly found myself eagerly anticipating a Harry Styles album, a situation you rarely expect to find yourself in. This album is great, I’m telling you now it’s easily the best project any One Direction member will release and it proves Harry’s credentials as a down to earth but by no means shy frontman with a rocking attitude. Big up Styles, you done good.

17 – The xx – I See You

Standout tracks: I Dare You, Test Me, A Violent Noise

The first album I listened to in 2017 and I was so pleased to hear The xx back doing what they’re great at. They work together as a trio better than anyone I’ve heard in such a long time, as they all compliment each other with their vocal dexterity or instrumental talents. Jamie xx is a wizard on production and Oliver and Romy sound better than ever on the vocals, this album set the tone very nicely for what has been a fantastic first half of the year musically.



This London based indie-rock quartet encapsulated the raw rough around the edges sound of a classic rock album with this debut here, as they provide pulsating guitar riffs and passionate vocal deliveries throughout. It’s an album I never anticipated I would enjoy as much as I did but it is certainly one of the shining lights in terms of bodies of work coming from the UK so far this year. I’ll certainly be keeping my eye out for them in the future.

15 – Gorillaz – Humanz

Standout tracks: Submission, Ascension, Let Me Out

One of the most eagerly anticipated projects of the year, Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett’s virtual band were back at it again with bangers and astronomical production. The feature list was heavy and diverse, ranging from classic hip-hop to soulful jazz and funk singers, even the modern day artists got nods, the likes of Benjamin Clementine and Vince Staples stealing the show for example. The feature list could lead you to thinking this was like a house party Damon hosted for all his talented friends, but the cohesion was there to make it another Gorillaz winner.

14 – Sampha – Process

Standout tracks: Blood On Me, Plastic 100C, Incomplete Kisses

This is an album I’ve been anticipating since 2013 when I first heard Sampha’s chilling and mesmerising vocal performance on Drake’s Too Much track. Four years later and the beloved singer-songwriter has well and truly arrived on the global stage, crafting a brilliant project full of passion and soul. Every song on here tells a new tale and you find yourself getting lost in his vocal delivery, his tones are unlike anything I’ve ever heard before and he might just possess one of my favourite singing voices of all time, it’s that good. Expect much more greatness to come from Sampha; this is just the beginning.

13 – Stormzy – Gang Signs & Prayer

Standout tracks: Bad Boys, Lay Me Bare, Blinded By Your Grace Pt. 2

Approaching this album I was hesitant, I wasn’t crazy about Big For Your Boots like other people were but acknowledged how hard it went, so there was definite potential there. I was worried the roadman scene Stormzy found himself involved in when Shut Up hit the limelight would affect his career and direction. Nope. This album is fantastic, as far as debuts go you’ll do well to topple this as a grime artist. His variation between soft singing and aggressive spitting is exemplary and the signs are all pointing towards greatness, it wasn’t quite Konnichiwa, but my god he wasn’t far away.

12 – Young Thug – Beautiful Thugger Girls

Standout tracks: Relationship, Get High, Family Don’t Matter

This is easily Young Thug’s most complete project to date, not to mention his most daring one too. The risk of balancing his wild and abrasive trap vocals with acoustic riffs and low-fi instrumentals was colossal, but as he has now discovered, the rewards are phenomenal and the sound we are treated to is blissfully passionate as well as enjoyable. Considering we haven’t even got a debut album from Thugger yet, it’s remarkable to see how far he has come and this mixtape is, in my opinion at least, the platform he needed to become a mega star in the rap genre.

11 – Blaenavon – That’s Your Lot

Standout tracks: Let’s Pray, Ode To Joe, Orthodox Man

A debut album which came out of nowhere for me, British indie rockers Blaenavon have produced an absolute gem here with their fresh and modern sounding instrumentals and catchy choruses. The songs flow together very well and make this project very cohesive and enjoyable from start to finish. It’s a fantastic way to start what is sure to be a long and prosperous career for these boys.

10 – London Grammar – Truth Is A Beautiful Thing

Standout tracks: Big Picture, Wild Eyed, Who Am I

This is a truly triumphant return from the British electro-pop outfit, as they follow on from their glorious debut with yet more power and emotion strung from the gorgeous vocals of Hannah Reid. The atmospheric instrumentals throughout the track listing here gives us a slick sound and a consistent sense of glory on the album, very well done to a group who are rapidly becoming one of my favourites in this country.

9 – Rejjie Snow – The Moon & You


Rejjie Snow is a name I’ve seen floating around for a while but there hasn’t been a solid project for me to divulge properly until this one here, but my word was it worth the wait. With some assistance from some very talented artists on the feature list, including a certain Joey Bada$$; Rejjie Snow has crafted together a moody colossus of an album which sounds joyous and triumphant from start to finish.

8 – Father John Misty – Pure Comedy

Standout tracks: Leaving LA, Total Entertainment Forever, In Twenty Years Or So

You’ll not listen to a wittier wordsmith in this generation than Father John Misty, he is lyrically impeccable and this album is a certified example of this. Pure Comedy is the title, and although we do have some moments of deep thought and solitude, this album provides so many glowing moments of hilarity and witticisms, particularly in the 14 minute long song of the year contender Leaving LA. If you’ve never listened to Father John Misty before, then please be sure to make this album your first taste because you won’t regret it.

7 – Loyle Carner – Yesterday’s Gone

Standout tracks: The Isle Of Arran, Damselfly, Florence

London based Rapper Loyle Carner well and truly delivered here with his debut album, and propelled himself to soaring fame in the process. He is now already amongst the discussion as one of Britain’s most talented MCs despite his seemingly lethargic approach vocally, but it all clicks on this album. It’s hard to find a weakness on this one really from the production to the message, it’s all stunning.

6 – Kendrick Lamar – DAMN.

Standout tracks: DNA., XXX., DUCKWORTH.

Kung-Fu Kenny returned with his fourth studio album after an explosive comeback through the singles The Heart Part IV and HUMBLE. His energy and lyrical flow served us very well on this album as he tackled hard hitting issues and did what we have come to expect from K-Dot really. Yet another great project from Kendrick which surely has to put him amongst the discussion for all time greats?

5 – Drake – More Life

Standout tracks: Portland, Passionfruit, Skepta Interlude

Drake truly warranted all the hype surrounding this project as he gave us 22 songs full of emotion and flavour. Whether it’s the soft and soothing sounds of Passionfruit and Teenage Fever or the boom blast vibe of No Long Talk and Portland, Drake once again covers all bases and proves to us all why he continues to be a chart phenomenon.

4 – Lorde – Melodrama

Standout tracks: Writer In The Dark, Green Light, Homemade Dynamite

I can safely say that after listening to this album, I feel like a refreshed and all round better human being. Lorde has delivered and fired on all cylinders once again with this sophomore release as she pays much more attention to detail on lyrical harmony and production that is bordering on majestic. It’s a true triumph and one which for me at least, propels the New Zealand born singer-songwriter to gigantic levels, and it truly makes her one of modern music’s most remarkable enigmas. Is it better than Pure Heroine? I believe so, take that as you will but please note how absolutely fantastic that debut album was and then realise how good this one must be.

3 – Joey Bada$$ – ALL AMERIKKKAN BADA$$


Joey gave us his attempt at ‘To Pimp A Butterfly’ with this his second studio album and it is nothing short of truly sensational. There’s not one moment on here that doesn’t encapsulate the grand message with absolute perfection and sheer elegance. Joey also gave us a glowing example of his phenomenal flow and the lyrical wordplay of an artist way beyond his 23 years of age. “I gotta be the voice” Joey proclaims on this album and he certainly takes the role well, offering us all vital insight and a dark undertone into the racial divide of America.

2 – Cashmere Cat – 9

Standout tracks: Wild Love, Europa Pools, Quit

A star-studded feature line-up twinned with mysterious and spacey production helps create a masterpiece of an electronic album which breaks the usual mould of EDM/techno music and ventures into it’s own avenue of sounds. The Weeknd sounds like his 2011 self on Wild Love while Kacy Hill provides bone-chilling melodies on Europa Pools, it’s really hard to fault this album in terms of invention and daring creativity.

1 – Vince Staples – Big Fish Theory

Standout tracks: Love Can Be…, Yeah Right, Homage

I’ll be shocked if I listen to a better, more captivating album than this one all year. Long Beach rapper Vince Staples has hit us with a true masterpiece and I for one deem it as a hip-hop game changer. Much like Danny Brown did with his 2013 blast of an album ‘Old’, Vince has adopted more EDM-techno vibes on his production here and the results are marvellous. The Kendrick feature on Yeah Right is just incredible and the production of SOPHIE and Flume on that same song just add to the genius behind it. A day before this album dropped I said Vince would never top Summertime ’06, how wrong did I prove to be here.


One Love Manchester: Music is there to once again restore humanity’s faith

On the 22nd May, the world was sent into a state of disarray and devastation when a terrorist attack was committed at the Manchester Evening News (MEN) Arena during an Ariana Grande live show. 22 people were confirmed to have died at the event and it was a moment which truly shook not only the music world but us all. In response to this inexcusable act from that jumped up coward, Manchester and Ariana Grande responded in the way only they know; the joining of love and music together as one. A special event known as ‘One Love Manchester’ was scheduled for Sunday 4th June and the line up was colossal.

I could go on all day about who was there and how they sounded on this astonishing night, but that takes away from the true importance of the event and how special it was to witness. Ariana Grande deserves all the praise in the world for this, she has shown a bravery and maturity way beyond her 23 years and has instantly become a worldwide role model to not just music fans, but fans of life too. She managed to rally together some of music’s biggest names and even got Manc hero Liam Gallagher to fly back from Germany and perform on the same night. As well as this he even agreed to sing on stage with Coldplay’s Chris Martin, a man he has had a public rivalry with in the past, referring to him as a “geography teacher”. Basically she should be in the foreign office with negotiation skills like hers.

If you weren’t fighting back the tears when Ariana returned to the stage at the end to perform a powerful and moving rendition of her hit ‘One Last Time’, the final song she managed to perform before the attack took place on the night of the tragedy, then I question the warmth of your heart and compassion. As she soldiered on through floods of tears she was joined on stage by all the show’s stars and was joined vocally by the adoring and admiring crowd, making the song that much more poignant and special. Earlier in that night the Black Eyed Peas performed their 2002 hit ‘Where Is The Love?’ with many asking why the words to that emotional song are so true and up to date even now, questioning the progress we have made as compassionate human beings.

The whole event managed to raise a staggering £9m for the victims of the tragedy and above all it created a mesmerising sense of passion and emotion amongst all involved, from the superstar names of Bieber and Gallagher, to the everyday fans who witnessed devastation with their very eyes on that hallowed night at the MEN. It has given us all a fresh lease of life and made us realise that no matter how many bad people there are in this world, love conquers all and music is the greatest art of all for that notion.