All albums must be released in 2017 to make the list. Click here to see posts covering 2012 - Present
1. Mike & The Mechanics – Let Me Fly
None of us are born to be prisoners
But some of us end up in a cell
What if we were born to be winners
Living is the only way to tell
So let me fly, let me fly oh let me fly
I am completely and utterly obsessed with this album. No matter how many times I play it, there’s not one song I grow tired of listening to. If I had to choose then Let Me Fly would probably be my song of 2017.
Favourite songs: Let Me Fly, Are You Ready, Don’t Know What Came Over Me, Wonder, The Best Is Yet To Come, Not Out Of Love, The Letter
2. Lindsey Buckingham & Christine McVie – Lindsey Buckingham & Christine McVie
Slowly breaks the dawn today
Heralded by the sun
My favorite time of day
Or so I thought when we began
My mind is filled with journeys
Echoed with your smile
No, you won’t take that away from me
Two-Fifths of Fleetwood Mac gives us this impressive duet debut album. I guarantee Carnival Begin is the most melodically beautiful song you will hear in 2017.
Favourite songs: Feel About You, Carnival Begin, Sleeping Around The Corner, Red Sun, Too Far Gone, On With The Show
3. Carly Pearce – Every Little Thing
Some memories are made up of sunlight
They shine until they lose their glow
Yeah but you were made of first times, the good kind with the goodbye
That still won’t let me go
With Taylor Swift having firmly departed these country shores and Carrie Underwood taking long breaks between albums, I am grateful for every new country artist that catches my ear. Really strong debut album and I’m a little bit obsessed with Every Little Thing.
Favourite songs: Every Little Thing, Everybody Gonna Talk, Feel Somethin’, Honeysuckle
4. Lady Antebellum – Heart Break
If my memory gets the best of me
Then I’ll always find an excuse
Yeah, I’ll make believe, re-write history
Ignite a spark I can’t undo
It always starts out simple like a conversation
Before I know it, I’m lost in your illumination
If you catch my eye across a crowded room
I’ll fall into the atmosphere surrounding you
If you pull me close just to disappear
The chances are I’d wait for you a thousand years
If you light the fuse you know that I’ll react
If you’re reckless with your love just to take it back
You could hurt somebody like that
This album is definitely a grower. On the first few listens I was disappointed as I really liked 747 and the songs on Heart Break just were not on the same level but it has really really grown on me.
Favourite songs: Heart Break, This City, Hurt, Army, Good Time To Be Alive, Think About You, Stars, Teenage Heart
5. Kelsea Ballerini – Unapologetically
We were golden, we were fire, we were magic
Yeah, and they all knew our names all over town
We had it made in the middle of the madness
We were neon in a grey crowd
Yeah, we wrote our own story
Full of blood, sweat, and heartbeats
We didn’t do it for the fame or the glory
But we went down in history
Given that Kelsea Ballerini’s debut album is going to be one of my most played albums of 2017, her follow-up was never going to be able to match that one. This one is more serious and grown-up and whilst I miss the fum light-hearted feel of its predecessor, this one really does grow on you.
Favourite songs: Unapologetically, Music, Miss Me More
6. Liam Gallagher – As You Were
You reached out for more and as the waves end
At the shore you felt
The fading of your will
Choke back the metaphor
The bottom of the ladder ask me
If I love you still
Was never a big fan of Beady Eye so I have to be honest, I wasn’t expecting much from this album but ended up loving it! Even more because his brother’s 2017 release was such a letdown.
Favourite songs: Wall Of Glass, Bold, Chinatown, I Never Wanna Be Like You
7. Danielle Bradbery – I Don’t Believe We’ve Met
Hey, we’re all in the same boat
Life can really suck sometimes
But hey, can’t live in a shadow
A grower rather than an instant-love. This one snuck up on me after a few listens. I hadn’t listened to her first album until just before listening to this follow-up. I definitely prefer this.
Favourite songs: Red Wine + White Couch, Sway, Worth It, Can’t Stay Mad
8. Ed Sheeran – Divide
I’m on my way
Driving at 90 down those country lanes
Singing to “Tiny Dancer”
And I miss the way
You make me feel
And it’s real
We watched the sunset over the castle on the hill
I was not, like everyone else in England seems to be, an Ed Sheeran fan right from the start. I was put-off from trying him out because I couldn’t understand why a singer-songwriter and ace guitar player would want to insert rap into his songs. Also, I’m not keen on the constant references to smoking, taking drugs and drinking alcohol in his lyrics.
But as much as I wasn’t won over by +, I was hooked by some catchy songs on X and ÷ is more of the same.
Favourite songs: Dive, Galway Girl, Castle On The Hill, What Do I Know?
9. Jamie Lawson – Happy Accidents
Shooting stars shining down on your face
Dancing in the moonlight with you
You keep me calm when I’m a certain disgrace
You keep me on my toes with your moves
In the absence of many new albums from American singer-songwriters this year I was pleasantly surprised to discover Jamie Lawson this year.
Favourite songs: Can’t See Straight, Time On My Hands
10. Marc Broussard – Easy To Love
Cause when the sun go down
And the moon is high
We’ll be chasing stars
Til the morning light
A very underrated guy with such a soulful voice. I always look forward to when he releases a new album – this is a mix of covers and original songs.
Favourite songs: Rose All Day, Memory Of You
11. Eli Young Band – Fingerprints
I just think about how small I am and life after we’re gone
I’m out here by myself but I know I’m not alone
Fingerprints doesn’t compare to its two predecessors which were full of songs I wanted to listen to over and over again. The bar was set very high and it couldn’t help but fall short (the repetition on Never Again got really old really fast), but that doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy this latest offering.
Favourite songs: Saltwater Gospel, Never Land, Once, The Days I Feel Alone
12. Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra – Pop Goes Classical
Favourite songs: Hello, Don’t Look Back In Anger, Counting Stars
13. Toploader – Seeing Stars
When the day is done
And those demons come,
Let’s throw those thoughts away
Because we don’t need them here today
I supported Toploader on PledgeMusic but unfortunately wasn’t wowed by the album they produced from the funds. Everyone should listen to Together though whenever they are having a bad day.
Favourite songs: Together, The Things We Do For Love
14. Little Big Town – The Breaker
Midnight sky overload
Constellations in control
There’s too much freedom to just go home
And it’s too damn lonely to be alone
Magnetic forces pull us close
The fact that Taylor Swift can still write excellent songs like Better Man makes it even more tragic that she’s left the country genre. I prefer Little Big Town’s previous album but there are a few gems on this album – Don’t Die Young, Don’t Get Old is definitely one of my favourite 2017 country songs.
Favourite songs: Night On Our Side, Better Man, Rollin’, Don’t Die Young, Don’t Get Old
15. Tim McGraw & Faith Hill – The Rest Of Our Life
Tide rolling in slow
Watching the waves roll
Love song in my soul
Just floating in the air
Baby we ain’t got no cares
This duet album has been a long time coming for the King and Queen of Country.
Favourite songs: Devil Callin’ Me Back, Roll The Dice, Telluride
16. Rascal Flatt – Back To Us
Headphones downtown, train outside in the rain
In my shotgun seat right beside me
Country rock and roll, hip hop throwback soul
Cross the kitchen floor, just the bare feet
Crank the dollar clockwise, windin’ up her wild side
That girl is ready to move
She don’t really care who’s watchin’
When she gets goin’, there’s no stoppin’ her
If there’s a beat somewhere that’s droppin’, she’s rockin’
Rascal Flatts are one of those bands that I listen to every time they release a new record but hardly any of them stick in my mind. There are songs I like, maybe even really like, but none that I obsess over and play repeatedly.
At the risk of sounding like a music snob, I think I would have more time for them if they wrote more of their own songs.
Favourite songs: Dance, Back To Us
17. Kelly Clarkson – Meaning Of Life
How’s life on that mountain you’ve been climbin’ baby
Is it what you thought you wanted, what you were needin’
How’s life in that rear view, that mirror you don’t mention
Is it hard seein’ how you were and what you’re becoming
I was definitely not a big fan of Kelly’s previous release – it was definitely her weakest album yet. Therefore, I was glad to hear that she signed with a new label and was given the chance to make the album that she really wanted to. It is definitely less pop, more soul and you would have thought that would be right up my street. Aside from Would You Call That Love I am finding it hard to find songs that I really love on it unfortunately. Go High is a contender but the last two seconds ruin it for me.
Favourite songs: Would You Call That Love, Love So Soft, Go High
18. Train – A Girl A Bottle A Boat
I wish that I had all the answers
And I could walk you down your road
For all the times those times you feel like you don’t matter
There’s just one thing you gotta know
I am a massive Train fan – they are the only artist I’ve paid to see live 3 times apart from Fleetwood Mac. This album just didn’t do it for me though. My favourite song is Lost and Found and even that is a ripoff of their own Mermaid. Also the album name is in some dire need of punctuation.
Favourite songs: Loverman, Lost and Found, You Better Believe
19. Old Dominion – Happy Endings
I turned her on to Fleetwood Mac
It’s what I have, not what I had
Yeah the song comes on and I sing out loud
And there ain’t no road that I can’t go down
They reference Fleetwood Mac in their song lyrics!
Favourite songs: No Such Thing As A Broken Heart, Be With Me, Not Everything’s About You
20. Sam Smith- The Thrill Of It All
I know you’re thinking I’m heartless
I know you’re thinking I’m cold
I’m just protecting my innocence
I’m just protecting my soul
Tagged as the male Adele, Sam Smith is back with a new album which is okay, just okay. A bit boring to be honest. But great voice.
Favourite songs: Too Good At Goodbyes, HIM, Nothing Left For You, The Thrill Of It All
21. U2 – Songs Of Experience
When the lights go out, it’s all you talk about
In the darkness where we learn to see
When the lights go out, don’t you ever doubt
The light that we can really be
I can’t remember the last time I was excited for a U2 album. Much like its predecessor all the songs drone into one on this and there are only a couple of songs I like.
Also, the horrendous grammar in the title The Showman (Little More Better) really really annoys me.
Favourite songs: Lights Of Home, You’re The Best Thing About Me, Get Out Of Your Own Way, The Blackout
22. Thomas Rhett – Life Changes
That mango-rita you were drinkin’
And that Coldplay song that you were singin’
And I bet right now you’re probably thinkin’
That it’s crazy I remember every detail, but I do
This is a really bipolar album for me and there’s no cohesiveness. It’s like Rhett just doesn’t know what type of music he wants to make.
Favourite songs: Craving You, Unforgettable, Smooth Like The Summer
23. Granger Smith – When The Good Guys Win
Hey DJ, hey sunset
Hey full moon creeping up over them pines in the distance
Hey summer breeze, hey two lane road
I got a girl that means the world to me and if you wanna help me let her know
A few good songs and a lot of fillers.
Favourite songs: Gimme Something, You’re In It, Happens Like That, Never Too Old
24. Dustin Lynch – Current Mood
Ride this Chevy like a Cadillac
Blow that one stop light
No lookin’ back
Wherever we’re going
Gotta get there fast
I really liked his previous album. Don’t know what happened to him to give us this.
Favourite songs: Small Town Boy, Why We Call Each Other
25. Andy Grammer – The Good Parts
Gonna love all the versions of yourself that you’ll try
Let you go through your phases, cheer you on from the side
And the sweetest thing is just knowing that you’ve got love
From the short, short list of the people in it for the long haul
I’ve previous been a big fan of Andy’s so once again I am left disappointed by the latest release from an artist I like. Smoke Clears is close to being a good song but is just too over-produced. Talking of over-produced, Grown Ass Man Child really is the worst. Everything from the song title to the production is just …. wrong.
Sometimes I attempt to judge an album by its cover before listening to it. The Good Parts cover makes a pretence of it being a grown-up work of art that will last through the ages but it really isn’t.
Favourite songs: Always, Workin On It, Grow
26. The Script – Freedom Child
To be the greatest, no, we can’t be giving up
We were the bravest when I didn’t have the guts
Now, all the haters see we made it, the two of us
To be the greatest, yeah, all that you need is love
A once great band produces a very very medicore album.
Favourite songs: Rock The World, Wonders
27. The Killers – Wonderful Wonderful
You think I lost my vision but I didn’t
This sounds like heaven but it isn’t
Through fields of amber we will run
Somewhere in the life to come
Again a once great band produces a very very medicore album.
Favourite songs: The Man, Life To Come, Out Of My Mind
28. Brett Young – Brett Young
The thing about a break up
Sometimes you just gotta break down
Coming off a great love
There’s plenty of pain to pass around
I am certainly not going to rave about how his debut album is a must-hear or the best thing ever but it’s not bad by any means, and I do have extra respect for artists who write their own songs.
Unfortunately, there are just not that many strong songs and a lot of “fillers”. Hence the 2 stars.
Favourite songs: Left Side of Leaving, Sleep Without You
29. Brian May + Kerry Ellis – Golden Days
In the sunshine of this year
I’ll remember your face so clear
If you want we can journey by
Find the treasures of our golden days
I love Kerry Ellis’s voice but I can’t be doing with album after album of cover songs even if it has got Brian May’s name on it.
Favourite songs: Golden Days, Love In A Rainbow, One Voice
30. Luke Bryan – What Makes You Country
I believe if you just go by the nightly news
Your faith in all mankind would be the first thing you lose
Luke Bryan is one of my most played country artists but I’m really not feeling this album. Most of the songs are just boring and/or about drinking and sex. Real deep. I am banishing Drinking Again to the vault of songs I never want to hear again due to sheer repetition of the title. The best song lyrics of the album are in Most People Are Good.
Favourite songs: Out Of Nowhere Girl, Driving This Thing
31. Maroon 5 – Red Pill Blues
Cold enough to chill my bones?
It feels like I don’t know you anymore
I don’t understand why you’re so cold to me
With every breath you breathe
I can’t say I’m a fan of the direction that their musical style has gone and when I saw all the “featured” artists I knew this one was going to be even worse
Favourite songs: Cold (feat. Future), Denim Jacket
32. Taylor Swift – Reputation
It was the great escape, the prison break
The light of freedom on my face
But you weren’t thinking
No, no, no, no, NO!
Can you believe she used to be one of my favourite artists. This makes my ears bleed!
Favourite songs: Don’t Blame Me, Getaway Car
33. Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – Who Built The Moon?
I’m high up on a ledge
I’m standing on the edge
I’m hiding alone in some town
Where love has been and gone
I’m waiting for the storm to come back
And take me down
I loved Noel Gallagher’s previous two albums but what is THIS?! Fort Knox sounds like there’s a pneumatic drill going on in the background. Got to be honest, I didn’t think Liam would win the 2017 battle of the Gallaghers but there you go!
Favourite songs: None!