STAFF PICKS: Best Albums of 2017

Kendrick Lamar performing live at Bluefest

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As the end of 2017 looms nearer, your friends here at U DO U have picked our personal favorite albums of 2017. Here’s a taste of what we enjoyed this year!

 

“After Laughter” – Paramore

 

After years of internal struggle, Paramore regained their groove in “After Laughter.” The band’s fifth album was released in May and strays from their usual pop punk/alternative rock sound. Although the album revolves around themes of exhaustion, depression and anxiety, the band’s new wave and synth pop direction contrasts their lyricism. “After Laughter” welcomes back drummer Zac Farro who left the band in 2010 and also bids goodbye to bassist Jeremy Davis who left in 2015. “I love how Hayley’s voice goes around the music now, unlike before where it feels like she powers through the distortion of the guitars and the loud drumming.” —Simon Vigan, Photographer

 

Simon’s favorite track: “Pool”

 

“This Old Dog” – Mac DeMarco

 

Big Daddy Mac recorded his third full-length album while moving from New York to Los Angeles. His usual process of releasing an album is fairly fast, but he realized that moving to a new city and basically creating a new life takes a lot of time. As the songs remained untouched, DeMarco said that he really got to know the songs and it gave him a different vibe. “This Old Dog” reflects on aging and time; we as humans aren’t getting any younger, and our fear of turning into that one person we swore we’d never become is quickly turning into a reality. “Mac DeMarco shows growth in “This Old Dog” while not moving far from his signature sound. I particularly love the album’s theme because it’s relatable as someone who’s going through the highs and lows of adulting.” —Sophie Caraan, Editor-in-Chief

 

Sophie’s favorite track: “Dreams of Yesterday”

 

 “÷” – Ed Sheeran

 

According to Spotify, 2017 is the year of the Sheeran. His album “÷” garnered 3.1 billion streams since its release, topping Spotify’s list.  On top of that, he’s the most globally streamed artist plus his single “Shape of You” became the most streamed song in Spotify history with 1.4 billion plays. Critics called it “Ed’s strongest collection to date” and is currently up for Best Pop Vocal Album and Best Pop Solo Performance at the 2018 Grammy Awards. “His combination of the pop-acoustic genre got better while his classic Ed Sheeran style is still intact. I like the songs better on his unplugged and acoustic/live performance.”—Lawrence Cedaña, Full Stack Developer

 

Lawrence’s favorite track: “How Would You Feel”

 

“Funk Wav Bounces Vol. 1” – Calvin Harris

 

It’s safe to say that Calvin Harris had a crappy second half of 2016. Being the newest target of Taylor Swift isn’t an easy job, but the DJ/producer handled it well. He released his fifth studio album “Funk Wav Bounces Vol. 1” earlier this June, debuting at number two on both the UK Album Charts and Billboard 200. Harris’ star-studded album includes features from Frank Ocean, Pharrell Williams, Ariana Grande, Katy Perry, Snoop Dogg, Migos, and the list goes on. “It’s my favorite album of 2017 because it reminds me of fun summer nights.”—Rham Marco, Social Media & Media Relations Manager

 

Rham’s favorite track: “Heatstroke” feat. Young Thug, Pharrell Williams, Ariana Grande

 

“Revival” – Eminem

 

The latest album to hit the shelves, Eminem’s ninth studio album follow suit to his two previous albums “Relapse” and “Recovery.” Shady’s team sent fans on a witch hunt with a number of clues from manager Paul Rosenberg’s Instagram photo. A  huge billboard ad, a phone line that plays Dr. Dre’s “I Need A Doctor,” and a website that references to some of Eminem’s hits. Critics applauded his honesty and raw rhymes that covered his personal life all the way to Donald Trump’s presidency. As always, he’s not afraid to speak his mind and get hated for it. “Eminem’s latest album is my favorite this year because it’s nostalgic.”—Jib Ong, Android Developer

 

Jib’s favorite track: “River” feat. Ed Sheeran

 

“DAMN.” – Kendrick Lamar

 

Kung Fu Kenny’s highly-anticipated fourth album “DAMN” blew us all away. This follows the conscious rap theme of 2015 album “To Pimp A Butterfly,” added with elements of trap, R&B, and pop. The album received a number of awards, appearing on top of multiple year-ender lists such as Rolling Stone, NME, Pitchfork, Time, Complex, and more. “DAMN.” is currently in line for Best Rap Album and Album of the Year at the 2018 Grammy Awards. “Kendrick Lamar is wazak as sh*t. Shit, he might actually be the next Rakim. Also, special mention to “The Lesser Of Your Greater Friends” by Calix.”—Paul Evangelista, Master Editor

 

Paul’s favorite track: “DNA.”

 

“stuff i used to do.” – deadmau5

 

Canadian progressive house producer deadmau5 released his compilation album “stuff i used to do.” this March. 13 out of the 16 tracks became available for free download via WeShare a few weeks before its surprise release. The diverse album includes tracks he produced between 1998 to 2017 and ranges in genres. You got hip hop beats, psychedelic electro, disco beats, and experimental stuff laid down in those 16 tracks. He released the album as a do-over; reality is, “stuff i used to do.” reminded us that deadmau5 is an artist to take seriously away from the pots he loves to stir. “deadmau5’s “stuff i used to do.” is my favorite album of 2017 because it’s good to my ears!”—Jeff Paltera, Full Stack Developer

 

Jeff’s favorite track: Superlover

 

U DO U is looking forward to another great year of music. Happy holidays!

 

Featured image from Howls and Echoes

 

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Along with being U DO U's Editor-in-Chief, Sophie enjoys lugging her analogue cameras around to capture unalterable moments. When away from the office you can find her either stuck in a near-death situation on the Central Cordillera Mountains, vibing with the waves of Liwliwa, or on a flight back home to Hong Kong. Find out what she's up to on Instagram @sophiecaraan_ and say hello!

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