The Hawk's Eye

Best Albums of 2017

Saodi Bullie, Reporter

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Last year, musicians pulled out all the stops to deliver pristine projects. Here are 4 great albums made in 2017 that I believe everyone should listen to.

1.  Damn, Kendrick Lamar

It seems like whenever Kendrick Lamar drops an album, you can bet that it is going to be a classic. After dropping “To Pimp a Butterfly,” no one knew what was next for the Compton-based rapper, but Damn showed us how versatile an artist he is. While in TPAB, he blended jazzy oriented beats with his clever rhymes, telling a story throughout those 16 tracks, on Damn, he kept his storytelling ways, but this time switched out beats that contained jazz and funk for hard-hitting, aggressive, addictive bangers. I think Kendrick Lamar’s explanation of why Damn was such a success was probably the best guess, in which he says that Damn is a hybrid of all of his projects into one: “It was me finally being able to take elements from… the message behind To Pimp a Butterfly, the Sonics and Beat slapping from Good Kid m.a.a.d. City, and the rawness of just being able to do what I want like I did on section.80… I take all three of these, it makes the hybrid of Damn for me.”

2.  Flower Boy, Tyler the Creator

When Tyler, The Creator’s “Flower Boy” first came out, fans and critics spent all of their time creating theories about his homosexuality. Whether or not theories are true, one fact that can’t be disputed is that this album is an absolute masterpiece. What makes this album better than any Tyler album ever made is because it is completely different.  In earlier albums like “Wolf”, Tyler takes on one of his many personas, each with an incredibly twisted point of view; this writing style makes it hard to differentiate when he’s being honest or just joking. However, in this album, he shows his vulnerability through his writing. And instead of grimy, purposely poorly produced beats, Flower Boy sounds cleaner and the beats are way lighter than usual. A stand out feature artist on this album, in my opinion, is Rex Orange County. The vocals he provides on the songs, “Boredom” and  “Foreword” really complete the songs. I would check out the songs “Sunflower” and “Loving is Easy” if you liked his feature.

3.  Freudian, Daniel Caesar

In a time where music is dominated by electronic sounds and synthesizers and such, It was nice to find a contemporary R&B artist whose music that comes from actual instruments. Daniel Caesar is a talented Toronto R&B and gospel singer and guitarist whose silky voice was made to sing loves songs, and in his album “Freudian,” he uses 10 songs to depict the ideas of love and why it is such a complex subject. While in songs like “Get You” and “Best Part,” his breakout song, Caesar portrays being in love as complete bliss, where as in songs like “Loose” or “Freudian,” where Caesar focuses more on love lost. But throughout the album the tone of the songs never change; it maintains an upbeat tone no matter the topic. While this album does have its flaws, like the fact that the soundtrack for most of the songs sound pretty interchangeable, If you were looking for feel good songs, look no further than this album.

4.  Saturation II, Brockhampton

Choosing which Saturation I was going to choose was probably the hardest choice I had to make before writing this article, but If I were to be honest with myself, I would say that Saturation II is the best. Unlike the other albums on this list, where storytelling was key, the point of the Saturation trilogy was to “Saturate” The rap game by making as many songs as possible within a year. Saturation II was special because Brockhampton started experimenting with different synthesizers and different sounds, allowing them to make some infectious hooks.

— Saodi Bullie

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