The end is coming, the end of 2017. With it comes the best of what I have come across in 2017; the best of book; the best of my blog posts and today the best of music I have listened to. What follows are some of the best discs of the year, according to my ears.
Michelle Branch – Hopeless Romantic
This is my album of the year!
From the opening refrain of ‘Best You Ever’ Hopeless Romantic signals the return of Michelle Branch. Her song writing has matured, the stronger songs are a result of years of collaborations while trying to come up with material her record company would stand behind.
Her sound has filled out and her vocals reflect the sensitivity of the material filled with the fragile emotion of a break up, ‘Fault Line’ is a great example of this. However when she breaks out the acoustic it is solid.
It was so good when it came out in April; Hopeless Romantic has not diminished at all in the past year. What was a summer album; Hopeless Romantic is a permanent go to for a good listen.
You can read my post on the return of Michelle Branch here: The Return of Michelle Branch
Beatles – Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band
Okay, so it’s not new but it is still relevant. The 50th Anniversary of the Sgt. Pepper was like the return of an old friend. We all know the music, but the re-issue brought back the lore and history and my love of not only this Lp, but the entire Beatles catalogue (something that still baffles Liz).
George Martin oversaw the original and the 25th Anniversary remixes, for #SgtPepper50, Martin’s son Giles was in charge of the mixes, which produced a new stereo mix from the original mono masters. I still have yet to take the shrink-wrap off the double vinyl package, though I have heard that as good as the new mixes sound on CD, the vinyl is even better. It may only be a matter of time before the wrap comes off and I get see all the extras that first appeared in June 1967.
My post on #SgtPepper50 is here: Sgt Pepper at 50
Ryan Adams – Prisoner
Prisoner follows the release of a complete remake song by song of Taylor Swift’s 1989. Creatively, Prisoner is Adams’ most complete work of music on one disc since his work with The Cardinals. For whatever reason, Adams’ creativity and energy towards his music has been incredible. Prisoner captures that energy as has the tour he embarked on through 2017.
Prisoner swings from rock, to country folk and back, his voice lends to being able to commit to any style wants. His musicianship shines throughout this disc; he loves his guitars and different sounds he gets from the many he owns. It brings diversity not on many discs.
It’s not too late to catch on to Prisoner and a masterpiece from Ryan Adams.
Lindsey Buckingham & Christine McVie – Buckingham/McVie
What drove the musical dynasty that propelled Fleetwood Mac in the ‘70’s, still has a presence 40 years later. Lindsey Buckingham and Christine McVie put together a good collection of songs, contributing their own and collaborating on other songs.
Fleetwood Mac fans; this is a something for you. It can be called, though it wasn’t, a reunion album for the band with everyone from “the Mac” performing with the exception of Stevie Nicks. Listening to this album took me back to 1975’s Fleetwood Mac Lp, the beginning of a good run of discs.
Ruth B – Safe Haven
It took me forever to learn that it was Ruth B behind the song ‘Lost Boy’, only after seeing her perform the song at the Juno Awards did it click just how good the song was. On that performance I went and purchased the EP “the Intro”, then “Safe Haven came out. Ruth B has an amazing voice and just might be the soul/r&b singer that Canada has been waiting for. In fact the comparisons to Alicia Keys are very much warranted.
Through Safe Haven, Ruth B surprises and presents a sound that may have been in the works for years. It is a maturity that could be equal to, yes – Alicia Keys. With key tracks like ‘Dandelions’, ‘World war 3’, ‘First Love’ and ‘Superficial Love’ make Safe Haven a Summer Album for me.
Ed Sheeran – Divide
Along with Michelle Branch, Divide has been playing all year for me. It is refreshing to hear this modern troubadour consistently bring great music. Divide is a gift that keeps on giving hit singles. Divide started with ‘Shape of you’, ‘Castle on the Hill’, ‘Galway Girl’ and now a Christmas Number 1 on Billboard this week with the wonderful ‘Perfect’. Haven’t caught on to Divide? It’s not too late.
Up Next: My Best of 2017 Blog Posts
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