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The Westfield Voice

The Westfield Voice

A Year in Review: New Music From 2017


By Josh Martinez

This year has been full of new music, and the month of November has been no exception. This month alone we got two of the years most highly anticipated albums as well as a new project from a band that has been around since 1994, plus a few surprise albums that are definitely worth a listen.

Sam Smith – The Thrill of it All

The first album to mention is Sam Smith’s sophomore release, The Thrill of It All. Three years after his debut album In The Lonely Hour, Sam came back onto the scene with the lead single “Too Good At Goodbyes.” Following that, he released the tracks “Pray” and “Burning.” While none of these songs have reached the success of the singles from his debut album, they are still just as good. I would say the best track on the album would be the song “HIM.” The track is a deep and soulful ballad to God about loving a man while keeping his faith. Overall this album took much more of a religious tone than his first. However, that does not deter from the love and heartbreaks we are accustomed to hearing from Sam. All in all, I’d give the album 4/5 stars.

Maroon 5 – Red Pill Blues

This month, Maroon 5 released their sixth album Red Pill Blues. The sound on this album is a far cry from that of their pivotal album Songs About Jane. This album is full of features from the likes of Future, Kendrick Lamar, Julia Michaels, and SZA. The band took a marketable approach by doing songs with artists that are huge at the moment; all four of those featured artists mentioned are nominated in the upcoming Grammys. Yet, these features don’t save the album. I found this album to be a bit of a let down, they sound like a band that’s scared to fade out and still trying to be hip. I’d give this album 3/5 stars.

Taylor Swift – Reputation

The last huge album this month is Taylor Swift’s sixth album Reputation. After a break from music and the public eye, Ms. Swift burst back on the scene with her lead single “Look What You Made Me Do.” The track was her response to all of the media criticism and beef with fellow celebs such as Kanye West and Katy Perry. It was misleading because it set the tone that this album would be a diss to people like Look was, but it isn’t. Look is easily my least favorite track on the album. While it is catchy, it was much softer diss than it could have been. When you look at the album as a whole you’ll notice that this is a completely different Taylor. She takes risks with electronic sounds and synthesizing her voice. Her content is much more mature with songs like Don’t Blame Me and I Did Something Bad. Songs like DelicateGorgeous, and Dancing With Our Hands Tied are an upgrade from the cookie cutter love songs Swift is known for. This album is great next step for Taylor Swift and I give it 4.5/5 stars.

Tove Lo – Blue Lips: Lady Wood Phase II

3.5/5 stars

This album is really good, whereas her previous album LadyWood was phenomenal. This time around it sounds much more pop-electronic with the lead single Disco T*ts. Overall, its a fun album with some great songs to sing along to.

Jaden Smith – Syre

4/5 stars

Who knew Jaden Smith had this much musical talent? Sure, his dad made some fun tunes back in the 90’s, but Jaden went to a whole new level with this album. His lyrical prowess oozes over tracks like “Icon and “Falcon.” For an album with very few features, this was an unexpectedly amazing album.

Olivia O’Brien – It’s Not That Deep

3/5 stars

The only EP on this list is the debut from Olivia O’Brien. She is most known for singing on “i hate u, i love u from Gnash. This EP is a great introduction for the singer, while there are no deep tracks to grab you it is a fun set of five songs thats definitely worth a listen.

Fabolous and Jadakiss – Friday On Elm Street

5/5 stars

If you don’t like the new wave of hip-hop and miss the days of understanding everything a rapper said, then you will love this album. Two seasoned vets of rap collaborate on this phenomenal album. They both shine equally on every track and they rap metaphors that will make your mind dizzy.

Blackbear – Cybersex

4.5/5 stars

Blackbear is a music making machine. Earlier this year he released Digital Druglord with the huge hit “Do Re Mi on it. Now, he released Cybersex on Cyber Monday. This album doesn’t disappoint either, its full of great features and even greater beats. Blackbear doesn’t let up one bit from the music and style we know and love him for.

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