Last year I became really burnt out on writing album reviews. I started feeling like I was listening to albums and EPs for the purpose of reviewing them, rather than just for enjoyment. It made listening to music a chore, instead of something I loved to do.
Therefore, this year I’m making some changes. Instead of reviewing every (new release) album I listen to, I’ll only be reviewing the ones I have something to say about. I also won’t be doing individual album reviews, unless I happen to have a lot to say. This means I’ll be saving my thoughts on some albums until I have enough for a full post. That’s why a couple of these may seem like old news to you.
Anyway, today is the day I finally review some of my favorite albums of the year so far, as well as a couple that didn’t quite touch me in the way I’d hoped.
Manic by Halsey
My Thoughts: This is, unequivocally, Halsey’s best album yet. For the first time, she’s not filtering her experiences through a character. This is Halsey at her most vulnerable— this is Ashley Frangipane. It’s so deeply personal, a chance for Halsey to reflect on past relationships, her mental health, and the future children she is— against all odds— able to have. I played it on repeat for weeks after it came out in January. If you’re one of those people who’ve written Halsey off, please give her another chance and listen to this album.
Highlights: Clementine, I HATE EVERYBODY, 3am, & Alanis’ Interlude
Cape God by Allie X
My Thoughts: I was fully expecting to love this album. I really liked most of the promotional singles Allie had been releasing prior to the album drop, but the whole project is just missing that certain something. The second half of the album is especially weak, stuffed with second-rate filler. On the upside, the good songs are really good. It’s pop music for the disenfranchised. In a post-Lorde and Billie Eislish world, Allie X is a worthy successor.
Highlights: Devil I Know, Regulars, Rings a Bell, & Love Me Wrong (with Troye Sivan)
Future Nostalgia by Dua Lipa
My Thoughts: When I first listened this this album, I was underwhelmed. I think it had two, maybe three good tracks. But it kept getting hype, so I gave it a second listen. I’m so glad it did because it immediately clicked. Dua Lipa stepped up her game with this one. It’s a modern ‘80s pop lovefest. This is music to have fun to. Dua has truly cemented herself as a pop staple.
Highlights: Don’t Start Now, Cool, Physical, Levitating, Love Again, Break My Heart, & Good in Bed
BEFORE LOVE CAME TO KILL US by Jessie Reyez
My Thoughts: I’ve heard people refer to Jessie Reyez as the next Amy Winehouse, and that descriptor is fairly apt. Vocally, she could be Amy’s sister. But Jessie is so much more than an Amy knock-off— she’s an artist in her own right and this album proves it. She brings Latin sounds and hip hop flair to her style. Jessie is a fiery personality who knows what she wants and she asks— no, demands— it through her songs.
Highlights: DEAF (who are you), COFFIN (feat. Eminem), IMPORTED (feat. 6LACK), KILL US, FIGURES
Have you listened to any of these albums? What do you think of them? Let’s discuss in the comments!
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