In the year where music lost two very potent voices in Chester Bennington (of Linkin Park) and Don Williams, we still managed to find joy in the sound. Recently, album-making has become a fading art, many artistes just wax unrelated renditions, compile crass vocals and brand it something catchy. Wisdom is profitable to create music, timeless music.
These undermentioned albums, are done by musician cum creative geniuses that have distinguished themselves in the art of making great albums. Let’s countdown from 10 to 1, and find out who had our album of the year.
- Falz – 27
I consider Falz to be Nigeria’s most versatile emcee and this album all but confirmed it. The actor, rapper, comedian and barrister delivered his best works in various genres, languages, accents and comical plots. 27 by Falz is an amazing piece of work.
- Sam Smith – The Thrill of it All
Sam Smith is one of those musicians who needs a heart wrenching heart-break to make his best music. The second album by the four-time Grammy awardee is a meeting of beautiful sadness, lamentations and suave ballads. TTOIA is testament that the British singer is not modest about his love life and yes, listen to the hit that is Too Good at Goodbyes, it’s my pick.
- Jay-Z – 4:44
On this beautiful body of work, the legendary Sean Carter reminded us of his humanity, and while we marvelled in his very personal tales of family and industry, he didn’t let us forget that his genius is unmatched. 4:44 was a story of glory, vulnerability and remorse, and Jay Z kept the storytelling masterful.
- Ed Sheeran – Divide
+ and x were landmark albums for Ed, who many have considered to be one of the greatest voices in this generation. Divide came with varying critical acclaim but on repeated listens, this album is just as beautiful, laden and refreshing as anything the Give Me Love crooner has ever done. Yes, Ed Sheeran sounded excellent trying genres out.
- Rapsody – Laila’s Wisdom
She’s basically Kendrick Lamar in a girl’s body. The music she makes breathes, speaks and gives life. Laila’s Wisdom all but solidified her spot as Hip Hop’s Queen, LW was an exposition into black culture and with its adherence to sound excellence, many have even compared it to the classic that is Kdot’s To Pimp a Butterfly. Rapsody is the real deal, Rapsody is rhapsodic. There’s a reason Jay-Z signed the North Carolinian. She is Queen, what’s a Bodak Yellow?
- Simi – Simisola
Simi hit us with the unforeseen here, most people expected a collection of monotonous love songs, but Simisola Bolatito Ogunleye, with her self-named album dropped a body of work that has garnered the greatest critical acclaim for any Nigerian album in a while now.
- SZA – Ctrl
Top Dawg Entertainment plays no games. With every act they have brought us, their intent for global domination is obvious. The detail in sound, delivery and message in the 45-minute-long Ctrl was testament to this. Ctrl is unrestrained and profound at the same time, and Sza who many now call the “New Erykah Badu” is on a throne no one can contest, she’s in Ctrl.
- Khalid – American Teen
Khalid is my new artiste of the year. The 19-year old made a classic album on his first try, consequently garnering five Grammy nominations. With a lazy-leathery voice that can send chills down the spine of even the most stolid, a mediocre album would have been criminal. Khalid’s American Teen is blessed with euphoria and melancholy in just the right amounts. The lyricism on this one can only be bested by our number 2 and 1.
- Kendrick Lamar – DAMN.
The seven-time Grammy awardee is Hip-Hop’s greatest and that the Compton native will win rap album of the year at the Grammys in January 2018 is certain. Damn was perfection again; storytelling, instrumentation, mood, flow, everything was a 100%. Personally, Kendrick’s To Pimp a Butterfly is the greatest album I have ever heard. Some people call me a Kendrick Stan, don’t believe everything you hear. All hail King Kendrick
- Damian Marley – Stony Hill
Listening to this amazing piece of work, you would almost feel that Bob Marley gave all his musical genius to his son, Damian. 2017 marked 12 years since the Jamaican blessed the world with Jamrock, and Stony Hill was the ultimate upgrade. With socially conscious lamentations, a reggae fusion with ethereal keys and strings, marijuana exhortation, and an authoritative call for mental freedom all but made this album King of all. Salute to Damian Jr. Gong Marley
Would you have this list rearranged?