The Most Influential Album Releases of 2017



Ctrl by SZA
Genre: R&B

The debut album by the alternative R&B singer, Ctrl was a long-time coming. SZA’s debut was promised a release in 2015, and after a lot of drama with her label, it finally came out two years later to widespread critical acclaim. SZA noted that a lot of freestyling was used in the making of this album, which explains why it sounds so organic to her voice.

Melodrama by Lorde
Genre: Pop

After four years of waiting, Lorde fans finally got what they were looking for. The follow-up to the career-launching release Pure Heroine, the sophomore album by the New Zealand native explores a raw, mature, and confident side of the singer. It focuses on the whirlwind of emotions that came from the breakup of her long-term relationship, but to be clear, this is not an album about a man; it’s about what it means to be a woman.

4:44 by Jay-Z
Genre: Hip-Hop

The king of Brooklyn made a comeback with this album after a long hiatus from making music. Following the release of his wife Beyonce’s Lemonade, which not-very-subtly exposed Jay-Z for infidelity, 4:44 highlights Jay-Z’s redemption arc.