2017 was a big year for music! There were tons of great albums released by our longtime favorite artists, and many by brand-new musicians who came onto the scene strong. Wonderwall.com has rounded up the top 24 albums of 2017 that we couldn't get enough of, starting with Taylor Swift's "Reputation." This year, Taylor said goodbye to the "old Taylor" (in case you missed it, "she's dead") and welcomed a new Taylor with her highly anticipated album, which came out on Nov. 10. The 27-year-old's sixth album sold through the roof before it was even released thanks to hit songs like "Look What You Made Me Do" and "…Ready For It?"
"÷" by Ed Sheeran
Ed Sheeran's third studio album, "÷" — followed up his wildly successful "+" and "x" albums — absolutely did not disappoint. Early in the year, Ed began teasing the album with a double-single release of "Castle on the Hill" and "Shape of You," the latter of which was heard non-stop on the radio all winter and spring. Part of Ed's inspiration for the song came from ditching his cell phone. "I don't have one at all. It's amazing," he told BBC earlier this year.
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"Texoma Shore" by Blake Shelton
If you like Blake Shelton's latest album, "Texoma Shore," which came out in November, thank his girlfriend Gwen Stefani. "I'm just feeling so at ease for the first time in maybe ever," the country singer told The Tennessean. "It's a peace of mind that I can't explain and I feel like I owe it to her, and obviously that's going to be reflected in my music."
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"Younger Now" by Miley Cyrus
Miley Cyrus returned to her roots with sixth album "Younger Now," which was released in September. The album is considered an ode to her fiance, Liam Hemsworth, with whom she reconciled in late 2015 after a long break. "They're going to talk about me if I come out of a restaurant with Liam," she explained to Billboard about her sentimental album. "So why not put the power back in my relationship and say, 'This is how I feel?'"
"DAMN." by Kendrick Lamar
Kendrick Lamar's fourth album, "DAMN.," was released in April and was Kendrick's third consecutive No. 1 album on the Billboard 200 chart. "I like to put a lot of different things and wordplays and messages in my music because I want it to live further than two weeks," Kendrick told Zane Lowe of Apple's Beats 1 Radio. "'DAMN.' [is] the idea of, 'I can't change the world until I change myself.' So when you listen to records like 'PRIDE.,' 'HUMBLE.,' 'LUST.' and 'LOVE.,' these are all just human emotions and me looking in the mirror and coming to grips with them."
"Meaning of Life" by Kelly Clarkson
Kelly Clarkson's eighth album, "Meaning of Life," debuted in October. "It's no secret this is the first time I'm out of my '[American] Idol' contract, so this is also the first time there's been zero compromising from me and the process has been very constructive, respectful and happy," she told Refinery29. "I was able to honestly create music about the relationships that led me here and the relationships I have now. Sometimes I wish I had an experience this freeing when I first started out, because it would have saved me a lot of heartache throughout my career. But then again, now I really appreciate where I am in life, and how 'me' this record feels."
"More Life" by Drake
Drake's seventh No. 1 album, "More Life," was released in October to rave reviews. Drake, who calls the album a "playlist," told OVO radio, "This project is just a celebration of the fact that we're still here, still going."
"Melodrama" by Lorde
In June, Lorde finally followed up her 2013 album, "Pure Heroine," with "Melodrama." "The first record was 'we' and 'us.' And this record is 'I,'" she explained to NME. "The focus does close in. I think that was necessary to get to the level of frankness that's in there."
"Harry Styles" by Harry Styles
Harry Styles broke away from One Direction to work on his solo career and his self-titled debut album. With just Harry on the album, his voice could shine even more, as heard on his first single, "Sign of the Times," which premiered in April. Harry had a surprising inspiration for the single, telling Rolling Stone, "'Sign of the Times' came from 'This isn't the first time we've been in a hard time, and it's not going to be the last time.' The song is written from a point of view as if a mother was giving birth to a child and there's a complication. The mother is told, 'The child is fine, but you're not going to make it.' The mother has five minutes to tell the child, 'Go forth and conquer.'"
"Woodstock" by Portugal. The Man
If you think Portugal. The Man is new to the scene, think again. "Woodstock," which features the wildly popular "Feel It Still," is the alternative band's eighth studio album. "We've been doing this for a long time. We know what to do. We just tell ourselves we don't," bassist Zach Carothers told Billboard. their first since 2013 (after releasing the previous seven over consecutive years).
"Beautiful Trauma" by Pink
Pink's seventh album, "Beautiful Trauma," came out in October and the airwaves were flooded with her big single "What About Us." The artist, who won MTV's prestigious Video Vanguard Award earlier this year, explained to The Guardian that she needs to be "uncomfortable," "vulnerable" and "honest" in her music. "That's what's getting to somebody else. And I'm basically having therapy and somebody else is getting something from it. That's the only thing that was meaningful to me. I didn't care about winning awards or being on the cover of magazines or people liking me," she said. "That was never what moved my needle."
"4:44" by JAY-Z
JAY-Z dropped his 13th album, "4:44," in June and immediately fans began searching for hidden meaning in the deeply personal album, beyond just his and Beyonce's obsession with the number 4. The title track was seen as a response to "Lemonade" with one particularly dramatic lyric: "You did what with who? / What good is a ménage à trois when you have a soulmate? / You risked that for Blue?"
"American Teen" by Khalid
Khalid's debut album, "American Teen," took the music world by storm when it was released in March, specifically due to songs like "Location" and "Young Dumb & Broke." "The album is a compilation of my youth," he explained to Entertainment Weekly. "The mistakes I've made, the heartbreaks I went through, the love that I got, and all the love that I lost."
"Witness" by Katy Perry
Katy Perry's fifth album, "Witness," came out in June on the heels of her successful first single, "Chained to the Rhythm," which featured Skip Marley. The album marked the transition from poppy Katy to a more "woke" version. "Every day when I think I know something, the universe shows me that I need to learn another lesson," she explained to The New York Times while promoting the album. "So I stand here today, more so than any other day, saying I know nothing. I literally know nothing."
"The Thrill of it All" by Sam Smith
Sam Smith's highly anticipated second album, "The Thrill Of It All," came out in November after the success of his first single, "Too Good at Goodbyes." To promote the album, Sam did a documentary short with Apple Music called "On The Record: Sam Smith — The Thrill Of It All." In the doc, he explains, "I went through, like, this vortex, came out, I feel like I've rebuilt myself as a stronger thing and I'm just gonna go into the vortex again… I wasn't trying to make a big pop record when I made this album. I was actually just trying to make something personal and like a diary."
"Welcome Home" by Zac Brown Band
In May, Zac Brown Band released their album "Welcome Home," which frontman Zac described as "coming back to our roots" in an interview with iHeartRadio. "Going back after doing an adventurous record with 'Jekyll + Hyde' [and] just coming back to a purist approach, and back to the foundation. Kind of [like] the first record that we ever made," he explained. "We recorded the whole record in six days."
"hopeless fountain kingdom" by Halsey
Halsey's second album, "hopeless fountain kingdom," was partially inspired by "Romeo + Juliet," specifically Baz Luhrman's 1997 film adaptation. She sat down with him for an interview on Beats 1 and explained the concept of the album. "[It's a] hyperbolized, smash-cut fantasy Halsey cinematic universe interpretation of this very human, very normal relationship I went through. Me amplifying it into this parallel universe, afterlife, forsaken love story, it's me trying to show everyone how it felt to me in the moment," she said. "Because even though it was just a normal breakup, it felt like the end of the world. It felt paranormal."
"Evolve" by Imagine Dragons
The third album by Imagine Dragons, "Evolve," came out in June and included singles like "Believe" and "Thunder." Frontman Dan Reynolds explained to Entertainment Weekly that this album scaled back on the grandioseness of their first two. "We wanted to be selective about each noise. In the past, all of our sonic textures have been almost a wall of noise and music. [But] we've found through this process that you can be just as emotional and just as grand using maybe four instruments as opposed to us using 50."
"Tell Me You Love Me" by Demi Lovato
"Tell Me You Love Me" has been a smash success for Demi Lovato, with the album's first single, "Sorry Not Sorry," becoming her highest charting single on Billboard ever. "What inspired me to be so open on this album was, I don't know, I've kind of been through a lot over this past year and a half since I released my last album [2015's Grammy-nominated 'Confident'] or two years, and I wanted to be honest because my fans deserve that," Demi said at an event promoting her sixth studio album.
"Memories…Do Not Open" by The Chainsmokers
The debut studio album from The Chainsmokers, "Memories…Do Not Open," debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 in April thanks to hit singles like "Paris" and "Something Like This." The duo, made up of Drew Taggart and Alex Pall, has been killing it for a while, but it would never have happened if they hadn't met on what they call a "man date" in New York City. "We bonded over our love of Avicii, deadmau5, David Guetta and Calvin Harris," Alex explained to NME. "We just wanted to be part of the scene so badly. I said, 'Look, I'll quit my job tomorrow and we'll get together every day and work on music.' It was sloppy at the beginning and we had no idea what we were doing. Then, slowly but surely, we started to have these little victories."
"Rainbow" by Kesha
After a lengthy headline-making battle, Kesha finally got to record her third album, "Rainbow," without producer Dr. Luke, who she has accused of sexual, emotional and physical abuse. The August release's top single, "Praying," is a soulful ballad that many fans assumed was written about Luke, with lyrics like, "Well, you almost had me fooled / Told me that I was nothing without you / Oh, but after everything you've done / I can thank you for how strong I have become."
"Big Fish Theory" by Vince Staples
Although Vince Staples has said he's "not famous" like Drake or JAY-Z, he still easily made this list with his second album, "Big Fish Theory." He discussed the album, which he describes as "current" and "personal" to High Snobiety. "It's based on free thinking instead of a specific path that you want to follow on each song and that's why the verse might be a little short or scattered and structured a bit wonky," the 24-year-old explained. "It's moreso thinking freely as I recorded it and created the songs."
"Double Dutchess" by Fergie
After 11 years, Fergie finally followed up her debut solo album, "Dutchess," with the aptly named "Double Dutchess" in September. Adorably, her son (with ex Josh Duhamel), Axl, makes a cameo on the song "Enchanté (Carine)," on which he sings the opening lyrics, as well as in the video for "A Little Work." "It was just really natural. We had planned to just film it whether he wanted to come or not — I just missed my son and wanted him to come to set!" Fergie told People magazine of his role in the video. "I was like, 'Well, we can walk out of the church with him or not, depending on what mood Axl is in. If he's crying and he doesn't want to do it, then we won't do it!' But he was completely into it; we just made it like a playdate. We play all the time at home in several costumes per day, so for us it was just another activity. We have a lot of good times!"
"I See You" by the xx
The xx, composed of lifelong friends Jamie xx, Romy Madley Croft and Oliver Sim, released their third album, "I See You," in January to rave reviews. "I love working with my best friends — that is how I make the best music," Jamie, who worked on solo music in between their second and third albums, explained to The New York Times.