Arts and Culture

2016 IN REVIEW, 2017 IN PREVIEW

SAMANTHA CUE

STAFF WRITER

2017 has already begun to usher in a new wave of music; while there are many new artists and songs to look forward to, 2016 witnessed the debut of several noteworthy albums. It is difficult to pick just a few to commend, but here are a few that I feel are noteworthy.

“Coloring Book” by Chance the Rapper was met with incredible reception upon its release. Chance makes clever rhymes, addictive choruses, soothing melodies, and catchy beats the substance of each of his songs. This album included collaborations with Justin Bieber, Jeremih, Kanye West, Lil Wayne, Future, and Francis and the Lights, a talented ensemble that contributed greatly to the success of the work. Every track serves as a unique window into Chance’s musical genius and contributes depth and variety to the album.

“Blond” by Frank Ocean might have been the greatest album of the year. Being one of my favorite artists, I expected nothing less than exceptional songs with real stories inside, and that’s exactly what I got.

His words flow with gentle background beats to create an incredible arrangement. He also included voiceovers and narrations between some songs of this album which added a complex dimension to the work as a whole and served as a welcome departure from mainstream R&B media.

Lastly, “Views” by Drake was one of the most downloaded albums of 2016, a testament to his genius. Anybody, even those who might not enjoy hip-hop/rap, can listen to this album and find a song they will love. It’s full of energy and bursting with passion recalling Drake’s past in Toronto and important and relatable experiences he has had.

Ed Sheeran, Big Sean, Taylor Swift, The Chainsmokers, and Halsey are a few artists to watch.  All of these young artists have promising projects in store for 2017.

Ed Sheeran just emerged from a yearlong hiatus and is now back and better than ever.

He plans to come out with an album very soon which will be a chart-topper since his songs always hold such sincere meaning and clear love for what he is doing.

Recently, he released two singles, “Shape of You” and “Castle on the Hill”, both of which immediately skyrocketed on the charts. “Castle on the Hill” talks about Sheeran’s upbringing, making an emotional and nostalgic statement, while “Shape of You” has more of an intimate vibe with a catchy bass line.

Big Sean, a renowned rapper from Santa Monica, has an album coming out soon called “I Decided” with hit singles “Bounce Back” and “Moves”.

Taylor Swift, Halsey, and The Chainsmokers are all rumored to have albums coming out this year which will probably prove to be smash hits like most of their other music.

The Chainsmokers had major success in 2016 with their songs, “Don’t Let Me Down”, “Closer” also featuring Halsey, “All We Know”, and “Paris”, so I look forward to seeing what music they can bring to this new year.

2017 seems like it will be another year with evolutionary music and rising artists.

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