I love listening to music. I *really* love singing along in my car, alarming other drivers with my amazing (ahem..) renditions of whatever my favourite tune is on any particular day. 2017 has seen some amazing new music, as well as some old stuff I've discovered, and I've thoroughly singing it ALL. However, some stand out more than others. These are my top tunes in 2017:
Cadillacin' - Cadillac Three
From the new album, 'Legacy', from late 2017, this is the first release I've purchased by the band but it certainly won't be the last. This song is roughly about driving round town in, you've guessed it, a Cadillac. Also: stuff about sunglasses and playing music really loud.
Straight Outta Cold Beer - Blake Shelton
I think the CD is actually from late 2015 or early 2016, but sometimes I get busy with a new album on repeat and forget that artists are bringing out new stuff that's passing me by. I have quite a collection of Shelton's music, but had ditched him for a while, since his split with Miranda Lambert (The Artist Formerly Known as My Favourite Ever). After a particular upsetting example experience at her Glasgow show in August, I was petty enough to download 'If I'm Being Honest' as a sort of protest against Lambert. And I'm so glad I did as it's one of those rare offerings that I never skip tracks on. This is the title track and is typical country, red necks, driving down dirt roads, drinking beer and generally reminding me of the South.
Sinners Serenade - EmiSunshine and The Rain
This 13 year old Tennessee native blew me away this year with her incredible voice, ukelele playing and song writing, which is well beyond her years. She popped up on Apple Music as a recommendation shortly after I purchased 'Legacy' by Cadillac Three. So did 'Butterfly' by Mariah Carey, but we've all got our limits.
Wrangled - Angaleena Presley
I first discovered this lady's talents when she joined together with Miranda Lambert and Ashley Monroe to form Pistol Annies. After 2 albums, they disbanded and each of the country girls went back to doing their own thang. While I've always been a huge Miranda fan, I haven't taken to Ashley's music so much. I have however, purchased both of Angaleena's solo albums and Wrangled is my favourite by a mile. The title track is a somber look at someone who feels trapped in a relationship and feels unable to extricate herself from the situation. I can relate to this way too much and the lyrics and Presley's gorgeous voice make this my favourite track.
Despacito - Luis Fonsi ft Daddy Yankee and Justin Beiber
Part of me hates myself for including anything on a musical list that includes JB because I dislike him immensely. However, after this track, I have to at the very least admit that he can certainly hold a tune. I love singing along with the English and Spanish on this track and just love it for reasons I'm not sure I fully understand. I guess I'm more like the millions of others who enjoyed this track throughout the Summer of '17. I didn't discover it until October, though, because I resisted until I couldn't resist no more...
Broken Halos - Chris Stapleton
Having first heard the album 'Traveler' in 2016, I was eagerly anticipating the release of 'From A Room: Volume 1' in May of 2017. This man sings like a hard drinking, cigarette smoking angel and he could sing the Yellow Pages and I'd still gush over it. However, it's not only Mr Stapleton that has the talent in his family, his wife, Megane, sings backing for him and she also has a gorgeous voice. Their harmonies are perfect and I have spent many an hour trying to master her parts of his songs while driving to and from work. 'Broken Halos' is the first track on this album and immediately takes you back to where he left off with 'Traveler'. In the words of my Welsh countrymen and women: It's lush.
Canada Dry - Barenaked Ladies
I spent my 30th birthday on a BNL cruise, where I got to chat to members of the band, while sailing around the Caribbean. I had previously seen the band perform several times in Glasgow in my teens and early 20s and they've always held a special place in my heart. Their lyrics make me laugh and are so humorous and cleverly put together that it's impossible not to love them. I haven't heard as much from them since the departure of Steven Page, whose voice I absolutely adore. However, the new album 'Fake Nudes' has made me smile so much over the past few weeks and really feels like the good old days. 'Canada Dry' is the first track from the album and is quintessential, old school BNL.
Havana - Camilla Cabello ft Young Thug
I will readily admit that if it wasn't for the fact that my office is closed to the public on a monday and we put the radio on, I'd have never heard this track in a million years. There's just something about the ability to sing along with this one that makes me love it. I've never heard of Cabello and might never again, but this tune has me singing around the house, indulging in some rather questionable dance moves.
4:44 - Jay-Z
I'm the first to admit that I've never bought a single track by Jay-Z, but I am a big fan of his wife. After the ground-breaking and incredible 'Lemonade' by Beyonce in 2016, I *had* to buy the 4:44 album just to hear the response. The title track is appealing to me for the backing singing as much as it is for the lyrics apologising to Bey for his errant ways. It's so honest and he doesn't shy away from coming clean which, if nothing else, puts him way up in my estimations. I generally find a lot of rap music arrogant and, having no interest in diamonds or guns or barely-clothed women, I tend not to listen to much of it. However, this has certainly made me rethink my initial stance.
...Ready for It? - Taylor Swift
I know, I know, it's a total cliche for a white woman to be liking anything new by Taylor Swift. However, in my defence, I've been with her since her very first album and I've always kinda liked her music to a certain extent. Also: I don't really care. The 'Reputation' release was so hyped, it was impossible to escape and the videos for both 'Look What You Made Me Do' and this track were a real departure from the mostly girlish, bubblegum stuff I've tuned in and out of over the last decade. Despite country being my go-to genre of music, I've had a lot of fun singing this song in my car, in the shower and, basically, anywhere I wasn't in earshot of someone who wanted to plead with me to stop.