A good pop album is filled with catchy hooks, memorable lyrics and enough adrenaline to rival your favorite energy drink. So far this year has given us some incredible gems, from old favorites to emerging superstars, that are sure to be the soundtrack of your summer. Here are some of our favorite pop albums of 2017.
KJ-52: Jonah KJ-52's Jonah is a triumphant statement for the longtime rapper. Although there are some traditional hip-hop songs on the album, Jonah breathes fresh air into KJ-52's music with club-oriented pop tracks that wouldn't feel out of place on mainstream radio. What makes the album so special is KJ's willingness to experiment with new styles and genres--check out "More of You Less of Me," his relaxing bluegrass/hip-hop/pop collab with the always amazing Whosoever South, if you don't believe me.
Life of Carter: Life of Carter EP
Although Carter Frodge's Life of Carter EP has only been out for just over a month, it's quickly become one of 2017's best-kept secrets. The five-track EP is jam-packed with sugary pop goodness from start to finish. "We're The Colors" makes a solid case for song of the summer, but each of the songs is special in its own right. This is one of those albums you're going to want to listen to with the windows down. Don't be surprised if Life of Carter takes the Christian music scene by storm.
Tauren Wells: Hills & Valleys
With Royal Tailor, Tauren Wells was known for his catchy tunes and out-of-this-world vocals. He certainly hasn't lost a step with the release of his first full-length solo project Hills & Valleys. Like the name suggests, the album is a journey, taking the listener from soaring musical hills ("Undefeated," "All About You") to introspective musical valleys ("Hills & Valleys," "God's Not Done With You"). Hills & Valleys is toe-tapping, feel-good music that you just can't help but sing along with.
Mass Anthem: Through People Like Me
Following in the footsteps of Citizen Way before them, Mass Anthem is the latest musical endeavor to come out of Judson University in Elgin, Illinois. And like Citizen Way, Mass Anthem knows how to make music that will be stuck in your head for a long time. Whether it's the funky guitar-driven "Light Up The Darkness," the synth-heavy "Everything To You" or the uplifting title track, Through People Like Me shows the diversity of the young band and makes it one of the summer's most memorable pop releases.
Red Letter Hymnal: Coastal Kids Red Letter Hymnal may be from the cool mountains of Pennsylvania, but their latest release Coastal Kids screams summer at the beach. "Slowin' It Down," an ode to relaxation and vacation, is the album at its best, reminding the listener to slow down and unwind even in the most hectic moments of life: "Life's beauty comes to me when I'm slowing it down / We'll never be as young as we are right now / Today gets away unless we're slowing it down."
We Are Leo: The Rush & The Roar
Filled with a masterful blend of slick guitar riffs and playful synths, We Are Leo's The Rush & The Roar is a rarity in modern music. It's danceable, catchy, and most importantly, it's just plain fun. Songs like "CRZY AWSM," "Salt Life" and "Low Key" don't take themselves too seriously, but there's also a lot of depth with songs like "Warrior."
Trevor Lee: Struggle Ain't New Trevor Lee can't be confined to any one genre, and in this case, that's a good thing. Struggle Ain't New toes the line between hip-hop, EDM and pop, leading to some of the more innovative music to come out of the Christian music scene in a while. "Hurricane" is a personal favorite, while "Fall To Pieces" checks all the right boxes for pure pop perfection. Struggle ain't new, but it makes for great music.
Micah Garnett is a lifelong Christian music fan who is currently studying Music Business at Visible College at its Lansing, Illinois campus, where he serves as student body president.
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