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COLUMN: The only gift from 2017: Music.


Kendrick Lamar released his album "Damn" in April. "Damn" is one of the many standout albums of 2017. Photo courtesy of Top Dawg Entertainment Buy Photos

This year felt like a short year. It seems like just yesterday everyone was receiving their 2016 most listened to songs, albums and artists from Spotify. It does not feel like it has been almost a year since John Mayer released the first singles off his newest album, “The Search for Everything,” and it most certainly does not feel like December of 2017. 

Maybe it is the late winter heat wave, which we should all be nervous about by the way – but that is a different topic, or maybe it is the stress of finals. Regardless, 2017 was a year that felt like two weeks. 

Throughout the 12 months that sprinted right past us, we were given several gifts – albums. There was so much new music this year that it was almost too difficult to keep up with. For example, in April alone we were given several works of art. We received “DAMN.” by Kendrick Lamar, “Pure Comedy” by Father John Misty, “All-Amerikkkan Bada$$” by Joey Badass, “The Search for Everything” by John Mayer, “Season High” by Little Dragon, “Cracked Actor (Live Los Angeles ’74)” by David Bowie, “9” by Cashmere Cat, “Humanz” by Gorillaz and “III” by Foster the People.

It is true that every year feels like the best year for music, but this year felt different. We got things we did not realize we were waiting for – we finally got new Lorde and SZA after waiting for years, we saw collaborations with people on the Top 40 that I never would have expected – pop singer Hailee Steinfeld with Florida Georgia Line, for example – we started the year with Taylor Swift taken off of Spotify and ended it with her newest album, “Reputation” on the streaming service a week after it was released.

For the most streamed artists on Spotify in 2017, Ed Sheeran, Drake and Kendrick Lamar all made it into the top five. Rihanna, Taylor Swift and Ariana Grande made it into the top streamed female artists, and Coldplay, Imagine Dragons and Linkin Park all made it into the top streamed artists (group form), according to Time. But while there were gains this year, there were also losses. 

Speaking of which, we lost several great artists. We lost childhood staples like Chester Bennington from Linkin Park, Tom Petty and Chris Cornell from Soundgarden and Audioslave. We also lost promising new talent, like Lil Peep, 21, who blended hip-hop and emo into a sort of genre of his own and Tyler Hedstrom, the 17-year-old drummer from Anarbor. We lost legends like Chuck Berry (Johnny B. Goode, anyone?), Gregg Allman from The Allman Brothers Band and Malcolm Young from AC/DC. These are only a few of the artists that we mourned this year.

While mourning artists and binging their music is important, it is also necessary to keep looking forward to the good things coming. Next year holds promise for some new music by Vampire Weekend, Bastille, Arctic Monkeys, The 1975, MGMT and The Vaccines, according to NME. 

So, who knows? Maybe next year we will be able to say 2018 was the best year of music yet.

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