As we get ready to put a wrap in 2017, it’s time to look back at some of the music that we loved most from the year. And while this post isn’t a ranking of best albums and likely won’t match your most played records of the year… it is a list of my 10 most listened to albums of 2017!
Like years past, these 10 albums aren’t listed in any order. I don’t have the spin numbers to rank them 1 to 10, and all of them deserve to be played over and over, so it’s honestly too hard for me to put them in order just for the sake of doing so.
Unlike years past, all of the albums on this list were released in 2017… in other years I’ve listed holdovers and classics, but this year I’m keeping it current.
It’s exciting for me to note that this list includes 6 debut full-length albums, 4 albums by Canadian arists, and breaks down in a 7/2/1 split for country/rock/pop.
The truth is that this list could have been way deeper, with more and more albums listed and shared and showed off… so at the bottom of the post you’ll find the honourable mention section. It might be cheating, but those albums deserve a listen too!
The truth as well is that this list could have been way deeper, with more and more albums listed and shared and showed off… so at the bottom of the post you’ll find the honourable mention section. It might be cheating, but those albums deserve a listen too!
Ready? Here we go!
Joshua’s 10 Most Listened to Albums of 2017!
Most played track: Don’t Blame Me
From the moment I woke up on release day, Reputation has been in high rotation. Taylor Swift showed everyone that she’s still capable of swinging for the fences, and connecting – just like she did on 1989.
Yes, she’s a divisive artist and personality – but I’ve been team T.Swift since day 1, and if she insists on releasing bangers like these, I’m not going anywhere.
Most played track: Every Little Thing
The breakout female country star of 2017 is Carly Pearce. And on her debut album, Pearce showed that Every Little Thing is just the start of what she’s going to bring to the country music world. Her follow up single, Hide The Wine is catchy as hell, and tracks like If My Name Was Whiskey get stuck in my head on a regular basis.
Most played track: Drinkin’ Problem
I saw Midland live twice in 2017, and when they played songs from their debut album, my ears were happy.
These three dudes did good work breaking into the Nashville scene, and they’ve earned a Canadian following too, with Drinkin’ Problem going to #1 north of the border before it did in the US. Listen to songs like This Old Heart and Check Cashin’ Country for that semi-throwback vibe that I can’t get enough of.
Most played track: Run
When I shared my review of Concrete & Gold earlier this year a friend replied that it could have been summed up in one word, “awesome”.
While I’m happy to have written a little more than that, he was right. With the release of this record, Foo Fighters showed that they’ve still got it. And while we highly encourage the growth of young rock and roll acts, it’s fantastic to have these guys still ripping things up in the studio and on the road.
Most played track: Better Man
I’ve been a fan of Little Big Town since the beginning. I can tell you where I was when they followed me on Twitter. So when an album as good as The Breaker is available to me from a band I love, you can’t be surprised that I played the hell out of it.
With the song of the year (Better Man) included, this album served as a reminder that Little Big Town are major country music stars, belonging in the upper tier of acts when we talk about Nashville.
Most played track: She Ain’t You
Andrew Hyatt had a hell of a year in Canadian country music. In the spring we watched him play two shows in Toronto during Canadian music week, and nearer the end of the year we caught up with him on tour with Dallas Smith.
The Iron & Ashes album is packed with tracks that Hyatt needed to share with the world and country music fans. And with a little grungy rock and a little country sweetness mixed together in his heart, Andrew Hyatt showed everyone that listened that he’s got what it takes to hang.
Most played track: Money
That thing we said about encouraging the growth of young rock and rollers – The Beaches embody all of it. These women from Toronto have been ripping it up on stage, and now fans have a chance to rock along at home while listening to Late Show.
With the release of the album, radio support for their single, Money – and a US/Canada tour opening for Death From Above, The Beaches introduced themselves to a lot of new fans this year… and if I had to bet, I’d say there are more fans to be made in 2018.
Most played track: Life Changes
This record earned its spins from me with catchy songs, great lyrics, and Thomas Rhett’s continued ability to capture my attention. It also became a memory that I’ll never forget when it attached itself to the story I tell about learning I’m going to be a dad in 2018.
I reviewed the Life Changes album for its September release, talked to friends, family, and industry folks about songs like Life Changes and Rhett’s journey of fatherhood – and then, a week later I found out that I’m going to be a first time dad.
I’ve listened to the album a bunch more since then, and when I do, I think of that.
Most played track: Higher Ground
JJ Shiplett’s debut album didn’t surprise me, because we’d had the chance to see him play the songs live on a few occasions before the release – but wanting to hear them again on the record and playing them a bunch is a testament to their quality and how much I like them.
Shiplett’s voice is unique, his fans are all in, and Something To Believe In album serves as an introduction to what should be a career full of music and stories from one of our favourite redheads.
Most played track: Call Me Home
Johnson Crook may not be a household name, but they’re making people take notice playing shows in Toronto, across Canada at festivals, and by teaming up with the legendary Tom Cochrane on Mr. Nobody. Songs like Call Me Home and their debut single, Minnedosa, will get you moving… you’ll dig ’em.
We’ve been covering Johnson Crook for the last few years, and have watched as they’ve developed their live show, and the songs on their album. And with four part harmonies, a roots based sound, and a touch of rock and roll thrown in when it fits best, The Album is exactly what we hoped to get from the boys on their debut record.
And now, as promised, the list of albums that I listened to a whole bunch, but not quite enough to crack the top 10…
Shania Twain: Now, Jess Moskaluke: Past The Past, Lady Antebellum: Heart Break, The Katherines: To Bring You My Heart, Joey Landreth: Whiskey, Lindsay Ell: The Project, Jojo Mason: Both Sides Of The Bar, River Town Saints: River Town Saints, The Cadillac Three: Legacy, James Barker Band: Game On, Arkells: Morning Report (Deluxe)