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2017: The Year of Fast and Moving Albums/Singles

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Concept albums were on fire for alternative rock groups in 2017.  Imagine Dragons' best work yet — Evolve — was energetic and manic, fueled by lyrics that speak to the listener to do whatever it takes to break the mold and succeed in life.

Foster the People's Sacred Hearts Club was all about loving to the ends of one's heart, to feel vulnerable and also powerful in love against society and everything cynical or doubtful that strives to undermine relationships.

Macklemore continued to light a fire underneath the indie scene of music with his influential style and friends.  Picking up newly empowered Kesha and other fresh voices, his album Gemini returned front man Ben Haggerty to his inspired hip hop roots.

2017 was also the year for rap to hit new award-winning heights, what with Jay-Z, Kendrick Lamar and Childish Gambino all delivering powerful performances/recordings and earning Grammy nominations in a headline year for the rap genre.

Before many groups' next major projects, singles lit the airwaves as some hits were powerful enough to stand on their own.  Zedd's Stay with Alessia Cara, Lady Gaga's The Cure, and Clean Bandit's Symphony with Zara Larsson and I Miss You with Julia Michaels are just a few upbeat examples of love being expressed more realistically and passionately in sound.

Raleigh Ritchie (from Game of Thrones fame) continued to work hard outside of his 2016 album: You're a Man Now, Boy.  He takes rap music to a new place of relatability and struggle.

Solo artists have also branched out on their own even more.  Both Lorde and Harry Styles changed their way of making music and seemed to celebrate that very state of mind in their new songs and critically-acclaimed albums.

More mainstream acts like Katy Perry, Grammy king Bruno Mars, Maroon 5, and The Chainsmokers sometimes phoned in something generic, but when they didn't, fans rejoiced for songs such as What I Like, What Lovers Do featuring Sza, and Something Like This featuring Coldplay to name a few more soul-searching singles.

2018 already feels huge in the music scene as well.  Justin Timberlake, Taylor Swift, Selena Gomez and other headliners are already preparing audiences.  But 2017 is still ready to fight the new year for your preferences.  So, what are you listening to now?

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