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Album of The Half Year

I said after the quarter point of the year that there had been no albums that have really stood out to me as of yet. I was wrong, since then we've had a plethora of albums and there's been so much good stuff! It helped that Kanye released an album a week for five weeks, as 3 of those make it into this list and I think Nas' album might be sitting pretty highly once I've had abit more time to digest it. But up to now, here's my favourite album up to this point of the year. Let me know what your top 10 albums of the year have been so far on my socials below!

10. A$AP Rocky - Te$ting (New)

At this point, A$AP is pribably one of my favourite rappers and he's definitely one of the most consistent. He's dropped off my radar as of late so seeing this pop up in the Spotify new releases section was a surprise but what a welcome surprise it was. A$AP brings back his cloud rap back to life with a lot more trap influence. The album gets off to the perfect start with "Distorted Records" which has probably the best bassline of the year and kicks into tracks like "A$AP Forever" and "Tony Tone". With more listens I can see this becoming the rap album of the year for me.

9. Kanye West & Kid Cudi - Kids See Ghosts (New)

Kanye took a lot on is shoulders by releasing 5 self-produced albums in 5 weeks. 3 of which weren't his own but the 2 that are, they're magnificent. Kids See Ghosts is definitely the weaker of the projects but I have a lot of respect for how much more experimental and progressive this is. Then again, I'm also a huge fan of how Kanye fully raps on this record and just goes in hard. It's Kanye's year again. When won't it be?

8. The Magic Gang - S/T (New)

Admittedly a band that I've not been following for very long, despite their meteoric rise to indie stardom. Once I put this album on though I knew that these 4 had something, that this was something special. Since then I've barely stopped listening to it, I just can't get "Oh Saki" out of my head most of the time, and that's one of my least favourite songs on here! So what does that tell you?

7. Blossoms - Cool Like You (New)

Blossoms are brilliant. There is no doubt about that, however this album was infinitely disappointing. A pure rehash of the first album led many of their fans to disregard this album after a few listens. My main problem is that I do incredibly love that first album, so I do love this album. It's just a shame that it shows a real lack of imagination. The singles are undoubtedly the greatest songs on here, but that is usually the case to be fair.

6. Dream Wife - S/T (Down 3)

This album is dropping in my top 10 purely because I''m just not listening to it as frequently as I was before. Which has me questioning the replay value and the longevity of the album, which unfortunately doesn't seem to be too much. I may pick this album back up as the year carries on and then it may stick around for my end of year top 50. But it's not currently looking good. However, the album is just so unique, heavy and independent that I really do think it's great in every sense.

5. Gaz Coombes - World's Strongest Man (New)

For me, Gaz really comes into his own when he's on stage. He's confident, a little cocky and infinitely talented, a mixture that produces mesmerising live shows even when it's just him on stage - in fact I'm yet to see him with a live band! This album is just full of potential singles though, "Deep Pockets" and the title track are personal favourites in an album that is both dark, brooding and yet insightful and powerful. A master of his trade at his finest!

4. Pusha T - Daytona (New)

When Kanye spent $80K on the album cover, which is the late Whitney Houston's drug filled bathroom by the way, you knew that this was going to be a good album. With Ye on production and the untouchable Pusha spitting over it, I was so hyped for this album. And yet it still exceeded my expectations, at a mere 7 tracks this is all killer and no filler with not a single bad track on the album. Pusha raps about his beef with Drake, Meek Mill and takes very few features with him along the way. This is a potential hip hop classic, and it's full deserved.

3. Kanye West - ye (New)

"Ghost Town" is song of the year. Not a doubt in my mind. It's probably one of the most beautiful, awe-inspiring tracks I've ever heard, with Kanye utilising his god like sampling skills to ride under himself, Kid Cudi and PARTYNEXTDOOR. The album explores all of his mental health issues (Hence the cover) and spares no expense in the process, and the last track is a genuinely heartfelt ode to the women in his life and how they have made him a better person and how much he wants to protect them. It's as open and honest as we've ever seen Mr Ego himself. And it's a work of art in the process.

2. Boy Azooga - 1, 2, Kung Fu (New)

I went to Estrons last October, I got there early to see the support act, not knowing who it was. Then 4 Welsh Boys stepped on the stage and blew my mind away, they performed tracks like "Face Behind Her Cigarette" and "Loner Boogie" so expertly you'd think that they were already a well established band. Fast forward half a year and they've gone from having no songs on streaming services to having a rather big following, selling out venues and having an outstanding debut album. What an album this is aswell! It all perfectly fits together like a complex puzzle of genius. Masterminded by the infinitely talented Davey Newington. A future classic for sure.

1. Shame - Songs of Praise (Non-Mover)

Who'd have guessed that this would still be my number one album of the year? I'm looking forward to a day where I don't think of listening to this album because it's getting in the way of listening to a lot of other music. But this album is just pure post-punk magic, a record that defines the genre perfectly and could quite possibly be one of the greatest debut albums of all time.


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