By the Way

Sun Herald staff picks the best albums and songs of 2017

Highlights from Chris Stapleton in Biloxi

Chris Stapleton played a sold-out show Thursday night at the Mississippi Coast Coliseum.
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Chris Stapleton played a sold-out show Thursday night at the Mississippi Coast Coliseum.

There was a lot of music from which to choose in 2017, a year that saw the release of not one but two two releases from Chris Stapleton. There were also new albums from Taylor Swift, The War on Drugs and Katy Perry.

Plus, Harry Styles and Dan Aeurbach went solo, Kendrick Lamar continued to dominate and Tom Petty, Chester Bennington and Chris Cornell died.

Here’s our look back at the year that was.

Jeff Clark, reporter and host of #ClarkCast

Albums of the year

1. Chris Stapleton “From A Room: Volume 1,” “From A Room: Volume 2”

2. The War on the Drugs “A Deeper Understanding”

3. Liam Gallagher “As You Were”

4. Tyler, The Creator “Flower Boy”

5. Brian Owens “Soul of Cash”

6. Thundercat “Drunk”

7. Nicole Atkins “Goodnight Rhonda Lee”

8. Margo Price “All American Made”

9. Willie Nelson “God’s Problem Child”

10. Midland “On the Rocks”

Songs of the year

1. “Millionaire” Chris Stapleton

2. “Show You The Way” Thundercat with Michael McDonald and Kenny Loggins

3. “Sign of The Times” Harry Styles

4. “For What It’s Worth” Liam Gallagher

5. “Lonely For You” Only Midland

6. “You Look Good” Lady Antebellum

7. “The Way Life Goes” Lil Uzi Vert feat. Oh Wonder

8. “Homemade Dynamite” Lorde

9. “First Caress” Spoon

10. “Waiting on a Song” Dan Auerbach

Covers of the year

“Islands In The Stream” Boo Ray/Lilly Winwood

“Do Ya Think I’m Sexy” Rod Stewart with DNCE

Yolanda Cruz, Sun Herald digital producer

Songs of the year

1. “Walk on Water” 30 Seconds to Mars

2. “New Rules” Dua Lipa

3. “Heavy” Linkin Park (RIP Chester)

4. “Despacito” Luis Fonsi ft. Daddy Yankee

5. “Rx (Medicate)” Theory of a Deadman

6. “Sorry Not Sorry” Demi Lovato

7. “Puppies are Forever” Sia

8. “I Only Lie When I Love You” Royal Blood

9. “Bad at Love” Halsey

10. “Strobelite” Gorillaz

Lauren Walck, Sun Herald news editor

Albums of the year

1. The War on Drugs “A Deeper Understanding”

2. Taylor Swift “reputation”

3. Khalid “American Teen”

4. Waxahatchee “Out in the Storm”

5. The Orwells “Terrible Human Beings”

6. Spoon “Hot Thoughts”

7. Chris Stapleton “From A Room: Volume 1,” “From A Room: Volume 2”

8. Paramore “After Laughter”

9. Sylvan Esso “What Now”

10. Phoebe Bridgers “Stranger in the Alps”

Honorable mention songs

“Run for Cover” The Killers

“(No One Knows Me) Like the Piano” Sampha

“Judy French” White Reaper

“Want You Back” HAIM

“Blue Magic (Waikiki)” by Son Little

“Yours” by Russell Dickerson

Paul Hampton, Sun Herald political editor

Albums of the year

1. Samantha Fish “Belle of the West and Chills & Fever”

2. Ray Davies “Americana”

3. The War on Drugs “A Deeper Understanding”

4. Bob Weir “Blue Mountain”

5. Mavis Staples “If All I Was Was Black”

6. The National “Sleep Well Beast”

7. Robert Plant “Carry Fire”

8. Cheap Trick “We’re Alright”

9. Roger Waters “Is This the Life We Really Want?”

10. Ryan Adams “Prisoner”

Nate Thurman, McClatchy News Desk

Albums of the year

1. LCD Soundsystem “American Dream”

2. Broken Social Scene “Hug Of Thunder”

3. Vince Staples “Big Fish”

4. The xx “I See You”

5. Childish Gambino “Awaken, My Love!”

6. Kendrick Lamar “Damn.”

7. Japandriods “Near to The Wild Heart of Life”

8. The National “Sleep Well Beast”

9. Lawrence Rothman “The Book Of Law”

10. King Krule “The OOZ”

Songs of the year

1. “how do you sleep?” LCD Soundsystem

2. “A Violent Noise” The xx

3. “Vanity Pail Kids” Broken Social Scene

4. “Show You The Way” Thundercat with Michael McDonald and Kenny Loggins

5. “Yeah Right” Vince Staples

6. “HUMBLE.” Kendrick Lamar

7. “Do I Have To Talk You Into It” Spoon

8. “Ti Amo” Phoenix

9. “Lemon” N.E.R.D. (feat. Rihanna)

10. “Recite Remorse” Waxahatchee

Justin Mitchell, Sun Herald social media editor

Songs of the year, with commentary

1. “Bodak Yellow” Cardi B

There is no question. It needs no explanation. This is THE song of 2017, hands down.

2. “Havana” Camila Cabelo ft. Young Thug

If this song doesn’t make you want to dance while wearing something flowy in the streets of Cuba (but actually it’s just you in a mumu dancing around Main Street in Bay St. Louis), then are you even a real person? Probably not.

3. “Redbone” Childish Gambino

I sing this song in my own carpool karaoke. Spoiler: I can’t hit the high notes but Donald Glover’s delivery of this song is fresh and flawless.

4. “Malibu” Miley Cyrus

I’m a huge Miley fan, twerking and all. This song is the perfect parts of country twang and love pop that I absolutely love. The fact that it’s about finding love near the water also holds a near, dear place in my cold, black basic heart.

5. “Boys” Charli XCX

The music video is just as good as this fun song. I admittedly did this a lot in college. I’m not sorry.

6. “Praying” Ke$ha

When you compare Ke$ha’s ballad about strength and finding yourself to Taylor Swift and Katy Perry’s 2017 hits (and I use that term loosely), you remember how much you really missed Ke$ha. I’ve only cried about 647 times while listening to it.

7. “Say You Won’t Let Go” James Arthur

I love the grit and emotion in James Arthur’s voice, and this song hits me in all the feels. It was a bride and groom’s first dance song at a wedding I attended this year, and all I could think of was how jealous I was that I wasn’t the one dancing to the song. Bravo.

8. “Better Man” by Little Big Town

Maybe it’s my Hancock County roots, but this song brings me back to when I used to be in the closet and dated “straight” men in high school and college. It’s so good.

9. “Lemon” N.E.R.D feat. Rihanna

This song makes me wish I knew how to dance. I try anyway when it comes on the radio.

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