Forget the cringey celebrities singing Imagine in their gigantic gardens, telling us all to smile to get through the coronavirus pandemic. It’s the artists who have put their heart and soul into new record releases that have truly helped us get through arguably the most difficult time in modern history, and here we’re celebrating all of the albums that have kept us singing and dancing since they dropped.
Dua Lipa - Future Nostalgia
Though Future Nostalgia was released just before the first UK lockdown was imposed, it’s a record that has remained on repeat for the past 12 months. Dua Lipa saw the massive success of the LP, capitalising on it with a remix album called Club Future Nostalgia, before releasing The Moonlight Edition, which included fresh collaborations and a handful of new tracks.
The Weeknd - After Hours
If you were ever wondering why The Weeknd was selected to perform at the Super Bowl Halftime show earlier this year, you clearly haven’t listened to his latest body of work! After Hours is a stunning collection that keeps you hooked from beginning to end. There’s not a single dud track on this LP; something extremely rare in the music industry today.
Lady Gaga - Chromatica
One of the most unique artists of our generation returned with yet another mind-blowing string of songs. Infusing the genre of Euro-pop within her sound, Lady Gaga blew up all expectations, reinventing herself once more with tracks that nobody could have predicted. Chromatica is a gorgeous masterpiece, and who will ever be able to forget that stunning collaboration with Ariana Grande on Rain On Me?
Megan Thee Stallion - Good News
Being shot straight into the spotlight without much warning, Megan Thee Stallion has handled the pressure with incredible poise. Celebrating the female form and power that a woman can have if she harnesses it and rips up society’s expectations, she’s the feminist icon that this generation have been crying out for. Knowing that this is just the beginning of what will undoubtedly be a history-making career is one of the most exciting aspects of all.
Taylor Swift - Folklore
At 31-years-old, Taylor Swift ripped up the rulebook of her past, finding a new collaborator in The National’s Aaron Dessner and created one of her most memorable albums to-date. The result of that - Folklore - is something that will stick with all those millions who have listened to it for the rest of time. If you thought Swift’s storytelling skill was good before, just wait until you hear the narrative woven through her gorgeous lyrics here.
Miley Cyrus - Plastic Hearts
Another musical chameleon comes in the form of the one and only Miley Cyrus. Plastic Hearts sees the former Disney child star reinvent herself as a rock God, taking influence from the likes of Blondie, Joan Jett and Stevie Nicks. The latter two actually appear on this record, but it’s in her solo tunes that Cyrus really excels. Whether she’s showcasing her gravelly tones in the LP’s titular track, or crooning away in the beautiful ballad Angels Like You, this is undoubtedly her finest work.
Justin Bieber - Justice
The boy we all used to roll our eyes at with his every bratty mood has now finally grown up, and Justice is the result of his eventual maturing. Sharing his platform with a whole host of other artists, including benny blanco, Chance the Rapper and BEAM allows him to duck and weave through a plethora of different genres, bringing unique sounds to each of his tracks and ensuring that many of them will stick with you long after you’ve finished listening.
Justin Bieber released his new album, just seven months after he brought out LP Changes and though he'd always planned to make two records "back-to-back", he was keen for them to be entirely separate projects and scrapped a number of songs leftover from the sessions for the earlier album…