While TV shows and movies are my main passion, it’s been difficult to ignore the sheer amount of amazing pop music that has come out this year. I’m more of a rock ‘n’ roll man myself, but some of these catchy tunes have really caught my ear. Many of pop music’s most prominent female singers have recently undergone dramatic style changes. These have often been due to personal struggles, such as recognizing signs he’s cheating, overcoming depression, or processing feelings about the current political climate.
1) Melodrama – Lorde
A complete departure from her previous album, Lorde’s “Melodrama” is an album exploring the aftermath of a recent breakup. Although she may not have seen signs he’s cheating, it was a painful transition for her all the same. The album itself explores many experimental, even industrial sounds, to illustrate the loneliness that comes along with being newly single. Before his passing, David Bowie himself has stated that Lorde was the future of pop music, and it shows.
Standout Tracks: Green Light, Hard Feelings/Loveless, Supercut
2) Rainbow – Kesha
Even if you aren’t well-acquainted with pop music, you may have heard about Kesha’s lawsuit against Dr. Luke, as well as her accusations against him. For about five years, she’s been unable to release new music, until now. “Rainbow” marks Kesha’s triumphant return to the music industry with an album that truly showcases her vocal and songwriting abilities, as well as her new country-esque style.
Standout Tracks: Let ‘Em Talk, Praying, Hunt You Down
3) Lust for Life – Lana Del Rey
In just a few short years, Lana Del Rey has released four albums and one EP with all new material. “Lust for Life” is her latest release and carries quite a different tone from her previous work. While she is mostly known for creating somber ballads that deal with breakups, signs he’s cheating, and personal depression, her new album marks a step in a more positive direction. These songs have the same dreamy quality that her fans have come to expect, with lyrics that are much more uplifting.
Standout Tracks: Love, In My Feelings, Get Free
4) Witness – Katy Perry
Katy Perry’s newest album, “Witness”, was marketed as “purposeful pop” with its first single, “Chained to the Rhythm.” While the rest of the songs did not live up to this hype, they’re certainly interesting and different from anything else Katy’s done. She collaborated with Purity Ring, an experimental electronic duo, to create several of the more introspective tracks. Perhaps the most unique quality about this album is that while Katy’s singles tend to be chart-toppers, very few of the songs on “Witness” are actually radio friendly.
Standout Tracks: Mind Maze, Bon Appétit, Save as Draft
There are plenty of other new releases to look forward to this year, too. Both Miley Cyrus and Taylor Swift have recently revealed the covers of their new albums, slated to come out within the next month or so. If you’re looking for other entertainment recommendations, be sure to take a look at my previous article about the hottest shows on Netflix right now.