Graphic by Katie Grace Upchurch.
By CONNOR MCCAGE – Staff Writer
Staff writer Connor McCage breaks down the top five albums of March, 2017.
5. “More Life” – Drake / Released March 18
Drake returns with his fifth studio album “More Life”. Although Drake called this a playlist, there is no obvious difference between this and any one of his previous projects. His lyrics are still shallow and repetitive and the beats and production are generic and bland. Drake delivers some legitimate pop bangers with “Ice Melts” that is fun and exciting, which sounds a lot better than the terribly lazy “Portland”. More Life is simply more Drake but after four albums and very little changes, Drake is stale. There is nothing here that is making him a unique artist and that shows when you realize that flows from songs like “KMT” are directly taken from other artists such as XXXTentacion’s flow from “Look at Me”. “More Life” is just more of the same Drake, but I think I have had enough.
Rate: 4/10 stars
4. “÷” – Ed Sheeran / Released March 3
Divide or ÷ is the third studio album by pop singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran. The album starts off on the wrong foot with “Eraser” which is a bad rap/folk mix but recovers and moves onto some catchy tracks such as “Castle on the Hill”, “Save Myself” and “Dive”. “Divide” features some catchy folk choruses and pop beats, but Sheeran’s generic lyrics and painful rapping offer very little depth. Overall if you are already a fan, you will enjoy this album, but for anyone who is curious or dislikes his previous works, “Divide” is not going to change your mind.
Rate: 5/10 stars
3. “Hot Thoughts” – Spoon / Released March 17
Spoon returns with “Hot Thoughts” — an album that reinvigorates the band’s unique and funky indie sound. Most of the tracks on the album feature beats and driving guitar riffs, but lack a catchy or complex chorus to give the song much replayable value. Hot Thoughts focuses more on delivering weird music than appealing music which has been a trend for the band. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but makes the album more rewarding for those who fall in love with it. Overall “Hot Thoughts” is a solid album but it’s nothing that makes the listener want to come back.
Rate: 6/10 stars
2. “Number 1 Angel” – Charli XCX/ Released March 10
Charli XCX shows she is no one-hit wonder with “Number 1 Angel”. The album starts with the pop hit “Dreamer”, and follows it up with tracks “3am” and “Blame it on you”. After the good sixth track, “ILY2” the album trails off. It ends on a high note with the dirty and unique “LipGloss” that features a devilishly vulgar verse from internet famous rapper Cupcakke, showing Charli XCX is not afraid to take risks. Despite the overall shallow lyrical content, “Number 1 Angel” is a well produced and composed album that puts Charli XCX a foot above her competitors.
Rate: 6.5/10 stars
1. “Heartworms” – The Shins / Released March 10
The Shins are back with “Heartworms”, which keeps their signature alternative sound and infuses some fifties bubblegum pop samples. With tracks like “Rubber Ballz”, “Heartworms” offers something new and fresh while still remaining appealing. The album starts off strong with “Name for You”, but then falls into a lull with “Painting a Hole” and “Fantasy Island”. It picks back up with “Half a Million”, a song that will be everywhere this summer, and finishes strong with the alternative ballads “So Now What” and “The Fear”. “Heartworms” offers something for everyone and is worth a listen regardless of your tastes.
Rate: 7/10 stars