1. DAVID BOWIE – THE RISE AND FALL OF ZIGGY STARDUST AND THE SPIDERS FROM MARS (1972)

Image result for david bowie the rise and fall of ziggy stardust and the spiders from mars

And here we are finally!
My number one favourite album of all time; and for those who really know me, this one is not a surprise at all.

David Bowie was inevitably going to fall into the number one position because in my opinion, no one compares. The hard part, though, was figuring out which album of his was my favourite because they all differ greatly in comparison.

As you can see, ‘The Rise of Ziggy Stardust and The Spiders From Mars’ was the one that I have decided is the best in my eyes and while this may seem like a cliche answer but I do have my reasons.

Firstly, Ziggy Stardust is hands down the coolest character that has ever been created, and you know it. An androgynous and mysterious alter ego with a striking red mullet and the glitziest of skin tight uni-tards but regardless of what Ziggy Stardust looked like he would still be cool because of what he represents – and that is to simply be you and love being you.

As an openly bisexual figure in the music industry around the 1970’s, Bowie was one of the first to stand up and fight for, not only acceptance for himself, but so many other British youths who battled with hiding their true identities in what was such a sanctimonious society. This album signifies the start (or at least even had a small impact) of change in the thought processes of society which I feel is an extremely special thing.

Secondly, the album from ‘Five Days’ right through to ‘Rock ‘n’ Roll Suicide’ is the very definition of a masterpiece. Bowie had the rare talent of being able to catapult the listener into his very own world and when I listen to this album, I do find myself often lost among his stories and words.

This is an album I will most certainly treasure for my entire life.

RECOMMENDED TRACKS

‘Starman’

‘Lady Stardust’

‘Ziggy Stardust’

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2. DON BROCO – AUTOMATIC (2015)

Image result for don broco automatic

When it comes to music, one of the things I appreciate most is when an artist or band strays from the crowd and strives to create something completely original, or at least infuse their own style into a genre. This is something you will see is especially the case with my top two favourite albums.

Don Broco hit the UK music scene with a pretty standard hard rock album ‘Priorities’ in 2012, quickly becoming, somewhat, the sweethearts of British rock. Although an impressive debut album, what followed completely changed my thoughts on the four piece.

‘Automatic’ which was released in the summer of 2015 is exactly the rock album I had been waiting to stumble upon for years. It is the perfect fusion of pop and rock with an unexpected but much appreciated hint of funk that is bound to leave you mind-blown.

Album opener ‘Superlove’ braces the listener for the quirky, pop riddled anthems scattered throughout, while self-titled track ‘Automatic’ follows which is the closest thing to the ‘sound of summer’ that I have ever heard. There are also unexpected heartfelt ballads such as ‘What You Do To Me’ and ‘Nerve’ which are just as infectious and euphoric as the more upbeat numbers.

After what feels like the longest wait, Don Broco are finally unveiling their third studio album ‘Technology’ in February 2018, so if you like what you’ve read so far, the best is yet to come.

RECOMMENDED TRACKS

‘What You Do To Me’

‘Superlove’

‘Nerve’

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3. BRUNO MARS – 24K MAGIC (2016)

Image result for bruno mars 24k magic

If 24 karat gold is the purest form of gold then the same can be said of Bruno Mars and his 2016 release ’24k Magic’. He is of the purest form of modern musicians currently in the mainstream limelight and his music is nothing less than just right.

What differs this album to his previous releases ‘Orthodox Jukebox’ and ‘Doo-Wops and Hooligans’ is its clear homage to R’n’B throughout the ages and what is most impressive is that he manages to make it appeal to a younger audience that may not have been interested in this music otherwise.

Personally, I grew up around lots of R’n’B and Soul music of the mid 80’s to early 90’s such as New Edition and Boyz II Men so this release was like a refreshing hit of nostalgia from my childhood, except with the addition of the glitzy, luxurious and sexy finish that Mars is known for.

He has successfully encapsulated the ‘old school’ retro vibes throughout this stunning album, from the upbeat party tracks like self-titled track ’24k Magic’ and ‘That’s What I Like’ to the more thoughtful and typical ‘school dance’ slow songs like ‘Versace On The Floor’ and ‘Calling All My Lovelies’. Since the album’s release, Mars has been the subject of much speculation due to recreating a sound that was once so popular, but what’s to criticise about an artists passion towards their favourite music?

RECOMMENDED TRACKS

‘Finesse’

‘That’s What I Like’

‘Straight Up and Down’

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4. ASTROID BOYS – BACON DREAM EP (2016)

Image result for astroid boys bacon dream

If you haven’t already jumped on the Astroid Boys hype then fear not, their exciting journey has really only really just begun.

A boyish five piece outfit from Cardiff, South Wales, Astroid Boys are one of the handful of bands that I have had the pleasure of watching grow into something extremely promising. Their fusion of hardcore and grime influences create a sound unlike anything currently in the UK music scene, more effective than any fusion of metal and rap that I have ever stumbled across previously.

‘Bacon Dream’ is a collection of songs that differ so much in contrast but manage to compliment each other perfectly at the same time. There are grime influenced electronic songs like ‘Rinsa’ and ‘Tayluh Swift’, hardcore influenced songs like ‘Dusted’ and ‘Mingin’ and just when you thought they couldn’t do any more, they even included some experimental downbeat hip hop influenced tracks like ‘Giggs’ and ‘Hungerstrikes’.

Despite the fact that they are doing something completely different, what I find most attractive about this act is the energy and attitude displayed in their music. It’s raw, loyal to it’s roots, all mixed with a cheekiness and cocky certainty that any aspiring band should have.

So, if you haven’t already, I highly recommend you give this EP a listen.

RECOMMENDED TRACKS

‘Rinsa’

‘Tayluh Swift’

‘Dusted’

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5. DRAKE – IF YOU’RE READING THIS ITS TOO LATE (2015)

Image result for drake if you're reading this it's too late

There is absolutely no need for me to introduce this artist. Drake has some of the biggest modern party hits under his belt, you’ve undoubtedly heard them whether you like him or you don’t – but believe it or not, these are nowhere near the best of his work.

If you like gloomy and moody R’n’B then this one is for you.

‘If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late’ appeared completely out of nowhere in the middle of the night. Its marketing strategy was to not involve any marketing at all, to simply let the music promote itself which is a very clever concept for someone as prominent in the genre as Drake.

One of the most intriguing aspects of this mixtape is the allusion to the subject of suicide. The album art itself is scrawled out messily looking much like what you would expect a suicide note to look like.

As well as this, the entire tone throughout this mixtape seems to be the many troubled voices battling each other in the artists’ head. The lyrics are irrational but self certain, filled with an inflated ego but anxious, hopeful but hopeless. This clear conflict in the lyrics makes for an extremely interesting and relatable listen as Drake takes you on a journey through troubles which tick in almost everyone’s mind at some point or another.

RECOMMENDED TRACKS

‘Energy’

‘Know Yourself’

‘Used To (feat. Lil Wayne)’

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