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A 2017 Album For Everyone On Your Christmas List

One of the biggest pains of the holiday season is not knowing what to gift someone. Whether they’re the person who has everything or they just have extremely picky taste, sometimes finding the perfect gift for those special people in your life can be tough.

Luckily enough, 2017 was a stellar year for music and what makes for a better gift than some new tunes to bump on the way to work, at the gym, or frankly, whenever? When in doubt, give the gift of good music—and 2017 had a lot.

This past year, some of mainstream’s best rock music came from pop stars like Harry Styles and Kesha while some of the best pop music came from indie rock vets like St. Vincent and Queens of the Stone Age. Taylor Swift came back into focus with Reputation, Chris Stapleton made country music by modern mixing it with classic soul, everyone from Jay-Z to Fiona Apple got political, Lorde grew up with Melodrama and Drake put together a playlist rather than an album. To name a few things.

So, if you’re having troubling finding the ideal gift for that difficult-to-buy-for family member, friend or co-worker, here are some of the best albums from the past year for everyone on your list.

 

For your mom who claims she knows what indie-rock music is, but can’t name any actual band in the genre.

Hug of Thunder, Broken Social Scene

Hug of Thunder is Broken Social Scene’s fifth studio album after a seven-year hiatus, yet the group always seems to return to music with textured indie rock that’s both moving and accessible.

 

For your dad who heard one of this album’s singles on the radio and proceeded to make some comment about how “your kind” of music isn’t that bad.

Human, Rag’n’Bone Man

The raspy voice of English singer-songwriter Rory Graham adds an edge to his songs, turning them into longing, bluesy stories with a gritty flare.

 

For your sister who, whether she’s older or younger, will learn many lessons on life, love and the importance of sisterhood from this album.

Something To Tell You, HAIM

On their long-awaited second studio album, sister trio HAIM offer soul and ‘80s soft-rock that tells of romantic affliction and determination. Plus, every song is catchy as hell.

 

For your brother who you hate to admit is much cooler than you and has such a wide range of hobbies and interests that you never know what to get him.

American Teen, Khalid

Khalid’s American Teen is effortlessly good, finding a way to blend the naiveté of a 19-year-old with wisdom beyond his years. The result is a contemporary R&B album that’s part sarcasm, part skepticism, yet, entirely hopeful.

 

For your aunt who usually has one too many spiced eggnogs at family dinner and tries to get everyone to sing along to Christmas carols.

The Thrill of It All, Sam Smith

As the follow-up to his massive In The Lonely Hour, Sam Smith’s second LP replaces beats with his stunning, falsetto-barbed vocals and gospel-charged melodies.

 

For your uncle who isn’t into trying new things, especially when it comes to music, and would prefer to just listen to something that is similar to what he already listens to.

From A Room: Volume 1, Chris Stapleton

Chris Stapleton’s From A Room: Volume 1 is a collection of songs written 10 years ago, but that doesn’t mean the talented singer is resting on old laurels. The tracks have a new energy to them while maintaining traditional roots, as Stapleton embraces R&B and other flavours.

 

For your cousins who are a bit quirky, but you’re blood, and you love them regardless.

After Laughter, Paramore

After Laughter is like an explosion of fluorescent colour in the form of danceable jams and despondent ballads, meaning, there’s something for everyone here.

 

For your significant other who you’ve been seeing for a while now and have always wanted to write a sincere, modern day love letter to.

I See You, The xx

Relying on Jamie xx’s electronic production and having the connection between Romy Madley Croft and Oliver Sim to take focus of the trio’s music allowed their third studio album I See You to be it’s most personal and affectionate to date.

 

For your bestie who just got dumped (of course, right before the holidays, by her older, yet coincidentally super immature, boyfriend).

Melodrama, Lorde

The teen prodigy songstress behind “Royals” has since raised the bar. With Lorde’s sophomore record Melodrama, she marries soaring instrumentation with dub and synth, managing to make genuinely intimate, honest pop.

 

For your best guy friend who is now working at some fancy corporate job, but you met him way back during his college partying days.

Big Fish Theory, Vince Staples

Big Fish Theory builds Staples’ cunning rhymes over big club beats, making for one of the most relevant experiments in hip hop this year.

 

For your co-worker who you really know nothing about but you some how ended up getting his or her name in the Secret Santa draw:

Harry Styles, Harry Styles

Harry Styles’ self-titled debut album has something for everyone. Leaving his boy band days behind, Styles emerges as a rock star with ‘70s style guitar riffs, intimate acoustic ballads, upbeat lyrics, folk-esque laments—throwing music genres to the wind, Styles dabbles in it all.