Article by Meg Barraca

This past month has been momentous for the music industry due to the abundance of new album releases featuring a variety of artists and genres. Many of these albums have garnered a lot of attention not only in the music world, but right here at ISM. Here are a few brand new albums that have caught the eyes (and ears) of ISM students:

HNDRXX

Artist: Future

Released: February 24

Genre: Hip-hop/Rap

Three months into 2017 and the year is already a big one for Atlanta rapper Future, who released not one, but two albums. HNDRXX (pronounced “Hendrix”) is his second album released in 2017, with another self-titled album released only a week beforehand. It topped the Billboard 200 Chart, making him the first artist to not only accomplish two back-to-back no. 1 albums, but to also surpass his own album, which was at the top of the chart at the time.

Compared to his album “FUTURE,” HNDRXX is described by Billboard magazine as “the softer, more vulnerable side” of the rapper. He describes the album as his most personal project yet, as many songs revolve around his personal life, leaning towards more of an R&B-style.

American Teen

Artist: Khalid

Released: March 3

Genre: R&B

American Teen is an album that celebrates youth, making it very relatable among teenage listeners. Khalid, a 19-year-old from Texas, has been steadily gaining attention as a young artist with much potential. His pre-release breakout single, Location, reached top 10 in Billboard’s Hot R&B back in January.

Sophomore John C. particularly enjoys the beat and bass of the songs that run through the entire album. He first heard Khalid’s song 8TEEN on the radio and it instantly became his favorite from the album.

“I like 8TEEN because the bass is amazing, the beat is solid, and the music is just layered together perfectly,” John says. As seen from the success and meaning put into his first album, Khalid is definitely an artist to look out for.

(Divide)

Artist: Ed Sheeran

Released: March 3

Genre: Pop

Divide is the third studio album by Ed Sheeran, created during his year-long social media hiatus. Since its release, it has been breaking records left and right – the album sold more copies in one day (a whopping 232,000) than any artist has in a week. His single “Shape of You” has been leading the Billboard Top 100 for the fifth week in a row and counting! Additionally, “Castle on the Hill” peaked at #6, making Sheeran the first ever artist to have two songs debuted simultaneously in the Top 10.

Sophomore Tanvi A. has been a fan of Sheeran’s music since sixth grade, and she believes that he is the most genuine artist today.

“I love Divide because it’s his album,” Tanvi explains. “Lemme explain: He’s very real. And raw. He writes about his feelings in the most honest and genuine way, and that’s exactly what I love about it.”

The rawness in Sheeran’s album is one of its adored qualities, not only by Tanvi but multitudes of Ed Sheeran fans.

“It’s so hard to pick a favorite song because all of the lyrics hit your heartstrings in different ways!” Tanvi says.

Whether your music preference lies in rap, R&B, or pop, 2017 has brought about new music for everyone to enjoy. And if you’re still waiting for your favorite artist to release fresh music, worry not- the year of music is far from over!

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