Top Thirty Favourite Albums of the Year

Since starting the blog in March this year I have reviewed over seventy albums and listened to many more. These albums have been inspiring to me in so many ways, not least because they got me writing again. 

Picking a list feels strange and almost cruel to the albums I have left out so please refer to my playlist on Spotify where I have chosen one song from everything I have reviewed for a more comprehensive overview of my musical year. In the interests of balance, I have also complied a Spotify list of my favourite songs this year that were not sung by women.


In the end I have chosen thirty favourite albums of the year – my only stipulation being that I must have reviewed them on the blog. Therefore that excludes albums sung by anyone who doesn’t identify as female but also some albums like Paramore and St Vincent which I love but for various reasons never reviewed. There were some individual tracks on my favourite song list that stood out over the albums they were from and vice versa. I have based this list on a combination of gut instinct and how often I listened to the album but my mood changes so much that anything beyond the number one album might have changed order if I wrote this tomorrow.

This list includes links to my original album reviews, rather than risk repeating myself. At the end you will also find a playlist of songs from the thirty albums. Thanks for reading!

30. Karen & The Sorrows – The Narrow Place

29.Denai Moore – We Used To Bloom

28.Joana Serrat – Dripping Springs

27.Holly Macve – Golden Eagle

26.Natalie Hemby – Puxico

25.Feist – Pleasure

24. P.P. Arnold – The Turning Tide

23.Whitney Rose – Rule 62

22.Jade Jackson – Gilded

21.Juanita Stein – America

20.Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings – Soul of a Woman

19.Bedouine – Bedouine

18.Susanne Sundfør – Music for People in Trouble

17.Siobhan Wilson – There Are No Saints

16.Weaves – Wide Open

15.Laura Marling – Semper Femina

14.Lilly Hiatt – Trinity Lane

13.Kesha – Rainbow

12.Waxahatchee – Out in the Storm

11.Lillie Mae – Forever and Then Some

10.Phoebe Bridgers – Stranger in the Alps

9.Nicole Atkins – Goodnight Rhonda Lee

8.Nikki Lane – Highway Queen

7.Mavis Staples – If All I Was Was Black

6.Angaleena Presley – Wrangled

5.Rhiannon Giddens – Freedom Highway

4.Courtney Marie Andrews – Honest Life

3.Margo Price – All American Made

2.Valerie June – The Order of Time

1.Hurray For The Riff Raff – The Navigator


5 thoughts on “Top Thirty Favourite Albums of the Year

Add yours

  1. My top ten complete with one or two sentence reviews…just because!
    10. Julie Byrne, Not Even Happiness: Hippy sensibilities but with focus and worldliness.
    9. Bedouine, Bedouine: Warm, wise and familiar yet this is somehow her first album. For once I’m on board at the beginning of an artist’s career; can’t wait to see where it leads.
    8. The Weather Station, The Weather Station: Joni Mitchell vocals; forensically observed lyrics sound like passages from a novel.
    7. Ty Segal, Ty Segal: Has to be the least pretentious album of the year. Remember when Beck used to do 2 minute grunge songs? Like that but coherent.
    6. Nadine Shah, Holiday Destination: The album’s political content has been the focus of most reviews; I just can’t get enough of her Geordie accent.
    5. Nicole Atkins, Goodnight Rhonda Lee: Good God Nicole Atkins! You have a voice that could turn me straight!
    4. St Vincent, Masseduction: Somehow made me care about the breakdown of her relationship with Cara Delevingne. Also likes shiny things. Bonus.
    3. Valerie June, The Order of Time: Black Magic Woman on a different astral plane to the rest of us.
    2. Hurray For The Riff Raff, The Navigator: Monumentally underrated and overlooked. One of the best albums this century. I’ll fight you in a pub car park if you disagree. Stunning live too.
    1. Rhiannon Giddens, Freedom Highway: The perfect blend of lyrical and musical depth. Perfect. Apparently some notable music critics and bloggers didn’t ‘get’ this album. They need to find something else to do with their time.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Great list – we overlap a lot. I didn’t get into the nadine shah (bit weird for me) and ran out of time to listen to the weather station & Julie Byrne before I did the list but will try and get back to them!

      As for the Rhiannon Giddens I think any detractors are probably just uncomfortable with the straight up truths she’s singing about. For me I rated it lower than some maybe because of the covers/instrumentals and the mash of styles means I didn’t think it worked as well as a ‘album’ as some of the others I liked. Obviously it was still a brilliant album which partly inspired me to start the blog in the first place.


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