Playlist: Still Making Music in 2017

Ed Sheeran has now given us 3 of the 4 basic arithmetic operations. Kendrick Lamar continues to do no wrong by his critics. Katy Perry and Taylor Swift have taken shading to new heights. And we’ve established that even Justin Bieber farting can land a song to the top of the charts.

But here are 10 artists who used to own the airwaves but flew under the radar with their new material in 2017.


Nelly Furtado

Talk about coming full circle. I’m Like a Bird was the world’s introduction to Nelly Furtado. Promiscuous was her coming out of a shell. She has released new music since, although to limited commercial success. Now, she likens herself to a Phoenixwho has risen from the ashes.

Linkin Park

Time has made Chester Bennington scream less and Mike Shinoda’s rapping reduce. Think of My December volume applied to the entirety of the latest album. Besides the successful Jay-Z experiment, the band wasn’t big on collaborations. But their lead track is now one with Kiiara.

Jennifer Hudson

Her comeback single is aptly named Remember Me. And she sings it in her trademark forceful and unapologetic tone. Her year is aided with a coaching stint on The Voice, which has had mix results depending on the artist – Blake Shelton and Adam Levine got their careers to a high, while Christina and Gwen barely made dents on the charts.

 

Michelle Branch

If you’re expecting refreshing sounds like Breathe or Everywhereyou will be heavily disappointed. She has gone dark and melancholic, along the lines of Lana del Rey, a little less angry than Are You Happy Now?. Is it just me or is it difficult to marry this adulting with her looks and voice?

 

Gorillaz

It’s hard to divorce EDM and superstar collaborations or banging club beats. The Gorillaz are the least guilty of employing such tactics. That’s largely why attention has not been massive to their new efforts.

Incubus

While Linkin Park has mellowed down significantly, Incubus continues the course and carry on making heavy music. Rock has not been commercially big in the last few years, so staying the trajectory is commendable. And while it used to be commonplace, it’s comforting to know there are still song titles such as Nimble Bastard that you don’t hear very often nowadays.

TLC

Despite Left Eye’s passing, the remaining members of TLC soldier on. If anything, the sound has remained reliable and can easily be mistaken as being lifted from the 90s. On top of it all, other artists would’ve employed up and coming rappers but they chose Snoop Dogg.

James Blunt

Yes, James Blunt has other songs besides You’re Beautiful. And that is probably the downfall of creating a masterpiece as big as that. He will never be able to replicate it. No matter how many singles or albums he generates, people will not bother listening unless it comes close or he experiments with an altogether different sound. Imagine him doing EDM?

Sheryl Crow

If there’s one thing I’d give to Sheryl Crow, it’s that she has rarely resorted to gimmick to raise profile for her music. It came as a surprise that she dissed Madonna in a recent interview to highlight her own branding of being just about the music. I guess even she couldn’t resist.

Nelly

Before there was Drake, there was Usher. And before there was Usher, there was Nelly. Since then, the Nellyville generation has grown older but his sound hasn’t. If you’re looking for brainless fun, you can count on him. And I don’t mean it in a bad way.


 

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