The PopCrush Fan Choice Awards: Best Album
The PopCrush Fan Choice Awards are well underway, and now it's time for you—our devoted readers, fans, and stans—to cast your votes for your favorite Album of the Year!
In the age of the mp3, when it's unthinkably easy to digest music one song at a time — often removed from their original context — the album may seem like an outdated format. Yet a new single still pales in comparison to a full album's release, especially when fans and stans alike have been anxiously anticipating it for months and sometimes years (#notnoshade, Adele, honestly!). This award, then, is your opportunity to honor the artists whose albums made the entire listening experience—from the first track through to the last one, or from side A to side D—worthwhile.
Adele's 25 was three years in the making, and the singer (now 27) didn't return with a quiet "Hello." Quite the contrary, she screamed it from the top of the charts, which is where we'll presumably see a lot of her throughout the album's campaign.
Carly Rae Jepsen's sophomore album, E•MO•TION, proves that the "Call Me Maybe" hitmaker refused to be just another one hit wonder. Lead single "I Really Like You" was equally infectious and its follow-up, "Run Away With Me," nothing short of triumphant.
With Purpose, Justin Bieber seems to have found just that: purpose beyond just being another heartthrob in the spotlight. "I'll Show You" is perhaps Bieber's best effort to capture that purpose lyrically, and tracks like "Love Yourself" and "Life Is Worth Living" similarly cut through the nonsense of fame. But Purpose also shows that Bieber still knows how to craft hit singles, "What Do You Mean?" and "Sorry" being two standouts.
When Lana Del Rey initially revealed that her follow-up to 2014's Ultraviolence would be titled Honeymoon, it was logical to expect that her sound would fit the name: something happier, or at least more content. But Honeymoon finds Del Rey remaining well within her iconic "sad girl" persona, albeit now awash in the atmosphere, texture, and themes of film noir. She may be a "Freak" who just wants to get "High by the Beach," but she still knows how to deliver powerful emotions.
As with Adele, Madonna's Rebel Heart comes three years after MDNA and isn't just an album; it's a declaration. It is Madonna proudly reclaiming herself and stating, both literally and metaphorically, "Bitch I'm Madonna." "Living for Love" brings the dance floor back to its rightful owner and perfectly captures the message at the heart of Rebel Heart: Madonna knows how to carry on.
And finally, Marina and the Diamonds' third studio album FROOT is the former "Primadonna"'s most fully realized and self-confident release to date. Although Diamandis has purged herself of the beloved "Electra Heart" in the visuals, her spirit remains because FROOT, at its core, is a dance record—one that finds strength in personal failures and tribulations ("I'm a Ruin"), the emotional wherewithal to move on ("Blue"), and the unadulterated joy in finally finding yourself ("Happy," "Froot," and "Can't Pin Me Down").
Other nominees include Fifth Harmony, The Weeknd, Janet Jackson, Little Mix, 5 Seconds of Summer, and One Direction, who all put forth critical and commercial successes this year.
So now's your chance to vote for your favorite (or favorites!) and help us determine which of this year's releases deserves to be named PopCrush's Album of the Year! The poll will close on December 1 at 5 PM ET.
Update: And the winner is...