Every year, this intro basically says the same thing: albums seem to matter less now, the way we consume music is shifting, blah blah blah, streaming, blah blah, singles, blahhhhh. The concept of grouping nine to twenty-something songs together, packaging it with some art, and trying to run some common threads throughout seems pretty arbitrary.

But no matter what happens, this format sticks around for a reason. Whether you call them albums, mixtapes, or playlists, there's still something special about a full body of work—they're the cornerstones of any important artist's career. 2017 has already brought us some great music moments in the form of breakthrough mixtapes, superstars delivering, and cohesive releases that exceed all expectations. 

It's been a good year for the album, and these are our favorites so far.