Editor’s Note: The Albumism staff has selected what we believe to be 50 Essential Albums by LGBTQ Artists, representing a varied cross-section of genres, styles and time periods. Considering that the qualifier “LGBTQ” can often be open to various interpretations, for the purposes of this particular list, we have defined an artist as LGBTQ if he, she or they have ever publicly identified as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and/or queer. Moreover, albums by groups have been included in the list if any of their members fit the aforementioned criteria, even if some members do not.
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WILL YOUNG | Echoes
Selected by Quentin Harrison
Will Young’s understated, soulful approach won over viewers and led him to take the first crown for the United Kingdom’s reality television show Pop Idol in 2002. Right away, Young translated that viewership into multi-platinum sales for his first and second LPs, From Now On (2002) and Friday’s Child (2003).
Subsequent song cycles in 2005 and 2008 saw Young refine his talents and delve into his personal experiences as an out and proud gay man. However, the singer-songwriter’s fifth album Echoes assisted in him reaching a sort of “next level status,” one that orbited his decorated predecessor George Michael.
Over a coalescence of pop, R&B and electronic flourishes, Young never sounded as alive and plugged into his material as he did here. It isn’t surprising then that Echoes is likely to stand as Young’s definitive masterpiece.