3 (The Purple Album)
Danish pop band Lukas Graham (named after frontman Lukas Forchhammer) had a worldwide smash in 2015 with “7 Years.” Inspired by Forchhammer becoming a father in 2016 and turning 30 shortly after, the group's third album, 3 (The Purple Album), feels like an intimate chapbook of inspirational messages for his wife and child. Just hearing his soaring soprano gush about baby milestones missed (“Lullaby”), you’d think he’d chuck it all and be a stay-at-home dad. He tries to reconcile prolonged absences (“Stick Around,” “Promise”), wishes for simpler times (“Not a Damn Thing Changed,” “You’re Not the Only One [Redemption Song]”), and issues an apology to his family for all the pain he caused (“Everything That Isn’t Me”). The album’s themes are matched by pop and gospel touches, including triumphant choirs and church bells that will tug at the toughest heartstrings. If you loved “7 Years,” know that you’re walking into a buzz saw of feels on 3.