Archive for the ‘25 Best Albums of 2017’ Category

25 Best Albums of 2017

Oh my disclaimer again.  These are MY favorite albums of 2017.  Music is so subjective so it’s hard to even make these types of lists.  I will say this, I believe this year was one of the greatest years of music in a the past decade+.  So here we go….

When the Darkness Comes

25. The Speedbumps – When the Darkness Comes

My Akron native friends have been slowly creating better and better works over the years. Their latest showcases all of that.  It’s a polished strong work that showcases all of the time that they’ve put on the road ironing out all the intricate details.

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24.  Kendrick Lamar – Damn

Not sure what else you can say about Kendrick Lamar.  He, along with Kanye, are the greatest rap (if that’s even what it should be called anymore) artists of this generation.  He continues to pump out perfect album after perfect albums.  He is a voice.

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23. Slowdive – Slowdive

20 plus years from their last release, Slowdive shows that they may have created their best release to date.  I’m a sucker for 90s dreampop, and these guys just know exactly how to push the right buttons.

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22. The Church – Man Woman Life Death Infinity

This is album number 25 or 26 or whatever for the Australian band.  They continue to push on, and continue to create original works of art that are inherently their’s.  They’re one of the few bands that continue to focus on the art of making an album.

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21.  St. Vincent – Masseducation

I used to not understand the hype surrounding St. Vincent, and now I’m sold on her.  Which is funny, because my Bring Tha Noize podcast partner Ngandu said he didn’t get this album.  This is where music gets sticky and tricky and divides, but that’s the point isn’t it?

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20. Elbow – Little Fictions

First off, these guys are unbelievable live.  One of the most polished bands I’ve ever seen.  They constantly come correct with their music and their newest is actually the tightest version of their music that they’ve ever produced.  Airy and balanced.


19.  Toro Y Moi – Boo Boo

I feel like Toro is always on my radar.  He’s been turning out some great albums pretty much every single year for almost a decade.  Boo Boo might be his best.  It’s certainly his most etherial and focused album so far.

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18. Stars – There is No Love in Flourescent Light

I’ve been following this duo for quite some time and their album The Five Ghosts made my top list a few years ago.  They constantly come out with solid work.  Their newest is tight pop gems, bursting on wax.


17. Jessie Ware – Glass House

She’s about as polished as they come.  Normally I don’t like the sheen that comes with an artist like her, but there’s something about her music that contains soul and honesty that makes her so original that she’s can’t miss.

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16. Broken Social Scene – Hug of Thunder

I’ve always shrugged my shoulders at these guys as almost a novelty act, working to get every artist they can to collaborate with them, but man….what a great album.  This is the point of longevity, and why you should stick with some artists.

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15. Tyler the Creator – Flower Boy

This dude is on something different man.  I have no idea how to categorize him.  He’s way out there, but on his newest he’s able to real it all in and create the most focused version of him to date.  If anything he’s the most original rapper out there today.

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14. The World is a Beautiful Place, and I Am No Longer Afraid to Die – Always Foreign

Punk is alive!  I’ve never really liked punk music unless it has some vein of belief in it.  These guys have finally brought everything together and created a truly incredible album with venom and hooks as well.


13. Beck – Colors

I mean it’s Beck.  He’s a true artist.  He’s one of the rare few in the industry that does pretty much everything from start to finish.  He gives us a little more on the production side pushing more towards dance magic, and it works.


12. The Horrors – V

This is an example of a band that I half-heartedly followed throughout the years, and all of sudden was like….wow.  They’re doing an amazing thing on their newest album.  This is the sound ofa band who polishes and polishes.


11. Noel Gallagher – Who Built the Moon?

For all the potato war nonsense that has been going on between Noel and his brother Liam, Noel continues to move forward with his music.  He gets a fresh twist on his newest album with the album of production by David Holmes, mostly known for his soundtrack work.


10. Ryan Adams – Prisoner

Again, I’m late to the love party on Ryan Adams, but since I’ve jumped on board a few years ago I think he’s doing the best work of his career.  If I could have anyone produce an album for me right now it would either Ryan Adams or Butch Walker.  They have the ability to bring their music directly to you.

Pussycat [Explicit]

9. Juliana Hatfield – Pussycat

Talk about a resurrection.  Juliana Hatfield comes from the heart of the late 90’s female alternative scene and creates a heart-wrenching honest album better than she’s ever been.

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8. Spoon – Hot Thoughts

Consistency is what Spoon is known for.  Everything they release is critically acclaimed.  They don’t stop here with once again an amazing collection of songs that create an amazing album.

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7. Mogwai – Every Country’s Sun

I had the chance to see Mogwai a few weeks back.  I wasn’t that impressed.  However, they’re the perfect example of a band who knows exactly what they’re doing in the studio.  They know how to work the board and create something amazing.  That’s evident by all the soundtrack work they do.  And they do it here as well.


6. Cloud Nothings – Life Without Sound

Cloud Nothings are a band that continues to take punk into a different direction.  Molding it, redefining it like musical clay.  The true good punk bands such as The Clash where able to go loud quiet loud while still pushing all the hooks throughout their music.  Cloud Nothings do that here.

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5. Lorde – Melodrama

Lorde shows she’s not a one trick pony on her sophomore release.  And she’s smart about it too.  Melodrama is a mostly stripped back collection of songs that takes some serious balls to release after her smash debut.  You can feel how personal these songs are to her.

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4. Manchester Orchestra – A Black Mile to Surface

Mad props to my buddy Kyle Cowgill for turning me on to these guys 6-7 years ago.  I wasn’t a fan of their last album, but I feel they come back strong here.  They’re also probably getting the most air play they’ve ever gotten on their new release as well.  I’m a sucker for those loud, quiet, loud structures of songs, and they do it perfect here.

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3. War on Drugs – A Deeper Understanding

These guys are operating on another level.  I was so upset that I didn’t get to see them live because I was on my death bed.  They sound like a new version of Bob Dylan meets Dire Straits, but they’re album to put their own spin on everything they do.  No one sounds like them especially on their new release.

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2. Charlotte Gainsbourg – Rest

Talk about being late to the party.  I thought Charlotte was just an actress who is amazing in all of Lars Von Triers really fucked up movies.  Of course I knew of her father Seirge, but wow!  She is something amazing on her own.  The most interesting part of her new album is jumping in and out of French and American.  It creates this strange feeling album that makes you feel part of it, yet distant at the same time.


1. Brand New – Science Fiction

I wrestled with this for a while for a number of reasons.  First can we just put the transgressions of front man Jesse Lacy out of the way?  This has nothing to do with his private issues.  That being said, as a piece of music he’s created Brand New’s masterpiece. It’s heavy.  It’s soft.  It’s beautiful.  It’s terrifying, and it fucking rocks from beginning to end.  It’s the perfect album.