Exclaim!'s Top 29 Albums of 2017 So Far

Exclaim!'s Top 29 Albums of 2017 So Far

Original Source →

29. Ryuichi Sakamoto - async

Ryuichi Sakamoto - async
April 28, 2017
Critic Score
81
8 reviews

async is a luxurious, picturesque recording. It showcases that Sakamoto's unique ability to create genuine beauty with a varied — at times abrasive — palette.

28. Paramore - After Laughter

Paramore - After Laughter
May 12, 2017
Critic Score
81
15 reviews

27. Gas - Narkopop

Gas - Narkopop
April 21, 2017
Critic Score
79
10 reviews

Not only is Gas' Narkopop a top candidate for best microhouse album of 2017, it may also be the best drone album and the best classical album — and possibly just the best album you'll hear this year, period.

26. Timber Timbre - Sincerely, Future Pollution

Timber Timbre - Sincerely, Future Pollution
April 7, 2017
Critic Score
73
14 reviews

Sincerely, Future Pollution is Timber Timbre's most confident record. The lyrics remain obtuse, but even if it's not clear that Kirk knows what he wants to say, he surely knows how he wants it to sound.

25. Future Islands - The Far Field

Future Islands - The Far Field
April 7, 2017
Critic Score
76
27 reviews

This is pop music designed to give you all the feels, and even with a disruptive pseudo-reggae track thrown into the mix ("Candles"), Future Islands prove that they can do it better than anyone else right now.

24. (Sandy) Alex G - Rocket

(Sandy) Alex G - Rocket
May 19, 2017
Critic Score
79
20 reviews

Rocket is a true tour de force that cements (Sandy) Alex G snugly in the company of indie rock's great auteurs.

23. King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard - Flying Microtonal Banana

King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard - Flying Microtonal Banana
February 24, 2017
Critic Score
73
15 reviews

While this experiment (and use of the zurna) might perhaps not being everyone's cup of tea, Flying Microtonal Banana is a rollicking groove machine of a record, as explorative and endlessly searching as the band themselves.

21. Do Make Say Think - Stubborn Persistent Illusions

Do Make Say Think - Stubborn Persistent Illusions
May 19, 2017
Critic Score
81
8 reviews

Stubborn Persistent Illusions can seem daunting with its hour-long runtime, but it's a worthy monolith that can be explored on the listener's own terms.

20. Stormzy - Gang Signs & Prayer

Stormzy - Gang Signs & Prayer
February 24, 2017
Critic Score
81
18 reviews

Both sides of Gang Signs & Prayer come to a head on pointed closer "Lay Me Bare," in which he writes about depression and his absentee father. Far from a weakness, that vulnerability brings welcome depth to Stormzy's explosive and emotional debut.

19. Cloud Nothings - Life Without Sound

Cloud Nothings - Life Without Sound
January 27, 2017
Critic Score
73
20 reviews

The cleaned up sound does wonders for Baldi's songwriting, always his strength yet still often overlooked. Producer John Goodmanson shines some much deserved light on the small nuances that make Cloud Nothings' music so intriguing, giving a proper, polished showcase to some of the band's most hook-filled material to date.

18. Full of Hell - Trumpeting Ecstasy

Full of Hell - Trumpeting Ecstasy
May 5, 2017
Critic Score
78
4 reviews

Trumpeting Ecstasy is the culmination of Full of Hell really coming into their own, exuding the confidence that comes along with refining their stylistic approach and honing their sound into something that is completely theirs.

17. Kelly Lee Owens - Kelly Lee Owens

Kelly Lee Owens - Kelly Lee Owens
March 24, 2017
Critic Score
81
10 reviews

Kelly Lee Owens is warm, emotive and well-produced, the work of a natural talent that will only get better with time. I can't wait to hear what she'll do next. 

16. Code Orange - Forever

Code Orange - Forever
January 13, 2017
Critic Score
80
6 reviews

With their latest offering, Forever, they've surpassed themselves on multiple fronts. By incorporating unconventional dynamics, sounds and structuring, the band have pushed their sound to new and interesting places.

15. Oddisee - The Iceberg

Oddisee - The Iceberg
February 24, 2017
Critic Score
76
5 reviews

The Iceberg ultimately delivers a rich yet digestible musical main course worth more than one helping. If you've been sleeping on Odd, it's time to wake up.

14. Thundercat - Drunk

Thundercat - Drunk
February 24, 2017
Critic Score
81
23 reviews

No matter how many musicians he showcases, no matter how many sonic avenues he takes, no matter how many tracks he squeezes in, Thundercat sounds undeniably and defiantly like no other on Drunk.

13. Run the Jewels - Run the Jewels 3

Run the Jewels - Run the Jewels 3
December 25, 2016
Critic Score
86
29 reviews

Run the Jewels 3 is a rap armoury for hard times, a hip-hop bullhorn that afflicts the comfortable and comforts the afflicted.

12. The xx - I See You

The xx - I See You
January 13, 2017
Critic Score
80
33 reviews

The xx largely avoided any major pitfalls here, coming out the other side with a consistently rewarding pop album that retains enough of their sonic signature to please old fans and enough new sounds to pique the interest of the unconvinced.

11. Power Trip - Nightmare Logic

Power Trip - Nightmare Logic
February 24, 2017
Critic Score
82
6 reviews

Power Trip have returned, fiercer and unrulier than ever before, with their latest full-length, Nightmare Logic, outdoing their already-raucous LP Manifest Decimation and taking all elements of their sound to new heights.

10. Slowdive - Slowdive

Slowdive - Slowdive
May 5, 2017
Critic Score
82
26 reviews
It certainly was a long wait, but finally Slowdive have given us the album that we have been dreaming about for the last 22 years.

9. Joey Bada$$ - ALL-AMERIKKKAN BADA$$

Joey Bada$$ - ALL-AMERIKKKAN BADA$$
April 7, 2017
Critic Score
76
15 reviews

Courageous and passionate, Bada$$ is a well-timed soundtrack to social and political struggle.

8. Mac DeMarco - This Old Dog

Mac DeMarco - This Old Dog
May 5, 2017
Critic Score
77
27 reviews
With a fresh approach and a renewed outlook on life, DeMarco reaches a whole other level of cool, lush calm as well as an unprecedented degree of maturity and introspection.

7. Jay Som - Everybody Works

Jay Som - Everybody Works
March 10, 2017
Critic Score
79
11 reviews

Everybody Works retains her economical songwriting while adding impressively intricate arrangements.

6. Drake - More Life

Drake - More Life
March 18, 2017
Critic Score
77
22 reviews

While VIEWS served as an ominous soundscape to a never-ending winter and reflected a booming hunger in the city, his newest release, More Life, presents the fruits of that labour in a sunnier, more celebratory arrangement.

5. Mount Eerie - A Crow Looked at Me

Mount Eerie - A Crow Looked at Me
March 24, 2017
Critic Score
90
16 reviews

This record possesses immense power to make listeners reflect on their own relationships and mortality. A Crow Looked at Me is a grim memento of the grand injustice of losing those most precious to us.

4. Father John Misty - Pure Comedy

Father John Misty - Pure Comedy
April 7, 2017
Critic Score
83
33 reviews

Pure Comedy is packed with so much meaning and complexity, it feels as overwhelmingly absurd, joyous, curious, tragic, extraordinary and contradictory as life itself.

3. Feist - Pleasure

Feist - Pleasure
April 28, 2017
Critic Score
79
27 reviews

She's more than capable of penning a good tune, but Pleasure presents a unique, uncompromising vision of intimacy and enjoyment. True to its name, this is the sound of Feist fighting through the bullshit of being human to have a good time despite it all.

2. Sampha - Process

Sampha - Process
February 3, 2017
Critic Score
84
29 reviews

Process was a long time coming, but the wait has resulted in one of the most assured debut albums in recent memory. Even if it should take Sampha another six years to follow it up, the wait, I expect, will be worth it.

1. Kendrick Lamar - DAMN.

Kendrick Lamar - DAMN.
April 14, 2017
Critic Score
91
31 reviews

DAMN. is the first time in Lamar's career that he hasn't broken new ground, explored old themes in new ways or exhibited sonic growth. That said, it's a small blemish on an otherwise spotless catalogue.

Original Source: http://exclaim.ca/music/article/exclaim_s_top_29_albums_of_2017_so_far
Connect with AOTY