Consequence of Sound's Top 50 Albums of 2017

Consequence of Sound's Top 50 Albums of 2017

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50. Johnny Jewel - Windswept

May 10, 2017
Critic Score
73
2 reviews

Kindred spirits, Lynch and Jewel have both built careers exploring the razor-thin line between beauty and horror and the unspeakable terror that often exists just beneath the surface of even the most breathtaking facade.

48. Jay Som - Everybody Works

March 10, 2017
Critic Score
78
11 reviews
Jay Som has built upon her established identity as a skilled songwriter with a long future ahead of her to craft a varied and vibrant record that’s a steady, reliably smart listen from start to end.

45. Paramore - After Laughter

May 12, 2017
Critic Score
83
17 reviews

Williams boasts undeniable talent, but her gusto requires the sharp songwriting and clever instrumentation of her bandmates, and After Laughter testifies to what happens when a singer like Williams is met with a group of quality instrumentalists.

43. Phoenix - Ti Amo

June 9, 2017
Critic Score
70
27 reviews
By letting the world’s darkness in and finding a way to dance anyway, Phoenix helps listeners remember that while evil isn’t going anywhere, neither are the sunsets of Italian beaches or the soaring romantic nights that follow.

42. Migos - Culture

January 27, 2017
Critic Score
74
21 reviews

The sonic equivalent of a hardened d-boy new to legal wealth and a reprieve from street life casually flexing his jaw to flaunt the brilliance of a permanent diamond grill, Culture is an unapologetic doubling down on their sound and devotion to all things A-Town adjacent.

40. LCD Soundsystem - American Dream

September 1, 2017
Critic Score
85
35 reviews

James Murphy and his band of collaborating friends have yet to make a wrong turn over the course of three previous records and American Dream doesn’t blow the perfect game, taking a low-key approach to underscore why people love LCD Soundsystem in the first place.

39. Power Trip - Nightmare Logic

February 24, 2017
Critic Score
80
7 reviews

38. Vic Mensa - The Autobiography

July 28, 2017
Critic Score
67
15 reviews

37. Julie Byrne - Not Even Happiness

January 27, 2017
Critic Score
80
18 reviews

There’s something to be said for the potential for personal growth inherent in traveling without a destination, and every song here is the sound of Julie Byrne making peace with her restlessness.

36. The National - Sleep Well Beast

September 8, 2017
Critic Score
82
35 reviews

Sleep Well Beast certainly takes the air out of the hopeful balloon that swelled on Trouble Will Find Me, but if there’s ever been a time to wallow in lush, masculine melancholy, it’s now. This beast isn’t going anywhere.

35. Sampha - Process

February 3, 2017
Critic Score
83
31 reviews

If Process was flawless, Sampha’s voice would leave listeners teary, and in a time as somber as now, these uplifting numbers remind us to take a break, immerse ourselves in a rush, and focus on the positive — a welcome path to wander down.

34. Brockhampton - Saturation II

August 25, 2017
Critic Score
80
8 reviews

33. Thundercat - Drunk

February 24, 2017
Critic Score
81
25 reviews

If it sits well with him, it sits well with his listeners, and in that, Drunk is a record of R&B fusion that feels good from start to finish, masturbation jokes included.

32. Tori Amos - Native Invader

September 8, 2017
Critic Score
72
17 reviews

The strength of this album, and the 14 that precede it, is the immense healing and soothing found in the sheer beauty of Amos’ vocal delivery.

31. King Krule - The OOZ

October 13, 2017
Critic Score
78
25 reviews

Even with three or four excess tracks, the album is still an essential listen; disorienting but never dull, heartsick but never maudlin, the rambling melancholy of The Ooz seems destined to soundtrack thousands of lonesome nights and send its listeners on journeys through its nocturnal half-dream without the need to leave the comfort of their headphones.

30. Fleet Foxes - Crack-Up

June 16, 2017
Critic Score
80
32 reviews

Challenging throughout and at times jarring and inscrutable, Crack-Up searches for a resolution just out of reach.

29. Kweku Collins - grey

Kweku Collins - grey
April 28, 2017
Critic Score
77
3 reviews

28. The Kickback - Weddings and Funerals

The Kickback - Weddings and Funerals
July 14, 2017
Critic Score
86
2 reviews

Weddings & Funerals is a relentlessly catchy record, brighter, tighter, and more focused than the band’s debut.

27. Laura Marling - Semper Femina

March 10, 2017
Critic Score
82
31 reviews

It is a strong, elegant, and self-assured album that, in its creative arrangements and lyrical world building, contains remarkable complexity and depth in terms of both skill and concept.

26. (Sandy) Alex G - Rocket

May 19, 2017
Critic Score
76
23 reviews

As inscrutable as it can be at times, Giannascoli never betrays his purpose, making Rocket his most developed and accomplished album yet.

25. Jay-Z - 4:44

June 30, 2017
Critic Score
81
28 reviews

Even though it’s only 36 minutes long, 4:44 is the first JAY-Z album where you’re hanging on every single word from start to finish, because the words have about four times as many meanings as they did on any of his dozen solo albums prior.

23. Jlin - Black Origami

May 19, 2017
Critic Score
84
13 reviews

After spending a lot of time with the new LP, the early work seems almost naive, the product of someone still trying to find her voice ... And that’s simply because Black Origami is a massive breakthrough.

22. Phoebe Bridgers - Stranger in the Alps

September 22, 2017
Critic Score
81
15 reviews
It’s a gentle, wistful, even mournful record that makes for an outstanding coming-out party for Bridgers and a haunting experience for the listener, with melodies and sentiments that linger, softly and poignantly, long after the music ends.

20. The War on Drugs - A Deeper Understanding

August 25, 2017
Critic Score
76
35 reviews

Throughout A Deeper Understanding, The War On Drugs develop their strengths, taking what they do best and airing it out. A master class in widening scope, the record finds the band unafraid to push their sound in a way that feels bigger than what any of their contemporaries are doing.

19. Aimee Mann - Mental Illness

March 31, 2017
Critic Score
78
12 reviews

For 44 minutes, Mann slips into the skin of someone walking an emotional tightrope, and it’s an act she pulls of with grace and conviction. Mann’s music has never lacked for warmth or heart, but her latest songs are the kind of delicate bruisers that feel like they might fall apart in your hands if you sneeze.

18. Pallbearer - Heartless

March 24, 2017
Critic Score
83
12 reviews

If Pallbearer feels the eyes of the metal world upon it, it does a damn good job not showing a lick of sweat. Heartless continues the successes of Sorrow and Extinction and Foundations of Burden, while also incorporating familiar but tasteful sonic flourishes from adjacent genres.

17. Perfume Genius - No Shape

May 5, 2017
Critic Score
83
28 reviews

No Shape may feel, to some listeners, less cohesive than past Perfume Genius records, but it makes up for that with endless inventiveness and daring passion, and it indicates that Hadreas is a musician who is only growing more vital as he develops and expands his sound.

16. Arca - Arca

April 7, 2017
Critic Score
83
18 reviews

Though it contains his most serene music by a stretch, Arca is the epitome of that warring nature, reaching for his innermost self to attempt at finding a balance.

15. Future - HNDRXX

February 24, 2017
Critic Score
79
7 reviews

HNDRXX is Future at his most inventive, or at least the most inventive he’s been in a while. While his most definitive project remains 2015’s Dirty Sprite 2 for its balance of Future’s innate melodic sense and especially effective trap records, HNDRXX comes in as a close second.

14. Cloud Nothings - Life Without Sound

January 27, 2017
Critic Score
73
23 reviews

It’s a chugging, nimble-footed affair, showing a matured and restrained group; no more eight-minute-plus pounding, slashing jams, replaced instead with a sense of clarity and focus, a driving, raw sonic thesis statement.

13. Julien Baker - Turn Out the Lights

October 27, 2017
Critic Score
82
25 reviews

Turn Out the Lights is a rich, moving work that creates a communion of sorts, an acknowledgement that the little victories are worth embracing even if salvation seems utterly out of reach.

12. Moses Sumney - Aromanticism

September 22, 2017
Critic Score
81
15 reviews

Like a hyper-layered painting that’s simultaneously subdued or a thin piece of literature whose words puncture your heart, Aromanticism overwhelms with its ability to put weary emotions into words and then wring emotion from them once again.

11. Kelela - Take Me Apart

October 6, 2017
Critic Score
80
24 reviews

Take Me Apart is a multi-faceted sidewinder of a release that refines the aesthetics of Kelela’s previous projects and painstakingly marries them to exemplary result.

10. Smino - blkswn

March 14, 2017
Critic Score
70
1 review

9. Spoon - Hot Thoughts

March 17, 2017
Critic Score
79
30 reviews

Every song bursts out of its box with dizzying Technicolor touches and unexpected noises or inside-out harmonies.

8. Mount Eerie - A Crow Looked at Me

March 24, 2017
Critic Score
90
17 reviews

Overwhelming and humbling, Elverum’s revelatory work offers a blueprint for others going through similar situations in their own lives, a true testament to the power of art and a loving tribute to Geneviève.

7. SZA - Ctrl

June 9, 2017
Critic Score
82
17 reviews

With Ctrl, SZA proves that the cult following that ballooned with the release of her 2014 mixtape, Z, was not some flash in the pan, but a deserved wellspring of attention from an adoring fan base whose faith in what she had yet to produce helped to produce the project that could eventually stand as the best thing she has ever done.

6. St. Vincent - MASSEDUCTION

October 13, 2017
Critic Score
85
36 reviews

Yes, MASSEDUCTION is worthy of being treated like an event, but whether or not it tops her previous two excellent efforts is a little tougher to support.

5. Slowdive - Slowdive

May 5, 2017
Critic Score
82
29 reviews

Slowdive delivers nearly everything their fans desire in a return: familiarity, innovation, and vast atmospheres to get lost in.

4. Vince Staples - Big Fish Theory

June 23, 2017
Critic Score
86
26 reviews

On his new album, Big Fish Theory, Staples continues to perfect his brand of nuanced nihilism while exploring new sounds that should put the music industry on notice that the future is now.

3. Ryan Adams - Prisoner

February 17, 2017
Critic Score
78
25 reviews

Adams assembles a stunning scrapbook that captures heartbreak in an intimate array of snapshots, a collection that marks his most accomplished record since Heartbreaker.

2. Kendrick Lamar - DAMN.

April 14, 2017
Critic Score
92
35 reviews

A sonic departure from the jazz inflected funk of To Pimp a Butterfly and the hyper-melodic, west coast revival feel of good kid, m.A.A.d city, DAMN. is much more concerned with trading groove for thump and concept for straight spitting. 

1. Lorde - Melodrama

June 16, 2017
Critic Score
90
36 reviews
The 11-song album is more “drama” in the screenplay sense than anything else, probably because as Frank Ocean is for R&B, Lorde aspires to be pop’s poet laureate more than anything else.
Original Source: https://consequenceofsound.net/2017/11/top-50-albums-of-2017/
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