Exclaim!'s Top 20 Pop & Rock Albums of 2017

Exclaim!'s Top 20 Pop & Rock Albums of 2017

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20. Partner - In Search of Lost Time

Partner - In Search of Lost Time
September 8, 2017
Critic Score
76
4 reviews

19. The National - Sleep Well Beast

The National - Sleep Well Beast
September 8, 2017
Critic Score
82
35 reviews

There is, after all, an inherent paradox facing any band at this stage in their career: remain stagnant and you'll risk being labelled tiring; stray too far and you may alienate the substantial following you've amassed over the years. Thankfully, the National have deftly manage that balancing act with Sleep Well Beast, a record that is equal parts familiar and fresh.

18. The xx - I See You

The xx - I See You
January 13, 2017
Critic Score
80
37 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.

17. Sheer Mag - Need to Feel Your Love

Sheer Mag - Need to Feel Your Love
July 14, 2017
Critic Score
83
25 reviews

As musically fun and riff-heavy as it is lyrically direct and meaningful, Need to Feel Your Love is exactly the debut album fans wanted from Sheer Mag — not to mention one of the best of 2017 so far.

16. (Sandy) Alex G - Rocket

(Sandy) Alex G - Rocket
May 19, 2017
Critic Score
76
23 reviews

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

15. Weaves - Wide Open

Weaves - Wide Open
October 6, 2017
Critic Score
76
9 reviews

On Wide Open, Weaves prove that they can flirt with convention without losing their edge.

14. King Krule - The OOZ

King Krule - The OOZ
October 13, 2017
Critic Score
78
24 reviews
Everything here works towards articulating the hypnotic Kingdom of Krule, and it's one worth getting lost in.

13. Fleet Foxes - Crack-Up

Fleet Foxes - Crack-Up
June 16, 2017
Critic Score
80
32 reviews

With Crack-Up's earnest explorations of the human condition and evocative, progressive composition, Fleet Foxes maintain their status as one of the best folk rock bands of the 21st century.

12. Mac DeMarco - This Old Dog

Mac DeMarco - This Old Dog
May 5, 2017
Critic Score
77
31 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.

11. Father John Misty - Pure Comedy

Father John Misty - Pure Comedy
April 7, 2017
Critic Score
81
36 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.

9. The War on Drugs - A Deeper Understanding

The War on Drugs - A Deeper Understanding
August 25, 2017
Critic Score
76
35 reviews

This time around ... all of the sonic elements have snapped into focus: the drums are booming, the guitar leads are vivid, and even the washes of synths are bright rather than bleary.

8. St. Vincent - MASSEDUCTION

St. Vincent - MASSEDUCTION
October 13, 2017
Critic Score
85
35 reviews

Clark promised us "sex and drugs and sadness" on MASSEDUCTION, and while that sounds like a recipe for clichéd disaster, she kept her word and managed to fashion a totally refreshing take in the process.

7. Jay Som - Everybody Works

Jay Som - Everybody Works
March 10, 2017
Critic Score
78
11 reviews

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

6. Julien Baker - Turn Out the Lights

Julien Baker - Turn Out the Lights
October 27, 2017
Critic Score
82
25 reviews

Baker is careful not to glorify life's darkest moments, and certainly doesn't on Turn Out the Lights. Rather, her candid portrayal of pain is a rare and beautiful gift.

5. LCD Soundsystem - American Dream

LCD Soundsystem - American Dream
September 1, 2017
Critic Score
85
35 reviews

For now, American Dream does exactly what a new LCD Soundsystem album should do: it brings back the rush that listening to the band always has, and adds a compelling new dimension to the band's sound — a mature, realist darkness that they'd only hinted at previously — that suggests Murphy might have been temporarily out of motivation, but he was never out of ideas.

4. Lorde - Melodrama

Lorde - Melodrama
June 16, 2017
Critic Score
90
36 reviews

Lorde is masterful at making music that digs within the deepest recesses of your heart and brings to the surface the feelings that you thought you'd forgotten about. Melodrama is the perfect outlet to hash (and dance) those emotions out to.

3. Slowdive - Slowdive

Slowdive - Slowdive
May 5, 2017
Critic Score
82
29 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.

2. Feist - Pleasure

Feist - Pleasure
April 28, 2017
Critic Score
79
30 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.

1. Alvvays - Antisocialites

Alvvays - Antisocialites
September 8, 2017
Critic Score
76
26 reviews
Alvvays' music might not be particularly timely, but great songwriting never goes out of style.
Original Source: https://exclaim.ca/music/article/exclaim_s_top_20_pop_and_rock_albums_part_two-best_of_2017
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