The Skinny's Top 50 Albums of 2017

The Skinny's Top 50 Albums of 2017

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50. Father John Misty - Pure Comedy

April 7, 2017
Critic Score
81
36 reviews

Pure Comedy is the perfect name for an album like this; one that trades in seemingly serious evocations, but ultimately reveals itself to be a farce. After 74 minutes of self-congratulatory back-slapping, proselytising, hand-wringing and relativising, Tillman reinforces his belief in man's ineffectuality and weakness amid cosmic indifference.

49. The War on Drugs - A Deeper Understanding

August 25, 2017
Critic Score
76
35 reviews

While stylistically The War on Drugs have never released anything revolutionary, A Deeper Understanding lacks that spark that their previous releases had, which could well be due in part to their move to a new major label home.

48. Kelela - Take Me Apart

October 6, 2017
Critic Score
80
23 reviews

Take Me Apart may not appear as immediately interesting and unique as Kelela's previous work but there are layers upon layers of elements to be explored.

46. Little Dragon - Season High

April 14, 2017
Critic Score
67
18 reviews

For all Season High’s exuberance, the record never pitches too hard. Little Dragon sense when to turn it down just as well as they know when to ramp it up, and tracks like Butterflies and Strobe Lights deal in emerald lights and moody ultraviolet.

45. Fleet Foxes - Crack-Up

June 16, 2017
Critic Score
80
32 reviews

44. Alvvays - Antisocialites

September 8, 2017
Critic Score
76
26 reviews

This is Alvvays pushing the jangle pop envelope, and the perfect album for when sunny summer turns to antisocial autumn.

43. Algiers - The Underside of Power

June 23, 2017
Critic Score
84
23 reviews
Ultimately, this is an important record at a time when galvanising young people to protest is needed perhaps more than ever. While it's presumptive to assume Algiers have succeeded, this record definitely won't hurt the effort.

42. Priests - Nothing Feels Natural

January 27, 2017
Critic Score
76
12 reviews

41. Blanck Mass - World Eater

March 3, 2017
Critic Score
78
24 reviews

World Eater is ferocious and intense, but it's also thrilling and bristling with life – and it’s these contrasts that make it such a blast to listen to.

40. Brockhampton - Saturation II

August 25, 2017
Critic Score
80
8 reviews

39. Courtney Barnett & Kurt Vile - Lotta Sea Lice

October 13, 2017
Critic Score
80
29 reviews

Barnett and Vile have managed to perfectly sync up their idiosyncrasies; Lotta Sea Lice is a joyful, ambling product of two connected creative minds.

38. Open Mike Eagle - Brick Body Kids Still Daydream

September 15, 2017
Critic Score
79
12 reviews

Brick Body Kids Still Daydream offers everything you’d expect from an Open Mike Eagle album and rivals Dark Comedy for the best in his catalogue. But it’s also his most thematically coherent work yet. 

37. Cloud Nothings - Life Without Sound

January 27, 2017
Critic Score
73
23 reviews

Although Baldi has more observations to share than his previous records – and makes them with snarling passion and versatility – that added maturity isn’t quite matched by his songs yet.

36. The xx - I See You

January 13, 2017
Critic Score
80
37 reviews
The xx are moving forward, but they don’t know quite where they’re headed.

35. Stormzy - Gang Signs & Prayer

February 24, 2017
Critic Score
81
18 reviews

34. alt-J - Relaxer

June 2, 2017
Critic Score
67
30 reviews

Its compact eight tracks, running at a mere 40 minutes, offer controlled segments of medidative horizons and wry alt-pop – sequenced like binary code.

33. Jlin - Black Origami

May 19, 2017
Critic Score
84
13 reviews

31. Forest Swords - Compassion

May 5, 2017
Critic Score
79
17 reviews

Compassion may not feel complete yet, but it’s an exciting portent of what may yet come.

30. Jens Lekman - Life Will See You Now

February 17, 2017
Critic Score
76
22 reviews

The finished product is articulate and bubbling with energy and positivity – much like Lekman himself.

29. Hurray For The Riff Raff - The Navigator

March 10, 2017
Critic Score
81
18 reviews
The question of identity is touched upon throughout the songs here (national, political, gender), but in terms of musical identity, Hurray for the Riff Raff know exactly who they are.

27. Feist - Pleasure

April 28, 2017
Critic Score
79
30 reviews

Pleasure is easily Feist’s most difficult album, far from the immediate accessibility of The Reminder, but she's a captivating performer and it may well be her richest statement.

26. Sylvan Esso - What Now

April 28, 2017
Critic Score
76
20 reviews

Mostly, What Now is intent on being bigger and brasher than its predecessor, perhaps to avoid politely slipping into the background quite so easily.

25. King Krule - The OOZ

October 13, 2017
Critic Score
78
24 reviews

24. Japanese Breakfast - Soft Sounds From Another Planet

July 14, 2017
Critic Score
79
23 reviews

The strained clarity of Zauner’s voice is what makes this album so beautiful, particularly during the contemplative balladry of This House. Moving and inspired, Soft Sounds From Another Planet is yet another lesson in guitar pop perfection.

22. Omni - Multi-Task

September 22, 2017
Critic Score
75
7 reviews

It doesn’t quite have anything as immediately appealing as Afterlife here, in fact it’s much more of a grower, but over time Multi-task proves itself to be a triumphant lesson in post-punk authenticity.

20. Bicep - Bicep

September 1, 2017
Critic Score
76
13 reviews

An album that functions seamlessly as a listen-in-one-sitting affair, with enough memorable stand-alone moments to keep the club contingent happy, Bicep's debut is a clear front-runner for best house record of the year.

19. Bonobo - Migration

January 13, 2017
Critic Score
74
18 reviews

Migration is the acid test for electronic music in 2017, and sets a standard that will be undeniably difficult to beat, let alone match.

18. Aldous Harding - Party

May 19, 2017
Critic Score
80
12 reviews

17. Phoebe Bridgers - Stranger in the Alps

September 22, 2017
Critic Score
81
15 reviews
Equal parts Mary Lou Lord and Margo Timmins, Bridgers is someone finding her way, trying things out, rarely settling for easy when something more is called for.

16. Fever Ray - Plunge

October 27, 2017
Critic Score
82
19 reviews
A true, audacious trip, the album squirms and twists, transforming from one thing to another – but without losing sight of its focus.

15. Mura Masa - Mura Masa

July 14, 2017
Critic Score
76
11 reviews
It’s a confident, competent step forwards from a sure-footed talent, earning its repeat listens through mature considerations. And there will be repeat listens – just you try not to.

14. Paramore - After Laughter

May 12, 2017
Critic Score
83
17 reviews

13. St. Vincent - MASSEDUCTION

October 13, 2017
Critic Score
85
35 reviews
It’s the most honest record we've heard from Clark yet, baring her soul more than she ever has before.

12. Big Thief - Capacity

June 9, 2017
Critic Score
82
21 reviews

Big Thief aren’t the sort of band that will always hit you suddenly, such is their subtlety and restraint, but on Capacity they prove that when they do it’s powerful and memorable.

11. Mount Kimbie - Love What Survives

September 8, 2017
Critic Score
77
23 reviews

For their third LP, Mount Kimbie have lost that previously razor sharp focus. Love What Survives offers a scattergun approach to ideas, sounds and voices, and it could be their greatest record yet.

10. Protomartyr - Relatives in Descent

September 29, 2017
Critic Score
83
23 reviews
Attempts to define irrefutable truths can bring out the fool in anyone, but on their fourth LP, Protomartyr turn grappling with the inexplicable nature of all things over 12 songs into something genuinely fruitful.

9. Thundercat - Drunk

February 24, 2017
Critic Score
81
25 reviews

A stoner’s wet dream, Drunk is a true oddity that meanders along for 50-plus minutes with the narrative levity of a hallucination. Patchy and unfiltered, but charming as all hell, it’s a candid reflection of its creator.

7. Run the Jewels - Run the Jewels 3

December 25, 2016
Critic Score
86
31 reviews

Equal parts red-hot fire and cold hard reality, Killer Mike and El-P’s third album as Run The Jewels is a muscular call to arms.

6. LCD Soundsystem - American Dream

September 1, 2017
Critic Score
85
35 reviews

American Dream feels like Murphy's darkest record to date, and like previous LCD records, only gets better with repeat listens. In short, it's fucking glorious.

5. Sampha - Process

February 3, 2017
Critic Score
83
31 reviews

Process is an exercise in catharsis, a deep breath in that lays Sampha’s soul bare through gorgeous vignettes of his life. He worries, he regrets, he aches. He’s human.

4. Perfume Genius - No Shape

May 5, 2017
Critic Score
83
28 reviews

Perfume Genius’ magic lies in transforming struggle into folklore, mythologizing a daily endurance against patriarchal bullshit. These are vital hymns to unite and strengthen.

3. Lorde - Melodrama

June 16, 2017
Critic Score
90
36 reviews

Melodrama is overblown sensationalism, and the sound of exposing every single thing without flinching. Every dark thought, every secret hope, every lurking fear, all soundtracked by uncompromising pop maximalism.

2. SZA - Ctrl

June 9, 2017
Critic Score
82
17 reviews

1. Kendrick Lamar - DAMN.

April 14, 2017
Critic Score
92
35 reviews
The themes are familiar from earlier efforts – but this is more obviously an effort, a struggle.
Original Source: http://www.theskinny.co.uk/music/opinion/albums-of-the-year/the-skinny-top-50-albums-of-2017
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