Pretty Much Amazing's Best Albums of 2017

Pretty Much Amazing's Best Albums of 2017

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20. Jay Som - Everybody Works

March 10, 2017
Critic Score
78
11 reviews
I’ll give her this much: she probably tricked a few people into thinking this was a full band experience even though, excepting some vocals, she composed, performed and produced the entire thing by herself. She certainly tricked me.

19. Arca - Arca

April 7, 2017
Critic Score
83
18 reviews

Give the best pieces here — i.e. the first six tracks — some fair time on good headphones and it’s disturbing in the best and strangest ways: a pitch-black digital blanket for fierce but dying contempt and sorrow.

18. Japanese Breakfast - Soft Sounds From Another Planet

July 14, 2017
Critic Score
79
23 reviews

Zauner’s sophomore LP not only showcases her skill in experimentation (using harpsichord and Auto-Tune), but her myriad influences, at times recalling the best of Spiritualized’s magnificent Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space.

17. Brockhampton - Saturation II

August 25, 2017
Critic Score
80
8 reviews

Where Saturation feels more upfront, II feels more mischievous, a willingness to twist things to their own perception.

16. Slowdive - Slowdive

May 5, 2017
Critic Score
82
29 reviews
Whatever band you most hope reunites, you can only hope they do it like Slowdive. Not rushed, not cash-grabbing, but focused on relationships and on furthering the legacy of the band.

15. The Magnetic Fields - 50 Song Memoir

March 10, 2017
Critic Score
84
17 reviews

I could fruitlessly compare it to its spiritual predecessor all day, but I’ll say this instead: if you compiled every other album The Magnetic Fields has released since 1999 into one 55-track album, 50 Song Memoir would absolutely blow it out of the water.

14. Fleet Foxes - Crack-Up

June 16, 2017
Critic Score
80
32 reviews
Hot take: their third record is their best, a meandering, wild, untamable masterpiece from a front man who refuses to stop studying and refuses to be predictable.

13. Perfume Genius - No Shape

May 5, 2017
Critic Score
83
28 reviews

No Shape feels more celebratory than any Perfume Genius record to date; that celebration often runs deliciously wild.

12. The National - Sleep Well Beast

September 8, 2017
Critic Score
82
35 reviews

These are National songs, and there are certain expectations; but Sleep Well Beast just finds the band meeting them with a consistency not seen since Boxer.

11. Kelela - Take Me Apart

October 6, 2017
Critic Score
80
24 reviews

10. Father John Misty - Pure Comedy

April 7, 2017
Critic Score
81
36 reviews

A handful of superb records have already been released in 2017. Pure Comedy’s scope, ambition, and beauty herald something bigger: the year’s first great album.

9. Tyler, the Creator - Flower Boy

July 21, 2017
Critic Score
80
20 reviews

At its core, Flower Boy looks inward. Underneath the hardened, immature exterior lies an impressionable psyche that pines to be understood.

8. SZA - Ctrl

June 9, 2017
Critic Score
82
17 reviews

Rowe admits she’s no idea what she’s doing when it comes to being an artist, but CTRL doesn’t suggest this at all. Rather it shows someone with a novel prose and delivery who uses these tools to explore music in ways those before her were unable to do.

7. The xx - I See You

January 13, 2017
Critic Score
80
37 reviews

The band retains its core strengths (pillowtalk vocals, echoing, urbane guitar lines) while expanding its sonic reach and stretching for the bleacher seats. It’s an excellent and surprisingly comforting way to begin 2017.

6. The War on Drugs - A Deeper Understanding

August 25, 2017
Critic Score
76
35 reviews

A Deeper Understanding is the best indie rock record of the year and in many ways, the best record in general. It is comforting and compelling in its confidence.

5. Kendrick Lamar - DAMN.

April 14, 2017
Critic Score
92
35 reviews

It’s the first album in Kendrick Lamar’s discography where tracks can more readily be taken individually. And yet, given the talent of the artist in question, and the producers he’s pulled in, this one is no less ambitious and rewarding than some of his previous entries.

4. Vince Staples - Big Fish Theory

June 23, 2017
Critic Score
86
26 reviews

This is Big Fish Theory in its basest form: A truly progressive, existential, emotionally saturated hip-hop album that establishes the value of dance-centric collaboration by reminding us that it’s exactly that.

3. LCD Soundsystem - American Dream

September 1, 2017
Critic Score
85
35 reviews

American Dream represents a high point for Murphy, not only as a songwriter, but also as a meticulous sonic architect and an exuberant performer.

2. St. Vincent - MASSEDUCTION

October 13, 2017
Critic Score
85
36 reviews

MASSEDUCTION joins Grimes’ Art Angels and Lorde’s Melodrama as the inverse of a traditional pop album, one that undercuts the very genre it lifts. St. Vincent has consolidated, digested, and now transcended her former styles. What’s left is an artist reframing the landscape, a reverse-chameleon who can’t camouflage, but transforms the world around her instead.

1. Lorde - Melodrama

June 16, 2017
Critic Score
90
36 reviews
Self-care has allowed Lorde to make something extraordinary and authentic, something that takes you by the hand and assures you that you can survive and thrive in the same sea of emotion.
Original Source: https://prettymuchamazing.com/features/best-albums-2017
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