PopMatters' 60 Best Albums of 2017

PopMatters' 60 Best Albums of 2017

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58. Do Make Say Think - Stubborn Persistent Illusions

May 19, 2017
Critic Score
84
9 reviews
More often than not, the music feels like a cool breeze at dusk after a hot sunny day—the kind of thing that can recharge you and make you look forward to what lies ahead before you go to sleep.

55. Charly Bliss - Guppy

April 21, 2017
Critic Score
82
10 reviews

Guppy is a special release ... all you need is thirty minutes of hooks and riffs sung by a voice familiar the first time you hear it.

54. Tyler, the Creator - Flower Boy

July 21, 2017
Critic Score
80
20 reviews
From beginning to end, he capitalizes on the neo-soul and jazzy elements he’s flirted with previously to create a smooth, conceptual, even cinematic album.

53. Lana Del Rey - Lust for Life

July 21, 2017
Critic Score
76
32 reviews

Lust for Life postures itself above all as Lana Del Rey’s most optimistic, political, and globally conscious record to date. Much in the same way that Katy Perry has begun making so-called “purposeful pop”, here Del Rey questions her role as a musician in ushering in a better world.

52. Paramore - After Laughter

May 12, 2017
Critic Score
83
17 reviews

51. (Sandy) Alex G - Rocket

May 19, 2017
Critic Score
76
23 reviews

On Rocket, Alex G proves that he is a very talented artist whose strength lies in his understanding of character.

50. Japanese Breakfast - Soft Sounds From Another Planet

July 14, 2017
Critic Score
79
23 reviews

Michelle Zauner conjures the macro in the micro. Her richly observed songs convey intimate details and observations that conjure the immensity of concepts like love, sex, and desire.

48. Ibibio Sound Machine - Uyai

March 3, 2017
Critic Score
79
10 reviews

What it sounds like is a band that has found its groove and knows how to run with it in any direction it pleases. Ibibio Sound Machine is now in full control of its sound, and it’s that knowledge that allows the group to truly let loose.

47. Queens of the Stone Age - Villains

August 25, 2017
Critic Score
77
29 reviews

This record is strong from top to bottom, and another great entry into Queens of the Stone Age’s catalog.

46. Moses Sumney - Aromanticism

September 22, 2017
Critic Score
81
15 reviews

45. Foxygen - Hang

January 20, 2017
Critic Score
69
25 reviews

Hang is the sound of a group of pop music pirates taking their nostalgia-steeped aesthetic to its gloriously overblown conclusion. Holding absolutely nothing back, Foxygen deliver an absurdly grandiose album that should not work nearly as well as it does.

44. Alvvays - Antisocialites

September 8, 2017
Critic Score
76
26 reviews
As with their 2014 eponymous debut, the band continues to hone a strain of loose, jangly guitar pop in the same vein as TOPS and Pure Bathing Culture, winking at the obscurities of dream pop while keeping both feet planted firmly in the sunshine. Still, with their latest effort, Alvvays find ways to expand their scope and deepen their ambition.

43. Big Thief - Capacity

June 9, 2017
Critic Score
82
21 reviews

There are a lot of songs and stories in Adrianne Lenker’s brain and Capicity can’t hold them all, but the 11 that it does are an excellent evolution in the band’s musical and storytelling progression.

41. Syd - Fin

February 3, 2017
Critic Score
79
14 reviews

Syd is many wonderful things on solo debut Fin - singer, producer, all-around seductress—but most importantly, she is human, and her album is filled with all that entails.

39. Jens Lekman - Life Will See You Now

February 17, 2017
Critic Score
76
22 reviews

There’s a lot in Life Will See You Now to suggest that it’s Lekman’s finest album to date. It’s certainly his most refined and emotionally rich.

38. Mount Kimbie - Love What Survives

September 8, 2017
Critic Score
77
23 reviews
Despite elements of the previous records having survived in the process, the pair is further opening up its sound, exploring further possibilities that didn’t appear on its radar a few years back. The result is such an astounding record, which on one hand exists in the past, while on the other it looks forward into the future.

37. Thundercat - Drunk

February 24, 2017
Critic Score
81
25 reviews

As a whole, Drunk is alternately frustrating and fascinating—much like the titular state of being—in its willingness to follow its creative muse whenever and wherever it may lead.

36. Mark Lanegan Band - Gargoyle

April 28, 2017
Critic Score
77
17 reviews

Gargoyle is as confident and assured as anything Lanegan has released. It stands up alongside his best work and pushes his method in a few new directions, without trying to break from the paradigm. It’s no crossover work that’ll likely garner him new fans, but it finds him cemented in his legacy.

35. SZA - Ctrl

June 9, 2017
Critic Score
82
17 reviews

Making these subtle tonal shifts so impactful is a truly rare feat for a debut record and proves that SZA already has a place among our most heart-wrenching writers and vocalists.

34. Rhiannon Giddens - Freedom Highway

February 24, 2017
Critic Score
81
11 reviews

33. Run the Jewels - Run the Jewels 3

December 25, 2016
Critic Score
86
31 reviews
How viable their politics actually are is a debate for another day, but as a hip-hop record in 2017, few will come close to creating such an enthralling and vital listen.

32. Curtis Harding - Face Your Fear

October 27, 2017
Critic Score
76
6 reviews
People do what they do for a multitude of reasons, but there is none better than to become closer with our fellow human beings in the name of love. Harding's music provides a sensual soundtrack for such activities.

31. Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith - The Kid

October 6, 2017
Critic Score
77
15 reviews

Her new work, The Kid, continues the direction of her last solo work, EARS, but features fewer electronic elements in favor of organic instrumentation, no small move for someone who owes much of her earlier career to the Buchla modular systems.

30. Hurray For The Riff Raff - The Navigator

March 10, 2017
Critic Score
81
18 reviews

Segarra literally serves as The Navigator on this 12 track journey into the past where memory, poetry, myth, and reality mix to create a rich, spicy and hearty guisada.

29. Spoon - Hot Thoughts

March 17, 2017
Critic Score
79
30 reviews

The album strikes almost the perfect balance between traditional songs and adventurous sounds, which makes it stand out in Spoon’s extensive catalog of great albums.

28. Valerie June - The Order of Time

March 10, 2017
Critic Score
83
8 reviews

Valerie June follows-up a highly regarded debut with a stronger, tighter set of songs around the theme of time and its passing. The Order of Time is unique and presents a confident and dynamic songwriter and performer with a rich background in stylistic and regional influences.

27. King Krule - The OOZ

October 13, 2017
Critic Score
78
25 reviews

Despite the fractured nature of its lyrics, The OOZ is quite enveloping; its heady mix of fractured jazz guitar and stuttering beats create a dark, unsettling world in which Marshall’s gunky vignettes come alive.

26. Blanck Mass - World Eater

March 3, 2017
Critic Score
78
24 reviews
While there are thrills to be had with the sheer rush of the powerful music contained here, the greater sense of conflict that Power documents in his outward looking opus is the real success of the record.

25. Idles - Brutalism

March 10, 2017
Critic Score
84
8 reviews
If Idles are the right band for right now, that’s partly because they’re willing to stare down the ugly truths, even those in the mirror, and demand better.

24. Mount Eerie - A Crow Looked at Me

March 24, 2017
Critic Score
90
17 reviews
And yet this collection of songs exists, released to the world as a declaration of love, and informing the listener about the circumstances of love and loss between Elverum and his late wife Geneviève Castrée Elverum and their baby daughter.

23. Margo Price - All American Made

October 20, 2017
Critic Score
80
16 reviews

22. Arca - Arca

April 7, 2017
Critic Score
83
18 reviews

At this point, it is not an exaggeration to suggest that Arca is one of the most vital and consequential voices in electronic music this generation has seen.

21. Vince Staples - Big Fish Theory

June 23, 2017
Critic Score
86
26 reviews

The Big Fish Theory is a powerful and troubling record. It’s an epic in miniature that shows a natural progression from Staples’s previous work.

20. The War on Drugs - A Deeper Understanding

August 25, 2017
Critic Score
76
35 reviews

A Deeper Understanding represents another step forward for the War on Drugs, and is among their most ambitious, consistent, and emotionally searing works yet.

19. Perfume Genius - No Shape

May 5, 2017
Critic Score
83
28 reviews

As its title suggests, No Shape is playfully elusive, and the album is often content simply to create beauty while remaining agnostic about what lies beneath its surface. The result is an ironically more luminous and even joyful listen than the darker Too Bright.

18. Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit - The Nashville Sound

June 16, 2017
Critic Score
80
15 reviews
Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit’s first album together in five years is an enjoyable ride through his career and the life he has lived. It’s a deeply personal and often autobiographical album that cuts right on the things Isbell, the band, and his family, confront in the world.

17. Father John Misty - Pure Comedy

April 7, 2017
Critic Score
81
36 reviews

Joshua Tillman has crafted one of the year’s most undoubtedly ambitious albums, melding of-the-moment musings with classicist songwriting. It’s his best work yet.

16. Fleet Foxes - Crack-Up

June 16, 2017
Critic Score
80
32 reviews

Crack-Up joins the ranks of albums like Homogenic, OK Computer and Yankee Hotel Foxtrot—works by eclectic, established artists who decided to push boundaries even further and subsequently produced masterpieces.

15. Iglooghost - Neō Wax Bloom

September 29, 2017
Critic Score
80
10 reviews
The artist falls among the ranks of Aphex Twin, Amon Tobin, Arca—artists who found their sound and then kept finding it further. Like these producers, Iglooghost has deeply tapped into the musical ecosystem. So adaptive is he to his surroundings, the surroundings will have no choice but to adapt right back.

14. The National - Sleep Well Beast

September 8, 2017
Critic Score
82
35 reviews

Sleep Well Beast, the National's best LP since Boxer, features some of the band's most raucous numbers to date, as well as a newfound use of electronics.

13. St. Vincent - MASSEDUCTION

October 13, 2017
Critic Score
85
36 reviews
It might not be the preeminent masterpiece many are already making it out to be, but the album does have some great moments, and it bodes good things for the trajectory of St. Vincent’s ongoing career.

12. Slowdive - Slowdive

May 5, 2017
Critic Score
82
29 reviews

While traces from each of their previous efforts show up throughout the album, Slowdive is resolutely its own animal. It is more gentle and peaceful than anything since their debut, but carries a subtle bitterness that belies its airy palette.

11. Algiers - The Underside of Power

June 23, 2017
Critic Score
84
23 reviews

Whether or not punk is “back” amidst this wide range of artistic responses remains an open question, but if what the world needs right now is confrontational, unapologetic art, then The Underside of Power rises to the challenge and succeeds.

Original Source: https://www.popmatters.com/60-best-albums-of-2017-2516162820.html
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