Pitchfork's 50 Best Albums of 2017

Pitchfork's 50 Best Albums of 2017

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50. Yaeji - Yaeji

March 31, 2017
Critic Score
77
2 reviews

50. Yaeji - EP2

November 3, 2017
Critic Score
78
5 reviews

Yaeji pushes her music further to its poles on EP2.

49. Open Mike Eagle - Brick Body Kids Still Daydream

September 15, 2017
Critic Score
79
12 reviews
It’s a colorful portrait of lives that are typically rendered in one dimension. And yet somehow, he can still make us laugh.

48. (Sandy) Alex G - Rocket

May 19, 2017
Critic Score
76
23 reviews

The Philadelphia musician has made a meticulously filtered and distorted document of indie rock. Though it’s his most accessible, his best traits remain his obtuse storytelling and oddly-shaped songs.

47. Kehlani - SweetSexySavage

January 27, 2017
Critic Score
71
19 reviews

Refreshingly, SweetSexySavage is at its best when it’s most exuberant, giddy in the face of haters and common sense alike.

46. Laurel Halo - Dust

June 23, 2017
Critic Score
83
17 reviews

Far beyond a cut-and-paste collage of genres and moods, Dust is a thrilling attempt to escape all the usual points of classification, to collapse the primacy of the human voice, and to obscure and reveal at unexpected moments.

45. Girlpool - Powerplant

May 12, 2017
Critic Score
75
21 reviews

Girlpool's sound gets bigger on their sophomore LP, but Cleo Tucker and Harmony Tividad’s voices still sit center stage in all their vulnerable glory.

44. Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith - The Kid

October 6, 2017
Critic Score
77
15 reviews

Her latest record The Kid stands apart as her most immediate and accessible yet.

43. Lil B - Black Ken

August 17, 2017
Critic Score
62
3 reviews

Years of online myth-making have culminated with Lil B’s masterpiece Black Ken, 27 tracks of deep funk and hyphy that finally define the mercurial Based God.

42. Vagabon - Infinite Worlds

February 24, 2017
Critic Score
82
7 reviews

Guided by a more mature sound, Infinite Worlds is the rock music we need nowadays, when it seems like home, wherever it might be, is getting farther away.

41. Zola Jesus - Okovi

September 8, 2017
Critic Score
79
22 reviews

The abandonment of her Top 40 aspirations has yielded some of her most powerful music since that Stridulum EP and its sternum-cracking single “Night.”

40. The xx - I See You

January 13, 2017
Critic Score
80
37 reviews

I See You, the third album by the xx, sounds like an attempt to incorporate everyone’s talents into a new version of their sound, one true to their roots but richer and more varied.

39. Fleet Foxes - Crack-Up

June 16, 2017
Critic Score
80
32 reviews

Put aside the inclination to strip it for singles, and Crack-Up’s generosity can feel bottomless. Rather than a show of contempt for the confines and craft of a three-minute pop song, Crack-Up is one of trust, applying its harmonic and textural gifts with the same free-flowing intuition as Joanna Newsom’s Ys or Grizzly Bear’s Yellow House.

38. Drake - More Life

March 18, 2017
Critic Score
76
23 reviews

Drake's course correction to VIEWS bursts with energy—more South African house, more grime, more Kanye. It's a long player made for luxuriating and a total immersion into Drake's world-pop lifestyle.

37. Julie Byrne - Not Even Happiness

January 27, 2017
Critic Score
80
18 reviews

Singer-songwriter Julie Byrne’s new album has the lucidity and tactility of a healing crystal. Not unlike Phil Elverum, she paints sublime, awestruck moments when simple things become overwhelming.

36. Syd - Fin

February 3, 2017
Critic Score
79
14 reviews

On Fin, what Syd seems to want to portray most of all is an admirable, inspirational confidence, a young woman singing and rapping while totally at ease with the beats that please her most.

35. Playboi Carti - Playboi Carti

April 14, 2017
Critic Score
68
4 reviews

The young Atlanta rapper’s debut mixtape finds a cloudy and economical mood and stays there, but it’s Carti’s magnetic confidence that turns just enough into plenty.

34. Mount Kimbie - Love What Survives

September 8, 2017
Critic Score
77
23 reviews
The duo’s music was always full of the small details, but they now conspire toward something bigger.

33. Kelly Lee Owens - Kelly Lee Owens

March 24, 2017
Critic Score
80
11 reviews

The Welsh singer and producer leaves her indie rock past behind and mixes dream pop and ambient techno on her immensely varied and fully-formed debut.

32. Lana Del Rey - Lust for Life

July 21, 2017
Critic Score
76
32 reviews

Since the drastically superior Paradise Edition reissue of Born to Die, Del Rey has neither swayed nor settled. Instead, doubling down on her palette of inky blues and blacks, the singer-songwriter has delivered a trio of dark, dense, radio-agnostic albums that stand wholly apart from any of her pop music peers.

31. Kamasi Washington - Harmony of Difference

September 29, 2017
Critic Score
80
16 reviews

Following on its massive and sometimes unwieldy predecessor, Harmony of Difference, a brief and concentrated blast of emotion, is a great place to catch up on what Washington has to say.

30. Slowdive - Slowdive

May 5, 2017
Critic Score
82
29 reviews
This is an album as thoughtful as it is beautiful.

29. Run the Jewels - Run the Jewels 3

December 25, 2016
Critic Score
86
31 reviews

RTJ3 is essentially the Run the Jewels manifesto, an outpouring of rage and defiance that never loses sight of the objectives: rallying the troops, holding all accountable, and toppling oppression.

28. Ibeyi - Ash

September 29, 2017
Critic Score
76
14 reviews
Their genre-agnostic musicality widens the aura of inclusion, twining downtempo electro-soul, hip-hop, jazz, and fervently slapped cajón percussion that nods to West African Yoruba culture. These are sage, heady dialogues, clearly years in the making.

27. Future - HNDRXX

February 24, 2017
Critic Score
79
7 reviews

Over a well-played hand of wistful, bright-eyed and reflective beats, HNDRXX strikes a near-perfect balance between a man still licking his wounds and a man emerging from a long, dark night.

26. Jay Som - Everybody Works

March 10, 2017
Critic Score
78
11 reviews
Just a few years into her adult life, and only one album into her recording career, Melina Duterte has swept past a milestone many musicians never even get in their sights.

25. Priests - Nothing Feels Natural

January 27, 2017
Critic Score
76
12 reviews

Priests’ debut expands into a rich diorama of stinging guitar, funk, yearning indie pop, and jazz; there hasn’t been a punk debut this certain and poised since Savages’ Silence Yourself.

24. Thundercat - Drunk

February 24, 2017
Critic Score
81
25 reviews

The third album from bassist/songwriter Thundercat is whimsical and somber, funny and meaningful, sometimes all at once. Drunk's oddball soul confronts the challenge of just trying to live life. 

23. Big Thief - Capacity

June 9, 2017
Critic Score
82
21 reviews

Capacity is a remarkable record, one that proves that Big Thief are not a one trick pony, they are the full circus.

22. St. Vincent - MASSEDUCTION

October 13, 2017
Critic Score
85
36 reviews
Clark has achieved rockstar grandeur, as well as rock stars’ greatest musical vice: unsubtle commentary on the problems of today.

21. Arca - Arca

April 7, 2017
Critic Score
83
18 reviews

The more Alejandro Ghersi gives of himself, the larger his music as Arca grows. His latest feels both intimate and expansive, a connection between his melodic past and a chaotic future.

20. Björk - Utopia

November 24, 2017
Critic Score
78
33 reviews
It’s a long, skittering discovery of googly-eyed romance, a rebuke of the violence inherited by men, and a generous offering of love song after love song, rendered musically with unerring elegance and passion.

19. Migos - Culture

January 27, 2017
Critic Score
74
21 reviews

On Culture, their world is richly rendered, full of hopes and paranoia and unbridled joy. This gives the Migos the last laugh on those who thought they’d never crack the retail album format, marked all the while by the knowledge they never needed one to succeed. It’s a definitive work.

18. Julien Baker - Turn Out the Lights

October 27, 2017
Critic Score
82
25 reviews
The second album from Tennessee songwriter Julien Baker wrestles with self-worth, rejection, and God. Centering on her voice, guitar, and piano, Baker begins to sound defiant.

17. Charlotte Gainsbourg - Rest

November 17, 2017
Critic Score
77
23 reviews

On Rest, Gainsbourg doesn’t just reveal her pain, but monumentalizes it, lays out a red carpet, and invites people to watch. Her refusal to be sequestered by grief is, quite literally, a death-defying feat.

16. Perfume Genius - No Shape

May 5, 2017
Critic Score
83
28 reviews
Mike Hadreas’ fourth record is pure decadence. It’s his most realized album yet, a tender and transcendental protest record of love and devotion.

15. Sampha - Process

February 3, 2017
Critic Score
83
31 reviews

It’s a remarkable, meditative work, as he processes grief and navigates self-discovery.

14. Mount Eerie - A Crow Looked at Me

March 24, 2017
Critic Score
90
17 reviews
So simple, so tactile, so deceptively real are these songs. Their cumulative effect is that they become wobbly with metaphor, forcing the listener into the kind of magical thinking that transforms everything in the living world into a sign of the dead, only to snap back into a reality that for better and worse means nothing.

13. Jay-Z - 4:44

June 30, 2017
Critic Score
81
28 reviews

4:44 may lack the Cohiba panache of Jay’s greatest albums, but it’s by far his most thoughtful one.

12. LCD Soundsystem - American Dream

September 1, 2017
Critic Score
85
35 reviews
The rebirth of LCD Soundsystem is marked by an extraordinary album obsessed with endings: of friendships, of love, of heroes, of a certain type of geeky fandom, and of the American dream itself.

11. The War on Drugs - A Deeper Understanding

August 25, 2017
Critic Score
76
35 reviews

The obsessive studio work of Adam Granduciel creates a hermetic experience like no other. A Deeper Understanding is his most layered and meticulous album, a twilight world in which to lose yourself.

10. Jlin - Black Origami

May 19, 2017
Critic Score
84
13 reviews

The sophomore album from the brilliant producer turns the tools of footwork into an overwhelming piece of musical architecture, an epic treatise on where rhythm comes from and where it can go.

9. Fever Ray - Plunge

October 27, 2017
Critic Score
82
19 reviews
On her second album as Fever Ray, Karin Dreijer is more conflicted, more manic—and more in love, too.

8. Tyler, the Creator - Flower Boy

July 21, 2017
Critic Score
80
20 reviews
So subdued, wistful, permissive, and relatable, are these songs—they are Tyler’s most refined to date. Collectively, they’re a kaleidoscopic sonic wonder.

7. Vince Staples - Big Fish Theory

June 23, 2017
Critic Score
86
26 reviews

The new album is smooth where Summertime ‘06 was jagged, foregoing the disquieting noise for something more functional, finding sophistication in streamlined motion, like an art installation set up in a nightclub.

6. Moses Sumney - Aromanticism

September 22, 2017
Critic Score
81
15 reviews

Aromanticism’s quietude and calm sensitivity deliver a musical detoxification from the exhausting stream of information that now constitutes a normal day of news.

5. Lorde - Melodrama

June 16, 2017
Critic Score
90
36 reviews
Lorde captures emotions like none other. Her second album is a masterful study of being a young woman, a sleek and humid pop record full of grief and hedonism, crafted with the utmost care and wisdom.

4. Kelela - Take Me Apart

October 6, 2017
Critic Score
80
24 reviews

On Take Me Apart, her first studio album, she takes the cerebral, corporeal world she’s built into the domain where it can historically live best: a new, outré, rhythmic pop galaxy that honors but outpaces its peers.

3. King Krule - The OOZ

October 13, 2017
Critic Score
78
25 reviews

The world is a filthy, utterly debased place, his music suggests, but there are rewards of sorts for those determined to survive it. In this spirit, The OOZ drops at our feet like a piece of poisoned fruit, a masterpiece of jaundiced vision from one of the most compelling artists alive.

2. SZA - Ctrl

June 9, 2017
Critic Score
82
17 reviews
The long-awaited debut from the Jersey singer is an opulent, raw R&B album that constantly tests the borders of the genre. SZA’s deeply personal lens on modern romance gives these songs endless life.

1. Kendrick Lamar - DAMN.

April 14, 2017
Critic Score
92
35 reviews

DAMN. is a widescreen masterpiece of rap, full of expensive beats, furious rhymes, and peerless storytelling about Kendrick’s destiny in America.

Original Source: https://pitchfork.com/features/lists-and-guides/the-50-best-albums-of-2017/
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