The 405's Top 20 Albums of 2017

The 405's Top 20 Albums of 2017

Original Source →

20. Vince Staples - Big Fish Theory

June 23, 2017
Critic Score
86
25 reviews
While this album is being heralded as a triumph by many, to this writer it feels more akin to an in-between; furtive steps in a new direction that will almost doubtlessly be mined even more successfully next go round – assuming our hero doesn't veer in yet another direction.

19. Syd - Fin

February 3, 2017
Critic Score
79
14 reviews

In short, Fin is a mature, if slightly restrained debut. Unfortunately, there’s not quite enough here to get a true sense of where Syd’s long-term artistic vision will take her. Nonetheless, what Fin does, it does incredibly well - and with confidence.

18. Protomartyr - Relatives in Descent

September 29, 2017
Critic Score
83
23 reviews
If punk rock was originally intended to inflame and inform the underserved masses, Protomartyr haven’t fallen off the mark; just be sure to keep an encyclopaedia next to your headphones.

17. Lorde - Melodrama

June 16, 2017
Critic Score
90
35 reviews
It’s a soundtrack for the delirious highs and also the sobering, sombre lows when the glasses break and the lights turn on.

16. Björk - Utopia

November 24, 2017
Critic Score
78
33 reviews

Utopia sees Björk demonstrating newfound strength and optimism, painting in bright shades and surrounding herself with the sounds of her own Eden.

15. Kelela - Take Me Apart

October 6, 2017
Critic Score
80
23 reviews
Greatness hasn't sounded this natural in this arena for some time.

14. Moses Sumney - Aromanticism

September 22, 2017
Critic Score
80
14 reviews

Aromanticism is an album that is heartfelt and heartbreaking, and, from the opening chorals to the closing moments of ‘Self Help Tape’, is an album like no other.

13. Kelly Lee Owens - Kelly Lee Owens

March 24, 2017
Critic Score
80
11 reviews
Kelly Lee Owens’ love for Björk is well-known and it’s reflected as a major influence in her sound. So is her love for nature and all its purity. As her music shows, Kelly Lee Owens is honest, fluid and meaningful.

12. The World Is a Beautiful Place and I Am No Longer Afraid to Die - Always Foreign

September 29, 2017
Critic Score
77
9 reviews

With this album, The World is a Beautiful Place & I Am No Longer Afraid To Die has stepped up to the challenge of their name (as well as their previous lyrics riffing off the name), and show that they are willing to fight to make it a reality. While this battle may be a substantially uphill one, Always Foreign stands as an impeccable call to arms.

11. Jay-Z - 4:44

June 30, 2017
Critic Score
80
27 reviews

For those who had counted off Jay-Z the rapper, thinking Beyonce's recent renaissance would constitute the artistic future of the Carter clan (this writer included), 4:44 presents a renewed Jay-Z.

10. The War on Drugs - A Deeper Understanding

August 25, 2017
Critic Score
76
35 reviews

It is this expert production that Adam Granduciel has managed to cultivate throughout A Deeper Understanding that takes it above just another rock album and beyond just another album full of hope and nostalgia.

9. Ariel Pink - Dedicated to Bobby Jameson

September 15, 2017
Critic Score
76
19 reviews

Dedicated to Bobby Jameson is not just another Ariel Pink album. He has come forth with an album which demonstrates every strength that he has as an artist and a showman.

8. Fleet Foxes - Crack-Up

June 16, 2017
Critic Score
80
32 reviews

More charming than ever before, Fleet Foxes' return with Crack-Up is a major step for the band, contriving a brand new era of divine melodies and break through compositions.

7. Sampha - Process

February 3, 2017
Critic Score
83
31 reviews

Facing the pressure of collective expectations, genuinely buckling from 6 years of anticipation, it manages to both deliver on, and gracefully dodge, them all.

6. Big Thief - Capacity

June 9, 2017
Critic Score
82
21 reviews

Overall Capacity is an album brimming over with emotion and love, giving us a sharp and unforgettable insight into this person’s acute view of the human condition.

5. Perfume Genius - No Shape

May 5, 2017
Critic Score
83
28 reviews

Where Too Bright was often cold, stark, mechanical and dark as tar, No Shape is warm, technicolour, alive and filled with light.

4. SZA - Ctrl

June 9, 2017
Critic Score
82
17 reviews

3. Fever Ray - Plunge

October 27, 2017
Critic Score
82
19 reviews

She seems a lot happier, or at least more energetic and outgoing, coming into second album Plunge. But that only seems to bring her up against more frustrations in the world around her, which are wrought vividly throughout.

2. LCD Soundsystem - American Dream

September 1, 2017
Critic Score
85
35 reviews
From head to toe, front to back, it bangs; but more importantly, it actually has something new to say.

1. Kendrick Lamar - DAMN.

April 14, 2017
Critic Score
91
34 reviews

It may not be nearly as overtly political a record as his last entry, but the state of things seeps into every crisis-in-song-form to be found here. The confidence displayed is easily misleading; more than anything, this is a breakdown in the form of an album.

Original Source: https://www.thefourohfive.com/music/article/the-405-s-top-20-albums-of-2017-151
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