No Ripcord's Best Albums of 2017

No Ripcord's Best Albums of 2017

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50. Sampha - Process

February 3, 2017
Critic Score
83
31 reviews

With his debut LP Process, Sisay has finally given an insight to the man behind the anonymity, and it’s a stunning insight at that.

49. Mark Eitzel - Hey Mr Ferryman

January 27, 2017
Critic Score
76
12 reviews
This is smart, meditative music that needs the appropriate time to vest, where further listening provides new perspectives and details that weren’t as apparent at first glance. That Eitzel has managed to deliver some of his strongest work in thirty plus years is testament to his growing confidence, and provides another compelling reason to be considered a notable figure in the veteran class of folk artists like Mark Kozelek and Will Oldham.

47. The Courtneys - II

February 17, 2017
Critic Score
75
8 reviews

The Courtneys’ hypnotic songs sprint with gleeful release, triumphantly charging ahead with hooks and licks to spare. It’s a densely packed dose of pure gaiety that hides its complex arrangements well, seeing as the trio play against each other with emphatic ease.

44. Thundercat - Drunk

February 24, 2017
Critic Score
81
24 reviews

43. Algiers - The Underside of Power

June 23, 2017
Critic Score
84
23 reviews

There’s a confrontational energy to The Underside of Power that encourages conversation, and not just rapturous abandon. It’s an unorthodox approach that immediately distinguishes them.

42. White Reaper - The World's Best American Band

April 7, 2017
Critic Score
78
9 reviews

It never quite overstays its welcome during its brisk 30 minutes, though once it approaches its more redundant second half, it’s hard to make out whether they’re paying homage to their heroes or if they’re gearing up for a nostalgic tribute tour.

41. Priests - Nothing Feels Natural

January 27, 2017
Critic Score
76
12 reviews

Both cynical and biting, Nothing Feels Natural is a timely and involving call to arms that promises great things from Priests sooner rather than later.

39. Grandaddy - Last Place

March 3, 2017
Critic Score
77
22 reviews

Lytle addresses sadness with a sweeping grandiosity, where the stories he conjures are both sides amusingly satirical and deceptively foolish.

38. King Krule - The OOZ

October 13, 2017
Critic Score
78
24 reviews

37. Drake - More Life

March 18, 2017
Critic Score
76
23 reviews

36. Mount Kimbie - Love What Survives

September 8, 2017
Critic Score
77
23 reviews

Never does it hide the duo’s own merits, as they embrace a more vibrant form of beat-driven electronica that also functions in a rock context with collaboration at its heart. 

35. Los Campesinos! - Sick Scenes

February 24, 2017
Critic Score
80
16 reviews

Sick Scenes is an emotional melting pot of joy, regret and rage against the passage of time. But as heavy as that sounds, Los Campesinos! has never sounded lighter on its feet. With some of their catchiest songs yet and Gareth's muse in top form, this album stands among their strongest work.

34. Laura Marling - Semper Femina

March 10, 2017
Critic Score
82
31 reviews

While Marling's lyrics come across as powerful and worldly, it's the conversational tone that makes Semper Femina work so well ... United with the strongest set of songs of her career, she has reached a new peak in a career full of them.

33. Vagabon - Infinite Worlds

February 24, 2017
Critic Score
82
7 reviews

32. Cigarettes After Sex - Cigarettes After Sex

June 9, 2017
Critic Score
73
14 reviews

At once droll and melancholic, Cigarettes After Sex struggles to earn the aural beauty it desperately seeks.

31. Spoon - Hot Thoughts

March 17, 2017
Critic Score
79
30 reviews

The whole record is crafted with an air of distrust, but its execution is surgically precise. Spoon’s stream of critical acclaim shows no sign of slowing down any time soon.

30. The Horrors - V

September 22, 2017
Critic Score
82
19 reviews

29. Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever - The French Press

March 10, 2017
Critic Score
70
4 reviews

Each and every selection here has loads of character, confidently bringing back the kind of polished guitar dynamics that many contemporary indie rock bands either take for granted or don’t have the capacity to arrange into sharp, rock-sculpted songs.

28. Jay Som - Everybody Works

March 10, 2017
Critic Score
78
11 reviews

Duterte recorded Everybody Works entirely in her bedroom studio, and its snug, unhurried, duvet-wrapped warmth intensifies any previous definitions of the bedroom pop genre.

27. Kelly Lee Owens - Kelly Lee Owens

March 24, 2017
Critic Score
80
11 reviews

Owens consistently and effortlessly locates sweet spots without ever falling into a specific alcove, showing a maturity and understanding of her craft seldom seen on a debut LP.

26. Father John Misty - Pure Comedy

April 7, 2017
Critic Score
81
36 reviews

One of the most frustrating releases of recent times. Tracks meander insipidly, crushed by the weight of a solipsistic “message” and the real moments of quality only serve as a reminder of what might have been.

25. Fever Ray - Plunge

October 27, 2017
Critic Score
82
19 reviews

The electronic work is fantastic throughout Plunge, never adhering to presets and making full use of every beat, burst and throb. When coupled with Dreijer’s slick, razor-sharp vocal you have a monster of a record that gets more impressive with every listen.

24. Arca - Arca

April 7, 2017
Critic Score
83
18 reviews

23. Nadine Shah - Holiday Destination

August 25, 2017
Critic Score
82
13 reviews

Holiday Destination is Shah’s third LP, and is her most accomplished effort to date – superbly executed with an ability to make an austere backdrop insatiably compelling.

22. Julien Baker - Turn Out the Lights

October 27, 2017
Critic Score
82
25 reviews

Turn Out the Lights is an immense record that runs a gamut of emotions, from distress to love, anguish to healing. These are songs that you feel more than listen to. Everyone has encountered some sort of mental illness, addiction or crisis of faith, whether in your life or another’s. Not only does Baker prove that you’re not alone, but she finds a way to make it better.

19. Circuit Des Yeux - Reaching for Indigo

October 20, 2017
Critic Score
83
11 reviews

While it gives a feeling of unease, Indigo is actually about seeking to understand through self-identification. And ultimately, having to move forward with what’s outside of her immediate scope.

18. The War on Drugs - A Deeper Understanding

August 25, 2017
Critic Score
76
35 reviews

What you see is pretty much what you get with A Deeper Understanding: impeccably-produced songs about aging and disillusionment imbued with an air of nostalgia.

16. Blanck Mass - World Eater

March 3, 2017
Critic Score
78
24 reviews

It may be Power’s most fatalistic declaration, but also his most engagingly diverse, and his marked exasperations do reflect a not-so-distant dystopia that suitably aligns with today’s societal disconnect.

15. Alvvays - Antisocialites

September 8, 2017
Critic Score
76
26 reviews

Molly Rankin’s vocals throughout the record compliment the soundscapes perfectly, fanning disappointment with hope whilst exercising a great deal of control - and an admirable lack of bias - over her ponderings.

14. SZA - Ctrl

June 9, 2017
Critic Score
82
17 reviews

Ctrl is a languid, cavernously soulful debut that is never anything but assured – a collection of delicious jams that are equal parts fragile, cozy and piercing.

13. Big Thief - Capacity

June 9, 2017
Critic Score
82
21 reviews

There’s a stunningly transformative quality to Big Thief’s second effort, a feat considering it’s a been a little over a year since the Brooklyn foursome last released their breakthrough debut, Masterpiece.

12. The xx - I See You

January 13, 2017
Critic Score
80
37 reviews

I See You is a sprawling album. The band has embraced the spectacle, yet it is not the antithesis of their previous minimalist work.

11. Mount Eerie - A Crow Looked at Me

March 24, 2017
Critic Score
90
17 reviews

Even if Elverum is reluctant to label it as such, A Crow Looked at Me is what all art should aspire to be: honest, affecting, and unforgettable.

9. Slowdive - Slowdive

May 5, 2017
Critic Score
82
29 reviews

The laconically titled Slowdive adapts to what Slowdive are capable of sounding in 2017: there’s no need to reinvent because doing that once is enough, so why not apply what they know best and try to adapt to a different, more current environment.

8. Wolf Alice - Visions of a Life

September 29, 2017
Critic Score
82
21 reviews

Visions of a Life follows on from My Love is Cool almost seamlessly, and with two hugely accomplished records already in their arsenal, Wolf Alice are a band who have the world at their feet.

7. Protomartyr - Relatives in Descent

September 29, 2017
Critic Score
83
23 reviews
With a sound that maintains relevancy in the modern age as the band keeps true to a form that’s existed thirty-plus years, Protomartyr’s Detroit Rock interpretation of post-punk seems to gain something with every album they produce, a sensibility that’s somehow detectible but difficult to define or pinpoint.

6. (Sandy) Alex G - Rocket

May 19, 2017
Critic Score
76
23 reviews

It’s beautifully conflicted and human, and does provide a unique and unforgettable experience that will continue to charm with its paradoxical qualities for years to come.

5. LCD Soundsystem - American Dream

September 1, 2017
Critic Score
85
35 reviews

American Dream does offer a lot from a songwriting standpoint, and why wouldn’t it? Murphy is a skilled producer with a deft ear for melody. But he’s somehow disrupted that valuable balance of humor and thoughtfulness found in LCD Soundsystem’s past with a more sedate offering that is riddled with mixed messages.

4. St. Vincent - MASSEDUCTION

October 13, 2017
Critic Score
85
35 reviews

It’s somewhat off-putting to witness Clark, who handles her artful presence with mannered precision, discard any sight of a clear objective on Masseduction.

3. The National - Sleep Well Beast

September 8, 2017
Critic Score
82
35 reviews

The changes are slight in Sleep Well Beast, but they still render quite significantly in view of how they have a pressure to upend any expectations.

1. Lorde - Melodrama

June 16, 2017
Critic Score
90
35 reviews

Melodrama isn't strictly about inebriation. It's about growing up and growing out of love, where the excitement of a relationship fades and what's left can't sustain itself. This album explores this segment of adulthood in all its joy, despair, confusion and revelry. And it does it with stunning introspection and musical freshness.

Original Source: http://www.noripcord.com/features/best-albums-2017
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