Clash's Albums of the Year 2017

Clash's Albums of the Year 2017

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50. The Menzingers - After the Party

February 3, 2017
Critic Score
76
13 reviews
Neither an ode to hedonism nor a bitter retrospective, it’s an accurate reflection of where exactly the band, and their audience, are at in their lives.

49. Throwing Snow - Embers

Throwing Snow - Embers
January 20, 2017
Critic Score
80
5 reviews

The record plots a gorgeous curve from open to close, with earthy drum rolls rubbing up against rusty industrial buzzsaw synths and field recordings serving as segues.

48. Fever Ray - Plunge

October 27, 2017
Critic Score
82
18 reviews

43. Big Sean - I Decided.

Big Sean - I Decided.
February 3, 2017
Critic Score
67
14 reviews

While it's undoubtedly a solid addition to Sean's catalogue, at the end of 'I Decided.' it's the flows and instrumentals that are left with the listener, having upstaged what Sean is actually trying to say.

42. 2 Chainz - Pretty Girls Like Trap Music

June 16, 2017
Critic Score
78
9 reviews
While it doesn’t quite have the same urgency as ‘Based on a T.R.U. Story’ or ’T.R.U. REALigion', ‘Pretty Girls Like Trap Music’ is perfectly positioned to be a 2017 favourite catering to both fans of this generation’s trap music and those that were knee deep in trap during its late ‘90s/early ‘00s inception.

41. (Sandy) Alex G - Rocket

May 19, 2017
Critic Score
77
21 reviews
It may be tongue-in-cheek, but the self-made Bandcamp veteran has indeed grown to be somewhat of a big fish in the small pond of indie rock, and ‘Rocket’ is beyond doubt the new crown jewel of his already sizable catalogue.

40. dvsn - Morning After

dvsn - Morning After
October 13, 2017
Critic Score
72
4 reviews

38. Syd - Fin

February 3, 2017
Critic Score
79
13 reviews
‘Fin’ is one record in conversation with the others — a new model of creativity and one that has produced, at the very least, an excellent piece of work.

34. Rapsody - Laila's Wisdom

September 22, 2017
Critic Score
84
6 reviews

33. Clark - Death Peak

April 7, 2017
Critic Score
78
11 reviews

There’s a human thread throughout, with vocals used in some form or other on every track on the album. For the most part, they’re entirely disembodied: spun into the mix to function as another instrument or atmospheric element.

32. Cigarettes After Sex - Cigarettes After Sex

June 9, 2017
Critic Score
74
14 reviews

This eponymous debut has an almost ethereal quality, bringing love songs and ambience together in one dreamy swoop — the perfect backdrop to intimacy, whether post-sex or otherwise.

31. Drake - More Life

March 18, 2017
Critic Score
77
22 reviews

29. Bicep - Bicep

September 1, 2017
Critic Score
76
13 reviews

Written using a mix of intuitive jamming and later over-dubbing with a range of hardware and electronics, ‘Bicep’ was created as a fluid effort of revision and refinement. From a first listen it is immediately apparent that Bicep have honed their studio craft.

28. Father John Misty - Pure Comedy

April 7, 2017
Critic Score
83
33 reviews

Misty keeps this album pretty genuine. There are jaunts and horns and dancing mixed with sorrow and piano and heartache; his lyrics cutting through any joy with wicked humour and his comic persona still second place to his incredible songwriting.

27. Kehlani - SweetSexySavage

January 27, 2017
Critic Score
73
16 reviews
‘SweetSexySavage’ will most definitely sate the hunger of her fervent followers. It’s a glossy record that reincarnates the harmonies and textures of Brandy’s ‘Afrodisiac' and Aaliyah’s self-titled, two records in the pantheon of R&B that fused nuanced, progressive production with biting feminine confessionals.

26. Wolf Alice - Visions of a Life

September 29, 2017
Critic Score
83
18 reviews
It’s a record that appears to document visions of a life filled with loss, uncertainty and the anxieties that follow.

25. Ikonika - Distractions

Ikonika - Distractions
June 2, 2017
Critic Score
71
5 reviews

24. Kelly Lee Owens - Kelly Lee Owens

March 24, 2017
Critic Score
81
10 reviews

Owens’ attraction to the emotive potential of sound is a theme that perhaps runs up against the Daniel Avery influences on the record, yet she has still produced a debut that is full of depth and one that exposes the scope of electronic music beyond just the club.

23. Future - Future

February 17, 2017
Critic Score
68
11 reviews

22. John Maus - Screen Memories

October 27, 2017
Critic Score
76
17 reviews

Throughout his latest work, Maus rarely delves into anything resembling uncharted waters, instead opting for a repurposing of familiar sounds on what is an album that’s as playful and political as it is mockingly profound.

21. Four Tet - New Energy

September 29, 2017
Critic Score
78
7 reviews

20. Ibeyi - Ash

September 29, 2017
Critic Score
76
14 reviews
More overtly political than the twin sisters’ debut ... ‘Ash’ serves as a stirring, reflective statement in uncertain times.

19. The National - Sleep Well Beast

September 8, 2017
Critic Score
83
32 reviews
As with all of the band’s works, ‘Sleep Well Beast’ is an album that rewards repeat listens and unfurls its beauty slowly over time: The National have yet again made an album that’s as brilliant as it is ambitious.

18. St. Vincent - MASSEDUCTION

October 13, 2017
Critic Score
85
33 reviews
For all its merits, much of the chaos on ‘MASSEDUCTION’ tends to move rapidly in one ear and out the other, making it a pleasant but somewhat faceless affair.

17. Kamasi Washington - Harmony of Difference

September 29, 2017
Critic Score
80
14 reviews
While ‘Harmony Of Difference’ will delight jazz fans, it is a truly incredible record irrespective of genre. If you are capable of feeling, you will find much to love here.

16. Stormzy - Gang Signs & Prayer

February 24, 2017
Critic Score
81
18 reviews

Occasionally it feels like it veers too suddenly from braggadocio to piety, and it’s questionable whether Stormzy has a sufficiently versatile delivery (he’s no Durrty Goodz) to support this. But by casting his net so wide, the MC is unlikely to disappoint his diverse audience.

15. Migos - Culture

January 27, 2017
Critic Score
76
19 reviews

Migos are undoubtedly at the forefront of their niche; simultaneously defining their genre and pushing it forward to such an extent that it’s become impossible for mainstream pop culture to ignore.

14. Vince Staples - Big Fish Theory

June 23, 2017
Critic Score
86
24 reviews

‘Big Fish Theory’ is a record that not only sees Vince taking risks and progressing forward as an artist, but also another astounding example of what hip-hop should and can be in 2017.

13. Jay-Z - 4:44

June 30, 2017
Critic Score
81
25 reviews

‘4:44’ is a deceptively multi-layered listen, revealing more and more to the listener upon multiple listens.

12. Kelela - Take Me Apart

October 6, 2017
Critic Score
80
21 reviews
Much of ‘Take Me Apart’ takes the listener through familiar tropes - female autonomy, sexual awakening and despondent love - yet it strikes a different chord, the LP whizzing by with a breathless urgency mapped out by the stellar production of premier collaborators Arca and Jam City, who understand the delicate contours of Kelela’s voice.

10. Arca - Arca

April 7, 2017
Critic Score
84
17 reviews

Through ‘Arca’, Ghersi guides the listener to contort and cry their way through otherworldly, synthetic dimensions.

9. The Horrors - V

September 22, 2017
Critic Score
82
17 reviews
‘V’ is The Horrors’ most cohesive record to date. Even though it doesn’t carry the same stylistic impact as ‘Primary Colours’ did in 2009 (c’mon, that was a massive leap), ‘V’ is the record that has finally given The Horrors a set identity.

8. King Krule - The OOZ

October 13, 2017
Critic Score
77
21 reviews
‘The OOZ’ is undoubtedly another thought-provoking entry into the discography one of Britain’s most exciting and challenging young artists. An intense, yet rewarding listen.

7. Tyler, the Creator - Flower Boy

July 21, 2017
Critic Score
82
18 reviews
Lyrically, this feels like Tyler’s most accomplished album yet.

6. LCD Soundsystem - American Dream

September 1, 2017
Critic Score
85
32 reviews
It’s still imperfect, but even its flaws are worthy of note. The long goodbye is now followed by quite a lengthy return. Long may it last.

5. Moses Sumney - Aromanticism

September 22, 2017
Critic Score
80
13 reviews
Some may argue that ‘Aromanticism’ is style over substance, certainly his sentiments run the risk of evading the listening, such is the beauty of the dreamscape he weaves. Yet as you revisit the record, the case for being ‘aromantic’, has never sounded so fully realised, so complete and so utterly inviting.

4. SZA - Ctrl

June 9, 2017
Critic Score
83
15 reviews
Featuring savage and often heartfelt, diary-like ruminations, ‘CTRL’ pushes against the borders of convention lyrically and sonically, placing it on the upper echelons of potential ‘Best Of ’17’ lists.

3. Sampha - Process

February 3, 2017
Critic Score
84
29 reviews

With ‘Process’, Sampha lays bare his soul through warm, tinted vignettes that are achingly humane.

2. Kendrick Lamar - DAMN.

April 14, 2017
Critic Score
92
32 reviews

’DAMN.’ does at times feel contradictory and the ideas he’s transmitting at times don’t feel fully formed, but this is where its genius lies. Kendrick offers a true snapshot of the eternal debates that we host inside our heads, and there is immense bravery and artistry in his depiction.

1. J Hus - Common Sense

May 12, 2017
Critic Score
80
7 reviews
Indeed, pretty much all of this is brand new material. That seems like a gutsy move in 2017, when most albums are trailed by multiple stream-only singles and videos, but here it figures more as a reminder that there’s still a place for bold new artists in the world.
Original Source: http://www.clashmusic.com/features/clash-albums-of-the-year-2017
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