Under the Radar's Top 100 Albums of 2017

Under the Radar's Top 100 Albums of 2017

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99. EMA - Exile In The Outer Ring

August 25, 2017
Critic Score
80
15 reviews

Exile in the Outer Ring is a cry of pain and a lament that filters in just enough hope.

97. Sondre Lerche - Pleasure

Sondre Lerche - Pleasure
March 3, 2017
Critic Score
81
4 reviews

96. Cut Copy - Haiku From Zero

Cut Copy - Haiku From Zero
September 22, 2017
Critic Score
67
12 reviews

Haiku From Zero is fine filler for a late-night dance party, but we can't fathom reaching for this album as often as those prior-too much of it borders on forgettable.

95. Mac DeMarco - This Old Dog

May 5, 2017
Critic Score
77
28 reviews

With This Old Dog, his distinctly DeMarco brand of baroque-infused folk is still built for the pauses in life but it feels a little steadier, and a little more self-aware.

93. Little Dragon - Season High

April 14, 2017
Critic Score
67
16 reviews

With an evolved new collection of tracks that are both hot and smart, Little Dragon has set themselves further apart.

92. Pond - The Weather

May 5, 2017
Critic Score
77
14 reviews

The Weather still ends up being a satisfying psych-rock listen, mostly because the band successfully plays with so many different flavors.

90. Run the Jewels - Run the Jewels 3

December 25, 2016
Critic Score
86
29 reviews

Such complexities not only make RTJ3 the most accomplished chapter in the duo's trilogy of LPs, but will also leave fans eagerly awaiting the next installment in what's proving to be one of hip-hop's most boldly distinctive discographies.

89. The Flaming Lips - Oczy Mlody

January 13, 2017
Critic Score
69
28 reviews
This time, the music took clear precedence over the concept, and that's worthy of rejoicing.

88. Beach Fossils - Somersault

June 2, 2017
Critic Score
76
14 reviews
Beach Fossils are best when they stick with what they know, which is why tracks such as "May 1st" and "Be Nothing," with their spangly guitar lines and easygoing lilt, remain high-points on this laid-back summer record.

87. Mogwai - Every Country's Sun

September 1, 2017
Critic Score
77
24 reviews
A bite has returned to the legends of post-rock who still rule at mercilessly bludgeoning you with relentless instrumentalism, then directly soothing you with ambient teas.

86. Priests - Nothing Feels Natural

January 27, 2017
Critic Score
78
10 reviews
It's almost impossible to not want to see what the future holds for them and to not keep playing this record.

84. The Mountain Goats - Goths

May 19, 2017
Critic Score
78
21 reviews

Goths is vivid and light on its toes, as it runs the gamut of various "goth" personalities both historical and fictional, showcasing one of Darnielle's greatest carnal sins—his ability to glean color from unexpected places.

83. Austra - Future Politics

January 20, 2017
Critic Score
74
19 reviews
Mostly captivating, the limitations of this mood space start to emerge when the feel of the music stagnates.

82. Saint Etienne - Home Counties

June 2, 2017
Critic Score
76
13 reviews

Home Counties has much to offer in the way their greatest records always have-infectious hits, interesting soundscapes, nods to musical history, all under the sprawling umbrella of pop.

81. Girlpool - Powerplant

May 12, 2017
Critic Score
77
17 reviews

Girlpool base their songwriting around tenderness, vulnerability, and a complete disinterest in pretending not to embrace those things, and Powerplant finds them at their most transparent.

80. British Sea Power - Let The Dancers Inherit The Party

March 31, 2017
Critic Score
79
11 reviews
Saturated with the emotive mope-rock influences of bands like Travis, South, and James, the tracks play out like a veritable smorgasbord of U.K. alternative pop/rock. It's like elements of each were mixed in a blender, resulting in a potent and entertaining Britpop cocktail.

79. The Weather Station - The Weather Station

October 6, 2017
Critic Score
83
10 reviews

The Weather Station inhabits the intersection of personal and polished like few albums can.

78. Tricky - ununiform

September 22, 2017
Critic Score
67
7 reviews

Ununiform finds Tricky blending his Guyanese influences together with R&B, reggae, house, and Russian hip-hop, creating an experience that transcends most contemporary listening experiences.

76. Deerhoof - Mountain Moves

September 8, 2017
Critic Score
77
12 reviews

It's a good sign when the opening seconds of an album sound cool enough to just loop and repeat, and Deerhoof pull that off on Mountain Moves, their fourteenth album. 

75. Destroyer - ken

October 20, 2017
Critic Score
76
22 reviews
There's a strong '80s vibe across the usual selection of soaring synths, proggish guitar work, and obscure lyrics. This isn't so much a Destroyer reinvention, something Bejar has done countless times before, as it is a gradual shift into the highlights of a decade he's always had a thing for.

72. Julie Byrne - Not Even Happiness

January 27, 2017
Critic Score
81
17 reviews

Beyond the hushed sounds of the record, Byrne, for the most part, is not timid but in possession of a rich confidence.

71. Jessie Ware - Glasshouse

October 20, 2017
Critic Score
69
15 reviews
This is one for the moms, and that's not an insult. Jessie Ware should be every Adele fan's new favorite artist, and that's not an insult either. In fact, it's a blessing that such pure, no-frills, sentimental pop should come from someone with the indie clout Ware still carries around.

69. Phoenix - Ti Amo

June 9, 2017
Critic Score
69
23 reviews
There's an interchangeability to most of the tracks that is a weakness in some ways and a strength in others. The record might end up sounding similar, but that's kind of the point.

68. Grandaddy - Last Place

March 3, 2017
Critic Score
76
20 reviews
Grandaddy is no longer a detached soundtrack hovering over life, it's articulating within it, and we are getting it in a whole new way.

67. Nick Hakim - Green Twins

May 19, 2017
Critic Score
77
6 reviews

The funneled, slow churning, sample drum-loop rhythms and translucent sheets of filtered guitar, horns, and keys deepen the dimensions where reflections can loiter.

66. Dirty Projectors - Dirty Projectors

February 21, 2017
Critic Score
76
28 reviews

Complex layered production and funky beats jump off in different directions mixing autotune with tracked voices, everything zeroing back in on the trauma of love lost and love obliterated.

65. Ted Leo - The Hanged Man

September 8, 2017
Critic Score
77
8 reviews

64. Sampha - Process

February 3, 2017
Critic Score
84
29 reviews

Expectations for Sampha's first full-length album proper have been sky high. Previous collaborative efforts have in fact been nigh-on flawless, so much so that it's hard to imagine one of modern soul music's most talented voices featuring on anything less than above average. It's unfortunate then that Process, bar some stand-out moments, proves to be somewhat underwhelming.

63. Zola Jesus - Okovi

September 8, 2017
Critic Score
79
21 reviews

Ultimately, Danilova uses Okovi to disclose the trauma and pain that has encircled her. At times it feels like confession, but whatever the purpose it's a deeply emotive and enthralling journey. It's one we are all the better for being part of.

62. Thundercat - Drunk

February 24, 2017
Critic Score
81
23 reviews

61. alt-J - Relaxer

June 2, 2017
Critic Score
66
29 reviews
Alt-J's fellow alt-rockers will have a tough time breaking into that conversation even as it comes time for everyone to draw up their "best of 2017" lists, seeing as this astoundingly eclectic album is sure to rank high.

59. Ride - Weather Diaries

June 16, 2017
Critic Score
73
24 reviews

In the scheme of things, Weather Diaries may only be the band's third best LP; however, when it's coming in behind Nowhere and Going Blank Again, two of the most worshiped discs of the shoegaze era, deserving mention within the same breath is no small feat.

58. Laura Marling - Semper Femina

March 10, 2017
Critic Score
84
29 reviews

Semper Femina is powerful display of Marling's craft and, the album's driving force, love.

57. Godspeed You! Black Emperor - Luciferian Towers

September 22, 2017
Critic Score
76
18 reviews

Godspeed continue to prove they are masters of fashioning sonic atmospheres, no matter how quiet, no matter how huge.

56. Lorde - Melodrama

June 16, 2017
Critic Score
90
32 reviews

Melodrama's swirls of strings and bursts of glimmering synths show a pop star in her prime.  Between rage, elation, and all of the mistakes in-between, Lorde is more self-aware than she's ever been.

54. Waxahatchee - Out in the Storm

July 14, 2017
Critic Score
80
26 reviews
With a record this good, it'll be hard for Waxahatchee to top, but one can't help but wonder what's coming next.

53. Temples - Volcano

March 3, 2017
Critic Score
70
18 reviews

Their latest, Volcano, practically sheds the skin of their earlier approach, with the band leaning on their melodic strengths to emerge with a largely new identity that also seems a surprisingly natural fit.

52. Kevin Morby - City Music

June 16, 2017
Critic Score
79
18 reviews

If last year's Singing Saw had the pace and feel of going down river, City Music has that of heading down the avenue. Morby vacillates in both settings comfortably, claiming them as his element.

51. SZA - Ctrl

June 9, 2017
Critic Score
83
15 reviews
Original Source: http://www.undertheradarmag.com/lists/under_the_radar_top_100_albums_of_2017/
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