Top 10 Albums of 2017

 In Music

Every Friday while at work, I scan through all of the newly released albums. I compile them into a “BEST OF” list. Currently, the 2017 list holds 1,128 songs. This is a hard thing to whittle into just 10 albums. But I always try to make a stab at it.  As with most of my annual best of lists, variety is of the utmost importance. I’ve tried to include an eclectic group of albums that while critically praised, may have missed your radar — that being said, Beck’s latest release is just so damned good that it had to be included. There were quite a few LPs released this year from artists that we haven’t heard from in quite a long time. I strongly urge you to check them out (e.g., Grandaddy, The Shins, Nelly Furtado, Soulwax, Pete Rock, and many others).

In no particular order, my favorite albums of 2017:

Mutoid Man
War Moans
Liston on Spotify
via RollingStone

Mutoid Man, the hyperactive supergroup spearheaded by Cave In singer/guitarist Stephen Brodsky and Converge drummer Ben Koller, skillfully rides the rail between highbrow progcore and knuckleheaded hesher rock. Their second full-length is full of ripping, sub-three-minute rollercoaster rides jam-packed with finger-twisting riffs, head-snapping tempo shifts, oddball time signatures

Cover

The Dig
Bloodshot Tokyo
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via Spill Magazine

Bloodshot Tokyo is for those people who never knew that they loved the music of the 1960’s and 70’s. I have never been a big fan of music from this era, but this album made me reevaluate my musical tastes. The Dig has put a contemporary spin on psychedelic rock

Bloodshot Tokyo by The Dig

Jessica Hernandez & the Deltas
Telephone
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via Slug Mag

It should be a thing that any band boasting the name “Deltas” in it will be good. Catching this act in 2014, I was sold on Jessica Hernandez’s gothic take on soul. This band is moving, gripping and addictively dark. The new album, Telephone/Teléfono, takes the familiar style of

Telephone by Jessica Hernandez & the Deltas

JD McPherson
Undivided Heart & Soul
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via AllMusic

Early in the recording of his third full-length album, 2017’s spirited Undivided Heart & Soul, JD McPherson paused the process to take Queens of the Stone Age’s Josh Homme up on his offer to come jam at his studio in what amounted to a kind of creative jump-start

Undivided Heart & Soul by JD McPherson

Iron Chic
You Can’t Stay Here
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via PunkNews

The ghost of Rob McAllister looms on You Can’t Stay Here, as expected. The founding guitarist died last year, age 36, and while many wondered how Iron Chic would soldier on, this record shows just how. It’s testament to the band’s will, desire to succeed and of course, the innate

You Can’t Stay Here by Iron Chic

Beck
Colors
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via RollingStone

Few have done it with Beck’s range, wit or soul. Which is why Colors is so welcome; it’s a brilliant attempt to reckon with – and put his own stamp on – modern pop in the late 2010s. The result is his most straight-ahead fun album since the Nineties

Colors by Beck

Mew
Visuals
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via PopMatters

In contrast, their seventh entry, Visuals, features only the other three original members (Wohlert, drummer Silas Utke Graae Jørgensen, and lead vocalist/keyboardist/guitarist Jonas Bjerre) in addition to some help from guest guitarist Mads Wegner. As such, Visuals could either mark the trio’s artistic downfall or testify to how resilient and

Visuals by Mew

KOOL A.D.
Sky Ladder
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via Hot New Hip Hop

Former Das Racist member, Kool A.D. has been relatively quiet since he dropped off his 100-track mixtape called Peyote Karaoke back in September, but thankfully that changes here today. With little warning, the Bay Area artist decides to come through & release a brand new project called Sky Ladder

Will Sessions
Deluxe
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via The Irish Times

Will Sessions are the hardest-working funk soldiers in Detroit, an ensemble who have previously provided the raw ballast for acts such as Mayer Hawthorne, Danny Brown, Elzhi, Slum Village and many more to look and sound good. The collective have the chops and craftsmanship to turn tracks inside-out and upside-down

Deluxe by Will Sessions

Daniel Deluxe
Desync (Original Soundtrack, Vol. 1)
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via Steam

The soundtrack is what you’d expect from a game with cyberpunk aesthetics. Heavy hitting beats and a tempo to match the rhythm of your kills are the results of the talents of Daniel Deluxe and Volkor X. The best comparisons I can think of to these two artists are

Desync (Original Soundtrack Vol.1) by Daniel Deluxe
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