Whelp. 2017 has come and gone, and I’m only now starting to catch up on my planned end-of-year posts. First up – a breakdown of my favorite albums of 2017.
This list took quite a few extended listens and a good amount of contemplation to put together. There were also albums that I listened to a lot off the bat that didn’t have the staying power. But all in all, I’m happy with this final list. I think it’s a good representation of music I enjoyed from this past year with a lot of replay value in the years to come.
A quick disclaimer before we jump into it: notice the title of this blog post is “Glen’s Favorite” and not “The Best,” meaning it’s a subjective list based on my own music preferences! So don’t get all mad if something didn’t make it. I’ll even include an honorable mentions list and if your “best” still isn’t there, shout it out in the comments. Or better yet, send me your own list. I’d love to check out new recs!
Without further ado (and in no particular order), Glen’s Favorite Albums of 2017.
I See You, The xx
The xx are back, on the heels of a breakout solo LP from Jamie xx. I love this album because to me it’s the right balance between their original minimal style and a continued evolution and experimentation of their sound. The Jamie xx production flourishes are a nice touch.
Nightmare Logic, Power Trip
Take peak Metallica (Kill ‘Em All, Ride the Lightning, Master of Puppets), add modern production with the classic thrash sound, and put someone on lead vocals who sounds more Jason Newsted than James Hetfield, and you get Power Trip. Spot-on and tight album.
At What Cost, Goldlink
This has been said many, many times on all the comment threads, message boards, and review sites, but I still don’t think it’s said enough. Goldlink is one of the most slept-on rappers currently at the top of their game! A standout hometown-inspired LP with impeccable production, rapping, and thematic flow.
New Energy, Four Tet
Four Tet’s newest album is probably my favorite of his, basically encompassing sounds spanning his career with the typical incredible production and eye for detail. Every time I put on this record, I feel like I’m being wrapped by a warm blanket.
Surprising that this is Bicep’s first full-length album, considering how they’ve made a name for themselves with singles, EPs, and live sets. A homage to the heyday of UK rave, this LP is a breath of fresh air in the electronic music space, with interesting sounds and ideas that are familiar yet new at the same time.
American Dream, LCD Soundsystem
Who would’ve thought that LCD Soundsystem would ever reunite after their official retirement, let alone release an album that possibly tops many of their previous albums? Seriously, this is how it’s done. This is like Michael Jordan retiring in 1993 and then returning for a three-peat championship.
Villains, Queens of the Stone Age
One of the few turn-of-the-century rock bands that has aged like fine wine. I’m impressed by the depth of each new release, and the band’s continued push into a new musical frontier while still staying true to their roots. Most important, they can still rock!
Mura Masa, Mura Masa
Another strong electronic self-titled debut, from a super-talented producer named after an ancient Japanese sword-smith, hailing from an island in the English Channel. With his eclectic, hip hop-leaning beats, Mura Masa reminds me of Flume, so we’ll definitely be seeing more exciting things to come.
My most-played album from 2017, Drunk is just a pleasing trip down the annals of jazz, funk, hip hop, and rock, all mixed together and treated with Thundercat’s signature geeky and funny lyrics and incredibly talented bass-playing. Add in some killer collabs and it’s no wonder I enjoyed this album many times through and through.
And now for the Honorable Mentions list:
- Melodrama, Lorde
- Ctrl, SZA
- DAMN., Kendrick Lamar
- Process, Sampha
- Pacific Daydream, Weezer
- The OOZ, King Krule
Some of these didn’t quite stick. Others I just haven’t had the number of listens to fully appreciate. So with time, any of these could jump onto my all-time favorites list. That’s exactly what happened with Solange’s A Seat at the Table from last year.
Finally, a quick Spotify Mixlist featuring songs from my favorite albums of 2017!