December 27, 2017

2017 Year End Music List

Other Years: 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007.
Every year, I create a list of my favorite music releases of the year. My rule is to simple: list the albums I've enjoyed the most over the year. Some of these I've had the opportunity to spend more time with than others. They are not listed in any particular order.

1) Metz - Strange Peace This is Metz's third full-length and it doesn't disappoint. Loud rock and roll at it's best.

2) Big Thief - Capacity I knew nothing about Big Thief before this album but this was a joy to discover. It's worth mentioning that another unfamiliar artist that surprised me was Phoebe Bridgers and her album Stranger In The Alps.

3) Julien Baker - Turn Out The Lights A beautiful and honest record from start to finish.

4) Kendrick Lamar - DAMN. This dude is unstoppable! Not as complex as To Pimp A Butterfly but still genius. Lamar shows up on Rapsody's Laila's Wisdom, which was another great release this year. Can't listen to Jay-Z on anything but ... what was it called? So, no idea if that was awesome or not.

5) Quicksand - Interiors Okay, I lied. Kind of. This list is in no particular order but this was my favorite release of the year! It was exciting to see another post-hardcore legend At The Drive-In come back from their long hiatus with a great album, but Quicksand's return was even more exciting for me and I love to maturity in their sound yet hearing them remain true what them great, as well, is an accomplishment.

6) Vijay Iyer Sextet - Far From Over Went down a jazz rabbit hole this year. It started with really getting into Ethiopian jazz through the Ethiopiques series. Irreversible Entanglements' self-titled EP was a great find but I haven't been this into a jazz album since I don't know when. Fantastic stuff!

7) LCD Soundsystem - American Dream Helped Brooke make dinner many a night to this 80's-tinged dance puck album. Glad they came back.

8) Oddisee - The Iceburg I don't understand why more people have not heard of this guy! This is one of my favorite rap artists and this is a great album. Hands down. Other solid hip hop albums of the year included P.O.S.'s Chill, dummy, Open Mike Eagle's Brick Body Kids Still Daydream. and Brockhampton's multi-release Saturation I, II, III.

9) Bully - Losing There were several great releases from girl-fronted punk acts, such as The World's First World Record, Priest's Nothing Feels Natural and Downtown Boys' Cost of Living, but Bully got the most spins.

10) Benjamin Booker - Witness Rock and roll from the soul and the gut. So good.

Honorable Mentions
Pile's A Hairshirt of Purpose, The Effects's Eyes to the Light, Buke and Gase's Arone v. Aaron EP,  Baxter Dury's Prince of Tears, Jay Som's Everybody Works and The National's Sleep Well Beast were also great releases of this year but I had to stop at some point, right?

Looking Forward
In 2018, I'm looking forward to Tune-Yard's album out next month and Turnstile's next album. You can hear Dan So talk about meeting the singer of Turnstile on A New Thing episode 2.

What happened to Zach de la Rocha's return?

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