If I’m being brutally honest, I didn’t enjoy 2017’s crop of Albums as much as in recent years (e.g. 2015). I’m willing to accept that it might be me getting jaded by age. But I prefer to think of music like wine. Some years just aren’t as good. Some of these 2017 albums wouldn’t have made the cut in previous years.
However, this didn’t make my album shortlist decisions any easier. It was still a painstaking process, which resulted in me playing this get-out-of-jail-free card:
Best Albums of 2017: Honorary Mentions
- A Deeper Understanding – The War on Drugs
- Melodrama – Lorde
- Cigarettes After Sex – Cigarettes After Sex
- In Mind – Real Estate
- Pure Comedy – Father John Misty
- Not Even Happiness – Julie Byrne
- Somersault – Beach Fossils
- Sleep Well Beast – The National
As for the rest, LCD Soundsystem coming out of retirement was amazing news, one of the moments of the year. And the album that followed, American Dream, was very good (despite the cover art). I don’t think it’s on the same level as This is Happening, nor does it have 3 or 4 amazing standouts like Sounds of Silver but it’s still my favourite album of the year.
If you’d told me Four Tet, Vince Staples, Slowdive and Mount Kimbie would round out my top 5 at the start of last year, I would’ve told you you were dreaming. But such is life. Four Tet’s album is accessible and catchy, one of his best to-date; Vince Staples surprised me with the real depth of Big Fish Theory; Slowdive – who I hadn’t heard of until last year – delivered a cracking shoegaze album, somewhere between Teenage Fanclub and My Bloody Valentine; and Mount Kimbie keep flying under the radar, all the while producing absolute gold with some help from James Blake, King Krule and others.
The remaining five albums are more scattered and I love a handful of songs from each. As I wrote last time out, “Mary” by Big Thief is a glorious song, as is “Gwan” & “Never Going to Catch Me” by Rostam and “Still Beating” by Mac DeMarco. But I just don’t see them as complete albums. After giving them a couple of run throughs, I lost interest in playing them in their entirety.
Best Albums 2017: The Actual List
- American Dream – LCD Soundsystem
- New Energy – Four Tet
- Big Fish Theory – Vince Staples
- Love What Survives – Mount Kimbie
- Slowdive – Slowdive
- Half Light – Rostam
- This Old Dog – Mac DeMarco
- Capacity – Big Thief
- MASSEDUCTION – St. Vincent
- Brick Body Kids Still Daydream – Open Mike Eagle
Hope you liked the list. Here’s to an even better 2018. My wish list includes the long-overdue release of Dear Tommy by the Chromatics and a Vampire Weekend album (the first without Rostam) that feels fresh and different.
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