2017 Albums of the Year; 100–91
100. Leon — Bird World
This is super novelty, and probably has no place on any great “end of the year” list. But there’s something so hearty about it, something so fun. And it’s whimsy is almost worth it’s short little jaunt through it. It’s earnest is brilliant. It genuinely makes it feel as if we’re missing a game that should be soundtracked by the files found within.
Check Out: Lychee Beach
99. Rozwell Kid — Precious Art
Emotional Grunge Rock
It’s a bit of an uphill climb for a little bit, somewhere between some smart guitar tones and what sounds like a band trying to recreate the untouchable Blue Album from Weezer. There are some really cool moments throughout on this album that’s easy to get lost in somewhere in the background. Not enough to really find peaks that suck you in, but there are some true beautiful claws that dig in to you, like the song I recommend you to check out, “Gameball.”
Check Out: Gameball
98. Pallbearer — Heartless
I’m not a traditional metal fan, but an album like this takes so much of what heralds the genre and does it with restraint and confidence. There’s a Sabbath infused haze that floats in and around this record and for all the balls that the record lacks, there’s a majesty and a sense of control here.
Check Out: Thorns
97. Perfume Genius — No Shape
This is a nice album to breeze back with. Low lights, relaxing record to put on at the end of the day. Lots of analog feeling, lots of commitment to the work of a complete record. I like that if you immerse yourself deep enough to this album you can hear a great deal of dissonance and static, feedback and overall “noise” rattling off of in the distance. Also. Lots of cool little Phil Collins moments.
Check Out: Die 4 You
96. alt-J — Relaxer
I don’t think I made it through this record awake. That wasn’t necessarily a bad thing. I’d put it on during the day and its surreal nature, its dreamy state never was able to penetrate the kinetic bubble that I’d inflated around myself. But putting some headphones on while laying in bed, this was a journey that lowered me slowly like a bucket into the well of dreaming. These guys utilize some great loops and repetition that work as mantras. A beautiful record to be certain, definitely a… ‘relaxer’.
Check Out: 3WW
95. Jeremy Enigk — Ghosts
This man is responsible for one of the greatest bands of the emo era, Sunny Day Real Estate. Point blank. Absolutely legendary for my personal tastes. His solo stuff has been solid but doesn’t quite match the prowess of what used to be. This feels like a collection of songs from a man who simply can’t stop writing. And that, to me, is a beautiful thing. But by and large, they don’t have the oomph of his hey day. The voice is still there, the scratch of longing and his utter earnest for the muse still remains aglow.
Check Out: Onaroll
94. Angus & Julia Stone — Snow
These two siblings crafted one of my favorite albums of 2014. This one has a very similar format, allowing the interplay of their vocals to be the main pillars of the music that they’re writing, leaving the guitars to be the distant framework that their back-and-forth singing dialog can mix into. This album seems to lack strong emotional content, one of the strongest elements of their previous record. These songs do have a sense of authenticity about them though, a feeling of organic writing and lucid creation.
Check Out: Sleep Alone
93. Chicano Batman — Freedom Is Free
First thing’s first. I hate this damn artist name. But the songs have such a great retro vibe. A really beautiful R&B croon over some nonstressful guitar noodle and sweet organ hums. The bass lines here aren’t the highlight, but production of it plays such a massive role in the structure of why these songs work. Such a chill album which seems as if it’s come from a different time. Easy to get lost somewhere in the middle with a lot of the spanish language tracks (for me, anyway) but the grooves are fantastic.
Check Out: Friendship (Is a Small Boat In a Storm)
92. Darkest Hour — Godless Prophets and the Migrant Flora
Some of the moments on this record have the genre METAL shoved so far up its ass that it’s obnoxious. But that’s only because I am still a numetal kid at heart and when it ends up splaying out into more musical vibes I tend to get disengaged. There are some phenomenal driving moments on this record though, and when it’s more metalcore than pure metal I find myself completely enthralled.
Check Out: Those Who Survived
91. HAIM — Something to Tell You
I had very high hopes for this record, as their last full length contained incredible hit after incredible hit. The singles that came from that album were the lifeblood of pop music directly influenced from those 80s new wave jams without becoming kitschy and novelty. This record feels a lot more formulaic and lacks a bit of the soul and spirit that flowed from the first one. Lots of great tracks separately, certainly showing some great songwriting chops, but it feels almost as if summer’s over and they’re back to the grind.
Check Out: You Never Knew