Finally, four months later, my second crucial contribution to the 2017 music landscape: my Favorite Albums of 2017.
As established in my Favorite Songs of 2017 list, this is as the title suggests: a list of my favorites. I didn’t listen to everything, and many critical darlings didn’t connect for me. Unfortunately, 2017 was one of the more disappointing music years in recent history, a problem driven home by a huge influx of 10-year anniversary features. 2007 loomed just too large, and shadows from a brilliant year helped to diminish the new releases.
Regardless, here are 10 albums that you might want to check out. I hope that you find something new and fun, or that you realize what I’ve missed and point me in that direction. Thanks for reading!
Honorable Mentions (in no particular order): The World’s Best American Band by White Reaper, A Hairshirt of Purpose by Pile, Antisocialities by Alvvays, Colors by Beck, Hug of Thunder by Broken Social Scene, Introduce Yerself by Gord Downie
A Note: One of my favorite albums of 2017 is absent from this list, and for good reason. It was released midway through the year, featured really great rock music complete with deep emotional threads, and a compelling message of personal trauma and recovery.
2017 was a year of reckoning, particularly in the latter half. Some hidden monsters were hidden no longer. Some abused people were finally given ears after years of being ignored.
The artist responsible for my favorite album of 2017 was accused of abuse. I can’t, with good conscience, recommend it to you. Art without context holds no real power, and the context has changed here.
“Support good work” is made harder when “good work” is revealed to be from bad people. A few key lessons: support good work from good people, and listen when others ask for help. Now on with the list.
10. Crack-Up by Fleet Foxes
Why I Like It: I like the beautiful instrumentation. Folksy acoustic guitars and awe-inspiring vocals are a given with Fleet Foxes. Also in the mix: delicate string arrangements, forceful percussion, and pulsing organs that build wonderful atmosphere. It’s more musically welcoming than reviews would have you believe. Lyrically, things are murky and inward-looking, with doubt and uncertainty, which I don’t exactly like, but I certainly admire. But there is a flicker of hope. “If You Need To, Keep Time On Me” is sweet and earnest, and maybe just enough to help you find a way in to Crack-Up.