Well it was a good year. Musically, at least. Plenty of exciting debuts and breakthrough acts, some great albums by already established artists, a few dissappointments along the way, and of course a lot of promise and excitement about records yet to be released in 2018. Here’s a quick roundup of albums I loved this year. Keep in mind it’s all pretty subjective and I also might have missed something along the way.
25. QTY – QTY
24. Bastard Disco – Warsaw Wasted Youth
23. Algiers – The Unerside of Power
22. Jaden Smith – SYRE
21. At the Drive-In – in•ter a•li•a
20. Ride – Weather Diaries
19. Kendrick Lamar – DAMN.
18. Vince Staples – Big Fish Theory
17. Spoon – Hot Thoughts
16. Lee Ranaldo – Electric Trim
15. N*E*R*D – No_One Ever Really Dies
14. Sparks – Hippopotamus
13. U2 – Songs of Experience
12. King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard – Polygondwanaland
11. Beck – Colors
Aaaaand here’s the top 10:
10. Slowdive – Slowdive
The year marked two comeback albums from important shoegaze bands. While Ride’s record had somewhat lukewarm reception, this one was universally praised, and deservedly so. It shows that the band’s sound hasn’t aged at all, and is a great addition to thier stellar discography.
9. Wolf Alice – Visions of A Life
It certainly has its flaws, and I still think that the band really should develop their signature style by now, but Wolf Alice’s second full-lenght album is a beautifully crafted mixture of various styles and moods. Indie, shoegaze, punk – it doesn’t matter what genre they play, they sound great anyway.
8. Brand New – Science Fiction
Haunting, powerful and moving, this is more than an album -it’s an experience. Its lenght may make it a bit overwhelming at times, but it fully engages with the listener and creates a unique, depressive feel. It takes a certain mood to fully appreciate it, but it’s well worth it.
7. Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – Who Built The Moon?
A brave move from Noel, it seems like he finally is ready to reject all the expectations of people who are still stuck in the Oasis era, and blossom as an ambitious musician that knows no boundaries. It’s still a cautious attempt, but most of it is very impressive nonetheless.
6. Queens of the Stone Age – Villains
This one received a lot of negative press, in my opinion unfairly. I fell in love with Mark Ronson’s production on this album, and the band’s sound getting “lighter” is not a bad thing at all. While not perfect, this record is full of extremely well-written and brilliantly performed tracks.
5. Alexandra Savior – Belladonna of Sadness
I said it before, I’ll say it a million times – this is the best debut of the year. Wonderfully moody, it combines brilliant production and instrumentals with even better songwriting, fully showcasing just how great of an artist Savior can be in the future. Instantly rewarding, it gets better with every listen.
4. Liam Gallagher – As You Were
Who would have guessed that the younger of the Gallagher brothers would be the one to release the better albums this year? As You Were is everything you would expect from our kid, not experimental in any way, but gorgeously triumphant and melodic all the way. I did not expect this to be good, but instead I got the most pleasant of surprises.
3. Big K.R.I.T. – 4eva Is A Mighty Long Time
A double album filled with all kinds of brilliant songs, from explosive bangers to introspective songs and some experimental sounds, this is an eclectic collection of everything great about modern hip hop. Risks were taken, but it has well and truly paid off – a complete record.
2. Brockhampton – Saturation III
These guys owned the year, period. Every single album they dropped was straight fire, but this one just blew my mind – passionate, energetic and eclectic, this is the definitive rap record of the year. However, I do believe that Brockhampton can do even better, so expect to see them here next year
1. The Horrors – V
No album has impressed me more this year – it sounds like a band at the peak of their creative power, full of new ideas and inspirations. The Horrors showed everybody how to bounce back after a mediocre album. V is just so amazing and colorful (even though the colours are mostly shades of black) that I just could’t put any other abum here.
And that’s pretty much it. If you want, share your hopes and predictions for 2018 in the comments. I have a feeling it will be a very satisfying year when it comes to music. Happy New Year everybody!