PeteHatesMusic’s Top Albums of 2017

Twitter: @PeteHatesMusic

You can’t have a Top Songs of 2017 list without a Top Albums of 2017 list, right? Assuming you are all nodding along in agreement, you’re in luck and you’ve clicked the right post.

Beck - Colors

Rather than wax poetically about the albums that made it and the albums that didn’t, we’ll dive right in to the 5 Honourable Mentions and the Top 5 (okay, and we’ll provide some short, flowery write ups).

PeteHatesMusic – Honourable Mentions

In no paticular order (honest!):

The xx – I See You: The soft, slow burning tunes of albums past have mainly been replaced with what sounds like band member Jamie xx’s solo album bangers at times. A nice change in sound.

Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – Who Built the Moon?: The former Oasis songwriter has his third and most original record yet. While not exactly Sgt. Pepper’s, it is a bold step for the elder statesmen.

Broken Social Scene – Hug of Thunder: Absence makes the heart grow fonder, and this Canadian collective return with a winner, with a strong series of tracks.

The War on Drugs – A Deeper Understanding: Following up a breakthrough album is never easy, but the band’s fourth record – the first on a major label – continues in strong, similar fashion to the previous album.

Run the Jewels – Run the Jewels 3: Technically released in December 2016, this came out after everyone’s 2016 lists, which is a shame. The hip hop duo can do no wrong, and rope in some friends (such as Rage Against the Machine’s Zack de la Rocha again) to help out.

Top 5

5. Alvvays – Antisocialites: No sophomore slump for this Canadian band. A well-rounded follow up full of pop gems, demonstrating their continued ability to make ear worms.

Key Tracks: In Undertow, Dreams Tonite, Forget About Life

4. Emily Haines & the Soft Skeleton – Choir of the Mind: The second solo album from the Metric singer, and it’s even better than her strong debut album 11 years ago. Diverse and different enough, from both the first solo album, but main band Metric, which makes it a great listen for fans of Ms. Haines.

Key Tracks: Fatal Gift, Legend of the Wild Horse, Wounded

3. Dan Auerbach – Waiting On A Song: Like Emily Haines, this is the second solo from this artist, aka The Black Keys singer Dan Auerbach. While his first solo album was essentially a Black Keys album apart from a few folky tunes, this is an interesting and fresh sound from Auerbach, and worthy of multiple listens.

Key Tracks: King of a One Horse Town, Waiting on a Song, Shine on Me

2. Godspeed You! Black Emperor – Luciferian Towers: Another new album after a long hiatus from this large, multi-instrumental Canadian band, which has now produced 3 albums since coming back together. While discarding many of the vocal snippets that punctuated their early work, the droney, experimental nature of the band continues in this latest effort. There are several stunning suites of music that make this another must-listen for fans of post-rock instrumental music.

Key Tracks: Fam / Famine, Anthem for No State, Pt. III

1. Beck – Colors: The (perhaps underrated?) chameleon of music follows up his surprising Grammy win for the mellow folky Morning Phase with an outstanding pop effort in Colors. Beck can and has done it all – breakup album, rap, country, folk, avant-garde rock – and switches gears for his most pop-focused album yet. Teaming with big time pop producer Greg Kurstin (Adele, Sia) helped shape the album, full of sunny pop gems, with Beck’s distinctive vocals and lyrics. A welcomed edition in the vast and diverse anthology of Beck records.

Key Tracks: Dreams, Wow, Dear Life, Up All Night

2017 wasn’t so bad, was it? The sad thing is there are SO many albums that I simply couldn’t get to – I’m sure we all have this problem, given the abundance of (good) music these days. 2018 is just around the corner, which hopefully means some new music from Arctic Monkeys and maybe Mr. Thom Yorke? Until next time.

For those with Spotify, check out the Key Tracks below.

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