Top 30 Albums of 2017!
Here are my top 30 albums of 2017, chosen based on personal preference, production and mixing, songwriting, replay value, artistry, originality, and vibe. I've worked, and reworked, and reworked, and reworked this list. Also, this obviously doesn't account for ALL albums that came out this year...just that ones that I had the chance to listen to. I still don't think I've convinced myself...again, this is a mixture between what I think are the BEST albums as well as my FAVORITE albums of the year.
Favorite Track: "Biscuit Town"
Although strange, this album has a lot of character and an interesting vibe.
Favorite Track: "T-Shirt"
Although the entire album isn't great, I can't deny the amount of hits on this album.
Favorite Track: "Pizza Shop Extended"
An all around dope project with interesting features.
Favorite Track: "NEVER"
I just discovered this artist, which led me to EARTHGANG as well. This project is just another unique rap album that I enjoyed this year.
Favorite Track: "Edge Of Darkness"
Now, I know this band is basically a rip off of Led Zeppelin, but that's the reason I liked it. They may lack an original sound, but they DO recreate the Zeppelin sound so well. It's very cool to hear what Zeppelin may sound like with today's recording technology.
Favorite Track: "Cave Canem"
This album didn't feel like anything new to this band or to the genre. BUT, that's because they are just damn good at what they do. This album is clean; it rocks; and there's not a track I didn't enjoy.
Favorite Track: "King"
ell, I'm obviously I am biased. I just really enjoyed working on this album, and we are proud of how it came out!
Favorite Track: "Jettisoned"
Such an interesting rock album. I couldn't help but enjoy the creative style they went for.
Favorite Track: "Burning"
This album felt raw, personal, intimate, and beautiful to me. Maybe it was just where my mind was when I listened to it. The recording and mixing added to Sam's amazing vocals made me actually feel his emotion and provided a soundscape that surrounded me despite the minimal production.
Favorite Track: "C'est La Vie"
A Naptown native, Nathan Arizona really came through and delivered a project without a single lackluster track. Full of bangers and dope bars, I highly recommend this album!
I loved the overall theme of this project and that it seemed to hold that theme throughout, despite the variety of sound through the tracks. Although some parts felt like a ripoff of Jidenna's contemporaries, I found quite a bit of this album to be original and interesting.
Favorite Track: "Slide"
This album is soooo cool. That's really all I can say.
Favorite Track: "Rapsody"
Rapsody came out and proved her skills and created a great album!
Favorite Track: "Masseduction"
There's a couple tracks I didn't care for, but most all of this album is fantastic with the retro sound that was reworked to fit today's pop. I was surprised with how much I enjoyed it!
Favorite Track: "Fire"
Look...just go listen to this album. It's amazing, and I can't imagine anyone disliking it.
Favorite Track: "Who Dat Boy?"
his is Tyler's most mature, most cohesive project to date. I think he really stepped up and put together an album to be proud of. The features are great and so is the production. There's a cohesive sound even though there's quite a bit of variety. He stayed true to his sound, but did make it a bit more accessible.
Favorite Track: "Nightmare Logic"
I was introduced to this album a couple years ago when seeing them live. They tore the roof off the place. It was awesome to see them break into the mainstream with this album and really just kill it with a mix of metal, thrash, hardcore, and punk!
Favorite Track: "Squarepusher Theme"
I'm not normally a fan of live albums, but the musicianship and sound of this album is so amazing. Groovy, electronic, fast, and infectious. Definitely give this a listen while you're working and you'll feel extra productive.
Favorite Track: "Love Galore"
SZA's album had multiple top hits, but overall was just one of the best R&B projects that came out this year. Plus, I love SZA's voice and delivery.
Favorite Track: "Sleepy Tea"
This album is so enjoyable to jam out to!
Favorite Track: "GOLD"
I couldn't choose one BH album, so they will all count as one for this list.
Favorite Track: "GUMMY"
This is probably my favorite of the three, but they are all amazing albums.
Favorite Track: "STUPID"
This is the third and final SATURATION album to come out this year and they did not fail to deliver.
Favorite Track: "Cursed"
Gideon slams so hard. I always forget how much I love them until they release an album. Every track here delivers.
Favorite Track: "Ride Wit Me"
A double disc, with one album focusing on the artist KRIT and the second one focusing on Justin Scott as a person, the two discs differ in style and sound. This allows such a long project NOT to drag on and deliver great content.
Favorite Track: "TEMPTATION"
A very political and socially-aware album, many songs can really speak to you. The bars are there, the hooks are there, the production is there...great, great album.
Favorite Track: "Crumbling Castle"
Man, this band is so incredible and incredibly interesting. For fans of prog rock and experimental stuff, this album reminded me why I enjoy stuff like older Beardfish and Primus. Once this albums kicks off, you're taken into a world and you never know where one song ends and the next begins because you're drowning in this atmosphere that's been created.
Favorite Track: "Get Yo Money"
CyHi finally comes through and delivers an incredible project with amazing production, top-notch bars, and wonderful features. A stand out album for the mainstream rap industry.
Favorite Track: "golgotha"
This album came out of nowhere and grabbed me. I can't exactly figure out what I love so much about this album. It feels so raw and unique.
First of all, I love the bass tone. There are some really sick guitar licks in here. On a second listen, I noticed that there are some really awesome drum parts going on, but they tend to be covered up by chaos of the rest of the instrumentation. The vocals actually sit really well with me. They aren’t too much, but have plenty of feeling. There were parts that felt like Every Time I Die...parts that felt like Deftones...and parts that felt like Faith No More or something...but overall, I like them. This album felt a bit original to me in aesthetics, even though some stylistic choices were borrowed from other bands and other eras. I really enjoyed it. The “When The Levee Breaks” style drums on “material control” was super dope, and I actually really liked that track even though there wasn’t much to it and was a bit eccentric.
Favorite Track: "8-Ton Gorilla Remix"
Every. Damn. Track. Goes. So. Hard.
I loved this album. There's just something about Drayco...I can't help but enjoy every song he's on. As a project, this is his best sounding and most cohesive project yet. I can bang this whole thing out any day, every day. Other notable tracks: "Lifestyle", "Shoot You Down", "Bimmer", "Gimmedatneck"
Favorite Track: "Let's Make A Deal"
You know, I didn't think this album would make it this high on my end of year list. It's definitely not my favorite Stray album, and I had many gripes about the mix, the content, and some of the tracks/features. However, I can't deny how much I love the riffage, the vocals, and the drum arrangements.
Picking a favorite track is always difficult when it comes to your favorite band. For me, the reference to "Happy Gilmore", the riff, and the 4-on-the-floor breakdown did it for me. Although, "Plead The Fifth" and "All Day & A Night" were strong contenders.
Favorite Track: "ELEMENT"
Again, choosing a favorite track was difficult (between "HUMBLE", "DNA", and "ELEMENT").
Let's not pretend that this album wasn't the best of the year. Between the mass hit "HUMBLE"...the incredible videos that came out of this project...and the success on the Billboard and sales...Kendrick does it again.
But honestly...what really sold this album for me was seeing Kendrick live. His live performance BLEW ME AWAY. I could talk for hours about his live performance. That plus the fact that I thoroughly enjoyed the unique production and how cold the bars were with Kendrick's impeccable and crazy delivery...such a great album.
Honorable Mentions (alphabetical order):
Brand New - Science Fiction
Code Orange - Forever
Comeback Kid - Outsider
Counterparts - You’re Not You Anymore
Fazle - Vll Hvil Sxnner
Forced Order - One Last Prayer
Freddie Gibbs - You Only Live 2wice
G-Eazy - The Beautiful & Damned
Iglooghost - Neo Wax Bloom
Ibeyi - Ash
Lil Pump - Lil Pump
Logic - Everybody
21, Savage, Offset, Metro Boomin - Without Warning
Ridley Victoria - P.O.P. (Pretty On Purpose)
Slaughter To Prevail - Misery Sermon
Tyler, The Creator - Flower Boy
Varials - Pain Again
Veil Of Maya - False Idol
Zola Jesus - Okovi