Best of 2017: The top 10 albums of the year

December 20, 2017

Perfume Genius

In a year where news and information whipped by at breakneck speed, music often served as a refuge and response to the world happening around us.

Playlist: 50 songs we heard for the first time in 2017

The End staff has a pretty diverse take on the best music every year, so instead of ranking each album, here are the 10 best albums that we think you should make sure you listen to before we flip the calendar to 2018.

Best of 2017: The 10 best albums from Seattle this year

WoodstockPortugal. The Man
Branden - Nobody did 2017 like PTM. Not only did Portugal. The Man write the catchiest, most popular crossover hit of the year with “Feel It Still,” but nothing on the album feels like it was left in the dust after the song took off. The Lords of Portland found magic 10 times and made a name for themselves on the national stage this year.

 

Best of 2017: Breakout Artist of the Year - Portugal. The Man

DAMN. – Kendrick Lamar
Manley - This should be titled “Besides DAMN, What is the best album of 2017?” because K dot released an instant classic this year that was far and away better than any album of any genre. It just was.

MASSEDUCTION – St. Vincent
Gregr - From its provocative cover, a departure in that it doesn’t feature the actual artist like previous albums, this record could easily be her weirdest if only judging by that first impression. Instead, we find a combination of excellent exploration from Annie Clark (aka St. Vincent) starting in an extremely vulnerable way, but then at times, it feels like she is the direct connection to the afterlife as a conduit for Prince to continue his existence. It's not that she is Prince, it's the next level connection to pushing musical boundaries with an effortlessness that evokes similar feelings. This on top of her tenure as a virtuoso musician makes MASSEDUCTION one of the most satisfying listens of 2017.

Villains – Queens of the Stone Age
Gregr - Queens of the Stone made their last truly epic record more than a decade ago, a standard to which the rest of their catalog will be judged fairly or not. With Villains, we dive into a collection of songs that on their own are legit. They combine elements of the sounds we love from the years but also seem willing to grow into newer territory. Overall, the individual songs are good, but this record serves less an album experience and more a collection of solid songs.

Melodrama – Lorde
Branden - Pop sensibilities is a word you probably hear a lot when talking about Lorde’s sophomore album Melodrama, but don’t let that dissuade you from listening the whole way through. Melodrama incorporates a lot of electronic textures and exists on the dark edge between pop and alternative, which you can hear accentuated in songs like “Sober,” “The Louvre,” and the piano ballad “Liability.”

No Shape – Perfume Genius
Steven - After 2014's Too Bright it was unthinkable that Perfume Genius could go next level again. Then came No Shape. From the sonic explosions of "Slip Away" to the gorgeous drama of "Die 4 You" No Shape is perfect.

American Dream – LCD Soundsystem
Leslie - It was 7 years without a new LCD album, and American Dream came back with every dancey beat we could’ve asked for. “Tonite” and “How Do You Sleep?” are the jams.

Pure Comedy – Father John Misty
Branden - While still full of the same sarcastic sneer that Father John Misty has become known for, Pure Comedy takes a stab at our current culture and at Josh Tillman himself while doing it. While not as fun or experimental as previous FJM records, the ethos of Pure Comedy is summed up in its title track and “Ballad of the Dying Man.”

A Moment Apart – ODESZA
Alyssa - It wasn't until after I moved to WA that I really got into ODESZA. Clayton came to the studio earlier this year to chat with Gregr and to play their new song, "Line Of Sight." I thought it sounded dope so I went to listen to their older stuff. That was really all I needed to get hyped for their (at the time) upcoming album, A Moment Apart. The anticipation was high for that LP! I must have listened to straight through like 5-6 times the weekend it dropped. It delivers bangers like "Boy" "La Ciudad" and "Show Me" and mixes in some mellow tracks with like "Just A Memory" w/ Regina Spektor. <3 And let's talk about that sexy jam with Leon Bridges. Woo! The breakdown in that song is addicting.  I didn't get bored or want to switch to the next song upon my first listen. And that, to me, is a keeper.

Concrete & Gold – Foo Fighters
Alyssa - While it hasn't made many "best-of" lists at the year's end, I like the album as a whole because it's eclectic. Some songs punch you in the face, others (like "Sunday Rain") are chill and have that Foo texture we know and love. It has rhythm! It's sexy! It's a little experimental and features Paul McCartney. Not to mention Taylor Hawkins takes lead vocals on track 9. I love when they swap for a song or two.

Every Foo Fighters Album Ranked from Best to Worst

What was your favorite album in 2017?

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