Who needs another Best Albums of the Year list? Right?!
Every site does one and it is basically the same albums listed over and over and over in different orders. Well this list is the same as every other site’s Best of 2017 list, with a few exceptions. Hidden within all the better known albums from this year are some lesser known albums that we guarantee you won’t find on any other Best of 2017 list.
Just so you know it takes an insane amount of work to put these lists together.
So we hope you enjoy this list and we hope you find some new bands / music that you haven’t heard yet this year. If you don’t enjoy our picks then let us know how bad we suck in the comment section below. If you do enjoy please share this list around. It makes all the time and effort that we put into this thing more rewarding when a lot of people look at it.
This list will come in three parts so keep you eye out for 66-34 and 33 – 1.
Best Albums of 2017: 99 – 67
99. Kamasi Washington – Harmony of Difference
Despite its short running time (six pieces), Kamasi Washington’s Harmony of Difference is a worthy follow up to his stellar triple LP debut, The Epic. Taking jazz ambitious, complicated, and memorable places, Washington shines as a composer, arranger, band leader, and saxophone player, leading an all-star band through five loosely connected, shorter tracks that all culminate in the sprawling, gorgeous 13-minute “Truth.” -Kevin Krein
Full Review Here
98. Badbadnotgood – Late Night Tales
We had to include at least one compilation among 2017’s best albums list and chose the latest in a series that has been churning out mood enhancing collections through the last couple of decades. The formula for Late Night Tales is to give super groovy artists the floor to spin an album’s worth of tunes designed for after party chill-outs, intimate encounters, and sleepless nights. I have loved this series ever since I discovered Air’s release back in 2006 and realized I wasn’t the only person in the world who think’s Black Sabbath’s Planet Caravan is a massive funk classic.
On 2017’s edition, Canadian jazz quartet BADBADNOTGOOD roll out music reflecting their own compositions’ influences from hip hop, funk, disco, and soul. Compilation albums are basically about new music discovery, which is exactly the point of this album, as BBNG use the space to introduce songs from rarely known international singers and deep cuts from contemporary artists.
Among that category is the moody track “Work” from Charlotte Day Wilson’s debut EP and the bassy, electronic mashup “For Love I Come” appearing on Thundercat’s first album. While those are great call outs to recent recordings, I love the blast of funky 70s rarities ranging from the African disco of Ghana’s Kiki Gyan to Brazilian crooner Erasmo Carlos. BBNG even get into the act with a hazy, instrumental take on Andy Shauf’s “To You.” The choices BBNG make on their Late Night Tales outing represent the loungiest music since William Shatner performed “Rocket Man” at the 1978 Science Fiction Film Awards. – Nate Jones
97. Hot Water Music – Light It Up
More great Americana punk rock served straight up! This band delivers again, and leaves it all on the stage. All heart and riffs and everyone’s leaving satisfied! – Jeremy Erickson
96. LCD Soundsystem – American Dream
In their short-awaited comeback album, LCD Soundsystem deliver a tour-de-force of technical sophistication interlaced with pleasing pop. From the first electronic snare splash in the opening track, “Oh Baby” to the soft droll of the closer “Black Screen,” American Dream evokes decades of nostalgia. James Murphy’s newest tunes make epic callbacks to synth pop, techno (vis-à-vis Kraftwerk), and Bowie.
The highlights include the heavy analog bass synth echoing throughout the ten-minute jam “How Do You Sleep?,” Murphy’s sober croon throughout “Oh Baby,” and every single second of “Call the Police.” 2017 unquestionably offered better albums than American Dream, but I can’t think of many that were more fun. -Nate Jones
95. Quicksand – Interiors
Post-Hardcore legends Quicksand have been flirting with the idea of releasing new material since there was a photo of them in the studio that was “accidentally” released in 2013, so this album has been given time to grow. Interiors is a solid record, one which honors their own legacy, without sounding too faithful to their own sound. It’s really good to have them back – Eddie Carter
94. Meatwound – Largo
Largo wins the most primal award. The adrenaline rush is relentless and you primarily feel it in your loins. If you feel like there wasn’t enough mind melting bass in 2017 you probably slept on this one. Meatwound gifted the world one delightful pummeling bundle of joy. – Matt Jamison
Aside from being one of the best live bands I have seen this year, Largo is the raucous and pummeling post hardcore assault you needed in 2017. This is the soundtrack to clubbing a brontosaurus to death and eating its giblets in your cave. This is a style of music that is hard to make interesting and fun, but Meatwound has it down pat. – Brandon Perras
93. Liam Gallagher – As You Were
I have no love for Liam Gallagher, not gonna lie about it. But it seems that most of the people on B.G.M. (if you listen to the podcast) cannot tell one Gallagher from the other. Liam was the singer in Oasis, he was not the one who sang on the MTV Unplugged (that was his brother, Noel) as he had a sore throat (but he was able to heckle from the audience). This is his first solo release after the demise of his second band, Beady Eye. If you are familiar with that project and the latter day Oasis album, then there will be no surprises when you listen to As You Were. Someone must have liked it as it’s ended up on the list, I’ll let them tell you about the rest, because my review is full of swear words. – Eddie Carter
Real talk, having a Gallagher on the Top 100 Albums of 2017 list is some serious electoral college shenanigans. – Aaron Cooper
Don’t listen to the naysayers, As You Were was a seriously good debut record and a welcome shot in the arm that 2017 needed. I’ve long been a fan of Oasis and can say with relative comfort that since they disbanded the two Gallagher brothers’ musical output has been dreadful, until now that is.
At times it has been difficult to separate Liam from the foul mouthed, brother hating caricature he’s created and Liam the musician. Many people find it hard to take him seriously because of this, but with this record he really does put Liam the musician first.
As You Were feels like a return to form for Liam after his laughably awful Beady Eye musings. It’s a solid rock and roll offering full of great tracks that showcase Liam in fine vocal form, the kind of prowess everyone had been resigned to thinking he’d left it back in the 90’s. “Wall Of Glass” is a balls out rock anthem, while “For What It’s Worth” is a true lighters in the air moment, reminiscent of Oasis at their big chorus best. I enjoyed As You Were far more than I thought I would and I’m very, very happy about that. Welcome back, Liam. – David Dring
92. Wavves – You’re Welcome
Obnoxious! – Jon
91. Lucky Malice – Misfit
When most people think about Norway, they tend to think of people in corpse paint, burning churches or mournful indie. Lucky Malice buck that trend with Misfit, which is one of my favourite punk albums in a long time. So raw and powerful with explosion of politics, feminism and emotions that it is hard to ignore. Their riot grrrrl-punk noise with feminist messages is powerful, performed with a confidence that comes with the knowledge of their talent.
When I first reviewed this for my other blog, I noted that they have created an album that has the energy of a Bad Brains & Discharge hybrid, full of drama, powerful social messages, and frantic riffs, kicking the hell out of the subject matters and it sounds glorious. Like all great punk albums, the production is raw and back to basics and the message is more important than crystal clear sound, just the way it should be. If you are looking for that in a Hardcore, kick-ass Feminist punk album, get Misfit today! – Eddie Carter
90. Grenadiers – Find Something You Love And Let It Kill You
I like this I… I think. – Jon
89. The Classic Crime – How To Be Human
Rock and roll that shatters the status quo. This is the kind of record that does more to your senses than just pleases your eardrums. A true auditory experience! – Jeremy Erickson
88. Bell Witch – Mirror Reaper
I always wonder how bands can continue on when one of the band members dies. Especially when the band is only two people like Bell Witch. Sadness and heaviness in musical form. – Jon
87. Ibibio Sound Machine- Uyai
I have been awaiting an album like this for a long time. With so many crazed flavors of sound, Uyai is essentially a collage of jelly beans put to music. If you are a fan of Talking Heads, I think you would also love the eccentrism of Ibibio Sound Machine. – Haley Lewis
86. Courtney Barnett and Kurt Vile – Lotta Sea Lice
On a record that sounds more like a casual back-stage jam than a polished product, Barnett and Vile trade songs, licks, and vocals. But somewhere between Vile’s classic rock vibes, Barnett’s way with a phrase and the all-star rhythm section, something clicks. Maybe it’s in how the guitars chime and swirl, or how the vocals overlap and get in each other’s way. Maybe it’s just the vibe at play, one of casualness and fun. But along the way, you’ll get sucked into their washed-out world, nodding your head or maybe playing a little air guitar. And you’ll wonder: why didn’t I see this one coming? And how long until the next one? – M Milner
85. Sheer Mag – Need To Feel Your Love
Never thought I’d ever hear a glorious 70s inspired power-pop/stadium-rock album get a release on magnificent deliverer of hardcore/punk noise Static Shock Records, but here we are with Need To Feel Your Love, the astounding debut album from Philadelphia’s Sheer Mag. Fronted by vocal powerhouse Tina Halladay, Sheer Mag have not only created one of the funnest records of 2017, but also one of the most political veering from anti-Nazi rants to dance floor filling odes to LGBT rights. If 2017 was the year of looking back to past glories from the Conservative Right around the globe then Sheer Mag have successfully subverted bigoted nostalgia to mine the past in search of a positive, passionate future. – Steve Wheeler
84. Yellow Eyes – Immersion Trench Reverie
Every time Yellow Eyes and/or Immersion Trench Reverie is mentioned, it is followed by how “the band was just in Russia and they record all their albums in a cabin in the middle of the woods of Connecticut”; it is stuff like this that makes me want to make fun of this band so badly; when black metal takes itself way too seriously, I automatically need to crack a joke…but on the other hand…the devotion that metal musicians put into their brand and aesthetic is commendable and in some cases, takes a lot of time and effort.
Finding inspiration for your music in the wilderness of Russia is actually pretty great and you can hear the desolation and biting temperatures of this vast landscape in every track. I really enjoyed their previous and unrelenting album Sick With Bloom and Immersion Trench Reverie follows a lot of the same paths, but here we are seeing more restraint and a few other surprises woven into the music such as animal sounds, a ghostly female choir, bells, etc. Along with the brilliant songwriting, it’s little things like this that can elevate your metal above others. – Brandon Perras
83. Laura Marling – Semper Femina
With Semper Femina, Laura Marling went through a time of self-exploration, trying to work out what it was the made her female, and how it could fit into the world. Returning to her Folk Rock roots, Ms. Marling gave one of her best performances, especially on “Nothing, Not Nearly”, a superb track for 2017. – Eddie Carter
82. Crystal Fairy – Crystal Fairy
Whilst a lot of people will look at Crystal Fairy as a “Supergroup”, they will be doing this band and Crystal Fairy a disservice. Featuring members of The Melvins, Le Butcherettes, At the Drive-In and various other side projects, Crystal Fairy is a Sludge heavy album, a drug fuelled attack on the audio sense that digs under your skin. If you’ve listened to any of their other projects, you pretty much know what to expect musically, but it’s the lyrics and vocals of Teri Gender-Bender which brings everything together on this album. If Crystal Fairy is the only release from this project, they will leave the world with a fantastic record, but I’ve got a feeling there is more to come from this band. – Eddie Carter
81. Run the Jewels – RTJ3
The very existence of Run the Jewels continues to be one of my very favorite things about rap in the 21st century. The unlikely tag team of outer-space-Bomb-Squad rapper/producer El-P and the boisterous Outkast affiliate Killer Mike is as interesting as it’s always been, though RTJ3 is more of a refinement of their sound than the giant leap forward of RTJ2.
El-P’s production is a bit more sparse on this one, though he and Killer Mike (especially Killer Mike) contrast its weird spaciness with rocket-propelled flows on “Call Ticketron” and “Panther Like a Panther.” Run the Jewels also maintain their tradition of amazing guest spots, including Danny Brown, the return of Zach De La Rocha, and TV on the Radio’s Tunde Adebimpe, whose calmly dark vocals on “Thieves!” contribute to the vaguely sinister sound prevalent on the album. This is my least favorite Run the Jewels album, but I would still rather listen to it than 90% of all other music. – Ricky Vigil
80. Spoon – Hot Thoughts
Man, fuck this band! It was higher on the list, but whoever voted for it never gave it a blurb defending this wild trash. So I stuck it down here and moved Land of Talk’s dope new album up into it’s spot. I do what I want because I am the one who has to create this list and edit it and shit. So fuck Spoon. – Jon
79. Your Old Droog – Packs
Among the 50 or so rap albums I listened to intently this year, Your Old Droog packed the grooviest punch. Droog’s vocal style has been mistaken for Nas, which is surprising given that he hails originally from Ukraine, he takes his name from the Russian word for “friend,” and the album’s lyrics tacitly reflect his experience as an immigrant in heavily russified south Brooklyn.
The best tracks on Packs offer conservative arrangements backing the lyrics, but the beats are intriguing and the samples super funky (the loop in “Bangledesh” could have been stripped from a 1970s Bollywood flick). Droog also effectively uses his album’s guests, such as Heems and Wiki. In the standout, “Grandma Hips,” Danny Brown demonstrates how he nearly saved this year’s Gorillaz album. Between Packs and All-Amerikkkan Bada$$, Droog and Mr. Badass himself make compelling cases for the supremacy of New York City hip hop in 2017. – Nate Jones
78. Apollo Vermouth – Crashing Into Nowhere
A transcendental blend of ambient/drone and shoegaze, Milwaukee based performer Alisa Rodriguez makes it all seem effortless as she crafts slowly moving, hauntingly beautiful experimental compositions that become the kind of thing you can get absolutely lost in. – Kevin Krein
77. Black Books – Can’t Even
One of Austin’s best emerging acts, Black Books merges the sweeping soundscapes of early 2000s indie hits with the unique vocals of Ross Gilfillan and the rest of the crew. Can’t Even is achingly genuine, anchored in honesty when they sing “I saw the best in you,” as the guitars, synths and drums swarm together in a rush. It dances, it dreams, it weeps and it holds you when you need it most. Thank goodness I was already lying down at the opening of “Heaven Help Us,” because it gets me every time.
“If it’s true – and it’s true – then it’s not my problem,” comes across as a ironically modern mantra amidst a wide open and echoing sonic background; one that has pushed me through many nights in the past month. Like the swan song of one’s love – a song to convince oneself that it can be over – it stays simple enough to keep you breathing but will break your heart by the end. – Kelsey Simpkins
76. Deaf Havana – All These Countless Nights
Deaf Havana haven’t really put a foot wrong with any of their releases since they formed in 2005. They wonderfully mix tongue in cheek poetry about love, loss, and social commentary with pop rock hooks and melodies. All These Countless Nights is no different, sticking to the formula that they’ve steadily been perfecting over the years while adding an overlying theme of being drunk and lonely that really resonates in many of the tracks. Frontman James Veck-Gilodi has become a fine poet and effortlessly paints a vivid picture of feeling alone without ever sounding melodramatic. All These Countless Nights is far from doom and gloom however, as many of the tracks are uplifting despite their dark themes. It’s easily one of my favourite records of 2017. – David Dring
75. Mew – Visuals
The seventh release from Danish Alternative Rock/Pop trio Mew Visuals, was their first without guitarist Bo Madsen, who left after 2015’s + –. Whilst they might have lost personnel, they have not lost any of their magic. With songs like “Candy Pieces All Smeared Out” and “Ay Ay Ay”, they have shown that there is still gas in the tank for this band. – Eddie Carter
Photographing Mew at the 9:30 Club in D.C. this summer was the best experience I’ve ever had photographing a live band. And their music returns to the old magic of their first few albums with a ever-melodic, modern twist.– Kelsey Simpkins
74. Manchester Orchestra – A Black Mile to the Surface
Manchester Orchestra returned with a bang in 2017, coming back A Black Mile to the Surface three years after Hope. All the songs on A Black Mile to the Surface are all linked to a story about the town of Lead, SD, and experiment for neutrino science and proton decay studies that are being carried out by a company called DUNE. The way the story is intertwined through the album shows incredible craftsmanship, the detail behind the songs and the music is intriguing. This is a beautiful Post Rock record, one that haunts you long after it’s finished. – Eddie Carter
Brilliant. Absolutely amazing. Bravo. Seriously it’s so good. – Jeremy Erickson
73. David Bazan – Care
Even amidst news that David Bazan is getting the crew back together and touring again with Pedro The Lion, he’s still been a busy boy in his solo ventures, capping off last year’s with full-length album Blanco and Christmas album Dark Sacred Night. There’s never a reason to hold back too much content, tapping into his own personal headspace further with Care. This time, he trades guitars for synths and drum machines, though the sense of doubts and vaguely sad outlooks on life are still there. – Daniel Carlson
Bazan still continues to push forward musically and lyrically. He can shock you and bring tears all in the same breath, and here’s another brilliant offering from the mastermind of genre bending sounds. – Jeremy Erickson
72. Hundred Suns – The Prestaliis
Cory Brandan of Norma Jean teamed up with some dudes that are hardcore vets, and made an album that will leave you screaming in the ashes. Get it and burn up. – Jeremy Erickson
71. Motorpyscho – The Tower
This album (two albums actually!) has probably been spinning the most rounds in my home. It is unbelievable how prolific this band is, and how they keep being topical, fresh, and just awesome. Whether you dive into the lyrics and find something positive for these dark times, or just let yourself float along the melodies for days, it will be a memorable experience. -Jasper Hesselink
70. The Lillingtons – Stella Sapiente
As a latecomer to the ‘90s pop-punk revival spearheaded by Screeching Weasel and The Queers, The Lillingtons were probably always destined to be a cult band–but I don’t think anyone expected them to become an occult band. Trading in their bubblegum for baphomet, the Wyoming quartet returned from an 11 year drought of new material with an unexpectedly dark album that owes more to Joy Division than The Ramones.
The three-chord skeleton still lurks behind the darkness of songs like “Insect Nightmares” and “They Live,” but the creepy tunes like “Night Visions” and “Cult of Dagon” make this the closest thing to a post-punk-pop-punk album that has ever existed. This album was definitely not what I expected, but it’s also way better than I expected. – Ricky Vigil
69. Blattaria – Blattaria
Blattaria (means cockroach, duh), is a one man, psychedelic, noisy, “black metal” band from Oklahoma City who I stumbled upon on the Fallen Empire Record’s mailing list (this is a great label that consistently puts out quality metal). Anyone who reads my stuff knows that I tear on black metal all the time because it seems like a ever expanding blob of corpse paint and scowling, so when I hear bands like Blattaria do something fun and exciting with it, it makes me happy.
Blattaria is a rapid-fire stream of nightmarish, shoegaze in a K hole that is constantly on the verge of a full blown panic attack…orchestrated and executed by one dude. For fans of Thantifaxath, Pyrrhon, Jute Gyte, Krallice, Dendritic Arbor, etc. or anyone else that wants to their brains addled. – Brandon Perras
68. Yards – Excitation Thresholds
The UK Hardcore scene has been in need of a shot in the arm for some time and with their debut album Excitation Thresholds, London four-piece Yards, inject the kind of adrenaline filled assault that sends grown men into a rabid frenzy. Formed by members of Ghost of a Thousand, Astrohenge, Nitkowski and Econo, Yards are a brutal, brutal band who never waste a second of their musical onslaught to inflict another punishing dose of fearsome punk aggression. Absolutely fucking essential – Steve Wheeler
67. Dan Auerbach – Waiting on a Song
Here are some of my Pinot Grigio-tinged thoughts on some of the standouts from Waiting on a Song: The title track is the kind of tune you’d hear while driving down a country road in an old pickup truck with your grandpa, swilling grape soda and wiping sweat from your brow. “Shine On Me”: I need a pair of roller skates on a smooth length of asphalt adjacent to the Pacific Ocean while listening to this. Otherwise, I feel like I’m just missing something. Perhaps throw in a screening of Dazed and Confused and some edibles too, if I’m honest. “King of a One Horse Town”: This song just sits in the armchair of my soul so easily. Comfy as fuck, like I’ve heard it all my life. “Scared if I jump in the ocean, I might drown…” the string plucking kills me in the best possible way.
You can actually hear how much fun Dan is having on this record. This is the 70’s-inspired album any artist of his talent and caliber always dreamt of making. It makes my ears happy. – Amie Taylor