Here is part 2 of our Best Albums of 2017 List. If you missed part 1 get your head out and go check it out. You don’t want to start in the middle like some sort of savage.
Another original thing about the B.G.M. ‘Best Albums of the Year List’ is that we talk a lot of shit on some of the albums on this list. It’s not all celebration, gold stars, and champagne bubbles here. If an album sucks, but somehow made it on our list we will let you know so you can avoid it.
Does that seem a little backwards? Well it is.
Best Albums of 2017: 66 – 34
66. Cigarettes After Sex – Cigarettes After Sex
Damn…the Cigarettes After Sex debut has to be the silkiest, smoothest, sexiest love story of the year. The album doesn’t necessarily come off as a collection of songs though, but rather one 45-minute dream pop tune, with a few slight chord and arrangement changes along the way. That is not to say it is a predictable or repetitive work.
Instead, band leader Greg Gonzalez offers an absorbing oscillation through the course of the record, swinging away from and back to the initial chord established in the opening (and stunning) track, “K.” Cryptic metaphorical descriptions aside, Cigarettes After Sex might be the album I listened to the most in 2017. With its airy and haunting atmospheric tone (recalling Cowboy Junkies epic Trinity Session), supple baselines, conservatively precise percussion, and resonating guitar, the record promises a meditative experience, tailor made to accompany a Sunday morning coffee for someone who spent the weekend alone. – Nate Jones
65. The Menzingers – After The Party
If The Menzingers are trying to make their audience feel as old as they think they are, then it’s definitely working. After The Party is their fourth album this decade, and really doesn’t switch up its sound as much as anyone would expect. The band is a much more mature product though. Now in their thirties, The Menzingers still are as punk as they can manage, but this time, we get music videos and qualms about how that arbitrary number means life is different than it was so long ago. If “so long ago” means 7 years, there’s still a lot of life to live in front of us. In the meantime, your friends are getting married, having kids, and taking out home loans. -Daniel Carlson
64. Slowdive – Slowdive
Slowdive is the sound of the English countryside given flesh, the tone of an August summer day incarnate that sweeps over the booze of a gentle breeze. Considering that there is a gap of 22 years since their last album, you could be forgiven for thinking that age might have blunted their Shoegazing style, if anything their sound has improved with age. You can play a song such as “Sugar for the Pill” at anytime of the year, it will bring sunshine to your mind. – Eddie Carter
63. Lana Del Rey – Lust for Life
Lana was supposed to be higher on this list, and Chastity Belt’s I Used to Spend So Much Time Alone was supposed to go here, but again no one did a blurb for Lana. Oh, Poor Lana… Not my problem you got booted down 30 some-odd spots because no one really cares about you or actually likes your music. All your albums and songs sound the same anyway. – Jon
62. Migos – Culutre
No one did a blurb for poor Migos either. I think Migos is great at doing something really bad, which is Trap music. Trap music is literally the worst thing ever to happen to Rap / Hip-Hop. This is not good music, but it is the best Trap out there.
Being the best at something that is the worst is not a good thing. – Jon
61. The Beaches – Late Show
The best new rock band to come out of Toronto in years, The Beaches are a retro-inspired quartet who kick out the jams like it’s nobody’s business. On “The Keeper,” they sing about a young wheeler-and-dealer, and on “Money” they sing about, er, money. But throughout, it’s packed with guitars, pop hooks, and the kind of rhythms that will make you wanna drive really fast. They wear their influences on their sleeves – The Strokes, Metric, etc. – but it’s been a long time since any of those made a record as much fun as Late Show. – M Milner
60. Beck – Colors
Beck has a midlife crisis and get’s Greg Kurstin (Producer of Foo Fighters, Lily Allen and Liam Gallagher) to help, Beck has always been threatening to release a Pop record, but this is not the best example of it. I love when an artist moves in different directions, that is something that everyone should do, but this doesn’t work for my money. Still, it’s better than that Liam Gallagher record. – Eddie Carter
Loud, messy and packed with a little bit of everything, Beck’s latest should be a mess. And I guess it is. But so is any good party, and like one of those, Colors is bombastic, in-your-face and a hell of a lot of fun. Sure, he doesn’t have much to say this time around, but he hasn’t shaken asses like this in a long time. “Dreams” is here in two mixes, one that comes complete with handclaps and layers of vocals; “Up All Night” is built around a simple piano progression, but with so much going on it’s a swirling world of sound to get lost in; “I’m So Free” is tense and nervous, with a chorus tailor-made for people jumping and pogoing around. This is the pop record Katy Perry or Taylor Swift have been trying to make; Beck seemingly dashed this off on a whim. – M Milner
Why the fuck is this on here? – Haley Lewis
59. Actress – AZD
No one blurbed this one either. – Jon
58. Protomartyr – Relatives In Descent
No on blurbed this album either. Why am I even wasting my time making this fucking list?!
I kinda like this, but the sing talking gets old super fast. – Jon
57. Sylvan Esso – What Now (and Echo Mountain Sessions EP)
There is a point in one’s life, one’s career, one’s relationship, and so on, when ending something, just stopping or quitting, becomes an alluring option. What if I just gave up? What is the point of continuing?
…Sylvan Esso’s Amelia Meath argues in “Die Young” that the reason to keep doing it – doing anything, really – is love. It’s a fictional account of a character who was going to skip out, give up, leave their story early on their own terms. But a reason came along that thwarted their plan completely: a new love interest, who they want to continuing living for.
It’s vague enough to be understood as both a love song between two humans, and as a representation of how hard it is, and how much passion it takes to continue on as a band when your first album does so well it threatens your future success. But Meath and Sanborn have nothing to fear from themselves. With What Now and their Echo Mountain Sessions EP, Sylvan Esso have broken the box of what “live” electronic music can truly be – with full instrumentation, a collaborative group of musicians, an assortment of acoustic sounds, and that raw energy that only comes with a full drum set. Sophomore slump? More like sophomore jump. – Kelsey Simpkins
56. Iron Chic – You Can’t Stay Here
Man, 2017 sure was pretty fucking stupid. Apart from the general consensus that the world has been transformed into a giant flaming toilet with an illiterate orange hairpiece sitting atop the throne, ordinary people continued to have life-shattering problems on a smaller scale. Iron Chic are some of those people. I am one of those people.
This band has always done a great job of combining bro-hugging singalongs with themes of loss, and after the death of guitarist Rob McAllister in 2016, You Can’t Stay Here channeled their grief into an amazing album. As people who grew up on the Punk-O-Rama comps creep towards their 40s (read: me), it’s comforting to find punk rock that refines the rebellion and confusion of adolescence into adulthood—even if that confusion never really goes away. “My Best Friend is a Nihilist” is, hands-down, my favorite song of the year. Iron Chic, take the wheel. -Ricky Vigil
55. Once and Future Band – Once and Future Band
This band has received praise from the likes of Kowloon Walled City and Cedric Bixler Zavala. They’ve toured with Tool. Yet they remain relatively unknown. Delicious prog rock that appeals to palates of all sorts. Give them a try. A true diamond in the rough. – Matt Jamison
54. Idles – Brutalism
As far as debut albums go, Brutalism is arguably one of the strongest in recent memory. With a mixture of Punk Rock, Noise, and attitude (but don’t say that they’re a Post-Punk band, as that upsets them), Brutalism can be seen as a damning condemnation of the current state of the UK and the world. Songs such as “Mother” has messages about working conditions for women and scaring Tories, “Faith in The City” questions how people cling onto religious notions when faced with the bleakest situations, whilst “Slow Savage” is an admission of failure in a relationship. It’s a feral album, a nasty record that grabs your attention by kicking down that doors, drinking all the booze and smashing up the place. As they say on the second track of the album….well done! – Eddie Carter
53. Krallice – Go Be Forgotten
The Oh Sees of metal, Krallice, are a music making machine and out of the 3 excellent albums they released this year, Go Be Forgotten is a vicious masterpiece exploring the darker side of the bands psyche. As usual, the song’s surrealist landscapes of ever-shifting structures is there but the outer worldly dimensions you find yourself in are far more cruel and heavier than previous releases. I don’t think it is possible for this band to make a bad album and I hope they keep them coming. If you have never listened to Krallice, Go Be Forgotten is a great place to start. – Brandon Perras
52. Mount Eerie – A Crow Looked At Me
Have you ever lost someone you are used to being around and communicating with every day? A Crow Looked At Me describes more than just the feeling of loss, but describes in full detail the moments after the death in which you have to completely re-adjust your routine, and worse re-evaluate yourself and how you can possibly move forward. It is damn depressing. But this album is a personal diary put to stripped down folk music, making it one of the coolest sounding records of the year. No album has affected me more emotionally in a long time. Expect tears, folks. – Haley Lewis
51. Hundred Waters – Communicating
And I thought their first two albums were great. Holy Hundred Waters, they’ve got nothing on their third full-length. Building off their Currency EP earlier this year, Communicating starts uptempo for a dynamic departure from previous work, before diving deep into the kind of musical complexity and technicality that only these musicians can muster. Seeing them live is a must. – Kelsey Simpkins
50. USA Nails – Shame Spiral
Three albums in and no sign of letting up for USA Nails and their direct and sarcastic look at the failings of the modern world. Shame Spiral is a rhythmic assault on the senses; part post-punk, part noise-rock, all gloriously demented. Recorded with the minimum of fuss, this is the closest they’ve come yet to distilling their live assault onto wax and sees them comfortably sitting atop the UK punk scene like all conquering barbarians of sound. – Steve Wheeler
49. The xx – I See You
I love this band so much. It helps that the trio’s lyrical content has reached new heights of maturity, while their sound achieved new depths of richness, presence, and tone. – APN
48. Blis. – No One Loves You
This is my #1 pick for the year. Blis. brought their a game to this debut release on Sargent House Records. No One Loves You is an incredible and emotional record, an Indie/Emo masterpiece if I may. While it may not be the feel good album of the year, it is a perfect journey in soundscape and dynamic, and will grab you by the boo boo the from beginning to end. – Isaac Atencio III
47. The Shins – Heartworms
I liked a Shins album once. I wonder if this one is any good. – Jon
46. All Them Witches – Sleeping Through The War
All Them Witches started out as a pretty standard heavy bluesrock band from Nashville, but look what they have grown into over the years. Sleeping Through The War inhabits just as much stoner rock as artistic nuance and an overall catchiness that is unsurpassed. They have truly become their own beast and it would be very interesting to see what else they might come up with in the future. -Jasper Hesselink
45. Open Mike Eagle – Brick Body Kids Still Daydream
“DUCKWORTH.” coincidentally passes the torch from Kendrick Lamar having my second favorite hip-hop project this year to Open Mike Eagle’s Brick Body Kids Still Daydream. Based on Eagle’s upbringing in South side Chicago’s Robert Taylor Homes (where Kendrick’s father is also from as referenced on DAMN‘s finale), he has crafted his masterpiece.
Full of the same wit that graces his other works, Eagle’s charm and poetic exuberance details the narrative of his child self pursuing the day he breaks free, where his ultimate brain power and drive can get him anywhere in life. Given his affinity for brutally honest and hysterical tweets, I’d say it only makes sense that he take top honor for year-end list time hip-hop records. Someone who lived an upbringing perhaps magnified by our President’s own past of discriminatory housing practices gets his own say, and Open Mike Eagle certainly has a lot to say. – Daniel Carlson
I’m not gonna lie—I started listening to Open Mike Eagle because I found out he likes pro wrestling. While other rappers rely on their nerdiness as a crutch, Mike is a real rapper–he doesn’t need to throw out constant references to pile drivers and chokeslams, because he has actual stories to tell. When he does dip into his own nerdiness, it’s in interesting and unexpected ways; “No Selling” takes the idea of wrestlers not reacting to their opponent’s attacks and adapts it to putting up a front of toughness and invulnerability in rap.
Mike also dips into nostalgia of a different kind on “95 Radios,” and “My Auntie’s Building” is an absolutely devastating album closer that I wish was two minutes longer. In closing, come for the (few) wrestling references, stay for one of the most versatile MCs in the game right now. – Ricky Vigil
44. Worriers – Survival Pop
I really liked Lauren Denitzio’s previous band, The Measure [SA], but hadn’t paid much attention to Worriers until I found out they would be playing a show in Phoenix while I was there for a zine fest earlier this year. I listened to Survival Pop a ton in preparation for the show, and the entire album is probably permanently embedded in my brain.
At the show (which was in a church-rec-room-turned-venue), it was interesting to see another city’s scene come together and get excited to see a band—and all of the bands were really fucking good! When Worriers finally took the stage, it was interesting to see the people who had been quietly sitting in the corners of the room, staring into their phones or even with their faces buried in a book earlier in the night, explode into balls of energy and scream Denitzio’s lyrics back into their own face.
It was almost like a real life version of Worriers’ video for “The Possibility”—people need to see themselves in the media they consume, and Worriers give voice to LGBTQ people in punk rock. We live in a time when being yourself can be a political act, and I’m glad that bands like Worriers exist to give people backup when they need it. – Ricky Vigil
43. GAS – Narkopop
????????????? – Jon
42. Roger Waters – Is This the Life We Really Want
No album sums up 2017 better than Is This the Life We Really Want. If you are like me in questioning your country’s government and the ever-growing moral decay, you are not alone. Thankfully, Roger Waters is fully aware of this corruption as well and made a flawless record to describe this state we are in, all while being buried within a fittingly gloomy atmosphere. – Haley Lewis
41. Benjamin Booker – Witness
As a thrilling combination of velvet and steel, Benjamin Booker’s Witness pushes all the same buttons the two Alabama Shakes albums do for me. What elevates Booker’s blues infused rock and roll, however, are the Mavis Staples led gospel choruses evolving from the standout tune “Witness,” Motown-esque backup singers (all over the album), and occasional strings.
For me, the stars of the album align in those soulful moments when Booker’s gravelly vocals collide with his strumming guitar and driving bass lines, occurring in songs like “Truth is Heavy” and “Motivation.” More importantly, Witness serves as a platform for Booker’s bold and necessary political commentary regarding social justice and human dignity in our current troublesome cultural climate of intolerance, racism, and misogyny. – Nate Jones
40. Everything Everything – A Fever Dream
No blurb again. I don’t even know what this is so I can’t really talk shit on it. – Jon
39. Mastodon – Emperor of Sand
I used to really like Mastodon back in the day and as they’ve gotten older they are still pretty cool even though literally every band member in every song never stops playing. Seriously listen to their songs, no on ever stops playing, no break downs, no breathing room, no nothing. Another thing about Mastodon as the years have gone on is that super annoying guitar / singer Brent Hinds has taken over more and more. Dude thinks he is so cool.
I didn’t vote for this album, no one blurbed it. However, I am not bummed it is on the list.
I still kind of like Mastodon although it may not seem like, but I’m sure you don’t really give a shit about my opinion anyway. – Jon
38. Converge – The Dusk In Us
Ever since their be-all-end-all album Jane Doe, Converge have been dominating progressive metal and hardcore yearlists and rightly so. The Dusk In Us is no exception. Opening track “A Single Tear” might even prove to be the song of the year for me. It is hard to imagine another band writing a similarly smashing anthem. Converge have done it again, you better recognize. – Jasper Hesselink
37. Chastity Belt – I Used to Spend So Much Time Alone
See aren’t you glad that Chastity Belt got moved all the way up to 37. I know I am. I am new to this band, so their latest album, I Used to Spend So Much Time Alone is my first exposure to them. These four women make some amazing music and I am super glad to have discovered them. Witty, chill, and solid. This is a band that truly enjoys being around each other and making music together. I love Chastity Belt almost as much as they love each other. Such good vibes. – Jon
36. Chelsea Wolfe – Hiss Spun
I am pretty sure Chelsea Wolfe is an alien. An dynamically intense, infinitely talented, and mesmerizing alien, on a mission of intergalactic domination through music and sound. Just fucking unreal man. How did she end up at #36?!?! This is a travesty, we should be ashamed of ourselves. I’m ashamed. – Isaac Atencio III
It really is bullshit that Chelsea Wolfe is all the way down at 36. Hiss Spun is her best album to date and that is saying something as each one of her albums is perfection. Chelsea Wolfe you rule my life. Fuck this site for ranking Hiss Spun so low. I am gonna have to change up the ranking / voting system next year to prevent this kind of fuckery from happening again. I’m seriously pissed. – Jon
35. Spotlights – Seismic
As the album title suggests Spotlights latest release is super heavy and just massive. So good. Dreamy, proggy, thick, stonery, dope electronics, perfect vocals, original dynamics. Seismic should also be higher on this list. Dammit!
I also have an interview that I did with Spotlights from like three months back that I haven’t had time to put together yet, because I spend all my time doing dumb shit like ‘Best Albums of the Year Lists’.
Sorry Sarah and Mario!
Spotlights deserve your attention. Trust. – Jon
34. AFI – The Blood Album
Imagine making some of your best work at your tenth record? That’s what AFI have achieved with their self titled release (known also as The Blood Album.) Davey Havok and co. have thankfully never really strayed from their roots and it is no exception on this record. Standout tracks such as “Dark Snow” and “White Offerings” have all the feel good factor of the cold walk home after breaking up with your girlfriend every day for a month. AFI are at their best when they’re bleak, Something The Blood Album has in spades. – David Dring