End of Year Music Review 2017

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“When you know, we’ve been hurt, been down before. When our pride was low, lookin at each other like where do we go…We gon’ be alright!”

2017 was an amazing year for music. Some of my favorite artists had new releases as well as some new finds as always. This year was such an incredible year for music that I have expanded my list to 30 Albums and 100 songs!!! “Holy shit”, you might think. Or, maybe you haven’t noticed that there have been 75 songs the whole time. Maybe, you aren’t even reading this. Maybe I’ve been writing this for no one. Maybe no one is reading it. Maybe, I’ve been dead the whole time. Twist! This is my 9th list. I hope to continue this until people stop reading. Even then, I’ll keep it going.

Musically, 2017 was great. However, I don’t exactly know what world we are living in currently. It is bizarre. Everyday there is a new outrage, and controversy. The President does things that make you shake your head and wonder if you are dreaming some horrible nightmare daily. I write this and make this list as therapy. I write it to remind myself that joyful things exist and are being produced by our world. We all owe it to ourselves to escape from time to time. I suggest you do it for 3 minutes and 6 seconds while driving and listening to Kendrick Lamar’s “DNA.”. Or if you really want to escape the chaos of the President making a nuclear attack threat on Twitter, relax with a glass of whiskey while closing your eyes for 13 minutes and 30 seconds and enjoy Kamasi Washington’s “Truth”. We are living at an odd time. However, nothing is too far gone. We will be alright. We are strong, smart, and caring as a human race. Let’s not let the dumb and loud dictate who we really are. Love more and enjoy each other. I hope, as always, that you find time to try listening to some of the songs and albums I have presented here. Thank you all for reading and commenting on something I really like doing.

Of what I’ve heard, here are my lists.

Enjoy.

Top 30 Albums

1.Run The Jewels – RTJ3

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2. Kendrick Lamar – DAMN.

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3. Open Mike Eagle – Brick Body Kids Still Daydream

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4. Grizzly Bear – Painted Ruins

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5. The xx – I See You

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6. Father John Misty – Pure Comedy

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7. The War on Drugs – A Deeper Understanding

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8. SZA – Ctrl

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9. Future Islands – The Far Field

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10. Big K.R.I.T. – 4eva Is A Mighty Long Time

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11. Spoon – Hot Thoughts

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12. Arcade Fire – Everything Now

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13. The Shins – Heartworms

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14. Mac DeMarco – This Old Dog

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15. King Krule – The Ooz

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16. Wiki – No Mountains in Manhattan

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17. HAIM – Something to Tell You

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18. Sylvan Esso – What Now

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19. Phoenix – Ti Amo

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20. Dispatch – America, Location 12

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21. Vince Staples – Big Fish Theory

big fish theory cover

22. Sampha – Process

sampha-process-album-art

23. Feist – Pleasure

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24. (Sandy) Alex G – Rocket

sandy alex g cover

25. BROCKHAMPTON – Saturation I-III (If Fantano can do it, so can I)

BROCKHAMPTON-SATURATION-II-cover

26. The New Pornographers – Whiteout Conditions

whiteout conditions

27. Courtney Barnett/Kurt Vile – Lotta Sea Lice

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28. Rapsody – Laila’s Wisdom

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29. Homeboy Sandman – Veins

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30. Mount Eerie – A Crow Looked At Me

mount eerie cover

Album of the Year

Run The Jewels – RTJ3

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My #1 Album of the Year comes from New York/Atlanta rap duo Run The Jewels with RTJ3. I think that this album would have been on many more top 10 lists if it didn’t come out the last week of 2016. No one included it on their 2016 lists (those come out in November now which is stupid). It was not included in many lists for this year because some people are purists and don’t want to put it on a 2017 list because of the release date. But, I digress.

This album is the the most consistent from Killer Mike and El-P. I put it on and it makes me think, makes me want to break something, and makes me want to hit repeat. Mike and Jaime come with an undeniable and relentless energy that I love. Much of the album is about the modern day common man struggles. At the end of 2016 Donald Trump was elected. This album came out a month and a half later. It bottles up some of the same frustrations from the campaign that feel like they happened 5 years ago. I hope that the hatred that the campaign and presidency have been built on will never feel normal. This album doesn’t let you feel like it is normal. It asks you to be proud to be different and always be confident in this world that can challenge those who are different. It asks you to rebel.  As I listen to this, I feel hope that the people still have power. The album is about hope, triumph, success, anger, failure, and the future. An album that goes through all of that and still makes catchy songs that make you want to get the loudest speakers that exist in your car is a pretty successful album. Turn your speakers way up and make your morning commute a little more energetic. These are two artists at the peak of their careers. I hope this never ends. Here’s to RTJ35 one day.

The List on Spotify

100 Top Songs
1. Kendrick Lamar – “DNA”

2. Father John Misty – “Pure Comedy”

3. Run The Jewels – “Legend Has It”

4. Arcade Fire – “Everything Now”

5. Frank Ocean – “Chanel”

6. Run The Jewels – “Hey Kids (Bumaye)” ft. Danny Brown

7. Big K.R.I.T. – “Big Bank” ft. T.I.

8. Future Islands – “Ran”

9. SZA – “Love Galore” ft. Travis Scott

10. The xx – “Replica”

11. Mount Kimbie – “Blue Train Lines” ft. King Krule

12. Sampha – “(No One Knows Me) Like the Piano”

13.Kendrick Lamar – “The Heart Part 4”

14. Mac DeMarco – “Still Beating”

15. Future Islands – “Aladdin”

16. The War on Drugs – “Holding On”

17. Father John Misty – “Total Entertainment Forever”

18. Wiki – “Pretty Bull”

19. BROCKHAMPTON – “GUMMY”

20. Local Natives – “I Saw You Close Your Eyes”

21. Grizzly Bear – “Mourning Sound”

22. SZA – “Supermodel”

23. The xx – “On Hold”

24. Father John Misty – “Ballad of the Dying Man”

25. Sylvan Esso – “Die Young”

26. King Krule – “Biscuit Town”

27. Kendrick Lamar – “ELEMENT”

28. Spoon – “Do I Have to Talk You Into It”

29. Grizzly Bear – “Losing All Sense”

30. Feist – “Pleasure”

31. alt-J – “In Cold Blood”

32. Kendrick Lamar – “LOYALTY” ft. Rihanna

33. Fleet Foxes – “If You Need To, Keep Time On Me”

34. Future Islands – “Shadows” ft. Debbie Harry

35. Kendrick Lamar – “HUMBLE.”

36. Vince Staples – “Big Fish”

37. Mac DeMarco – “This Old Dog”

38. Grizzly Bear – “Three Rings”

39. HAIM – “Want You Back”

40. The New Pornographers – “Whiteout Conditions”

41. Mac DeMarco – “Baby You’re Out”

42. Tennis – “Modern Woman”

43. Arcade Fire – “Put Your Money on Me”

44. Spoon – “Hot Thoughts”

45. The xx – “Say Something Loving”

46. Sampha – “Blood on Me”

47. Run The Jewels – “Down” ft. Joi

48. Open Mike Eagle – “My Auntie’s Building”

49. Run The Jewels – “Stay Gold”

50. Feist – “I Wish I Didn’t Miss You”

51. Thundercat – “Walk on By” ft. Kendrick Lamar

52. Grandaddy – “Way We Won’t”

53. Big Boi, Killer Mike, Jeezy – “Kill Jill”

54. Rapsody – “Power” ft. Kendrick Lamar, Lance Skiiiwalker

55. Sylvan Esso – “Radio”

56. Danger Mouse & Run the Jewels – “Chase Me”

57. The National – “The System Only Dreams in Total Darkness”

58. Future Islands – “North Star”

59. The xx – “I Dare You”

60. HAIM – “Right Now”

61. Phoenix – “Tuttifrutti”

62. The War on Drugs – “Pain”

63. Courtney Barnett & Kurt Vile – “Over Everything”

64. King Krule – “The Locomotive”

65. Big K.R.I.T. – “Confetti”

66. The Shins – “Name For You”

67. billy woods – “Wonderful” ft. Aesop Rock & Homeboy Sandman

68. Sza – “Doves in the Wind” ft. Kendrick Lamar

69. Open Mike Eagle – “Hymnal” ft. Sammus

70. Arcade Fire – “Creature Comfort”

71. Phoenix – “Ti Amo”

72. Vince Staples – “Crabs In a Bucket”

73. Dispatch – “Only the Wild Ones”

74. The War on Drugs – “Up All Night”

75. Father John Misty – “Total Entertainment Forever”

76. SZA – “Drew Barrymore”

77. Dispatch – “Curse + Crush”

78. Ted Leo – “Can’t Go Back”

79. (Sandy) Alex G – “Proud”

80. Belle & Sebastian – “We Were Beautiful”

81. St. Vincent – “New York”

82. Tyler, The Creator – “911/Mr. Lonely”

83. BROCKHAMPTON – “SWEET”

84. Kamasi Washington – “Truth”

85. Kevin Morby – “City Music”

86. Run The Jewels – “Don’t Get Captured”

87. Juicy J – “Flood Watch” ft. Offset

88. Rapsody – “Nobody” ft. Anderson.Paak., Black Thought, Moonchild

89. Open Mike Eagle – “Daydreaming in the Projects”

90. Migos – “Bad and Boujee” ft. Li Uzi Vert

91. Mount Eerie – “Real Death”

92. Frank Ocean – “Biking” Jay-Z, Tyler, The Creator

93. (Sandy) Alex G – “Bobby”

94. Joyner Lucas – “I’m Not Racist”

95. Alex Cameron – “Stranger’s Kiss” ft. Angel Olsen

96. MGMT – “Little Dark Age”

97. Yung Lean – “Red Bottom Sky”

98. Lou The Human – “Macklemore”

99. Wiki – “Mayor”

100. Big K.R.I.T. – “Keep The Devil Off”

Noteable Mini LPs or EPs

Kamasi Washington – Harmony of Difference EP
Belle & Sebastian – How to Solve Our Human Problems (Part 1)
Yucky Duster – Duster’s Lament

Pleasant Surprises
SZA – Ctrl – Brilliant R&B album. Beautiful, raw, and emotional.
The xx – I See You – I was a little disappointed in Coexist, their second album, and was absolutely blown away by this one.
Courtney Barnett and Kurt Vile – Lotta Sea Lice – Two clever, talented, and catchy songwriters put together an easy-to-listen-to album that you can just put on and relax.
BROCKHAMPTON – Saturation I-III – Albums I just got into the last quarter of the year. I can’t wait to listen to these more and more. It’s a fun, neverending list of exciting young emcees.

Underrated/Overlooked Albums: Albums critics/people did not give enough love to.
Spoon – Hot Thoughts
Future Islands – The Far Field
Wiki – No Mountains in Manhattan
Open Mike Eagle – Brick Body Kids Still Daydream – (Could be on this part of the list every year. Get acquainted. You will not regret it.)

Albums and Artists that didn’t come out in 2017 that I listened to a lot:
2PAC – Makaveli
Belle and Sebastian – If You’re Feeling Sinister
N.E.R.D. – In Search Of…
Aesop Rock: Everything,always and forever.

Most Watched Live Performance Videos
Courtney Barnett and Kurt Vile: NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert

Noname: NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert

3. Black Thought on Flex Freestyle

4. Complex City Cypher f/ A$AP Ferg, Wiki, Your Old Droog With Christian Scott (Brooklyn, NY)

Live Performances I saw this year: In no order
Arcade Fire (Lollapalooza)
Arcade Fire (United Center)
Future Islands (The Riv)
Father John Misty (Chicago Theatre)
Noname (Lollapalooza)
The Shins (Lollapalooza)

Albums I look forward to coming out in 2017:
Porches – The House (January 9th)
Justin Timberlake – Man of the Woods (February 2nd)
Vampire Weekend – TBA
Danny Brown – TBA
Father John Misty – TBA
Frank Ocean – TBA

Previous End Of Year Lists

2016

2015

2014
2013
2012
2011
2010

2009

 

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