It’s that time of year again where I review my top 10 albums of the year, and try and come up with a top 10.
This year has been rich with music for me, according to Spotify I have listened to over 50,000 minutes of music and 2700 artists – and some of my old favourites have made their way into the top 5. The data looks like this:
My top ten albums is a more subjective list, and I’ve tried to put them in some sort of order.
- Meursault / I will kill again – They describe themselves as ‘epic lo-fi’, I’ll say that this was one of the interesting listens I had in 2017. At times challenging and funny the stand out track for me was Klopfgeist. I saw them live in London in July, and I’m happy to report that the live experience is as good as the recorded.
- Tricky / Ununiform – it’s always an event when Tricky releases something new, and this was no exception. With the usual dark and layered vocals, interesting collaborations and multicultural references, ununiform stands amongst his best. Stand out track – Bangboogie with the Kazakh rapper, Scriptonite.
- Arcade Fire / Everything Now – I really wasn’t sure at first, but this soon fell into regular rotation. Billed as their ‘disco’ album, it has some standout tunes. Especially ‘Put your Money on Me’, with its pure pop Abba-esque climax
- Cigarettes after Sex / Cigarettes after Sex – From El Paso, Texas this four-piece crept onto my radar gently in the summer, on the strength of a couple of singles, I booked tickets to see them live at the Roundhouse in November. I’ve seen this reviewed as a ‘one-note album’, but what a note! Stand out track – sunsetz
- Baxter Dury / Prince of Tears – 5th album from the son of Ian Dury, this is a fantastic listen. Lo-fi hop-hop beats and a deadpan, funny, almost spoken delivery. Standout track – Miami (for the brutal precis of the city)
- Four Tet / New Energy – ambient, world-wise electronica from the laptop and circuits of Kieran Hebden. The stand out track 2017 seeped into my consciousness and demanded exploration of the remaining tracks.
- Loyle Carner / Yesterdays Gone – I truly hope this is the sound of future London, woke rap with eloquence and sensitivity. Stand out track – Sun of Jean (featuring Mum) or The Isle of Arran.
- Lorde / Melodrama – after a four-year wait, the second album from Lorde was worth the wait, from the precision pop of Green Light to the more epic Liability.
- The XX / I see you – ‘That’ sound doesn’t get old, danceable and relaxing at the same time. Stand out track – A violent noise (especially the Four Tet remix)
- Mura Masa / Mura Masa – the Sound of summer for me, ephemeral & poppy. Like an urban calypso. Loved it. Stand out track – Love$ick featuring A$AP Rocky.
Finally, some honourable mentions:
- Marlon Williams / Marlon Williams – released in 2015, but only making my radar this year.
- SZA / CTRL – late entry, but an amazing sound.
- Kendrick Lamar /Damn – golden boy, unique talent.