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2017: Albums of the Year

2017: Albums of the Year

Here we are. Another year in, another great collection of music. I thought 2017 may have under-delivered compared to the insanity of the last two years, but as I compiled this list, 2017 was pretty pretty pretty good!

As always, this list is really more of a collection of things I enjoyed, and not specifically a top records in this order, always and forever. If you asked me what the top records were on 3 different days, you may end up with 3 different answers. Moods and headspace impact a lot.

As always, here are the previous lists: 2016 , 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010


11. Minus The Bear – Voids
What can I say about this? One of my all time favorite bands releasing a killer record. The songs are great SONGS, but the underlying technicality of how they work are just stunning. Their sound has evolved with each record, but they still have that fingerprint tone that keeps them authentic. God I love this band.

10. Mastodon – Emperor of Sand
I feel like I either lost Mastodon, or they lost me for a bit. But this record is pretty fun! Great production, Great riffs, Great songs. I feel like they have been trending in this direction for a while, but hot damned, if this isn’t what Ozzy should have been doing. The accompanying documentary is also fun.

9. Death From Above – Outrage Is Now
This album checks a lot of boxes for me. The songs just crush, the production is incredible, and it just has a vibe I haven’t heard from their other records. I understand why people may think it’s a little too polished, but I absolutely love everything about it.

8. Ex Acrobat – Ex Acrobat
If you’ve followed this list at all, you’d know that I have an affinity for band & sound stemming from Kansas City. Ex Acrobat delivers on that sound so well. It almost feels like a bit of a super group, with their guitar player owning and running a terrific recording studio in KC. Angular, riffy, aggressive, fun. Killer.

7.Queens of The Stone Age – Villains
I was talking with a friend about how I’m looking for a certain musical aesthetic. He called it “Trans Am”. Just this cocky, vibey, dancey, fun, sexy record. I appreciate the fact that they aren’t just playing the same tired sound over and over. The band is evolving, exploring, experimenting.

6.The Life and Times – The Life and Times
I think The Life and Times is one of the best bands, ever. All Timer. I’m guessing you know this.This record was both a surprise release, and a bit of a departure sonically. But the songs are great, and they absolutely crush live. I will pretty much celebrate everything they do, but hot damn if this isn’t a wonderful record. The art is terrific too.

5.Brand New- Science Fiction
A surprise release of what may be Brand New’s last record? I’m in. This record is dark, small, quiet, moody, and wonderful. I’d say I really only appreciate this and Devil & God in their long catalog. I’m not what I’d call a Brand New fan, but I REALLY enjoy these two albums. This album came out at the exact right time for me, and absolutely scratched an itch.

4.Royal Blood – How Did We Get So Dark
I certainly enjoyed their self titled release, but this record blows that out of the water. The songs are just meticulous hard rock tunes with wonderful vocals. The production is great, and you never once feel shortchanged as the band only has two members. They have certainly grown leaps and bounds over the last couple of years, but I’m not sure how they aren’t just the biggest band out there.

3. Lo Tom – Lo Tom
It’s been a while since we’ve head David Bazan’s voice atop a rock band. Lo Tom’s self titled super group debut brings it back, and then some. With members of Pedro the Lion and Star Flyer 59, this is just a terrific rock record with a massive production. It was on non stop repeat for at least 2 weeks in July. It’s just so wonderful.

2. Manchester Orchestra- A Black Mile To The Surface
I’ve enjoyed Manchester in the past, but this record is on another level. I never thought I’d see one of their albums in the top 10, let alone 2. Moody, spacey, emotional, dynamic. The lyrics are incredible, and the flow for the record is the best of the year. Feels almost like one long experience, as opposed to a collection of songs. Just wonderful.

1. Ryan Adams – Prisoner
We meet again, Mr Adams. This record floored me from day one. The songs, production, lyrics, art. It’s the total package. He recorded 80+ tunes, and cut it down to this select few for the main record. The accompanying collection of “b-sides” is wonderful too, but these songs. My god. Just a perfect collection of rock tunes. He is our next Petty.


Songs of The Year

Lo TomOverboard

I probably listened to this song on repeat for 5 days. It is as perfect of a pop rock tune as I’ve ever heard. It was the exact song I needed to hear, the moment I heard it. 10/10

Manchester OrchestraThe Maze
Holy cow. I don’t know the last time I heard an album opener that moved me the way this did. Absolutely stunning song.

Cloakroom Seedless Star
That opening riff has been in my head since they debuted the video. It’s just a flawless space rock song. The production totally suits the sound too. Keep’m coming!


Just Missed The Top 10:

Cloakroom – Time Well
Just a great, open, spacey, heavy record. This production really suits them.

Jeremy Enigk – Ghosts
The first half of this record is just stellar. He does no wrong to me. Some just beautiful songs on here.

Mutoid Man – War Moans
If you know me, you know I LOVE Cave In. Hearing the singer/guitarist tip his cap to the thrash bands that influenced him growing up just speaks to me. Bandages just crushes me.

Pet Symmetry – Vision
Just a fun indie rock record, fronted by a songwriter I have a lot of respect for. You can just hear the band having a good time on there. Fun.

Glassjaw – Material Control
I’m always conflicted by December records. How can they make the list if they’ve only just come out? Well, it helps if you’re Glassjaw, and I haven’t heard a new record in 15 years. Hot dang I loved this.


Other Stuff I Enjoyed:

Quicksand Interiors

Julian Baker – Turn Out the Lights

Mastodon Cold Dark Place

The War On Drugs – A Deeper Understanding

Iron and Wine – Beast Epic

Suzanne Santo – Ruby Red

Ben Gibbard – Bandwagonesque

Nine Inch Nails – Add Violence

Chon – Homey

TW Walsh – Terrible Freedom

Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit – The Nashville Sound

Pile – A Hairshirt of Purpose

Pallbearer – Heartless

Father John Misty – Pure Comedy

Thundercat – Drunk

The Orwells – Terrible Human Beings

Meat Wave – The Incessant

To Destroy A City – Go Mirage

Prawn – Run

Slowdive – Slowdive

Circa Survive – The Amulet

Björk – Utopia

St Vincent – Masseduction

Converge – The Dusk In Us

Biggest Disappointment?

Foo Fighters – Concrete & Gold

C’mon guys. C’mon.
At least we got this.


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