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I Chart Our Top Ten, Top Ten Albums Of 2017 Lists!

Listamania! What are our favourtie top ten album lists of the year ?

Top Albums of 2017

Source: Album Artwork

Had enough of ‘Top 10 List’ spamming your news feed? We’ve put together a top 10 list of the best top 10 lists on the internet.

From time to time as a music writer, you are asked to come up with a list of your ten favourite albums of whatever year it is at the time. I usually delve into my iTunes/Spotify lists and try my darnedest to come up with something – not an easy task as usually there are a handful of stand-out albums and then a dozen or more 6/10 records that are impossible to separate. I then head over to other lists of actual paid journalists and read what they have cherry-picked and then ask myself the question “they must be correct as they do this for a living, right?” I would then re-examine my list to include some of the best-reviewed albums of the year so that I don’t appear as a fraud. Though over the years I tend to fight against the critically acclaimed albums as A-ha and Duran Duran never had great reviews and I bloody love those guys.

This year I have struggled to adore any album at all and have basically been let down by many of my all-time fave artists like Arcade Fire, Depeche Mode, and Paul Draper. Maybe I expect too much, or maybe I long for the day when I can actually like more than 6 songs on a record, it has been a while. Are artists becoming aware that less and fewer people are listening to albums from start to finish and so once they have enough singles to sell a tour they just make a token effort to give the tour a name? Maybe. Well, this year I haven’t checked off my top ten albums,  instead, I have decided to rank my favourite top-ten lists from some of the most highly regarded review sites the in the world.

I do hope you like lists:

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10: Pitchfork

1)Kendrick Lamar – ‘DAMN.’
2)SZA – ‘Ctrl’
3)King Krule – ‘The OOZ’
4)Kelela – ‘Take Me Apart’
5)Lorde – ‘Melodrama’
6)Moses Sumney – ‘Aromanticism’
7)Vince Staples – ‘Big Fish Theory’
8)Tyler The Creator – ‘Flower Boy’
9)Fever Ray – ‘Plunge’
10)Jlin – ‘Black Oragami’

Pitchfork has always been one of the more high-brow magazines in America and they have started turn their back on the indie Americana they adored a few years ago in favour of a more urban flavour. I am not going to lie, I had only heard two of these albums before today and Lorde’s album is very overrated and just has a few great singles which makes this a rather predictable list from these guys.

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9:Drowned In Sound

1)Lorde – ‘Melodrama’
2)The War On Drugs – ‘A Deeper Understanding’
3)Kendrick Lamar – ‘DAMN.’
4)LCD Soundsystem – ‘American dream’
=IDLES – ‘Brutalism’
=Julie Byrne – ‘Not Even Happiness’
7)St. Vincent – ‘Masseducation’
8)Laurel Halo – ‘Dust’
9)EMA – ‘Exile In The Outer Ring’
=Nadine Shah – ‘Holiday Destination’

Drowned in Sound have a more diverse mix of albums and I agree with The War on Drugs – though they enjoy a lot of filler. Lorde again has cast her spell on the critics. St Vincent’s album is the first of her work that I kinda got into and I have never heard of Nadine Shah – I am a bad man or maybe just losing my touch. One for the younger listener.

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8:The Guardian

1)St Vincent – ‘Masseducation’
2)Kendrick Lamar – ‘DAMN.’
3)SZA ‘Ctrl’
4)Lorde – ‘Melodrama’
5)Perfume Genius- ‘No Shap’
6)LCD Soundsystem – ‘American dream’
7)The War On Drugs – ‘A Deeper Understanding’
8)Thundercat – ‘Drunk’
9)Kelela – ‘Take Me Apart’
10)Richard Dawson – ‘Peasant’

The Guardian are basically half Pitchfork and half Drowned in Sound – but because they believe that their list is the definitive, they have slowly been leaking out their top albums all month to create some hype over which album they think is the King/Queen of all (they chose St Vincent. A bold choice). I am stoked that finally a Thundercat’s work is getting a look in – now we just need the cast of Trap Door to release their long awaited a-capella record.


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7:The NME

1)Lorde – ‘Melodrama’
2)Wolf Alice – ‘Visions Of A Life’
3)Kendrick Lamar -‘DAMN.’
4)Father John Misty – ‘Pure Comedy’
5)LCD Soundsystem – ‘American dream’
6)J Hus – ‘Common Sense’
7)SZA – ‘CTRL’
8)Lana Del Rey – ‘Lust For Life’
9)Wiley – ‘Godfather’
10)Liam Gallagher – ‘As You Were’

Well naturally the NME had to support Liam Gallagher or they would have lost yet another 1000 or so indie fans. Wolf Alice is one of the most disappointing albums of the year, but they are a great fit for the magazine. I agree with Father John Misty- but you really have to be in the right mood, which is usually a late night Thursday in March.

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1)Kendrick Lamar – ‘DAMN.’
2)Big Thief  – ‘Capacity’
3)SZA –  ‘CTRL’
4)Lorde –  ‘Melodrama’
5)The War On Drugs  –  ‘A Deeper Understanding’
6)Jlin  –  ‘Black Oragami’
7)Alice Coltrane  – ‘World Spirituality Classics 1: The Ecstatic Music of Alice Coltrane Turiyasangitananda’
8)Paramore  –  ‘After Laughter’
9)Julie Bryne  –  ‘Not Even Happiness’
10)Moses Sumney  – ‘Aromanticism’

The US’s answer to Q magazine has a few random entries with Alice Coltrance who may have made it for the album title alone. The American journalists really do love SZA, which is not my bag, but I can see why it has sparked a lot of attention.  Though Paramore is a head-turner, was this one of the best albums of the year?


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5: The Vulture

1)Kendrick Lamar – ‘DAMN.’
2)Slowdive – ‘Slowdive’
3)Mount Eerie – ‘A Crow Looked at Me’
4)The Magnetic Fields – ’50 Song Memoir’
5)Mavis Staples – ‘If All I Was Was Black’
6)Chris Stapleton – ‘From A Room Vol. 1 and 2’
7)Kelela – ‘Take Me Apart’
8)Lorde – ‘Melodrama’
9)Sampha – ‘Process’
10)Broken Social Scene – ‘Hug of Thunder’

Oh Wow, Kendrick really has the critics under his spell – but how many of the average music fan on the street can name a song? Big move to have Slowdive up so high on the list- wasn’t Ride’s comeback album the superior return of the shoegaze generation? I agree with Broken Social Scene as a worthy entry and should have been higher up on more lists.

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1)J Hus – ‘Common Sense’
2)Kendrick Lamar – ‘DAMN.’
3)Sampha – ‘Process’
4)SZA – ‘CTRL’
5)Moses Sumney – ‘Aromanticism’
6)LCD Soundsystem – ‘American Dream’
7)Tyler, The Creator – ‘Flower Boy’
8)King Krule – ‘The Ooz’
9)The Horrors – ‘V’
10)Arca – ‘Arca’

Clash have followed suit with many of their comrades with LCD and Mr Lama, they have added a couple of curveballs at the bottom of the list, With Arca and The Horror’s – which is one of the most frustrating albums of the year. They score highly for boldly not choosing to have Lorde in their top-ten! Well done Clash.

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3. Rolling Stone

1)Kendrick Lamar – ‘DAMN.’
2)Lorde – ‘Melodrama’
3)U2 – ‘Songs of Experience’
4)Kesha – ‘Rainbow’
5)LCD Soundsystem – ‘American dream’
6)Khalid – ‘American Teen’
7)Taylor Swift – ‘Reputation’
8)Queens of the Stone Age – ‘Villains’
9)Migos – ‘ Culture’
10)Sam Smith – ‘The Thrill of it All’

One of the oldest music magazines still going and what a lovely mix of music – I can’t decide if it is stubborn loyalty or a pay of that has put U2 in the top 3 albums and Taylor Swift and Sam Smith get a rare nod of quality – and Lorde, again! Bonus points for having albums that the readers have actually heard.

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2.Paste Music

1)Jay Som – ‘Everybody Works’
2)Kendrick Lamar – ‘DAMN.’
3)Father John Misty -‘Pure Comedy’
4)Run the Jewels – ‘RTJ3
5)Courtney Barnett & Kurt Vile – ‘Lotta Sea Lice’
6)Sheer Mag – ‘Need to Feel Your Love’
7)Alvvays – ‘Antisocialites’
8)LCD Soundsystem – ‘American Dream’
9)Mount Eerie – ‘A Crow Looked at Me’
10)Sampha – ‘Process’

And that’s a full house for Kendrick Lamar who is the most loved artist of the year – take that Harry Styles! This is a pretty fine list with a few surprises ie. Alvvays and Run the Jewels, who are usually adored by writers finally made it into a top ten list this year.

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1)Kendrick Lamar – ‘DAMN.’
2)LCD Soundsystem – ‘American Dream’
3)Wolf Alice – ‘Visions of a Life’
4)Lorde – ‘Melodrama’
5)Gorillaz – ‘Humanz’
6)St. Vincent – ‘Masseducation’
7)Father John Misty – ‘Pure Comedy’
8)Baxter Dury – ‘Prince of Tears’
9)Queens of the Stone Age – ‘Villains’
10)The National – ‘Sleep Well Beast’

I guess I am pretty much a Q fan-boy. As this list is the closest to what I would have chosen, though the Gorillaz is very undeserving. Odd that they didn’t pick U2 as they have been so loyal through the years so kudos to that. But all in all a fine list that represents what their readers would have bought as well as satisfying the writers credentials.

In conclusion these are the most critically acclaimed albums of the year. Interestingly not one of these was in the top ten highest selling albums of the year, so can we really call them the best ? Only you can decide and remember, your opinion doesn’t matter until you have your name on a website. Congratulations to the artists.

1)Kendrick Lamar-‘DAMN.’
2)Lorde –‘Melodrama’
3)LCD Soundsystem -‘American Dream’
5)St. Vincent – ‘Masseducation’
6)The War On Drugs – ‘A Deeper Understanding’
7)Kelela – ‘Take Me Apart’
8)Moses Sumney – ‘Aromanticism’
9)Wolf Alice – ‘Visions of a Life’
10)J Hus – ‘Common Sense’

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