Much like last year, I have decided on a somewhat random number of albums. I do appreciate how the list format can be equal parts exciting and somewhat exhausting during this time of year. But for me, it’s a good place to mention a lot of albums that I loved but didn’t always get to write about or talk about a lot this year. In 2017, I went from (arguably) writing too much about music to not having nearly as much time to write about music as I wanted to. I hope to strike a balance in 2018. In the meantime, here are my 39 favorite albums of the year. Like last year, if there was good writing on the artist or album, I’ll link that as well.
39. Big K.R.I.T. — 4eva Is a Mighty Long Time
This track-by-track breakdown is really cool.
38. Wiki — No Mountains In Manhattan
37. Migos — Culture
You’ve probably read enough about Migos this year. Here’s a gif I like of Offset adjusting his cuff links in preparation for a potential physical altercation.
36. Paramore — After Laughter
This one really came and went for a lot of folks! This NYT profile was good.This Fader piece was also good. And though I try not to share my own stuff when I do these, I also enjoyed dissecting the album.
35. Syd — Fin
34. Gas — Narkopop
33. Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings — Soul Of A Woman
This piece on the making of the album after the death of Sharon Jones is heartbreaking and good.
32. Sabrina Claudio — About Time
31. Julien Baker — Turn Out The Lights
A lot of good writing on Julien Baker this year — I most enjoyed this, this, and this.
30. DJ Quik & Problem — Rosecrans
29. Bell Witch — Mirror Reaper
This Bandcamp piece about the album’s making and process is good.
28. Jonwayne — Rap Album 2
Jonwayne is not too big on interviews, but The Guardian did a solid one.
27. Idles — Brutalism
A good profile was done here.
26. Vince Staples — Big Fish Theory
Mychal Denzel Smith on Vince Staples was one of my favorite things to read this year.
25. Sleigh Bells — Kid Kruschev
24. Harry Styles — Harry Styles
Anne Donahue wrote many things on Styles this year, this was among my favorites.
23. Slowdive — Slowdive
Lots of cool stuff written on Slowdive’s return this year. I most enjoyed This Noisey profile and this NYT Piece on Shoegaze.
22. Converge — The Dusk In Us
It’s quite long, but this exhaustive history of Converge is very good.
21. Stormzy — Gang Signs And Prayer
There’s not enough good writing on Stormzy, I think. But I did enjoy this British GQ profile.
20. Chelsea Wolfe — Hiss Spun
19. Kendrick Lamar — Damn
A lot has been written about Kendrick and that’s fine but instead of any of those things, here’s 2 Chainz freestyling over the DNA instrumental — which was my favorite freestyle of the year until like three weeks ago.
18. Kelela — Take Me Apart
Loved this piece in The Fader.
17. Protomartyr — Relatives In Descent
All Songs Considered broke down the album well.
16. Rapsody — Laila’s Wisdom
15. Grizzly Bear — Painted Ruins
I enjoyed reading this GQ piece.
14. L.A. Witch — L.A. Witch
13. Power Trip — Nightmare Logic
A couple good interviews with Power Trip Here and Here.
12. Oddisee — The Iceberg
This profile was good.
11. Kelly Clarkson — The Meaning Of Life
There should be more in-depth writing on this era of Clarkson IMO, but this piece was a good one.
10. Daymé Arocena — Cubafonía
Short, but a good piece on the artist for those potentially unfamiliar.
9. 2 Chainz — Pretty Girls Like Trap Music
I wrote this pretty weird thing about 2 Chains and bowling.
8. LCD Soundsystem — American Dream
7. Jlin — Black Origami
Great feature on Jlin here.
6. Lorde — Melodrama
A lot has been written on Lorde this year, but I got some joy out of revisiting this Rolling Stone article from 2013, and then reading this one from 2017.
5. Thundercat — Drunk
Good profile here.
4. Open Mike Eagle — Brick Body Kids Still Daydream
3. Kehlani — SweetSexySavage
2. Richard Dawson — Peasant
1. Sza — CTRL
Here and Here and Here.