Tuesday, December 19, 2017

2017 Favorite Albums (Numbers 40-31)

Continuing my countdown of my 2017 Favorite Albums:

40.  Little Cub - Still Life

Meticulously produced, erudite art-pop in the vein of bands like Wild Beasts and Metronomy, with their own indelible stamp. Few albums sounded this good, and this intelligent.

39.  Zara Larssen - So Good

Zara Larssen can be added to the lengthy roster of phenomenal Swedish pop stars. Her album So Good blurs the lines between pop, R&B, and EDM, and she fits comfortably in all of them. And those pipes! An amazing voice that I look forward to hearing more from.

38.  Charli XCX - Number 1 Angel

On her mixtape Number 1 Angel, Charli XCX once again turns all the pop conventions on their heads and blazes forth on her own personal path of world domination.

37.  Baths - Romaplasm

Baths album Romaplasm was a year end treasure. Losing the bleak, dark textures of Obsidian, Will Wiesenfeld took a turn towards the light. There is joy in these whimsical synthpop creations, that are truly infectious.

36.  Hercules and Love Affair - Omnion

On this sparkling set of dance tracks, Andy Butler stops trying to be the great savior of house music and just has fun. He and his cohorts haven't been this relaxed in ages.

35.  Protomartyr - Relatives in Descent

Dense, complicated, intelligent, and most tellingly, compellingly listenable, Relatives in Descent is the post-punk epic that is needed in these dark times.

34.  The Drums - "Abysmal Thoughts"

Now solely the project of frontman and songwriter Jonny Pierce, The Drums keep plugging away with their take on 80s alternative rock. Unlike a lot of bands, The Drums avoid merely aping their influences and transcend them. "Abysmal Thoughts" is packed full of delicious hooks, and is so catchy you need a flu shot to listen to it.

33.  Mount Kimbie - Love What Survives

On their latest record Love What Survives, Mount Kimbie toss their post-dubstep past out the window, hit the pedal to the floor and never look back. A reinvention and rejuvenation, this record is a post-punk masterpiece of haunted soundscapes filled with angular guitars, ominous keyboards, and locomotive drums.

32.  Blue Hawaii - Tenderness

Less obtuse and experimental than their last record Untogether, Tenderness shows the brighter side Blue Hawaii's work. They gravitate more towards deep house, Balearic, and even disco on these tracks, and this more playful side suits them.

31.  Charlotte Gainsbourg - Rest

Beautifully melancholic, and decided French, Rest is a quirky set of electronic pop that gets inside your head and lingers long in the afterglow.

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