Best Albums of 2017 – Part 3

2017 was a year of very strong releases in practically every genre possible. Some of my favorite artists of all-time dropped singles and full-length albums this year–some for the first time in 4+ years–while others that flew under my radar for the first time made the list because of how attached to their music I quickly became. Though I knew who would be on my AOTY list pretty early in the year, I still struggle to decide exactly which albums stuck the most with me. Check out which albums I felt made the cut below.

A Will Away – Here Again

To be perfectly honest, I knew this album would be at the top of my list the moment I listened to it all the way through for the first time. As a newer band to me, even among some of my all-time favorite bands’ releases, it is still undoubtedly my favorite of the year. There are little words I can use to express how deeply my appreciation runs for this album and the musicianship of this band altogether. The lyrical inquisitiveness and instrumental complexity throughout each song are so rare to find as a package deal these days, but Here Again tackles both seamlessly. For the sake of the article, I’ll give you a star song to listen to at a first glance, but I genuinely recommend taking the time to listen to the album front-to-back to understand the total cohesiveness of this musical narrative.

Listen to: “Crotchet”

Paramore – After Laughter

So, how to fangirl in a professional manner… Paramore’s return has been long anticipated by naturally everyone in the underground and mainstream scenes. Not only have they taken back to the stage and toured the world for the majority of 2017, they have also released what I feel to be their best album to date. Before I get tomatoes thrown on me by the die-hard Riot!-era enthusiasts who can’t get past the band’s new neon-pop-rock sound, this album undeniably shows the band’s growth from their younger, more metaphorical songwriting days. This album is raw, honest, and well, extremely sad. They’ve made themselves completely vulnerable to the industry and the world itself. For that reason, as a Paramore fan from the band’s beginnings, I believe this to be their strongest album so far. My favorite song on the album is ultimately one of the most underappreciated and the track that resonated the most with me from the start, but every song is a certified hit.

Listen to: “Pool”

Citizen – As You Please

This album was a bit of a wildcard for me, actually, because it took me so long to give it a full listen. Citizen is a band that I have appreciated for years, and although I did enjoy their last release Everybody Is Going To Heaven, it didn’t resonate with me for as long as their past albums have. I took my time giving this new album a solid chance, but once I did, it quickly surpassed some of my most anticipated releases of the year. The album has a beautiful blend between enticingly melodic songs and grungier, more solemn songs, and Mat Kerekes’ vocals never cease to amaze me no matter the musical style (his solo album made my 2016 AOTY list as well).

Listen to: “Medicine”

The Maine – Lovely Little Lonely

As far as story-telling elements, this album was one of the most seamless to me. Though the album runs kind of short having three interlude tracks, they ultimately are the tracks that hold the album altogether. Another band that has matured gracefully with their latest release, the songs presented to us are nostalgic and honest. Elegantly resembling the stages of life, these songs express the reality of sadness, love, longing, and uncertainty. The Maine also had a specific tour this fall where they played the album front-to-back alongside their previous full-length American Candy, so now I can testify that this album sounds just as great live as it does in my car.
Listen to: “Black Butterflies and Deja Vu”

Runner-Ups:

Future Islands – The Far Field

Listen to: “Aladdin”

Have Mercy – Make The Best of It

Listen to: “Drive”

Turnover – Good Nature

Listen to: “What Got In The Way”

PVRIS – All We Know of Heaven, All We Need of Hell

Listen to: “Nola 1”

Post by Jordyn Beschel

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