Ah music, still the most common art-drug-escape of choice for humans.
2017 was like all other years for the mainstream–just tune to any major radio station in America and you’ll hear that half of the most popular songs revolve around ‘You-go-Grrrl!’ slut anthems sung by obnoxious whores (I gotta admit, I do like some of those candy beats–I’m lookin’ at you Taylor Swift), and the other half are whined by a dork who’s testicles shrivel as he pines over a slut who won’t sleep with him.
Music is one form of art that can directly tap into the spirit of the times. Musicians have a special ability, they are extra sensitive and can channel hidden energy, and you should be very picky as to what kind of energy you allow into your mind.
Fortunately, you have control over what you listen to, and you have recommendations from people who are discerning and have impeccable taste (me).
These are my favorite albums that were released in 2017.
Most of them are from very established artists who have been around for decades and have mastered their craft.
They are in no particular order and should be listened to according to your goals and mood.
Forget what you’ve heard about James Murphy and LCD Soundsystem.
Yes they are from Brooklyn (I run into Murphy around town all the time), are obsessed with what makes things cool, are darlings of the hipster crowd, and are praised by the most obnoxious people.
But there is no denying their perfection in nailing down the soundtrack of 21st century introspective angst (and make everyone dance their asses off while doing it).
This album captures their matured sound and contains my favorite song they have ever written:
I like pop-music, I really do.
Its a shame that 99% of it is meaningless candy crap that sounds like an advertisement (I have a feeling this is by design).
The New Pornographers are the remedy for infected cancerous pop on the radio: perfect harmonies, hooks that make you feel pure elation, and lyrics that actually inspire you to think about important things.
Sorry rappers, but in 2017, the finest lyrical wordplay goes to red-headed Canadian A.C. Newman who wrote the best song I’ve ever heard about depression, existential dread, and addiction (make sure you read the lyrics with this one):
Time to get weird.
I’ve always enjoyed Karin Dreijer’s work, especially as part of The Knife in the 2000’s.
Her solo music showcases her fearlessness as an artist and she really lets loose on Plunge.
I have no idea what it would be like living as a talented lesbian feminist, but she gives you a glimpse through this album and its every bit as confusing, frustrating, and terrifying as it sounds.
Your damn right Karin, “This country makes it hard to fuck.”
This is the most accessible song on the album and its awesome:
A strange pick for me because when I first listened to this album, I didn’t think I’d end up liking it as much as I did.
It ended up becoming one of the most played albums of the year.
Fittingly, it would come on during post-sex pillow talk while smoking cigarettes.
They’ve nailed a sound that is sexy as hell, easy to listen to without being distracting, and will most likely lead to a blowjob.
Unbelievably, the voice coming from the singer is a male.
When I take a girl back to my place for the first time, this usually gets put on while we pop champagne and get to know eachother better.
The production value is impeccable on the album, and its hard to fathom that so many complex emotions are able to be captured by a band who got notoriety by taking the minimalist route.
Play it loud while dancing around your bedroom with a beautiful female.
There have been countless bands that have been influenced by the figureheads from the 70s and 80s: Springsteen, Dylan, Dire Straits, Tom Petty, etc…
But its incredibly difficult to carve out a sound of your own while pulling from giants of the past.
The War on Drugs has managed to take all the best elements from his inspirations and mold them into songs that fit perfectly into modern times.
There are so many good songs on this album that it was hard to chose just one:
I’ve always had high hopes for Bonobo and he pulled through majorly with this album.
He’s experimented so much with different sounds throughout his career and he nails it here without being repetitive.
A good album to listen to if you need some fresh creative juice.
And this video is amazing:
If Beethoven were alive today he would be composing masterpieces like this on a laptop.
A lot of Four Tet’s past material is challenging to listen to, but this album is accessible without losing any technical prowess.
This might be the most beautiful piece of music released in a long time.
Oh lord, the voice that comes out of Leslie Feist.
Its all you really need to enjoy any music from her, and this album features it as the most prominent instrument.
I especially enjoy the production on this because you can hear all the raw imperfections during recording, which makes it sound like she is playing in the room with you.
This band keeps chugging along and doing what they do best–composing orchestra worthy pieces with rock band instruments.
I’ve seen them live multiple times and they will make the hair stand up on the back of your neck.
This album would be fitting as a soundtrack to the most epic Nature documentary ever made.
Imagine sweeping landscapes, cracks in between tectonic plates, mountainous waves crashing, a flight on the back of an eagle, and a python hatching out of an egg.
Now you have an idea of where this album can take you.
There you go, I’ve been asked a lot about my taste in music and thought I’d share some of my favorites of 2017.
You can also read: The Power of Live Music + Places to Meet Girls and Bring Dates