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50-31 | 30-11 | 10-1

10. Vince Staples – Big Fish Theory
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I have a special connection with Vince Staples’ music because my partner lives in Long Beach. The first time my partner drove me around Long Beach, I saw the city through the lens of the rappers that call it home and speak about the city through their music — mostly Snoop Dogg and Vince Staples. My girlfriend would remark, “That’s the Roscoe’s Snoop eats at.” “Hmm, I wonder where Vince ‘Real Artesian’ Staples eats. Maybe that vegan Thai place I really like.” As I spent more and more time in Long Beach, I started to actively seek out Vince Staples. When I’m at The Pike I’m peeking; whenever I drive near Ramona Park, I’m scouting for him. It started to become absurd. I can recall a back to school event at Cal State University Long Beach that was actually quite popping, but definitely not somewhere Staples would be. “Maybe he’ll make an appearance. They managed to get Drake a couple years ago. Man, when I went to CSUN we had fucking LMFAO.” Long Beach is as eclectic and grimy as the music of Big Fish Theory. You can walk ten minutes in one direction and hit the ocean, or walk ten minutes in the opposite direction and stumble into a crack house, much like how he can start the record with a jovial track like “Big Fish” while minutes later dive headfirst into the warped hooks-and-liquid-bassline-fever-dream “Love Can Be”.

I can’t help but think of the club scene in downtown Long Beach when I listen to Big Fish Theory. The tribal rhythms of “Yeah Right” and the self-explanatory “Party People” remind me of the shuffling of high heels and Jordans down Pine and Broadway, champagne and 40s, high-class clubs and equally exclusive dumpster spots. There’s even a corner 7-11 in the heart of downtown that always has equal amounts of homeless people and cops hanging out front. “I wonder if Vince ever got that new Cactus Cooler Slurpee there. Man, that shit is gross.” Influenced by Detroit house and underground UK electronic music, Big Fish Theory could easily fit into a club’s music roster, although the straight-edge Vince Staples might not fit too well into the lifestyle. There are intriguing contradictions to be found within Long Beach and Vince Staples, most notably an almost gleeful nihilism. Just like Big Fish Theory, Long Beach is friendly and inviting, as scary and confrontational as it may sometimes seem.

The more time I spend in Long Beach, the more connected I feel to Vince Staples’ work. He and his city are intertwined: “Learned it from the Dogg I’m from Long Beach / That’s the city where the skinny carry strong heat.” Vince Staples, like the city of Long Beach, has an illusion attached: not exactly hard, although he was in a gang in his youth. Rather, he is more interested in doing things the way he wants to do them: Staples is an authentic artist from an authentic city. And what he’s done with Big Fish Theory is a shocking accomplishment, sneaking underground UK electronic music and Detroit techno influences into a mainstream hip-hop album, while simultaneously sticking to his roots — more so than his idol Snoop, whose style and sound fit more with the general Southern California aesthetic. Vince Staples perfectly encapsulates his town, warts and all, and Big Fish Theory as an extension is the best hip-hop record of 2017. –Robert Lowe

9. Pain of Salvation – In the Passing Light of Day
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Hands down, my favorite song from Pain of Salvation’s immense comeback album is “Full Throttle Tribe”. Not only because it stands as first among equals with respect to the rest of the tracklist, but also because it is a codified chronicle of the ordeal – emotional and physical – Daniel Gildenlöw went through post-release of the Road Salt album series.

See, shortly after the release of Road Salt Two, Pain of Salvation embarked on a European tour, whose last stop was in Thessaloniki, Greece. The Swedes have a huge following in the land of Gods, with fans travelling from all over the land to check them out. Although the Road Salt albums touted the band’s (then) newly-introduced vintage heavy rock style, the sound was massive, borderline modern/nu metal, a combo that may have hinted towards the Pain of Salvation’s current style. The concert was a huge success, but it left a bittersweet aftertaste, as Gildenlöw announced that longtime co-runners Johan Hallgren (guitars), and Fredrik Hermansson (keyboards) would leave the band after this tour. Suddenly, I had this latent notion that it would take overly long before we would hear from the band again…

… later, Gildenlöw’s health predicament came to strengthen what was at first just a gut feeling, to the point where the band could even cease to exist. Fortunately for everyone, the band and its main man persevered, but whenever I listen to “Full Throttle Tribe” and read the lyrics while at it, I always go through the complete carousel of previously described feelings, seemingly epitomizing the band name itself. –Voivod

8. Gang of Youths – Go Farther in Lightness
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Gang of Youths exploded onto our collective radar in 2017. The Australian rockers seemingly came out of nowhere, boasting a brand of alternative music that recalls both the bustling rock-n-roll of Springsteen’s mid-1970s as well as the contemporary influence of stalwarts such as The National. Although Go Farther In Lightness wears its influences on its sleeve to an extent, there’s very little about the album that feels borrowed. Symphonic strings lift up Dave Le’aupepe’s most enlightened moments of soul-searching while successfully balancing what should be an impossible blend of inspirational grandeur and stark vulnerability. At no time does the listener get a chance to exhale either, as even momentous sways from all-out rockers like “Atlas Drowned” to tender, piano-driven ballads such as “Keep Me In The Open” will render one in awe, with mouth agape while trying to find the words for what has just transpired. It’s that kind of record, and if you ask me, we’ve been long overdue for a true rock classic of this caliber.

While the music alone might have garnered Go Farther In Lightness a spot on this list, it’s the lyrics – and their overwhelming propensity for being related to – that elevate it to the top ten of the entire year. Le’aupepe is truly a magician here, welding together words in such a way that seems so fundamental and basic in premise that you’ll wonder why you didn’t think of them yourself. Perhaps it’s the conviction of the delivery when he belches out, “Now I’m terrified of loving ’cause I’m terrified of pain” that gives the words their extra weight – a virtue that isn’t lost even on the slower, more contemplative tracks such as “Do Not Let Your Spirit Wane”, when we’re given introspection of a most devastating and illuminating kind: “All the things that I’ve run from / Are the things that completeness could come from.” Perhaps the most impressive moment of all comes on the closing track, when Le’aupepe spouts off, “Say yes to life!” in a frenzy of inspiration that is also a sure bet for goosebumps every damn time.

The question surrounding Go Farther In Lightness is less “Does it belong with the best albums of 2017?” and more “Is it the best album of 2017?” A case could easily be made for that latter proposition, as Gang of Youths deliver an emotionally gritty, sonically polished masterpiece. If it weren’t for some other stellar releases by artists with better name recognition, we might have been crowning this as our album of the year. Goddamn it… they-eeey deserve better than this. –Sowing

7. Lorde – Melodrama
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“Every night, I live and die” begins the defiant yet defeated “Perfect Places”. It’s as good a place to crack open this album as any, despite being Melodrama‘s closing track; after all, this story plays out in endless cycles, where young attractive people go out at the same times to the same bars to make the same mistakes night after night. Nothing is really learned during Melodrama, which makes its repeated attempts at finding meaning even more heartbreaking. The search for self-worth outside of what you mean to other people, finding out who you are when you’re alone, which begins on “Sober” just to crash and burn with “Liability”. The suicidal ideation which briefly flickers across “Homemade Dynamite” like a casual idea, or the colouring in of a whole generation with broad, sardonic strokes on “Loveless”. Basically, this album allows little room for compromise, because it doesn’t need to – either you’re on board with Lorde’s breathless race to the next moment of feeling or your ticket gets revoked. That’s why this record ends with “Perfect Places”, which could just as easily have been the lead-off single: there’s no easy lesson to learn and no place to hide from ourselves, but we can sure as fuck make some noise before we leave the stage. –Rowan

6. Blood Cultures – Happy Birthday
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It’s December 2017, and that means it’s the second year in which Album of the Year lists feature descriptors such as “fitting for our ______ times” or “the soundtrack to _____ year.” You can fill in the blank with any adjective you’d like — troubled, dark, or uncertain are especially popular.

One would be hard-pressed to phone in such a line for Blood Culture’s Happy Birthday. The secretive creator behind the album has crafted an album agnostic to any sort of “times”, existing as a pure collection of smooth and disarmingly joyous jams. “Moon”, for example, is sumptuous and delicate, while “Scenes from a Midnight Movie” feels tailor-made for a foggy late night drive. These songs are indifferent to good or bad times, analogous to nothing but an in-the-moment exuberance. –Eli K.

5. The Menzingers – After the Party
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Before I get all pathetic and weep to you folks about how After the Party hits me hard, I should start out with a few thoughts about why this is such a great fucking record in the first place. We’re a decade or so in, and this band still manages to keep up their own, seemingly untouchable standard of melodic punk that is somehow both unassuming and anthemic. Outwardly, I really hate how much I personally identify with a record so profoundly focused on getting old — my reflex here being that I don’t set out to use punk as a means of processing my own anxiety (Bomb The Music Industry! in my 20s notwithstanding). Yet, in the wake of Rented World, here is a more nuanced, deliberate release that actually leaves me a warm, positive fuzziness when I listen to it… in large part because I, too, am trying to answer the question (you know exactly the fucking question by now).

After the Party‘s fun vein of shiny romantic pessimism works in the way that only a Menzingers album (or maybe an older Gaslight Anthem album) can. From the opening riff and first lyric of opener “Tellin’ Lies” (“Oh, yeah, oh yeah, everything is terrible!”) to the dreamy realization that concludes the album’s final track (“Only a fool would think living could be easy”), this album recounts a pensive thirty years — and the rumination required to discover that you just can’t distill that down to one feeling. The answer to the question is: nowhere. We’re going to still be here, wavering between angst and mania, because that is what we do — and that’s just fine tbh. –theacademy

4. Manchester Orchestra – A Black Mile To The Surface
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Manchester Orchestra’s A Black Mile to the Surface, the band’s fifth record, is… well, it’s a Manchester Orchestra album. That should clue you into a few things right off the bat: it’s going to be layered and it’s going to have some gloom. It’s going to have some gloom but it’ll be tempered by the promise of the light. Finding the light is going to require you to make some mistakes first, though. Crack a few eggs! The eggs are a metaphor (for like… mining gold and also family stuff… even their metaphors have layers!)

As we’ve come to expect from the band, A Black Mile to the Surface is extremely well-crafted. Say what you want about Cope (actually fucking fight me, Cope was good), but Manchester Orchestra have never put out an album that felt like they were phoning it in. This is a band that is always trying to say something, and frontman Andy Hull remains extremely well-spoken. Characterized by a rich, atmospheric production, the record mines the hollows of the human heart with a cinematic series of dynamic tracks (rising and falling as if plotted). “You believe him or you don’t,” the album concludes. I believe. –theacademy

3. Kendrick Lamar – DAMN.
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Were it up to me, DAMN. would be Album of the Year. To me, it is the Album of 2017. It is the moment that Kendrick Lamar became unburdened by experiments in soul, boom bap, and g-funk, and embraced his own character. His enemies became Geraldo Rivera, Big Sean, and Donald Trump. His music became jazzier, looser, harder, and more forceful than it had ever been. And for once, his flow showed no trace of influence, imitation, or reference, and could only be ascribed to his own name (a flow which coincidentally takes in about a dozen different cadences and rhyme schemes). By a considerable distance, DAMN. was Kendrick Lamar’s best album.

In claiming as much, I will likely annoy and perturb haters and fans alike. After all, Kendrick — and his devoted followers — inspire contrarianism so feverous you would think the hate to be ever so slightly hysterical or overemotional. But Lamar deserves every accolade, every award, and all of the good press that he has consistently received this year in praise of his efforts. Even if you ignore his features, which have blown up any number of fine songs to exceptional quality and status, his 2017 has essentially been our 2017. It’s only been with me for 8 months, but already, these songs feel ingrained in the cultural scenery. It’s all there; the way Kendrick carelessly mouths off about “not giving a fuck” on “Element”, or the hilariously flawed and infinitely quotable freestyle he delivers on “Humble”, or the schizophrenic marathon of unmatchable bars he belts through on the back half of “D.N.A.”. Though taste and preference are a consideration, there’s no denying that DAMN., moment for moment, might be the most culturally impactful and important album Kendrick has yet delivered.

And that’s not a footnote, or a sideline, or something that can just be said without being proven. “Alright” is still a powerful anthem for race politics: “Bitch, Don’t Kill My Vibe” is still a calmer song than any for Kendrick to explain his mantra and attitudes. The albums those songs are taken from are however distinct in their tone, demeanour, and narrative; one about race, the other about Compton, both intrinsically linked though never meaningfully resolved. DAMN. resolves them and makes them Kendrick’s stories. DAMN. doesn’t sound like those albums, but it sounds exactly like those albums. This is his sound; the sound of Kendrick sizing up his rivals, and in between a myriad of flows, confidently assuring them that he does not give a fuck–Arcade

2. Ulver – The Assassination of Julius Caesar
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The Assassination of Julius Caesar is an album everyone thought Ulver were capable of brilliantly pulling off for years now, but the band kept postponing it. They teased us multiple times the past couple decades, yet the pop sensibilities here are displayed in all their beauty. The ominous ’80s influences are the backbone of the LP; however, the layered sequencers are wrapped in Stian Westerus’ buzzing guitar solos, multiple soundscapes, and keyboard leads. Together, the instruments create a rich canvas for Kristoffer Rygg’s gorgeous voice to further embellish the music.

Rygg rarely pushed his vocal input to the forefront and I always thought it was a shame since the man has a lovely croon. I am glad he finally chose to truly take advantage of his strengths. Half of the record’s appeal comes from the vocal arrangements. The grooves are enhanced, especially on “Rolling Stone”, “Angelus Novus”, or “Transverberation”, and dozens of verses will remain stuck in your head for days. Meanwhile, the lyrics are intriguing to say the least, talking about many ancient events in Rome right beside contemporary ones (who thought we’d be hearing about Emperor Nero and Princess Diana in the same song?). This odd, yet interesting mix is weirdly characteristic of our society today, mirroring our morbid fascination with dark mystical events, serial killers, socialites, religious fanatics, and so on. The frontman’s observations seem abstract at first; still, they turn out to be true (“Tragedies repeat themselves in perfect circle”). This is a complex album masked by pop, and there was no other band more suitable than Ulver for all the correlations found here. There’s a lot to discover on what is arguably the Norwegian group’s most satisfying affair. –Raul Stanciu

1. The National – Sleep Well Beast
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This is just kind of how it goes these days. No longer tethered to just the fervent outer circles of particular forums and their luxuriant, putrid stenches, we’ve lost the event albums: those galvanizing, unshakable shared masterpieces that we cling to for months and champion at year’s end. Not since 2010 when fucking The Tallest Man On Earth overtook some other album that was super popular that year have we really been, like, this is the shit. Now, we’ve got 50 shits. We’ve got them all, and I implore you to check out every album above this one to see just what really made us froth at the mouths and take charge to the comment sections and exalt with embarrassing abandon, this is why I love music.

Oh goodness, I don’t mean to insult The National. They’ve earned their spot fairly, and with Sleep Well Beast they’ve made the kind of late-career rock album that actually manages to retain the essence of their sound while pushing it into unfamiliar angles. Most of us like it, and for good reason. But we’ve come to a point where the top of the list is an interesting look into the drive-by overlaps, where the caravan pulls over and we take to the scenery and quickly, before darting back into our own roadster with our record collections, say, yes, this we can share.

Well, it doesn’t have to be more than that, does it? The way year end lists sometimes read like eulogies for ephemeral, Twitterable classics, cemented into discourse by sheer volume of exposition only to wither away in our digital libraries two weeks later, it’s almost a relief that a band like The National can still release quality music of this caliber some 15-plus years into their career. The pillars stand erect: Matt Berninger’s baritone on marriage, regret, alcohol; Bryan Devendorf’s expressive, invaluable drumming; the dark noir musical palette aided with intricate interplay between brothers Aaron and Bryce Dessner and the other Devendorf (he’s Scott). It is all pulled off with a professionalism that belies, just as every album has since Boxer, the exaggerated frailty of its human core.

And yet, there’s something more here than was ever present before. The National have always been a band whose political underpinnings shade the themes that are otherwise obsessed with fragile masculinity and unbecoming desire, the way love is written about like a muscle that has to be exercised daily. A band that grew to prominence in Obama’s era must contend with, uh, this one, and there’s an embrace of the ballad that extends to Berninger’s plaintive expressions of marital semi-bliss, undercutting both the optimism and anthemic growth found on 2013’s Trouble Will Find Me. It is an album about going home and finding home is just as troubled as the street outside; respite becomes a challenge.

And what a beautiful challenge it is. A band that seemed to be edging dangerously close to self-parody introduces electronic elements and airier production in ways that confound the usual progression to their songs. These tricks turn Four Tet beats on opener “Nobody Else Will Be There” into the beautiful stunner of parading piano chords and layered vocals that give the album its thesis, a truncated little piece of abstract pleading that will mean different things to different people at different times in their lives: “Nobody else will be there.” It’s more than a little sad to say that The National are kind of like going home, but there’s comfort in the familiar, even as the familiar continues to grow right before our eyes. That’s just kind of how it goes these days. As we fall over ourselves to explicate the fresh, the truly tantalizing, here is a band that possesses the power to link a band of brothers who otherwise diverge in the woods. As the world implodes, as we find new voices to express our ideals, here is an album about just, like, figuring it out. Come home when you need to. We’ll be there. –plane

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List of participating writers (alphabetical order): 204409, Arcade, Atari, AtomicWaste, Brostep, DaveyBoy, Gameofmetal, Greg., insomniac15, Jacquibim, JohnnyOnTheSpot, Jom, klap, macman76, manosg, plane, Rowan5215, SowingSeason, TalonsOfFire, theacademy, Trebor., Voivod, Willie, Xenophanes.





Jom
12.22.17
That does it for us! Users' List will be published in a couple weeks. Stay tuned for that one! Special shout-out once more to Willie, who did all the artwork for us (as is tradition) as well as macman for bringing in some new ideas for how to score our list this year. It also goes without saying that I appreciate all of the staffers (and retired folks who remembered to visit and pitch in) for their dedication and good cheer during this process. As always, thanks for reading! Happy Holidays and good luck and good health to you and yours in 2018.

ZombieToyDuck
12.22.17
The Menzingers and Vinces Staples in top 10? I'm pleased!

RadicalEd
12.22.17
Happy Holidays to all sputnikkkers.

1 is 1. congratz you guys got it right. Can't say I agree with everything, but will enjoy reading the writeups no doubt.

calmrose
12.22.17
sweet, Menzingers top 5

RadicalEd
12.22.17
Plane, that writeup for Sleep Well Beast is perfect.

Papa Universe
12.22.17
so it is true then. no protomartyr

Piglet
12.22.17
most staff list staff could have ever made

dbizzles
12.22.17
I have five 3/5's on this list and the rest I haven't heard. It's a sad day. I do like the write-ups though. Good work.

doomes
12.22.17
wait, no protomartyr in the whole list? not only predictable, but also disappointing

ProjectFreak
12.22.17
4 of my top 10 is in Sput's top 10, not bad

ProjectFreak
12.22.17
"most staff list staff could have ever made"

nah, that would have been Brand New at #2 or something

TheMrAlexK
12.22.17
Ayyee Vince made the top 10

ramon.
12.22.17
no moses sumney :( i cri evertim

ABond
12.22.17
Ulver being in the Top 3 is win. My fave album this year.

ProjectFreak
12.22.17
how do you guys deal with the crushing FOMO of not recognizing about half the names on this list, let alone not listening to them

or is it just me

Lucid
12.22.17
Glad the Blood Cultures hype train resulted in a #6 finish. Don't care for any record in the Top 5 but at least the site has a unique aoty with Sleep Well Listener. A very ~sputnik~ selection overall so it's a satisfying end to the year. Get plane to write all the blurbs next time thx

Cubacabra
12.22.17
Oops, forgot Elder.

Sniff
12.22.17
At least The National is aight

Jom
12.22.17
>> how do you guys deal with the crushing FOMO of not recognizing about half the names on this list, let alone not listening to them

Don't feel badly about this -- contrary to popular belief, the year-end feature isn't always about trying to flaunt Sputnikcore records. Instead, it's to help encourage readers (both users and non-users who find us via word of mouth or Google searches) to find new music. That's why we incorporate open Spotify links, why we take the time to write blurbs (or mega blurbs), etc.

It's supposed to be fun. I get FOMO-y with the best of them, but I look at it as a chance to check out something new.

Divaman
12.22.17
So sad The National is #1.

PistolPete
12.22.17
Great Top 10. Although #1 is an eyebrow raiser. Should've been DAMN

robertsona
12.22.17
Good job guys

ZombieToyDuck
12.22.17
"Although #1 is an eyebrow raiser. Should've been DAMN"

nah one of kendrick's weakest honestly, doesn't even touch TPAB

Lucid
12.22.17
I feel like Ulver only made 2nd place because it's the only convergence between the metalheads and indie hipsters on staff. If you look at their ratings barely any of them rated it higher than a 4

Also glad to see no Bell Witch at all on the list, props for that

Relinquished
12.22.17
hey man if Ulver is that umami then so be it

JohnnyOnTheSpot
12.22.17
nice, might read these

RadicalEd
12.22.17
@ Johnny you filthy liar. ;)

macman76
12.22.17
Ah that’s what was number 1. looking at the tally, the National was a runaway number 1, 2 to 5 were all very close

TheMrAlexK
12.22.17
Treb and Arcade nailed their blurbs here tbqh

Danred97
12.22.17
Gotta say, I'm pretty happy with this top ten. It does raise one question though, should I listen to Vince Staples? It seems to be getting a lot of love.

jmh886
12.22.17
3 thru 5 are the most overrated albums of the year.

Xenophanes
12.22.17
I don’t even know who the mezingers are

JWT155
12.22.17
While the new National album is great, I think it's their least deserving record since their debut to be worthy of #1 album of the year. 5 is hardly over rated....

ZombieToyDuck
12.22.17
"I dont even know who the mezingers are"

thats a shame

SputnikSweetheart
12.22.17
Ulver's voted best metal album of the year for 2017 :)

Lucid
12.22.17
other than “lookers” that menzingers was barely memorable

Artuma
12.22.17
converge didn't even make it to the top 50?? i don't know what this is but it's not sputnik that's for sure

Sniff
12.22.17
I think you've misunderstood this. 50-31 was better than 31-10 which in term was way better than 10-1. It's supposed to be the other way around.

cor22222
12.22.17
This new Lamar album is more like Lame-ar doesnt deserved to be that high

mortifierftw
12.22.17
No Converge?!

At least gang of Youths and Menzingers made it

Also I don't really understand the Vince Staples hype, Big K.R.I.T. put out the hip hop album of the year

macman76
12.22.17
Converge barely made the top 80

Toondude10
12.22.17
Great pick for 1 and 2

AsleepInTheBack
12.22.17
Quite surprised there is no Converge still.
Nice to see a staff top 10 quite so reflective of the staffers tastes. Last year's felt a little more predictable, whereas this seems more personal and unexpected. Good shit.

AsleepInTheBack
12.22.17
Also, damn, great DAMN. write up. Makes we want to jam it again.

TalonsOfFire
12.22.17
1 and 2

SowingSeason
12.22.17
Amazing work all around; thanks Jom, Willie, and macman for doing the organization, artwork, and number-crunching, respectively -- and thanks to all the staffers who contributed their time and quality writing.

Although the back half of the list (esp 50-31) reflects my own taste the least out of probably any of my time here, this is my favorite list overall in terms of its gradual ascending quality, eclecticism, etc. Very little here feels out of place, there are quite a few pleasant surprises, and it is - IMO - way more diverse and unpredictable than similar publications by our peers. Truly a commendable job!

FreddieDelaney31
12.22.17
Completely overjoyed that Blood Cultures made it into the top 10, my personal AOTY that I didn't even hear until after I had made my year end list. Truly special album.

Voivod
12.22.17
Guys chill, you should understand that year-end lists are merely snapshots, and surely not exhaustive records of all the good stuff released within a year.

ZombieToyDuck
12.22.17
Totally get that! I was glad with the selections this year tbh

JesusCage
12.22.17
8 of my top 20 made it to the staff's top 50.. so I feel happy. Great job on the write ups. Cheers

Sniff
12.22.17
- way more diverse and unpredictable than similar publications by our peers

true that and I dig it

SandwichBubble
12.22.17
Did not expect that number 1 pick. way to keep me on my toes

ProjectFreak
12.22.17
"- way more diverse and unpredictable than similar publications by our peers"

yah i hear that, sputnik played a major role in getting me to listen to anything but whiny post-hardcore and pop-punk. I mean, I still listen to those things, but other stuff too. I probably would never have heard of Julien Baker without this site

jmh886
12.22.17
i'd like to follow up my complainy comment with a grateful one. it's a good list and i enjoy them every year. can't please everyone. love this site for the most part.

dbizzles
12.22.17
'Ulver's voted best metal album of the year for 2017 :)'

But.... but, it's not metal at all.

TalonsOfFire
12.22.17
My comment was supposed to have a heart after it, but just went through as "1 and 2"

Trebor.
12.22.17
Norfside Long Beach
NORFSIDE LONG BEACH

ZombieToyDuck
12.22.17
Vince Staples perfectly encapsulates his town, warts and all, and Big Fish Theory as an extension is the best hip-hop record of 2017.

My only gripe here is this. Why the hell is it below DAMN. when the writeup says this? I mean it's clearly the more inventive record. smh.. oh well

WatchItExplode
12.22.17
I would have liked to see Milo land somewhere but oh well. Just dl'd Blood Cultures in the spirit of Jom's comment.

ZombieToyDuck
12.22.17
Yeah Milo was also better then DAMN.

macman76
12.22.17
Write ups are written after the ranks have been set. The write up reflects the particular opinion of that staffer, it would be weird to ask someone to temper or raise their opinion because of the ranking.

ZombieToyDuck
12.22.17
ah that makes sense wasn't aware of that

dbizzles
12.22.17
Yeah, missing Milo a bit, but it's cool. Got my interest piqued on a few releases I didn't check this year (Blood Cultures, Sampha, The War on Drugs) and that's what I desire most from these lists.

ZombieToyDuck
12.22.17
sampha is a beauty dbizz highly recommend

TalonsOfFire
12.22.17
This year's list is probably my favorite I've seen on here since first making an account. Really great jobs on the blurbs, especially my personal favs on here, 1 and 2.

TheMusicRat
12.22.17
Haven't heard all of these albums but of the ones I have heard I agree they are excellent! Best list I have come across from a music site or magazine

Prancer
12.22.17
Pretty disgusting list imo, but lists don't really matter anyway. Surprised Elder didn't even make top 50 though.

neekafat
12.22.17
Well... that was unexpected
Wtf @6, def did not see that being there. And I've never even heard of 9 lol

dbizzles
12.22.17
Yeah, also never heard of 9. Band has been around forever, album has a solid average and decent amount of votes for a new album. Also, it's prog, so... yeah, I guess that's why I don't know them/it.

Darius
12.22.17
Thought 4 would be 1 woah

rafalafa
12.22.17
Pain of Salvation in the Top 10? jlawokay.gif

GreyShadow
12.22.17
No Converge?!?! that's shocking

SowingSeason
12.22.17
Times have changed. This isn't the 2007 staff anymore.

Toondude10
12.22.17
three staff gave it a 2.5

neekafat
12.22.17
But it's not an average of all the staff's votes right?

insomniac15
12.22.17
Congrats to everyone for the write-ups!

Toondude10
12.22.17
"But it's not an average of all the staff's votes right?"

Not really the point, the idea is how many staffers put it on their best of the year list.

ChaoticVortex
12.22.17
Pain of Salvation in Top 10? Niiiiceee.
Great write-ups BTW, although I miss Elder's new album.

neekafat
12.22.17
I see I see

Sniff
12.22.17
Tbh if you have PoS in you top albums of the year. You need to listen to more albums

BlackTaxi2d
12.22.17
does this mean I actually need to give that Ulver album a listen? I've never listened to them before

Sniff
12.22.17
Correct

Aiwaz
12.22.17
lmao Ulver's is a billion times better than #1

zakalwe
12.22.17
What a massive bunch of arse

StarlessCore
12.22.17
god the staff lists are getting so bad

SteakByrnes
12.22.17
I'm very surprised to not see Converge on the list at all

brainmelter
12.22.17
Welp, the only one I like here is 6. and it is rather interesting that converge didn't crack the top 50..

Artuma
12.22.17
"gradual ascending quality"

uhh...

Trebor.
12.22.17
"My only gripe here is this. Why the hell is it below DAMN. when the writeup says this? I mean it's clearly the more inventive record. smh.. oh well"

idk I think objectively Big Fish Theory is better, although I had Damn higher on my list

StarlessCore
12.22.17
both r whack tho

Hyndez
12.22.17
Uhh Chelsea Wolfe not even in top 50 wtf ????


Prancer
12.22.17
Converge album wasn't that great I thought, but surprised it isn't on here. Idk if I just hate music, but this year overall sucked for music.

judasgoat
12.22.17
Very surprised to see Ulver this high on the list, not that I'm complaining at all. Can't argue with your #1.

"Also glad to see no Bell Witch at all on the list, props for that"

:(((((((((((((

TalonsOfFire
12.22.17
Despite my earlier comment saying how much I liked this year's list, I've only heard like 7 albums out of all 50. I'm surprised that LCD Soundsystem and Anathema didn't make it. Both were both tied for my 10th favorite album of the year.

neekafat
12.22.17
Yeah I didn't see 2 coming at all

BlazinBlitzer
12.23.17
Converge, Chelsea Wolfe, and Elder all got the same rating from me (7.5/10) and they all unexpectedly missed the top 50 list.
I just thought it was kinda weird.

grandfather
12.23.17
Surprised at no Elder, but otherwise my list looks very similar. Fun read.

impoppy
12.23.17
Damn is Kendrick at his most safe. Not experimental at all, not harmonically interesting like GKMC and TPAB, and not very fun either. If anybody besides Kendrick made it, it wouldn't break the top 20. But minus that, great list.

Winesburgohio
12.23.17
came to angrily disgorge my feelings on the top10, stayed for the exceptionally high calibre write-ups. pat yourselves on the back; y'all earned this < 3

neekafat
12.23.17
Yeah no Elder was kinda surprising tbh

verdant
12.23.17
some of these write ups are :italian:, particularly 10 through to 1. nice job fellas

Darius
12.23.17
I just noticed. No Bell Witch is fucking ridiculous. Just how???

SteakByrnes
12.23.17
Ok but Black Ken tho, Lil B where you at

Dewinged
12.23.17
9 and no Elder was a surprise, the rest, as expected.

RippingCorpse1986
12.23.17
Thought 7 would be 1. Oh boy.

DoofusWainwright
12.23.17
Finally feel vindicated for putting up a 5/5 review of ‘Sleep Well Beast’....oh, I’ve dropped my rating to a 4.5 now.

Still, definitely one of the top few albums of the year.

Frippertronics
12.23.17
the new Converge was their worst in over twenty years, so good call on the staff really

cylinder
12.23.17
Here’s my obligatory “so happy to see 1 at 1” comment. Gorgeous write up as well, it sums up its position both in the band’s discography and in our current era perfectly.

Artuma
12.23.17
"the new Converge was their worst in over twenty years, so good call on the staff really"

cradle of filth made the list though while converge didn't. so yeah.

Frippertronics
12.23.17
"cradle of filth made the list though while converge didn't. so yeah."

could it be? A Crade of Filth record better than Converge-by-the-numbers? Consider me shocked!

Artuma
12.23.17
"could it be? A Crade of Filth record better than Converge-by-the-numbers? Consider me shocked!"

i'm legitimately not sure if sarcasm or not

Lucid
12.23.17
that converge was forgettable as hell, so not surprised they forgot to put it on the list

CalculatingInfinity
12.23.17
lol the salt.

AngryJohnny
12.23.17
Staff done good this year

Piripichotes
12.23.17
The amount of indie-indiepop-indiefolk-indietronica in this list made me sleep for years... YAWN. What a watered down year...

Lucid
12.23.17
^his pie chart is laughably predictable

Ryus
12.23.17
non-metal is for PUSSIES

klap
12.23.17
But where are teh riffz

JohnnyOnTheSpot
12.23.17
yeah iirc converge was like #80

theacademy
12.23.17
"babe" - styx

BeyondCosby
12.23.17
Pain of Salvation? Really? Jesus.... the others were predictable but.... Come on... that album was hot garbage.

Evok
12.23.17
lol, Kendrick AND Vince Staples? Good lord...

Piglet
12.23.17
agreed gain of exasperation was fucken cringe/10 and it being 9 on this list tells ya everything ya need to know about these flibbertegibbeting staff

macman76
12.23.17
Converge was on a lot of staffers’ lists, one less than even the national, it was just very low in a lot of rankings

Gameofmetal
12.23.17
I think I threw Converge in the back end of my list just for reputation, album wasn’t really exceptional at all but there wasn’t much that I could’ve replaced it with either

sixdegrees
12.23.17
listen to more music

JohnnyOnTheSpot
12.23.17
haven't heard any of these tbh maybe I'll take six's advice and dive on in

JayEnder
12.23.17
Where the hell is counterparts

neekafat
12.23.17
"^his pie chart is laughably predictable"
lolol

Piripichotes
12.23.17
B O R I N G

Piripichotes
12.23.17
Pain Of Salvation album was mediocre.

Funeralopolis
12.23.17
pretty shit list

TheHamburgerman
12.23.17
The National on number one and Pain of Salvation in the top 10? I'm like yay

Piripichotes
12.23.17
"
"^his pie chart is laughably predictable"
lolol
"

it's all fun and games until you 5 viva la vida.

neekafat
12.23.17
Funny, I referenced that line of thinking in a review of mine

BlackwaterPork
12.23.17
This turned out really good

JayEnder
12.23.17
Menzingers babyyy.

Sinternet
12.23.17
one of the worst top 10s this site has ever had

brainmelter
12.23.17
it is very sputcore

Sinternet
12.23.17
literally like i like 3 tbh but shouldnt be anywhere near a top 10

gkmc will forever be his peak

macman76
12.23.17
Kendrick is the consensus number 1 album according to http://robmitchum.github.io/aotysheets.html

Toondude10
12.23.17
ew

TalonsOfFire
12.24.17
Kendrick Lamar's new album being 45th best of the year was the only thing I agreed with on theneedledrop's top 50 albums of the year video.

SteakByrnes
12.24.17
Kenthony Lamantano here

Prancer
12.24.17
At least Melon's top 50 had Elder so it's already better than this list.

TalonsOfFire
12.24.17
I need to jam Elder it sounds like my kind of thing

macman76
12.24.17
Well, clearly our list is bad cuz unlike rolling stone, we don’t have U2 on it

sixdegrees
12.24.17
is that the only difference in opinion or does this line up more with p4k

kris.
12.24.17
"actually fucking fight me, Cope was good"

acad i love you

SowingSeason
12.24.17
Yeah acad and plane so nailed their parts

Everyone did a bang up job though

Prancer
12.24.17
No U2 = another reason to hate this list!

SowingSeason
12.24.17
So many soaring feel-good choruses.

TalonsOfFire
12.24.17
My feelings about the new U2 go up and down, but Summer of Love and Red Flag Day are so good.

Jom
12.24.17
p4k's 1-10 went like this: Kendrick Lamar, SZA, King Krule, Kelela, Lorde, Moses Sumney, Vince Staples, Tyler, the Creator, Fever Ray, Jlin.

http://www.metacritic.com/feature/critics-pick-top-10-best-albums-of-2017

Sinternet
12.24.17
further proving pitchfork's irrelevance

SowingSeason
12.24.17
Lorde is legit, but I always wondered why p4k has recently omitted high profile indie rock records (this year: The National, Gang of Youths). I don't know what their internal process entails though. I always imagined it being overseen with specific agendas in mind, but that could be my own bias. Is most likely just a vote.

dmp3131
12.24.17
Sad not to see Circa Survive in the top 50

klap
12.24.17
gang of youths is only really high profile in austrailia iirc

klap
12.24.17
and i think this is one of the weaker national albums but to each his own

Lucid
12.24.17
p4k’s new brand rests on being socially progressive and praising white men rock bands has become unfashionable

that gang of youths is corny nonsense though let’s not get it twisted

Piripichotes
12.24.17
^ so rad.

Piripichotes
12.24.17
"^his pie chart is laughably predictable"

said the pleb that worships sunbather LOL

RadicalEd
12.24.17
"that gang of youths is corny nonsense though let's not get it twisted"

2

klap
12.24.17
Thirded lol don’t let daveyboy see this

Piripichotes
12.24.17
"lmao this piripichodes guy is only ever active to get butthurt on end of year lists"

I skipped commenting last year and yet you missed me, wanna get buthurt by me babes?

tastepolice
12.24.17
no everything everything in the top50, let alone the very first spot where it should be
what a joke of a website aahahaha

Piripichotes
12.24.17
^ looking at the names on the whole list, a fever dream could've easily made it in the top 50.

Valkoor952
12.25.17
lol @ 2

Veldin
12.25.17
several of these are only 6/10 imo. great write ups, as always

JJKeys
12.25.17
lol @ 9 - it wasn't very good

LoLifant
12.25.17
Didn't someone say they usually let the writeups be made by someone who didn't review the album? Why did Sowing do Gang of Youths then? Text sounds a bit salty towards the end haha

SowingSeason
12.25.17
^It's a rule of thumb (not stringent); we just like to give everyone a shot to write. My GoY review was well after the primary one that was featured, and not many others were gunning to write the blurb, so I did. I was sort of joking towards the end of the blurb by inserting lyrics about how they "deserve better than this", which they do -- but even on my own list they came in 5th or something lol.

LoLifant
12.25.17
Yeah I got the lyrics reference but sounded like you wanted them to be 1

SowingSeason
12.25.17
Wouldn't have minded it, I placed it higher than SWB personally.

Faraudo
12.25.17
Circa Survive gettin' snubbed pretty fucking hard.

Valkoor952
12.26.17
I just saw that 5 is on the list... really

rebeccasugar1979
12.26.17
Expected Brand New to be in the top 10. I guess not. Also Ulver. Holy shit. That's nice to see.

RustCohle
12.26.17
A Top 10 list without AmenRa's Mass VI cannot be taking seriously. A solitary reign is the best song written in the last two decades.

theacademy
12.26.17
mass vi was a step backwards (unlike true detective season 2)

RustCohle
12.26.17
Mass VI was their best effort and the comment about True detective was a nice try of trolling :)

theacademy
12.26.17
Troll. Or Troll not. There is no "try"...

RustCohle
12.26.17
Well you have rated Mass VI a "5" :)

XingKing
12.26.17
I can't wait to see the user list

Faraudo
12.27.17
Also, no Converge... Interesting.

Panzerchrist
12.27.17
That Nationals album bored me to tears. And yeah wtf at Converge not making a top 50 list.

SowingSeason
12.27.17
I was a tad surprised that Converge didn't sneak into the top 50 on name recognition and reputation alone, but the new record really was not all that special (it was good, just nothing to remember). It's funny though how many feel the same way about The National's latest and it made #1. I think the difference is that most of the staff-tag wielders at least 3.5-4'd the album, which meant that even if it was only 1 or 2 ppl's #1, it was prob somewhere on almost everyone's list and that widespread presence added up. It's less embarrassing than a lot of records that could have placed tops overall, although I personally would have loved to see Lorde, MO, or GoY up there. Ulver probably too, although that wasn't as much my cup of tea.

Faraudo
12.27.17
Manchester Orchestra being 4 is pretty good, The National being 1 is also pretty good. Ulver being 2 is also Ok (Although I would've preferred to see Circa Survive sneaking up in there) but Kendrick being 3... Not that good. I really dig DAMN. but it's not top 5 material. Maybe top 10 for me.

Tunaboy45
12.27.17
EYYYYYYYYY SWB is my AOTY too, glad to see it at the top

Draehl
12.28.17
A good list overall, but The Ruins of Beverast's Exuvia is a masterpiece of an album that should have at least made the top 50.

Captain Civic
12.28.17
I love these lists, helps me find stuff I might've missed. Really enjoying Manchester Orchestra and Gang of Youths. Undecided if I like The National yet.

Malcontent
12.28.17
Vince definitely deserved top 10, awesome.

4 is incredibly overrated.

I'm shook seeing Ulver at #2. Sleeper album of the year, it's going to hold up better than #1. There wasn't anything that sounded like Ulver this year.

DDDeftoneDDD
12.28.17
I know im more metal driven but Ruins Of Beverast; Converge; Protomartyr; Pallbearer instead of kiddy things like propaghandi or 80's revivalism albums i see here...i'm mad at this list...but ill dig some of these for sure...Btw - this is not even the best The National album...the first 3 are weak...agree with 4th place though...and i was positively surprised Glassjaw is in this list

Trebor.
12.28.17
DDDeftoneDDD

grannypantys
12.28.17
The fact that 1 is 1 invalidates the whole list. User list will be much better.

Kompys2000
12.28.17
No Mountain Goats wtf staff

DDDeftoneDDD
12.29.17
The issue with users list is that hyped (or popular, or controversial) records have a lower rating, and niche albums have high ratings...that's why i was kinda expecting the staff list. Here are some more bands i really enjoyed this year releases:

The Dear Hunter; King Gizzard and Lizzard Wizzard; Mastodon; Power Trip; Full Of Hell; Bell Witch;AmenRA; Chelsea Wolfe; The Contortionist; Dying Fetus; Mutoid Man

Sinternet
12.29.17
'kiddy things like propaghandi'

lmao u serious bro? propaghandi go way harder than fucking the dear hunter

theacademy
12.29.17
new fav username

DDDeftoneDDD
12.29.17
harder doesn't really means better. And Dear Hunter its a more indie rock album instead of a childish punk hardcore with good technical aspects. i was expecting someone would defend them. And you should for sure, if you like them. It was a personal opinion to express i disappointed i got with some albums lacking on this list.

Sinternet
12.29.17
please, explain to me oh enlightened music aficionado what about propaghandi is 'childdish' (ignoring the irony of praising the dear hunter)

DDDeftoneDDD
12.29.17
Not enlightened please (im far from it) Its a matter of personal taste...it reminds me of the old punk...and the melodies i dug when i was younger and now I just feel zero listening to it. Im not saying they're bad (great guitar; great drums)...I don't want to hurt your feelings, You should be happy enough with their place in the staff's list. Im the one who's wrong according to this list, not you

Egarran
12.29.17
Nerd fight!

DDDeftoneDDD
12.29.17
ahahah it could be worse...i'm glad i didn't express myself about Brand New

Egarran
12.29.17
Sinternet said "lmao u serious bro?" which should be plenty evidence that you are free from any obligations to be serious.

BigHans
12.29.17
Go Farther in Lightness is the best by a wide margin

hikingmetalpunk
01.01.18
good job

Voivod
01.01.18
Ulver posted their ranking here, at their facebook page.

neekafat
01.01.18
That's fuckin awesome

Voltimand
01.02.18
Don't know a lot of these artists, but this list is very pleasing over-all. Happy 2018, Sputnik!

Dewinged
01.02.18
"Ulver posted their ranking here, at their facebook page." Nice.

Darius
01.02.18
That's pretty dope!

Lord(e)Po)))ts
01.02.18
nice congrats sput

Darius
01.02.18
I just noticed the rest of the top 10, and 3 shouldn't be in it at all imo

JohnnyOnTheSpot
01.02.18
yeah, #3 is the sore thumb here..

Lord(e)Po)))ts
01.02.18
9 is deffs the sore thumb

Lord(e)Po)))ts
01.02.18
one day we will finally purge all guitar music from the website entirely

Ryus
01.02.18
whoa 6 is on here cool

yea 4, 5, 8 and 9 need to go



Itwasthatwas
01.07.18
Ulver, Gang of Youths were great. Manchester Orchestra and Vince Staples were good. The rest were either meh or bad.

Overall, this was a weak year, typical letdown after a strong year in 2016.

Austintatious
01.08.18
No Protomartyr = worthless list

LionLotus
01.10.18
I really think that The War on Drugs should've been in top 10, but great to see Gang and Manchester.

NorwichScene
01.26.18
Good list, I agree with most of it

Flugmorph
01.26.18
wont there be a user choice list this year?

SandwichBubble
01.26.18
https://www.sputnikmusic.com/blog/2018/01/09/users-top-50-albums-of-2017-50-31/

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