I know this is WAY late, but I wanted to get Share Some Singles Vol. 2 out before I posted my own mid-year faves list.
"Slip Away": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-EVhFTw4igw
Mike's most sonically exciting release yet, but just as emotionally effective as the rest of his discography. First Perfume Genius record I listened to, and still my favorite. Exactly the kind of album I needed in my life at this point in time.
Hasn't taken over 'Pure Heroine' as the superior Lorde album yet, though I can see that being the case eventually. A more varied effort that still showcases her ability to wonderfully write about the plights of people her age. First as a teen on 'Heroine' and now as a early twenty-something on 'Melodrama'.
[Progressive Pop / Art Pop]
Polarizing band continues to be polarizing. I continue to fall onto the defending side. Almost every slow burner on this album ranks as some of the group's best material, and “In Cold Blood” is probably my favorite banger (?) they’ve made.
Big Fish Theory
[Experimental Hip Hop]
"Yeah Right": https://youtu.be/C6iAzyhm0p0
Yeah, I know this album isn't especially notable in the lyrics department, but damn if this isn't some of the most fun I've had with a record this year. The hooks are sticky af, the production is worthy of the hype, and I just really like Vince's voice.
Full Album: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLiUhw6-0x9fMX7KUX3FYCt6sgFe4z6mzQ
More than any album I've enjoyed this year, 'Embers' is something you need to listen to as a full album to really appreciate what's going on. The calmer, texture-oriented first half does an excellent job of building up towards the more visceral second half.
[Experimental Hip Hop]
On some days, I find myself not seeing this as the 5/5 masterpiece quite a few people claim it to be. But on other days, while I still don't see it as that amazing, I do see 'SATURATION' as a jumping-off point for a group capable of making something of that caliber.
I may enjoy this in the spirit of dumb fun, but this is still a meticulously formed piece of...art? Yeah, art. Neil proves yet again he's the best mash-up artist out there. I don't think I've ever laughed harder than when I first heard "ACVC".
There are songs here that stand as some of Kendrick's most lackluster in a while, but this new direction leads to more hits than misses for sure. 'DAMN.' is Kendrick's most replayable album, no doubt.
|9||The Mountain Goats|
[Indie Pop / Chamber Pop]
"Andrew Eldritch Is Moving Back to Leeds": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KYGyC-kF06w
Some of the most entertaining storytelling and lyrics, regardless of genre, I've heard this year; not to mention the super pleasant instrumentation that contrasts to the lyrics really well.
[Concious Hip Hop / Jazz Rap]
“Like Really”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IM7xkbQ6LEs
If you’re looking for a politically-charged album in 2017, you probably couldn’t do any better than with ‘The Iceberg’. Over some lush, soulful instrumentation, Oddisee dives into everything you’d expect from a political album in 2017 with some more personal tracks peppered into the 2nd half. There are moments where Oddisee comes off as holier-than-thou in his lyrics, but overall this has to be the most solid hip hop release I’ve heard this year.
“Reverie” (NSFW): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0WKWZ9y-dvU
Most improved artist? I respected the textural qualities of ‘Mutant’, but found it all to be devoid of structure. ‘Arca’ not only amends to this, but comes through with some extremely haunting tunes thanks to the addition of Alejandro’s ghoulish vocals.
|12||Suiyoubi no Campanella|
[J-Pop / Hip House]
What a fun, colorful pop album! The mix of flavors on this album is insane: hip house, j-pop, synthpop, and touches of synth-funk and tropical house. Even more insane is how it all feels natural packaged together into one album.
“Roller Skates”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ysKpaoYQgYw
I haven’t heard a psychedelic soul record as genuinely trippy as ‘Green Twins’ in a while. Nick keeps things soulful even through the reverb-soaked production. I’d definitely recommend this to fans of the latest Unknown Mortal Orchestra record: very similar production and even some vocal similarities on some tracks.
A Thousand Skies
Certain tracks feature some fusions african music samples and more modern sounds that don’t go over so seamlessly, but for the most mixtures result in a stunning success. It’s unfair how damn fine the latter half of this record is.
Full Album: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F1QCRnahYP8
A beautiful concept album about coping with a lost loved one told through some very pretty vocal tracks, but the main attraction is the beautiful clarity that is the production on this record.
The World Is A Loud Place
"Electric Abdomen": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yo8YP6Vgqe8
colorful art/progressive pop w/ odd time signatures, tempo changes, and songs about how shitty driving through california is
[Indie Rock / Dream Pop]
super charming indie record, covers quite a bit of ground in 35 minutes
Freedom Is Free
"Friendship (Is A Small Boat In A Storm)": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3k9TVfnHH8Q
psych soul record that isn't shy about it's stances
Rap Album Two
[Abstract Hip Hop]
"These Words Are Everything": https://youtu.be/J5Ekc-7hkK0
a rap album whose subduedness is both it's greatest strength and weakness
[Downtempo / Microhouse]
bonobo does as bonobo does
"Hot Thoughts": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XrLVAQYfeZ4
love the really funky tracks, and that closing instrumental is really neat!!!
[Indie Rock / Post Punk / Neo-Surf Rock]
"The World Laughs": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lCRZCEQpOqY
A peppy, eerie, lovesick album from the perspective from a creepy stalker person (don't worry, i'm 99% sure it's intentional)
[Passive Dance Music (PDM™️)]
"Actually Smiling": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pOaZprdzPH4
Super chill, beautiful record, but need that new Baths record!!!!!!!
"Love Galore (feat. Travis Scott)": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hHXfCOjb3fk
Stays true to the Alt R&B sound, yet sticks out from the contemporaries
"Second Time Around": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5OoZ83lqIbo
Cheesy? Yes! Self-Aware? Pretty Sure! A bit 2-dimensional? Yeah! Fun as hell? You know it!
El Experimento Caribeño
Other Notable Releases:
Sr. Langosta - El Experimento Caribeño
A/T/O/S - Outboxed
Hippocampus - Landmark
Calvin Harris - Funk WAV Bounces Vol. 1
Snowball II - Flashes of Quincy
Psilo Vibin' - Crystal City
Shugo Tokumaru - TOSS
Mary Lattimore - Collected Pieces