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Top 25 Songs of 2017

I usually do this as a Top 20 list, but this year, I just couldn't let go of #'s 21 & 22, and I couldn't get rid of any of the other twenty either, so I just cheated and extended it. These are my personal favorites from 2017.
All We Know of Heaven, All We Need of Hell


I was kind of disappointed by the album, but this track is great. It starts slow, then really takes off.
24Jule Vera
Waiting on the Sun

"Bad Company"

This is a jaunty little pop ditty about a dysfunctional relationship.
Little Mess

"Tell Me a Story"

Slowly strummed acoustic guitar and a nice, relaxed vibe.
Three Futures

"Righteous Woman"

There's a lot of bottled up passion in this song, and Torres' chocolate-rich voice is irresistible.
21Black Kids

"Obligatory Drugs"

This is a dopey song, but it's supposed to be. There's something about it that makes me smile every time I hear it.
How Will You Know If You Never Try

"Talk Too Much"

This one is just a bit of alternapop heaven. It's bouncy and catchy.
19Dia Frampton

"Gold and Silver"

This is a slow, ethereal pop number that's about dreams, the music business, and how much Dia misses her sister and former musical partner Meg.
18The Flaming Lips
Oczy Mlody

"There Should Be Unicorns"

A slow, strange song that reminds me of Bob Ross on acid. Except that here, we're not painting happy little trees but unicorns -- the ones with the purple eyes, not the green eyes.
Connect the Dots


A vocal Tour de Force for vocalist Mandy Lee, who proves that she can sing a lot of words really, really fast.
The Mission


A measured, understated ode to a missing spaceship that would serve as a good companion piece to Bowie's "Space Oddity".
15Rainer Maria

"Ornaments of Empty"

The ultimate musical tribute to becoming a sex object, fit only to be decorated and displayed.
14London Grammar
Truth is a Beautiful Thing

"Truth Is a Beautiful Thing"

Yes, vocalist Hannah Reid gives a great performance here. But for me, it's the somber piano parts that make this a great track.
13Motionless in White
Graveyard Shift

"Not My Type: Dead As Fuck 2"

An over-the-top song in praise of necrophilia. But it's all in good fun. 'Cause, "If she's got a pulse, then she's not my type".
12Said the Whale
As Long As Your Eyes Are Wide

"Step Into the Darkness"

Another tasty indie rock anthem with a fetching pop hook.


Lead singer Steph O'Sullivan's voice possesses a happy combination of beauty and power, and both of these attributes are on display in this track.
10Incubus (CA-USA)

"Familiar Faces"

Yeah, yeah, I know, the album kind of sucked. But this track was a winner, even if the band was dumb enough not to recognize it. (It was about the only song off the "8" album they didn't play during their summer tour).
9The Cranberries
Something Else


Losing Dolores O'Riordan recently was a tragic blow to the music world. Weirdly enough, this song, one of only three new ones on the "Something Else" album, is about the afterlife, and a love that even death couldn't kill.
8Aimee Mann
Mental Illness

"Goose Snow Cone"

According to Aimee Mann, this song was inspired by a photograph of a friend's cat she received while on tour in Ireland. It's a delicate but pleasing song.
7Tigers Jaw

"Escape Plan"

A sad, dreamy track with some really appealing vocals by Ben Walsh and Brianna Collins.
6The Birthday Massacre
Under Your Spell


Thematically, this is something of a darker version of The Cranberries' "Why" song. But this one is a little louder, and filled with nicely programmed synths. And you can even dance to it, if you're so inclined.
5The Magnetic Fields
50 Song Memoir

"Have You Seen It in the Snow"

Stephin Merritt is known for writing songs with a wry, and sometimes, cutting sense of humor. But this track, which is essentially a love song to New York, finds him at his most sincere and sentimental. As another transplanted New Yorker myself, while I see many faults with the city of my birth, this one still sends a flush of warmth through me.
4Leslie Mendelson
Love and Murder


Once upon a time, Leslie Mendelson was a Long Islander, and the lead singer of a somewhat successful local jam band called Mother Freedom. Now she's an L.A. gal trying to make it as a solo artist in the cold, hard music business. This wistful and touching folk ballad finds her trying to find her way back home.
3Linkin Park
One More Light

"One More Light"

The suicide of Linkin Park lead singer Chester Bennington was another great loss to the music world in 2017. But while the "One More Light" album was justly criticized by fans as being too full of cheesy pop, this, the title track, was one of the best songs of the year. It was written about a friend of the band who died of cancer, and the subsequent death of Bennington only served to make the song even more poignant.
2Dot Hacker


I had never even heard of Dot Hacker before 2017, but this trippy little song grabbed me early in the year and never let me go. While "Beseech" is a quiet song, there are all kinds of interesting little things going on here musically.
I'm Only Dreaming

"A Song for the Birds"

On this track, lead vocalist Sherri DuPree gets an able assist from her husband, Say Anything's Max Bemis, and just as in the couple's excellent side band Perma, they prove to be a winning combination. Hands down, this is the catchiest alternapop song I've heard in a long time. That's why it's my favorite song of 2017.
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