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|DaveyBoy's Top 50 Albums Of 2017|
This is about as up-to-date as I have been for a few years. The extra month or so also gave me a chance to listen to a couple of fringe top 50 albums and get their placement as accurate as possible (the first comment below the list will show that a few big names just missed out). One thing I found with many albums this year was that a lot of them were either super consistent but without highlights, or killer tracks surrounded by a fair bit of filler. Since I'm way past the point of reviewing and sound-offing, informal comments accompany each LP.
|1||Gang of Youths|
Go Farther in Lightness
An album of the year in every sense of the term. Their debut showed potential, but this just hit it out of the park. Surely it's their magnum opus already! It's not a perfect 5, because I'm unsure that any ambitious 16 track 77 minute LP can be... And I can see why that duration puts a few people off. But when it's good, it's just so good. It's extremely diverse too; integrating rocking intensity, orchestral elegance and an everyman relatability.
I might be in the minority here, but this is exactly the direction I wanted this band to go. While previously very consistent, Silverstein didn't quite have their raw/catchy balance quite right. Here, they do... and deliver 12 strong tracks.
Eternity, In Your Arms
Like a combination of The Darkness, Alkaline Trio & The Clash rolled into one, with the occasional female vocals thrown in. How could I possibly dislike this band? The album is a little all over the place, but that is part of its charm & appeal.
A Black Mile to the Surface
It doesn't quite match the peaks of 'Simple Math', but this is another very consistent record that displays sufficient variety (even if it feels a bit samey at first). In fact, you could say that this album is a nice median of the band's entire career thus far.
The first big surprise of the year, this was an album I just kept coming back to. Operating in a much-maligned genre (catchy post-hardcore with electronic flourishes), this band delivered a consistent & catchy record that even has a dose of successful experimentation. 'Fall' is also a song of 2017 contender imo.
|6||The War on Drugs|
A Deeper Understanding
I haven't been as big a fan of this outfit as many around here, but I liked the leaning towards almost mainstream accessibility on this album. There are some fantastic melodies on the highlight tracks, but there is also some filler.
Dreaming is Sinking /// Waking is Rising
I keep going back & forth on whether I prefer this album or the band's previous record 'Origin'. For the moment, this LP's greater consistency wins out. Is there anything that frontman Rory Rodriguez can't do.
I don't get the hate for this album. I mean, I get why - and I'm more into rock than pop myself - but why must the comparison even be made? I think that if this was their debut LP, then it would be treated much better as a consistent alt-pop record with some scintillating harmonies.
I'll be the first to admit that there is some over-ambitious filler on this record. Without it - and the accompanying overlong duration - this probably would have been top 3 for me. The best 6-8 tracks here make for one hell of a mini-album though.
Make The Best Of It
My under-rated album of the year, and again it seems to have a lot to do with comparisons to earlier releases. I don't get it. I love the scope that this LP takes in and the intensity of the vocals is top-notch; most evident on song of the year contender 'Good Christian Man'.
|11||Story of the Year|
What a comeback! Without doubt the most fun album of the year. These guys are clearly just big kids and they're all the better for revelling in that. The Stranger Things gimmick is so corny that it works and the overall histrionics are kinda welcome in this overly critical age.
|12||I the Mighty|
Where the Mind Wants to Go / Where You Let it Go
A really tough album to rank because it feels more like a transitional release of sorts. They're definitely capable of better and this initially underwhelms. But when you eventually settle in for the ride, almost every track has excellent replay value.
All These Countless Nights
Remember that "super consistent but without highlights" comment I made above? That perfectly defines this album. It's so relatable at times and doesn't contain anything even approaching bad... But it just needs that killer track or 3 to propel it to greatness.
|14||Hearts Like Lions|
If I Never Speak Again
The usual "I've never heard of this band" outfit that come out of nowhere and really impress me. They share a lot of traits with Anberlin in that alt-rock segment where they're able to be catchy, rocky & atmospheric from track to track. Band has a lot of potential.
A tremendous album that unexpectedly betters her debut & catapults this young lady to the top of the pop heap as far as I'm concerned. It's really got everything a pop record should have, although I do believe it bites off more than it can chew on occasions.
These guys are such an under-rated young Aussie band. This album lands somewhere in-between their first two imo (both in sound & quality). When they settle into the sound they're looking for, a truly great record should be the result. I personally prefer the front half here.
Turn Out The Lights
This is one of those albums that hits really hard if you're in the appropriate mood, but is only ok if you're mind is elsewhere. To that extent, it's a resounding success that's really quite beautiful at times. She's a real talent.
|18||Nothing But Thieves|
Possibly the album I did my biggest about-face on this year. At first, I felt it corny & very derivative. After a while, I just said "to hell with it" and enjoyed it for what it was. Not everything works, but it's ultimately a fun rock record.
|19||Lana Del Rey|
Lust For Life
Not really underrated in that most people like it to some extent, but this is a kinda forgotten album. At 16 tracks, it's definitely overlong as a whole, but when you break it up individually, there's a lot of good and not much bad here.
Was this a missed opportunity at a classic? I think so. There are moments here that are just exquisite. And then there are moments where I basically switch off. These guys will settle into a groove one day and the results could be glorious.
Fail You Again
This might be the album that most fits into the "killer tracks surrounded by a fair bit of filler" comment I made above. There are 4-6 absolute rippers here, but the rest of the songs just lack something. Still, it's their debut LP, so there's plenty of time for improvement.
Probably the most overlooked album of the year - maybe because many consider their sound to be a little dated. There's barely a bad track here though and they do a good job of progressing their rock sound without sacrificing their pop songcraft.
|23||Falling in Reverse|
The inevitable Davey pick. I don't care. This not only rocks and has catchy melodies everywhere, but there's even some welcome growth. Sure, it's tough to ignore Ronnie Radke at times, but he mainly keeps his dross in check.
|24||Icarus the Owl|
I kinda don't have much to say about this album. It's another Icarus LP that will please their fans, but not make new ones. It's tight & consistent, but might not quite have the highlights of previous releases.
Absolutely loved their previous 2 LPs. This is undoubtedly a step down & rather underwhelming initially. But eventually taken for what it is, it's a reletively strong & catchy rock record.
|26||Captain, We're Sinking|
The King of No Man
Another album where you have to toss aside expectations, because it's clearly not as good as it's superb predecessor. There's a lot of excellent tracks here though. It's a shame that the flow is ruined by its 2 weakest tunes being early & successive.
The Peace And The Panic
Like their previous LP, Neck Deep release another fun & catchy pop-punk record that is by no means perfect. Also like last time, the best 4 or 5 tracks here have great replay value, while the worst 2 or 3 tracks are borderline embarrassing.
A really promising debut, this album would have ranked much higher if it included 2 or 3 highlight tracks. It's too consistent to a fault, but that atmospheric rock sound punctuated by strong female vocals is bursting with potential.
My obligatory classic metal pick, I love this new Iron Maiden album. It's surprisingly tight and very catchy at times. It's also fair to say that it is very very very derivative.
Colliding By Design
Another overlooked album in 2017 was the return of Acceptance. Unsure why though, since there is nothing at all bad about this consistent LP. It probably lacks a home-run highlight, but a poor man's Anberlin is still very much worth a listen.
After the Party
I recall when The Wonder Years were that band that consistently released great 3.5 rated albums, but could never top it in my mind. Then they released 'The Greatest Generation'. I can't wait until The Menzingers release their 'Greatest Generation'... Or maybe just 10 versions of 'Lookers'; a song of the year contender.
The continual progression of Paramore continues. I love the funkiness of this album and some of the catchy melodies remain in your head for days. It's over-ambitious though and not everything works.
|33||Hot Water Music|
Light it Up
They're not gone yet. A surprisingly strong record which holds up fairly well from start to finish. Hell, there's even some signs here that they can match the dizzying heights of their early career.
Didn't like this at all on first listen, since it felt like they were just mucking around & ignoring how good they can be. It's still far from their best, but it's kinda dumb fun & there is enough to get stuck in your head.
As with most other pop stuff released this year (& ever, really), there are 3 or 4 killer tracks here surrounded by a fair bit of filler. Jack could be super big (mainstream-wise) if he really wanted to be.
A tad disappointing. I really liked 'Copacetic', but this doesn't quite compare. It's highlight tracks are still excellent, but for such a short record, filler is not easily forgiven.
Cities In Search Of A Heart
The best album by a returning Long Island emo band released this year (see #55)! It's too short and far from perfect, but Vinny C sounds great and 'Mercy Is Asleep At The Wheel' rules!
There are times when I really enjoyed this and other times where I just wanted to put on 'Sufferer' again. It's a modern-day Rise Against album, I guess.
(How to Live) As Ghosts
A slight improvement on their past 3 records (mainly because it's much more consistent), but still not up to 'The Autumn Effect' and 'Division'.
I was extremely disappointed with this album on first listen; Thought they'd gone way too poppy! It did grow on me eventually, but it's still nowhere near as good as their excellent debut.
|41||The Classic Crime|
How To Be Human
Speaking of being disappointed on first listen, here's another one from the band I awarded my album of 2012 to. This is quite the comedown, even if nothing is specifically bad about it... It's just kinda unmemorable.
|42||Said the Whale|
As Long As Your Eyes Are Wide
A really interesting mix of this, that & the other which is difficult to label other than to broadly say indie-pop. Some tracks are glorious, some are ok and others fall flat. Very promising though.
All We Know of Heaven, All We Need of Hell
Absolutely loved predecessor 'White Noise' & didn't necessarily mind the change in sound here, since it might even suit Lynn Gunn's voice better. But it doesn't all work & comes off as a transitional record.
They're a guilty pleasure and I can't shake them. If i was to write a review, it would sound awful on paper... But in amongst the usual catchy - but dated - nu-metal, even the more experimental tracks come off quite well.
This is just so nice & pleasant... And the melodies are quite catchy too. There was a time there where I simply could not get 'Guardian' out of my head.
Hardcore band go all shoegazey and it somehow works. There's the usual constraints of the genre & it feels a touch overlong, but there's enough good tunes here to render this a relative success.
I still can't believe that this went to #1 in America. I had 'Mansion' as my #3 album of 2015, but I thought barely anyone else listened to him. His follow-up disappointed, but this is a touch better. I just wish he'd take his time to craft out a better record, because he's clearly capable of it.
To Speak, To Listen
More of the same from this divisive technically proficient post-hardcore band. I think this is a slight step down from its predecssor, but it's fine for what it is in the moment.
AFI (The Blood Album)
A wildly inconsistent & overlong ride that contains enough good stuff to get it by... Oh, and it includes probably my song of the year in 'Still a Stranger'.
Another favorite of mine just sneaks into my top 50. This is quite the disappointment after their previous return to form, but there's enough here to satisy. It's actually quite similar in sound to the Starset record, although nowhere near as good.
|It was by no means intentional, but some heavy-hitters just missed out on my top 50:|
51. Broken Social Scene - Hug of Thunder
52. Eisley - I'm Only Dreaming
53. The Smith Street Band - More Scared of You Than You Are of Me
54. Grayscale - Adornment
55. Brand New - Science Fiction
56. Arcade Fire - Everything Now
57. London Grammar - Truth is a Beautiful Thing
|The Dayseeker album kind of disppointed me to be honest, Origin and What It Means To Be Defeated stomp it imo. Rory's vocal melodies are getting super samey too|
Very happy to see Young Lions and PVRIS tho, especially Young Lions. Mr Spaceman was my second favorite album this year, I fucking love Zach Britt
Nice list Davey
|New Falling In Reverse wasn't fantastic but it was definitely a solid step up.|
Good list btw even if I have jammed close to nothing here haha.
|Thanks SB. I'll take any positive comments I can get. Dayseeker will need to change their sound up soon, but I'm happy enough with the gradual changes so far. As for Young Lions, I still prefer their debut, but even I admit that their maturity has been borderline astounding.|
|You wouldn't be alone king, especially since I'm not exactly a metalead (unless you count classic & hair)|
|Young Lions debut so fun and full of energy so I understand why it could be a favorite, at times I almost want to 5 it I like it so much haha. I've really liked every album they've done, Zach Britt knows how to write good music.|
Also agreed on Dayseeker needing a change soon, because as much as I love the band, they seem to be struggling going outside of their niche
|Hair metal eeek|
|I've got some overlap with you. 15, 28 and 55 are in my Top 10, and there about ten others I heard and liked. |
|That Greywind album is so close to really really good. I gave it a ton of listens to try and get to know the individual songs better, if that makes sense. It got there, but probably took a little too much work. If they can add some diversity, then the sky may be the limit.|
|sup davey, one of the first convos i ever had here was talking with you about everybody's worst guilty pleasure the bunny the bear|
they (predictably) had a new album out this year that I thought was actually really interesting, production standards are much better, you check it or nah?
|Great list dude! I keep coming back to that Creeper album, some brilliant tracks on it. 1 is 1 obviously, a classic|
|Glad to see some Greywind love. I felt the same way as you about it, but I kept coming back to it and it eventually just grew on me even if it did lack a few differentiating tracks.|
|have the nuts to make a list that isn't featured would ya you glorious sonofabitch|
|Hey sinternet. Nah, I didn't get around to the new The Bunny The Bear LP. Did they end up keeping the female singer around?|
Hey NS, thanks man. As you know, I occasionally check out your ratings to see what I may have missed, so keep up your good work. 1 is obviously 1, while Creeper held my #2 spot until a certain someone practically made me listen to that Silverstein record.
|Wish Davey reviewed again |
|Trey, I'm pretty sure you're the one who directed me to Greywind (after an initial comment from Sowing). It was right up there, that's for sure. Just one of those albums that doesn't demand me to come back to it, although I kept making the time for it.|
LOL chemicalmarriage. Quality over quantity mate.
Me too ND, but I ain't gonna half-arse it. As above, if I don't think I can write quality, then I'd rather just listen to the music and let the more motivated take the lead.
|Greywind's debut was great. Awesome list as always Davey, so glad to see 1 and 4 come in as high as they did.|
|profile pic would be so much more hardcore if it was the british bulldogS|
|gotta devour 3 just based on that first line of the description, nice work Davey|
|Thanks for half of the reco for that album Sowing. Still chuffed at your write-up for GoY for the year-end list. I wouldn't have been able to match it, but you said it all.|
Haha Titan. Well, if my username was Dynamite Davey, then it would have been.
Enjoy Rowan. Hopefully, I haven't led you astray.
|--Nah, I didn't get around to the new The Bunny The Bear LP. Did they end up keeping the female singer around?--|
They didn't, and thus, it's terrible ;)
Also glad to see AFI, RED, PVRIS, 10 Years, Rise Against, Arcane Roots, and Story of the Year.... and now that I list them all, I'm surprised that he had this many albums in common this year, ha ha.
|Really? Brand New at 55? I would think you would jump on the praise for it.|
Also Fight the Fade came out with a new EP a couple weeks ago in case if you're interested.
|they got the dude from i omega back and i thought it worked pretty well, maybe thats an unpopular opinion idk, i'd give the singles a check anyway if i were you and see what you think|
|Also, you didn't listen to the new Glassjaw?|
|Not many staff on this site anymore quite like you Davey. Keeping the mainstream rock represented and I welcome it!|
|lots of bad albums but hey 1 is 1 so it's all good|
|Oh come on Trey, we usually have a handful of albums in common. I did miss an out-there punkish reco from you in 2017 though... There's usually one of them.|
Hey TD. Will check out new FtF, so thanks for letting me know. As for Brand New, I'm one of those Deja > Devil & God people, so I tend to go a little against the grain with them. And nope, I didn't get to Glassjaw. They're not usually my thing though.
Pete, I'm unsure there was many staff like me when I was actively reviewing! But yeah, where there is mainstream rock, I will be sniffing around.
To you Snake, this is a list of 1. I didn't count down from 50 to 1 just for you. Hope all is well mate.
|also noticed that there's no Circa Survive on here either?|
|You’re not missing anything with Glassjaw. Circa was OK|
|Rearm Circuits is my AOTY despite overall lacking highlights that compare to some of their best work (even though songs like Doublesleep, Ghosts of Former Lives, and Dimensions come really close)|
I loved AFI's Blood originally but it wore off me a bit. Still enjoy it and Still a Stranger is definitely one of the best.
And I really agree with your point on Mew's Visuals.
|nice list Davey, glad to see 13 get some attention, agreed with it not having many highlights though, Cassiopeia should have been on the record! Did you catch them when they came to Melbourne?|
|Yeah, Circa Survive was 1 of 2 albums I never got around to that I really should have since I'm a fan of theirs. But reading the description of this LP & hearing 2 or 3 tracks put me off a little. I still should have given them the benefit of the doubt, but time got away from me.|
Hey GreyShadow, Icarus was another very consistent LP that lacked killer highlights. I'm probably being a bit harsh on it though, but I'll blame them for the late-in-the-year release date. I could have written so much more about Mew's Visuals, but felt I better not. It's not Frengers, but it's still damn good imo.
Hey schoonda, hope all is well mate. Not only did I not catch Deaf Havana when they toured, but I didn't know that they did tour. Argh, I'm so out of the loop these days. Just checked; Did they support Placebo? Strange, but great, combo!
|Very well mate, glad to see you're still active here! Miss seeing you around these parts. They did indeed! They also played some small sideshows in Melbourne and Sydney. Saw them at Ding Dong which was super intimate, and they took a few song requests towards the end which was a nice surprise|
|Great list, I need to go back and check out some of these|
|That would have been cool schoonda. Damn it.|
|Well done now I have even more albums to catch up to....|
|Haha. I'm here to do nothing but annoy LoLifant.|
|you must've enjoyed the gang of youths songs in top 20 of triple j ay|
|This may be my favourite list of last year. Gotta hand it to you for the inclusions of Have Mercy and Hearts Like Lions. I think I was the only one who included them so it feels great not to be alone haha|
|Hey, we have some overlap, too!|
|Piglet, I gave up on the Top 100 ever since every 2nd song contained the word "featuring" in the artist. But this year, GoY songs were always gonna take votes off each other.|
Lucman, that's 1 thing I don't think I've ever heard in the past! And I thought I was the only one who knew who Hearts Like Lions were.
Jom, we always have lots of overlap in our top 50s. It's our top 10s that usually don't for some inexplicable reason.
|Curious as to what you'd rate Mr Spaceman|
|Also you should check my review of Blue Isla :]|
|Lots of my top albums are here cool. Missing The Spark, Mesmer and Science Fiction but oh well. Love Young Lions.|
Also 12 is 1 :)
|Fucking mad respect for 2|
|No probs SB. I have no idea why I'm not entering ratings into the site anymore, since I actually do narrow albums down to ratings. Mr Spaceman is a 3.9. So their discog in order is 4.1, 3.7 & 3.9 imo.|
Thought we might have a few crossovers turtle. I only listened to Brand New of that trio. I guess the other 2 bands haven't been my thing in the past (except for ES's debut). But I probably slept on their 2017 LPs to my detriment.
Thanks coma. I'll take any respect I can get.
|Better check some Davey faves. Plenty here I haven't.|
|Those are all respectable ratings for the Youngs Lions discog my boi, all love |
|Hope I haven't led you astray WatchItExplode.|
More than respectable, I would think SB.
|Very true, I wish they got more recognition because they're an extremely talented group of dudes|
|bump so I can still find this list in probably around 20 years from now on when I'll have finally time to catch up all the stuff I missed|
|If it makes you feel any better LoLifant, I've yet to listen to a 2018 album, so I'm not off to a great start this year.|
|Lol, you haven’t missed much. Another slow start to the year, Dangerous Summer was good|
|Tiny Moving Parts as well|
I always have too many albums to catch up to at the end of a year so I can never make a top list lol gotta really keep it up with new releases in 2018
|Unsurprisingly, they're the 2 LPs at the top of my list to listen to.|
The Xcerts worth a listen, NS?
|I wouldn’t bother tbh. Black Foxxes have some good songs and new album out soon|
|Totally missed their debut so had never heard of them. Noted. Thanks.|