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01.28.18 DaveyBoy's Top 50 Albums Of 2017 11.25.17 DaveyBoy's Top 50 Albums Of 2016
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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.
1Gang 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.
Dead Reflection

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.
4Manchester Orchestra
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.
6The 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.
10Have Mercy
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'.
11Story 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.
12I 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.
13Deaf Havana
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.
14Hearts 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.
16Young Lions
Mr. Spaceman

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.
17Julien Baker
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.
18Nothing But Thieves
Broken Machine

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.
19Lana 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.
20Arcane Roots
Melancholia Hymns

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.
21Can't Swim
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.
22Circa Waves
Different Creatures

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.
23Falling in Reverse
Coming Home

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.
24Icarus the Owl
Rearm Circuits

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.
25Mallory Knox

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.
26Captain, 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.
27Neck Deep
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.
29Night Demon
Darkness Remains

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.
31The Menzingers
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.
After Laughter

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.
33Hot 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.
34Stone Sour

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.
Gone Now

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.
36Knuckle Puck

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.
37The Movielife
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!
38Rise Against

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.
3910 Years
(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.
41The 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.
42Said 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.
44Papa Roach
Crooked Teeth

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.
45Tigers Jaw

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.
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