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Top Albums of 2017: Staff Picks

KJHK Music Staff’s Top Albums of the Year

Well, well, well, 2017…you are soon to be over. To say a lot has happened this year would be an understatement, so let’s get to the one good thing we can all agree upon: the music. If there’s one good thing to be said about 2017, it would hands down be the music put out this year by so many talented artists–let’s have a look at the Music Staff’s top albums for 2017!

 

Andrew Chavez, Music Director

1. Melodrama – Lorde 

2. MASSEDUCTION – St. Vincent

3. Lust for Life – Lana Del Rey

4. The OOZ – King Krule

5. Ctrl – SZA

6. Slowdive – Slowdive

7. Rainbow – Kesha

8. Pleasure – Feist

9. BLUE LIPS (lady wood phase II) – Tove Lo

10. No Shape – Perfume Genius

I was at war with myself in terms of selecting my ten personal favorites or selecting what I thought the ten best albums of the year were, so what you see is a result of this. Regardless, Melodrama would boast the number one spot on both of those lists. Sometimes records drop at the times you need them the most, and sometimes you realize it then, and sometimes you’ll see it later. Thank you, Lorde.

 

Grant Martin, Music Director

1. Migration – Bonobo

2. I See You – The xx

3. Process  – Sampha

4. Slowdive – Slowdive

5. Humanz – Gorillaz

6. Nothing Feels Natural – Priests

7. Love What Survives – Mount Kimbie

8. Everybody Works – Jay Som

9. Boo Boo – Toro y Moi

10. No Shape – Perfume Genius

 

Dylan Fox, Programming Director

1. Dedicated to Bobby Jameson – Ariel Pink 

2. Relatives in Descent – Protomartyr

3. Images – You’ll Never Get To Heaven

4. Utopia – Björk

5. Phantom Brickworks – Bibio

6. Rocket – (Sandy) Alex G

7. Crack-Up – Fleet Foxes

8. The OOZ – King Krule

9. DAMN. – Kendrick Lamar

10. Drunk – Thundercat

 

Sam Blaufuss

1. Ctrl – SZA 

2. DAMN. – Kendrick Lamar

3. Flower Boy – Tyler, The Creator

4. Green Twins – Nick Hakim

5. A Crow Looked At Me – Mount Eerie

6. Brutalism – IDLES

7. Aromanticism – Moses Sumney

8. The OOZ – King Krule

9. Run the Jewels 3 – Run the Jewels

10. No Mountains in Manhattan – Wiki

 

Jaya Chakka

1. Belladonna of Sadness – Alexandria Savor 

2. New World – Koda

3. Missing Link – Nick Murphy

4. RMCM – Richy Mitch & The Coal Miners

5. The OOZ – King Krule

6. The Underside of Power – Algiers

7. Modern Addiction – TENDER

8. Relaxer – alt-J

9. A Moment Apart – ODESZA

10. Vera – Crooked Colors

 

Sully Dyvad

1. Pure Comedy – Father John Misty 

2. SATURATION II – BROCKHAMPTON

3. Safe Like Silk in Polyester Sheets – Blonde Tongues

4. I Used To Spend So Much Time Alone – Chastity Belt

5. If Blue Could Be Happiness – Florist

6. Slowdive – Slowdive

7. SATURATION – BROCKHAMPTON

8. A Crow Looked At Me – Mount Eerie

9. Antisocialites – Alvvays

10. This Old Dog – Mac DeMarco

 

Patrick Kennedy

1. Turn Out The Lights – Julien Baker

2. Greatest Hits – Remo Drive

3. Rocket – (Sandy) Alex G

4. Everybody Works – Jay Som

5. Soft Sounds – Japanese Breakfast

6. The Yunahon Mixtape – Oso Oso

7. Process – Sampha

8. You’re Not As _____ As You Think – Sorority Noise

9. If Blue Could Be Happiness – Florist

10. Bear Your Mind – Free Throw

 

Scott Knettle

1. Take Me Apart – Kelela 

2. No Shape – Perfume Genius

3. Routines – Hoops

4. Rocket – (Sandy) Alex G

5. What Now – Sylvan Esso

6. Dada – B Boys

7. Big Fish Theory – Vince Staples

8. About U – MUNA

9. Crack-Up – Fleet Foxes

10. Pure Comedy – Father John Misty

 

Griffin Lowry

1. Flower Boy – Tyler, The Creator 

2. Flying Microtonal Banana – King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard

3. Being You Is Great, I Wish I Could Be You More Often – Quelle Chris

4. Brick Body Kids Still Daydream – Open Mike Eagle

5. Crack-Up – Fleet Foxes

6. SATURATION I & II – BROCKHAMPTON

7. DAMN. – Kendrick Lamar

8. The OOZ – King Krule

9. At What Cost – GoldLink

10. A Deeper Understanding – The War On Drugs

 

Zack Murphy

1. DAMN. – Kendrick Lamar 

2. Flower Boy – Tyler, The Creator

3. All-Amerikkkan Bada$$ – Joey Bada$$

4. Subluxe – Healy

5. 4:44 – Jay-Z

6. This Old Dog – Mac DeMarco

7. Blkswn – Smino

8. Peak – Choker

9. Good For You – Aminé

10. Colors – Beck

Kendrick Lamar’s DAMN. was everything I hoped for when I first heard it. The album felt like a combination of the jazzy and funky influences of To Pimp a Butterfly and the classic sound of west coast hip-hop on Good Kid, M.A.D.D City. Kendrick confirmed these thoughts of mine when he said in an interview that he made DAMN. to feel like a mix of both of his previous two albums. Maybe the best thing abut the album though is the concept of it. The album tells a story and examines all of the emotions Kendrick has been feeling. The concept is so deep that many people including myself still don’t, and may never, know the full meaning behind it. So deep is this work that he just released a collector’s edition version of the album that has it’s track listing played in reverse. In fact, Kendrick said in an MTV interview that the album plays a full story and has even better rhythm when played this way. All in all, after you get done listening to the album, all you can say is: damn.

 

Miranda Roberts

1. Sleep Well Beast – The National 

2. Pure Comedy – Father John Misty

3. The Wild – The Rural Alberta Advantage

4. Lotta Sea Lice – Courtney Barnett & Kurt Vile

5. No Shape – Perfume Genius

6. Take Me Apart – Kelela

7. Goths – The Mountain Goats

8. Hot Thoughts – Spoon

9. Prisoner – Ryan Adams

10. Salutations – Conor Oberst

Sleep Well Beast is a beautiful type of bleak you want to wallow in forever. While The National hasn’t released an album since 2013’s Trouble Will Find Me, Sleep Well Beast feels like an old friend. Berninger’s signature baritone and dark humor are comforting despite being lined with gloom. This album provides The National’s classic appeal without sounding stale. It’s exquisite and was without question my favorite album of 2017.​

 

Josiah Witteman

1. Zombies On Broadway – Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness 

2. LUV Is Rage 2 – Lil Uzi Vert

3. Reputation – Taylor Swift

4. The Science of Letting Go – Smallpools

5. One More Light – Linkin Park

6. HNDRXX – Future

7. DAMN. – Kendrick Lamar

8. Memories…Do Not Open – The Chainsmokers

9. Live For The Moment – The Sherlocks

10. M. A. G. S. – M. A. G. S.

Andrew McMahon, former front man of Something Corporate and Jack’s Mannequin, continues to showcase his musical genius with Zombies on Broadway. With this release, McMahon continues to experiment with the indie-pop sound that he aspires to perfect, taking a ninety degree turn from much of his previous work. The record was largely influenced by the bright lights and loud noises of New York City. Subsequently, McMahon wrote the record in New York, between tours with the rest of the Wilderness crew.