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Best Albums

50 Best Albums of 2017

Tuning into the media often felt nightmarish this year, whether you got your news from the morning paper or the sleepless churn of Facebook and Twitter: a president with the temper and attention span of a child, a newly resurrected threat of nuclear war, terror attacks, neo-Nazi rallies, a rat race between professional pundits and amateur internet posters alike to offer the most incisive or outlandish takes on our collective meltdown. Some of the year’s best music grappled directly with this American chaos; some refracted it toward stories of personal struggle or triumph; some sought to offer temporary solace; some pursued a vision that stood apart from the news cycle entirely. Whether it was Kendrick Lamar raging against Fox News over the most immediate beats of his career or Jlin blurring the line between dance music and dizzying abstraction, whether it was Big Thief’s open engagement with anguish in their bracing songs or Paramore’s sidelong approach to similar turmoil through the glistening prism of pop, all of the music on this list spoke in some way to our capacity to live through storms like the one we’re currently enduring. These are the best albums of 2017.


[featuredStoryItemBlock tile_id=”269232″ title=”50. Open Mike Eagle, <i>Brick Body Kids Still Daydream</i>” index=”” image_id=”269233″]

[featuredStoryItemBlock tile_id=”269278″ title=”49. Drake, <i>More Life</i>” index=”” image_id=”269280″]

[featuredStoryItemBlock tile_id=”269241″ title=”Taylor Swift <i>Reputation</i>” index=”” image_id=”269242″]

[featuredStoryItemBlock tile_id=”269211″ title=”47. Japandroids <i>Near To The Wild Heart of Life</i>” index=”” image_id=”269212″]

[featuredStoryItemBlock tile_id=”269269″ title=”46. Fleet Foxes, <i>Crack-Up</i>” index=”” image_id=”269272″]

[featuredStoryItemBlock tile_id=”269251″ title=”Syd, <i>Fin</i>” index=”” image_id=”269252″]

[featuredStoryItemBlock tile_id=”269302″ title=”44. Pile, <i>A Hairshirt of Purpose</i>” index=”” image_id=”269303″]

[featuredStoryItemBlock tile_id=”269300″ title=”43. Randy Newman, <i> Dark Matter </i>” index=”” image_id=”269301″]

[featuredStoryItemBlock tile_id=”269288″ title=”42. Feist, <i>Pleasure</i>” index=”” image_id=”269289″]

[featuredStoryItemBlock tile_id=”269257″ title=”41. Slowdive, <i>Slowdive</i>” index=”” image_id=”269258″]

[featuredStoryItemBlock tile_id=”269304″ title=”The Weather Station, <i>The Weather Station</i>” index=”” image_id=”269305″]

[featuredStoryItemBlock tile_id=”269196″ title=”39. Miguel, <i>War and Leisure</i>” index=”” image_id=”269197″]

[featuredStoryItemBlock tile_id=”269249″ title=”Mac Demarco, <i>This Old Dog</i>” index=”” image_id=”269250″]

[featuredStoryItemBlock tile_id=”269266″ title=”The National <i>Sleep Well Beast</i>” index=”” image_id=”269267″]

[featuredStoryItemBlock tile_id=”269273″ title=”Playboi Carti, <i>Playboi Carti</i>” index=”” image_id=”269275″]

[featuredStoryItemBlock tile_id=”269204″ title=”35. Ex Eye, <i>Ex Eye</i>” index=”” image_id=”269205″]

[featuredStoryItemBlock tile_id=”269247″ title=”Ty Dolla $ign, <i>Beach House 3</i>” index=”” image_id=”269248″]

[featuredStoryItemBlock tile_id=”269286″ title=”33. Jay-Z, <i>4:44</i>” index=”” image_id=”269287″]

[featuredStoryItemBlock tile_id=”269296″ title=”32. Actress, <i>AZD</i>” index=”” image_id=”269297″]

[featuredStoryItemBlock tile_id=”269292″ title=”31. Jessie Ware, <i>Glasshouse</i>” index=”” image_id=”269293″]

[featuredStoryItemBlock tile_id=”269194″ title=”Vince Staples, <i>Big Fish Theory</i>” index=”” image_id=”269195″]

[featuredStoryItemBlock tile_id=”269234″ title=”29. Björk, <i>Utopia</i>” index=”” image_id=”269236″]

[featuredStoryItemBlock tile_id=”269220″ title=”28. King Krule </i>The Ooz</i>” index=”” image_id=”269221″]

[featuredStoryItemBlock tile_id=”269284″ title=”27. Future, <i>HNDRXX</i>” index=”” image_id=”269285″]

[featuredStoryItemBlock tile_id=”269213″ title=”26. Perfume Genius <i>No Shape</i>” index=”” image_id=”269214″]

[featuredStoryItemBlock tile_id=”269226″ title=”25. LCD Soundsystem <i>American Dream</i>” index=”” image_id=”269227″]

[featuredStoryItemBlock tile_id=”269218″ title=”24. Sampha, <i>Process</i>” index=”” image_id=”269219″]

[featuredStoryItemBlock tile_id=”269255″ title=”23. Mount Eerie </i>A Crow Looked At Me</i>” index=”” image_id=”269256″]

[featuredStoryItemBlock tile_id=”269228″ title=”22. Young Thug </i>Beautiful Thugger Girls</i>” index=”” image_id=”269229″]

[featuredStoryItemBlock tile_id=”269298″ title=”21. Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith, <i>The Kid</i>” index=”” image_id=”269299″]

[featuredStoryItemBlock tile_id=”269294″ title=”20. Spoon, <i>Hot Thoughts</i>” index=”” image_id=”269295″]

[featuredStoryItemBlock tile_id=”269239″ title=”19. Hurray For The Riff Raff, <i>The Navigator</i>” index=”” image_id=”269240″]

[featuredStoryItemBlock tile_id=”269224″ title=”18. Priests <i>Nothing Feels Natural</i>” index=”” image_id=”269225″]

[featuredStoryItemBlock tile_id=”269262″ title=”Fever Ray, <i>Plunge</i>” index=”” image_id=”269263″]

[featuredStoryItemBlock tile_id=”269209″ title=”16. Destroyer, <i>ken</i>” index=”” image_id=”269210″]

[featuredStoryItemBlock tile_id=”269190″ title=”15. Kelela, <i>Take Me Apart</i>” index=”” image_id=”269193″]

[featuredStoryItemBlock tile_id=”269237″ title=”14. Sheer Mag <i>Need To Feel Your Love</i>” index=”” image_id=”269238″]

[featuredStoryItemBlock tile_id=”269215″ title=”13. Kehlani, <i>SweetSexySavage</i>” index=”” image_id=”269216″]

[featuredStoryItemBlock tile_id=”269243″ title=”Thundercat <i>Drunk</i>” index=”” image_id=”269244″]

[featuredStoryItemBlock tile_id=”269222″ title=”11. Migos, <i>Culture</i>” index=”” image_id=”269223″]

[featuredStoryItemBlock tile_id=”269253″ title=”10. Moses Sumney, <i>Aromanticism</i>” index=”” image_id=”269254″]

[featuredStoryItemBlock tile_id=”269201″ title=”9. Julie Byrne, <i>Not Even Happiness</i>” index=”” image_id=”269202″]

[featuredStoryItemBlock tile_id=”269245″ title=”” index=”” image_id=”269246″]

[featuredStoryItemBlock tile_id=”270379″ title=”7. Alice Coltrane, <i>World Spirituality Classics 1: The Ecstatic Music of Alice Coltrane Turiyasangitananda</i>” index=”” image_id=”270381″]

[featuredStoryItemBlock tile_id=”269306″ title=”6. Jlin, <i>Black Origami</i>” index=”” image_id=”269307″]

[featuredStoryItemBlock tile_id=”269206″ title=”5. The War On Drugs, <i>A Deeper Understanding</i>” index=”” image_id=”269208″]

[featuredStoryItemBlock tile_id=”269290″ title=”Lorde, <i>Melodrama</i>” index=”” image_id=”269291″]

[featuredStoryItemBlock tile_id=”269260″ title=”SZA, <i>Control</i>” index=”” image_id=”269261″]

[featuredStoryItemBlock tile_id=”269198″ title=”2. Big Thief, <i>Capacity</i>” index=”” image_id=”269199″]

[featuredStoryItemBlock tile_id=”269308″ title=”Kendrick Lamar, <i>DAMN</i>” index=”” image_id=”269309″]