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Old 12-05-2017, 08:39 AM   #1
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B&C Best of 2017 - Discussion Thread

Yet another year is coming to an end. Tell us about your favorite albums (and songs, artists, concerts, etc).

Is Sleep Well Beast destined to give The National yet another B&C AOTY Trophy? Can Damn give it a run for its money? Or is B&C darling LCD Soundsystem the biggest threat? Will SOE be the first U2 album to miss the B&C top 10?

I feel that picking a top-10 this year will be very difficult. There are a bunch of excellent albums that are quite similar in quality, but with nobody necessarily above the pack. I'm pretty confident that my top-10 will share a number of artists with my 2007 top-10 - this has been a good year for indie kids from the aughts.

Discuss!
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Old 12-05-2017, 10:17 AM   #2
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A lot of really good stuff, perhaps more so than usual, but not a lot of truly great stuff. I'm pretty confident in the list I will be submitting and there's still a month to go.
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Old 12-05-2017, 10:21 AM   #3
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Top three:

DAMN
Slowdive
Sleep Well Beast

Everything after that is a free-for-all.
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Old 12-05-2017, 11:22 AM   #4
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My top 4:

DAMN

American Dream

Sleep Well Beast

Masseduction


After that it’s not as clear to me at the moment.
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Old 12-05-2017, 11:36 AM   #5
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This year's critically acclaimed album that I failed to connect with was A Crow Looked at Me. And that is entirely my fault, I think. It's such a incredibly sad album that I find it difficult to muster the courage to go back to it.


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My top 4:

DAMN

American Dream

Sleep Well Beast

Masseduction


After that it’s not as clear to me at the moment.
Add Melodrama and you have my top 5.
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Old 12-05-2017, 06:16 PM   #6
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Most of the year had gone by before I realized Thievery Corporation had a new record out. If you're a fan and haven't checked out The Temple of I & I, it's worth a listen.

Another worthwhile record people might want to hear before the year ends is Content by Joywave. It's thematically cohesive and captures that contradictory numb but emotive vibe many of us relate to in the digital age.
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Old 12-05-2017, 06:43 PM   #7
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Worst of 2017: Trump becoming POTUS

Best of 2017: Probably either Illinois hiring Brad Underwood, the debut of Yoan Moncada, or maybe the new season of TWIN PEAKS
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Old 12-05-2017, 07:01 PM   #8
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I'd like to echo the sentiments that there have been plenty of good albums this year, albums that I really enjoy and get passionate about, but not a whole lot clamouring for all-time greatness. It's not unusual that I haven't given a 5-star rating to a 2017 album on RYM - I usually only bump something to five stars after it has lasted with me for a couple of years - but I've had little reason to give out 4.5 stars, despite handing out plenty of 3.5 or 4-star ratings.

I love Deafcult's album Auras, but I really expected that by now something else would've come along to dethrone it. But it's still in very strong contention to be my number one.

The other album in strong contention for number one is Blood Command's Cult Drugs. If you like that Brutus album, get this one. Now. It's even more wild, ranges across a broader sonic palette, and doesn't have a stupid song about a baby seal. It's visceral and clever and brilliant.

Here are some other albums I'd like to highlight that haven't been mentioned much or at all around these parts. At least some of them will end up in my top ten, and I think they all deserve a nod at this early stage:

Bullet Height: No Atonement (Pure Reason Revolution are back... kinda. Jon Courtney does his thing, and parts of it sound so much like the second and third PRR albums that it makes me emotional such a perfect band are no more.)
Citizen: As You Please (great grunge-influenced emo; I don't think the Brand New comparisons are as strong as some reviewers claim, but hey if you need something that sounds kinda like them but doesn't feature Jesse Lacey, here you go!)
The Holy Circle: s/t (I get vibes kind of like Haelos here, but more straightforward dream pop in execution)
Hundredth: Rare (metalcore band goes shoegaze with top results)
The Orbweavers: Deep Leads (absolutely beautiful folk that traces stories of history and the Australian landscape)
Pale Honey: Devotion (plain catchy indie rock)
Palehorse/Palerider: Burial Songs ("doomgaze" has not become a thing despite the work of Jesu or The Angelic Process, but this album proves it should be a thing)
Panda Riot: Infinity Maps (come on, they're a shoegaze band called Panda Riot, of course this is good)
Save Ends: A Book About Bad Luck (one of my favourite bands of the last few years, punk energy and emo passion - though, actually, start with their 2013 debut, Warm Hearts Cold Hands)

And of course I'm going to keep banging on about the great music coming out of New Zealand by the likes of Fazerdaze, Yumi Zouma, Mermaidens, Miniatures, Nadia Reid, etc. I reckon some of you will like Aldous Harding a fair bit more than I do, too.

Lastly: the new Ride is even better than the new Slowdive, and that's saying something given the Slowdive album is a shoegaze classic in its own right.
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Old 12-05-2017, 08:12 PM   #9
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Jesus and Mary Chain's Damage & Joy didn't reinvent the wheel or add to their sonic palette (if anything, it's a regression from Munki), but damn if it didn't deliver the old JAMC vibes.

Former Replacements bassist Tommy Stinson revived his 1993 one-off band Bash & Pop for Anything Can Happen, a rousing album of Stones/Faces-style rock & roll, way better than anyone would expect it to be.

Another 90s band, but one that didn't have a long hiatus but is still plugging along at a very high standard with regular releases is Saint Etienne, their album Home Counties was really damned good.

Phoenix's Ti Amo shouldn't be forgotten either, a welcome course-correction after the underwhelming Bankrupt.

Arguably the most consistent band in modern rock, Spoon stretched out their sound a bit with Hot Thoughts, which is still getting a lot of play on my phone.

Guided By Voices probably put out like five albums this year, but the one I'm coming back to the most is the 32-track August By Cake. Obviously there's some filler but there's a lot of great tracks as well.

Lana Del Rey's Lust For Life is one of the year's best pop albums, certainly a step up from Honeymoon.

A welcome reunion album from Broken Social Scene was very satisfying, and worthy of standing aside the previous three.

And of course, the old B&C favorite Los Campesinos!, who put out yet another great album with Sick Scenes.
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Old 12-05-2017, 08:13 PM   #10
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Quote:
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Most of the year had gone by before I realized Thievery Corporation had a new record out. If you're a fan and haven't checked out The Temple of I & I, it's worth a listen.
I had no clue. Was a big fan back in the day.
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Old 12-05-2017, 10:33 PM   #11
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Lana Del Rey's Lust For Life is one of the year's best pop albums, certainly a step up from Honeymoon.

This will be in my top 5.
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Old 12-05-2017, 10:39 PM   #12
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Old 12-05-2017, 11:04 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lazarus View Post
Arguably the most consistent band in modern rock, Spoon stretched out their sound a bit with Hot Thoughts, which is still getting a lot of play on my phone.

A welcome reunion album from Broken Social Scene was very satisfying, and worthy of standing aside the previous three.

And of course, the old B&C favorite Los Campesinos!, who put out yet another great album with Sick Scenes.
These will all likely make my top-10. I can't believe I had forgotten about Sick Scenes, it was released so early in the year...
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Old 12-06-2017, 12:37 AM   #14
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A link for Spotify users and stats nerds:

https://2017wrapped.com/



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Old 12-06-2017, 01:51 AM   #15
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This is great.

I apparently only skipped 69 songs. Not sure quite how it measures skips, then! Though I suppose the artists with songs I'm more likely to skip are those I've known for years whose music I play via iPod, and in many cases I listen to custom playlists.

Anyway, here's my stats:



Big lulz at "nu gaze" as a genre.

Fun to compare that to last.fm, which also counts my iPod. In that case my top five artists are:

Save Ends
Wolf Alice
Ride
Pinback (who I barely play on Spotify)
Priest

And top five songs are:

Slowdive - Sugar for the Pill
Young Ejecta - Build a Fire
Save Ends - Heavy Hearts
Save Ends - Song of Susannah
Jimmy Eat World - (Splash) Turn Twist

This actually makes me suspect the Spotify data is somewhat inaccurate. I've only ever listened to that Young Ejecta song on Spotify, yet it's not in my top five according to them. One of Save Ends songs that is in there, I Fall Asleep, comes 14th out of their songs on last.fm. Some of those ahead of it would be boosted by iPod plays (I don't have I Fell Asleep on my iPod), but not Time and Tarnish (1 more play), Smudge (10 more plays), or Heavy Hearts (32 more plays!).
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