AllMusic 2017 Year In Review

AllMusic Best of 2017 -

 From festival headliners like Kendrick Lamar, Lorde and Depeche Mode to rising acts such as Whitney Rose, Sheer Mag and Angaleena Presley, 2017 delivered outstanding releases from musicians of all recognition levels and font sizes. We're happy to unveil our editors' top 70 albums of the year, followed by another genre-specific list every weekday until the new year. 
Mental Illness

Aimee Mann

Mental Illness

Aimee Mann delivers the slowest, saddest album she could imagine with this strangely comforting collection.

Telemann: Concerti per molti stromenti

Akademie für Alte Musik, Berlin

Telemann: Concerti per molti stromenti

The Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin presents lively performances of Telemann's concertos for various instruments, including the rare calchedon.

The Underside of Power

Algiers

The Underside of Power

On their militant second album, the quartet and producer Adrian Utley offer a soundtrack for the apocalypse, yet refuse to be swallowed by it.

Antisocialites

Alvvays

Antisocialites

The band's second album is more confident and more sonically impressive, leading to another brilliant indie pop insta-classic.

Wrangled

Angaleena Presley

Wrangled

On her second album, Angaleena Presley is determined to expand country tradition.

Carnevale 1729

Ann Hallenberg / Il Pomo d'Oro

Carnevale 1729

This is one of those rare recordings that break entirely new ground yet remain a pure pleasure.

Arca

Arca

Arca

The producer incorporates his voice into his third album, with striking and often beautiful results.

Witness

Benjamin Booker

Witness

A musically expansive and politically charged second effort from neo-bluesman Benjamin Booker.

Utopia

Björk

Utopia

The Icelandic artist rebounds from Vulnicura's despair with lighter-than-air songs about thriving after loss.

Expectativas

Bunbury

Expectativas

Spain's iconic rocker surrounds himself with vintage keyboards, his road band, and saxophonist Santiago de Campo in delivering dramatic, passionate songs.

Claudio Monteverdi: Vespro della Beata Vergine

Cantica Symphonia / La Compagnia del Madrigale / Giuseppe Maletto / Ensemble La Pifarescha

Claudio Monteverdi: Vespro della Beata Vergine

Monteverdi's Vespro della Beata Vergine receives an ecstatic performance from Giuseppe Maletto and three early music ensembles.

Reaching for Indigo

Circuit des Yeux

Reaching for Indigo

Haley Fohr interprets a powerful moment of cosmic inspiration on her sixth full-length as Circuit des Yeux.

A Flame My Love, A Frequency

Colleen

A Flame My Love, A Frequency

These serene yet constantly changing meditations on fear, hope, joy, and loss are some of Colleen's most vulnerable, beautiful songs yet.

The Dusk in Us

Converge

The Dusk in Us

Nearly six years in the making, the Massachusetts metalcore/punk legends' ninth studio LP serves up a punishing barrage of sonic exclamation points.

Face Your Fear

Curtis Harding

Face Your Fear

Second album from the retro-soul artist tops his fine debut, adding a psychedelic edge to his solid songs and powerful vocals.

Dreams and Daggers

Cécile McLorin Salvant

Dreams and Daggers

An emotionally layered set of live and studio recordings featuring the singer and her trio, as well as the classical string ensemble the Catalyst Quartet.

Spirit

Depeche Mode

Spirit

Intense, visceral, and relevant, the synth rock vets take aim at global affairs and demand action over fear and panic on a stellar 14th set.

Cost of Living

Downtown Boys

Cost of Living

Striking and powerful third album from these leftist punks raises the stakes and provides rallying cries for troubled times.

Exile in the Outer Ring

EMA

Exile in the Outer Ring

An apocalyptic vision of nationalism, poverty, and alienation that is one of Anderson's finest achievements.

EX EYE

EX EYE

EX EYE

An awesome debut from the uncompromising instrumental rock quartet challenges, realigns, and perhaps redefines post-metal's boundaries.

Plunge

Fever Ray

Plunge

Karin Dreijer explores the need for intimacy -- and its consequences -- with some of her most colorful and powerful music.

Crack-Up

Fleet Foxes

Crack-Up

Following a lengthy hiatus, the band's debut for Nonesuch is dense, ambitious, and ultimately rewarding.

Maurice Ravel: Daphnis & Chloé, Complete Ballet

François-Xavier Roth / Les Siècles

Maurice Ravel: Daphnis & Chloé, Complete Ballet

François-Xavier Roth and his period instruments ensemble Les Siècles re-create Ravel's Daphnis et Chloé with the sounds of its 1912 premiere.

Changer

Fred Thomas

Changer

The prolific songwriter balances intense poetic narratives with more reflective electronic pieces on his first album since moving to Montreal.

Narkopop

Gas

Narkopop

Seventeen years after Pop, Wolfgang Voigt's revered ambient techno project Gas makes its triumphant return with the lush, hypnotic Narkopop.

Earl Grey

Girl Ray

Earl Grey

A stunning debut album filled with lovely pop songs, introspective folk ballads, and gentle psychedelia from a trio of young women from North London.

The Navigator

Hurray for the Riff Raff

The Navigator

A bold, risky concept album that carves out a new, progressive definition of Americana.

Brutalism

Idles

Brutalism

A mix of acerbic wit and driving instrumentation delivered with intelligence, catharsis, and a wry smile.

Modern Kosmology

Jane Weaver

Modern Kosmology

After embracing synths on her 2014 album, The Silver Globe, Weaver delivers a psychedelic gem coated in vintage keys, jangling guitars, and sonic exploration.

Undivided Heart & Soul

JD McPherson

Undivided Heart & Soul

The third album from the Oklahoma-born rocker finds him digging into a gritty, '60s R&B sound.

Black Origami

Jlin

Black Origami

Gary, Indiana-based producer Jlin expands beyond the footwork genre on her highly anticipated second full-length.

Halo

Juana Molina

Halo

Another enchanting and pleasantly disorienting release from Argentina's inventive pop auteur.

The Kid

Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith

The Kid

Blending orchestral arrangements with kaleidoscopic electronics, Smith crafts a highly advanced form of futuristic new age pop.

SweetSexySavage

Kehlani

SweetSexySavage

Excellent proper debut from the Grammy-nominated, TLC-inspired singer and songwriter.

Take Me Apart

Kelela

Take Me Apart

Soul-piercing hyperballads and zero-gravity club tracks color the singer's proper debut album for Warp.

DAMN.

Kendrick Lamar

DAMN.

Pared as it might seem, the rapper's fourth proper album is just as rich as the platinum releases that preceded it.

The Ooz

King Krule

The Ooz

Archy Marshall's second album under his regal alias is a rumbling and eerie work of physical and emotional isolation.

Slowheart

Kip Moore

Slowheart

Kip Moore comes into his own on his big-sounding, big-hearted third album.

Amar y Vivir

La Santa Cecilia

Amar y Vivir

The Los Angeles band creates a stunning live-to-tape audio-visual album playing classic boleros, rancheras, and more in the plazas, bars, and theaters of Mexico City.

Semper Femina

Laura Marling

Semper Femina

The British expat delivers a finely-honed career highlight with her smart sixth album.

American Dream

LCD Soundsystem

American Dream

After a short "retirement," the band returns with a set that blends melancholy synth ballads with wall-rattling dance rock, aka business as usual.

Melodrama

Lorde

Melodrama

Lorde broadens her sonic and emotional palette on her excellent second album.

Ojalá

Lost Horizons

Ojalá

An exquisite 15-track debut by the duo of Simon Raymonde (Cocteau Twins) and Richie Thomas (Dif Juz), along with a cast of nuanced vocalists.

This Old Dog

Mac DeMarco

This Old Dog

An emphasis on self-reflection signifies a tonal shift on the singer/songwriter's third strong full-length.

Emperor of Sand

Mastodon

Emperor of Sand

On their seventh studio album, the Georgia quartet re-enlist producer Brendan O'Brien and return to the concept album.

Max Richter: Three Worlds – Music from Woolf Works [Limited Edition]

Max Richter

Max Richter: Three Worlds – Music from Woolf Works [Limited Edition]

The composer's music for a ballet inspired by Virginia Woolf's novels is a brilliant testament to both artists' skills.

A Crow Looked at Me

Mount Eerie

A Crow Looked at Me

Recorded shortly after the death of Phil Elverum's wife, Geneviève Castrée, this is a powerful expression of grief.

Goodnight Rhonda Lee

Nicole Atkins

Goodnight Rhonda Lee

Vocal performances shine on an unapologetically retro fourth LP, her first with producers Niles City Sound (Leon Bridges).

Mandorla Awakening II: Emerging Worlds

Nicole Mitchell

Mandorla Awakening II: Emerging Worlds

The flutist/composer delivers a narrative concept that explores the intersections of duality in a startlingly unique musical language.

Multi-Task

Omni

Multi-Task

The Georgia trio's second album is a post-punk delight, with cleaner sound and more powerfully confident performances.

After Laughter

Paramore

After Laughter

Overcoming yet more lineup changes, Paramore return with a buoyant, '80s new wave-tinged fifth album.

Relatives in Descent

Protomartyr

Relatives in Descent

Outstanding fourth album from these Detroit indie rockers is smart, introspective, and fiercely aggressive all at once.

Dark Matter

Randy Newman

Dark Matter

The master singer and songwriter creates a rich, ambitious collection of stories that rest comfortably with his best work.

Bruckner: Symphony No. 9

Riccardo Muti / Chicago Symphony Orchestra

Bruckner: Symphony No. 9

Riccardo Muti and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra deliver a convincing performance of Bruckner's unfinished Ninth that feels complete.

Carry Fire

Robert Plant

Carry Fire

A rich, restless hybrid of American and British folk-rock.

Bells for the South Side

Roscoe Mitchell

Bells for the South Side

Recorded at Chicago's Museum of Modern Art, four of the artist's trios play separately and in various combinations to deliver a monolithic and inspired document.

Strike a Match

Sacred Paws

Strike a Match

Brilliant debut album of Afro-pop-inspired indie pop from Golden Grrrls and Shopping members.

Process

Sampha

Process

Stirring first album from a singular do-it-all who has worked with Drake, Beyoncé, Kanye, and Solange.

Need to Feel Your Love

Sheer Mag

Need to Feel Your Love

Strong debut album of hard-rocking AOR sounds from a tough Philly quintet led by the monitor-shredding vocals of Tina Halladay.

Man vs. Sofa

Sherwood & Pinch

Man vs. Sofa

Two pioneers of U.K. bass music culture team up for their second full-length, a truly remarkable album of tense, heavy, futuristic dub.

MASSEDUCTION

St. Vincent

MASSEDUCTION

The singer/songwriter's fifth album weaponizes pop's trappings, transforming them into sad, witty songs about desire and destruction.

Music for People in Trouble

Susanne Sundfør

Music for People in Trouble

This inward-looking sixth LP from the Norwegian singer/songwriter is rooted in empathy; even at its most cynical, the warmth of its core radiates outward.

Ctrl

SZA

Ctrl

Solana Rowe's proper major-label debut album is less inhibited and more colorful than her previous work.

Music for the Age of Miracles

The Clientele

Music for the Age of Miracles

The band returns after a long layoff with a new member, expanded arrangements, and the same hefty dose of autumnal warmth and grace.

Interplanetary Class Classics

The Moonlandingz

Interplanetary Class Classics

Ridiculous, romping album of snide synth glam by a pretend band come to life featuring members of Fat White Family and the Eccentronic Research Council.

Flower Boy

Tyler, The Creator

Flower Boy

An open-hearted creative leap from the Odd Future co-founder, featuring appearances from Frank Ocean, Pharrell Williams, and Syd.

Far from Over

Vijay Iyer / Vijay Iyer Sextet

Far from Over

The pianist draws upon late-'60s Miles Davis and Mwandishi-era Herbie Hancock for this daring, exploratory sextet date.

Big Fish Theory

Vince Staples

Big Fish Theory

Long Beach rapper's sophomore LP features an impressive list of guests on a footwork-inspired set.

Rule 62

Whitney Rose

Rule 62

A casual, assured Americana tour de force.

Arise

Zara McFarlane

Arise

The jazz vocalist futher explores her Afro-Caribbean roots on her third album for Gilles Peterson's Brownswood label.