The Best of 2017

By: Wesley Reno, Entertainment Writer

2017 has been a pretty awesome year in terms of the music that has come out. Incredible artists have released incredible projects across many different genres. Without this year’s music, important political conversations would not be taking place in Washington D.C. and around the globe, depression would be more isolating, relating to other human beings would be more difficult, and, simply put, life would have been worse because of a multitude of other reasons. In this article I would love to highlight my 3 favorite albums of the year (not ranked, because that would be impossible).

The first project that I encourage everyone to check out is Sorority Noise’s You’re Not As _____ As You Think. The Midwest-emo, post-hardcore group explores themes of experiencing grief after the passing of a friend in this release, and without a doubt, they deliver one of the most emotional performances in musical history. Upon first listening to this album, I bawled at “Second Letter From St. Julien,” and immediately posted about it on Facebook. The lyricism, musicianship, and feel of Cameron Boucher and the rest of the band beautifully collaborate to compile an album that I would consider perfect.

Another amazing release of 2017 is Joey Bada$$’s ALL AMERIKKKAN BADA$$. This album pays homage to classic musical elements in 90’s hip hop, and it simultaneously criticizes and proposes solutions for the current political dystopia in America. Originally supposed to come out on April 12th, A.A.B.A.’s release date was changed to April 7th to match the original release date of Kendrick Lamar’s DAMN. Throughout the 49 minutes of this project, Joey Bada$$ demonstrates his unparalleled flow and his thoughtful lyricism. The skill that Joey Bada$$ shows when using double entendres to make social commentary is immense on songs like “BABYLON” and “AMERIKKKAN IDOL.” Many hip hop fans found this album to be preachy, but I see it as a message from a doomsayer:  a never-before-seen explanation of the worst possible outcomes of systematic racism in the United States.

The third and final release that I would like to highlight is blkswn by St. Louis R&B/hip hop artist, Smino. This album is far from perfect, but damn, the smooth parts are silky smooth. The production features classic behind-the-beat R&B grooves that make me sway back and forth no matter my location. Songs like “Wild Irish Roses,” “Edgar Allan Poe’d Up,” and “Amphetamine” make me feel like I’m in a slow motion music video in a Gucci track suit with a golden Presidential Rolex on my wrist, and that’s a great feeling.

It’s impossible to make a list like this and be objective, and I’d like to make it clear that these are just my personal favorite releases for whatever reason. Other albums of 2017 that music fans need to listen to before the end of the year are Lorde’s Melodrama, BROCKHAMPTON’s SATURATION, Brand New’s Science Fiction, Nick Hakim’s Green Twins, and Thundercat’s Drunk.

It’s been an amazing year (and it certainly isn’t over just yet), and I absolutely can’t wait to see what amazing music 2018 has in store for us.