Steven Hyden’s Favorite Albums Of 2017 So Far, Plus His Top Five Sleeper Records

Cultural Critic
06.08.17 8 Comments

This week, UPROXX has been compiling different lists of the best albums to come out so far in 2017. I also counted down my personal five favorite albums from the first half of the year on my podcast. But in the interest of talking up as many worthwhile records as possible, here is my full Top 10.

10. White Reaper, The World’s Best American Band
This gleefully cocky Louisville band worships at the altar of Kiss and Muhammad Ali, eschewing pretension and downer vibes on this non-stop party record designed for the hashers who hang out by the smoking doors at school.

9. Charly Bliss, Guppy
The sugary pop-punk of Charly Bliss is a proverbial fist inside of a velvet glove. While the nonstop barrage of hooks pummels your musical pleasure centers, Eva Hendricks’ sneaky-sharp lyrics leave a mark.

8. Wild Pink, Wild Pink
Dreamy indie-rock with the songwriting smarts of classic-rock mainstays like Bruce Springsteen and Tom Petty, Wild Pink’s self-titled debut is a big-hearted brooder that slowly sinks its hooks in.

7. Hurray For The Riff Raff, The Navigator
The most ambitious Americana record of 2017 so far is also the most prescient. Alynda Segarra makes a case for empathy for all Americans in this collection of stylistically adventurous songs, which attempt to take in the full scope of this country’s rich, multi-ethnic musical legacy.

6. Oso Oso, The Yunahon Mixtape
I’ll have more to say about this record in the “sleepers” section.

5. Girlpool, Powerplant
This two-woman band from L.A. could’ve lost what was delicate and charming about their sound by making a relatively big, shiny rock album. Instead, they infused their eccentricities into one of the year’s most addictive guitar records.

4. Japandroids, Near To The Wild Heart Of Life
This beloved Canadian duo returned with its first LP in five years by making one of the finest arena-rock albums of the decade. If you ever wondered what The Who would sound like if it was just Pete Townshend and Keith Moon, look no further.

3. Craig Finn, We All Want The Same Things
The Hold Steady frontman has finally discovered how to adapt his novelistic style to the high drama of adulthood, resulting in the most mature album of his career.

2. Big Thief, Capacity
Adrianne Lenker’s speciality is writing beautiful, cinematic songs that are full of revelations, violence, love, and darkness. On Big Thief’s unsparing second album, she make a startling step forward, cementing her status as a significant young singer-songwriter.

1. Father John Misty, Pure Comedy
Perhaps 2017’s most polarizing record, Pure Comedy to my ears is also the funniest and most moving album of the year, setting the mood of these troubled times to expansive folk-rock.

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