Demo’s Top 10 Albums of 2017 (So Far)

By Keshav Sharma-Jaitly, Featured Photo via Hypebeast

June has just ended, and that means that somehow 2017 is halfway done. So far, this year has already released plenty of excellent albums–here are my top 10.

This is not a ranked list, as I feel that I should save rankings until the end of the year. Instead, this is alphabetical, by artist name.

BROCKHAMPTON- Saturation (Hip-Hop)

It’s hard to find albums that feel truly youthful (Bloc Party’s Silent Alarm springs to mind) but every so often a record comes along that defines a generation. BROCKHAMPTON’s Saturation aims to do just that, with a collection of eclectic tunes that are rooted in hip-hop, but manage to feel at home within the world of indie rock and pop as well. The interplay between BROCKHAMPTON’s many members is stunning, and the fact that the album remains impressively cohesive over its 51-minute runtime is unprecedented for such a large group.

Father John Misty- Pure Comedy (Alternative)

Father John Misty’s most opinionated record proves to be his most engaging, as the outspoken persona present at his live shows finally spreads his wings within the context of a studio album. It’s a long project, but it’s fortified with entertaining, relevant lyrics, and some of the most gorgeous instrumentation I’ve heard in a long time. In the most beautiful, funny, and satisfying way possible, orchestras, choirs, and brass sections sing throughout the entire project to accent Father John’s poetic rants on the state of the world.

Feist- Pleasure (Alternative Rock)

Feist’s voice carries a crackling, electric power throughout every song on Pleasure. It’s a gorgeous joyride of a listen.

Fleet Foxes- Crack-Up (Folk)

The Fleet Foxes do not disappoint after 2011’s incredible Helplessness Blues. On Crack-Up, the band delivers an album of progressive folk that includes typical moments of instrumental grandeur, but also pulls back and finds delight in its sparsest moments.  

Kendrick Lamar- DAMN. (Hip-Hop)

Kendrick Lamar has never shied away from experimentation, and DAMN. provides plenty of that with some of Kendrick’s most eclectic beats and performances. Some of these experiments (in the form of singsong pop-rap tunes) don’t quite live up to the standard Kendrick has set for himself on past records; however, it’s clear that as long as he continues to push boundaries for himself and the genre, he will create stellar albums.

Sampha- Process(Soul/R&B)

Sampha is an artist that has built his entire career on collaborations, from his early work with SBTRKT to his more recent collaborations with Drake, Solange, and Kanye West. It’s this that makes the title of his debut record, Process, so poignant–it took him a while to get here, and now he’s here to stay.

Joey Bada$$- All-Amerikkkan Bada$$(Hip-Hop)

Joey Bada$$ shows his true colours on All-Amerikkkan Bada$$, as he modernizes both his lyrics and sound to make one of the most energetic, political rap albums of the year.

Gabriel Garzón-Montano- Jardin (R&B)

Brooklyn singer Gabriel Garzón-Montano manages to meet and exceed my expectations with his follow-up to 2014’s amazing Bishoune: Alma Del Huila. Quirky production and a sense of increased confidence in his voice carry this short listen effortlessly from start to finish.

Sylvan Esso- What Now (Dance)

On What Now, dance-pop duo Sylvan Esso avoid the “sophomore slump” after their stellar debut. Nick Sanborn’s dance grooves and Amelia Meath’s vocal melodies come off as charismatic and human, and they seem to click as a duo more than ever before.

Vince Staples- Big Fish Theory (Hip-Hop)

With Big Fish Theory, New York rapper Vince Staples delivers his most consistent record yet, with eclectic lyrics and bass-heavy beats that draw from numerous genres, but still, maintain a cohesive sound.

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