The best albums of 2017 so far (part 2)

This blog is primarily based around bad music.  It’s a little grating, to be honest.  You definitely don’t look forward to or enjoy listening to bad music.  So, as a change of pace, here is some of the best music that 2017 has had to offer so far…

5. Process (Sampha)

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Sampha’s star-making bid.  Featured on Drake’s More Life, Sampha’s full-length solo debut finds the British R&B singer announcing himself as a new perennial powerhouse in the genre.  He’s got the golden voice, the introspective lyrics and the intricate post-dubstep beats that hipsters crave.  It’s only a matter of time before he really takes off.  Let’s enjoy him now before we get sick of him.

4. Culture (Migos)

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In 2015, I played “Pipe It Up” for shits and giggles.  Now, I blast “Bad and Boujee” simply because of how fucking great it is.  The evolution that Atlanta hip-hop trio Migos have made in only two years is astonishing.  They’ve officially taken the Best Trap Artist title away from Future (not to mention Best of Atlanta honors) with their one-of-a-kind start-and-stop flow.  If their current trajectory holds up, they’ll have surpassed more formidable opponents than Future by the time they’re done.

3. Life Without Sound (Cloud Nothings)

This song speaks for itself.

2. More Life (Drake)

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If you were to make a great Drake playlist, you’d incorporate all aspects of his aesthetic—the catchy pop of “One Dance”, the boastful audacity of “Energy”, the smooth R&B of “Hold On, We’re Going Home”, the straightforward rap of “We’ll Be Fine.”  And that’s what Drake does with More Life—categorized as a “playlist” rather than a true album.  He’s firing on all cylinders for 81 minutes and 22 songs, incorporating several different styles and influences to ensure that we won’t get bored (like we did on the ultra-long Views).  This is Drake’s best since Take Care, and with more time to digest, it could end up becoming his defining statement.

1. DAMN. (Kendrick Lamar)

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Kendrick Lamar, despite dubbing himself Kung-Fu Kenny, has vaulted himself into GOAT rapper status.  On DAMN., Lamar raps harder and better than ever before (the final minute of “DNA” may be his finest moment), setting aside the experimentation of To Pimp a Butterfly without losing any of the ambition.  We’re only 4 months through the year, but it doesn’t seem likely that this will be knocked from the top spot.

 

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