2017 FAVORITE ALBUMS

My favorite albums of 2017 -- so far.

FOSTER THE PEOPLE
"SACRED HEARTS CLUB"

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Hands down my favorite release of 2017. At first, I wasn't sure what to think when I heard the singles off of Foster the People's third studio release, "Sacred Hearts Club." I loved "Sit Next to Me," but was totally thrown for a loop by "Loyal Like Sid & Nancy."

This album finds Foster the People experimenting with a different style for sure. "Sacred Hearts Club" diverges from the quirky groove of songs "Pumped Up Kicks" and "Coming of Age" and instead melts into a trendier sound, a kind of Foster the People 2.0.

If you welcome diversion and experimentation in music, then this is the album for you! It's danceable and thoughtful and even a bit cryptic at times, and definitely worth a listen. If at first you don't like it, try, try, again. This album takes 2-3 full spins to get used to the new sound, but it's totally worth it. 


LORDE
"MELODRAMA"

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I'm still on the fence about whether I like "Melodrama" or like-like it. When "Green Light" came out, I hated it, but loved "Liability." Oh, Lorde. Always keepin' us on our toes. Unsure what to make from these two singles, I pressed on. I remembered how hooked I was by the dark and brooding aura of Lorde's first LP, "Pure Heroine" and was hoping that that same level of self-awareness and lyrical intricacy would be present on her second effort.

Well, yes and no. There is a similar darkness to "Melodrama," which, when played all the way through, feels almost like a bruise. Most of the songs detail the intoxicating neon of a poisonous party or an equally toxic relationship.

I wanted to like-like this album, really, I did, and for a time, it was all I listened to. But, the more I delved into "Melodrama," the more I felt sad for its singer and her fascination with the party scene. This is still a great album, don't get me wrong, but it doesn't hold a candle to the lyrical genius and wide-eyed awe of "Pure Heroine."


PERFUME GENIUS
"NO SHAPE"

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Perfume Genius is a new-to-me artist that I discovered in 2017, and I have to say, I am thoroughly intrigued. "No Shape" is the fourth album from Perfume Genius, aka the fabulous Mike Hadreas. Hadreas' music is a marriage of beauty and pain, pairing soaring sounds with honest lyrics. "Slip Away" is one of my favorite songs of the whole year; the music video is gorgeous. My heart really resonates with this artist, his journey and where he is headed.


PARAMORE
"AFTER LAUGHTER"

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I've always been something of a lukewarm Paramore fan, and I honestly didn't expect to like "After Laughter" as much as I did. The album brings back original Paramore drummer Zac Farro and finds Hayley & Co. exploring familiar themes of pain in life and relationships. I thought the modern take on the 80s sound was well executed here, which was surprising. This more mature, experimental sound for Paramore seems to really suit them. Definitely worth a listen.

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