So far this decade, there has generally been critical consensus about the Album of the Year, with one or at most two albums taking the title. 2010 belonged to Kanye West and My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. Frank Ocean’s Channel Orange or Kendrick Lamar’s good kid, m.A.A.d city reigned in 2012, depending on who you asked. In 2013, the crown belonged to either Kanye for Yeezus or Vampire Weekend for Modern Vampires of the City. The War on Drugs, though not a unanimous champion, won 2014 with Lost in the Dream, while Kendrick was king again in 2015 with To Pimp a Butterfly. Last year, sisters Beyoncé and Solange Knowles split the vote with Lemonade and A Seat at the Table.
2017 did not have a consensus album of the year. It was like 2011 in that regard. As I read year-end lists throughout December, I saw Kendrick, Lorde, The War on Drugs, SZA, and even Jay-Z acclaimed for their work by various outlets. Coincidentally, each of those artists made it into my top ten.
That’s not to say that there wasn’t good music released this year. I’d say that the plurality of excellent, and very different, albums made it hard to pick one. I also thought that 2011 was an excellent year for music, and I’m not surprised critics weren’t in agreement then either.
With that said, here is my list of the 25 best albums of 2017. Continue reading