Top ten albums of 2017

Holy crap is it 2018 already? Must have slept through the alarm (Well there was an awful lot of partying to get through after all). Musically 2017 was a pretty fantastic year, so here’s our ten faves from the past 12 months. We can’t wait to see what 2018 has in store, so keep your eyes on the Beat mag for your dose of new music reviews. Peace out and keep yer chin up x
1. The War on Drugs | A Deeper Understanding 10/10
Following on from 2013 breakthrough Lost in the Dream was never gonna be an easy task, but frontman/songwriter Adam Granduciel took the American heartland rock formula and refined it to achieve an album that is just about perfect.
2. Bonobo | Migration 9/10
Few producers are as adept as Simon Green at breathing life into digital music, and while it may contain a few less ‘stand out’ cuts than previous LPs, it could be argued that as a whole, Migrations is a damn near flawless collection of electro tunes that exude a wonderfully organic sound.
3. Royal Blood | How Did We Get So Dark? 8/10
Round two for Royal Blood and it’s business as usual for the Brighton-based duo. Namely; an instantly listenable foot-stomping guitar-driven din with exactly zero grams of fat to hang off its glam-metal bones. Gigantic riffs, primal drums, loud as cannons.
4. Kendrick Lamar | DAMN. 8/10
An uncompromising album from the current king of hip hop, dealing head on with notions of America on the brink of apocalypse, racial barriers, and the new white White House. A rallying call for a pissed off generation of disenfranchised youth who would very much like to see an end to things like white privilege and police brutality. Vital stuff.
5. St. Vincent | MASSEDUCTION 8/10
MASSEDUCTION is a sleazy treat that picks up neatly where Annie Clarke – aka St. Vincent – left off on 2014’s frenetic-but-fun self-titled St Vincent, having lost none of her abrasive volatility along the way.
6. The xx | I See You 7/10
Unlike previous albums, The xx’s third LP is actually upbeat, groovy, and – incredibly for the ever-gloomy Wandsworth trio – verging on happy.
7. Jamiroquai | Automaton 7/10
Not only is Automaton good, it confidently straddles the old and new sound of Jamiroquai, fusing it together for an album that leaves the last couple of lackluster efforts (Rock Dust Light Star, Dynamite) in its future disco dust.
8. Kasabian | For Crying Out Loud 7/10
Another accomplished effort from Leicester’s finest, these songs are the sound of joy – simple and uncomplicated little pleasures that will help a few pub-garden beers go down a treat.
9. Depeche Mode | Spirit 6/10
Make no mistake, there are no skies of blue or trees of green here – Spirit is no easy listen, but in highlighting humanity’s biggest issues it is undoubtedly an essential one.
10. Alt-J | Relaxer 5/10
A labyrinthine art-pop flop from the Oxford trio that despite flashes of their old brilliance never quite gets out of second gear.

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