thu 20/07/2017

The Best Albums of 2017 | reviews, news & interviews

The Best Albums of 2017

The Best Albums of 2017

theartsdesk's music critics pick their favourites of the year

The voice of a generation: Lorde's long-awaited album 'Melodrama'

Disc of the Day reviews new albums, week in, week out, all year. Below are the albums that our writers gave four or five stars, the ones they think are a cut above the rest. Click on any one of them to find out why.

Autarkic: I Love You, Go Away ★★★★★ Tel Aviv producer Nadav Spiegel's latest collection is a triumph of head and heart

Beth Ditto: Fake Sugar ★★★★ No longer the Gossip girl, Ditto can still cut it

Binker and Moses: Journey to the Mountain of Forever ★★★★ Prodigious concept album from the brilliant sax-drums duo

Boris: Dear ★★★★★ Japanese noise-mongers mark their 25th year with a masterpiece of heaviness

Brian Eno: Reflection ★★★★★ Slow-motion cascades of morphing tone

Brian Jonestown Massacre: Don’t Get Lost ★★★★ Anton Newcombe’s psychedelic rockers try a range of flavours and come up trumps

IsangCamilla George Quartet: Isang ★★★★ Alto saxist's debut offers a striking voyage of discovery

Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah: Diaspora ★★★★ New Orleans trumpeter goes in search of the African-American tradition

Courtney Marie Andrews: Honest Life ★★★★ Arizona country singer breaks through with collection of spare, poetic originals

Denys Baptiste: The Late Trane ★★★★ A beautiful exploration of late period Coltrane by the outstanding British tenor player

Depeche Mode: Spirit ★★★★ Essex synth lords on better form than any mega-band on their 14th album should be

Dizzee Rascal: Raskit ★★★★ Pop is out, high-velocity lyricism is in, on a startling showcase of word play

DJ Hell: Zukunftsmusik ★★★★★ Stunning electronic masterpiece from Bavarian techno don

Dreadzone: Dread Times ★★★★ A rousing Dionysiac journey of liberation

Ed Sheeran DivideEd Sheeran: Divide ★★★★ A new grown-up edge to the familiar sound

Elbow: Little Fictions ★★★★ Garvey and co serve up some winter warmth

Eliza Carthy & The Wayward Band: Big Machine ★★★★ Ballads, broadsides and brass from Brit-folk doyenne

Fujiya & Miyagi: Fujiya & Miyagi ★★★★ Easy to get lost in the electro-pop trio's sixth album

Goldie: The Journey Man ★★★★ A fully-functioning, highly listenable album

Gorillaz: Humanz ★★★★ Damon Albarn's latest adventure is ripe with ear-wakening inventiveness

Imelda May: Life. Love. Flesh. Blood ★★★★ A rich mix, synthesising Imelda May's multifarious influences

Super Natural, Jim JonesJim Jones & The Righteous Mind: Super Natural ★★★★★ The Righteous Mind’s debut is a punk-blues scorcher

Justin Adams featuring Anneli Drecker: Ribbons ★★★★ The producer and guitarist’s first solo for 16 years is a journey out of darkness

John Mayall: Talk About That ★★★★★ The godfather of British blues: still cutting it at 83

Juana Molina: Halo ★★★★ Career highlight from Argentina's musical witch

Kasai Allstars & Orchestre Symphonique Kimbanguiste: Around Félicité ★★★★ A film soundtrack of extreme contrasts from the Congolese collective and company

King Ayisoba: 1000 Can Die ★★★★ A punchy, confrontational and insistent wake up call from the Ghanaian musician

semper feminaLaura Marling: Semper Femina ★★★★ The album of the singer's tattoo motto is designed to make you think, but also makes you feel

Lisa Knapp: Till April Is Dead ★★★★ A Garland of May Inventive musical settings hail the folk singer as Queen of the May

Lorde: Melodrama ★★★★ The Kiwi songstress's long-awaited second album ticks all the right boxes

Lory D: Strange Days ★★★★★ From Rome via Glasgow, techno boiled down to its most potent essence

Mark Lanegan Band: Gargoyle ★★★★ Mr Bottom-of-the-boots voice’s best album since 2004’s Bubblegum

Mark Mulcahy: The Possum in the Driveway ★★★★ The Miracle Legion frontman's latest solo effort consistently surprises

Mary J Blige: Strength of a Woman ★★★★ Can the hip hop soul survivor settle into elder stateswoman role on album 13?

Mary Ocher: The West Against the People ★★★★ Berlin-based avant-pop songwriter has enough pop to balance the avant

Melvins: A Walk With Love and Death ★★★★  Doom, anger and grot from the still-abiding Seattle grindmasters

Return to OmmadawnMike Oldfield: Return to Ommadawn ★★★★ Uplifting retro-reboot revisits landmark 1975 album

Miles Mosley: Uprising ★★★★ Los Angeles bassist's solo debut draws on the most potent traditions in black American music

Moon Diagrams: Lifetime of Love ★★★★  The Deerhunter drummer impresses with an assured and personal debut

Nick Cave and Warren Ellis: Mars ★★★★ The soundtrack at the root of Skeleton Tree

Oumou Sangaré: Mogoya ★★★★ Mali's songbird flirts with a contemporary sound

We Are Millionaires: Pete Fij/Terry BickersPete Fij/Terry Bickers: We Are Millionaires Old-school indie doyens' second album proves their debut was no fluke

Peter Perrett: How The West Was Won ★★★★ One of Britain's greatest, least celebrated songwriters returns after two decades away

Phronesis: The Behemoth ★★★★ Piano trio meets big band for 10th-anniversary celebration

Ray Davies: Americana ★★★★ A love letter to the USA by the most English of songwriters

Saint Etienne: Home Counties ★★★★ The trio return with an album of shimmering melancholy and poised pop

Shitkid: Fish ★★★★ Imaginative, punk-tinted, strange-pop from Sweden

Slowdive: Slowdive ★★★★ After a 22-year gap, does shoegaze even matter? Yes

The Bug Vs Earth: Concrete Desert ★★★★ Kevin Martin and Dylan Carlson lay down some high-grade uneasy listening

The Jesus and Mary Chain: Damage and Joy ★★★★ East Kilbride’s finest return with their first album in almost 20 years - and it’s a cracker

The xx: I See You ★★★★ Southwest London trio return energised - but is that what they needed?

Trombone Shorty: Parking Lot Symphony ★★★★ Blue Note debut brings versatile New Orleans star to the big time

Tubular Brass: Tubular Bells ★★★★★ Superb brass recreation of a 1970s classic, with added baluphonium

Vieux Farka Touré: Samba ★★★★  The fiery music of a country under threat


I nominate "So much to defend" by folk musician Chris Wood. Hoping you will review it soon.

Seaford Mods English Tapas has been on repeat in my house, car and iPod since its release.

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