We've liked a lot of albums this year. Here's ten of them.
There have been so many super albums this year, when we first started putting together his very list, there were over a hundred we thought should be in the top fifty, but that’s not how numbers work. So, we hit delete on a whole bunch and this is what was left. Nice one.
Some notes: this is part one of our fifty favourite albums list. We’re not saying these are the best fifty albums released in 2017 – we’ve focused very much on what Dork mostly ‘does’ here (sorry, Kendrick – Ed). If we were being accurate, we’d call if ‘fifty of our favourite albums of 2017’, but that seems a bit of a muddle, so we’re being brave and assertive. Basically, music is great. Music isn’t a competition. We love these records. Hope that helps.
If you need to catch up, you can find numbers 50-41 here
, and 40-31 here
#30: LIFE - POPULAR MUSIC
LIFE have long built up a formidable reputation with their frenzied live shows. Debut ‘Popular Music’ is everything that you’d expect following such a rise; blustering, brazen, it’s even outright brawling in places. Where this record finds its strength is in the band’s ability to combine inescapable energy with unshakable hooks.
#29: GORILLAZ - HUMANZ
Bridging the gap between the surreal and the sincere with an innate dexterity, ‘Humanz’ is essentially Gorillaz at their most, well, human. Rejoicing in every ounce of spectacle they make, the collective stand with their world at their feet, giving voice to the belief that you can do the same.
#28: ALVVAYS - ANTISOCIALITES
Returning refined, retooled and crisper than ever before - Alvvays’ second LP ‘Antisocialites’ is one of those records where a band who shimmered and dazzled into first light blossom into the force they’re primed to stand as for years to come.
#27: MURA MASA - MURA MASA
Like a tropical party exploding into life, Mura Masa’s debut album is a mixtape of marvellous treats that doesn’t just provide the soundtrack to club-life hooks, but redefines it. Featuring guest turns from A$AP Rocky, Christine & The Queens, Damon Albarn and Charli XCX amongst others, it’s a record born out of late-night euphoria, an essential play for partying no matter what the occasion.
#26: JULIEN BAKER - TURN OUT THE LIGHTS
Sometimes joyful, sometimes haunting, ‘Turn Out The Lights’ is constantly and wonderfully arresting. Julien’s music has this was of finding its way into your very being, lighting up parts of yourself that you’d forgotten or long since locked away and reigniting a fire. It’s scary, conflicting but reassuring.
#25: ALT-J - RELAXER
How do you follow two critically acclaimed albums? By tearing up the rulebook and releasing a nine-track record that dips and dives through conventions and norms. Alt-J have never settled for the expected, and ‘Relaxer’ continues that trend, with an even more focused gaze at the band they want to be. With some of their most immediate swoons to date, it’s another dose of originality from a creative force only just getting started.
#24: FRANK CARTER & THE RATTLESNAKES - MODERN RUIN
‘Modern Ruin’ is Frank Carter finally reaching the precipice he’s been aiming at his entire career. A perfect crystallisation of the punk fury and rich melodies he’s been toying with since the very beginning, only now reaching its full potential. It’s a hungry and feverish record, the best of Fran’s career, and the moment where he reaches that top stage, he’s been looking for since the very beginning. Click play and go - the rest takes care of itself.
#23: LOYLE CARNER - YESTERDAY’S GONE
Incredibly personal, immediately direct and indisputably organic, Loyle Carner’s debut could well be the definitive UK hip-hop album of an entire decade. Articulately delving into modern life and its gritty undertones, yet always nodding to classic beats - Loyle’s personal journey is nothing short of captivating, with an album arching over one of the year’s most incredible stories.
#22: SLØTFACE - TRY NOT TO FREAK OUT
‘Try Not To Freak Out’ isn’t just a cocky, tongue-in-cheek title to one of the best debut albums of the year, it’s a warm invitation and friendly reminder that Sløtface are here for you. The group have always had more to them than big choruses and irresistible charm.
#21: CIRCA WAVES - DIFFERENT CREATURES
Different Creatures? Sizzling evolution. That’s what Circa Waves aim at, and they grab that with both hands on their second record - a tour de force of garage-rock influences that takes the sun-soaked vibes of their debut and turns it into something altogether more-darker. Fizzing with ambition, it’s the indie album of the year and a record that reaches for those festival-headlining slots with ease.
Taken from the December/January issue of Dork, out now. Check back for 20-11 tomorrow (Thursday 7th December).