Blocland’s Best Albums of 2017

Around the Halfway Point

A Regrettable Post

 

Well it’s come to this. A list. Your admin tried to prevent it but here it is. A fucking list. The staff made me do it.

Also marketing said a list would generate massive traffic that would help us land that coveted Foot Locker Sponsorship. We all want that Foot Locker cash so I had to do it.

Anyways here it is. I polled anyone who has posted at least one dumb article on this site. Here are the results:

 

 

20. First Hate – A Prayer for the Unemployed

19. Charly Bliss – Guppy

18. Jake Xerxes Fussell – What in the Natural World

17. Migos – Culture

16. Vanbot – Siberia

15. Planning for Burial – Below the House

14. Bask – Ramble Beyond

13. Perfume Genius – No Shape

12. Pallbearer – Heartless

11. Run the Jewels – RTJ3

 

 

10 Spoon

Hot Thoughts

With the departure of the Walkmen, the title of the most consistent working band in America was uncontested and Spoon slinked up to the plate to hammer out an LP made for both the dance floor and your headphones. Packed with the touches that mark the best Spoon albums, Hot Thoughts saw the fellas slinking into groovier territory, while Britt’s lyrics allude to some of the strife that the past 12 months have had to offer. Call it Socially Conscious Dance Rock. Call it a contender for album of the year. With hooks this sharp, this one will be rattling around your head for days. Hot thoughts indeed.

Don

 

 

 

09 GAS

Narkopop

Of the many aliases Wolfgang Voigt records under, GAS seems to be the only one that matters. Narkopop is the first GAS release on Kompakt, the record label co-owned by Voigt. It also comes 17 years after his previous release, Pop, which is also partly where Narkopop gets its name. All of this is to say, the minimal techno king has returned. Voigt influenced plenty of similar artists, often by releasing their music through Kompakt. Mostly, Voigt helped pioneer the sound of a distant 4/4 pulse with washes of synthesizers orchestrated like a conductor. The sound is enough to keep your attention while letting it float past the infinite. Many technological advances have been made since the year 2000. To hear Voigt return to a musical concept influenced by tripping acid in forests with the addition of computerized efficiency, we’re left with the densest and most stunning album release of 2017. Narkopop will continue a legacy nearly forgotten.

-raptorjesus311

 

 

 

08 Sampha

Process

Sampha’s enigmatic Process is equal parts urgent electronic soul and soothing piano balladry. The chilly, sharp production belies confession of personal tragedy, sadness, and strife. Process, rooted in the warmth of home, reminds us of the melancholy truth – we can never go back.

-Caleb

 

07Blanck Mass

World Eater

While the cover has you gritting your own teeth in preparation for something violent and pulverizing, World Eater is, true to its name, more like the soundtrack to descending into a black hole. Intense but undeniably beautiful, the electro doom-metal of “Rhesus Negative” bleeds into thumping electronic cascades of sparkling samples and glitchy, synthetic grooves. There’s a palpable tension that climaxes in the “Minnesota / Eas Fors / Naked” wall of noise that ends – inexplicably but masterfully – as a bare-bones vaporwave track. In other words, somehow … IT WORKS!

-Colin G.

 

 

 

 

06Julie Byrne

Not Even Happiness

Light finger-picked acoustic guitars… An airy, melancholy and kind voice wafting overhead… Gentle, orchestral flourishes occasionally painting the background… It’s a folk music formula as old as time. But when executed with such expertise, precision and intent combined with Julie Byrne’s exceptional songwriting, Not Even Happiness can be as moving and exciting as anything you’ll hear. Byrne doesn’t exactly innovate with her sound here, but these known qualities along with her confident and affecting voice (as both a singer and songwriter) help her to build a world on this album – a world you’ll keep coming back to.

-Saul Wright

 

 

05the XX

I See You

Why did you ask me about this album? It didn’t make my list. Please leave me be. I have important business to take care of. Please. I am very busy. I run a very successful music blog. Surely you’ve heard of it? Blocland.com! Check us out sometime! What are you doing for lunch?

-Doris

 

 

04Jens Lekman

Life Will See You Now

Jens is one of those lyrical masters who manages to be both specific and meaningful. He’s a story teller in both word and music. Closer listening to Jens always yields clever production, humorous one liners,  engaging stories, and genuine emotion. Sometimes darker and heavier emotions than the light swede-perfect melodies would lead you to initially believe. And Oh! those perfect Swedish melodies.

-Lemonjello

 

03Kendrick Lamar

DAMN.

We don’t deserve Kendrick Lamar. We deserve to get our asses kicked by Kung Fu Kenny. DAMN. finds KDot as the reluctant warrior, delivering a flying sidekick to our collective sternum in an effort to remind us how fragile we are and maybe even resuscitate our hearts.

-Dpads

 

 

 

02White Reaper

The World’s Best American Band

When White Reaper announced their sophomore album would be called The World’s Best American Band, not a single writer on this site batted an eye. After blochead and meat got everyone around these parts to check out their debut full-length White Reaper Does It Again, we knew this band had more in store for us. Simply put, White Reaper continue doing it again on their newest album. Lead single “Judy French” ended winter and “Daisies” summoned the flowers out of the soil. Doris has already bloc’d off a chunk of summer vacation to visit Eagle Beach whilst listening to “Eagle Beach” for “research.” blochead and myself have both interviewed this band. colin just bough tickets to see them at the end of the month. After seeing them live earlier this year, I told lead singer Tony Esposito, “I think you just ruined the album for me.” As if the roaring crowd that you hear at the very beginning of The World’s Best American Band wasn’t a big enough hint, let me make it clear: Seeing White Reaper live is required to understand what is at work here. If there was ever to be a rock revival in music, White Reaper would be our nominated representative to lead the charge. Now if only we could make the girls dance.

-raptorjesus311

 

 

01Slowdive

Slowdive

After decades away, Slowdive return with an album that feels all at once of 2017 and where they left off more than 20 years ago. [Beautifully put. -Ed.]

-blochead4real

  • DFrye

    This list RULES! That cover image RULES! Small samples RULE! BASK FUCKING RULES!!!!!

    You rule too Doris.

    • DFrye

      FUCK…it all WORKS!

  • LeMonjello

    This list is invalid!!!
    jk. good list everybody! That formatting is beautiful.

    • Doris Montgomery

      This is the definitive list.

  • Caleb Tripp

    in case anyone has any doubts, i am the caleb from above

    • LeMonjello

      I retain my doubts

      • Doris Montgomery

        my notes dont specify

      • DFrye

        COTY

    • Cooolin

      This whole situation is Tripping me up.

  • lobster man

    Wow I bet you guys had a lot of fun with this.

    • Doris Montgomery

      you should have seen black antlers list.

      • Black Antlers

        Yay, not a single thing on mine made it to the top 20

        • Doris Montgomery

          you metal folks will have your rebuttal

          • Black Antlers

            Ahhh hold on, I spoke too soon as I missed Bask at 14, I’m pretty sure that was on my list. 1/10 not bad. GAS was originally on mine too until I realized I couldn’t count so I bumped it.

          • lobster man

            Yo check your email

          • Black Antlers

            I have and replied 🙂

        • theyachtmaster

          He’s been here 10 minutes and he’s already making threats

          • DFrye

            We’re a gang now Yachty.

        • Cooolin

          I pretty much forgot about my favorite metal albums when I made my list, and am sufficiently ashamed.

  • Blochead4real

    I love every damn thing about this.

  • Doris Montgomery

    According to my tallies:
    Slowdive – 57
    White Reaper – 29
    Kendrick – 28

    • theyachtmaster

      Damn kill ’em Slowdive

      • DFrye

        That album is seriously amazing. A real consensus builder.

    • LeMonjello

      I hear Timber Timbre just *barely* got edged out.

      • inthedeadofknight

        #justiceforTimberTimbre

    • Cooolin

      The Blocland Department of Hip-Hops is disappointed by the lack of raps on this list. We clearly need to work on our outreach. Oh and I guess it doesn’t help that the entire department is on administrative leave.

      • inthedeadofknight

        We’ll have a stronger presence and louder voice next year.

  • theyachtmaster

    Glad to see #01 get such a herculean writeup befitting of its status

    • Doris Montgomery

      Robert Christgau would blush

    • Cooolin

      I thought e’rybody was going to end their write-up with “IT WORKS!!!” But I’m the only one. Thanks for making me look like a fool.

  • Doris Montgomery

    Graphic courtesy of Lemonjello

  • Saul_Wright

    Glorious list-age, folks. I’m going to spend some time with numbers 11-20 but the top ten have all been regular jams in the Wright household. We have excellent taste. #hivemind

  • raptor jesus

    Mac DeMarco?

    • Doris Montgomery

      Our friend Father John?!

      • Blochead4real

        That’s the omission that stunned me the most. Gonna make for an awkward discussion at this month’s Croquet and Riesling get together FJM and I have scheduled

      • Saul_Wright

        He’s going to be disappointed when this shows up in his google alert for his name.

      • Padfoot24

        WHERE IS THE MIST? HE GON B PISSED!

    • theyachtmaster

      Sorry the “worst” list is out next week

      • Padfoot24

        Did my downvote go through? I’m not sure if it did.

        • DFrye

          Yep

      • Cooolin

        In all seriousness, we need one. I have grievances to get out against certain offenders.

  • Black Antlers

    I’m thinking if this site ever breaks out it’s own merch line it should do so with a fetching range of eye-wear

  • Padfoot24

    Lol @ the xx writeup

  • meat

    The #1 is the correct #1

  • Donnytilla

    Great work team we slinked up to the plate and we slinked out a terrific list! I haven’t heard 75% of these albums but I hope to soon.