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Jay Som - Everybody Works

Charlie Doherty’s Favorite Songs and Albums of 2017

With the 2018 Grammy Awards (the 60th annual ceremony) happening tonight, it will unofficially close the book on the music of 2017. Every January, I spend time going over my Microsoft Word sheet of notable releases, adding and subtracting some upon further evaluation. But now the time has come to close the book on 2017 myself. I usually divide my yearly favorite songs and albums lists into separate articles, but this time I am throwing it all out there as one giant, comprehensive year-in-review post. So enjoy these personal picks (which are in no particular order).

2017 Songs

Glaare “Surrender/Control” (It’s like The Cure and A Perfect Circle with a bit of electronica.)
The XX “On Hold”
The XX “I Dare You”
Joe Bonamassa “Drive (Live from Carnegie Hall)”
Arcade Fire “We Don’t Deserve Love”
Blondie “Long Time (with Dev Hynes of Blood Orange)”
Trivium “The Sin and the Sentence”
LCD Soundsystem “Call the Police”
Diet Cig “Sixteen” (New York female-fronted punk pop)
Big Thief “Shark Smile” (It’s like Ryan Adams, but with female vocals.)
Kendrick Lamar “DNA”
Downtown Boys “A Wall” (Providence punk rock protest song)
Beach Slang / Quiet Slang “Hot Tramps” (Acoustic)
Brian Eno & Kevin Shields “Only Once Away My Son” (This incredible meeting of highly influential musical minds is from the Adult wim 2017 Singles program.)
Mogwai “Coolverine”
The National “Guilty Party”
Sinsaenum “Ashes” (metal supergroup – Slipknot/Chimaira/Dragonforce)
Joseph “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” (It’s easily my favorite cover song of 2017.)
Henry Nowhere “Come Back from LA”
Courtney Barnett and Kurt Vile “Over Everything”
Converge “Under Duress”
Tori Amos “Up the Creek” (This is a new and cool sound or her.)
Living Colour “Program” (Vernon Reid recorded one of the most asskicking riffs of ’17 on this rocker.)
Kelly Lee Owens “Throwing Lines” (Amazing spacious electronica)
Jay Som “The Bus Song”
Trash “81” (This is like a more rockin’ Cocteau Twins.)
Japandroids “Near to the Wild Heart of Life”
Oliver “Heart Attack (w/De La Soul)”
Decapitated “Earth Scar”
Dying Fetus “Reveling in the Abyss”
Eluveitie “Epona”
Iced Earth “Clear the Way”
Perfume Genius “Slip Away”
Bleachers “Don’t Take the Money”
Kamasi Washington “Truth” (This is from the jazz saxophone player’s EP, Harmony of Difference.)
Matt Pond PA “Still Summer”
Royal Blood “I Only Lie When I Love You”
Foo Fighters “Run”
Elton John and Jack White “Two Fingers of Whiskey” (American Epic documentary)
Khemmis “Empty Throne”
Scale the Summit “Astral Kids”
3Teeth “Away from Me” (NINish industrial throwbacks)
Beastmaker “Nature of the Damned”
Chris Cornell “The Promise”
Gorillaz “Let Me Out (f/Mavis Staples and Pusha T)”
Gorillaz “We Got the Power (w/Noel Gallagher and Jehnny Beth)”
The War on Drugs “Thinking of a Place” (This is the epic masterpiece from A Deeper Understanding.)
Tree Machines “Waiting on the Sun”
Mastodon “Show Yourself”
Broken Social Scene “Halfway Home”
Siena Root “Tales of Independence” (Longtime Swedish roots rock band)
The Black Watch “Whence” (This band is always overlooked but still delivers the goods.)
Cotton Mather “Better Than a Hit”
Low Cut Connie “Revolution Rock n Roll”
King Woman “Hierophant” (This might just be the greatest and most emotionally gutpunching song they’ve written yet.)
Unearthly Trance “Into the Spiral” (Here’s some great sludge/doom metal from New York.)
Ride “Home Is a Feeling” (Yes, the ’90s shoegaze legends are back!)
Overkill “Goddamn Trouble”
High Priest “Blessed Rain”
Steve Hackett “In the Skeleton Gallery”
From Indian Lakes “Blank Tapes”
Modern Baseball “This Song Is Gonna Buy Brendan Lukens a New Pair of Socks“
Angel Olsen “Fly on Your Wall”
Rebel Kind ”I Don’t Want to See You”
Slowdive “Star Roving” (Speaking of shoegaze/dreampop legends, 2017 saw new material from Slowdive for the first time since 1995.)
Cloud Nothings “Modern Act”
Clipping. featuring Boston act SICKNESS “Body for the Pile”
Post Malone “Congratulations” (You may have heard it at Dodgers games, or saw/heard it on ESPN … it was an unavoidable catchy hit, and one of the biggest to date for fellow Boston native Lou Bell, co-writer and producer of this and also “Rockstar.”)

2017 Albums/EPs/Compilations

Jay-Z – 4:44
Kendrick Lamar – Damn
The Creation – Action Painting (Their complete studio recordings)
Elder – Reflections of a Floating World
Angel Witch – Seventies Tapes
Beck – Colors
St. Vincent – MASSEDUCTION
Bjork – Utopia
Various Artists – Singles Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (Deluxe Edition)
U2 – Songs of Experience
Chris Stapleton – From a Room: Volume 1 and From a Room: Volume 2
Tedeschi Trucks Band – Live from the Fox Oakland Blu-ray/2-CD Set
R.E.M. – Automatic for the People (25th Anniversary Edition)
The Verve – Urban Hymns (20th Anniversary Edition)
Jeff Beck – Live at the Hollywood Bowl
Black Sabbath – The End
Bob Seger – I Knew You When (Dedicated to Glenn Frey)
Living Colour – Shade
The Replacements – For Sale: Live at Maxwell’s 1986
The National – Sleep Well Beast
Prince and the Revolution – Purple Rain (Deluxe Edition)
Gov’t Mule – Revolution Come…Revolution Go
Jay Som – Everybody Works (Jay Som was my favorite discovery of 2017.)
Witchcryer – Cry Witch
Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit – The Nashville Sound
Ramones – Leave Home (40th Anniversary 3CD/1LP Edition)
The Beatles – Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (50th Anniversary Edition)
Joe Bonamassa - Carnegie HallThe War on Drugs – A Deeper Understanding (This is the Philly band’s second instant classic in a row.)
Joe Bonamassa – Live at Carnegie Hall: An Acoustic Evening
Various Artists – Max’s Kansas City 1976 & Beyond
Deep Purple – Infinite (Yes, there is life after the late Jon Lord. These guys still got it.)
Mastodon – Emperor of Sand
Spoon – Hot Thoughts
Broken Social Scene – Hug of Thunder
Neil Young – Hitchhiker (Recorded in one night in 1976, this archival release features two previously unreleased cuts.)
Kreator – Gods of Violence
Sepultura – Machine Messiah
Unearthly Trance – Stalking the Ghost (It’s the NYC sludge/doom/drone trio’s sixth album, out on Relapse Records.)
High Priest – Consecrate (RIYL Pentagram, Sabbath, C.O.C., Alice In Chains, etc.)
Horisont – About Time (This is the Swedish old school proto-metal group’s fifth album, out on Hidden Tracks.)
Travis Linville – Up Ahead
Gorillaz – Humanz
John Garcia – The Coyote Who Spoke in Tongues (This is the former Kyuss singer’s career-spanning set – unplugged.)
Slowdive – Slowdive
Husker Du – Savage Young Du
Japandroids – Near to the Wild Heart of Life
Soundgarden – Ultramega OK reissue
Jesse Ahern Searching for Liberty
Queens of the Stone Age – Villains
Nine Inch Nails – Not the Actual Events EP
At the Drive-In – in • ter a • li • a
Ryan Adams – Prisoner
Metallica – Master of Puppets (Remastered Expanded Edition)
The Obsessed – Sacred
Cloud Nothings – Life Without Sound

Honorable Mentions

Rancid – Trouble Maker
Neil Young – Peace Trail
Kurt Vile and Courtney Barnett – Lotta Sea Lice
Iced Earth – Incorruptible
Billy Corgan – Ogilala (Rick Rubin – producer)
The Black Watch – The Gospel According to John
Roger Waters – Is This The Life We Really Want?
Crystal Fairy – Crystal Fairy (Supergroup featuring Buzz Osborne and Dale Crover from the Melvins, Omar Rodriguez-Lopez from At The Drive-In/The Mars Volta, and Teri Gender Bender from Le Butcherettes)
Run the Jewels – RTJ3
Bash & Pop – Anything Could Happen

About Charlie Doherty

Senior Music Editor and Culture & Society (Sports) Editor at Blogcritics Magazine; Prior writing/freelancing ventures: copy editor/content writer for Penn Multimedia; Boston Examiner, EMSI, Demand Media, Brookline TAB, Suite 101 and Helium.com; Media Nation independent newspaper staff writer, printed/published by the Boston Globe at 2004 DNC (Boston, MA); Featured in Guitar World May 2014. Keep up with me on twitter.com/chucko33

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