WJHU BLOG

WJHU WEDNESDAY: WJHU'S 2017 ALBUMS OF THE YEAR



We asked the radio community for the top 3 albums that helped them get through this Godless year. From Kendrick Lamar to the Gorillaz to Lorde, these are our picks for the best albums of the year and why we loved them so much

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Will Matteson

Bicep - Bicep
King Krule - the OOZ
Kamasi Washington - Harmony of Difference 

1. It slaps
2. It slaps
3. It slaps

Alex Borovoy

Flower Boy - Tyler the Creator

Stranger - Yung Lean

Apricot Princess - Rex Orange County

Flower Boy and Stranger are both familiar yet different works from Tyler and Lean respectively. Flower Boy is the same old Tyler sound but more polished and mature while Stranger is a more lyrical and mature take on the underground fame Yung Lean has garnered. Apricot Princess is a very emotional album, one that is easily relatable to anyone who has ever been in love or had trouble being themselves in a world full of distractions. Rex's songwriting is youthful yet introspective, allowing for the listener to have a much more interesting and layered listening experience. All three albums imo are the best works these artists have put out so far and it makes me excited to see whats next.

Hana Chop

##1 CTRL BY SZA ##2 DAMN BY KENDRICK LAMAR ##3 MELODRAMA BY LORDE

##1 the girl just gets it ##2 Love feat. Zacari is one of the best pop tracks this year i.m.o. ##3I cried at Lorde's 2014 Coachella set and I'm still not done talking about it

Fionn Connolly

DAMN. - Kendrick Lamar,
Flower Boy - Tyler, The Creator,
Woodstock - Portugal the Man

DAMN - very diverse style, showed Kendrick can rap over any beat & again showing he can make bangers (HUMBLE) as well as tell meaningful stories (DUCKWORTH)
Flower Boy - Amazing production, great straight listen through as an album. Very different from mainstream rap, and some of Tyler's best bars.
Woodstock - an incredible step up for Portugal the Man. Extremely consistent album mixes EDM & hip hop production into rock music without becoming EDM or hip hop

Leo Nyu

1. Humanz — the Gorillaz
2. Painting Pictures —Kodak Black
3. Flower Boy— Tyler, the Creator

They’re Bold, experimental and provocative works that are probably the best of these artists. “I rock, I roll, I bloom, I grow”
I included Kodak cause he was my Spotify most listened to artist and cause painting Pictures was dope

Vinnie Wu

Lust for Life, Beautiful Thugger Girls, Luv Is Rage 2

nice

Jonathan Silveira

Arca - Arca 

Mount Eerie - A Crow Looked At Me

Bell Witch - Mirror Reaper 

sad x3

Paul Watson

DAMN. - Kendrick Lamar

Flying Microtonal Banana - King Gizzard

the Lizard Wizard, Drunk - Thundercat

I love the production in DAMN, and the lyrics and rapping are Kendrick so they're amazing. FMB is some really sick rock with microtones too so you're cooler if you listen to it. Drunk is awesome, Thundercat's bass lines and singing lines are lots of fun to listen to.

Will Scerbo

1. Ryuichi Sakamoto - async
2. Four Tet - New Energy
3. Visible Cloaks - Reassemblage

async is stunningly beautiful. like, gonna make u fuckin tear up beautiful. easily my favorite album from this year. it's also accompanied by a crazy remix album y'all should check out.
recommended tracks: andata, ZURE, ubi, ff

four tet is my new obsession. dude's a genius. as evidenced by new energy. so dank. this album has everything from minimal techno to hang drum solos. everything feels incredibly calculated yet natural. pure bliss.
recommended tracks: SW9 9SL, LA Trance, Daughter, Planet

visible cloaks is kinda like the four tet album without drums, run through a blender. beautiful, but in like a comical way almost? you can't really tell which instruments are live/programmed, and the sense of space is fuckin marvelous. def check out.
recommended tracks: Valve, Bloodstream, Mask, Neume

David Park

Humanz - Gorillaz
Scum Fuck Flower Boy - Tyler, The Creator
Freudian - Daniel Caesar

Gorillaz are back with tons of collabs from many different artists, keeping true to their roots followed by a worldwide tour once again showing Damon Albarn just loves performing for people.
Tyler releases an album, rapping about his own problems and struggles and not holding back, except behind a few jokes, but hey, it's Tyler.
Daniel Caesar just has a beautiful voice.

Emily Whitney

1. A Crow Looked at Me - Mount Eerie

2. Planetarium - Sufjan Stevens, James McAlister, Nico Muhly, Bryce Dessner 

3. King Krule - the OOZ

The OOZ is a great album to space-out to and although not perfect it stood out this year as stylistically refreshing. It's gritty, and moody, and cool. Listen to it on a rainy day w big headphones.

I listened to Planetarium during a biiiig Sufjan Stevens phase and thought it was pretty wack at first but I put my trust in Sufjan, listened to it a bunch of times, and eventually fell in love. Mercury, Saturn, Neptune, Jupiter, and Earth are the highlights. I'm still revisiting these songs on the reg. 

A Crow Looked at Me. Oh boy. Phil Elverum delivers some of the most stunning and honest lyrics I've heard in a while, the kind of lyrics that strike you as exactly true. He's confused, vulnerable, and struggling to process the unimaginable. And it's SAD. This album evoked so much empathy from me that it literally made me want to die. I haven't felt so deeply listening to music probably ever. Pretty surprising considering how simple it all really is, mostly guitar and Phil's voice. I came out of it w a refreshed gratefulness for life and family and friends. Listen to it! Then call me and we can cry 2gether!

Meena Chatrathi

Ctrl - SZA

DAMN. - Kendrick Lamar

Flower Boy - Tyler the Creator

Each for different reasons. SZA's album was empowering for women, describing struggles of self-doubt and unrequited love, proving the music community that women should never be slept on. (Favorite songs: Love Galore, Doves in the Wind, The Weekend, Go Gina, Garden, Wavy). Side note: GREAT FEATURES!
Tyler's album showed his soft side--his past albums have been angsty, angry, and violent, while this one was a complex, softer, melodic, and overall a much more unique album than what past fans expected from a Tyler the Creator album. While he's been coming out for years, Tyler opens up more about his sexuality in this album, especially in Garden Shed.
DAMN....well damn!!! Each song was incredible in its own way and Kendrick again proves himself as the best rapper in our generation. FEAR was probably my favorite song as his three verses are in the point of view of him at 7, 17, and 27 years old, showing his transformation from a clueless child dodging his mother's constant harrowing, to a powerful self-aware 27-year-old rapper/celebrity, who still struggles with insecurities and "fear of losing it all."

Thea Harvey-Brown

in no particular order:
Vince Staples - Big Fish Theory
yaeji - EPs
Jlin - Black Origami

yaeji released two albums this year (EP and EP2) but both are worthy. Black Origami and Big Fish Theory are sonically complicated, kinda unpredictable, and push their respective genres. and and all three albums have their moments of seriousness but are still reliably fun

Alex Walinskas

Sacred Hearts Club - Foster The People

Every Where Is Somewhere - K. Flay

Good For You - Amine

FTP and K. Flay albums are good all the way through, which I love, and Amine's album has undeniable bops !!!

Michael Feder

At What Cost - Goldlink
Saturation 2 - Brockhampton
Big fish theory - Vince Staples

2017 is a year you need albums that slap so hard you forget the world you live in. These albums slap.

Molly Radwell

Brick Body Kids Still Daydream - Open Mike Eagle

the OOZ - King Krule

Mr. Finish Line - Vulfpeck

Open Mike Eagle makes me wonderfully reflective, King Krule has a voice I feel in my soul, and Vulfpeck gives a great supply of funkiness!

Isaac A. Bernstein

1. DAMN. - Kendrick Lamar
2. Ctrl - SZA
3. FUTURE - Future

Overall, these albums inflicted upon me more joy than other albums in 2017.
1. Loaded with bangers, nice variety in sound and groove, and full Kendrick genius. Found myself playing these tunes constantly.
2. Emotionally charged, fantastic vocals, lyrics, and wordplay. Love Galore easily in my top 10 songs of the year as well. Can't wait to see what SZA puts out in 2018 and beyond.
3. Huge club burners. Lots of good-feeling hard beats on this album, combined with Future's unique sound has resulted in a huge Future fan-pleasing album. Supper Trapper, Poppin' Tags, I'm So Groovy, and of course, Mask Off made us rowdy since their release.

Freddie McCall

1. The OOZ - King Krule
2. Capacity - Big Thief
3. Flower Boy - Tyler, the Creator

Krule gives us a full display of sound, texture, and emotion. He tells some great stories and I can’t think of anyone else who can transition between quiet and loud like him.
Big Thief’s lyrics are gripping from the beginning and they don’t let go for a full 41 minutes. Adrienne Lenker’s voice is stunning, fragile and strong like a spider’s web. Good train music.
Introspective Tyler? Well-fitting features? No track that doesn’t bump or bang? Cancel my appointments, Nancy, somethings come up.

Honorable mentions: ROSTAM’s Half-Light, Kamasi Washington’s Harmony of Difference, and DAMN.

Adina Jahan

Melodrama - Lorde

After Laughter - Paramore

Saturation 2 - Brockhampton

Soft Sounds from Another Planet - Japanese Breakfast

(Editors note: Adina can't count to three)

thank u kevin abstract: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xjOeaxA7aLg

Jason Souvaliotis

1. manga saint hilare & lewi b - outbursts from the outskirts
2. stormzy - gang signs & prayer
3. mr. carmack & promnite (project paradis) - paradis ep

1. outbursts from the outskirts is probably one of the best grime projects ever made (maybe i'm overhyping it but whatever). it has the classic raw grime sound (which i absolutely love), but also explores deeper emotions and the idea of being an outsider, while still managing to be coherent. manga shows that he shouldn't be as overlooked as he is (holy shit his flows are incredible), and lewi b's production is crisp and varied and nice. the "outburst" interludes are also worth paying attention to: there's a separate track outside the album with all 4 of them glommed together and it's a little bit fake deep but still great. i've listened to this album so many times this year.
standout track: outsiderism

2. i really dig gang signs & prayer because stormzy does his best to combine hip-hop, grime, r&b, and gospel. it can be really messy and all over the place when looked at as one project though: there's one three track sequence where it's a dark, slow, and aggressive hip hop track (bad boys) then a nice song praising god and then a grime banger. could use some revision.
standout tracks: bad boys, blinded by your grace (pt. 2), shut up

3. sure the paradis ep isn't a full album but it's some great electronic music. i've been following mr. carmack for like 3 or 4 years and while this isn't the best thing he's ever done, it's fresh and cool. pretty sure my jaw dropped on my first listen. it also incorporates this weird dystopian singularity backstory really seamlessly into the music. not your typical carmack sound but great nonetheless.
standout track: ODO

 


By Emily Whitney on Dec. 16, 2017, 11:37 p.m.

#AOTYs #Albums