By Ron / Everett Public Library staff
I know what you want to know.
You want to know my favorite albums of 2017, what had me jitterbugging across the speakeasy floor. You want to know what made my toes tap, my elbows chortle, my left eyelid lambada.
You want to know what’s hip, hipster.
Well hip hip hooray, here’s what you want and ye shall want no more.
Under the broad umbrella of rock music we find a variety of fine albums coming out of 2017. The genres stretch from riot grrrl to classic rock to power pop, psychedelic and garage. But what they all have in common is — wait for it — I like them!
“No Plan” by David Bowie — Recorded at the same time as “Blackstar,” the songs found on this posthumous EP were written for Bowie’s Broadway musical “Lazarus.” The music is slow, intense and exceedingly lovely.
“Live in Paris” by Sleater-Kinney — The title explains this album fairly thoroughly. Sleater-Kinney, hailing from the great Pacific Northwest, is one of my favorite groups. This live show captures the intensity of the band exquisitely.
“Near to the Wild Heart of Life” by Japandroids — Straight from the wilds of Vancouver, B.C., Japandroids deliver a unique blend of rock and punk with New Romantic vastness. Prepare to enjoy some anthemic goodness.
“Give More Love” by Ringo Starr — Who’da thunk that Ringo would be the one still making high-quality albums some 50 years later? The first song is an explosion of energy that sets the tone for this classic rock album.
“Ty Segall” by Ty Segall — Mr. Segall puts out some amazing psychedelic garage rock. He’s one of those artists you don’t hear that much about, but then you listen to his music and are blown away. Check this one out.
The year’s best pop music stretches from dream pop to synthpop to chamber pop and beyond.
“Hug of Thunder” by Broken Social Scene — Unconventional group made up of 6 to 18 musicians with music reflecting the unique stylings of each member. Some dance rhythms, energetic music but laid back performances, huge yet quiet.
“Pleasure” by Feist — Delicate, sparse, including lots of little quirks that make the music quite interesting. A curious mix of pop and post-punk.
“Okovi” by Zola Jesus — Music pulled straight from a soundtrack, huge in scope, dreamy with a hint of goth. Strange and worth seeking out.
“Dreamcar” by Dreamcar — Songs that brings back those lazy, hazy days of new wave. Dreamcar has put out an entertaining album by channeling the Thompson Twins and Duran Duran and adding their own creative twists.
“Crack-up” by Fleet Foxes — Seattle’s own presents a unique blend of folksy post-rock. A change of direction, or perhaps a continued growth in the same direction, takes Fleet Foxes to new and intriguing places.
“No Shape” by Perfume Genius — Another denizen of the Northwest, Perfume Genius brings a level of, well, genius to his songwriting. Highly emotional, huge in sonic scope, filled with abundant variety. Music does not get much better than this.