Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Guest List Week: Dionicio's Best of 2017

#3: Dionicio Solano
#4: Jamie Pfeifer (Coming Thursday)
#5: Megan Swidler (Coming Friday)
#6: Erik Kristjanson (Coming 12/25)
#7: Curt Trnka (Coming 12/26)
#8: Gina Uriarte (Coming 12/27)
#9: Marisa Plaice (Coming 12/28)

Here’s what I think were the best albums of 2017. 

I know, I know! The list is supposed to be about the best songs but I’m old and old fashioned and I think of music in terms of albums, not songs. 

Still, I’ll name a song from each album in order to create an awesome playlist that I’ll be able to listen to now that Aaron is making the lists on Youtube and not Spotify which I don’t have (I told you I’m old fashioned).

Declan McKenna - "Humongous"

Dude’s super young and super talented! That is what you get if you Google him. Besides that, let’s not kid ourselves, we know that the best music comes from the UK and this year is no different from the past sixty, seventy or however many years people have been recording LPs. This is the best 2017 had to offer, it’s official! Believe me, I am in charge of deciding this things. 

Other Essential Tracks: "Brazil," "Listen To Your Friends," "Why Do You Feel So Down," "Paracetamol."

Alvvays - "Dreams Tonite"

Aaron says people don’t know how to write about Alvvays (pronounced “Always”, you’re welcome) and he might have a point. I guess I would say this is the musical equivalent of going back in time to your first kiss (or the first kiss that you enjoyed), of having one of those long, long talks with your high school best friend while listening to music in his or your car, the sound equivalent of ... home. This is a warm blanket of sound to get under (headphones) after a long cold day. 

Other Standouts: "In Undertow," "Not My Baby," "Forget About Life."

Miguel - "City of Angels"

Fourth amazing album in a row.  Prince for millennials? I dunno but Miguel is yet to drop the ball and give us a bad album. Anyway, we get the usual cringe worthy lyrics he delivers every now and then but by now I’d probably miss if they weren’t on his next album. Or not. 

Other Favs: "Pineapple Skies," "Banana Clip," "Now."

HURTS - "Magnificent"

HURTS made another one of those “this could be another band’s greatest hits” album. Just … wow. "Beautiful Ones," "Ready To Go," "Thinking Of You," "Wherever You Go," "Walk Away," "Spotlights," "Hold On Me."  All of those songs could and should be successful singles but, you know, most people would rather have a Bud Light instead of a cup of good red wine. 

Cold War Kids - "Part of the Night"

What is wrong with the world? Why aren’t these guys super popular? They’re even from California! Great album after great album, criminally underrated. Kids these days… 

Best Tracks: "Love Is Mystical," "So Tied Up," "Free To Breathe."

Ryan Adams - "Doomsday"

Just listen to it. That harmonica, that slide guitar, Ryan’s timeless voice, the melancholic and slightly generic lyrics that anyone can relate to. That, kids, is the sound of perfection. That is the sound of a Ryan Adams timeless song. He still comes up with one or two of those on every album and you should be on the lookout for them, always. 

Best Of The Rest: "Do You Still Love Me," "Prisoner," "Anything I Say To You Now," "We Disappear."

The National - "Day I Die"

Turns out they’re human after all. I mean these guys were on a roll since 2005! Alligator, Boxer, High Violet (!) and Trouble Will Find Me are all faultless. It was about time they delivered an album that was not perfect, just better than 90% of the rest out there. 

Other Standout Tracks: "Nobody Else Will Be There," "The System Only Dreams In Total Darkness," "Empire Line," "Guilty Party."

Slowdive - "Sugar For The Pill"

Oh, Slowdive … how I love your sweet, sweet sounds. "Sugar For The Pill" is up there with their best stuff form the 90’s and there are other very good tracks like "Star Roving" or "Slomo" that can make you nostalgic for the 90’s. Sweet, sweet Slowdive.

Land of Talk - "World Made"

I didn’t know this band existed before this 2017. There’s a lot of music out there that sounds like this, but not every album out there is packed with solid stuff like "Yes You Were," "This Time," "Loving," "Heartcore," "Macabre." 

Blood Sound - "Decade of Nothing" 

I keep trying to get my friends to love this band as much as I do but nobody seems to find them more than enjoyable. I seriously don’t know why they don’t lose their minds over the sound of nostalgia like I do. I mean, listen to the riffs! Did I mention the warm blanket of sound already? 

Favorite Tracks: "Everything Is Always In The Past," "Rose Colored Cross," "Chloe’s Balcony," "Kyoto Suicide Club."

British Sea Power - "Bad Bohemian"

Can’t go wrong with BSP. Seriously, you can’t. They get increasingly weird album after album but they’ve still got it. Listen to "International Space Station" and "Don’t Let The Sun Get In The Way."

Ten Fe - "Don’t Forget"

Man, this song! This checks all the Indie Rock boxes in a good way. Heard this before? Yes. Bringing nothing new to the table? Yes. Still awesome? Yes. 

Other Favorites: "Turn," "Elodie," "Follow."

Cut Copy - "No Fixed Destination"

These guys are still around! If you (like me) are one of the 20 people that care then you’re enjoying this album as much as me. Gotta love "Black Rainbows" and "Tied To The Weather."

Horrors - "Something to Remember Me By"

If you can get past the Grimes-like art with asian characters on it and a weird picture you’re in for the usual Horrors awesomeness. Also, I love it when bands close albums with the best track, regardless of it being up tempo instead of the usual slow, way too long ballad. I also highly enjoyed "Point Of No Reply" and "It’s A Good Life."

The XX - "On Hold"

Who would’ve thought the XX + Samples would work? Not as great as their 2 previous albums but it’s still them. I also enjoyed "Dangerous," "Replica" and "I Dare You."

Jessie Ware - "Hearts"

I never said I hated pop. I just hate pop that sucks (90% of it). Jessie my girl is with the other 10%. "Finish What We Started" and "Love To Love" would also sound very nice in the radio (not that I ever listen to it but I’m pretty sure no station plays them).

Sheer Mag - "Pure Desire"

All about the riffs. Well, the riffs, the raspy voice and the super catchy melodies. Oh, and the nice rhythm section. Listen to "Need To Feel Your Love," "Suffer Me" and "’Til You Find The One" if you like what you hear.

Liam Gallagher - "For What It’s Worth"

He’s sorry, Noel! Listen to the song, reform the band and come play in Monterrey Mexico! Preferably on a Saturday so my kids don’t lose a school day over the trip. I also liked "Chinatown" and "Wall of Glass."

Noel Gallagher - "Dead In The Water"

As good as "Talk Tonight." No. Really. The rest of the album is alright. Gotta love "The Man Who Built The Moon" and "God Help Us All."

Albums That Disappointed: Arcade Fire, Broken Social Scene, Elbow, Flaming Lips, Fleet Foxes, Hair, Kasabian, The Killers, LCD Soundsystem, Morrissey (hey, I still have hope), Passion Pit, Phoenix, The Shins, The Sound of Arrows, Spoon (why you, Spoon, why you?), Starsailor, War on Drugs, Weezer, Wolf Parade.

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