Favorite Albums of 2017

It was a weird year music-wise for me. I listened to a total of 2345 songs according to iTunes play counts, which is up a lot from last year. Most of the increase was in the Exotica genre, where I loaded up on releases from past years including Tiki Joe’s Ocean and Tikiyaki Orchestra/Tikiyaki 5-0.

In terms of albums released in 2017, here is my ranking.

1. Voodoo III - Robert Drasnin
Plucked from obscurity in the 1990s when his 1959 exotica album Voodoo was discovered by tikiphiles, Drasnin spent his later years working on two follow-ups. Voodoo III was recorded just before his death and released in a limited edition at Tiki Oasis in 2015. The first “anyone can buy it” release was this year, so we’re counting it as a 2017 release. This is great stuff if you like Exotica, the mostly instrumental mix of jazz and Latin percussion. Voodoo III includes several songs with wordless-vocals. One song features sung lyrics, the appropriately entitled “Aloha.” It’s a great album.

2. Wonderful Wonderful - The Killers
A comeback album featuring one of their best singles, “The Man.” I still like the Killers and saw them live for the first time this year.

3. Number 1 Angel - Charli XCX
I was surprised I liked this “mixtape.” Most songs feature a hip-hop collaborator but I’m still digging Charli’s give-no-fucks attitude. I’m not sure what the genre is called but it is definitely more of a mellower electronica. I like Charli’s more alt/pop leaning material but this will do (I wasn’t a fan of her Pop 2 mixtape released at the end of the year)

4. I Love You Like a Brother - Alex Lahey
Song pop hooks from Australian alternative singer-songwriter Alex Lahey. Her single “Every Day’s the Weekend” was one of the best of the year.

5. Concrete and Gold - Foo Fighters
An OK release from the Foos, with a few songs I thought were really good but mostly were fairly generic. I totally dug the song “Sunday Rain” featuring regular drummer Taylor Hawkins on vocals and guest drummer Paul McCartney (the song does have a Beatles vibe).

6. Songs of Experience - U2
An okay album but nothing special from U2. Nothing overly catchy or memorable but at least I do like listening to it.

7. Witness - Katy Perry
I got this album when I purchased tickets to her concert, so I guess I’ll count it. Follows the more mellow pop trend. I liked the lead single “Chained to the Rhythm” but like most music fans felt this was a step back from the pop hooks we’re used it.

8. Spirit - Depeche Mode
Disappointing release with only one just-okay song “So Much Love.” Otherwise forgettable.

Leave a comment

Your comment