Been a while since i wrote something music related and i believe there are no better time than now. End of the year where many blog pick their best 2017 list and Spotify year-end summary is prevalent all over my friend pages in various social media.
I felt like i didnt listen to as many music as previous year. Bit of growing up (or getting old) probably. I seldom listen to music when im working now because it throw my focus out of the window. However as an effort to be, referring to Seringai’s credo, generasi menolak tua i still constantly and consciously explore new music regularly. I felt that it makes me more creative and keeps me from being boring. I dont want to be that guy in their 30s which still put Hybrid Theory on pedestal of great music and whine about kids these days.
2017 also the year i switch from free Deezer to premium Spotify. Mainly because the change of status from poor scholarship student into a salary man again. Spotify is great however Deezer often get overlook, the free version is better than spotify in my opinion. Protip: use Deezer web player and install adblock.
So without further due, here are my pick for great albums released this year. Click the header to listen the album on spotify. Also, i compile the tracks on the album and several other tracks i really enjoy this year in below spotify playlist. Listen to it while reading this for maximum experience!.
Logic – Everybody
I used to categorize Logic as a “middle-class hiphop” along with the likes of Mac Miller, Watsky, Classified and Macklemore. Emcees which rap less about the struggle, violence, braggadocio and more about positivity, love and other first world problem. However this album changed that because in this joint Logic goes political especially about race relations in the US and how he relate that with the struggle of growing up as a mixed race kid.
This is a really enjoyable album, both musically and lyrically. Its first on my list because thats how much i enjoy this album. Check the track ” Take it Back “, “Everybody”, to learn how Sir Robert Bryson (Logic real name) hall grew up in a mixed-race parents. If youre more into old skool and hard hiphop, youll enjoy “America”. Sharing verse with Black Thought from the Roots and Chuck D from Public Enemy its the last thing i expect Logic to do, and its turn out awesome. Awesome and hard!.
And lastly, the highlight of the album is the lead single “1-800-273-8255” which is soft public service advertisement for suicide hotline. I think this is a really good introduction song if you never heard Logic before. For more about Logic, check out his hearfelt performance in VMA 2017
Listen to this if you like : Mac Miller, Macklemore
Recommended tracks : America, Take It Back , 1-800
Year of The Ox – Yox EP
2017 is the year where Asian hiphop is on the rise, thanks to Sean Miyashiro and 88 rising gang. I couldnt be more proud as my boi Brian Chigga is doing amazing this year as part of that wave. But im not going to talk about 88 rising gang in this post, i recommend if you like them you should also check out Year Of The Ox (YOX).
YOX is old school no bullshit boom-bap emcees helmed by JL and Lyricks. Both of them are Korean-American rappers. I found them after watching Bad Rap, documentary about Dumbfoundead, and been a fan ever since. Listening to their sick beats, lyrical prowess and towering level of braggadocio, they are the Koreatown answer to Run The Jewels.
Stampede is my highlight of this album. Cant stop bobbing my head to the beat while on the other hand, there is this bar :
Your chick call me Rich Chigga
Plug it in the background
Shout out to Indonesia
Make your whole crew spit Felicia?]
J’s Goku, ‘rick’s Vegeta
I’m a silky tofu fried kimchi eater
Meet your leader
The OX arrived
If you cross the line
I’ma kill you lying motherfuckers
The same way Mufasa died
Listen to this if you like : Run The Jewels, Wu Tang Clan
Recommended tracks : Stampede, Seven Rings
Brockhampton – Saturation 3
Brockhampton is a collective consist of various rapper. Several music blog compared them to Odd Future a.k.a Tyler, Earl, Frank Ocean and the gang. This year only the collective release three full albums, Saturation 1, 2 and 3. I pick the last one in this list because in my opinion its the most easy listening out of the three.
Since they are collective, each track in Saturation 3 (and also their previous 1 and 2) can sound really different. Brockhampton beats can be really absurd yet banging in some tracks but suddenly smooth on the next track. Listen to “Sister/Nation” then skip to “Hottie” and then closed by “Team” to get Saturation 3 sonic roller coaster ride in full effect.
If you want to listen to the whole Saturation album, i recommend these sequent tracks which is also how i become a fan of them :
Saturation 1 : Gold -> Saturation 2: Gummy -> Saturation 3: Zipper
Listen to this if you like : Odd Future, Tyler The Creator
Recommended tracks : Stampede, Seven Rings
We Came as Romans – Cold Like War
I didnt listen to Metal as much as i listen to hiphop this year so maybe i miss some important release this year. For Metal, i prefer to listen into more millenial-friendly genre (Metalcore) rather then the old school ( Thrash, Speed, Heavy) hence why We Came As Romans – Cold Like War is one of the 2017 highlights for me.
Cold Like War album and WCAR as the band in general is a nice amalgamation of metal and hardcore genre for me. Combination of clean and growl vocals, mosh-pit inducing drum breakdowns and Djent!. Also since listening Bring Me The Horizon last year release Thats The Spirit, i am fond of metal band which incorporated electronic sounds. Cold Like War has both good and bad example on how to do this. Badass like “Vultures with Clipped Wings” , “Foreign Fire” and “Cold Like War” or cheesy like “Encoder” and “Promise Me”. The latest sound too much like Avicii EDM Pop with growls.
Still, its an enjoyable modern metal album. You should check it out.
Listen to this if you like : Bring Me The Horizon, Killswitch Engage, Of Mice and Men
Recommended tracks : Cold Like War, Wasted Age, Foreign Fire
Pallbearer – Heartless
I will instantly contradict my last statement of how prefer modern metal over classic ones by putting Pallbearer album in this list. Pallbearer is a heavy metal quartet from Arkansa which play metal with long melody, slow tempo and reverb-heavy vocals (doom metal). It feels like listening to Metallica’s Unforgiven or Helloween’s Forever One
Heartless is a beautiful metal. Slow, majestic and progressive with no tracks under 5 minutes. I dont normally like this kind of metal but after finding out from several metal blogs, i like to put this album on the background while i do other stuff. Sudden epic air guitaring will usually ensues.
Listen to this if you like : Black Sabbath, early Metallica
Recommended tracks : I Saw The End
Code Orange – Forever
Code Orange latest record, Forever is unbelievably dark and heavy. I dont know what effects that they used but this records is a wall of sound of concrete heaviness. Two of Forever opening tracks “Forever” and “Kill The Creator” will introduce you to what Code Orange is all about by kickstarting your ear with balls-to-the-walls distortion. Theres a nice break in “Bleeding in The Blur” but the rest of the records will floor you down with high-volume sound of Marshall amps getting raped by downtuned guitar.
What fascinates me more is that Code Orange started as a punk hardcore band. Somewhere along the way probably they probably found salvation and enlightening from Lucifer and Forever is the result.
Code Orange also introduce me to my new best girl in metal, Reba Meyers. Check her out in this Bleeding in The Blur video. Mind you, this song very different from the whole album. If you want to test whether youll enjoy this album or not, go see Forever first.
Listen to this if you like : Cannibal Corpse, Gojira
Recommended tracks : Forever, Bleeding in The Blur, The New Reality
Our Last Night – Selective Hearing
I had this conception that starting you career as a cover band especially on youtube is bad idea for a band. Youll stuck in a box and many of them which release original song ends up dissapointing (looking at you PTX and Boyce Avenue). But this band prove me wrong, Our Last Night albums is as badass as their pop cover tracks.
Our Last Night gain popularity as a youtube cover band which make post-hardcore / metalcore covers of popular tracks. Similar to Me First and The Gimme Gimmes, only heavier. My favorite cover is this, they’re pretty funny too.
Apart from these cover, the band constantly releasing albums since 2008. I just knew them this year, but man i really enjoy Selective Hearing and also their 2016 release, Prisoners. I really recommend to listen both of the album back to back especially if you enjoy bands like Story of The Year or Saosin.
Listen to this if you like : Saosin, Story of The Year or Sleeping With Sirens, Circa Survive
Recommended tracks : Broken Lives, Ghost In The Machine
Liam Gallagher – As You Were
Oasis have been influencing at least two of my key decision in life. Which football club should i support ? MCFC because the Galagher brothers. Where in the world should i take my masters degree ? Manchester because where else. Whats The Story Morning Glory was playing back to back in the first month of my life in Manchester. Waking up in cold winter ? Morning Glory played, Looking at the Manchester old factory building ? Wonderwall played. Walking passed an old man in a suburb in Didsbury ? Rockin Chair played. Reading a book on a Platt Field grass ? Cast No Shadow played. In short, im an Oasis fan.
Hence, listening LG’s As You Were release is like chugging fresh water after long awaited drought. Noel’s High Flying Birds didnt satisfied me. Beady Eye also didnt feel Oasis enough. But this records is, undoubtedly bringing back fresh memories of watching Stand By Me videos on MTV. Im listening to first 5 tracks of this album with eyes closed and man, is this 1998 all over again ? wheres Blur ? i need to play FIFA 98 on PSone.
Special highlights in this album is For What Its Worth. Id like to imagine LG dedicate this song for his old band mates and his brother. Hope someday Liam, Noel, Bonehead, Guigsy and Alan can kick it one last time for the kids. One could hope Liam assholishness could be reduced with age.
Listen to this if you like : Fookin Oasis, mate!
Recommended tracks : Wall Of Glass, For Whats It Worth, Chinatown
Harry Styles – selftitled
Who wouldve thought that pretty face Harry Styles which debuted cheese-pop-guilty-pleasures with You Dont Know Youre Beautiful will come up with majestic ballad such as Sign of The Times. I couldnt stop listening to that song, it so beautiful. If i could describe it in a more word, i might as well go gay for Mr Styles.
Talking about the album, i could say that this is rocknroll album for an old soul. The kind of album your dad (or grandad) played in a worn-out vinyl. Listening to tracks like Carolina, Only Angel, Kiwi makes me feel like digesting Guardian of The Galaxy Mixtape, 60-70s sounds galore. This is a very enjoyable album which prove Harry Styles has a sophisticated taste in music. Go listen to it.
Listen to this if you like : James Bay
Recommended tracks : Sign of The Times, Kiwi, Ever Since New York, Carolina