I was going to write this yesterday but ran out of time. On Friday, I started talking about the albums that have had a significant impact on how 2017 went for me, even if they didn’t come out in 2017. This is part 2 of a 2 part series talking about albums I’ve bought and listened to a lot this year.
Haim, Something to Tell You (2017)
Favorite track: “Want You Back”
“But don’t take it out on me now / ‘Cause I blame it all on myself”
To be honest, I’m not actually a huge fan of this album. I bought it for one song (“Want You Back”), and that has been the only song I’ve really taken the time to listen to because I found myself skipping over the others on the album. That said, I have listened to this one song on repeat about a million times in a row, which I think justifies the purchase. It’s not even a song I relate to–I just really love the harmonizing that happens. Plus, it’s catchy as hell.
Beck, Colors (2017)
Favorite track: “Seventh Heaven”
We’ll shoot for the empire
Land in the dust pile
I want to wake up
In the shadow of a fever pitch
With the gold glass heart
Conversely, I adore almost everything about Colors. Beck does weird things with language that I find really interesting and cool, and a lot of the chords throughout the album create a really restless feeling in me. The album itself feels like being at a house party and looking into different rooms. Plus, the final song on the album, “Fix Me,” reminds me that it’s not necessary to disguise wanting someone through too many words. Sometimes, you can just say, “I want you.”
The Shins, Heartworms (2017)
Favorite track: “Mildenhall”
“I thought my flattop was so new wave / Until it melted away in the Suffolk rain”
When I got this album, it felt a lot like listening to Ativan, if Ativan were music. It’s not that the music is all chill, or even entirely relaxing all the time. It is, however, familiar and new at the same time. It’s an album I did admittedly buy for the first single, but then, thankfully, I ended up liking all of it.
The xx, I See You
Favorite track: “On Hold”
“The stars and the charts / And the cards make sense / Only when we want them to”
As an album, “I See You” has a lot of good replay value. It’s not infinite, and after a while you put it away for a few months, but then it gets cold out and you take it out again, at least for a stray listen. It’s good. It’s maybe not the greatest album, but it fits in a playlist with Bastille and the Wombats, so that might be its best value for me.
Ray Davies, Americana (2017)
Favorite track: “Message from the Road”
“You’ll have a place in my heart / When night turns into day”
My copy is a free store play copy that I got from work. I heard the album over the intercom for about a month before I decided I wanted it. There are a few call backs to Davies’ work with the Kinks, which rather than sounding hokey actually worked in favor of the album. I don’t know if I would have paid for the album, or if I would have bought it instead of something else, but I also don’t have to answer that question. It’s more country, and for whatever reason, I’m alright with that.
There are more albums, of course, that I’m not writing about which I bought and listened to at length. There are even a lot of individual songs, and then artists who I only discovered really recently (like within the past few weeks) and I haven’t gotten a chance to actually go out and buy their work yet. In any case, I’m looking forward to 2018, if only to get to hear more good music.