totally top five 2k17: listening

I listened to so much more music in 2017 than I have in kind of a long time! Mostly because I’ve been at my job long enough now that I know I can get away with listening to music at a much higher volume than I would have previously imagined, but also because I started paying attention when Spotify recommends things to me because it turns out that The Algorithm actually understands me sometimes.

Below, in no particular order, are my Totally! Top! Five! for both albums and jamz. Yeah, that’s right, I listened to WHOLE ALBUMS this year!! 2017 might have been a shitshow in an increasingly vast number of ways, but at least we had some pop culture to cling to, yeah? Yeah.

Childish Gambino, “Awaken, My Love” is gooooorgeous and cool and old-school and reminds me of my childhood while also sounding insanely new. I was amped for this as soon as it was announced and even after an entire year with it, it does not disappoint. Standout tracks: “Me and Your Mama,” “Redbone,” and “California.”

Lady Gaga, “The Cure” – This song hit me in a real weird place and made me cry a lot in the first few weeks I was listening to it, but it was good, cathartic crying and, uh, it eventually tapered off so I could just listen to this and do a kind of weird interpretive dance and yell while being intensely over-invested in it.

A Tribe Called Red, We Are the Halluci Nation is soooooooo sooooooo good. I haven’t been disappointed with an album from A Tribe Called Red yet, but this one is particularly powerful and also manages to also be packed with jamz. If you don’t already know A Tribe Called Red, you are EXTREMELY missing out. Standout tracks: “R.E.D.,” “Sila,” and “The Muse.”

Matt & Kim, “Let’s Run Away” – I have absolutely no idea how I first heard this song this year, but I am super glad I did. This is such a jam, so fun, so aurally pleasing, so rich with kind of weird vocal and lyrical and musical elements, and obscenely good for playing loud in the car with the windows down.

Moors, Moors is an EP from 2014 that I somehow stumbled upon this year and could nooooooooot stop listening to. I know Lakeith Stanfield is pretty busy being a super talented and handsome actor and stuff right now, but I could use like 100 more songs from Moors, like any time. Standout tracks: “Gas,” “Fire,” and “Smoke.” Also, the rest of it.

Charlie Puth, “Attention” – This was my first real “Spotify says I should listen to this–OH MY GOD I LOVE THIS” experience and even though that was in APRIL, I am still not sick of this song. This is fun and dance-y and hits all those perfect pop notes you need to have a great summer jam. Also, the bass line is killllllllerrrrrrrrrr.

Harry Styles, Harry Styles is the album I would have least expected to see on this list prior to hearing its lead single because, I mean… The one with the hair from the boy band? Really? Really really? But yeah, really really because this album is great and I could probably listen to that lead single 10 times in a row without getting sick of it. Standout tracks: “Sign of the Times,” “Carolina,” and “Woman.”

Fall Out Boy, “Young and Menace” – This was my number one most listened song this year according to Spotify and I’m absolutely not going to argue because I listened to it a lot, I think so much so that I blame it for me falling into a very intense (and seemingly unending) 2008 nostalgia loop for the last couple months of the year. Also, if you aren’t immediately charmed by an “Oops!… I Did It Again” reference, what are you doing with your life?

Khalid, American Teen is unbelievably good and also infuriating because this talented-ass bitch is only NINETEEN!! Thankfully the album is so good that it actually keeps me from spending the entire time thinking about how I’m one foot in the grave without having accomplished jack shit. Standout tracks: “Young, Dumb & Broke,” “Another Sad Love Song,” and “Winter.”

Kesha, “Praying” – Speaking of crying… I heard this for the first time while I was waiting in the car while Crystal ran in and grabbed us coffees and I just fully started sobbing as soon as the song started and was so overwhelmed with feelings by the time Crystal came back, I just sort of waved at the car stereo and hiccupped between my weird snotty cries. I am extremely glad Kesha is back.

Honorable Mentions

Eric Prydz, “Call On Me” | J Balvin & Willy William, “Mi Gente” | Local Natives, “I Saw You Close Your Eyes” | Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee, “Despacito feat. Justin Bieber (Remix)” | Selena Gomez, “Bad Liar”


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