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The Outsideleft Year in Music That Was

Jason's Top 30 LPs of 2017 in one succinct list...

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by Jason Lewis, UK Music Editor for outsideleft.com
originally published: January, 2018
Thousands became 30 in 17
by Jason Lewis, UK Music Editor for outsideleft.com
originally published: January, 2018
Thousands became 30 in 17

Publishers Note: In December 2017, our UK Music editor Jason Lewis undertook a massive undertaking... Sorting 2017's musical wheat from the chaff... In the end, he whittled his favorite records down to just 30 and below is his list. You can listen to something from all of them on the outsideleft.com YouTube channel.

Jason Lewis Top 30 Records of 2017 - The List

  1. Kamasi Washington - Harmony of Difference (Young Turks)
    The best record of 2017, Kamasi Washington's Harmony of Difference is the music that can elevate you, that can reach inside you, change you and fill you with hope [More »]
  2. Momus - Pillycock (Darla)
    Imagine Bowie, Eno or Scott Walker on a shoestring budget (Darla) [More »]
  3. LCD Soundsystem - American Dream (Columbia)
    Murphy's sense of loss is almost palpable. [More »]
  4. Nadia Read - Preservation (Basin Rock)
    On Nadia Reid's second album, she seems to be trying to make sense of her life after a recent break up. She is reaching the 'acceptance' stage but is looking back whilst trying to move forward... [More »]
  5. Baxter Dury - Prince of Tears (Heavenly)
    It often feels as if the awkward conversations about the break is taking place in real time, right in front of you [More »]
  6. The National - Sleep Well Beast (4AD)
    Matt Berninger of The National is a man in turmoil, although, after six fairly intense albums, you probably knew that already... [More »]
  7. Max Richter - Three Worlds: Music from Woolf Works (Deutsche Grammaphon)
    Richter is a remarkably versatile composer. Yet, on 'Woolf Works' he may have surpassed his previous achievements. [More »]
  8. Quercus - Nightfall (ECM)
    Nightfall is Quercus at their best, reinterpreting traditional folk songs [More »]
  9. Trio Da Kali and Kronos Quartet - Ladilikan (World Circuit)
    Ladilikan is an extraordinary album. One of the most inspirational LPs that you will hear this year. [More »]
  10. Sleaford Mods - English Tapas (Rough Trade)
    From its mocking title onwards ‘English Tapas’ sees a risible country in further decline...  [More »]
  11. Mogwai - Every Country's Sun (Rock Action)
    Every Country's Sun proves again that although Mogwai may have recently turned their hand to scoring music for film and TV, their real strength lies in soundtracking their own occasionally beautiful and frequently disturbing worldview. [More »
  12. Loyle Carner - Yesterday's Gone (AMF)
    With Loyle Carner, you almost get the impression that it was made the day after the studio was robbed and Carner only had the most simplistic instruments to use... [More »
  13. Neuk Wight Delhi All-Stars - Yorkston/Thorne/Khan (Domino)
    There is a unique synergy between Yorkston, Thorne and Khan. This album is a further example of the ever more startling magic that they can create.  [More »
  14. The Wild Ponies - Galax (Gearbox)
    The Wild Ponies released one of the best albums of this or many other years.  [More »]
  15. Hannah Peel - Mary Casio: Journey to Cassiopeia (My Own Pleasure)
    A cinematic delight.  [More »]
  16. Tinariwen - Elwan (Anti)
    Full of melancholy and anguish.  Elwan is a sad but beautiful album.  [More »]
  17. Laraaji - Bring on the Sun/Sun Gong (All Saints)
    Call it new age or ambient if you must! Laraaji is wise, funny and philosophical.  [More »]
  18. Nihiloxica - Nihiloxica (Nyege Nyege Tapes)
    A tip of the hat to London's Prehistoric Man for turning us on to Uganda's Nihiloxica.  [More »]
  19. Kendrick Lamar - Damn (Top Dawg Entertainment)
    DAMN shows Kendrick Lamar as a master storyteller.  [More »]
  20. Songhoy Blues - Résistance (Fat Possum Records)
    With Résistance, Songhoy Blues have had the courage to broaden their horizons, experiment with new sounds and keep all of the things that made them unique intact.  Their journey has only just begun.  [More »]
  21. Jesca Hoop - Memories Are Now (Sub Pop)
    A remarkable record.  [More »]
  22. The Blue Aeroplanes - Welcome Stranger (Art Star)
    A brilliant return.  [More »]
  23. This Is The Kit - Moonshine Freeze (Rough Trade)
    Moonshine Freeze didn't arrive during the winter. That's just about my only gripe about this great great record.  [More »]
  24. Thundercat - Drunk (Brainfeeder)
    Whatever genres Thundercat is dabbling with, whatever his concerns or his impressive guest list, he manages to bring all of the ingredients together to create one mellow and cohesive whole.  Drunk is an ambitious album, drink it all in!  [More »]
  25. The Unthanks - Diversions, Volume 4: The Songs and Poems of Molly Drake (Rabble Rouser)
    Full of emotional longing and wise reflections, an album whose subtle power lingers after every listen.  [More »]
  26. The Smiths - Live in Boston (Warner Bros)
    Forget the ugliness of 'Low in High School' and the ongoing pantomime of Morrissey's loose cannon remarks to the press. Cherish this album and remember them this way.  [More »]
  27. Saz'Iso - At Least Wave Your Handkerchief At Me (Glitterbeat Records)
    As windows on a world of South Albanian folklore goes, the one is an unforgettable experience. [More »]
  28. Father John Misty - Pure Comedy (Sub Pop)
    At a challenging 74 minutes, Pure Comedy can be an exhausting album to get through, but the mastery of his songwriting, matched by the subtle arrangements, make Pure Comedy an insightful, sardonic and frequently hilarious album. [More »]
  29. Cigarettes After Sex - Cigarettes After Sex (Partisan Records)
    Mixing the tender and profane, Cigarettes after Sex have created a debut album that captures the minutiae of falling in and out of love. It's a seductive and revealing portrait. [More »]
  30. Randy Newman - Dark Matter (Nonesuch)
    Dark Matter is full of rich, orchestral arrangements and quieter piano ballads... [More »]
see more stories from outsideleft's Music archive »»

Jason Lewis
UK Music Editor

Jason Lewis is a Birmingham based music, movie and arts obsessive. Jason's encyclopedic knowledge of 80s/90s Arts films is a debt to his embedded status in the Triangle Arts Centre trenches back then.

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