30. DRUNK by THUNDERCAT (experimental jazzsoul with hip hop accents)
This is the strangest album I loved this year.
IF YOU LIKED THIS, BUT THOUGHT MAYBE IT WAS A LITTLE TOO “OUT THERE,” TRY: PROCESS by SAMPHA (soul)
The award-winning British producer makes his own original R&B record.
29. TY SEGALL (self titled)
BLAZINGEST GUITAR SOLOS OF THE YEAR
Ty came out with a few projects this year, but his eponymous album was the best. Heavy metal psych from New Zealand.
28. NO DOPE ON SUNDAYS by CYHI THE PRYNCE
Conscious rap with integrity that is anything but preachy.
27. DOOR GIRL by SHILPA RAY
America has kind of decided we don’t like women this year. So don’t listen to this album. Unless you like unbridled, unfiltered, unapologetic self-disclosure from a depressed, genre-bending, furious, funny and brilliant woman.
26. WHAT OUR ENEMIES KNOW by MINOR MOON (smooth indie rock)
BEST A.M. RADIO ALBUM OF THE YEAR
It’s easy to forget albums that get released in January, but this one has left an impression on me. It’s atmospheric.
25. EVERYBODY WORKS by JAY SOM
A terrific, hard-edged indie rock album. A good year for Jay Som.
24. MY MOMENT by TEE GRIZZLEE
Breathless, gritty street raps from Detroit—a full album to follow the 2016 single, “First Day Out,” which was ensdoresed by no less than Jay-Z.
23. WE WERE BABIES AND WE WERE DIRTBAGS BY QUIET SLANG
An acoustic album of gentle renditions of Beach Slang’s own songs by lead singer James Alex, playing under the name Quiet Slang. He covered himself!
22. LUCKY GIRL by DEB TALAN
BEST FEMALE FOLK ALBUM OF THE YEAR
Weepies member goes solo with a tribute to her favorite bands, like U2 and Son Volt, and a collection of beautiful songs full of love. Only the single is available to stream right now.
OTHER GREAT FEMALE FOLK: THE ORDER OF TIME by VALERIE JUNE
A magnificent voice, and a complex mixing of genres including folk, soul and country.
21. THE WITCH by PUMAROSA
The future of heavy rock is here.