By no means are these the only albums worthy of your ear in 2017. I’ve lapped DAMN., Drunk, and Process more times than I feel comfortable disclosing publically. And CTRL really is the first post-blond(e)d release in the ever-expanding left (though Frank’s own 2017 output has been consistent and fucking stellar.) But I’d be failing if you if this mid-year check-in wasn’t devoted to shining some light on projects that stack up to those from all of the marquee names, but may have got lost in the glow. The ones that didn’t get the big-budget PR blitz or the star-studded mixed-media campaign.
It could be the case that six months from now this list shifts drastically, that it’s virtually unrecognizable in light of what the second half of the year holds. Worse, that 2017 proved to be as front-heavy as the burnt-custard-in-chief. But 2018 is one step closer to 2020, and I’m voting West. These are the five albums that bring me back from the Kung Fu Kenny binges and Thundercat short-circuits. The ones that help the year go down just a little smoother.
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