TOP 5 Albums of 2017

When I originally sat down to reflect on the albums of 2017, I could only think of two albums that stuck with me. My thought was how in the world was I going to come up with five! But it was easier than I thought. The hardest was narrowing the list to just 5!

Here are my Top 5 Albums of 2017:

#5
WOLVES by STORY OF THE YEAR

Wolves Story of the YearPower sliding into #5 and knocking SPIRIT by DEPECHE MODE out of this spot comes the latest from the St. Louis rock band, Story of the Year. Their 2003 album PAGE AVENUE was a regular go to album when it came out. This album, WOLVES (released Dec 2017), for me, was a surprise smash. I didn’t think I was going to love it as much as I do. I also didn’t realize how much I missed their sound. Story of the Year grew up and changed but somehow managed to keep their sound and energy the same, fresh as they day they hit music scene. WOLVES is a non-stop rocker from track 1 to track 14.
FAVORITE TRACK: tie “Bang Bang” and “Praying for Rain”
Listen on Spotify | Buy on iTunes
Follow Story of the Year: Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Website

#4
PRISONER + B-SIDES by RYAN ADAMS
Ryan Adams PrisonerLanding in #4 is PRISONER + B-SIDES (released February 2017) by North Carolina native, Ryan Adams. This album is a doozy of an album. It is from the heart and from the soul. From the opening track on PRISONER to the last track on B-SIDES, Ryan takes you on a beautiful emotional journey of a man who has loved, lost, and continues to move forward even if he didn’t or doesn’t want to do so. It is an album diehard Ryan fans would love instantly and an album that would easily make new listeners become Ryan fans for life.
FAVORITE TRACK: “Outbound Train”
Listen on Spotify | Buy on iTunes
Follow Ryan Adams: Facebook | Twitter | Website

#3
SONGS OF EXPERIENCE by U2
songs-of-experience-coverThe Irish rockers did not let fans down with their latest album. I love love love this U2 album. As a longtime fan, I do have a love and like relationship with their music. Notice I did not say hate, because I don’t hate any of the music they create. I either love it or like it. With SONGS OF EXPERIENCE (released December 2017), it was love at first listen and it was an album I needed. This album ends 2017 on a good note. I think it is the album we all need to hear. An album that lifts and inspires. An album only U2 could do to such perfection.
FAVORITE TRACK: “Get Out of Your Own Way”
Listen on Spotify | Buy on iTunes
Follow U2 at Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | YouTube | Website

#2
XVIII by EIGHTEEN VISIONS
Eighteen-Visions-XVIIIThis album was the most anticipated album of 2017 for me. When the band started leaving messages on social media teasing a new album, I had the don’t believe it until I see it mentality. They had broken up in 2007 and it had been 11 years since their last studio album. I so wanted a new 18V album and boy was it worth the 10 year wait. XVIII (released June 2017) is a throwback to when 18V hit the Orange County, CA music scene. It is melt your face good and “Live Again”, a tribute to the late Mick Morris who passed away in June 2013, is an epic ode to a soul gone too soon. This album isn’t for the weak or the band wagon 18V fans. It is for the fans that have been with them since day one and it fucking rocks.
FAVORITE SONG: “Picture Perfect”
Listen on Spotify
 | Digital Download
Follow Eighteen Visions: Instagram | Twitter | Website

#1
MATTHEW RYAN: HUSTLE UP STARLINGS
matthew-ryan-hustle-up-starlingsThe #1 album for 2017 for me is Pennsylvania native Matthew Ryan’s HUSTLE UP STARLINGS. Like U2, I either love or like Matthew’s music and with HUSTLE UP STARLINGS (released May 2017), I love it. It is a rollercoaster ride of powerful emotions from sadness, heartache to that of hope. No one can expose the human psyche to it’s rawest emotional core like Matthew Ryan can in his music. He is a prolific songwriter that has mastered the voice of what it’s like to be alive in this crazy fucked up yet amazing Universe. HUSTLE UP STARLINGS is my favorite Matthew Ryan album since MATTHEW RYAN vs SILVER STATE.
FAVORITE TRACK: tie “Maybe I’ll Disappear” and “Run Rabbit Run”
Listen on Spotify | Buy on BandCamp
Follow Matthew Ryan: Facebook | Twitter | Website

Honorable EP mentions:
DAVID BOWIE: NO PLAN
2 reasons this didn’t make itinto the Top 5.
1-It’s an EP of 4 songs.
2-“Lazarus” was on his 2016 BLACK STAR album.

OUR LADY PEACE: SOMETHINGNESS VOL. 1
If this had been more than a full length album, it would have easily been in my Top 5.

Honoralbe Full Length Album Mentions:
AFI: AFI (THE BLOOD ALBUM)
BIG WRECK: GRACE STREET
DEPECHE MODE: SPIRITAll album artwork courtesy of artist.

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