Queen Harvest’s Top Fifty-Eight (58) Albums of 2017

Who doesn’t love an arbitrary, subjective, poorly thought out ranking?

# Artist Album Year Week of 2017
58 Fear Is On Our Side I Love You But I’ve Chosen Darkness 2006 15
57 Cheap Trick One on One 1984 8
56 Nancy Sinatra and Lee Hazelwood Nancy & Lee 1968 21
55 Evil Friends Portugal. The Man 2013 44
54 Siouxsie & the Banshees Through the Looking Glass 1980 17
53 Alela Diane The Pirate’s Gospel 2004 10
52 Camera Obscura My Maudlin Career 2009 41
51 Emmylou Harris Roses in the Snow 1980 5
50 The Hold Steady Boys and Girls in America 2006 25
49 Led Zeppelin Led Zeppelin IV 1971 18
48 Dan Auerbach Waiting on a Song 2017 24
47 Neko Case Blacklisted 2002 19
46 The Mountain Goats Tallahassee 2002 47
45 Dum Dum Girls Too True 2014 51
44 The Wallflowers Bringing Down the Horse 1996 6
43 Outkast ATLiens 1996 2
42 Santogold Santogold 1980 30
41 REM Out of Time 1991 45
40 The Cure Disintegration 1989 28
39 Cate Le Bon Mug Museum 2013 32
38 Borns Dopamine 2015 36
37 Moses Sumney Lamentations EP 2016 52
36 The Dead Milkmen Big Lizard in my Backyard 1985 49
35 Wilco Sky Blue Sky 2007 29
34 Our Debut Album Our Debut Album 2017 46
33 Neutral Milk Hotel In the Aeroplane Over the Sea 1998 42
32 Joanna Newsom The Milk-Eyed Mender 2004 43
31 Beastie Boys Licensed to Ill 1986 12
30 The Jam In the City 1977 1
29 Flight of the Conchords I Told You I Was Freaky 2009 39
28 Aimee Mann Whatever 1993 26
27 New Order Power, Corruption & Lies 1983 20
26 Violent Femmes Violent Femmes 1983 23
25 Tom Petty Wildflowers 1994 40
24 George Michael Faith 1987 48
23 Til Tuesday Welcome Home 1986 37
22 Television Marquee Moon 1977 9
21 Prince Purple Rain 1984 14
20 Open Mike Eagle Brick Body Kids Still Daydream 2017 38
19 Jonathan Coulton Thing-a-Week Two 2005 16
18 The Kinks The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society 1968 8.1
17 Pixies Doolittle 1989 33
16 The Mountain Goats The Sunset Tree 2005 11
15 The Tragically Hip Fully Completely 1992 34
14 Run the Jewels Run the Jewels 2 2014 12.1
13 Broadcast Tender Buttons 2005 7
12 Johnny Cash American IV: The Man Comes Around 2002 50
11 Kesha Rainbow 2017 25
10 Dead Kennedys Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables 1980 4
9 Kendrick Lamar DAMN. 2017 16.1
8 Original Broadway Cast Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812 2017 22.1
7 Run the Jewels Run the Jewels 3 2016 4.1
6 Iron & Wine The Shepherd’s Dog 2007 31
5 Run the Jewels Run the Jewels 2013 6.1
4 Cher Heart of Stone 1989 22
3 The Knife Deep Cuts 2003 27
2 Sleigh Bells Treats 2010 3
1 The Sundays Reading, Writing and Arithmetic 1990 13
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2017: Final Quarter Note

Call me Edna St. Vincent Millay’s candle at dawn ’cause I am Burnt Out.

For your reference, my impersonal rating system follows:

★★★★★ I listen to it regularly.
★★★★☆ I will listen to it again.
★★★☆☆ I wouldn’t mind listening to it in a mix.
★★☆☆☆ If it comes on I won’t turn it off.
★☆☆☆☆ I’m not interested in hearing it again.

Week Forty

220px-tom_petty_wildflowersTom Petty – Wildflowers (1994) ★★★★☆

How could one complain about Wildflowers? Beautiful poetic songs, laid-back sneery songs, fast-paced songs on the move: classic Petty!

Week Forty-One

my_maudlin_careerCamera Obscura – My Maudlin Career (2009)
★★☆☆☆

I want to like Camera Obscura, but every song is the same faux-sock hop shtick and I can’t hear anything else.

Week Forty-Two

in_the_aeroplane_over_the_sea_album_cover_copyNeutral Milk Hotel – In the Aeroplane Over the Sea (1998)★★★★☆

Part Dropkick Murphys, part Decemberists, part The Movie American Beauty (and yes, I realize this album pre-dates the success of those bands/that film). Good to listen to, but a little bit gross.

Week Forty-Three

the_milk-eyed_mender_28front_cover29Joanna Newsome – The Milk-Eyed Mender (2004) ★★★☆☆

I appreciated a heads-up w/r/t Newsome’s unusual voice before listening to this album. The music and lyrics drew me in and made me want to listen repeatedly.

Week Forty-Four

portugal_the_man_evil_friendsPortugal. The Man – Evil Friend (2013) ★★☆☆☆

I’ve listened to this album so many times, but I have no memory of it. That doesn’t speak well for it.

Forty-Five

r-e-m-_-_out_of_timeR.E.M. – Out of Time (1991) ★★★☆☆

Out of Time is an enjoyable listen. The hits are the standouts for good reason.

Week Forty-Six

Our Debut AlbumOur Debut Album – Our Debut Album (2017)★★★★☆

Dave Shumka and Graham Clark, of Stop Podcasting Yourself superstardom, wrote each of these songs in 60-minute sessions. Our Debut Album may not be Sgt. Pepper, but they’re some dang catchy songs that hold up to repeated listenings.

Week Forty-Seven

tallahassee-mountain_goatsx_the_480The Mountain Goats – Tallahassee (2002) ★★★☆☆

All I can hear in Tallahassee is anger.

Week Forty-Eight

georgemichaelfaithalbumcoverGeorge Michael – Faith (1987) ★★★★★

The movie Keanu has a scene centered around “Father Figure” which convinced me I needed to give this song a fair shake. Much like Prince, I never realized the serious fandom for George Michael until his death. His music reminds me of David Bowie and Michael Jackson, with a healthy dose of old school crooner. Faith is a joy to listen to.

Week Forty-Nine

big_lizard_in_my_backyardThe Dead Milkmen – Big Lizard in my Backyard (1985) ★★★★☆

This album is a good time! Most songs sound like the executed ideas of 16 year olds, but really talented 16 year olds. Should we be worried about how on-the-nose “Right Wing Pigeon” is, or is nothing too crazy to worry about anymore?

Week Fifty

americanivJohnny Cash – American IV: The Man Comes Around (2002) ★★★★★

Johnny Cash established his legend through unique vocals and outspoken voice, but I’ll always remember him as a generous patron of the arts. This album covers songwriters from John Lennon to Sting to Trent Reznor. From the artistic care Cash pours into every song, you can tell he is a true fan of the music. I love these songs, and the guitar sound is my favorite kind of guitar sound.

Week Fifty-One

dum_dum_girls_-_too_true_coverDum Dum Girls – Too True (2014)
★★★☆☆

Here is another high energy pop album I can really get behind. The title track has a nifty twist in the lyrics, and I believe continued attention will reveal more clever devices to surprise and delight.

Week Fifty-Two

2b527b81Moses Sumney – Lamentations EP (2016) ★★★★☆

If you’re looking for catchiness, this entire five-song EP is worth it for the song “Worth It.” The other tracks are undoubtedly beautiful; the kind of music one may listen to in moments of reflection and calm.

A Report to the Shareholders

I have no regrets about this project. I listened to exponentially more new music than I have in years past. I know for a fact I never would have listened to most of these albums, including most of my Top Ten, if left to my own devices. I appreciate everyone’s recommendations, even those I didn’t act on.

In 2018 I am going to take it down to a more me-friendly pace by listening to an average of two new albums a month, with half of them new releases. Here’s to 2018!