Ben Olson’s Top 10 Albums of 2017

Ben Olson, columnist

1. A Crow Looked At Me – Mount Eerie (Folk)

Phil Elverum’s first release since his wife passed away from cancer is heartbreaking, deeply emotional and one that can only be listened to once.

2. Big Fish Theory – Vince Staples (Hip Hop)

Unlike the rest of his peers, Staples utilizes the production of electronic musicians such as SOPHIE, Flume, and Jimmy Edgar for a concise and tightly-knit collection of hip house tracks.

3. American Dream – LCD Soundsystem (Synthpop)

After seven years, James Murphy and Co. have proven that not a single bit of their talent has deteriorated and continue to pay homage to their heroes of the 70’s and 80’s post-punk/new wave scene.


Dubbed “the best boy band since One Direction,” the internet group expands on its usage of abstract beats and in-your-face lyrics for their third and best album in six months.

5. Common As Light and Love Are Red Valleys of Blood – Sun Kil Moon (Folk)

Immerse yourself into the wonderful world of Mark Kozelek, who is nothing more than a middle-aged man rambling about issues today over an acoustic guitar. Oh, and it’s two and a half hours too.

6. Volume 1: Flick Your Tongue Against Your Teeth and Describe the Present. – Bedwetter (Experimental Hip Hop)

The most recent output from Lil Ugly Mane (Travis Miller) was written and recorded during his stint at a mental hospital and combines the polarizing genres of cloud rap and hardcore hip hop.

7. Narkopop – Gas (Ambient)

The first album from Wolfgang Voigt since 2000’s Pop picks up exactly where he left off, with more wind blowing and water flowing to prove that he’s still the greatest ambient techno producer there is today.

8. Uncanny Valley – Stabscotch (Experimental)

“Here’s an idea! Let’s throw noisy, punked-out progressive rock and a singer that sounds like Eminem into a blender and see what we can get.”

9. Disappeared Behind The Sun Angles 9 (Free Jazz)

The Swedish jazz collective merges traditional big band with noisy jazz for a intense, foot-stomping mess of a record.

10. …Because I’m Young Arrogant and Hate Everything You Stand For – Machine Girl (Breakcore)

Released on Orange Milk, a label known for breaking barriers of electronic music, Machine Girl employs harsh vocals mixed with insanely fast tempos to create an album reminiscent of Dance Dance Revolution on steroids.