Now that I’m officially done recapping 2016, I’m moving forward and focusing on 2017. I won’t be doing a movie list because if I had done a prediction list for 2016 I would have had both Sea of Trees and Knight of Cups on there, which both turned out to be awful. So you’re welcome.
Instead, I’m focusing on things I know a lot about, like television and music. Over the last year, I listened to too many albums, but also not enough because I missed the new Griswolds. So this year, I’m going to be on top of my shit and get a list out in January.
There have already been a few albums that have been good this year. So I’ll review those (briefly) before going into other albums to look out for.
Dropkick Murphys – 11 Short Stories of Pain & Glory
If you like the Dropkicks, especially if you enjoy their hits like “Shipping Up to Boston”, you’ll like the newest album from the Celtic punk band.
You Me At Six – Night People
The not-nearly-known-enough English band has a great album in Night People and if you like alternative rock and indie, and wish there were more actually indie, actually lesser-known bands, you’ll enjoy Night People.
The XX – I See You
Here’s the thing about the XX’s album: it came out very early, but it may well remain on my top 20 list for the entire year. It’s an incredibly special album and with songs like “A Violent Noise” and “On Hold”, it could have the longevity it will need to be one of the better albums of the year.
Now, like I said, onto the albums to look forward to this year.
Major Lazer – Music is the Weapon
This album’s title seems a companion to 2015’s Peace is the Mission, so it might seem logical that this album could be a spiritual follow up to the earlier Major Lazer album, which was one of the better albums of 2015. The electronic group dazzled with stunning vocals and rocking beats, so expect more of the same from their newest album.
Kanye & G.O.O.D. Music – Cruel Winter
Kanye’s label includes stars and yet to be known rappers. In 2012, Kanye released an album with many, many star features, including Jay-Z, Kid Cudi, and Common. He also featured then-lesser-known artists like Chief Keef, DJ Khaled, and Ma$e. Now, the label is back five years later with Cruel Winter. It’ll be interesting to see who Kanye features on this one, and if he can continue to step back and let the features run songs like he did in 2012.
Japandroids – Near to the Wild Heart of Life
The Canadian band behind “House that Heaven Built” is back with a new sound and new instruments, having apparently approached this album like it was their first. With their already good track record, it’s time to see what they want to do now and in the future. It’s also been 5 years since their last album, so
Spoon – Hot Thoughts
In 2014, Spoon released their last album They Want My Soul. The album featured songs like “Rent I Pay” and “Do You” and was one of the band’s best albums. I’ve looked forward to their next album since then, because they are killers in the alternative genre, and while we had big names release albums the last two years, like OneRepublic and Imagine Dragons, and while we’ve had other good albums from The Mowgli’s and Saint Motel, it’s high time we got Spoon and other artists (Arcade Fire) like them back.
Arcade Fire – TBA
It’s been a while since we heard from quite possibly the most popular alt rock band going. Their last album was 2013’s Reflektor, and since then not much has been heard from them. Luckily, it seems this year this will change, and it couldn’t be too soon. I desperately need some new fun, somewhat weird music after 2016.
Beck – TBA
The Grammy winner that beat Beyonce and was prepped for a Kanye interruption is back, and this time he’s going more pop/rock than with his last album. Beck has said that his new album is much like “Wow” in sound, which to me sounds like an instant contender for album of the year because “Wow” is just that good.
Fleet Foxes – TBA
It’s been five years since the last Fleet Foxes album, Helplessness Blues, came out. In that time, their frontman went back to college and their drummer became Father John Misty. It’s also been a while since the indie folk circuit had a true champion that wasn’t the overly mainstream Mumford & Sons, so it’s about time Fleet Foxes came back to claim the crown that should be rightfully theirs.
The Magnetic Fields – 50 Song Memoir
The Magnetic Fields, creators of one of the best songs of all time in “The Book of Love” for their massive undertaking 69 Love Songs is back at goliath building with Stephen Merritt’s 50 song breakdown of his 50-year life. It’s going to be a lot of heavy lifting, but if anyone can do it it’s a band that did 69 Love Songs.
Vampire Weekend – TBA
Ezra Koenig and company are reportedly eyeing a mid-2017 return album after a long hiatus of 4 years since 2013’s Modern Vampires of the City. One of their songwriters has left, but the core remains in tact, and it will be interesting to see if a potential move to Columbia impacts the band. I’m not going to lie, it’s been too goddamn long since a VW album and I desperately need new music in the next four years.
Lil Wayne – Tha Carter V
It’s been a while since Wayne had a monumental impact on hip-hop: he spent 2016 doing features and writing a memoir about his time in Rikers Island. Now, though, he’s got a long line of albums and mixtapes to come, with the potential of three albums dropping this year. It’s been six years since Wayne’s self-titled Tha Carter IV and it’s song “6 foot 7 foot” though, so this is the one I’m most pumped about.
Kanye West – Turbo Grafx 16 (TBD)
2016 was a tumultuous end for Kanye, as he went to rehab for mental conditions and came out in favor of the worst person to ever be President and who was defeated in the popular vote by 3 million votes.
What that means is that Kanye’s newest album, released just a year after Life of Pablo, has to be either perfect or as close to it as it can get. Kanye can’t meddle with this one like he did with Life of Pablo. It has to be better than My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy if Kanye wants to keep his reputation, if he doesn’t want to lose fans. We’re getting tired of defending Kanye, and if he can’t make sense of himself through music, it may finally be curtains for a man who changed the rap game forever.