While the world is seemingly devolving into a chaotic mess more so each day, great new music is thriving at seemingly an alarming rate in 2017 and it only looks to get better in the 2nd half of the year.
We’ll get to that 2nd half in moment but let’s not diminish the incredible albums there have been in the 1st half. I enjoyed doing this Top 25 Halftime Report in 2016 so I’m back with it again as June winds down. We’ve seen some phenomenal encores by Father John Misty, Japandroids, Jason Isbell, and Royal Blood after their breakthrough albums proving they’re no flukes. Fleet Foxes returned after being away for more than six years with the superb Crack-Up and Strand Of Oaks is currently the the front-runner for the “Dark Horse Album Of The Year” with Hard Love. Spoon once again delivered the goods with Hot Thoughts proving they’re as dependable as anyone in the game right now however they cling to the that last spot in the Top 10 and are precariously placed for the onslaught to come in the following months. This could be the first year since I started these lists in 2008 where a March album doesn’t make it into the Top 10. That’s a pretty impressive run for a month so early in the year regardless.
With all of that said let’s preview the insanely tantalizing 2nd half now. Father John Misty’s Pure Comedy has had the #1 spot on lock-down since early April and has already held off some pretty stiff competition but if it survives the rest of this year at the top it would be the most remarkable feat I’ve seen since starting these lists. As I stated earlier 2017 looks to be arguably the best year overall for new music in awhile including the 2nd half beginning July 28th with Arcade Fire’s highly anticipated Everything Now. Other high profile acts expected to drop albums look like a “Murderers’ Row” including: Queens Of The Stone Age, The War On Drugs, Iron & Wine, LCD Soundsystem, The National, Foo Fighters, Deer Tick (Two!), Prophets Of Rage, Wolf Alice, MGMT, Liam Gallagher, and The Killers. That doesn’t even include heavily rumored albums by titans like Noel Gallagher, Bruce Springsteen, Black Country Communion, and U2 along with others sure to be unveiled in the next few months. Yikes.
I have no idea how the year-end Top 50 will shake out but one thing I can surely guarantee is that like last year’s Top 25 Halftime Report and final Top 50 it will be drastically different than what’s presented now.
For now though check out these 25 great albums of the 1st half of 2017 below:
- Father John Misty- Pure Comedy
- Ryan Adams- Prisoner
- Japandroids- Near To The Wild Heart Of Life
- Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit- The Nashville Sound
- Portugal. The Man- Woodstock
- Royal Blood- How Did We Get So Dark?
- Fleet Foxes- Crack-Up
- Strand Of Oaks- Hard Love
- Dan Auerbach- Waiting On A Song
- Spoon- Hot Thoughts
- Craig Finn- We All Want The Same Things
- At The Drive In- in • ter a • li • a
- Kendrick Lamar-DAMN.
- Conor Oberst- Salutations
- The Shins- Heartworms
- Cheap Trick- We’re All Alright!
- Ty Segall- Ty Segall
- Phoenix- Ti Amo
- Alt-J- Relaxer
- Roger Waters- Is This The Life We Really Want?
- Cory Branan- Adios
- British Sea Power- Let The Dancers Inherit The Party
- White Reaper- The World’s Best American Band
- Body Count- Bloodlust
- Dropkick Murphys- 11 Short Stories Of Pain & Glory