In a time defined by unpredictability, artists stepped up with their own expressions, embracing the beauty of life and protesting its injustices. Across more than a dozen features, Pitchfork looks at the moments that defined the year—the best albums and songs, along with the most emotional live sets, the sharpest literature, the savviest TV syncs. These are the best of the best. December 12 December 11 December 29 December 4
The 100 Best Songs of 2017
Follow Billboard. All rights reserved. You probably remember as the year of the Event Album , a seemingly endless stream of huge artists unleashing monolithic statements -- often from out of nowhere, and usually while you were still trying to digest the album dropped by a different megastar just weeks earlier. It was overwhelming enough to make us wonder if this was what every year was going to be like as a music fan: eleven months of hopping from major release to major release, with one month at the end to scramble to sort through it all. Well, was much more merciful on us. But that was fine: It just meant that we had more of a chance to search for personal favorites, and more time to spend with those we found.
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Though our culture of fast distraction seems hell-bent on crushing the album beneath its endless scroll, the form remains a pillar of art, something to aspire to. In music, when you want to make a statement, you make an album. And right now, those statements are perhaps more varied and fluid than ever before. Here are the 50 best albums of Listen to selections from this list on our Spotify playlist and our Apple Music playlist. Yaeji contains multitudes. She recites hypnotizing lyrics about the most mundane observations, switching effortlessly between English and Korean to take advantage of the melodic structures of each language. And she raps in a combination of whisper and spoken word, positioning her voice as both intimate and distant. With each new song, Yaeji sounds more comfortable embracing the binaries that exist within her identity and her music.
Follow Billboard. All rights reserved. If albums had something of a soft landing on the pop landscape in , then songs more than picked up the headline-grabbing slack. The Man and Sam Hunt did so domestically. And even with all this, it was still a year where the very best singles might not have been the very biggest. Lady Gaga, "The Cure". Following her rootsy, personal Joanne LP, "The Cure" comes across like Gaga's concession to radio's now waning love affair with trop-pop. Even so, the track is unmistakable Stefani Germanotta, from the smoky coo on the verses hello, jazz chanteuse Gaga to the full-throated, mountain-top-tickling bellow that announces the chorus. The Killers, "The Man". In , we welcomed back synth-rock veterans The Killers with open arms.