- “Palisades” by Palisades (Rise Records)
This album brings up the rear of the top ten list of 2017 for several reasons. Palisades took a huge risk with this release by completely evolving their characteristic sound that started on “Outcasts” and resonated through “Mind Games”. With that being said, the band was able to mix their electronic, dance musical influence while pairing that with the alternative genre. Therefore, the band provided more of a variety throughout their album by giving their audience several instances of what that mixture of musical genres entails. This album will likely be the start of a strong build for Palisades as a band, and if you’re into music that makes you want to sing and dance: this one’s for you!
Memorable tracks: Hard Feelings, Let Down, and Fall.
- “Make the Best of It” by Have Mercy (Hopeless Records)
The next album to be featured on this list had to be the new music by Have Mercy. Before they released this album, the band was basically silent, and then, they suddenly broke out in early 2017 when they announced they’d be touring as well as releasing a new album. Have Mercy had some big shoes to fill, for their previously released album, “A Place of Our Own”, was a masterpiece and was a fan favorite across the board, and this band did everything but let their fans down. Throughout the album, the band rides their characteristic style with heartfelt lyrics on every track. The band utilizes the sound that made them unique, and they elevate that on this album to produce work that would startle the pop punk industry when it was released. If you’re looking for an album that will hit you right in the emotions, but you’ll want to scream along to every word, this is the album for you!
Memorable Tracks: Coexist, Good Christian Man, and Smoke and Lace.
- “All We Know of Heaven, All We Need of Hell” by PVRIS (Rise Records)
Next up on the list would be PVRIS, an artist whose release was one of the most anticipated of the year. PVRIS, through their first release “White Noise”, set such a high standard for themselves through musical ability and development. When their new album dropped, the world went crazy, rightfully so, for the band provided their audience with their characteristic sound in as well as an innovative evolution of that sound. Through this, the band was able to take risks and produce music that is completely different than everything else in the music industry, and stay true to themselves as artists and musicians. Therefore, if you’re looking for an album that gives you amazing music (simply put, but there is no better way to describe it), this is the album for you!
Memorable Tracks: Walk Alone, Half, and Winter.
- “okay.” AS IT IS (Fearless Records)
The next album to make the cut was an early release in 2017 by a band called AS IT IS. This band provided the masses with a strong pop punk sound from their first release “Never Happy, Ever After”, and their fans expected nothing less for their newest release, “okay.”: spoiler alert: the band didn’t disappoint. Throughout this album, it is apparent that they band took the time to solidify parts of their musicianship that wasn’t 100% solid, and then they took the parts of their music that was strong and took it to the next level. Thus, the band provides emotional lyrics with memorable instrumental riffs, so if you’re into music that you’ll have a fun time listening to it, this is the one for you.
Memorable Tracks: Soap, Until I Return, and No Way Out.
- “The Peace and The Panic” by Neck Deep (Hopeless Records)
The leading album of the second half of the top ten would be held by the one, the only Neck Deep. Neck Deep was another one of those artists that everyone was anticipating their release in 2017, and they didn’t let anyone down with this one. Neck Deep shook the nation with their previous release, “Life’s Not Out to Get You”, so the world was expecting nothing but the best. What is admirable about the new album, is that the band takes their characteristic sound that is heard in all their previously released music and refines it slightly; however, the band did more on this album than just slightly refine their musical precision and style. Throughout this album, the band allowed an unseen level of vulnerability, which resonates louder than anything else from this album. Furthermore, if you are looking for one of the leading pop punk albums of the year with dashes of influence from the metal and alternative genres: this one’s for you!
Memorable Tracks: Happy Judgement Day, Don’t Wait, and 19 Seventy Sumthin’.
- “What if Nothing” by WALK THE MOON (RCA records)
The last album to round out my top five albums of 2017 is none other than WALK THE MOON’s newest album, “What if Nothing”. This album shocked me in the best way possible. Throughout this album, the band was able to bend and twist the alternative genre with dashes of new wave musical characteristics to produce an album that is completely different than anything else being musically featured on the radio right now. Additionally, the band provides a variety of musicianship through instrumental utilization throughout the album, which helps to elevate the quality of their work. With that, the band is able to produce an album where none of the songs sound identical; thus, if you’re looking for an album that is musically intricate yet simple, so you won’t get bored with it: this is the album for you!
Memorable Tracks: Headphones, One Foot, and Kamikaze.
- “True View” by Stick to Your Guns (Pure Noise Records)
The next album that made the cut is the heaviest album on the list. When evaluating metal music It is hard for me not to be overly critical, for it is very easy for every metal or hardcore band to fall into this stereotypical niche that is very bland, and Stick to Your Guns provides everything but that. Throughout the album, the band wasn’t afraid to grind in to give their audience over the top breakdowns with heavy instrumentation. The use of heavy instrumentation helps to heighten the overall timbre of the album, which helps their well-balanced mixture of aggressive to clean vocals settle nicely. Furthermore, if you are hunting for a new beloved metal/hardcore album: this is the one, trust me.
Memorable Tracks: Married to the Noise, You Are Free, and The Sun, The Moon, The Truth: “Penance of Self”.
- “Feel Something” by Movements (Fearless Records)
There was no way that this album wouldn’t be in the upper portion of the list of the best albums of 2017. Movements, through this album, added so much depth to the pop punk musical genre. Through this album, the band mixes sung vocals with the vocal technique of spoken-word. With this, the band is able to convey different emotions through the normal inflections of the speaking voice. As the band plays with this technique, the instrumental music that lies underneath is musically lavish and memorable to the ear. Thus, if you are looking for an album in which you’ll feel every emotion possible in such a musically pleasing manner: this is the album for you!
Memorable Tracks: The Grey, Fever Dream, and Full Circle.
- “Eternity, In Your Arms” by Creeper (Roadrunner Records UK)
The runner-up for the album of the year was simple because this album is a pure masterpiece. Creeper, previous to this release, had released several EPs that drove their characteristic sound, but with this release they took that sound to the next level, and they haven’t stopped growing as a band since. This album is the perfect example of an alternative album that pulls influence from the punk genre as well as the rock genre. This mixture comes together to form the perfect blend of guitar riffs, catchy lyrics, and interesting instrumental interludes. The vocalist of the band has a very distinctive voice that resonates well with audience members, which helps to increase the likeability of this work. Honestly, this album is for just about anyone, but if you love finding new music to simply jam to: this is it, this is the one for you.
Memorable Tracks: Hiding with Boys, Down Below, and Suzanne.
- “California (Deluxe edition)” by Blink 182 (Viking Wizard Eyes LLC)
The very best album of 2017 is a no-brainer. Normally, I wouldn’t include deluxe editions in my lists, but Blink’s deluxe edition was 12 tracks long, which makes it the same length as a full-length album, so I am breaking my own unstated rule on that one. This album has received numerous mixed reviews since it lacks the old vocalist Tom DeLonge, and it is challenged for not sounding like Blink 182 at all. First off, yes, it does lack DeLonge, but that doesn’t automatically make the album awful. Second, the album sounds like older repertoire produced by Blink just minus DeLonge’s characteristic voice. Each song presented on the album is memorable, has elaborate instrumental material, and is either sentimental or very comical, which is a Blink 182 trademark. This is the best album of 2017, in my opinion, because there isn’t a back track on the album, its relatable among most genres, and its musically innovative and diverse. Therefore, if you are searching for a downright fantastic piece of musical work: this is the album for you!
Memorable Tracks: Last Train Home, Don’t Mean Anything, and 6/8.
2017 Honorable Mentions: Blindwish: “Good Excuses” // Chapel: “Sunday Brunch” // The Gospel Youth: “Always Lose” // Hoodie Allen: “The Hype” // Knuckle Puck: “Shapeshifter” // Seaway: “Vacation” // Veil of Maya: “False Idol” // Wage War: “Deadweight”.