At this point last year, we'd already experienced massive album drops from the likes of Beyoncé, Kanye West, Radiohead, David Bowie and Drake; by the end of the year, we were left wondering just what was left to come out in 2017.
The answer is a swathe of albums by artists whose names might not adorn stadium marquees, but whose work shone brightly as beacons for another good year in music. Between long-awaited debut full-lengths, worldly, philosophical album statements and surprising genre crossovers, 2017 has seen a wealth of riches.
As the year's halfway mark approaches, we've separated the great from the merely good in order to present the best albums released so far this year.
Click next to read through the albums one by one, or use the list below to skip ahead to your favourites.
Exclaim!'s Top 29 Albums of 2017 So Far:
- 1. Kendrick Lamar - DAMN.
- 2. Sampha - Process
- 3. Feist - Pleasure
- 4. Father John Misty - Pure Comedy
- 5. Mount Eerie - A Crow Looked at Me
- 6. Drake - More Life
- 7. Jay Som - Everybody Works
- 8. Mac DeMarco - This Old Dog
- 9. Joey Bada$$ - All-Amerikkkan Bada$$
- 10. Slowdive - Slowdive
- 11. Power Trip - Nightmare Logic
- 12. The xx - I See You
- 13. Run the Jewels - Run the Jewels 3
- 14. Thundercat - Drunk
- 15. Oddisee - The Iceberg
- 16. Code Orange - Forever
- 17. Kelly Lee Owens - Kelly Lee Owens
- 18. Full of Hell - Trumpeting Ecstasy
- 19. Cloud Nothings - Life Without Sound
- 20. Stormzy - Gang Signs & Prayer
- 21. Do Make Say Think - Stubborn Persistent Illusions
- 22. Incendiary - Thousand Mile Stare
- 23. King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard - Flying Microtonal Banana
- 24. (Sandy) Alex G - Rocket
- 25. Future Islands - The Far Field
- 26. Timber Timbre - Sincerely, Future Pollution
- 27. GAS - Narkopop
- 28. Paramore - After Laughter
- 29. Ryuichi Sakamoto - async