The Top 10 Albums Of 2017

The Top 10 Albums Of 2017

Subtitled: Screw Off, Jay-Z

2017 sucked for a lot of reasons. It saw our first year of the Trump Presidency, the likely end to net neutrality, a near election of a pedophile to the US Senate, and yet another "worst mass shooting ever." However, 2017 was also an absolutely incredible year for music.

Kendrick Lamar, Jay-Z (more on him in a bit), Vince Staples, Tyler the Creator, and others cemented rap as the preeminent music genre of today's era with some stunning lyrical and artistic feats, while even Migos (Migos!) produced a legitimately good album. And, of course, there was "Bodak Yellow."

Other genres were not without hit albums of their own, of course. Lorde's Melodrama was an artistic feat which, by some people's thoughts, was unrivaled and, Katy Perry's disastrous Witness aside, pop as a genre had a good year.

The year was saturated with incredible, sometimes shocking albums from mainstream artists like Taylor Swift, Harry Styles, and the newly re-branded Kesha, while this year also saw out-of-nowhere breakout hits from artists like SZA and the aforementioned Cardi B, of "Bodak Yellow" fame.

Before I get into my rankings, I want to stress that this is a list of my favorite albums of 2017 and not a list purporting to declare and order the "best" music of the year. Besides the simple absurdity of attempting a "best of" list of something as intrinsically subjective and personal as music, frankly, I don't know all that much about music.

While I've listened to quite a lot of this year's music, I haven't made it through nearly all of it. I also know that my list will leave off consensus critic favorites like SZA's Ctrl. And I'm okay with calling it what it is: a list of my favorite albums. What I will promise is you is that that title does not mean I did not put a lot of thought about what to include and not include.

This brings me to my final prelude, which also happens to be the inspiration for my subtitle: Jay-Z sucks. I know that 4:44 was, like, supposedly incredible or whatever and that nearly every respectable list has it at least close to the top 10 and many even consider it their top album of the year.

But, frankly, I don't care. I didn't listen to it--or, at least, most of it. I listen to music on Spotify and did not care enough about this singular album to seek a Tidal or Apple Music subscription in order to feed the wallet and ego of a near billionaire. You should probably listen to it, though; it's apparently phenomenal.

Without further ado, my favorite albums of 2017:

10. Reputation, Taylor Swift

I really didn't quite want to put this album on my list because, well, it's Taylor Swift and though I have always greatly enjoyed her music I know that it is typically not regarded as critically acclaimed, Great Music. However, this album is simply so good. I could genuinely listen to it dozens of times in a row without tiring of it and, though that certainly says something about the state of my own sanity, it is also meant in the most complimentary of ways. When Taylor Swift's lovers lose, we all collectively win.

9. Harry Styles, Harry Styles

WOW. I was not expecting that. This is a rock album, through and through. I always really enjoyed One Direction music as a sort of guilty pleasure, but I will proudly proclaim my love for this album from their former front boy. Styles' beautiful voice shines through in this album and "A Sign of the Times" is one of my favorite songs of the year, for sure.

8. Flower Boy, Tyler the Creator

This is a shockingly great, introspective, emotionally evocative album from the artist who previously brought us such lyrics as "This the type of shit that make a Chris Brown want to kick a whore" and "I want to be the reasons why all lesbians hate dick." When my roommate and good friend of mine first suggested I listen to this album, I was more than a bit concerned about his (and my own) safety and well-being. However, I am glad that I finally heeded his advice and listened because Tyler the Creator has finally utilized his artistic gifts to tell stories in a way that's wholly palatable to people who don't self-identify as psychopathic megalomaniacs.

7. Big Fish Theory, Vince Staples

Vince Staples once tweeted "The national anthem don't even slap." That is a problem his breakthrough album certainly does not have. As one of the biggest Grammy snubs in recent memory, this album deserves far more respect than the Recording Academy has granted it. Honestly, I had never heard of Vince Staples before this summer, and then I listened to his album the day it came out. That's how good it was and how much I had been hearing about how good it was from friends who had listened. It has a very distinctive sound, for sure, but, if you enjoy rap in any capacity--and even if you generally don't--you should enjoy this album a great deal.

6. The Nashville Sound, Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit

How many other 2017 album lists feature a folk album in between Vince Staples and Kesha, huh? In all seriousness, though, I stumbled upon this album while reading through some "best of 2017" type lists and probably listened to it three times in a row my first time through. It's a short one--only 10 songs--but it packs an emotional, political, and storytelling punch all the while keeping with a deeply lovable and simple Americana sound. The ones you want are "If We Were Vampires" and "Something to Love."

5. Rainbow, Kesha

When "Praying" debuted as a single this summer, I listened to it literally hundreds of times before Kesha's next single, "Woman," dropped to which I listened far too many times awaiting "Hymn" and "Learn to Let Go." I sometimes just listened to those four songs on repeat counting down the days to the release of the full album. My friends hated how many times I suggested they listen to Kesha's new music. But it is just so good. Her album runs the genre gamut and features Kesha's unfiltered voice as it has never really been heard before, and it is beautiful.

4. A Crow Looked at Me, Mount Eerie

This album is so sad. I know that's probably not reading as much of a ringing endorsement, but that will probably be your immediate reaction to this album if you do yourself a favor and give it a listen. It sounds closer to spoken word poetry than it does to what one likely first thinks of when they hear "music," but it's that rawness--the artist sing-speaking with light guitar instrumental in the background which I think adds to its power. This album is utterly breathtaking and possibly the most moving music to which I've ever listened.

3. Antisocialites, Alvvays

This is another bit of a weird choice--a sort of alt-pop type album from a Canadian indie band which I stumbled upon while (again) reading some "best of 2017" type lists. I only encountered it a couple weeks ago and have already listened to it a couple dozen times which, for me, is a lot. It has a very interesting sound and can appeal, I think, to a wide variety of individual music tastes. It's also Canadian, which is sorta cool, I guess. I feel bad not having much to say about this album, because (clearly, based on its ranking) it is one of my favorite albums of the year. But it's very good. You should give it a listen.

2. Melodrama, Lorde

Hot damn, Lorde. What an incredible album. After DAMN. dropped, I figured that, at least for me, the album of the year conversation was likely over but then out of nowhere came the Kiwi who gave us "Royals" with an incredibly powerful and utterly listenable album. Lorde came dangerously close to first place on my list. As someone with essentially no background in music I feel like I cannot do justice to this album with my words so please listen to it for yourself, or, at least, read someone else's review.

1. DAMN., Kendrick Lamar

I think this album's title says it all. Damn. Kendrick here reaffirms his position as far and away the greatest rapper of this album and furthers his case as potentially the greatest rapper of all time. It's not quite as good as To Pimp a Butterfly, but the fact that it can even be uttered in the same breath is in itself incredible.

Cover Image Credit:

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35 Major Life Facts According To Nick Miller

"All booze is good booze, unless it's weak booze."

Fact: If you watch "New Girl," you love Nick Miller.

You can't help it. He's an adorable, lovable mess of a man and you look forward to seeing him and his shenanigans each week. While living the infamous and incomparable life of Nick Miller, and obviously Julius Pepperwood— he has learned many valuable laws of the land. And, although Nick refuses to learn anything from anyone besides his mysterious, old Asian friend Tran, he does have a few lessons he'd like to teach us.

Here are 35 facts of life according to 'Nick Milla Nick Milla':

1. Drinking keeps you healthy.

"I'm not gonna get sick. No germ can live in a body that is 65% beer."

2. Dinosaurs never existed.

"I don't believe dinosaurs existed. I've seen the science. I don't believe it."

3. A paper bag is a bank.

"A bank is just a paper bag but with fancier walls."

4. Having sex is similar to delivering mail.

"I'm like a mailman, except instead of mail it's hot sex that I deliver."

5. Moonwalking is a foolproof way to get out of any awkward situation.

Jess (about Nick): "Now he won't even talk to me. I saw him this morning and he just panic moonwalked away from me. He does that sometimes."

6. Using a movie reference is also a great way.

Cece: "Come on, get up!"

Nick: "No, I don't dance. I'm from that town in "Footloose."

7. There's no reason to wash towels.

Nick: "I don’t wash the towel. The towel washes me. Who washes a towel?"

Schmidt: "You never wash your towel?"

Nick: "What am I gonna do? Wash the shower next? Wash a bar of soap?"

8. Exes are meant to be avoided at all costs (especially if/unless they're Caroline)

"I don't deal with exes, they're part of the past. You burn them swiftly and you give their ashes to Poseidon."

9. IKEA furniture is not as intimidating as it looks.

"I'm building you the dresser. I love this stuff. It's like high-stakes LEGOs."

10. You don't need forks if you have hands.

Jess: "That's gross. Get a fork, man."

Nick: "I got two perfectly good forks at the end of my arms!"

11. Sex has a very specific definition.

"It's not sex until you put the straw in the coconut."

12. Doors are frustrating.

"I will push if I want to push! Come on! I hate doors!"

13. All booze is good booze.

"Can I get an alcohol?"

14. ...unless it's weak booze.

"Schmidt, that is melon flavored liquor! That is 4-proof! That is safe to drink while you're pregnant!"

15. Writers are like pregnant women.

Jess: "You know what that sound is? It's the sound of an empty uterus."

Nick: "I can top that easily. I'm having a hard time with my zombie novel."

Jess: "Are you really comparing a zombie novel to my ability to create life?"

Nick: "I'm a writer, Jess. We create life."

16. All bets must be honored.

"There is something serious I have to tell you about the future. The name of my first-born child needs to be Reginald VelJohnson. I lost a bet to Schmidt."

17. Adele's voice is like a combination of Fergie and Jesus.

"Adele is amazing."

18. Beyoncé is extremely trustworthy.

"I'd trust Beyoncé with my life. We be all night."

19. Fish, on the other hand, are not.

“Absolutely not. You know I don’t trust fish! They breathe water. That's crazy!"

20. Bar mitzvahs are terrifying.

Schmidt: "It's a bar mitzvah!"

Nick: "I am NOT watching a kid get circumcised!"

21. are blueberries.

Jess: "So far, Nick Miller's list of fears is sharks, tap water, real relationships..."

Nick: "And blueberries."

22. Take your time with difficult decisions. Don't be rash.

Jess: "You care about your burritos more than my children, Nick?"

Nick: "You're putting me in a tough spot!"

23. Getting into shape is not easy.

"I mean, I’m not doing squats or anything. I’m trying to eat less donuts."

24. We aren't meant to talk about our feelings.

"If we needed to talk about feelings, they would be called talkings."

25. We're all a little bit too hard on ourselves.

"The enemy is the inner me."

26. Freezing your underwear is a good way to cool off.

"Trust me, I'm wearing frozen underpants right now and I feel amazing. I'm gonna grab some old underpants and put a pair into the freezer for each of you."

27. Public nudity is normal.

"Everbody has been flashed countless times."

28. Alcohol is a cure-all.

"You treat an outside wound with rubbing alcohol. You treat an inside wound with drinking alcohol."

29. Horses are aliens.

"I believe horses are from outer-space."

30. Turtles should actually be called 'shell-beavers.'

Jess: "He calls turtles 'shell-beavers."

Nick: "Well, that's what they should be called."

31. Trench coats are hot.

"This coat has clean lines and pockets that don't quit, and it has room for your hips. And, when I wear it, I feel hot to trot!"

32. Sparkles are too.

"Now, my final bit of advice, and don't get sensitive on this, but you've got to change that top it's terrible and you've got to throw sparkles on. Sparkles are in. SPARKLES ARE IN."

33. Introspection can lead to a deeper knowing of oneself.

"I'm not convinced I know how to read. I've just memorized a lot of words."

34. It's important to live in the moment.

"I know this isn't gonna end well but the middle part is gonna be awesome."

35. Drinking makes you cooler.

Jess: "Drinking to be cool, Nick? That's not a real thing."

Nick: "That's the only thing in the world I know to be true."

Cover Image Credit: Hollywood Reporter

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The Zodiac Signs As Bath And Body Works Scents

Just in case you want to know what scent you are!

Bath and Body Works fans could be considered to be part of a cult. The scents draw you in as if calling your name, if you ever
wondered what your scent should be based on your zodiac sign, here it is!

Aries: Country Apple

The rather impulsive Aries takes their time picking and choosing the scents from Bath and Body Works. The soothing scent of a fresh apple orchard is just what they need on a daily basis to keep up with their shenanigans.

Taurus: Japanese Cherry Blossom

The personality of a Taurus is stubborn, or what I like to say, is stuck in their ways. When they first discovered this scent in middle school, this was it. This is the only scent you will find anywhere around a Taurus.

Libra: Pink Chiffon

Pink Chiffon is another cult classic. This best selling scent went out of style for a hot second but is back and bigger than ever.

Leo: Thousand Wishes

Thousand Wishes is a purr-fect scent for a Leo. The light scent adornes the wearer just the right amount to get the desired reaction from those around them.

Aquarius: Be Enchanted

The rather cold personality of an Aquarius is counteracted by the loving scent of Be Enchanted. The scent is just enough tenderness for the wearer to be relaxed.

Gemini: Moonlight Path

Gemini's constantly change their favorite scent and are in and out of the store almost weekly to by new lotions, candles, and body washes. You will never see a full empty bottle of anything, however, Moonlight Path is the scent they keep coming back to again and again.

Virgo: Sea Island Cotton

The clean personality of a Virgo must be matched with the clean scent of Sea Island Cotton.

Capricorn: Cucumber Melon

Another clean scent of Cucumber Melon is the exact thing a Capricorn needs. The balance and calming scents are what make this scent so attractive to a Capricorn.

Scorpio: Paris Amour

The light scent is what you would expect from an extreme sign like a Scorpio. The scent lightly washes over the wearer in almost a cloud that

Sagittarius: Cashmere Glow

Cashmere Glow is a perfect scent for the winter sign. The vanilla and golden peach scent is just the mixture that creates the perfect accessory in the chilly months.

Pisces: Warm Vanilla Sugar

This lovely scent accentuates the lovely personality of a Pisces. They can never get enough of this scent so they just keep buying and buying until they have a full stockpile.

Cancer: Velvet Sugar

Velvet Sugar is the perfect blend of red velvet and strawberries and a Cancer is always changing their mind. The wearer can tell if it is a more red velvet or strawberry kind of day, and that is the balance that they need in their lives.

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