Wandering into Lists of Best 2017 Albums

I googled “Best 2017 Albums” and found many things. Today I wander.


Charlotte Gainsbourg is pretty good. Gourmet production, crescendos, gorgeous harmonic shifts. Ring a Ring o’Roses is a great song. 4

Fever Ray and her icy voice… The album looks like a disconcerting big chest, full of sharp patterns, eargasming sounds and a constant sense of drive. There’s a lack of harmony-magic though 3

Fleet Foxes gives me smiles with strange rhythms, but it’s badly produced (too much reverb, buddy) and too casual for me. Voice is boring. Harmonic colors are great, full of moving clouds and facets, and architecture surprises. 3

Girlpool places itself in a clear “indie sound”. Average, but some rare good surprises (the slippery waltz of Powerplant – oh this bass player), the stairs, squeaking risks & breaks of She Goes By).

Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith like a baby Fever Ray. Harmless and insipid, but sweet. Stupid voice and funny sounds at times (To Follow & Lead). I like her good will.

Kamasi Washington, a splendid saxophonist, great to listen in your car

Kehlani got me immediately with Keep On. Irresistible! The rest is crap, sadly.

Kelela loves the sound of her own voice. It’s not good, but it’s good enough to keep me listening to the album. There’s always an element (a sound, a loop, a production idea) which makes you wonder.

Kendrick Lamar. Rap is not my cup of beer, but I really LOVED “King Kunta” in 2015 (which is perfection : the implacability of the bass, the laddered construction). Sadly I didn’t hear anything at this level today…


(to be continued)



In the trash :

Dead water puddles : Boring lazy, examples of “I am ecstatic about myself and I don’t work” : Björk, Future, Jay Z, Julie Byrne and Julien Baker (“I bathe in my voice and empty music”)

Stressed boring mosquitoes : Drunk, slippery and unorganized “experimentations with machines” that goes to trash pretty quickly : Arca, Jlin


Damn Lazy Rappers, an unexplored voice territory

So, yep, rap and rappers. It is what it is, and it’s, as usual, interesting to study the shades in the sound, the beat, the samples, lyrics and, well, voices.

Dark voices, fast flows, anger, laziness, there are plenty! Some voices are doubled, harmonized, etc. Each rapper, each group has its own thing, its style.

Good. But if you study this field a little longer, you also notice the narrowness of the territory. It’s always the saaaame…

I regret that, as the “flow” is THAT important in this area, the rivers of words are not more twisted, hurt, invented. They could increase force and tension by doing this. Rappers rap, but why don’t they bend over other styles, other ways of using human voice?

Here’s a lexical field :

  • Preacher
  • Incantations
  • Erratic
  • Muezzin
  • Idiot
  • Imprecation
  • Beat poetry
  • Gospel
  • Curse
  • Indian loops
  • Chant
  • Stravinsky irregular rhythm flow (cf the Rite)
  • Threnody
  • Silly monolog
  • Sprechgesang (cf Berg)
  • Speech
  • Walls of voices (cf Queen)
  • Faulknerian modulations
  • Elegy
  • Whispers weaving
  • Irregular
  • Vocodered yelling (cf Pinhas Houston 69)
  • Uncomfortable holes
  • Choking
  • Dark choir rap
  • Sporadic disappearance under musics
  • Dirge
  • Dissonances
  • Waltz
  • Melting sing & talk (write it on sheets)


Well : 1/ Invent more 2/ Prove me I’m wrong in the comments 3/ Combine two


Thanks for reading!



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