BEST OF 2017: Tim Livingston’s Great Eight Albums

December 29th, 2017, 10:00 am by Greg

By Tim Livingston

Memos From the Underground: The Great Eight Best (or at least my favorite) Albums of the Year…

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1. Peter Perrett
How the West Was Won
The Only Ones frontman/songwriter returns out of nowhere with a stunning album showcasing his outstanding songwriting, heartfelt delivery and sometimes dark wit as only a man who has traveled a journey such as his could do. Not only album of the year, but also comeback of the year! Top-notch accompaniment by his two sons’ band featuring the beautiful and powerful guitar stylings of Jamie Perrett. Song of the year? Pick one… any one.

2. Michael Rank
Another Love
Alt-rockers Snatches of Pink main-man Michael Rank, a disciple of Keef, has already reinvented himself once as an alt-country troubadour, but this year he channels the likes of Sly Stone and Prince to metamorphosis into a stirring soul singer, and the three-disc set results are astonishing. Soul album of the year. Late night romance album of the year.

3. Protex
Tightrope
Original Belfast punks re-form and release the power-pop album of the year. Ringing guitars, booming drums, catchy hooks, sharp melodies – all you could ask for in an upbeat, rocking album.

4. Ruts DC
Music Must Destroy
A true-to-form return for the two remaining original members of the very underrated Ruts! Powerful rock music encompassing many styles and a great addition to the bands legacy. Actually released the end of 2016, but did not reach these ears until early this year, so… my list, my rules.

5. The Godfathers
Big Bad Beautiful Noise
Straight-up rock & roll with flourishes of garage rock and psychedelia. A cool collection of songs from these London heavy-hitters.

7. Jesus and Mary Chain
Damage and Joy
Lords of the Darklands return with perhaps their most accessible album to date. Many highlights, some featuring beautiful, female co-vocals.

8. Role Models
Dance Moves
Rich Rags is a member (or former member) of some cool London bands including playing guitar in one of my favorites, raucous punk rockers The Loyalties (search out their two albums now!), but you would never know that the band he now leads, the Role Models, were from London just by listening. In fact, I’d be willing to wager you would peg them as a Midwest, heartland outfit, somewhere in the terrain of early period Tom Petty/late period Replacements. A super batch of hook-filled songs with just enough pop to pull you in and more than enough power to keep you there. This is their third album in as many years, so there’s plenty to explore here!

MORE BEST OF 2017 LISTS
TIM REIDY’S Most Memorable Shows
FRED RUDOFSKY’S Top 35 Favorite Concerts (And Other Observations)
STEVE NOVER’S Top 50 Concerts
RICHARD BRODY’S Top 22 Concerts
MICHAEL ECK’S Top 10 Concerts
RUDY LU’S Top 12 Favorite Concerts
FRED RUDOFSKY’S Favorite 50 Albums
ED CONWAY’S Bakers’ Dozen Best Concerts
J HUNTER’S Best Jazz2K Releases (Part Deux)
DON WILCOCK’S Top 8 Blues Albums (And Year-End Rant)
WES SENECA’S Best Third Member of a Duo, Fourth Member of a Trio, Fifth Member of a Quartet…
STANLEY A. JOHNSON’S Top 12 (Or So) Live Music Performances
J HUNTER’S Best Jazz2K Releases (Part I)