So I have some album and song choices for my personal faves. Save for the top album, I don't think any of them will have an order.
I don't know exactly what makes a good album great. I don't think there is a key. And clearly, it's subjective anyways. With John Paul White's 2016 disk (hey, I only heard about and got it in 2017) Beulah, I think my take away was I'd say "this is my favourite song on the disk", then I'd hear another and say, "no, THIS is my favourite song on the disk".....and then repeat that saying for 90% of the disk. I really like all the songs, but only like 9/10 of them are my favourite.
If you just listen to the songs without focus, you'd think "oh, it's a nice album", and it is. If you truly listen to the disk, they are kind of a bunch of mean songs ("I want to make you cry". or, "I never really loved you anyway". or, "I'm gonna try/till the day that I die/till I get even". or my possible favourite - which I think I misinterpreted initially "someone I know I don't deserve and doesn't deserve me").
I think I paid $5.99 for it, but if it was 2-3 times that price, it's worth it.
Aimee Mann's Mental Illness was a great release too. It was one of those disks that kind of snuck up on me. The first few listens, I was all 'meh' about it. But the more I played, the more most of the songs took hold. I don't see the Dan Fogelberg / Bread reference (that much) to which she made in press releases for the album, but I still like it.
I get that the Killers' Wonderful Wonderful isn't a thing for some folks. I really love half the album, like a quarter of it, and skip the last quarter. Love the title track. Their first single, "the Man" might be my song of the year, but they have 2-3 really other strong tracks besides the two just mentioned.
Again, in no particular order, per se.
I figured if I'm touting the record some much, I should have one track included. It was a tough choice. John Paul White isn't a video artist, so it's live stuff, but well done. I chose one the least-"mean" songs, with "the Martyr".
White makes an appearance in Rodney Crowell's song, "It Ain't Over Yet", which also features Crowell's ex-wife, Rosanne Cash. Crowell is really a story teller, which could explain the start of more talk-singing than sining. It bothered me at first, but the song has been on medium to heavy rotation since it's May release. The song is up for a Grammy for Americana / Folk.
There is no video for the title track to the Killers' last album. Is it the best song on the disk? No. But it is the most original and interesting.
There are others, of course. I featured them in the last year, but won't repost exactly, but will relink to those posts:
Alison Krauss - one of the few high points to her Windy City disk is a cover of Willie Nelson's "I Never Cared for You.
Nothing But Thieves - still digging their song "Sorry"
Michael Kiwanuka's "Cold Little Heart" might be my 2nd best song of the year.
the Killers' "the Man" is still probably my fave. Sonically, it has so much going on - you really have to dig in and listen on different levels.
Aimee Mann with her "Patient Zero"
.....and last but not least, the National's "the System Only Dreams in Total Darkness"
That's all I got for this year. Let's see what 2018 brings!