2017 was a pretty decent year for music! Between finding newer bands, the resurgence of others from years of inaction, and great albums from bands we’ve come to love and depend on for great music, it was pretty tough to be disappointed. Below, are the 20 albums that I consider to be the year’s best. If there are bands there you haven’t heard of, I hope you check them out, you never know…maybe one of them would’ve made your top spot. And please, drop a line in the comments and let me know your thoughts!
1. Makeout – The Good LifeI discovered this band earlier this year when they were brought to my attention by a post by Producer (and Goldfinger frontman) John Feldmann. After just one listen I was absolutely hooked. This pop punk album is by far the catchiest I’ve heard in a very long while. I dare you to give this album a listen without getting these infectious hooks running through your head over and over.
2. Goldfinger – The KnifeGoldfinger is back with a vengeance! After a split between frontman John Feldmann and the rest of the band, many questioned and even doubted whether this album would be on par with the band’s previous releases. The release of this album squashed all doubt with a quickness. Love that old Goldfinger sound? Plenty of that here and that is a VERY good thing.
3. 311 – Mosaic311 is a band that has been known for their variety of musical stylings. Every album is extremely eclectic and every style in the band’s repertoire seems to have been nearly perfected by them. The new album is no exception, though it is noticeably toned down MOST of the time; this despite the fact it probably contains the heaviest part of a song the band has ever done at the end of the track “Too Late”. I especially recommend this album if you’re into the band’s reggae/ska sound.
4. The O.C. Supertones – Live, Vol. 2This year we said a very fond farewell to perhaps the best ska band Christian music has ever produced (at least in my opinion). The band held a farewell show that also doubled as a 20th anniversary of the release “Supertones Strike Back”. This show was recorded and put out as Live, Vol. 2 and it did not disappoint. It features the “Supertones Strike Back” album in it’s entirety as well as other fan favorites and one unreleased tune that just killed it. If you haven’t picked this up yet, it’s definitely worth it, plus there’s the option to get the video recording of the show as well.
5. Demon Hunter – OutliveThis Demon Hunter album was pretty different to me, compared to what I’ve come to expect from them in the past, but nonetheless, I still really enjoyed it. Just as heavy as their other albums, but not always as fast, if that makes sense. Demon Hunter is always a win.
6. Death Therapy – The Storm Before The CalmI have to admit, I slept on this one a bit. I didn’t get this album until Uprise Festival this past Sept and was floored. I legitimately can’t think of another Christian artist with a sound like this. Industrial meets metal is the best way I can think of to describe it.
7. Rancid – Trouble MakerThe new Rancid is everything you’d expect from the band, very enjoyable punk rock with a few reggae songs in there. The album reaffirms that the band isn’t running out of gas and it doesn’t appear that they will anytime soon.
8. The Letter Black – PainPain, by The Letter Black, is a vast improvement on their old albums, although I never had much to complain about in the first place. This is a much heavier album from the band as opposed to past efforts and Sarah’s added more screams and displays a greater versatility in her vocals.
9. MyChildren MyBride – Vicious WorldThe first album by MCMB in over 5 years was very highly anticipated by fans all over, myself included. They’ve always been a personal favorite of mine. The new album however, was not what many fans were expecting. If you expected what MCMB sounded like years ago, you could have been disappointed. For me, however, I found the variety on the album to be a refreshing departure from past albums and feel it was executed really well. As heavy as it was in times past, but often a bit slower and with more singing and electronic experimentation. Personally, I feel like this album really hit the mark.
10. Pleading Guilty – DefactoPleading Guilty. Yes. Fellow labelmates, it’s really great to hear bands like this still out there today. They are reminiscent to me of older Take It Back meets Rise Against. An extremely impressive debut album, I really look forward to what they put out in the future.
12. Light the Way – Dude, Lame (Deluxe Edition, Man!)I just heard of Light the Way earlier this year and loved their brand of pop punk. Their energetic and fast paced offering “Dude, Lame: Deluxe Edition, Man” is impossible to resist.
13. Righteous Vendetta – CursedRighteous Vendetta is back and sounding better than ever! This album is their first in 4 years and is even heavier than what you might already know of them. Great production on this one and a must for the avid metal fanatic.
14. Locals Only – Locals Only EPI only saw/heard of these guys for the first time about a month or two ago, but after getting this ep, it didn’t come out of the player for at least 2 weeks. Pop punk is making a big comeback and these guys are clear cut evidence of that.
15. Neckdeep – The Peace and the PanicNeckdeep released The Peace and the Panic this year and it really surpassed the bands previous efforts and caused a lot of people to stand up and take notice. Pop punk greatness.
16. Rise Against – WolvesI’d expected this album to be higher up in my list, but the majority of the songs were seemingly weak compared to previous albums. Still a great album, but it took a few listens to really get into it and even that’s still a work in progress.
17. Carousel Kings – Charm CityCarousel Kings brought us Charm City this year; a pop punk album that intertwines some heavier elements in there as well. The two styles really compliment each other in the way they did things and I can’t wait for more.
18. Spoken – IXSpoken has a history of releasing albums with some really hard hitting hard rock songs that just pummel you; this one is no exception. The band’s 9th album is evidence they’re only getting better with age.
19. Beautiful Eulogy – WorthyIt’s a rare thing for me to find myself enjoying hip hop, but over the past few years I’ve been listening to more and more artists in the genre. These guys in particular pulled me in at the first listen. Worthy combines hip hop and praise and worship in a way I never knew anyone really did. Phenomenal lyrics, great beats, great execution, and extremely thought provoking. Come to think of it…why isn’t this one higher on this list?
20. KJ-52 – JonahKJ-52 has been a staple in the Christian hip hop scene for as long as I can remember. His new album shows he’s still on top of his game. Great hip hop, great lyrics…definitely more than worth your time.