2017: The Year In Music
The 2010s remain an excellent decade for new music, both hip hop and Latin American pop have had strong years as pop of every shading dominates the landscape and by pop I mean popular, not easy listening. While indie, rock, and country spin their wheels, rap has done what rock had done: fuses with everything that comes close.
As a man who was raised on rock, it is sad for me to find rock where jazz was in the 70s: stuck on the fringes of sound. It is not that there is no great rock out there, but it isn’t a thing, it isn’t a part of the pop music culture, just classic rockers dying out and grunge-emo-metal rockers passing out. My favorite rock album of 2017, Brand New’s Science Fiction ended up being my a creep of monumental proportions. Gee, thanks.
Country fell off, EDM fell out, rock collapsed, so what was left? Pop and hip hop. All my favorite music was from the heart of that bizarre hop hop scene. Take a listen to Spotify’s “Get Turnt” playlist, all my favorite performers in one place. Migos, Nicki Minaj, Metro Boomin, Cardi B, Lil Pump, Cyhi The Prynce, Future, Lil Uzi Vert… Gucci Mane. Really, it is 2017 and that’s it. Everything else, and there is other, from Rhiannon Giddens to Mount Eerie, is in addition to that entire lit, turnt, mumble etc, etc. Add to that Latin Trap, and all that reggaeton crossover, and the main folks from 2017 are complete. Early next year I am going to see J. Balvin and Luis Fonsi at Radio City Music Hall. ..
And pop. The too often maligned Ed Sheeran, who must be wondering how the hell he ended up being bullied again, plus Taylor, Demi, Selena, Kesha, and a cast of dozens who set up home on the pop charts. I was listening to an 80s pop charts thingy the other day and take it from me, this is a truly special time for pop, it isn’t comparable to 80s synth pop crappola, don’t let nostalgia fool ya, friends.
Otherwise, black r&b singers are lo-fiing themselves through words of love and discouragement, Sza, Kehlani, Kelala were awesome, K. Michelle was the realest artist around.
And finally, Tomas Doncker and his True Groove label just kept on releasing great material, from Sam Huber to Kevin Jenkins and beyond.