The complete 100 best albums list of 2017 on Ted Gioia's website
Here you can find Ted Gioia's list of the 100 best albums of 2017 (in alphabetical order this year). They are drawn from all styles and all genres.
Here is a detailed outline of how the selections have been compiled by the very person who curated the recordings- Ted Gioia
I am often asked how I compile my annual list of the 100 best albums.
Here is some background information.
What is different about this year's list?
I am listing my top 100 for 2017 in alphabetical order, rather than ranking them. This marks a change from previous years. I am doing this because each of these albums deserves recognition and the
sequential ranking tended to focus too much attention on just a few recordings.
What styles of music do I include in my
I listen to all genres and all styles of music. I like to listen to music that is fresh and different, and this spurs me to search outside the dominant commercial categories and hit releases. But I also listen to the heavily promoted albums from the major labels.
How much music do I listen to?
I like to hear new music every day. During 2017 I listened to more than 1,000 new album releases.
(The exact number was 1,034.)
Why do I compile this list?
Like any music lover, I enjoy sharing my favorite music with others. But in the last few years, a different
motivation has spurred me. I believe that the system of music discovery is broken in the current day. There is more music recorded than ever before, but it is almost impossible for listeners to find the best new recordings. The most creative work in music is increasingly found on self-produced projects and releases from small indie labels— to an extent hardly conceivable only a decade ago. Very little of this music ever shows up on the radio, where formats seem to get narrower and narrower with each passing year. Music fans once heard good new music at indie record stores, but most of them have closed. Or they could read reviews in the newspaper, but both the newspapers and the music reviews are shrinking or disappearing. And the big record labels are the worst culprits of all, picking acts for their looks or their potential appeal to fourteen-year-olds, or some other egregious reason, and in general jumping on the most trivial passing fads. On the other hand, the Internet presents an almost infinite amount of music and music commentary—yet where do fans even begin to separate the good from
the bad and ugly? My personal solution to this dilemma has been to listen to lots and lots of music, and try to identify recordings of quality and distinction. I share my list because I know, from past experience, that many other listeners are frustrated with the broken system of music discovery, and are also looking for good new music.
What criteria do I apply?
I have no axe to grind. My list is filled with music I enjoy, and suspect others will too—especially if they have a reasonably good ear, and an open mind. I like recordings that show some flair and creativity, a sense of style, solid musicianship, and an emotional commitment to the moment of performance. I appreciate it when an artist possesses a sense of musical tradition; on the other hand, I don’t want to see slavish imitation of the past. When music strikes me as too formulaic or contrived or cold, I start to lose interest. Like any critic, I want my readers to think that I am cool and hip and oh-so-up-to-date, but I learned some time ago that many of the best recordings are decidedly uncool and unhip. So if you want to laugh at me for honoring some superannuated rocker or unfashionable bagpipe album, go right ahead.
But also check out some of the lesser-known titles on the list...you might just be pleasantly surprised by what you hear.